Ares I Launch, Under Water

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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>There is quite a difference between launching at sea and launching under the sea.&nbsp; For some systems there may be advantages to being able to launch from a floating platform that can be positioned at an advantageous location.&nbsp; <br />Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I like that idea!&nbsp; And I'm willing to abandon the submerged idea in favor of it!&nbsp; Do I hear more champagne corks popping?&nbsp; A huge modified oil rig platform that is anchored to the ocean floor would solve&nbsp;2 of Ares V problems:</p><p>1.&nbsp; Ares V is overweight for crawler transport.&nbsp; 18 million lbs. vs 16.8 million lbs.</p><p>2.&nbsp; Noise for people living in the area.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The platform would need a crane to lift and assemble the components of Ares V.&nbsp; What else would be needed?&nbsp; Anyone know how much an oil platform costs new, or used?&nbsp; What other modifications to the platform is needed?<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I like that idea!&nbsp; And I'm willing to abandon the submerged idea in favor of it!&nbsp; Do I hear more champagne corks popping?&nbsp; A huge modified oil rig platform that is anchored to the ocean floor would solve&nbsp;2 of Ares V problems:1.&nbsp; Ares V is overweight for crawler transport.&nbsp; 18 million lbs. vs 16.8 million lbs.2.&nbsp; Noise for people living in the area.&nbsp;The platform would need a crane to lift and assemble the components of Ares V.&nbsp; What else would be needed?&nbsp; Anyone know how much an oil platform costs new, or used?&nbsp; What other modifications to the platform is needed? <br />Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>For something the size of Ares V the problem of transportation and assembly on a floating platform will be daunting.&nbsp; Then there is also the matter of security.</p><p>If you are willing to go to a floating platform, why not just establish a launch facility on an island sufficiently isolated for your purposes.&nbsp; That is what Ariane did.&nbsp; If you pick the island near the equator you get an added performance benefit from the additional rotational velocity.&nbsp; But you still need to put in a lot of infrastructure.&nbsp; Security will be easier to handle, so long as you have the entire island.&nbsp; There&nbsp;will still&nbsp;be a massive transportation effort, but nothing that cannot be handled with a lot of&nbsp;work and a lot more money.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At this point&nbsp;you are basically down to a logistics and funding problem, difficult but that is far&nbsp;more tractable than trying to revise physics.&nbsp;&nbsp; The question becomes whether there is adequate return on the dollar.&nbsp; My feel is that it is not worth the money, but one can debate that.&nbsp; </p><p>I was not aware that people were complaining about the noise from either Kennedy or Canaveral.&nbsp; It is not a very frequent occurrence, and I thought it was more of an attraction than a nuisance.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I like that idea!&nbsp; And I'm willing to abandon the submerged idea in favor of it!&nbsp; Do I hear more champagne corks popping?&nbsp; A huge modified oil rig platform that is anchored to the ocean floor would solve&nbsp;2 of Ares V problems:1.&nbsp; Ares V is overweight for crawler transport.&nbsp; 18 million lbs. vs 16.8 million lbs.2.&nbsp; Noise for people living in the area.&nbsp;The platform would need a crane to lift and assemble the components of Ares V.&nbsp; What else would be needed?&nbsp; Anyone know how much an oil platform costs new, or used?&nbsp; What other modifications to the platform is needed? <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Ares V is getting new crawlers.&nbsp; Offshore platform would be too expensive. &nbsp; </p>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Ares V is getting new crawlers.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Understood.&nbsp; I did make an error, it is the crawlerway (or path?) that is rated at 16.8 million lbs.&nbsp; Does that mean the crawler could sink, and get stuck?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp; Offshore platform would be too expensive. &nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I did find this link:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071108160817AAOTWhj</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A shallow offshore and a used deep offshore is $75-100 million excluding modifications.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>It would have to be purpose built.&nbsp; Current ones don't handle the weight of SRB's <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>So let's try to build one:</p><p>A MLP on top of a big, basic, flat oil rig.&nbsp; Other than a large crane, what else is needed?&nbsp; Durring stormy weather, the whole structure + rocket could be sunk 1/2 way on to the ocean floor, by filling ballast tanks with water, like a submarine.&nbsp; Air could be pumped in to raise the structure + rocket.&nbsp; This problem isn't rocket science, it seems pretty basic to me.&nbsp; It all could be done for 1/2 Billion dollars.&nbsp; Then NASA could make Ares V as big and bad as they need to.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;So let's try to build one:A MLP on top of a big, basic, flat oil rig.