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#26 2014-04-30 15:31:04

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,366
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Re: Expedite US access to space

Spacex Dragon was designed from the start to carry men.  The Super Dracos are the launch escape system.  They've been testing Super Dracos at McGregor,  but to my knowledge,  have never installed them in a Dragon.  The idea was to get paid by NASA to do all that.  If they got paid this year,  I'd bet they could fly manned this year.  It's NASA's penny-pinching schedule that drags all this out to 2017. 

Boeing's CST-100 could probably also fly manned shortly afterward.  It hadn't yet flown at all,  while Dragon has.,  so I'd guess it'll take a bit longer,  but not much.  Again,  the hangup is the same:  waiting to get paid by NASA to do it. 

The Dreamchaser spaceplane has flown a drop test or two,  but nothing more so far.  Spaceplanes are simply harder to do than capsules,  so my guess is that,  if money were no object,  Dreamchaser might fly manned not this year,  but sometime next year,  a little behind Boeing. 

Besides the vehicle testing,  there is man-rating the launchers.  Dragon rides Falcon-9,  not man-rated.  Both CST-100 and Dreamchaser ride Atlas-V,  which is not man-rated.  It is the bureaucracy of NASA man-rating that slows this down.  In a pinch,  that can be bypassed,  as it was with Glenn's ride on the Mercury Atlas in 1962.  But they will resist-to-the-end bypassing it. 

The real problem with Atlas-V is the engines:  they're Russian.  Guess what gets embargoed next.  They can be replaced with domestic engines,  but that takes time. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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#27 2014-04-30 21:21:12

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,885

Re: Expedite US access to space

Lawmakers seek end to U.S. reliance on Russian rocket engine

Lawmakers called for a program to develop a next-generation liquid-fuel rocket engine within five years, proposing legislation aimed at reducing U.S. dependence on Russian engines to launch military and spy satellites.

The measure, proposed on Wednesday amid U.S. concerns over Russia's actions in Ukraine, authorizes Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to spend $220 million to begin developing a liquid rocket engine that would be made available to all U.S. space launch providers.

The legislative proposal, which would be included in the House of Representatives' 2014 annual defense policy bill, directs Hagel to develop a rocket engine that "enables the effective, efficient and expedient transition from the use of non-allied space launch engines to a domestic alternative."

The draft proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act calls for a "full and open competition" to develop an engine made in the United States that meets the needs of the national security community and is available no later than 2019.

Chief Pentagon arms buyer Frank Kendall told the Senate Armed Services Committee the United States has a license to build the Russian engines itself and could do that if necessary. But he said it would require some technical work first and that the license only goes through about 2022.

Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh has said it would cost about $1 billion and take about five years for Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, to start co-producing the Russian rocket engine.

Some sources familiar with the issue said the cost would be closer to $700 million and take three to four years.

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#28 2014-04-30 21:57:38

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
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Re: Expedite US access to space

I wonder what the comparable cost would be to produce our own engines.  Is the engine in question Kerosene or Hydrogen fueled?


-Josh

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#29 2014-04-30 22:03:58

Excelsior
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From: Excelsior, USA
Registered: 2014-02-22
Posts: 120

Re: Expedite US access to space

Or methane?

Given all the media attention, the Pentagon would be crazy to not give the SpaceX Raptor a chance.


The Former Commodore

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#30 2014-04-30 22:04:43

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
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Re: Expedite US access to space

Well it's presumably either Kerosene or Hydrogen, seeing as no American orbital rocket uses methane


-Josh

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#31 2014-05-01 04:44:21

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 6,496
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Re: Expedite US access to space

Rd-180 is kerosene fuelled. And part of the agreement when it was first selected for Atlas V, was Pratt & Whitney received the plans so they could manufacture a copy.

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#32 2014-05-01 09:20:35

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Posts: 2,526
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Re: Expedite US access to space

I bet we could build a better engine for less money


-Josh

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#33 2014-05-01 10:20:20

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,496
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Re: Expedite US access to space

Russia makes really good engines that use storable propellants. The US specialized on solid rockets and cryogenic; Russia developed storable. A "multi-chamber" engine is their idea. And US military contractors (old space) charge exorbitant amounts of money. Only SpaceX could do better.

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#34 2014-05-01 10:24:33

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,366
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Re: Expedite US access to space

From what I see and hear,  Spacex wants to use LOX-LCH4 in its new big engine.  I think that's still just a rough paper design right now.  They're too busy trying to ramp-up production to meet demand to work very hard on it.  And their next big new thing is Falcon-Heavy.  After that,  the big engine gets prime-time attention. 

Yet LOX-LCH4 does exist as a rocket engine right now,  at least as an experimental R&D article. XCOR has been testing it.  Yep,  it can be made to work,  and quite well,  too.  The real problem with anything new like that will be the other folks not doing it,  especially the larger ones:  they will raise questions about reliability until hell freezes over,  because they aren't trying to make money on it themselves.  Anything to defuse competition.

That same effect is at the heart of all the man-rating arguments over the Atlas-5 and Falcon-9,  and for manned Dragon and Dreamchaser.  Did you notice that no one seems to worried about man-rating Boeing's CST-100?  Care to take a guess as to why?

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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#35 2014-05-01 20:58:54

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,885

Re: Expedite US access to space

I did an advanced search of newmars using goggle.com just enter the string in the search box in this format that follows: rs84 engine site:http://www.newmars.com/forums
Doing so for the 83 and 86 as well that were all under developement back in 2003 ish before being cancelled....
not sure that all the links will be good but I think that we have talked about engines for quite some time as you will see.

The solution of all Ares-I problems: the "J-2Y" engine >>> (Page 1 ...
There were lots of engine projects going before the Columbia accident ... Such
things as the RS-84 kerosene and the RS-83 Hydrogen buring ...

The Moon as Fuel Source - New plan for making fuel at Moon's ...
1 Dec 2003 ... Such engines require burning extra hydrogen, which means oxygen is ..... The
RS-84 engine should be rushed to prototype stage and design ...

Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts (Page 1) / Not So Free Chat ...

19 Mar 2004 ... x-43-c (x-series experimental craft) and RS-84 (reusable rocket engine) projects got the axe, too... Spacetoday.

Really big rockets (Page 1) / Interplanetary transportation / New ...

Propellant fed from one tank to an adjacent tanks engine. ..... If the 8.4m Paris VII
used kerosene/oxygen, with either 7 RS-84's or 4 'energia' ...

FIRST MANNED MISSION? (Page 1) / Human missions / New Mars ...

Even an ion engine with 100 kilowatts of power output with take ..... rate and the
development of a RS-84 flyback booster instead of SRBs/CBCs ...

Ares V (CaLV) - status (Page 2) / Interplanetary transportation ...

(Edit: Each SRB reload costs $10-15M more than an RS-68 engine does too, .....
RS-84 is probably a fine engine, but you gotta compare its ...

Engine Pod Economics (Page 2) / Human missions / New Mars ...

Each engine was designed to be paired with a given mass of .... but the CaLV
could replace these with RS-84 Powered flyback boosters for ...

Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way ...

7 Mar 2004 ... ... long... a nuclear NTR engine could make the trip to Mars in three or .....
reuseability beyond the boosters (RS-84 and RL-10/64 engines are ...

OSP: Capsule v. Wings - if you had to choose right now (Page 2 ...

28 Oct 2003 ... ... a fly-back liquid booster powerd by the RS-84 designed specificly to fit 2-3 ...
HL-20 would also be able to re-use its OMS engines, be able to ...


New Space Shuttle (Page 1) / Human missions / New Mars Forums

Also the jet engines would make the shuttle able to land almost ..... a kerosene rocket engine (RS-86 perhaps, not to be confused with the 68) to ...

The Myth of Heavy Lift - (Let the fight begin...) (Page 4 ...

Ten flights out of any engine is mass transportation compared to any other ... It took five f-1 engines to get two men on and one circling the Moon. ...... about $25-30M apiece to refurbish... double the cost of a brand new RS-86.

Zubrin on Moon, then Mars - Three essays, one link (Page 1 ...

15 Mar 2005 ... The RS-68 is a large (by volume) engine, and I don't think you could fit ....
boosters with a big reuseable Kerosene engine (like the RS-86 you ...

