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#1 2006-09-25 13:36:32

Heimdall
Member
Registered: 2006-09-25
Posts: 13

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Wouldn't it be possible to use the remaining Shuttles in some way? Could they be converted and reach Mars orbit? Would they be able to aerobrake? The Orion craft seems very small for a journey to Mars...

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#2 2006-09-25 13:58:55

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Oh Lord! Oh my Lord no! Oh please no! Anything, anything but that!!!

Orion is a little small for going to Mars. Good thing we aren't going to use it to go there.


"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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#3 2006-09-25 14:31:21

Heimdall
Member
Registered: 2006-09-25
Posts: 13

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Oh Lord! Oh my Lord no! Oh please no! Anything, anything but that!!!

I do realise it sounds stupid, and I'm fully aware of how the Shuttle has hindered human space flight beyond Earth orbit, but it just seems insane not to try and use all that insanely expensive hardware in some way. Can't the shuttles be used for cargo transport, or be useful in some other way?

Orion is a little small for going to Mars. Good thing we aren't going to use it to go there.

So what are the plans, if any, for how a human crew will get to Mars under the Bush scheme? Isn't it some variation of the Zubrin plan, only with a lot more redundancy?
I thought the CEW design would be utilized for all parts of the plan, in modified versions, but I haven't seen any details. Are there any?

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#4 2006-09-25 16:03:25

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

The only thing thats more insane than trying to reuse Shuttle for anything is to TRY to reuse Shuttle to do anything!

If you are actually serious about this, that you have let your "thrift instinct" take over that much, then no you must not really be aware how bad Shuttle has been for spaceflight.

The most likely mission design at the moment is probably something alot like MarsDirect, except with four launches instead of only two, since Bob Zubrin made his ships too small in order to fit in only two shots. Each would go up in pairs, one for the vehicle itself and one for the TMI rocket to boost the vehicle to Mars.


"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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#5 2006-09-25 22:03:54

idiom
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2004-04-21
Posts: 312

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

The remaining shuttles will make amazing display pieces, especially if they are setup to be interactive. Having a lot of people have the chance to actually touch them or walk above them on walkways could do at least as much for the space program in the future as the have done in the past.


Come on to the Future

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#6 2006-09-26 00:47:56

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Wouldn't it be possible to use the remaining Shuttles in some way? Could they be converted and reach Mars orbit? Would they be able to aerobrake? The Orion craft seems very small for a journey to Mars...

Yes you could convert them on the ground into Orion capsules smile

Let's see. The orbiter weighs about 100 mT,  to lift it from LEO to Mars Transfer Orbit (MTO) requires a Delta-v (change in velocity) of about 3.8 kms/sec.  To calculate how much fuel this would take we can use the rocket equation:

final mass =  initial mass*e^(Delta-v/Ve) where Ve is the exhaust velocity of the rocket

The Orbiter burns LO2/LH2 the best rocket fuel available with a Ve of about 2400 m/sec. So let's do the math and calculate how much fuel the Orbiter needs to move from LEO to MTO:

final mass = 100000*e^(3800/2400) = 487116.6 kg = 487 mT

So now deduct the mass of the Orbiter and that gives 387 mT of fuel.  Hmm that is a lot, but not impossible, let's go for it.

The Orbiter can lift 20 mT to LEO in its cargo bay, so this would require more than 16 shuttle flights. Hmm expensive but still doable. Let's forget the awkward details about the tank needed to hold all this fuel and the losses due to boil off and now imagine the Orbiter in MTO about a year or more later. Oh did you want the crew alive when they got there? Add many more tons for life support, radiation shielding and upgrades to extend the Orbiters 14 days on orbit capability. Ok now it can aerobrake down to Low Mars Orbit (LMO). Yay we made it, the Orbiter is now in LMO with the crew alive!

Have we forgotten something, oh yes how will they get back?


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

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#7 2006-09-26 01:41:27

Heimdall
Member
Registered: 2006-09-25
Posts: 13

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

OK guys, so now I know that trying to reuse the Shuttle in any way is a really, really bad idea. Revolting, even! That's what I wanted to know, and thanks for sorting it out. No need to be so scathing! ;-)

So, what do you think is the ideal way of getting to Mars in a realistic way, and what has NASA planned? I haven't seen any resources that provides details about this (I, too have heard about the 4 launches version, but only sketchily), please provide links to information if you have any. Then you won't be pestered by know-nothings like myself ;-)

Seriously, I'm very far from your level of expertise, but I very much appreciate your sharing of knowledge. I'm definitely not an "alt-spacer", only a layman very interested in Mars ever since I was a kid.

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#8 2006-09-26 06:12:02

cjchandler
Member
From: canada
Registered: 2006-06-24
Posts: 138

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

The shuttle technology will be reused, only not the orbiter. The tanks and solidfule boosters will make up part of the CEV system along with new and 60's tech.


Ad astra per aspera!

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#9 2006-09-26 06:40:25

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,708

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

The shuttle is ideal for large transport of numbers to LEO, going once a year to the ISS converted to be the latest passenger carrier to space.

Rework it to handle the cargo area as new seating, change the cabin to cargo area as to be capable of holding together in case either types of acidents occur. This allows more hands to work in space.

Rework the other shuttle to be an unmanned cargo supply vehicle. Keep the last for spear parts.

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#10 2006-09-26 12:08:31

Mars...Let's Go!
Member
From: SoCal
Registered: 2006-09-22
Posts: 9

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

The remaining shuttles will make amazing display pieces, especially if they are setup to be interactive. Having a lot of people have the chance to actually touch them or walk above them on walkways could do at least as much for the space program in the future as the have done in the past.

I like this idea the best!  smile

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#11 2006-10-27 12:11:45

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Some of the plans for the Buran orbiters were to--at the end of their life--to leave them docked-minus wings, as station modules.

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#12 2007-04-24 20:49:45

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,708

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

The shuttle that will not die for ways to use it over and over again after retirement, here is one more way...

Space-based sunscreen among schemes proposed to protect earth from warming

A sun-blocking disk would cover an area of 106 square kilometers, weigh 3,000 tonnes and would spin continually.

It would be built over time by a space shuttle, says the draft IPPC report. Construction would require one shuttle flight annually for 100 years.

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#13 2007-04-25 13:25:50

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

.

here is my thread on the BAUT forum about ho to use the Shuttle:

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=43989

and this is my Sept. 2005 article where I suggest to modify the Shuttle to fly CREWLESS as a cargo-only:

http://www.gaetanomarano.it/spaceShuttl … uttle.html

however, do you want a good suggestion to use the Shuttles?

the standard Shuttle can carry a 24+ mT payload to LEO, while the crewless version could carry up to 30 mT

EACH Shuttle launch costs around $500M if launched (at least) five times per year

and the full Orion+LSAM+EDS convoy will weigh around 150 mT

then, DELETE (both) Ares-I and Ares-V and ASSEMBLE the moon mission hardware in LEO with 5-6 Shuttle launches

using the Shuttles, the cargo-price of EACH moon mission will be around $3 billion and the first moon mission could fly in 2015

.

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#14 2007-04-25 13:46:37

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Six STS flights = 180MT (assuming a 30MT payload, which is unlikely)
Six Ares-V flights = 780MT

780MT>180MT


"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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#15 2007-04-25 13:53:19

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Six STS flights = 180MT (assuming a 30MT payload, which is unlikely)
Six Ares-V flights = 780MT
780MT>180MT

each (150 mT) moon mission needs four cargo and one cargo+crew flights

if you want (tomorrow) I can post the (very long) list of the Ares-I/V (R&D, fixed, shared, hardware, etc.) costs of the ESAS plan... smile

.

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#16 2007-04-25 14:27:49

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

each (150 mT) moon mission needs four cargo and one cargo+crew flights

And this would take about a year at the current Shuttle launch rate. Given that most of those launches would be fuel, an on orbit deport would be needed to prevent boiloff. Total cost, at least $2.5 billion excluding the cost of the depot. Compare with NASA's estimated cost of $525 million for an Ares V cargo launch direct to the lunar surface or $750 million for a crew lunar mission.


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

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#17 2007-04-26 18:57:04

X
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2007-02-02
Posts: 134

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

They'll be very valuable as tourist attractions after they go out of service.

