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Thread: Falcon 9 Heavy and propellant depots

  1. #31
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    All I know about them is that they did a very similar toned white paper on the constellation program, and fairly shortly thereafter the cracks really became public. IMHO constellation was an easy mark, I hope the new commercial spaceflight startups have what it takes to prove them wrong this time.
    In space PR and Politics are as important as engineering and science. And no-one can hear you screaming about it.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    Exploring other worlds with people is a great idea, but look at what has happened since the end of Apollo: How much could unmanned exploration (and astronomy) have discovered with all that money blown on paper rockets?

  2. #32
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    Aerospace Corporation
    "The Aerospace Corporation is a Federal Contract Research Center (FCRC) which supports space and missile systems organizations. The largest FCRC, its "primary mission is consultation on systems architecture and integration for the Space Division of the U.S. Air Force. In the late 1970s, Aerospace diversified into consulting on systems architecture and engineering in the areas of energy and natural resources for other federal government departments, including Energy, Interior and Transportation.""

    Federally Funded Research and Development Center

  3. #33
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    Ok, I don't know where they are getting the extra 20 tons from, but it makes a depot make a lot more sense.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernalt View Post
    Aerospace Corporation
    "The Aerospace Corporation is a Federal Contract Research Center (FCRC) which supports space and missile systems organizations. The largest FCRC, its "primary mission is consultation on systems architecture and integration for the Space Division of the U.S. Air Force. In the late 1970s, Aerospace diversified into consulting on systems architecture and engineering in the areas of energy and natural resources for other federal government departments, including Energy, Interior and Transportation.""

    Federally Funded Research and Development Center
    Oh they're consultants, well that explains a lot.

  5. #35
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    "Consultant" --beats working I suppose.

    The term "consultant" is quickly approaching the level of detest fathers have when they hear about how their daughters want to date someone "in construction." I hear you want to date my daughter, are you employed?

    "Um,well, of course, times are slow--"

    NEXT!


    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post

    The Falcon 9 has engine-out capability.
    Always good to hear.

    The thing to remember in all this is that, in a way, Musk is rather like Griffin. He is going to build this LV not because the Air Force has any ready payloads for it, but to build in-house capability. He is pretty much doing arsenal approach now, for ULA certainly won't be helping them slit their throats.

    Right now, it seems to have D-IV heavy in its sights. Not sure about the cross-feeding

    Falcon heavy is certainly making the rounds:

    http://www.spacenews.com/venture_spa...con-heavy.html
    http://www.space-travel.com/reports/...Heavy_999.html
    http://nasawatch.com/archives/2011/0...-announce.html
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/...launches-year/
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind...topic=24715.90
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind...?topic=24711.0
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind...?topic=24715.0


    Perhaps a mission to this object would be a good test payload. http://www.space.com/11310-huge-aste...-november.html

    If he goes for an outsized Bigelow construct--that really would be the first true private space venture outside of comsats.

    Nice article here on space law: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1812/1

    A little more on the Aerospace Corporation--from wiki:

    "In the 1990s, Aerospace participated in the planning and development of system requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program...Most recently, The Aerospace Corporation provided further technical assistance to EELV programs..."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Aerospace_Corporation

    So that shows you where their bread is buttered. ULA/DoD is pretty much hand in glove, the same general type of situation where folks in Gov't acquisition end up working for their vendors.

    Musk has his hardest job ahead of him--and it has nothing to do with rocket engineering. He is going to have some real social engineering skills ahead. Now that Ares fades, Musk will become more and more of a target. I look for more concerns about 'range safety' to crop up, out of the BLUE, as it were...

    I think he needs to make space a "cause" by perhaps helping with the "buy this satellite" folks. Free internet from space for a pennyless world? THAT might actually get Gates to invest, if he can convince Melinda's that information is more valuable than perishable foodstuffs and meds.

    Lastly from this site: http://www.space.com/11311-spacex-hu...moon-mars.html
    "And the company isn't content to stop at the Falcon Heavy. SpaceX is also considering building an even more powerful rocket called a "super heavy-lift" vehicle that would have about three times the capability of a Falcon Heavy, or about 50 percent more power than the Saturn 5. Such a vehicle would likely have no trouble reaching the moon, Mars or beyond..."

    To respond to MaDeR, if the EELV carrying the people or the lander is destroyed, your mission is just as done as it would be if everything is placed on a single HLLV with engine-out that at least has a second chance.
    Last edited by publiusr; 2011-Apr-09 at 07:10 PM.

  6. #36
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    A spaceref article on the white paper and presentation. To quote part of it, a quote from The Aerospace Corperation themselves:

    Aerospace did not survey NASA or industry for input data. The inputs used historical data as a starting point in order to demonstrate the capability of the tool. The results were not intended to reflect what the commercial community has been developing
    In space PR and Politics are as important as engineering and science. And no-one can hear you screaming about it.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    Exploring other worlds with people is a great idea, but look at what has happened since the end of Apollo: How much could unmanned exploration (and astronomy) have discovered with all that money blown on paper rockets?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsbug View Post
    A spaceref article on the white paper and presentation. To quote part of it, a quote from The Aerospace Corperation themselves:

    Aerospace did not survey NASA or industry for input data. The inputs used historical data as a starting point in order to demonstrate the capability of the tool. The results were not intended to reflect what the commercial community has been developing
    So I wonder what the point of it was then? They just made up a bunch of numbers and made up a report from them? Guess being a consultant beats working for a living...

  8. #38
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I'm surprised to see you linking to an EML1 & 2 article. Good article, thanks!

  10. #40
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    NASA internal study on depots

    The idea lives on! There is a new study on merits of depots+EELV against SLS. It specifically references the one which is the subject of this thread, so I put it here.

    Well, despite what NASA may or may not have been telling Rep. Rohrabacher about its internal evaluations regarding the merits of alternate architectures that did not use the SLS (and those that incorporated fuel depots), the agency had actually been rather busy studying those very topics.

    And guess what: the conclusions that NASA arrived at during these studies are in direct contrast to what the agency had been telling Congress, the media, and anyone else who would listen.

    This presentation "Propellant Depot Requirements Study - Status Report - HAT Technical Interchange Meeting - July 21, 2011" is a distilled version of a study buried deep inside of NASA. The study compared and contrasted an SLS/SEP architecture with one based on propellant depots for human lunar and asteroid missions. Not only was the fuel depot mission architecture shown to be less expensive, fitting within expected budgets, it also gets humans beyond low Earth orbit a decade before the SLS architecture could.

    Moreover, supposed constraints on the availability of commercial launch alternatives often mentioned by SLS proponents, was debunked. In addition, clear integration and performance advantages to the use of commercial launchers Vs SLS was repeatedly touted as being desirable: "breaking costs into smaller, less-monolithic amounts allows great flexibility in meeting smaller and changing budget profiles."
    Source: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1577

    The actual PDF is linked at the site above. Appears that they don't like hotlinking though, so you will have to visit spaceref.

    In particular, note the argument that the high launch rate required by going the depot route is not actually a problem, because the existing LV infrastructure is currently much underutilized.

  11. #41
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    Thats good stuff right there.

    I am not traditionally in favor of depots, particularly for beyond cis-lunar space missions, simply because a single failure can waste a lot of hardware. But with SpaceX seriously undercutting the competition, and with the shear amount of valuable pressurized space the spent depot modules (CPS) offer, at nearly 800m^3, and the tankers, at nearly 180m^3, we can might actually be able to get everything SLS can do after all.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodore View Post
    I am not traditionally in favor of depots, particularly for beyond cis-lunar space missions, simply because a single failure can waste a lot of hardware. But with SpaceX seriously undercutting the competition, and with the shear amount of valuable pressurized space the spent depot modules (CPS) offer, at nearly 800m^3, and the tankers, at nearly 180m^3, we can might actually be able to get everything SLS can do after all.
    I'm in favor of depots specifically because they can help limit the consequences of a failure. Without a depot, a single failed launch can mean an aborted mission, several wasted launches, and a lot of equipment expended without any gain. With a depot, a single failed launch is likely to mean no more than a delay and only partial losses, possibly no more than some propellant or food.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    I'm in favor of depots specifically because they can help limit the consequences of a failure. Without a depot, a single failed launch can mean an aborted mission, several wasted launches, and a lot of equipment expended without any gain. With a depot, a single failed launch is likely to mean no more than a delay and only partial losses, possibly no more than some propellant or food.

    I wasn't majorly biased in either direction but after reading this and other threads, I'm massively in favour of depots, for all the reasons given.

  14. #44
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    Here's hoping it actually happens and is not just another "on paper" project.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  15. #45
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    It would require vision and enthusiasm on the part of the President to overcome congressional foot dragging.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodore View Post
    It would require vision and enthusiasm on the part of the President to overcome congressional foot dragging.
    Or on the part of a private party, or perhaps the ESA or even China (though China's less likely to share).
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

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