&nbsp; Other than a large crane, what else is needed?&nbsp; Durring stormy weather, the whole structure + rocket could be sunk 1/2 way on to the ocean floor, by filling ballast tanks with water, like a submarine.&nbsp; Air could be pumped in to raise the structure + rocket.&nbsp; This problem isn't rocket science, it seems pretty basic to me.&nbsp; It all could be done for 1/2 Billion dollars.&nbsp; Then NASA could make Ares V as big and bad as they need to. <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>Still not worth the effort.&nbsp; there are no show stoppers in modifying LC-39 for Ares V </p><p>1.&nbsp; The platform would need a enclosure the size of a VAB high bay</p><p>2.&nbsp; Need a new fleet of barges for SRB segments, propellants, payloads, etc</p><p>3.&nbsp; Too many changes to KSC and CCAFS facilities to support this, LCC, Port, spacecraft processing buildings, commications, etc</p><p>4.&nbsp; Need a platform to house the ground crew that is away from the rockets</p><p>5.&nbsp; Ares V is to be manrated, hence a way to support astronauts would be needed. </p><p>there are no show stoppers in modifying LC-39 for Ares V&nbsp; </p>
 
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freya

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<p><font size="1">I agree with Kyle. A water based launch platform may have advantages. I say water, because the sea launch concept is not neccesary. An artificial lake can be excavated on dry land. Support structures and equipmet emplaced before filling. Ramps/dykes and bridges built for access. The water can be salt, but preferably fresh water, treated even, to reduce algal blooms etc.&nbsp;</font></p><p><font size="1">On the subject of finance, difficult.&nbsp;We really are getting to the stage were expensive projects require international cooperation. I wish a few of my Australian tax dollars where going directly to a return to the moon and beyond. Better spent there than on some of the crap down here. Oh, and I'm not particular about who sets foot first. Who ever makes it would be worthy, I'm sure.</font></p><p><font size="1">&nbsp;Cheers</font></p><p><font size="1">Gaz</font></p><p><font size="1">&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Still not worth the effort.&nbsp; there are no show stoppers in modifying LC-39 for Ares V</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The show stopper is the limited payload for future missions to the moon and Mars.&nbsp; Ares V will have to evolve into an even larger rocket.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>1.&nbsp; The platform would need a enclosure the size of a VAB high bay</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Why?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>2.&nbsp; Need a new fleet of barges for SRB segments, propellants, payloads, etc</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Ok</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>3.&nbsp; Too many changes to KSC and CCAFS facilities to support this, LCC, Port, spacecraft processing buildings, commications, etc</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>What if it were only a mile or two off shore?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>4.&nbsp; Need a platform to house the ground crew that is away from the rockets</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>They can live on ships, tied to the platform.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>5.&nbsp; Ares V is to be manrated, hence a way to support astronauts would be needed. there are no show stoppers in modifying LC-39 for Ares V&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Really?&nbsp; Then what becomes of Ares I?<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'> 1.The show stopper is the limited payload for future missions to the moon and Mars.&nbsp; Ares V will have to evolve into an even larger rocket.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>2. Why?&nbsp; </p><p>3. Too many changes to KSC and CCAFS facilities to support this, LCC, Port, spacecraft processing buildings, commications, etc&nbsp;What if it were only a mile or two off shore?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>4. Really?&nbsp; Then what becomes of Ares I? <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>1.&nbsp; Facilities or land are not the limiting factor for Ares.&nbsp; It is the choices of propellants. &nbsp; </p><p>2.&nbsp; The "high bay" or MST contains the cranes and platform and would enclose the Ares</p><p>3. a. yes, still have to transport hardware over the water. &nbsp; B.&nbsp; Anyways, why?</p><p>4.&nbsp; Ares I is still needed.</p><p>&nbsp;5.&nbsp; "They can live on ships, tied to the platform."&nbsp; No, safety considerations would prevent this, just like a land based pad </p><p>Don't see the point, as I said there isn't any reason to go offshore to a more costly method. &nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;1.&nbsp; Facilities or land are not the limiting factor for Ares.&nbsp; It is the choices of propellants.</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;I think it is the quantity of propellents.&nbsp; I thought the limiting factor was the type of engine installed.&nbsp; It was originally supposed to be the Shuttle Main Engines (SSME's) for the core.&nbsp; Nasa decided to go with a less energetic engine, that uses more propellents.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp; 2.