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#18 2007-04-27 11:39:56

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

...estimated cost of $525 million for an Ares V cargo launch direct to the lunar surface or $750 million for a crew lunar mission...

maybe, the Shuttle can't be used after 2010, but, PLEASE, don't tell us (again, again and again) the "low cost ESAS hardware" fable... !!!

you know that the GAO professionals have evaluated the full ESAS/VSE plan costs at $230 billion in the next 20 years!

that means an (all inclusive) price per EACH moon mission around $10 billion!

however, back to the thread topic, a very good use of the Shuttles is to DELETE the (bad) Ares-I and use the Shuttle (in 2010-2020) for ALL orbital and lunar missions, this way:

http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/02 … orion.html


026shuttleorionyu0.jpg

.

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#19 2007-04-27 12:02:14

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

you know that the GAO professionals have evaluated the full ESAS/VSE plan costs at $230 billion in the next 20 years!

that means an (all inclusive) price per EACH moon mission around $10 billion!
.

Have you looked at the GAO report?

$230 billion is the BIG shock number invented by the GAO last year for the entire cost of VSE out to 2025. If you read the small print it includes "funding needed to service the International Space Station" and is given in "inflated real year dollars" - AFAIK that means 2025 dollars. Grifin quoted $104 billion for RTTM and that includes Orion, Ares I/V, LSAM and LRO etc etc development.

As GCNRevenger patiently tried to explain, development costs are not factored into missions costs - if SpaceX did this then their two Falcon 1 failed launches would have cost about $100 million each!


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

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#20 2007-04-27 12:14:28

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

$230 billion is the BIG shock number invented by the GAO last year for the entire cost of VSE out to 2025.

I've seen bigger numbers printed in the US media,
big numbers that quote figures somewhere between 950 million and 1 trillion dollars for the next few years
Upcoming missions fix Hubble, launch JWST, do sample returns and manned missions to Moon and Mars...can cost over 1 trillion dollars say a number of US media outlets
Some priced the original SEI at half a trillion dollars


'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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#21 2007-04-27 12:20:11

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

I've seen bigger numbers primted in the US media, big numbers that quote figures somewhere between 950 million and 1 trillion dollars for the next few years Upcoming missions fix Hubble, launch JWST, do sample returns and manned missions to Moon and Mars...can cost over 1 trillion dollars say a number of US media outlets

It's so easy to make up any number, if you want to kill a program just inflate the cost, conversely underestimating cost is often used to get a program approved. For such complex large programs it is doubtful that the media have any real clue about the cost, they take the given number and change it depending on their agenda, otherwise they would simply report the given number and comment. BTW NASA's budget is currently about $17 billion, it would take 58 years to spend 1 Trillion smile


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

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#22 2007-04-28 06:48:11

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

I don't think gaetano would even understand the GAO report even if he did read it.

$230Bn sounds like a lot of money, but considering the US federal income over that time period will be on the order of tens of trillions of dollars, its really not. And a good quarter or so of this $230Bn figure will be spent on the ISS and probably some science/aeronautics unrelated to VSE too I bet.

The price that M Griffin quoted, ~$800M for a manned and ~$500M for a cargo Lunar mission, are again for marginal costs. This is the cost of actually carrying out a mission above the cost of developing and supporting the capability to launch the mission. This is the normal way things are done, it is not normal to lump all these costs together and simply divide by the number of missions!

But speaking of support costs, M.Griffin has been quoted as estimating support costs for both Ares-I and Ares-V as approximately $1Bn annually in 2000 dollars. Shuttle on the other hand, costs ~$3Bn annually! So every single year we keep Shuttle flying, thats about an additional two billion dollars spent on Shuttle that NASA would not have to spend otherwise. So in four short years, the high cost of Shuttle would wipe out this supposed savings by skipping Ares-I.

And development costs, remember that Ares-V is using almost all the same parts as Ares-I, just with the addition of RS-68 and an upper stage loiter option. Otherwise its all the same engines, same fuel tank manufacturing facilities, same electronics. Plus what good would it do to have Shuttle carrying Orion if we don't have Ares-V/LSAM ready for Lunar missions? Furthermore, almost every dollar not spent on Ares-I will be added later to Ares-V, the additional cost of which will further delay the first Moon landings.

Shuttle itself is being canceled for good reasons too, first and foremost its really not safe in the long term: the name of the game for NASA is the probability that another Shuttle crew will be lost, and this will obviously increase with the number of flights. If Shuttle has a 1-in-250 chance of being lost, then the additional ~15 flights only pose a, 6% chance of loss. But for another say 40 flights, that jumps to sixteen percent, or a one-in-six chance of disaster.

Irrespective of Shuttle's crushing costs, its not safe enough over the long term. Its probably safe enough over the short term, but again not the long term. Speaking of costs, it will cost money to continue running the production line for the smaller ET, four-segment boosters, and SSME that would have to be spent in addition to the 5&10M tanks, five-seg boosters, and J-2X. Furthermore, Shuttle is the most complex machine ever devised by man, and the inherent way it flies means it can never be upgraded to Orion-like safety and still work.

Lastly the KSC launch facilities are big enough for Shuttle or Orion/Ares: the VAB and pad 39B will have to be modified, but they can't serve both Shuttle and Orion/Ares at the same time. Ares-V is too wide and both Ares rockets too tall, plus the Shuttle hangers have been re designated for Orion preparation. You have to pick one, you can't have both without a big increase in support costs.


"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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#23 2007-04-29 07:19:55

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

Grifin quoted $104 billion for RTTM and that includes Orion, Ares I/V, LSAM and LRO etc etc development...

first of all, the "old" $104Bn figure was updated a few months ago to $125Bn in the next 20 years (with 12 lunar missions in 2020-2025) and that amount may grow to (at least) $150+Bn WITHOUT adding the future inflation

of course, the "total ($125Bn) price" includes everything: R&D costs, rockets, Orion, earth assembly and support, LSAM, last ISS flights, etc.

then, assuming that all ISS/non-lunar flights (and shared costs) will reach (e.g) $15Bn, the price-per-moon-mission will be (anyhow) $110Bn / 12 = over $9 billion EACH

...if SpaceX did this then their two Falcon 1 failed launches would have cost about $100 million each...

this is NOT a good/best example about HOW a REAL company works!

so far, SpaceX for Musk, Virgin Galactic for Branson, Blue Origin for Bezos, etc. ar JUST expensive GAMES for rich men!

they can spend what they want for their space-toys (without have success nor profits now) since they have BILLION$$$

of course, you're right about the R&D costs... they CAN'T be charged on the first flight, but they MUST be charged on per-launch costs within a reasonable numner of launches/years (that is "next 20 years" for, both, NASA and GAO evaluations)

despite Musk is a rich man, I'm SURE that he will charge the money spent to develop the Falcon on the real commercial flights, so, if the next 20 falcon-1 launches will cost $20M each of hardware, the final price per launch for SpeceX customers will be $20M + ($100M/20) = $25M

.

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#24 2007-04-29 07:49:38

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

...the KSC launch facilities are big enough for Shuttle or Orion/Ares: the VAB and pad 39B will have to be modified...

I do agree on some points ...surely NASA can reuse many things from past programs, but (unfortunately) are the "new things" that costs too much ...also, you can't evaluate the final price of a car calculating ONLY the R&D price OR the workers costs OR the new factory investment OR the hardware parts but ALL these figures

if you build a skyscraper with 100 apartments for a total cost (all inclusive) of $100M, clearly, the price of each apartment is/MUST be $100M / 100 = $1M (no matter how much you spend for the single parts or how much you reuse or buy new)

.

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#25 2007-04-29 08:07:51

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

Re: Using the Space Shuttle in some way?

then, assuming that all ISS/non-lunar flights (and shared costs) will reach (e.g) $15Bn, the price-per-moon-mission will be (anyhow) $110Bn / 12 = over $9 billion EACH

this is NOT a good/best example about HOW a REAL company works!... but they MUST be charged on per-launch costs within a reasonable number of launches/years (that is "next 20 years" for, both, NASA and GAO evaluations)

Oh, so its wrong for a "real company" to lump their R&D costs into the mission costs, but it IS wrong for NASA to do so?

And other federal programs, say for example medicare or for the military, say for instance the cost of the US air force, which receives about a hundred billion dollars a year. If the USAF gets its way, it will buy about 1500 new jets over the next 25 years.  Rounding up for inflation and past R&D work would make each plane cost $2Bn apiece? Every single one of them costing two billion dollars? Or if only 1/4th the USAF budget goes to fighter jets, even a quarter that much?

No, of course not! It would be unfair to the USAF and stupid to make such a calculation, which would obviously be biased against them by grossly inflating the unit price tag. And yet, you stamp your foot and demand the same math be applied to NASA, especially with your seizure-like fits about the evils of development costs. The R&D costs and the purchase price of the actual hardware are two entirely separate things, the capability of the mission and the cost of actually doing the mission.


"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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