If NASA's Ares rockets are Dead, what should NASA do?

Page 2 - Seeking answers about space? Join the Space community: the premier source of space exploration, innovation, and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
Status
Not open for further replies.
V

vulture4

Guest
Apparently at least part is covered by ARMOR TPS, developed at Marshall, the outer surface is an extremely thin Inconel honeycomb. Of course Inconel was also used for the skin of the X-15, but it was a much heavier guage. :

"Several ARMOR TPS panels have been fabricated. The outer surface is a foil-gage, Inconel 617 metallic honeycomb sandwich panel. This outer panel is structurally connected to an inner box beam by a thin Inconel 718 metal support bracket at each corner of the panel. The ARMOR TPS design provides three different sealing features so panel-to-panel placement on a vehicle inhibits hot gases during reentry from eking between panels.

Attachment of the metallic TPS is almost a snap.

Each panel is attached to the underlying structure by means of mechanical fasteners. The ARMOR TPS is built to accommodate aerodynamic pressures, as well as thermal conditions found in the cold of space and throughout the heat of reentry. Furthermore, rainwater and moisture is managed by a thin gage metal foil that closes out the bottom of the TPS panel to make a watertight container for internal insulation."
 
J

job1207

Guest
That is very interesting. Inconel is an alloy of nickel, as I am sure that you know. It is very heavy. Apparently in this configuration a very thin layer will do. I hope this works, because it would be durable and apparently, easy to replace.
 
B

BrianBoru

Guest
mattblack":28j4c5o1 said:
1: Scrap Ares 1 immediately and move a FULL-featured Orion to the man-rated, RS-68A-powered Delta IV-Heavy.

2: Utilise I.S.S. till at least 2020

4: Develop an Altair lander capable of full 14-day Sortie missions to anywhere on the lunar surface. Look forward to
Enhanced Altair for dual-lander 'Outpost-Lite' missions lasting for one month or more. 'Scar' vehicle design for possible upgrade for Mars missions.

5: Invest HEAVILY in technologies for developing In-Situ Resource Utilisation and nuclear power systems for the Moon & Mars. Without a working knowledge of how to 'live off the land' from the Solar System's resources, most manned missions may be doomed to 'Flags & Footprints'.

6: Propose eventual "One-Percent For Space" legislation, that may eventually provide a permanent, 1% percent of the Federal Budget for the taxpayer-funded portion of the U.S. Space Program. That way, during good economic times or bad, the U.S. would get a fair number of missions accomplished for a fair, fixed price -- boom or bust. And with the slow but sure growth in 'Private Space', we will see those technological investors and their private space programs eventually overtake the Government Space program.
I like these ideas.

Also, props for this thread and to all who have contributed to it. Quite a buffet of food for thought.
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
YES. and I also think that mattblack is also on the right track. And I started this entire thread!

The only thing that I would add at this time would be to keep the shuttles flying at a reduced rate to the ISS, until such a time as either #1 is completed by ULA, or a dragon capsule by spacex capable of taking some six people up to the ISS is ready, whichever comes first!

Russian equipment is good, and cooperation with them is very laudable, but depending totally on them for access to space for our astronauts is not!

I would also say to keep a close watch on the space plane developments of the Air Force! Because of their more adequate funding, they just might beat even private aerospace to a full fledged CATS!
 
H

halman

Guest
What truly shames me is the knowledge that trillions of dollars has been poured into investments worldwide, yet private space exploration is barely getting 1 billion. We space advocates have done a mighty poor job of publicizing the need for exploration off this planet, it seems to me. Of course, none of us can agree exactly why space exploration is important, with some demanding Mars next week, others insisting that men are not needed for exploring space, and still others insisting that we have not even mastered Low Earth Orbit, and need to spend our money on Cheap Access To Space. No matter what the facts are, we have got to convince everyday people that putting their money into space exploration is no more risky than investing in a major utility, a car company, or new homes.

Some how, we have got to get money to people that really are working on getting off of this rock, people who have already begun building the technologies needed. Consistently, investment in space technology has paid off handsomely, because space constantly demands that we learn new solutions as we spend more time out there. From cordless tools to super insulation, our daily lives are being affected by learning to live and work in space. The potential for creating new wealth off planet is out of this world, in that more wealth will be created by our expansion into the Solar System than has ever been created here on Earth.

How can I say that? Because the resources available off planet dwarf those that we could ever possibly extract from the Earth, and because energy is free in space. The time is rapidly approaching when the environmental costs of smelting steel, for instance, will be so high that making steel in space will become economical. And once we begin doing it, the costs will drop dramatically, as robots replace human workers in mines and space stations. Super strong, ultra lightweight products will begin to appear, as the manufacturing possibilities of weightlessness and constant sunlight are exploited.

We shouldn't be talking about science, we shouldn't be talking about avoiding racial extinction, we shouldn't be talking about adventure and romance, we should be talking about MONEY! If we convince a hedge fund that Boeing, Lockheed, and Northrup have the potential to build a system that would get just 7 people into orbit, and that hedge fund invests in a joint enterprise between the companies mentioned above and a few others, other investors will follow suit. But we have to present a plan that is specific, achievable, and practical. We are not going to convince anyone to invest billions into building a Moon rocket right now, but there is a good chance that we could talk folks into spending a few billion on a nifty little space plane.
 
X

xXTheOneRavenXx

Guest
I personally think whats going to happen is that NASA employees will eventually be out of a job. You see already many companies stepping up to the plate and designing their own space stations from inflatable modules, the X Prize candidates are another example of ingenuity being thought up by other companies. Sure, right now there are things only NASA and ESA are capable of. But soon more bigger companies will naturally be attracted to this business. The thing that they have that NASA & ESA don't is that these companies are tied into usually various large size businesses that can provide a number of resources to themselves unlike NASA being a government agency relying on outside resources which drives up their costs a lot more.
 
J

JonClarke

Guest
xXTheOneRavenXx":10akmglr said:
I personally think whats going to happen is that NASA employees will eventually be out of a job.
And that is where you are wrong. There will always be a need for baseline research, exploration, activities in the national or global interest that no comnpany will fund on its own because it won't give the short term return that they require to exist. There will always be a need for NASA and similar organisations. Companies can't do everything.

Jon
 
H

halman

Guest
Many people don't seem to realize that most of what NASA does has nothing to do with space flight. Only about 1/4 of the NASA budget goes to space, with the rest going to such diverse projects as solar powered aircraft to high-tech imaging of surface features like Mt. St. Helens. This is where, I suspect, some people get their ideas about each shuttle flight costing several billion dollars, by dividing the number of shuttle flights into the total NASA budget.

NASA is supposed to be a research organization, devoted to advancing our knowledge of aeronautics and spaceflight. Instead, it has become bogged down with providing launch services. The Constellation program takes entirely the wrong approach to returning to the Moon and missions beyond. The whole thing should have been put out to bid, while NASA focuses on Cheap Access To Space. Because there is nothing new in the Constellation program, it is simply Apollo all over again. We already know (supposedly) how to put people in space on top of rockets, and how to build disposable spacecraft. What we don't know is how to get into space and return from there cheaply, safely, and reliably.

Narrowing the mission down for NASA is critical to achieving results. Learning how to build space stations is a reasonable mission. Learning how to achieve orbit without involving hundreds of people is another. Returning to the Moon is also a reasonable mission, but launching the hardware to do it is not. We already know how to do that. Launching the hardware on Atlas and Delta rockets would make sense, if we send the crews up on the shuttle. Operating the shuttle is a reasonable mission, because it is teaching us about thermal protection systems, hypersonic flight, and other things that we need to know if we are ever going to achieve CATS.
 
V

vulture4

Guest
>>Nor does it provide manned capability, which is what the uproar is about. We have plenty of un-manned capability right now, but our manned space exploration program is facing what could be a fatal grounding.

The X-37 was not intended to be an operational unmanned system. As the designation implies, it was intended to be a technology development prototype. It was intended to test systems for thermal protection, aerodynamics, guidance, for atmospheric entry of a future resuable spacecraft, and evaluate their reliability, maintainability, and cost of operation. We have no flying prototype vehicles for technology development for future reusable space vehicles. Like the other technology demonstrators, it was unmanned because it is no longer necessary or even desirable to have a crew on an experimental prototype spacecraft.

We desperately need flying development prototypes. The fundamental error of the shuttle program was not that reusable systems are impractical, but rather the mistaken belief that design analysis is equivalent to flight experience.
 
H

halman

Guest
vulture4,

As desirable as flight experience is, sometimes it is just not available. NASA's budget for building the shuttle was so small, and subject to sudden shrinkage, that flight testing was pretty much out of the question. They did do the drop tests with the Enterprise, to make sure that the thing would actually fly, but flight testing at hypersonic speeds is awfully expensive.

But, we have learned a great deal over the past near-30 years, and some of that knowledge has come by way of honest mistakes. Building upon that knowledge, incorporating it into a more advanced system, that is what we need to be doing. Few people had heard of airborne launching until White Knight and Space Ship One. But that technique allows for development of different parts of the launch system to happen at different rates, instead of requiring that every aspect be ready at the same time.

We can perfect an electromagnetic catapult while at the same time designing and testing a carrier wing. Then we can practice launching the carrier wing with the catapult while we design the orbiter. Than we can drop test the orbiter while working the bugs out of the engines the orbiter will use. Taking things one step at a time, but still doing parallel development.