Delta IV Heavy and Beyond (Page 5) / Human missions / New Mars ...

26 Feb 2005 ... NASA didn't use Aerojet's monolithic engines purely because of ... or
hydrocarbon rockets like the (canceld) RS-86 that should be reliable ...

The solution of all Ares-I problems: the "J-2Y" engine >>> (Page 1 ...

There were lots of engine projects going before the Columbia accident ... Such things as the RS-84 kerosene and the RS-83 Hydrogen buring ...

Status of the RS-83? (Page 1) / Interplanetary transportation ...

I know it has been mentioned several times that a lighter RS-68 with a regenerative engine bell, especially since there seems to be problems ...

J-2S vs RLX vs RS-68r+ (Page 1) / Interplanetary transportation ...

What worries me is the choice of the J-2S, an engine that while developed, has
.... As far as the RS-83,84 and others that were part of the Space ...

Ares V (CaLV) - status (Page 2) / Interplanetary transportation ...

(Edit: Each SRB reload costs $10-15M more than an RS-68 engine ..... In fact, it was the RS-84(and not the RS-83 LOX/LH2 engine) for the first ...

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#36 2014-05-01 21:07:53

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,885

Re: Expedite US access to space

As GW Johnson put it for the

Boeing's CST-100 could probably also fly manned shortly afterward.  It hadn't yet flown at all,  while Dragon has.,  so I'd guess it'll take a bit longer,  but not much.  Again,  the hangup is the same:  waiting to get paid by NASA to do it.

The real problem with anything new like that will be the other folks not doing it,  especially the larger ones:  they will raise questions about reliability until hell freezes over,  because they aren't trying to make money on it themselves.  Anything to defuse competition.

That same effect is at the heart of all the man-rating arguments over the Atlas-5 and Falcon-9,  and for manned Dragon and Dreamchaser.  Did you notice that no one seems to worried about man-rating Boeing's CST-100?  Care to take a guess as to why?

Point taken in that putting out money to make a designed item when none is garanteed is what all the contractors are doing with the exception of Space x

The most recent work on the rs68 was to make changes to the performance of the engine for the delta which I think brought it a step closer to being man rated in the B version.

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#37 2014-05-02 00:23:17

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,496
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Re: Expedite US access to space

SpaceNut wrote:

The most recent work on the rs68 was to make changes to the performance of the engine for the delta which I think brought it a step closer to being man rated in the B version.

Are they still doing that? NASA selected RS-68 engines for Ares V. NASA engine guys wanted to build a new engine, based on SSME but 50% more powerful. Boeing's engine division offered their RS-68 as-is, no development. NASA executives chose RS-68 because it didn't require development. But enigne guys said it had to be "man rated". RS-68 had been cost optimzed for an expendable launch vehicle. Reducing Isp reduced cost, but increased fuel and tank required. They optimized the core stage of Delta IV for cost. So RS-68 had already been cost optimized for an expendible launch vehicle. But the engine guys wanted their big SSME, so under the excuse of "man rating", they proceeded to add back all the missing features. They worked to increase Isp back to SSME. That delayed Ares V, and dramatically increased cost. Then Ares V was cancelled. Now Congress authorized SLS using SSME.

Test launch of Orion is supposed to be on a Delta IV Heavy. As is, no man rating. Unmanned test, so unmanned launch vehicle. Manned flight is supposed to be on SLS block 1. Why would they continue to "man rate" RS-68?

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#38 2014-05-02 08:22:37

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,366
Website

Re: Expedite US access to space

Surely you do not expect logic and common sense from a government contracting effort with the government's favorite giant contractors?  We haven't seen any common sense in that process for decades!

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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#39 2014-05-03 08:22:00

RGClark
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From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 531
Website

Re: Expedite US access to space

A contingency plan for a fast return of the U.S. to space.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2014/0 … rn-of.html

  Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#40 2014-05-10 13:35:43

Quaoar
Member
Registered: 2013-12-13
Posts: 592

Re: Expedite US access to space

GW Johnson wrote:

The real problem with Atlas-V is the engines:  they're Russian.  Guess what gets embargoed next.

It's happened

http://www.universetoday.com/111624/cou … certainty/

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#41 2014-05-10 14:29:48

Excelsior
Member
From: Excelsior, USA
Registered: 2014-02-22
Posts: 120

Re: Expedite US access to space

Quaoar wrote:
GW Johnson wrote:

The real problem with Atlas-V is the engines:  they're Russian.  Guess what gets embargoed next.

It's happened

http://www.universetoday.com/111624/cou … certainty/

And lifted just as quickly...

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Federal Claims lifted the preliminary injunction (PDF) which had barred the Air Force and United Launch Services, a subsidiary of United Launch Alliance, from making any purchases "from or payment of money to NPO Energomash or any entity whether governmental, corporate or individual, that is subject to the control of Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin."

The ruling by Judge Susan Braden was based on letters received by the United States Department of the Treasury, the United States Department of Commerce, and the United States Department of State which stated that "to the best of [the relevant Department's] knowledge, purchases from and payments to NPO Energomash currently do not directly or indirectly contravene Executive Order 13,661."

Judge Braden also stated in the Courts ruling that "If the Government receives any indication, however, that purchases from or payment of money to NPO Energomash by ULS, ULA, or the United States Air Force will directly or indirectly contravene Executive Order 13,661, the Government will inform the court immediately."

Sure they will.


The Former Commodore

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#42 2014-05-10 15:10:10

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,366
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Re: Expedite US access to space

The actions of USAF,  the White House,  and that court,  all demonstrate exactly what I have been saying:

BA  =  1 / DC   where BA = bureaucratic arrogance and DC = demonstrated competence;  applies to any organization,  public or private

HA >>>> H    where H = number of horses and HA = number of horses' asses;  applies to absolutely anything

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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#43 2014-05-10 20:43:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,885

Re: Expedite US access to space

Sure the game space x would play is to get there engine to be used instead but I am sure that they are not for sale...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlin_(rocket_engine)

Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles. SpaceX also plans to use Merlin engines on its Falcon Heavy. Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as propellants in a gas-generator power cycle.

Of course we could not do a direct replacement into a common core atlas V as we would need to review wiring control, mounting structure and so much more; that simply it would be better to start fresh.

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#44 2014-05-11 00:47:02

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,496
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Re: Expedite US access to space

Atlas V was designed for engines with a particular thrust, specific impulse, engine mass, and changes with ambient pressure. It would be a major redesign to change engine. For one thing, RD-180 produces 860,568 lbf thrust at sea level, while Merlin 1D produces 147,000 lbf thrust. That means 6 engines to produce the same thrust.

Pratt & Whitney has a copy of the plans. I don't know why it would take very long to tool up a copy.

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#45 2014-05-11 08:37:09

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,366
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Re: Expedite US access to space

It's not about the tools or hardware built-to-drawing.  It's about what you do with that hardware. 

When you build something to someone else's plans,  you are inherently dealing only with what was written down.  Unfortunately,  in most engineering work,  especially in aerospace and rocketry,  it's not all written down.  It's about 40% art,  passed on from older to younger guys in-person,  on-the-job.  That's never in the plans or documents,  and for the most part was never written down precisely because no one wanted to pay for that activity.  But,  it almost invariably is critical information for success.

Early on,  Spacex ran afoul of that little fact of life.  Their track record with Falcon-9 is exemplary,  but they definitely had some "teething troubles" learning how to fly supersonic staged vehicles successfully with their Falcon-1.  They ended up consulting some of the older guys for some of that flight vehicle art (which is based on experiencing failures and how to overcome them),  before encountering solid success.  So far,  that has stood them in good stead.  Although,  generally speaking,  no one in their workforce is older.  That could "bite" them again.

The same is true of Pratt and Whitney trying to build a copy of the RD-180 from the Russian plans.  There's about 40% art missing from the files on the RD-180,  and some of that will not overlap with the art that the P&W staff does have.  That's because every specific design is different,  each is its own case of technology application.  The risk of problems is just inherently-and-actually quite high when you build from others' plans like that,  unless there are very close ties between the two engineering groups.     

The only reason the US Army didn't have too much trouble experimenting with captured German V-2 rockets in the late '40's and early '50's was that they had Von Braun and about 50-60% of his engineering group via Operation Paperclip.  There was enough of the art embodied in that group to "get on with it" at White Sands without reverting all the way back to the failure rates initially experienced at Peenemunde. 

In a nutshell,  that's why it is unrealistic to expect a quick American replacement for the RD-180 in the Atlas-V. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2014-05-12 08:28:15)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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#46 2014-05-12 13:02:17

Quaoar
Member
Registered: 2013-12-13
Posts: 592

Re: Expedite US access to space

GW Johnson wrote:

The actions of USAF,  the White House,  and that court,  all demonstrate exactly what I have been saying:

BA  =  1 / DC   where BA = bureaucratic arrogance and DC = demonstrated competence;  applies to any organization,  public or private

HA >>>> H    where H = number of horses and HA = number of horses' asses;  applies to absolutely anything

GW

I'm Italian and I was ever a pro-American douring all Cold War I, but in case of Cold War II, I ask myself how can US win again with such a short sighted leadership?

Last edited by Quaoar (2014-05-12 13:05:17)

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#47 2014-05-12 19:27:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,885

Re: Expedite US access to space

GW Johnson wrote:

It's about 40% art,  passed on from older to younger guys in-person,  on-the-job. That's never in the plans or documents,  and for the most part was never written down precisely because no one wanted to pay for that activity.  But,  it almost invariably is critical information for success.

So get a visa and lets have a road trip to watch them build a unit from start to finish....

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#48 2014-05-12 19:29:27

Excelsior
Member
From: Excelsior, USA
Registered: 2014-02-22
Posts: 120

Re: Expedite US access to space

Quaoar wrote:

I'm Italian and I was ever a pro-American douring all Cold War I, but in case of Cold War II, I ask myself how can US win again with such a short sighted leadership?

At least half the country is asking the very same thing.


The Former Commodore

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#49 2014-05-13 09:33:44

Excelsior
Member
From: Excelsior, USA
Registered: 2014-02-22
Posts: 120

Re: Expedite US access to space

Moscow to ban US from using Russian rocket engines for military launches

Moscow is banning Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines, which the US has used to deliver its military satellites into orbit, said Russia’s Deputy PM, Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of space and defense industries.

“We proceed from the fact that without guarantees that our engines are used for non-military spacecraft launches only, we won’t be able to supply them to the US,” Rogozin is cited as saying by Interfax news agency.

If such guarantees aren’t provided the Russian side will also be unable to perform routine maintenance for the engines, which have been previously delivered to the US, he added.

The US relies on Russian-made RD-180 and NK-33 engines to launch military and civilian satellites into space, with NASA saying it’s unlikely to produce a fully operational rocket engine of its own before 2020.

The Deputy PM also announced that Russia is considering halting the operations of all American GPS stations on its territory, starting from June 1.

Such a measure would be employed if the US fails to decide on hosting stations for Russia’s space-based satellite navigation system, GLONASS, before May 31, he explained.

“We’re starting negotiations, which will last for three months. We hope that by the end of summer these talks will bring a solution that will allow our cooperation to be restored on the basis of parity and proportionality,” Rogozin said.

But if the negotiations turn out to be fruitless, operation of the 11 American GPS station in Russia will “be permanently terminated” from September 1, he warned.

According to Rogozin, Moscow also isn’t planning to agree to the US offer of prolonging operation of the International Space Station (ISS).

“We currently project that we’ll require the ISS until 2020,” he said. “We need to understand how much profit we’re making by using the station, calculate all the expenses and depending on the results decide what to do next.”

“A completely new concept for further space exploration” is currently being developed by the relevant Russian agencies, the official explained.

Previously, the US space agency, NASA, had asked Russia’s Roscosmos to keep the ISS in orbit till 2024.


The Former Commodore

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#50 2014-05-14 17:45:39

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,366
Website

Re: Expedite US access to space

"So get a visa and lets have a road trip to watch them build a unit from start to finish...."

I've had a passport since 2009,  when I went to the asteroid defense meeting in Granada,  Spain.  What "unit" would you like to build?  Contact me.  gwj5886@gmail.com,  it's no secret. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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