&nbsp; The "high bay" or MST contains the cranes and platform and would enclose the Ares&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>IMO, the "high bay" will eventually become obsolete for Ares.&nbsp; Ares V is going to grow taller and heavier (for payload to Mars).&nbsp; The only way I can see the high bay being used, is for stacking the 1st (core) stage, and the (EDS)&nbsp;stage.&nbsp; The payload&nbsp;will have to be stacked on the launch pad.</p><p>And what happens when Ares V goes to 4 SRB's?&nbsp; No crawler, (or crawlerway) could transport a fully stacked Ares V with 4 SRB's.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'></p><p>1. &nbsp; I think it is the quantity of propellents.&nbsp; I thought the limiting factor was the type of engine installed.&nbsp; It was originally supposed to be the Shuttle Main Engines (SSME's) for the core.&nbsp; Nasa decided to go with a less energetic engine, that uses more propellents.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>2.IMO, the "high bay" will eventually become obsolete for Ares.&nbsp; Ares V is going to grow taller and heavier (for payload to Mars).&nbsp; The only way I can see the high bay being used, is for stacking the 1st (core) stage, and the (EDS)&nbsp;stage.&nbsp; The payload&nbsp;will have to be stacked on the launch pad.And what happens when Ares V goes to 4 SRB's?&nbsp; No crawler, (or crawlerway) could transport a fully stacked Ares V with 4 SRB's. <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>1.&nbsp; Solids are propellant and are what determines the safety distance. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;2.&nbsp; The high bay won't be obsolete.&nbsp; Use of the VAB is a requirement and therefore Ares V will fit in it. &nbsp; Payload stacking on the pad necessitates a MST (i.e high bay) see Delta IV and other rockets.&nbsp; </p><p>Ares V isn't going to 4 SRB's, that much performance is not needed.&nbsp;</p>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I think it is the quantity of propellents.&nbsp; I thought the limiting factor was the type of engine installed.&nbsp; It was originally supposed to be the Shuttle Main Engines (SSME's) for the core.&nbsp; Nasa decided to go with a less energetic engine, that uses more propellents.<br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>Depends on what you mean by "more".&nbsp; Kilo for kilo, kerosene is heavier (for the amount of delta-vee required) than liquid hydrogen, and has a lower specific impulse, so you need more of it (kilo for kilo).&nbsp; But it's denser, especially in cryogenic form, so your tanks may actually be smaller despite that. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;The 'Launch Umbilical Tower'. <br /> Posted by freya</DIV></p><p>To elaborate a bit for the benefit of us youngsters who postdate Apollo, the Launch Umbillical Tower was a fixture on top of each Mobile Launcher.&nbsp; (They were not called MLPs then, because they were more than just platforms.)&nbsp; It stood taller than the Saturn V itself.&nbsp; It had a series of swing-arms coming out from it at various levels to interface with the various stages and the payload itself for loading of propellants and venting of excess gases. The design of each swing-arm was involved, and actually very clever, allowing them to safely detach and swing away from the vehicle at the moment of ignition.&nbsp; The LUT also provided the means for the crew to access the vehicle, and its top-most swing arm terminated in a white room which butted up against the access hatch of the Command Module.</p><p>Additional towers required to service the Saturn V included the arming tower, a fixed structure along the crawlerway where the vehicle would briefly park so that technicians could install and arm pyrotechnics, and a mobile tower used in much the same was as the Rotating Service Structure today.&nbsp; It was a scaffold transported around by a Crawler-Transporter which would allow technicians access to all levels of the Saturn V on the pad. All of these structures have since been demolished.&nbsp; Some contributed material to the Fixed Service Structure and Rotating Service Structure on each pad today. </p><p>Another structure on the Mobile Launcher was the "milkstool".&nbsp; This was a platform constructed on top of an ML to adapt it for Saturn 1B.&nbsp; The original Saturn 1Bs launched from LC-37 at CCAS, but by the time Skylab rolled around, they needed to use the NASA faciliites at LC-39.&nbsp; So the "milkstool" was constructed, lifting the shorter rocket way way up enough that the Command Module would still reach the LUT's white room.</p><p>Needless to say, all of this stuff would indeed have a sail-like effect on the whole stack.&nbsp; It's not insurmountable, but if you're launching from land anyway, it's simpler just to move on land and not have to worry so much.&nbsp; (Even so, stacks are only moved when the air is calm.&nbsp; The wind isn't going to blow the CT around, but it could tip the stack, and that would be very very bad.) </p><p>The Russians had to address the same problem when developing the launch facilities for the N1.&nbsp; They built an enormous mobile erector.&nbsp; All of their rockets are assembled on their sides on mobile erectors.&nbsp; The erector is towed to the launch site by rail.&nbsp; It then erects the rocket on the pad and is towed away.&nbsp; The N1 erector was so big, they had it span *two* rail lines so it could be towed by two chains of locomotives.&nbsp; The erector was later modified for Energia, which unfortunately wasn't a successful rocket program either.&nbsp; There are a lot of glorious "might have beens" in the history of the Russian space program. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp; (Even so, stacks are only moved when the air is calm.&nbsp; The wind isn't going to blow the CT around, but it could tip the stack, and that would be very very bad.) The Russians had to address the same problem when developing the launch facilities for the N1.&nbsp; They built an enormous mobile erector.&nbsp; All of their rockets are assembled on their sides on mobile erectors.&nbsp; The erector is towed to the launch site by rail.&nbsp; It then erects the rocket on the pad and is towed away.&nbsp; The N1 erector was so big, they had it span *two* rail lines so it could be towed by two chains of locomotives.&nbsp; The erector was later modified for Energia, which unfortunately wasn't a successful rocket program either.&nbsp; There are a lot of glorious "might have beens" in the history of the Russian space program. <br />Posted by CalliArcale</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I think we could learn a thing or two from the Russians.&nbsp; When Ares V gets to heavy to move vertically (and it will someday) the horizontal distribution of the massive weight, is the only alternative.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp;2.&nbsp; The high bay won't be obsolete.&nbsp; Use of the VAB is a requirement and therefore Ares V will fit in it.</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Yeah, for lunar payloads, but for Mars, I&nbsp;doubt it.&nbsp;&nbsp;For Mars, we'll have to lift the mass of the ISS.&nbsp; It may be less expensive to go with a massive Ares V, and less launches, than a lunar Ares V with more launches.</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp; Ares V isn't going to 4 SRB's, that much performance is not needed.&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>You're not thinking far enough into the future.&nbsp; <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif" border="0" alt="Wink" title="Wink" />&nbsp;<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I think we could learn a thing or two from the Russians.&nbsp; When Ares V gets to heavy to move vertically (and it will someday) the horizontal distribution of the massive weight, is the only alternative. <br />Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>Moving a large rocket from horizontal to vertical is a decidedly non-trivial undertaking.&nbsp; It was done with the MX missile.&nbsp; The first attempt was a spectacular failure, but fortunately was done with an inert missile, as it came crashing down and the simulated tanks for the fourth stage hypergolics went bouncing across the ground.&nbsp; And the MX was a LOT smaller than an Ares V.</p><p>I suspect the problems in moving an Ares V in a vertical orientation will be far more tractable that figuring out how to assemble it in a horizontal position and then erect it.</p><p>Horizontal assembly also has its own hazards.&nbsp; Flight failures, rather spectacular ones, have been cause by damage during horizontal handling.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Yeah, for lunar payloads, but for Mars, I&nbsp;doubt it.&nbsp;&nbsp;For Mars, we'll have to lift the mass of the ISS.&nbsp; It may be less expensive to go with a massive Ares V, and less launches, than a lunar Ares V with more launches.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You're not thinking far enough into the future.&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Ares V is not a generic term for a large launch vehicle. &nbsp; It is a specific configuration with 2 SRB's and 10 meter tank. &nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>The vehicle you speak of (4 SRB's), doesn't exist and isn't in the planning.&nbsp;&nbsp; NASA can't look that far because of funding. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>But as far as Mars missions, it is planned for 6 Ares V flights. &nbsp; Look in the ESA.&nbsp; The Mars vehicles will be no where near the size of the ISS. &nbsp; Read Mars Direct </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I think we could learn a thing or two from the Russians.&nbsp; When Ares V gets to heavy to move vertically (and it will someday) the horizontal distribution of the massive weight, is the only alternative. <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Again, Ares V is not a generic term.&nbsp; It won't be an Ares V, if it is too big. &nbsp; Also segmented solids can't be rotated from horizontal to vertical, so this is not applicable to any design with SRB's&nbsp; </p>
 
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scottb50

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Again, Ares V is not a generic term.&nbsp; It won't be an Ares V, if it is too big. &nbsp; Also segmented solids can't be rotated from horizontal to vertical, so this is not applicable to any design with SRB's&nbsp; <br /> Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>If the segments were housed in a single piece tube they could be rotated. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I think we could learn a thing or two from the Russians.&nbsp; When Ares V gets to heavy to move vertically (and it will someday) the horizontal distribution of the massive weight, is the only alternative. <br /> Posted by kyle_baron</DIV></p><p>It's worth pointing out that the N1 and Energia programs are probably not the best examples to use if one wants to point to a spectacular success.