Or, we can make it exciting by doing it all at once, like we did with the shuttle. There were a lot of people who were sure that the thing would blow up on the pad, or come down in pieces if it even made it into space.
 
S

samkent

Guest
“Investment in space” hmmm interesting way of putting it. If that’s the way you really see it, then the reason for low funding makes sense.

Investing in space is a losing proposition from the get go!

Your connecting space with consumer products is just plain wrong.

Super insulation – Dow patented polystyrene foam in 1941. 1946 was the first use as insulation in commercial buildings.

Power tools – I assume you mean cordless. Electric motors have been around for generations. The current generation of batteries, lithium ion, have absolutely NOTHING to do with NASA or space. They were proposed and developed by universities and Exxon starting in the 70’s. In fact NASA has banned lithium ion batteries on the shuttle in any use including the laptops onboard due to their potential spontaneous fire hazard.

Look humans were inventing and developing based on old ideas long before space programs were around. You can’t say we need space programs to further our technological development without insulting the intelligence of previous generations.

Can you name a couple of items we use on a regular basis that would not have come into being without a space program? Even the stand by of saying “computers” is wrong. Computers have been around since WW2. The ones used to get to the moon were just off shoots of existing technology of the day. Even those off shoots didn’t morph into our desktops of today. They were totally different design paths.

Investing in space is the only investment I can think of where you are almost guaranteed a 100% loss of principle.
 
P

propforce

Guest
mattblack":rsy7rbwy said:
1: Scrap Ares 1 immediately and move a FULL-featured Orion to the man-rated, RS-68A-powered Delta IV-Heavy.

2: Utilise I.S.S. till at least 2020 and invest more heavily in attendant COTS programs.

3: Downscale Ares V (90-100 metric tons to LEO) to enable a proper 2-launch lunar mission architecture, using the existing KSC infrastructure and equipment. Inline design if deemed affordable, if not: a "Shuttle-B" config as a backup.

4: Develop an Altair lander capable of full 14-day Sortie missions to anywhere on the lunar surface. Look forward to
Enhanced Altair for dual-lander 'Outpost-Lite' missions lasting for one month or more. 'Scar' vehicle design for possible upgrade for Mars missions.

5: Invest HEAVILY in technologies for developing In-Situ Resource Utilisation and nuclear power systems for the Moon & Mars. Without a working knowledge of how to 'live off the land' from the Solar System's resources, most manned missions may be doomed to 'Flags & Footprints'.

6: Propose eventual "One-Percent For Space" legislation, that may eventually provide a permanent, 1% percent of the Federal Budget for the taxpayer-funded portion of the U.S. Space Program. That way, during good economic times or bad, the U.S. would get a fair number of missions accomplished for a fair, fixed price -- boom or bust. And with the slow but sure growth in 'Private Space', we will see those technological investors and their private space programs eventually overtake the Government Space program.
I like it !

Having been involved on the Ares I project and the MSFC engineers & management, I can honestly say that Ares I should be scrapped. MSFC pesonnel, engineers & managers included, consistenly show a lack of understanding how to build a vehile and demonstrated a complete ignorance on the processes required to build one.

There is hope to build Ares I, however; and it involves

1) Turn it over to a private venture that has demonstrated its knowledge & experience of building such vehicles.

2) Replace the first stage SRB with a liquid booster. I followed the internal development of Thrust Oscillation issue and it just convinced me of the lack of technical & managerial leadership of people who are currently in charge.

It is the taxpayers' money afterall. If getting from earth to LEO continues to be a national civil space goal, hire the right company to do the job. Change what doesn't work and replace it with what works.

Hmmm... where can I find such a company? ;)
 
P

propforce

Guest
vulture4":3fngahxq said:
The X-37 was not intended to be an operational unmanned system. As the designation implies, it was intended to be a technology development prototype. It was intended to test systems for thermal protection, aerodynamics, guidance, for atmospheric entry of a future resuable spacecraft, and evaluate their reliability, maintainability, and cost of operation. We have no flying prototype vehicles for technology development for future reusable space vehicles. Like the other technology demonstrators, it was unmanned because it is no longer necessary or even desirable to have a crew on an experimental prototype spacecraft.

We desperately need flying development prototypes. The fundamental error of the shuttle program was not that reusable systems are impractical, but rather the mistaken belief that design analysis is equivalent to flight experience.
Agreed. It makes sense to be an unmanned spacecraft since it is a technology demonstrator. It is intended to be unmanned so that it is not burden with all the life-support systems & human rating requirements, and all that weight on the vehicle that doesn't serve the research objective of why having this vehicle built in the first place.

But this is an interesting phenomena from the blog sphere, we call it "requirements creep". Very few vehicles get past the funding stage for design & analysis, now that we actually have a vehicle built and ready to fly. Everyone wants to put their 'wish list' / desires on this vehicle. :roll:
 
V

vulture4

Guest
>>Few people had heard of airborne launching until White Knight and Space Ship One. But that technique allows for development of different parts of the launch system to happen at different rates, instead of requiring that every aspect be ready at the same time.

I agree that the publicity has been limited, but airborne launching of aircraft has been in use since the days of airships, and the X-15, our first manned spacecraft, was air-launched, as is the Pegasus and as was planned for the X-34. The X-34 program was inexplicably canceled when the prototypes were essentially ready to fly. They may still be around, does anyone know?
 
C

cloud018

Guest
Good one please let me know more on this NASA as I feel many other space stations are better than NASA

/*Spam Removed*/
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
I was going to make a new and separate thread from this one on this, but decided (even though it is going to result in a rather long series of my own posts) that it might be better to run it by the people here instead!

Over on the NEWS section of space.com a new article stirred up quite a bit of activity, the article is:

"Private Companies Claim Better, Cheaper Options for New NASA Rocket "

There are now some 80 responses to this article, including some from myself.

PLEASE, do NOT take this that I am in any manner or other even trying to hog my own thread! In fact when I have posted these replies of mine I fully invite anyone here to answer them, and I would have been happy to bring over the other responses as well, but I do not know if it is ethical or even legal to do that, so you might just have to guess what they were. And the total discussion IS still available over on the NEWS section, so please feel free to go over there and see the other posts as well. I will make one more post on the NEWS section to have the posters over there come here if they so wish!

Also, when I do bring my posts over there to here, I will Number them so that people can answer individual posts. I would appreciate it if people would continue to be as nice and civil however (even if you greatly disagree with my findings and conclusions) as they have been on this thread all along, for which I am very grateful!!

Anyway, here goes it!
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Here is Post #1 (hope it comes out OK):

"Another item that I saw was a chart (I can't imagine it being made by anybody else but NASA) that showed that the savings of using the Delta IV instead of the ARES I to be only about $1 billion or so, and the long run costs of each Delta IV Heavy Launch at some $250 million each when compared to $102 million each for the Ares I. What a crock!!

In the first place, there is absolutely no way that NASA is ever going to launch human beings on such a large rocket for only about the cost of a Delta II launch of pure robotics vehicles! Absolutely NO way! And the sooner that NASA accepts these kinds of realities, the better their chances of getting the necessary funding out of a tight fist Congress are going to be!

I would be very happy to see NASA keep Ares I human launches down to only $200 million each!

But, that is not the main problem with such a chart. What was very conveniently left out was the developmental costs of the Ares I. Now, they have already spend some $7 billion of this mistake, and even cutting off such a program is probably going ot cost another $3 billion or so, for a totall cost of some $10 billion. But, the newly admitted total developmental costs of the Ares I alone are now at some $44 billion! So, cutting off that program means a total savings of some $34 billion!

OK, everybody with me so far?

Now, let us even suppose that NASA has to fund the Delta IV to make it man-rated for some $4 billion. Now, the total saving in not developing the Ares I comes out to some $30 billion.

That would be equivalent to some 120 launches of the Delta IV Heavy! That total then comes out (at 25 tons each launch) to some 3,000 tons to LEO!

And the main reason this works? The development of the Delta IV Heavy itself has ALREADY totally been paid for by the US taxpayer as administered by the US Air Force!

There IS no additional cost for a Delta IV Heavy launcher besides this man rating BS, it IS already done!!!

And let us be very generous here and state the the vastly larger Ares V can be launched for the cost of only some $1 billion peer each launch! That would be generous as some time ago there was talk of reviving the actual Saturn V, until it was estimated that even that large (but still smaller than the Ares V) rocket would cost some 1,5 billion per launch, and all of its developmental cost had long ago been paid for!

And mind you people, the developmental costs for the Ares V are going to be at the very least some twice that $44 billion for the Ares I (I would estimate that NASA probably can not get it done for much less than $100 billion, even IF the Ares I is completed!), so we are looking at a rocket that Congress is NEVER going to fund under ANY circumstances!!

And then just how much material and people can we then put into LEO using Delta IV's, Atlas V's, and even future Falcon 9 Heavies in comparison to those developmental costs? Heck, the government could just buy the entire corporations of Boeing, and LM, and ULA for those kinds of costs, and then have them produce literally hundreds of rockets, and still be ahead, cost wise!

And if I as a retired aerospace manufacturing worker can figure this out, then I do hope that this blue ribbon panel that consists of such as Augustine and such notables as Sally Ride, and that is NOT on NASA's payroll, can certainly figure this out also!!

So, just where does that leave us?

The first thing is to junk the Ares rockets, and to extend the shuttles up until we have either the Dragon capsule (initially with Delta IV's or Atlas V's, and eventually with Falcon 9's, as launch vehicles). To at least get American astronauts up to the ISS without having to totally rely on the Russians.

And here is something interesting, there is absolutely nothing wrong with NASA salvaging the second stage of the Ares I anyway. What we are talking about is getting rid of the solids for the first stage and substituting the Delta IV, or the Atlas V, or eventually the Falcon 9 Heavies instead!

IN fact, that would speed up the development of the Constellation project not slow it down! Besides saving a whole lot of money in the short and long run!

There are also FAR better methodologies for using these new capabilities for getting back to the moon at not only far less cost in the long run, but for far greater sustainability of those moon efforts also!!

But perhaps such a discussion should be reserved for the more flexible message board forums?"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
OK, here is post #2:

"In the first place I can not even begin to understand how NASA can state that if they do not fully develop the Ares I, then that will add to the costs of the Ares 5 by some $15 billion?

Even though I am and have always been a great supporter of NASA, this still does not make any sense. The two rockets are only tied together by the use of common propulsion elements. The new J2S is going to cost some $1 billion to develop, and will be used on both rockets. ATK is already developing the five segment motor. And one of my own oppositions to the entire system was the enormous cost of such development asked for by ATK, some $5 billion at least! However, I would now presume that to be somewhat "water under the bridge", as I think they are far enough along on that development, that most of that cost is already spent!

So, in actuality, I think that NASA is just blowing smoke here. In fact, if NASA were to drop the Ares I entirely at this point, and just concentrate on the Ares V itself alone, the savings in costs because of inflation alone would be in the $billions. How is that? It would mean that the Ares V would be developed at least some 5 to maybe even 10 years sooner, and the inflation alone would shave off literally $billions in its developmental costs!

Also, I like Wernher Von Braun, also have very serious doubts of the safety of using a large single solid rocket motor for placing human beings into space. Even with the shuttle system, which greatly mitigates the vibrations of the SRB's, the astronauts notice a very large smoothing out of the flight after the solids are ejected and the liquid SSME's take over!

So NASA's kluge system for artificially doing the same thing with the even more powerful 5 segmental motors, is just a disaster waiting to happen!

Besides this, with all of the developmental money that NASA is spending on the Ares I, they could fly two Delta IV.s for every Ares I, so the very minor weight difference between the Ares I and the Delta IV, just does not really exist, when you consider actual costs. Has ULA actually even given figures for this so called man-rating of the Delta IV?

It has to be far less than NASA is now going to spend on the Ares I, besides which, ALL the early rockets (yes, even the Saturn V) were certainly not given this man-rated thing! In fact the Redstone, the Atlas IIA, and the TITAN II, all used up though the Gemini program were actually military missiles! So just how do you compare human beings to atomic bombs?

And the problems with the Ares I for taking human beings to LEO, do not exist for the Ares V, as there would be no such human beings on board for that pure materials lifting rocket.

Besides which, ULA and its parent manufacturing concerns (Boeing and LM) have between them truly vast levels of expertise in the rocket launching business. And they ARE private industry concerns, at least you can buy stock in them on the exchange, and that makes them about as private a set of corporations as any I can even imagine! They have relatively inexpensive and simple plans to upgrade either the Delta IV or the Atlas V (but I do think the Delta is the better candidate as its engines are all American, and that would be a large factor with Congress).

The first upgrades would be to simply upgrade the current RS68 engines form 665K thrust to 1.0 million pounds of thrust, as far less expensive and simpler problem that upgrading any SRB.

Next, they could also (in addition to upgrading the engines or alone with the same engines) go from a HEAVY of some three Common Booster Core units to a symmetrical four CBS units.

And if you want total reusability, how about finally developing the CBS into a fly back reusable booster, that is remotely controlled to land back at the Cape on the same runway as the shuttle now uses? After all, if the Air Force now has RPV's that can fly observation and even bombing missions successfully, then there is absolutely no reason at all that such technology can not be used for totally reusable liquid engined boosters for NASA!.

So BOTH the Ares I and the Ares V do not have to use the relatively expensive and less safe SRB's! And I can give you the main reason why liquid engines are inherently safer if you wish, but this post is already a long one, and that explanation is also a long one, but I will do so if the people here wish me to?

By the way, I worked on such engines for some 37.5 years up until my retirement in the year 2000 (yes, I was one of the 400,000 or so people that enabled the US to originally land men on the moon). I have also worked on other aerospace projects in my working career, and have extensively studied all of these areas (especially Quality Assurance in manufacturing areas), so I just might have some actual first hand knowledge of these matters!

I have therefore been involved in the actual cutting of metals for such programs, and am not just an Excel and PowerPoint person (although I have also used such programs, I still do not claim to be an expert in them).

By the way, while I do think there are better methodologies for going back to the moon, I do still support NASA, even if this committee finds out the the present plans of NASA's Constellation Project are best. I just happen to think there are better ways is all!

What IS really needed is to give NASA enough funding to try ALL of these alternatives, and then eventually to select those that turn out to be the safest and lest expensive! This would only entail boosting NASA's funding from its current highly inadequate less then 0.5% of the federal budget up to a still inadequate, but much better 1.0% of the federal budget. After all, we did have the greatest space program (or any other program for that matter) of all time, back in the 1960's, and we still only spent some 2% of the federal budget as an average during that decade of truly Great Dreams, for all of mankind!! Besides which, perhaps NASA's being able to do all of these alternatives, and then pick the best ones on actual practical knowledge of using them would not only make for a better NASA, but for less contention here also?

And I fully believe that what was done once, can now be done even better!!"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Post #3 (a relatively short one this time):

"delphinus100: I think you misunderstood me. I was in no way running down the military nor such missiles as the early IRBM's nor the early ICBM's. In fact I had worked on the engines that powered them. and also worked on parts of the guidance systems for the Minuteman ICBM's also. Then later on I also worked on the B1A Bomber, and the fourth stage of the Peacekeeper missile!

In working on all of these highly military projects (during my years on the B1A Bomber project I held a SECRET clearance also), I had absolutely no qualms about what I was working on at all! In fact, it was those projects and others that kept mankind from committing nuclear suicide all during the Cold War by the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD!!

What I was stating is that these early missile designs were certainly not man-rated in any sense of the word. They were NOT meant to carry human beings at all! For, that matter neither were the Russian's ICBM rockets either.

In fact, the only place that I can see such man-rating having any use at all is in making changes to the trajectories of such rockets as the Delta IV Heavy so as to make placing human beings into LEO a more comfortable thing for such a cargo.

And just how much that would cost to have ULA do it, I have not heard. Has anybody here?"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Post #4: OK, this one i snot mine, but I thought that delphimus100 gave such an excellent response to my last post by giving some very good urls that I would haope he would not mind my giving it here!

His post to me was:

""delphinus100: I think you misunderstood me."


Ah, okaY. It appears I did.


"And just how much that would cost to have ULA do it, I have not heard. Has anybody here?"


This is as close as I could get. It seems to depend on what you use as an upper stage:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... nnel=space

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2009/06/15/ ... eshowever/

http://hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=13111

http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2009/ ... avy_3.html

http://selenianboondocks.blogspot.com/2 ... ating.html (2005)"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Post #5: Then I replies to delphimus100 (after his excellent post and information):

"Thanks delphimus100 the links were very useful and interesting! The only failure, at least on my machine, was the last one, and as it was to a blog I fully expected it might fail anyway!

The second one in particular (parabilicarc) was very good as it had many other articles on this and related subjects. And nasawatch is always good if for no other reason than the many comments that are given to anything there.

The gist of what I see here is that this Augustine committee is going to have to swim, not wade, through the BS that NASA is putting up here. Oh, they had to admit that the Delta IV Heavy option would be less expensive in the long run over the Ares I, even NASA could not pull that one out of the fire. But then they give absolutely ridiculous caveats to their own study!

The major point that most of the comments on nasawatch put forth was the assumption by NASA that man-rating the Delta IV Heavy was going to take $billions of dollars and some 7 years!!

If the NASA of such as Wernher Von Braun had to do the same, we might be looking forwards to going to the moon for the FIRST time in the future!!

I wonder just what estimates such a study might have been given if they actually went out and asked the Boeing people, (that would have to do the actual work) just how much money and time it would take to do the job! I would be willing to bet that they would have gotten a different answer then!

Heck man, the ENTIRE EELV program from scratch to launch only took some $3 billion, and far less than a decade to complete, And that program was to design, build, and launch some two different systems in many different configurations, including the design and building and testing of an entirely new large liquid rocket engine in the RS68!!

Then I also read where this entire man-rating thing by NASA was originally designed to be so stringent as to preclude any participation by anything other than a NASA designed system! And even then NASA eventually had to modify its own requirements, as the Ares I itself could not qualify! In fact, I now wonder if the astronaut core itself even has anything to do with this so-called man-rating BS!

However, there IS some degree of hope here, in that Bigelow Aerospace is now contracting with ULA to not only launch the Bigelow Inflatable Space Station Modules, but even to launch human beings up to them! Would it not be just a crock if pure private aerospace could do that at far less cost than NASA! Talk about an "Egg on Face" type of situation for NASA!!

