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#1 2006-05-09 02:29:20

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

137996main_cev_flash_240.jpg

To boldly go where no thread has gone before ...

Some good news for those of us who like the idea of a Mars ready LOX / CH4 engine for the CEV SM

Minneapolis, May 8, 2006
Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) has received a $10.4M technology development contract to reduce the risk to develop a non-toxic Liquid Oxygen (LOx)-Liquid Methane rocket engine that could be used on future Crew Exploration Vehicles (CEV).


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

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#2 2006-05-09 10:23:13

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,823

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Posted  in small cev thread on 4/17/06

Again, the methane engine was always a "luxury" item, it was not a "compromise" to postpone it, but rather simply deselecting a bell/whistle that was on the CEV wish-list.

I would appear that we are only getting half the story from Nasa these days...

NASA, Industry and Air Force Team Achieves Critical Milestone in Liquid Oxygen-Liquid Methane Engine Development Program

NASA, industry and the U.S. Air Force have achieved a major milestone in the development of next-generation spaceflight technologies, successfully completing a 103-second hot-fire test of an engine fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid methane.

The collaboration's focus has been the development and testing of a pressure-fed type of LOX-methane engine -- meaning the engine has pressurized propellant tanks with a separate gas supply to force fuel into the combustion chamber. Using this configuration, engineers developed engine start and shutdown sequences and evaluated LOX-methane engine performance over a range of fuel-mixture ratios and chamber pressures. Producing a vacuum-rated thrust of 20,000 pounds

Testing to date has demonstrated stable combustion over a range of propellant mixture ratios, engine throttle capability between 60 percent and 100 percent of rated thrust, and engine efficiencies consistent with the performance needs of future exploration missions.

This is good news...

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#3 2006-05-13 13:37:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Looks like another contract in the making Glenn wins big space project; Money, many jobs expected to follow

work worth, over the project's life, at least $2 billion

NASA's employees are among the highest educated - and paid - in the region. Four in 10 of its 1,700 employees have advanced degrees, data from Cleveland State University shows. Glenn workers make an average of $83,000 a year and pay millions annually in local and state government taxes.

Yearly $141,100,000 gee 2 billion will not last long

A formal agreement that spells out the center's role on the service module of the Crew Exploration Vehicle was signed recently by NASA officials in Washington,

With the agreement in place, work on the design, development and testing of the service module will begin in earnest.

The module will provide communications, power and propulsion for the astronauts on missions to the International Space Station, the moon, and eventually Mars.

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#4 2006-05-21 04:02:50

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

From a posting by Doug Stanley, Study Manager of the ESAS,  on 17 May 2006

You would like to use a proven engine the first time you take off from the lunar surface...This is a major reason why we selected a common engine for the CEV SM and the LSAM ascent stage (in addition to the cost savings from commonality). The fewer flights you have on this engine, the lower its reliability/safety. Thus, if you change the CEV SM to hypergols, it drives you to change the LSAM ascent stage also...this adds a lot of weight to the LSAM, and eliminates the potential use of lunar oxygen for propulsion. This is one reason why NASA is currently reconsidering this decision...


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

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#5 2006-05-23 06:55:37

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

CEV_main_landing_Web%20image.jpg

CEV airbag development contract awarded

NASA Langley has tasked ILC to develop airbag design concepts for the CEV and to perform system analysis and modeling using LS DYNA to simulate dynamic CEV landing situations.  ILC's landing system conceptual designs will be used by NASA to establish detailed mass breakdowns and to identify areas of technological risk for each concept that may require early advanced development to ensure timely infusion into the CEV project schedule.


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#6 2006-05-23 07:19:13

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Actually not new, back in Jul 21, 2004 report

Lockheed Martin Scores Success With Landing Technology

The drop tests were conducted June 24-25 under Lockheed Martin funding to demonstrate technology and risk reduction for space exploration. The 5,216 kg/11,500 lb capsule mass simulator was designed using the mass and center of gravity properties of astronaut crew capsules that are being considered for the future.

During a series of tests, the capsule simulator was dropped from various heights and inclinations. The airbag system performed as expected with each impact, demonstrating that the modeling techniques were right on target.

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#7 2006-05-23 12:17:39

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Actually not new, back in Jul 21, 2004 report

NASA are going with a different technology supplied by ILC Dover. AFAICS they have no connection with LM or Irvin Aerospace.


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#8 2006-05-23 12:32:15

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Ok but why pay twice for work that has already been paid for...

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#9 2006-05-25 11:56:58

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Found the NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study Final Report (DRAFT) October 2005 has the details for the specs for the SM and CM.

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#10 2006-05-26 03:09:12

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Found the NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study Final Report (DRAFT) October 2005 has the details for the specs for the SM and CM.

They are not really specifications, they are just outline requirements that are rapidly changing as more studies are done. For example the diameter of the CEV has changed officially to 5m. Right now LM and Boeing/NG are competing their designs for the development and build contract. Whoever wins the contract will decide the full specs together with NASA.

BTW NASA have ESAS document here


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#11 2006-05-28 02:42:27

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Space.com  story about the competition for the CEV contract between Boeing/NG and LM. (Karas is Vice President of Space Exploration for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company)

Getting the six-person CEV space-worthy before 2014 is doable, Karas said, noting that in NASA’s request for proposals the space agency had set the date as 2012. "We think we can do it in 2012 and even better … we can beat 2012 credibly for cost and schedule and not sacrifice the performance of the vehicle"


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#12 2006-05-30 13:47:19

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Flight International report that  retro-rockets may be used for the CEV landing system instead of airbags.

NASA’s wider landing system evaluation is related to CEV crew capsule weight issues and the mass impact of airbags, crushable zones or retro-rockets. The work is expected to continue until the CEV’s preliminary design review, due to take place in September 2007.


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

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#13 2006-05-30 19:37:16

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

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

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

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

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

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#14 2006-05-31 00:52:25

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

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

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

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

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

Airbags, parachutes and  retro rockets won't be reusable either, the heat shield may or may not be depending of the material.

Yes airbags make good flotation devices.

Payload mass is always an issue, if there different solutions to a problem, the lightest one has a big advantage. 

AFAIK the J-2X is the currently specified engine for the CLV US and the EDS, if it wasn't capable it wouldn't have been recently selected over the SSME.


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#15 2006-05-31 10:32:21

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

AFAIK the J-2X is the currently specified engine for the CLV US and the EDS, if it wasn't capable it wouldn't have been recently selected over the SSME.

The SSME were always a nightmare.  Much adu about restartable, high performance engines when something like the Centaur's engines can do the same at far less the cost.

So far the more I look into the only bad revision to the VSE thus far was the change from LOX/CH4 to hypergolics which blows.  I hope they reconsider that option...

Hopefully July will lead to a good design for the CEV...I could care less who builds it as long as it is a sound, working vehicle.  After that then its the real work: the launch vehicles and LSAM.

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#16 2006-05-31 15:56:51

GCNRevenger
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

SSME never was really practical, sure it would actually make the rocket fly, but its cost - especially development of the new upper stage varient with multiple vacuum starts and new nozzle geometry - would have been prohibitive. Recent comments by NASA officals point to a per-unit cost, even with large scale production, of $80M... each

Crush zones don't sound too bad, they could be made replaceable as well. One really nice feature is they age well, that you can put them on the ISS or on Mars for years and still work exactly as specified.

One issue with airbags for landing is that they are on the bottom of the capsule, right? Well if you land in the water with air bags on the bottom of a nine-ton capsule, what happens? You capsize! It will be tricky to make one set of airbags for landing and flotation, so you might need two descrete sets.

Retro-rockets don't have to be all that big or heavy, they only have to burn for a short time.

The problem with a methane engine for the CEV and the LSAM acent module is that its a new technology which absolutely must work three times on each mission, with the latter two firings being life-or-death, and NASA already has an engine good enough (Shuttle OMS) in-hand. The methane engine would also be developed by the all-stars of idiocy at Marshall Spaceflight, who I am skeptical of trusting any really complex mission critical VSE component to.


"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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#17 2006-05-31 18:18:09

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

One issue with airbags for landing is that they are on the bottom of the capsule, right? Well if you land in the water with air bags on the bottom of a nine-ton capsule, what happens? You capsize! It will be tricky to make one set of airbags for landing and flotation, so you might need two descrete sets.

Maybe two sets in each CEV - one small set on top and the larger set below.  The top one would only be deployed in a water landing.

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#18 2006-06-05 13:33:45

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

149770main_cev_parts.jpg

New graphic showing the main elements of the CEV. 

Centre work assignments listed here


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

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#19 2006-06-25 08:58:01

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

According to this AvWeek article NASA's Astronaut Office will lead the cockpit design.

The JSC group will continue to lead cockpit design even after either the Lockheed Martin team or Northrop Grumman/Boeing team is selected as CEV prime contractor in August because the cockpit design will remain a NASA responsibility during the CEV development.


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#20 2006-06-25 10:31:10

GCNRevenger
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Gives them something to do following Shuttle but preceeding CEV... most of them are engineers of some breed too aren't they?


"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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#21 2006-06-29 10:59:18

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

$4.25 million five year technology development contract for rocket powered landing system awarded to Aeroject, news release here

During the first phase of the contract Aerojet will provide consulting services and controllable thrust expertise to help NASA demonstrate the benefits of using its controllable solid propulsion systems to enhance the safety of ground landings of the CEV. The rocket-powered landing system would provide a soft and controlled landing for astronauts returning to earth by reducing both the downward velocity and sideways motion in order to prevent tipping or roll-over during touchdown. Controllable rocket power technology proposed for CEV was originally developed for missile defense applications.


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#22 2006-06-29 15:47:25

GCNRevenger
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

They already have such a thing for fighter jet ejection seats if memory serves, a neat gelled rocket fuel.


"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 2006-06-30 12:41:47

publiusr
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From: Alabama
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Glad to see Aerojet getting some action.

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#24 2006-06-30 12:47:04

cIclops
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

At the Exploration update briefing today (30 Jun 2006) Geoff Hanley said the first manned test flight  for the CEV is currently planned for September 2014.


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

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#25 2006-08-11 20:51:59

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

NASA makes major design changes to CEV

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

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