&nbsp; N1 never had a successful launch (four catastrophic failures, one destroying living quarters and one destroying the pad), and Energia was cancelled due to being too ridiculously expensive for what they needed at the time.</p><p>That said, horizontal integration sometimes makes sense, and it is the preferred method in Russia.&nbsp; However, it imposes mass penalties on the rocket because you have to reinforce it to withstand the stresses of horizontal integration and erection to the vertical position.&nbsp; That was the entire reason the USAF switched from horizontal to vertical integration in the first place.&nbsp; It allowed them to make the rockets lighter.</p><p>Today, vertical integration of large rockets is very common.&nbsp; I know the Chinese Long March rockets are integrated vertically, and I believe that is also true of the Indian SLV/PSLV/GSLV series.&nbsp; I believe Ariane V is also integrated vertically.&nbsp; Realistically, if you have the option of integrating vertically, it's a better choice (assuming unlimited funding to construct the vertical facilities).&nbsp; The main penalty of vertical integration is that it's more complicated to store a stacked vehicle off the pad, because vertical assembly buildings are costly. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>It's worth pointing out that the N1 and Energia programs are probably not the best examples to use if one wants to point to a spectacular success.&nbsp; N1 never had a successful launch (four catastrophic failures, one destroying living quarters and one destroying the pad), and Energia was cancelled due to being too ridiculously expensive for what they needed at the time.That said, horizontal integration sometimes makes sense, and it is the preferred method in Russia.&nbsp; However, it imposes mass penalties on the rocket because you have to reinforce it to withstand the stresses of horizontal integration and erection to the vertical position.&nbsp; That was the entire reason the USAF switched from horizontal to vertical integration in the first place.&nbsp; It allowed them to make the rockets lighter.Today, vertical integration of large rockets is very common.&nbsp; I know the Chinese Long March rockets are integrated vertically, and I believe that is also true of the Indian SLV/PSLV/GSLV series.&nbsp; I believe Ariane V is also integrated vertically.&nbsp; Realistically, if you have the option of integrating vertically, it's a better choice (assuming unlimited funding to construct the vertical facilities).&nbsp; The main penalty of vertical integration is that it's more complicated to store a stacked vehicle off the pad, because vertical assembly buildings are costly. <br />Posted by CalliArcale</DIV></p><p>There is another reason for vertical assembly of solids.&nbsp; Solid rockets have the propellant bonded to the case (amazingly often called a case bond) with a central hole in the propellant, called a centerbore.&nbsp; That propellant is fairly heavy and sags a bit when horizontal.&nbsp; Now, the SRBs are segmented, and the segments have to be put together.&nbsp; To do that they must be round in cross-section to a relatively low tolerance.&nbsp; To that end&nbsp;the current metal case SRBs use some rounding fixtures help in the process.&nbsp; In a horizontal position the deformation would add considerably to the problem of rounding&nbsp;the cases and assembling them.&nbsp; And then, if you did get them attached to one another, and to the vehicle as a whole, you have the problem of erecting the assembly.</p><p>Erecting a space launcher, with several propulsion units, not sinply a cylinder would be quite complicated.&nbsp; It would require a massive strongback and titanic hydraulics.&nbsp; It was done with the MX (aka Peacekeeper) missile, but was difficult and failed the first attempt.&nbsp;&nbsp;A space launcher is MUCH bigger, with a MUCH higher degree of difficulty.</p><p>The assembly and transport methods for rockets receive a great deal of engineering attention from people with a great deal of experience and expertise.&nbsp; There are very good reasons for the methods used.&nbsp; Remember that not only are you dealing with very sophisticated and high performance machinery, but also you are dealing with very energetic and sometimes toxic chemical propellants.</p><p>In truth vertical assembly facilities are more simple than horizontal assembly facilities.&nbsp; Equipment for lifting heavy things to the necessary heights is pretty standard.&nbsp; Equipment for tipping up things that big and heavy are not.&nbsp; The only thing exotic about vertical assembly buildings is their interior height.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp;But as far as Mars missions, it is planned for 6 Ares V flights. </DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In the program "Mars Rising" on the Science Channel they've listed around 11 flights for Ares V.&nbsp; And the "Mars Rising" program does have Nasa personnel commentating.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'> The Mars vehicles will be no where near the size of the ISS.</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Not in size, in mass.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp; Read Mars Direct &nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I did. It's a nice read,&nbsp; but it seems that nothing is set in stone, yet:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Direct<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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