This is exactly why I do think that NASA should be given the necessary funds to actually go with ALL the options, and then we can really find out the best one in the long run. Now I know that sounds somewhat crazy, but NASA has so little of the actual federal budget that even totally eliminating ALL of NASA's budget would not even be a blip in the deficits, let alone the over all federal budgets as they currently exist!

In the short term that would indeed increase NASA funding by quite a bit (maybe double NASA's current manned space budget), but in the long term NASA would end up with systems that would save literally tens of $billions of dollars at least!

So you think it might even be just possible that this committee will come out with such an imminently sensible recommendation, and that there is even the slightest chance the Congress would go along with it?

I mean, if the current Congress and the current administration are really looking for a stimulus package for the American economy????? "
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Post #6:

"To those that belive that we are just going to go around in LEO indefinitely.

There IS another train of thought here that IS far more valid than just going back to the moon with a 1960's style approach. It makes far more sense and would result in an infrastructure capable of supporting far more moon exploration and even exploitation than the present Constrllation project will ever be capable of!

The origin of this type of thinking is even older than the Apollo program, but it is still valid today (perhaps even MORE valid in fact). In fact the orignator of this idea was one of the greatest rocket scientists of all time in Wherner Von Braun. He put forth these ideas as early as the early 1950's in a group of very advanced ideas in the Colliers Magazine. By the way, another great contributor to these types of ideas was the late and great Arthur C. Clarke!

In fact Von Braun was not as fully supportive of the original Apollo program as many thought he was, but he knew that the methodology eventually used was the only way of then getting to the moon before 1970, so he then went along and supported the Apollo efforts. But we do NOT need to hurry that much today.

The first part of the idea is to build a transfer space station in a high Earth Orbit, but still low enough for Earth to LEO system(s) to reach. This would mean that such a station would not need to be re boosted continually to keep it up there as the ISS needs. And it should be high enough to keep it out of the way of most previous space debris.

Using the inflatable modules by Bigelow Aerospace our current fleet of launchers in the Delta IV Heavy and the Atlas V Heavy (and for international cooperation the Ariane V also), could easily be used for such a build. This station should be at a much further south inclination (if the Russians really want to join in, let them use the pads at the European complex, or we could even let them have use of the facilities at the Cape for such peaceful cooperation) to facilitate easy access by most of the worlds launch pads.

The only hardware needed for such a station would be that needed to hold the modules together soundly.

Heck, I think that Bigelow is already planning something like this anyway, so the cost would only be a small fraction of the ISS!

Next up, the astronauts at that station then build an Earth orbit to low moon orbit transfer vehicle. They build this from modular parts sent up again on the relatively inexpensive EELV's, and by that time quite possibly even less expensive Falcon 9 Heavies also. The vehicle can be just as large as needed and as it is designed to not have to land at all could be any shape needed. It would probably be powered by liquid or even solid space engines at first, but eventually even use something like the very high ISP and low fuel consumption engines such as the VASIMIR.

This vehicle then goes on to the moon, and builds another low moon orbit space station for transfer to much larger and more robust lunar landing vehicles. Then we can indeed build far larger and more robust Low Moon Orbit to the moons surface lunar lander(s). Far better than anything even the extremely large and expensive Ares V could ever get to the moon! The Earth to moon orbits transfer vehicle then just goes back and forth continually between these stations, in fact it then becomes relatively simple to build multiple transfer vehicles to insure a continual traffic between these important celestial neighbors! Heck, eventually a large part of the materials needed for such an infrastructure would be supplied by materials mined on the moon itself, thus totally saving large amounts of funds by making use of the far lower gravity well (and no atmosphere) of the moon itself!

This type of system in concert with heavy participation by the pure private space companies would cost no more than the huge current costs of the Constellation Project. Now estimate at a total of some $230 billion in the next two decades or so.

The main and biggest difference is that this is a fully sustainable at far less cost system. It would be modular and fully expandable, and it would be FAR safer than the plunge into the Earth's atmosphere at some 25,000 mph of the Apollo era. We HAD to do it that way back in that era in order to meet the time line originally set by JFK, and to make sure we beat the USSR to the moon!

But (and this mind you from someone that honors the people of that era as I honor myself, as I was one of them) we no longer need to do this kind of thing. What we need now is to build at an affordable cost a true moon to Earth infrastructure that would fully and relatively inexpensively support a large exploration, and even exploitation type of inter prize on the moon. We no longer need a flags and footprints type of operation there, as in that case, we have indeed truly "Been there, done that!"

THEN making use of the considerable resources of the moon, we can expand our operations further out into the solar system with far more confidence that we can do that inexpensively and safely!!!"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
And finally, Post #7:

"MasterSith: In general I agree with most of your posts including your last one. There is however onr area of disagreement there. That is you seem to have the same attitude towards the government that some of the ultra conservatives over on free space have.

And just how are we to expect to continue with the relatively expensive (and mostly without any large profits) and dangerous placing of humanity into outer space without the government funding at least a relatively large portion of that effort?

Along with that funding does come some degree of governmental control, if not then Congress is not doing a very good job of watching over our tax dollars, now are they?

Besides which both Boeing and LM, and their offspring UAL are doing a truly fantastic job of placing huge government satellites into orbit. They and the Air Force developed both the new Delta IV and the Atlas V EELV's totally for only about $3 billion, all the way up to launching these new systems including the Heavy versions! So far NASA has spent some $7 billion on the Ares I alone, and just how many launches have we seen of this new system?

As long as the government itself remains an over all management source, and a funding source only (which is where NASA is to some extent failing with the Constellation Project, they want TOO much direct control, and are not giving even their own contractors the leeway they need to truly do the best job) they have in the past done a truly fantastic job on all of these sorts of projects.

Maybe people here need to start to study actual history, it just might do them some good! Just who actually bought about half of the US itself in the Louisiana Purchase, or bought Alaska either? How much have those purchases been worth to the US in the long term? Certainly including pure private for profit industries!

Then there was the Great Transcontinental Railways, all also funded by the government to open up those great purchases. How much was that worth?

We could then move on to some of the greatest civil engineering projects in the history of the human race in the great infrastructure projects of the New Deal (admittedly to also help end the Great Depression by employing hundreds of thousands of Americans at reasonable wagers and benefits, but the projects still stand on their own merits anyway). Dams such as Boulder Dam and Grand Coulee Dam, and the great TVA projects, all of which supplied a large part of the electricity that enabled the American industrial complex to be the "Arsenal of Democracy" during WWII, and eventually defeat both Hitler and Togo, and their twisted buddies!

Then there was the Great Federal Highway System, just ask any trucker just how much that particular governmental infrastructure program is worth to him!

In fact, there would have been no NASA, and no Apollo program to get us to the moon without the expenditure of federal monies!

Heck, my greatest complaint against the current administration is that there is nowhere near enough such spending in the so-called stimulus bills!

Now, this does NOT mean that I am in any way against the pure private efforts of such as spacex and Elon Musk, nor Scaled Composites and Burt Rutan, and certainly (as can be seen from my last post) Robert Bigelow and his Bigelow Aerospace. Of course, at least in the case of Bigelow it might just be acknowledged that his inflatable habitats for space stations were originally an entirely NASA funded and researched project!

By the way, you do realize the the EELV project did achieve its goals, don't you? It was not to bring down the price of a pound to LEO from its high of some $10,000 per pound to LEO of the shuttle and the Titan IV, to some very low amount. It was just to use cost instead of performance and weight as the God of rocket scientists to bring such an amount down substantially. And it was a successes in that it did cut that figure in half, to some $5,000 per pound to LEO.

My own recommendations?

Simple:

(1) NASA, except for the second stage (including the J2X, and the Orion Capsule) to abandon the entire Ares I designs.

(2) NASA to keep the shuttles flying at a reduced rate until a successor to the shuttle is fully operational (as also put more funding into the COTS program to push spacex as fast as it is prudent to go).

(3) Start back to the moon by funding Bigelow Aerospace and the Delta IV (as I previously stated I do not think that Congress is going to want to go along with the Russian powered Atlas V for this particular purpose) to build at a very reasonable cost, and time estimate, a transfer space station in a high Earth Orbit, to start the process of going back to the moon in a reasonable, far less expensive, and far safer and more sustainable manner than the already over blown Constellation project ever could! And IF such as Direct 2, 3 or whatever its latest version is, can be shown to do that better, or spacex can in the meantime come up with a far less expensive Falcon 9 Heavy, then fine, switch to them for getting to that orbit! In fact that might just spur UAL to also greater efforts!

Going with such a plan as I outlined in my previous post would give NASA and the government the flexibility to use ANY such cost cutting methodologies. Instead of being stuck with a single expensive method of going back to the moon!"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Somewhat apologetic about that being as much reading as it is, I know I tend to be lengthy, but these subjects are NOT sound bite subjects on the evening news! Have some mercy on me, if you think that is a lot of reading, think of thinking about, and then writing it!

Besides, if you wish to post back, you only have to answer the points in any one of the posts (that is why I numbered them).

I will now go over to the original discussion and make a last (and short post) inviting the excellent posters over there to come here (which should be easy as the log in for there is also the log in for here).

Thanks for you patience, and I will keep an eye on this particular thread!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts