Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Whatever happened to OTRAG?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,316

    Whatever happened to OTRAG?

    The most recent information I could find came from 2006: 1,2. Anyone know what's been happening with this design more recently?
    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 strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    OTRAG was killed decades ago, because France and the USSR didn't want West Germany developing rocket technology.

    Its successor technology has never really got off the ground (no pun intended). I assume you are thinking of these guys:

    http://www.interorbital.com/

    who are universally considered clowns by people in the industry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,316
    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    I assume you are thinking of these guys:

    http://www.interorbital.com/

    who are universally considered clowns by people in the industry.
    Why?
    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 strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Why?
    You saw the website, right?

    A few years ago, they promised to put the 'first teenager in space' - not only is this a horridly irresponsible thing to contemplate, the individual they chose is now in his late twenties....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Pontoise France
    Posts
    1,954
    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    You saw the website, right?

    A few years ago, they promised to put the 'first teenager in space' - not only is this a horridly irresponsible thing to contemplate, the individual they chose is now in his late twenties....
    A few years ago many site/company said they could win the X prize , only one had serious chance of winning it. And so what ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,316
    OK, so their advertising sucks, what about the viability of their design?
    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 strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    4,842
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Why?
    they have a long way to go in the field of acronym usage, which is really important with these things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,316
    Seriously, I'm interested in whether the concept is viable from an engineering point of view. (Taking into account the fact that almost no R&D has been put into it since the 80s.) If it was taken seriously and researched a little more, would it live up to the original tests?
    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 strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    This has been updated some time ago with more photos for folks wondering what is being talked about here.
    http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/otrag.htm

    A quote from Mark Wade's site above:

    "Parallel staging allowed very large payload diameters up to 30 m and thrust acceleration to be limited to a maximum of 3 g to allow lighter payload and space vehicle structures."

    That would allow these types of spacecraft: http://www.astronautix.com/fam/lenicles.htm

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    4,217
    This subject is certainly a blast from
    the past, I remember reading about it
    more than 30 years ago. It was amusing
    to see that they designed the modules
    with car windscreen wiper moters as
    actuators next to the nozzels.

    But the OPs first link indicates
    development was successful with many
    sub-orbital launches. So why not a
    small LEO launch? Just to demonstrate
    an order of magnitude reduction in
    cost doing so? We are not being told
    something here, right?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    What you are not being told (or choosing not to hear) is that the concept isn't particularly good and the people behind it are basically clowns.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,316
    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    What you are not being told (or choosing not to hear) is that the concept isn't particularly good and the people behind it are basically clowns.
    I was told about the clowns; I wasn't told that the concept wasn't good or particularly why it wasn't good, other than that it's currently in the hands of clowns. I want to know the engineering basis for why it isn't good (it was successful enough to tick off France, and that's always a good start).
    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 strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4,053
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I was told about the clowns; I wasn't told that the concept wasn't good or particularly why it wasn't good, other than that it's currently in the hands of clowns. I want to know the engineering basis for why it isn't good (it was successful enough to tick off France, and that's always a good start).
    I'm noy quite getting why this is a bad concept either. This description of it from one the astronautix.com article:

    Kayser's concept involved the parallel clustering of large numbers of identical propellant tank and rocket engine modules. This allowed the application of mass production techniques as used in the automobile industry.
    Rather reminds of the approach SpaceX has adopted with the Falcon 9, and that works quite well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,220
    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Rather reminds of the approach SpaceX has adopted with the Falcon 9, and that works quite well.
    The Falcon 9 seems to me more inspired by the highly successful R7 rocket family, in almost all respects ranging from fuel/oxidizer to integration to engine type to basic production philosophy. The big difference is going with stacked stages with simple cylindrical construction rather than the R7's unique clustering method and resulting conical construction. That strange aspect of the R7's design is an accident of circumstances and design decisions which made sense at the time.

    OTRAG is a radical departure from traditional rocket booster designs. I really like the basic idea of clustering lots of tall small diameter units, but it isn't suitable for cryogenic propellants like LOX. This means using lower performance propellants. The other big difference is the use of pressure fed thrusters. This requires heavier propellant tanks.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,316
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    OTRAG is a radical departure from traditional rocket booster designs. I really like the basic idea of clustering lots of tall small diameter units, but it isn't suitable for cryogenic propellants like LOX. This means using lower performance propellants. The other big difference is the use of pressure fed thrusters. This requires heavier propellant tanks.
    Could that be resolved by using larger clusters? I've only seen a test example with 4 stacks of modules.
    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 strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,220
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Could that be resolved by using larger clusters? I've only seen a test example with 4 stacks of modules.
    Those aren't 4 stacks of modules. They're 4 modules, period. Each module is the entire height of the booster, above which the payload is placed (as well as a disposable aerodynamic faring).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,191
    OTRAG, with its massive rocket clusters, reminds me of a liquid fuel version of the British Interplanetary Society moon rocket from the 30'sand 40's. Since OTRAG was cancelled for political and not engineering or scientific reasons, it is definitely an idea I want revived and reconsidered.

Similar Threads

  1. Is this what really happened
    By mdbapa in forum Conspiracy Theories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2006-Nov-03, 12:06 AM
  2. What Happened to the New Dr. Who?
    By Big Brother Dunk in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 2006-Mar-01, 04:19 PM
  3. Whatever happened to...
    By Doodler in forum Conspiracy Theories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2006-Jan-03, 01:08 AM
  4. What just happened here?
    By N C More in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 2005-Sep-09, 09:32 AM
  5. What Happened!
    By witmol1 in forum Against the Mainstream
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2003-Jun-23, 09:44 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
here
The forum is sponsored in-part by: