A HLLV for the masses--DIRECT:

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publiusr

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DIRECT: An alternative to Ares I and Ares V: <br />http://www.directlauncher.com/ <br />http://www.launchcomplexmodels.com/Direct/ <br /><br />And the key document itself is available at any of these three URLs: <br /><br />http://simcosmos.planetaclix.pt/temp/Direct/DIRECT_Launcher_Release_v1.0.4.pdf <br />http://www.hays.cc/direct/DIRECT_Launcher_Release_v1.0.4.pdf <br />http://www.directlauncher.com/doc/DIRECT_Launcher_Release_v1.0.4.pdf <br /><br />One of the most well-thought out concepts I have seen anywhere.
 
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mattblack

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Better than Ares 1 "stick", thats for sure!! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>One Percent of Federal Funding For Space: America <strong><em><u>CAN</u></em></strong> Afford it!!  LEO is a <strong><em>Prison</em></strong> -- It's time for a <em><strong>JAILBREAK</strong></em>!!</p> </div>
 
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lampblack

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hmmm... the web site directlauncher.com comes back as registered to someone named Ross Tierney (ross@launchcomplexmodels.com) in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Anyone know who the gentleman might be?<br /><br />The proposal would seem to do little toward reducing the current "standing army" of NASA employees and contractors in the longterm. Except for orbiter processing (admittedly a huge chunk), it appears that everything else would remain in place. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#0000ff"><strong>Just tell the truth and let the chips fall...</strong></font> </div>
 
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astrowikizhang

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Center of Mass too high, and vector control too slow to stablize the stick during the first stage of ascent -- please talk more about the designing flaws of Ares I that raised in the proposal.
 
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PistolPete

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The reason for the Ares I was so that NASA could launch Orion capsules to the ISS for re-supply and crew change out. This gives the Orion more flexibility than just a simple "moon capsule". The Ares I is the modern-day equivalent of the old Saturn 1B for the Apollo capsule. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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PistolPete

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I think what NASA is trying to do is not put all of it's eggs in one basket. After Columbia, NASA was forced to rely solely on Russia to supply the ISS.<br /><br />Russia didn't have the money to take on such a task, they barely had the money to do the occasional Soyuz life boat swap out (partially funded by space tourists or other space agencies) or sending up a Progress now and then.<br /><br />If something happens to the Orion or the Ares I, then they can fall back on the SpaceX Dragon and/or the Kistler K-1, or vice-versa.<br /><br />If NASA chooses to go with both SpaceX and Kistler they could have up to three different and independant ways of reaching the ISS which allows for the highly unlikely possibility of a double failure. <br /><br />Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thing it's NASA policy when designing a manned spacecraft to have tripple redundancy on all systems. Perhaps NASA is applying this policy to it's ISS resupply plans.<br /><br />This also has the side benifit of dissuading the popular public notion that NASA is trying to surpress the "new space" startup companies. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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Interesting concept.<br /><br />The good:<br /><br />Cheaper HLV development. Minimizes development cost by maximizing use of existing engines and tankage.<br /><br />[update] I may have spoken too soon. After looking at some of the payload numbers with some skepticism I realized that much of the claimed performance is due to using a new version of the RS-68 engine which isn't developed yet! This alternative HLV is not so much cheaper to develop after all. Now I see the real 'savings' if any from this plan only come from eliminating the Ares I, not from a less expensive HLV. Too bad. [end update]<br /><br />The bad: <br /><br />The alternative plan does not meet NASA requirements. NASA wanted a 100+ metric tons payload cargo launcher and the alternative plan does not meet that.<br /><br />Now one can quibble over that NASA requirement; is it really necessary? But that leads into other problems of the alternative plan.<br /><br />The alternative plan is too specialized for accomplishing the Apollo-style expedition manned lunar mission. Using the alternative HLV design for all simple LEO manned missions is overkill. That is it's greatest flaw. It's wasteful to use 70 tonnes of capacity just to put an 8.5 tonne capsule into orbit! Likewise the number of HLV cargo launches for lunar base support or Mars mission support would be much higher compared to using the NASA HLV design. But that is a minor flaw.<br /><br />Even for the lunar mission there are some things about the alternative plan as described which don't add up. Having one HLV carry up the CEV + LSAM while another HLV carries up the EDS stage doesn't divide the total mass properly between the two HLV launches. When Lockheed proposed an extremely similar lunar flight architecture, using 2 x 70 tonne payload rockets and EOR + LOR, that plan required two EDS stages (though of different sizes).<br /><br />The EOR described for the lunar mission is more complicated than neccessary too. A simpler EOR plan would have th
 
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PistolPete

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>For simple lunar missions you could still use dual launch of a 70 tonne payload HLV. But instead of docking those payloads in LEO and using a single EDS to send it to the moon, use an EDS on each stage and send them seperately to the moon. First rendezvous then occurs at LLO (or EML-1 or EML-2). <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />I've had an idea somewhat similar to that for a while now. You could use an EELV or even a Proton to launch a Soyuz LOK sized orbiter and lander and two separate EDSs. If a Centaur V were launched on a Delta IV without any payload, it could rondevous with the payload in LEO and take up to 11,000 kg to LLO. While this is not a lot of payload, and would lead to a very skimpy LEM, it is the cheapest option because it would require practically no LV development. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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PistolPete

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It is a tad bit rosey, I'll admit, and the lander would have to be bare bones, and I mean baaaaaarrrre bones. Perhaps a two man version of the Langley Light lander of the early 60's. No pressurization, no EC/LSS, just fuel, engines, controlls and a seat. For missions longer than five minutes you could land an unmanned cargo lander with a Transhab-style "lunar igloo", EC/LSS, and food/water. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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I just did some recalculation and it doesn't look as grim as I first suspected. But it would take a mix of Russian and Western hardware to minimize total launch requirements. The Russians don't have an equivalent of the Centaur stage in service.<br /><br />If a solar-electric tug was available, imagine the possibilities for prepositioning not only the lander but surface cargo too.<br /><br />
 
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tomnackid

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Penny wise and pound foolish. Or as the "Tappet Brothers" of Car Talk fame are fond of saying "Its the stingy man who spends the most."<br /><br />Pursuing the "cheapest possible development costs" strategy looks good up front but ultimately you end up with a white elephant like STS. Don't get me wrong, the shuttle is an amazing piece of technology, but operationally it is a failure. Too expensive and time consuming to launch/refurbish for a simple trip to LEO. I think NASA's current strategies of pursuing separate vehicles for crew and cargo launches, plus reducing the most dangerous parts of any mission (launch, engine ignition, docking) to a minimum finally addresses the realities of spaceflight.
 
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josh_simonson

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Using the HLV for all flights, including LEO flights is not wasteful. <br /><br />The cost numbers on the version of the ESAS report that was leaked a couple days before the formal release showed that NASA could launch 12 Aries V for less than the price of 6 Aries V and 6 Aries 1. 13 flights per year and above is where the 2-launch solution becomes more cost effective as far as cost per launch goes, but the 2-launch system can never be as efficient as a single HLV as far as cost/lb to LEO. What would any of us prefer? 6 Aries 1 and 6 Aries V, or 12 Aries V? <br /><br />Direct takes the benefits of one LV a bit further in reducing the cost of the HLV to the point where the HLV is only marginally more expensive than the planned CLV.<br /><br />About 2020 I wouldn't be surprised at all if the GAO releases a report showing that the Aries 1 cost more than additional Aries V, and NASA is subsequently directed to terminate Aries 1 - leaving us with something similar to 'direct', unly using full up Aries Vs. <br /><br />Regarding the new RS-68 'regen', there is a version in one of the figures with 2 standard RS-68 and that one had a 62.5mT capacity. I am a little stymied as to how their 3 RS-68 regen version with 5 seg SRBs is supposed to launch 5mT more than the larger diameter 5 RS-68 Aries V though. One has to wonder what Aries V's performance would be with that paper engine...
 
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kraisee

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lampblack wrote:<br /> /> hmmm... the web site directlauncher.com comes back as<br /> /> registered to someone named Ross Tierney<br /> /> (ross@launchcomplexmodels.com) in Cape Canaveral,<br /> /> Fla. Anyone know who the gentleman might be?<br /><br />That would be me.<br /><br />I'm an interested party who has become spokesperson for this group specifically because I do NOT work for NASA.<br /><br />Many engineers and managers working on the Ares-I development program, and related projects involved in oth er Cx elements have contributed directly (excuse the pun) to this Proposal.<br /><br />While they want the best for NASA, they may be perceived to be in opposition to the Administration's official policy. This means they do not want to personally place themselves in the firing range. So I've volunteered to be the front-man.<br /><br />NASA doesn't control my salary - I work for myself.<br /><br />Ross.
 
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lampblack

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Cool beans. Thank you kindly for the clarification. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#0000ff"><strong>Just tell the truth and let the chips fall...</strong></font> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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"Using the HLV for all flights, including LEO flights is not wasteful."<br /><br />"Direct takes the benefits of one LV a bit further in reducing the cost of the HLV to the point where the HLV is only marginally more expensive than the planned CLV."<br /><br />Saying the 'directlauncher' saves money compared to the Ares I, though maybe true, isn't saying much. And it doesn't contradict the wastefullness of using HLV for small manned LEO payloads.<br /><br />If the desire is to eliminate the Ares I, there are better and cheaper ways to do it than using a Heavy Lift Vehicle for all manned missions. EELV makes more sense as an Ares I replacement than using the direct launch system. <br /><br /><br />The Ares I leaves a lot to be desired, but the basic NASA concept of a crew launcher plus a cargo launcher isn't bad. I think the direct launcher is admirable as a cheaper HLV than the Ares V, but it's strength is as a cargo launcher and not a crew launcher (even though I think an even cheaper and easier design for a cargo launcher can be had).<br /><br />
 
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josh_simonson

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That may not be true. Shuttle costs 4.2 billion wether you fly it not at all or you fly it six times. It would definitely be cheaper to fly the shuttle 6 times, 3 with an empty cargo bay, than to fly shuttle 3 times and launch crew only on an EELV 3 times too. In fact it would be much, much cheaper. I see no reason why we should not expect a similar situation with the Aries I and V. <br /><br />An additional Aries V will very, very likely be cheaper for NASA to fly than for NASA to contract out a Delta IV heavy launch.
 
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kraisee

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> Saying the 'directlauncher' saves money compared to the Ares I,<br /> /> though maybe true, isn't saying much. And it doesn't contradict<br /> /> the wastefullness of using HLV for small manned LEO payloads.<br /><br />Here are the real-world Operational (recurring) costs:<br /><br />Fixed Costs - per year:<br /><br />Shuttle: $2,500m<br />Atlas-V (manned version): $1,000m<br />Delta-IV (manned version): $1,000m<br />Ares-I: $850m<br />Ares-V: $2200m<br />DIRECT: $900m<br /><br /><br />Variable costs - per flight:<br /><br />Shuttle: $250m<br />Atlas-V CLV (man-rated HLV config): $340m<br />Delta-IV CLV (man-rated Heavy config): $350m<br />Ares-I: $120m<br />Ares-V: $250m<br />DIRECT: $130m*<br /><br />* NOTE: Add $90m for the optional EDS, if flown.<br /><br /><br />So:<br />6 Shuttle flights per year costs (6x250 + 2500) = $4,000m<br /><br />6 EELV Crew flights cost (6x340 + 1000) = $3,040m<br /><br />6 Ares-I Crew flights cost (6x120 + 850) = $1,570m<br />2 Ares-V Lunar Cargo flights cost (2x250 + 2200) = $2,700m<br /><br />6 DIRECT Crew flights cost (6x130 + 900) = $1,680m<br />2 Ares-V Lunar Cargo flights cost (2x220 + 900**) = $1,340m<br /><br /><br />** NOTE: The fixed costs for the EDS are all that is required because the CLV has paid all fixed costs for the Core vehicle already.<br /><br /><br /><br />Thus, assuming the planned manifest of 4 ISS and 2 Lunar missions per year, the total operational costs for the ISS and Lunar programs will be:<br /><br />Shuttle: N/A<br />EELV + Ares-V: $5,740m<br />Ares-I + Ares-V: $4,270m<br />DIRECT: $3,020m<br /><br /><br /><br /> /> If the desire is to eliminate the Ares I, there are better and<br /> /> cheaper ways to do it than using a Heavy Lift Vehicle for all<br /> /> manned missions. EELV makes more sense as an Ares I replacement<br /> /> than using the direct launch system.<br /><br />The EELV solutions are certainly not cheaper than DIRECT, because they still require a second, large cargo launcher to gain access to the moon, Mars and beyond.<br /><br />Also th
 
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gunsandrockets

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"An additional Aries V will very, very likely be cheaper for NASA to fly than for NASA to contract out a Delta IV heavy launch."<br /><br />How much more expensive would the Ares V end up if used as a manned launcher? The extended development time alone would add billions of dollars. You must remember the Ares V is a cargo-only launcher, so comparisons to the Shuttle are not truly relevant.<br /><br />Assuming NASA really wants to send missions to the moon and other fun places, does it make sense to tie up the limited flight rate and launch facilities of a Heavy Lift Cargo Vehicle, just to send three people to the ISS? That limited capacity should be dedicated to sending heavy cargo loads up to LEO, L-1, Mars or whatever.
 
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gunsandrockets

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"The advantage is that DIRECT replaces two separate vehicles with just one."<br /><br />I don't like the Ares I. I don't know offhand anyone other than ATK and NASA who does. So yeah, it's nice to replace the Ares I even using a cheap HLV scheme to do it. But the Ares I is so bad even an HLV scheme is an improvement over it. But there are so much better ways to replace the Ares I.<br /><br />I favor a lighter weight CEV of around 8.5 tonnes that could be launched by something as simple, cheap and common as an Atlas V single core booster or a Falcon IX. Heck, Lockheed is already in talks with Bigelow Aerospace to consider a similar manned system, and that project would only use private funding. Obviously a lightweight CEV for NASA would only have enough propellant for LEO missions, around 300 m/s delta V, but propulsion requirements for missions beyond LEO should be supplied by a cargo lifting HLV and not by the CLV.<br /><br />I think the basic NASA idea of a crew launch vehicle and a heavy lift cargo vehicle are fine, I just favor radically cheaper solutions to those missions than the Ares I, Ares V, or the Direct.
 
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gunsandrockets

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http://www.gzspace.com/ShuttleB.htm<br /><br />This link describes the basics of an updated Shuttle C design. (Greg describes a multi-purpose manned/unmanned vehicle, I differ in that I think it should only be used as a cargo launcher)<br /><br />This configuration would provide the fastest and probably cheapest development and lowest infrastructure cost to achieving a Heavy Lift Cargo Launcher. The only difference between the existing Shuttle system and this Shuttle derived vehicle is the substitution of a new expendable two stage sidemount vehicle for the Orbiter and replacement of the SSME and OMS engines. All the other components of the Shuttle system would remain, the launch pad, ET, SRB etc.<br /><br />Unlike the Direct launcher, no new engine development projects would be neccessary. This updated Shuttle C design would use existing Shuttle SRB for boosters, 2 x RS-68 for the main engines and 2 x RL-10b for the final stage. Unlike the Direct launcher, no extensive redesign and altered manufacture of the ET would be neccessary. Unlike the Direct launcher, this vehicle is a pure cargo launcher and can avoid development requirements for manned flight.<br /><br />There are two crucial differences in this design compared to the original Shuttle C. The original Shuttle C was semi-reusable and used the same SSME and OMS as the shuttle. The 3 SSME + 2 OMS engine cluster of the Shuttle C was podded and supposed to be recovered from orbit for reuse. That meant the Shuttle C would drag 60 tonnes of deadweight mass up to orbital velocity (ET mass + engine pod mass) reducing potential payload. But the updated sidemount design can stage before final orbital velocity since all the liquid propellant engines are now completely expendable. Orbital velocity is now acheived with an upper stage using twin RL-10b engines. In fact the existing 30 tonne Delta IV upper stage might be used for this purpose. <br /><br></br>
 
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tomnackid

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I don't see how emasculating the CEV down to 8.5 tons will help VSE. Those who aren't apathetic about the whole thing usually complain that the current planes don't go far enough beyond Apollo! Its the stingy man who spends the most. <br /><br />As far as the Ares I goes I'm not an aerospace engineer and I'm getting tired of hearing others who are not spouting off about how bad it is (I'm not directing this at anyone in particular--I don't know individuals level of expertise on this matter.) I do know that aside from model rockets and some smaller sounding rockets and weapons no rocket--going back to the V2--is naturally stable in flight. The Shuttle stack sure as hell isn't! This would be one of the very first issues that NASA would have had to deal with. They have been running wind tunnel tests and control system simulations for several years now. Also this is not the first "stick" design NASA has dealt with the basic concept goes back to at least 1965 with this design for a Saturn 1B second stage mounted on a 260 inch solid motor.<br /><br />http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/satnt05a.htm<br /><br />They even got as far as testing a full size 260 inch solid. Must have been some sight! Although I imagine von Braun must have thrown a fit at the idea of putting a solid first stage on one of his Saturns! The German rocket guys even preferred recoverable liquid fuel rockets at JATO units on cargo planes and bombers. <br /><br />PS: I also find it strange that none of the pro-EELV crowd has pointed out that with its fairing the Atlas V has a larger cross section on top than at the base. It doesn't seem to have too many stability problems.
 
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josh_simonson

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>PS: I also find it strange that none of the pro-EELV crowd has pointed out that with its fairing the Atlas V has a larger cross section on top than at the base. It doesn't seem to have too many stability problems.<br /><br />Not to mention the lightweight second stage before the first stage, followed by the payload which isn't going to be as dense as kerosene either. A cluster of SRBs around it's base make its COG even lower. I think it's that instability combined with an incredibly long rocket that has some people worried. The first test flight looks like it's almost only for the purpose of characterizing the stresses on the interstage.<br /><br />Kraisee's launch cost numbers were interesting, but I don't buy the part for the STS. The shuttle program always costs $4.2Bln - the variable cost is lost in the noise. Certainly 2004 didn't have a $2.5b shuttle budget.
 
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tomnackid

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hmmm... the web site directlauncher.com comes back as registered to someone named Ross Tierney (ross@launchcomplexmodels.com) in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Anyone know who the gentleman might be?<br />---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />As far as I can tell he is a model rocket enthusiast. I don't know anything about his experience with real rocketry. Hopefully he will share with us.
 
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PistolPete

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Reference this post. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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