New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#51 2019-12-12 13:21:35

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,032
Website

Re: Space Launch System

Bridenstine himself says SLS will cost about $1.6 Billion per launch,  if only one is procured in any given year,  $0.8 Billion if more than one is procured in any given year.  So,  at 130 metric tons delivered payload to LEO,  that's $6.2M to $12.3M per delivered metric ton. 

And for the initial SLS configuration,  it's not 130 tons,  it's nearer 70 tons delivered payload.  So those prices are nearer $12M-24M/ton,  really. 

Falcon-9 is about $3M/ton flown expendably,  and Falcon-Heavy about $1.4M/ton flown expendably.  Atlas-5 falls nearer $4M/ton in the bigger configurations,  higher in the smaller configurations. 

The price trends with the flying vehicles has been static to gently downward in recent years.  The price trends for SLS,  which is still ~1-2 years from flying in any configuration,  have roughly doubled (or more) over the last 3-5 years.

And the prime contractor for SLS is the same one who has botched-up the 737 MAX and 737NG programs,  and has had severe quality problems with 787.  Why would you want a rocket made by those guys?

Anybody else notice a pattern there?

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-12-12 13:26:27)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

Offline

#52 2019-12-12 18:23:09

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

With contracts that pay whether they complete the full goal with only a minimum goal required for output for the bucks that they recieved.

Online

#53 2019-12-15 18:46:56

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

I guess slow anouncement prgoress is better than hearing nothing about when a flight will happen. Preparing to test Orion spacecraft requires a big plane, huge cranes and a vacuum cleaner

orion-spacecraft-plum-brook-station-testing-hg.jpg

Even around the vacuum chamber, a little vacuuming is required to make sure the facility and Orion are kept extremely clean. There are two types of contamination engineers are concerned about: particulate, which you can see, and molecular, which you can't see. Both can cause problems during the tests, but they can also be dangerous during flight.

The slightest amount of dust or grease could disrupt sensors on the spacecraft's surfaces and its sensitive navigation system. To help keep everything sterilized, every person working near the spacecraft is required to suit up from head to toe with gowns, hoods, latex gloves, shoe covers and beard covers. Even the number of particles floating around the room gets monitored.

Although it looks like tin foil, the metallic material wrapped around Orion and the Heat Flux System is a material called Mylar. It's used as a thermal barrier to help control which areas of the spacecraft get heated and cooled during testing. This helps the team avoid wasting energy heating and cooling spots unnecessarily.

It took a little over a week to prepare Orion for its thermal test in the vacuum chamber. Now begins the 63-day process of heating and cooling the capsule to ensure it's ready to withstand the journey around the Moon and back.

Online

#54 2020-01-06 22:33:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Online

#55 2020-02-01 22:00:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

Nasa surely sucks at contract writing and more when they allow Boeing negotiating with NASA on future SLS Core Stage production
That should have already been taken care of since you already know the flight rate and need...
Can anyone say Pork.....

Online

#56 2020-02-02 08:22:30

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Space Launch System

For SpaceNut re #55

Thanks for the link to the long article on Boeing lessons learned in building the SLS Core stage(s).

The article was helpful in understanding the learning process in building a structure of the complexity of this stage.  The article includes a description of a team assigned responsibility to learn from as many activities as possible, to improve the process the second time.

NASA is constrained by the budget allocated by Congress.  At present only two core stages have been procured.  I think that the people working on this project are doing about as well as they can considering the financial restraints, AND the heavy responsibility they are bearing because this equipment must be man-rated for the first flight.

(th)

Offline

#57 2020-02-02 10:17:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

The real issue is that the SLS is a modified version of the shuttle External Tank which they have been making for the 80's. Sure its being done with newer equipment and that may be some of the issue as it uses a different metal building process akin to 3D printing.
What makes any rocket Human Rated is a bit of design for thought of redundancy in systems there to protect the crew but its the level of testing performed to assure the building of it can withdstand the stresses plus a tolerance above them that it will see. This means documental trace ability to know what was used, the testing performed on it and a written acknowledge of whom did what.

SpaceX is not entirely doing any of these things and since they are not the total costs are lower in many ways relying on outside vendors to have done some of the testing and paperwork some of which does allow for conterfiet parts which can not perform to the quality needed. So far there has been no humans to lose life from the occurances of this so far. The pad abort test was just that...

Online

#58 2020-02-02 12:12:09

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Space Launch System

Saturn V was developed from scratch. Even the F-1 and J-2 engines were developed. Saturn C5 was announced on January 10, 1962. Apollo 4 was the first unmanned test, Nov 9, 1967. That's 5 years, 10 months. SLS was announced by a joint Senate/NASA announcement on September 14, 2011. That means first unmanned launch should have happened no later than July 2016. The core of SLS is a modified Shuttle ET, engines are Shuttle SSME, upper stage of SLS block 1 is from Delta IV, and solid rocket boosters are also from Shuttle. 5 segment boosters were proposed for Shuttle, but never developed. They were developed for Ares V under the Constellation program of 2005-2009. SLS was supposed to take less time than Saturn V, and cost less. When you take the cost of Saturn V, not the whole Apollo program, just Saturn V, and apply inflation from those years until today, SLS has already cost more. There's no excuse.

Exploration mission was was to be the first unmanned launch of SLS. It was announced for December 2017. That date has come and gone. There is no scheduled date.

Offline

#59 2020-02-02 13:22:21

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Space Launch System

For RobertDyck re #58

There ** is ** an excuse ... There is no reason to hurry.  The Soviets are no longer competing.

On top of that, there is no upside to success, or very little.  There is tremendous downside to spectacular failure.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are inspirational leaders who provide motivation to achieve at Apollo levels.

I think that slow and careful is about right, for the government funded space program.

A goal of the congressional funding (as I understand it) was and is to try to sustain a work force that would otherwise have been lost.  Apparently that goal is being met.  If a need were to appear for dramatic improvement in performance, the people are there to meet it.

(th)

Offline

#60 2020-02-02 15:25:36

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,872

Re: Space Launch System

The government funded space program--at least manned missions--are a prime example of what Robert Zubrin calls VENDOR DRIVEN. They are doing things to spend money--not spending money to DO THINGS!

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2020-02-02 15:29:02)

Offline

#61 2020-02-02 18:58:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

Time for a project is just that in that the more you take the more you will be paid for doing what could have been done in a much shorter period of time. These contractors are the same ones that did the work before in less time so if they can not perform its time to ditch them to the curb and go elsewhere to get it done for the cost which is not where we are at. Just the 1 billion dollar fuel tank with engines for a first stage that can not be reused is not going to make anyone happy.

When you look at space x first stage that comes in at under a cost of 10 million and is reuseable what should the choice be....even a Falcon heavy gets you near half the lift capacity for a meir 100 million.

Online

#62 2020-02-03 02:01:25

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Space Launch System

tahanson43206, contractors are spending money just to spend money. Workers are paid a monthly salary, so the more time it takes the more money it costs. It has already cost too much. Shuttle was cancelled because contractors had increased cost too much. Many previous projects got cancelled either because cost increased too much, or it had taken too much time. President Donald Trump gave NASA the order to orbit humans about the Moon in 2019, and land on Mars in 2024. Re-election is November 2020, so the first goal is to achieve something significant in time for re-election. His second term ends in 2024. That's a hard deadline, the Constitution will not allow Trump's tenure to be extended. Failure to meet that deadline will fail to meet the reason for providing funding. The project will get cancelled. Just like Nixon cancelled Apollo, George H. W. Bush cancelled space station Freedom, Congress cancelled SEI, George W. Bush cancelled VentureStar, Obama cancelled Constellation. Obama did not start SLS, Congress did. If Obama had done it, Trump would have cancelled it. Now Trump ordered it to achieve something; if nothing is achieved, it will be cancelled.

Offline

#63 2020-02-03 10:12:44

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Space Launch System

For  RobertDyck re #62

We may be looking at a complex subject from different vantage points, and reporting different observations.

This current discussion started (from my perspective) with your statement that there is no excuse for the performance of the SLS development process.

I have tried to point out the significant differences between the Apollo era and now.  To extend that thought a bit further ...

At present, the palpable FEAR that existed in that time is not present.  In addition, the inspirational team at the top of the US government is not present.  In particular I would offer Lyndon Johnson, who was a driving force to "encourage" people in various positions of authority to make decisions to move the project forward.

Boeing has a LOT more going on than the American SLS project.  That project is simply NOT a management priority.

However, my point remains that the entire SLS undertaking is a congressional mandated way of keeping a spark of capability alive in case there is a need (a National need) in future.

I see no benefit to Boeing to take the risks that would be required to push the SLS project faster.

They have enough of a headache caused by pushing their staff too hard in competition with Airbus.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are NOT in the space game to make money.  For them, the inspiration is closer to religious than to the mundane and base motivation of greed.

The fact they will (most likely) make great wealth, on top of what they've already achieved in just a few years, is beside the point.

(th)

Offline

#64 2020-02-03 13:21:08

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Space Launch System

Boeing is involved with Orion too; Lockheed-Martin is the prime contractor, but Boeing is involved. That was late and over budget as well. After spending money to develop the capsule and launch abort system, they didn't have enough money for the service module. They tried to switch from liquid methane/liquid oxygen to hypergolics (MMH/N2O4) last minute, but didn't have enough money for that either. Congress would not authorize more money, because Congress is tired of Boeing's constant cost overruns. So they made a trade deal with Europe; the Europeans would not have to pay for access to ISS, instead Europe would provide service modules developed for ATV for free. Those service modules were significantly lower performance than LCH4/LOX, and means we don't develop LCH4/LOX technology which was a major reason for selecting Lockheed-Martin's Orion over Boeing's CST-100 aka Starliner. Orion was launched unmanned on a Delta 4 Heavy into low Earth orbit. It worked. Next test is the Moon. That's waiting on SLS.

Starliner was built on a fixed-price contract, not cost-plus. Starliner was started later, yet it has already flown once.

I met an engineer for Boeing. He told me Boeing really hated losing the contract for the Advanced Tactical Fighter for the Air Force. Boeing built the YF-23, Lockheed-Martin won the contract with their YF-22. When that went into production the "Y" for prototype was dropped becoming F-22 Raptor. Boeing was paid something, but Boeing executives felt they were owed more. So they deliberately overcharged for work on ISS. You realize ISS didn't really cost that much. This is one reason work for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) was funded as an "X" project by NASA. Since NASA was going to end up paying anyway, might as well do it above-board. Boeing's prototype was the X-32, but Lockheed-Martin again won with their X-35. Again when that went into production it became F-35. While the YF-23 was a beautiful and highly capable aircraft, the X-32 really sucked! It wasn't able to do the job. But at least it was paid for separately, not with hidden costs on some space project.

You realize most likely Orion will only fly twice, then be cancelled. Exploration Mission 1 (EM1), is an unmanned test on SLS block 1 to fly-by around the Moon. They hoped to enter high lunar orbit, but turns out the Interim Cryogenic Upper Stage aka Delta 4 upper stage together with the European service module do not have enough delta-V to do that. Exploration Mission 2 (EM2) will be a human mission to orbit the Moon; Apollo 8 redo. EM1 is now named Artimis-1, and EM2 is Artimis-2. If they aren't completed before the Presidential election this year, there's a good chance they'll be cancelled. Even if they are completed, there's a good chance Orion will be cancelled once they're complete.

Offline

#65 2020-02-03 14:35:54

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Space Launch System

For RobertDyck re #64

Thanks for the detailed history of the interactions between the aero side and the space side of the business.

While I personally disagree with the formulation that corporations are "people", you've certainly reminded us that (most) corporations are composed of people.

(th)

Offline

#66 2020-02-03 19:16:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

One only needs to remember that constellation project that started in 2004 did lots of testing on hardware that is not being used for sls. Changed how items were made such as the ET and SRB's that are being used and the shuttle engines got a new brain to control them along with resurecting the J2 engine that is not being used and so much more along the way. The billions of wasted dollars is astounding and the billions to come are just that when compared to cheaper capable rockets that could still do a better job at less cost.

NASA's 1972 Shuttle Program Cost $209 Billion (in 2010 dollars) over its lifetime - Was it Worth when it finally ended in 2011 It comes to mind when we look back in time. Two of the program's 134 flights have ended in tragedy, killing 14 astronauts in all.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation_program
the Ares I and Ares V, when the program was created with the programs $230 billion (2004) cost with the Orion capsule made so heavy that it had to be redone when the program ended to be used for the SLS.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System

Online

#67 2020-02-03 19:59:31

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Space Launch System

For SpaceNut re #66

Each of your readers has to make the evaluation for themselves, but when you asked if the 14 lives lost, and the billions spent on the Shuttle program were "worth" the cost, I would say most definitely yes.

Not long ago I reread the story of the Magellan expedition which took place 500 years ago, and succeeded in delivering one ship and 18 people back to Spain, after departing with five ships and over 300 personnel.  The human race has made some progress since then, but it seems unlikely we'll be able to explore space without losing lives along the way.

Many of Magellan's crew were lost to scurvy, which was not figured out for a couple hundred more years.

At least current explorers will not be lost due to ignorance of diet requirements. 

(th)

Offline

#68 2020-02-03 20:19:29

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

The management of the time was complacent in that a shuttle was not something that they though we would ever lose and the acts of management to ignore engineering and even the vendor caused all of the deaths. They could not fly a rescue shuttle as the processing time for the reuse of the system was not possible as it was taking nearly 6 months even when everything went well to get the srb's and ET all connected together and ready for use.
Even when the final Hubble mission upgrade was to happen the second shuttle was finally timed to make a rescue should it have been needed.
.

Online

#69 2020-02-03 23:14:03

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Space Launch System

I attended a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society Canada (Winnipeg Chapter). It's primarily amateur astronomers, but some professional astronomers do attend. At one meeting there was a profession of astronomy from the host university; she had gained a position at the Space Telescope Institute, working on data from Hubble. She had tried to convince NASA the final service mission should replace the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrometer (STIS) with the Galactic Origins Spectrometer (GOS). I spoke up and pointed out that I had tried to use my influence as a member of the Mars Society repair STIS. I had argued that astronomy goals for GOS were valid, but Hubble had to serve all its users, not just one group. And STIS was the only spectrometer capable of focusing on objects within our solar system, including Near Earth Asteroids. When NASA did the service mission, they both repaired STIS and installed GOS. This professional astronomer was frustrated, thought it was risky, that doing so would risk "her" instrument. She looked shocked when I said I had argued to retain and repair STIS. Considering NASA chose both, maybe I do have some influence. smile

Ps. The reason I want STIS is to examine asteroids, particularly Near Earth Asteroids. Other professional astronomers have told me the only way to distinguish between enstatite chondrite vs true metal asteroids is with short wavelength spectra. Enstatite is a magnesium silicate mineral (MgSiO3). If your goal is asteroid mining, true metal asteroids have no oxide, so therefor can be processed via the Mond process. Mond won't work with any oxide mineral. The short wavelength spectra required are ultraviolet (UV). That's exactly the frequency blocked by Earth ozone layer. So the only way to image that spectra is with a telescope above the ozone layer. That means a space telescope. New telescopes are optimized for infrared (IR), because that can see through dust in our galaxy, allowing image of stars in the galactic centre and deeper within our galaxy. The only imaging spectrometer capable of taking UV spectra and able to focus on objects within our solar system is the Hubble STIS. Those concerned with asteroid defence will want to know what NEAs are made of. My interest is asteroid mining. This local astronomer doesn't care about anything in our solar system, her focus is other galaxies.

Offline

#70 2020-02-04 07:55:34

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Space Launch System

For RobertDyck re #69

Thanks for your review of the discussion about STIS and GOS, and the ultimate implementation of both! 

While the discussion here is drifting a bit from SLS, I was curious to know the status of Hubble since you brought it up, and the news appears to be good:

From Google Search:

Hubble Space Telescope Will Last Through the Mid-2020s ...
Jan 14, 2019 - Hubble Space Telescope Will Last Through the Mid-2020s, Report Says. Launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope should continue to work through 2025. SEATTLE — Despite recent issues with one of its instruments, the Hubble Space Telescope is expected to last at least another five years.

https://www.space.com/42983-hubble-spac … years.html

In January of 2020, the Wide Field Camera 3 was suspended from operations due to a hardware problem.  Planning for restoration to service is underway.

OK ... here's a nod to SLS ... perhaps the system could be given a Hubble servicing mission << grin >>

Edit: After thinking about the possibility of repurposing SLS, it occurred to me that US taxpayers have cause to be dissatisfied with the design of the SLS system, because it is not reusable.  In today's day and age, discarding stages is no longer state of the art. 

We have a number of US citizens posting on the forum ... Each has two Senators and a Congressional Representative.

Each of us can communicate via the government web site with each of our representatives.

Separate states i am aware of include:

Illinois
New Hampshire
Ohio
Texas
Washington

That would sum to a total of 20 Senators and 5 Representatives, and that is just for forum members I know about.  There surely are more States represented in the registered membership.

The message could be a simple one, along the lines of:

Petition: It is requested that the United States Senate and the Congress of the United States, acting in concert and without political consideration, instruct NASA to immediately correct an oversight in specification of the Space Launch System to insure that all stages are recoverable.  It is no longer satisfactory to taxpayers of the United States to waste funds with throw away vehicles.

The wording is (of course) open to suggestions for improvement, but I do recommend keeping the petition language concise.

Upon agreement of the language, each forum member who wishes to participate would send a copy of the petition to the three federal representatives for their State, and to as many State or Local officials as seem appropriate.

Edit #2:

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/system … gines.html

The article at the link above includes mention of removal of features of the RS-25 engine that were designed for reusability.

However, what I'd like to highlight here is the use of Hydrogen and Oxygen ... these non-carbon producing fuel elements may be attractive as the human race contemplates increased launch rates of satellites and ultimately people.  It has been pointed out that anticipated launch rates are likely to greatly exacerbate the problem of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

Powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen and employing high performance fuel and oxidizer turbopumps, the RS-25 has the power and efficiency to carry larger payloads without increasing launch vehicle size – ideal for missions more ambitious and challenging than any NASA has ever attempted in the past.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2020-02-04 09:45:55)

Offline

#71 2020-02-04 13:32:43

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Space Launch System

Space Launch Alliance (ULA) is working on Vulcan, a rocket to have the engine pack of the first stage recovered with parachute. Fuel tank of the core stage, SRBs, and upper stage would not be recovered. From Wikipedia...

Also announced during the initial April 13, 2015 unveiling was the 'Sensible Modular Autonomous Return Technology' (SMART) reuse concept. The booster engines, avionics, and thrust structure would be detached as a module from the propellant tanks after booster engine cutoff, with the module descending through the atmosphere under an inflatable heat shield. After parachute deployment, the module would be captured by a helicopter in mid-air. ULA estimated that this would reduce the cost of the first stage propulsion by 90%, with propulsion 65% of the total first stage cost.
...
On 12 August 2019, ULA submitted Vulcan Centaur for phase 2 of the USAF's launch services competition. As of that time, Vulcan Centaur was on track for a 2021 launch.
...
On 14 August 2019, it was announced that the second Vulcan certification flight will be the first of six Dream Chaser CRS-2 flights. Launches are planned to begin in 2021 and will use the four-SRB Vulcan configuration.

On 19 August 2019, it was announced that Astrobotic Technology's Peregrine lander will launch on the first Vulcan certification flight. Peregrine is currently intended to launch in 2021 from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

220px-ULA_Vulcan.png

I expect ULA will respond claim anyone desiring a reusable launch vehicle should use their new one, not try to modify SLS.

Offline

#72 2020-02-04 13:53:27

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Space Launch System

That said, Rocketdyne was manufacturer of the F-1 engine, the big engine of the first stage of Saturn V. Each engine produced 1.5 million pounds thrust; for Apollo 15-17 they were upgraded to produce 1.522 million pounds. In 1969 they developed F-1A, each engine produced 1.8 million pounds thrust. In 2012 Rocketdyne (and their new owner) proposed F-1B; it would produce the same thrust and specific impulse as F-1A, same performance in every way, but with 21st century electronics and many parts manufactured with 3D printing. SLS block 2 was proposed to use advanced solid rocket boosters instead of 5-segment boosters. Each advanced solid would use graphite fibre/epoxy casing instead of steel, and some of the ammonium perchlorate oxidizer would be replaced with either RDX or HMX or a mixture of both. RDX is mixed with a stabilizer to form C4 explosive for the military, HMX is an even more powerful explosive. The military has been using this mixture of solid rocket fuel for combat missiles for years; it's said to "burn", not explode, and provides more energy than ammonium perchlorate. That means more heat, so more gas expansion, which means more pressure inside the SRB, which translates to higher exhaust velocity, which means higher specific impulse (Isp). It also means more thrust. NASA has proposed building SLS block 2B instead of block 2, which would have the same 4-engine core stage as block 1 and 1B, while block 2 was to use 5-engines. And block 2B would use the same Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) as block 1B, which uses 4 RL10C-3 engines instead of a single J-2X engine. Even 4 RL10 engines have less thrust than a single J-2X, but higher specific impulse means the stage can "burn" for more time in space. NASA calculates SLS block 2B will be able to throw more mass to the Moon or Mars than SLS block 2, although block 2 could lift more mass to LEO. The big advantage to block 2B is it uses the same core stage as blocks 1 and 1B, and the same upper stage as block 1B. Block 2B would still require the advanced SRBs. Rocketdyne's proposal would replace the advanced SRBs with a pair or liquid booster; each booster would use a pair of F-1B engines. These liquid boosters would use RP1/LOX the same as the first stage of Saturn V, which is the same fuel as Atlas V and Falcon 9/Heavy. Calculations show liquid boosters would be a performance improvement for SLS block 2B; it could lift even more mass to space.

This relates because developing a new booster provides the opportunity to make it reusable. Modifying an existing booster...no so much. In the 1980s the Soviet Union developed a copy of Shuttle, they called it the Burya program, the first orbiter was named Buran. The launch vehicle to lift Buran was Energia. Instead of a pair of SRBs, Energia used 4 liquid boosters. Each booster was a first stage of a Zenit rocket. Each booster was equiped with a parachute and air bags for landing. Intended to land on the steppes of Kazakhstan. You could use a similar landing system for SLS block 2B liquid boosters. Parachutes and air bags would take away from launch mass, but that's the trade-off of reusable rockets.

Offline

#73 2020-02-04 17:59:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

With Space x when it gets a first stage core or a dragon that returns back to earth the question is what needs to be verified as still good for conditional certification.
Then you figure a transportation infrastructure to get it from return site to the testing location, hours needed to get it ready for testing. When do you call it just to much as opposed to making a new unit. Of course a splash down changes what you test just as much as air bag landings would. Only the verticle retro rocket seem to be low in cost.

Online

#74 2020-02-04 21:55:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

Improvements made in the old shuttle ET
Changing the way NASA keeps it cool

NASA's future Artemis missions to the Moon, they carry liquids with them for fuel and life support systems. These liquids are stored at cryogenic temperatures, which range from -243 to -423 degrees F, and to be usable, they need to remain cold and in a liquid state. But as the extreme environment of space warms a spacecraft, the fuels begin to evaporate or "boiloff."
To combat boiloff, NASA's eCryo project team is evaluating a series of technologies aimed at reducing the boiloff losses for human exploration missions. To test some of these new technologies at a relevant scale, the team built a large cryogenic propellant tank, which is more than 13 feet in diameter, called SHIIVER, or Structural Heat Intercept, Insulation and Vibration Evaluation Rig.

SHIIVER has reflective multilayer insulation as well as vapor cooling channels that minimize the heat going into the storage tank. It also uses a Radio Frequency Mass Gauge, a specialized tool designed at Glenn to accurately measure fluid levels in space. "The first vacuum test showed promising results, demonstrating total heat reduction of more than 55% compared to current system designs," said Hansen. "The boiloff reduction varied based on the amount of fluid in the tank, but overall, the results have been positive and we're seeing a significant reduction in boiloff."

The old sensors did fail on more than one ocasion for the ET and we do need better boil off control as the higher level of landing power for the moon or mars is by using hydrogen in its liquid form.

This work is still going down the design reference mission 5.0 path with the use of nuclear thermal to propel the ship towards mars.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/ … rview.html

A very reliable engine since the Apollo era
Aerojet Rocketdyne delivers RL10 engines that will help send NASA astronauts to deep space

A single RL10 engine will provide nearly 25,000 pounds of thrust and serve as the main propulsion for the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) that will fly atop the SLS rocket Block 1 in support of each of the first three Artemis missions. Later Artemis missions will use the evolved SLS Block 1B rocket configuration that includes the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) powered by four RL10 engines to send Orion and large cargos to the Moon. The four RL10 engines on EUS provide more than 97,000 pounds of thrust.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is under contract to deliver 10 RL10 engines to NASA to support the Artemis program. One of the four engines that were recently delivered will be used to support the Artemis II mission that will use the ICPS upper stage, while the other three are slated to support future Artemis missions aboard the EUS. Delivery of the remaining six engines will be completed by 2021.

Evolving the SLS rocket to the Block 1B version that uses EUS significantly increases the amount of payload that can be carried to lunar orbit; up to 40 metric tons compared to the 26 metric ton capability provided by the SLS Block 1 configuration.

Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed engine qualification testing for EUS and all other engineering activities, including providing NASA with the information necessary for the agency to human rate the RL10 engines. Qualification of the engines for ICPS will be completed in 2020.

Online

#75 2020-02-19 20:15:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Space Launch System

The plan to go back to the moon on this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_2 is to expensive but thats what we are forced to use...
How can we make a simular rocket that is cheaper is to not use unionized or military core group of builders to make it happen as a regular person would be earning only about half of the one that they are earning.

Online

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB