Orbital Construction Yards > Huge Rockets

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.
T

tampaDreamer

Guest
Best point I got from someone on here is that you don't actually need a ring, two (or 4 or 6) sections connected by a truss would work very well.
 
R

rockett

Guest
tampaDreamer":2gu5k2wi said:
Best point I got from someone on here is that you don't actually need a ring, two (or 4 or 6) sections connected by a truss would work very well.
You missed the point. Centifugal force is the point to simulate gravity. While a full ring is not necessary, it would be preferable to attaching them to a long boom and spinning around a common axis. The problem with that approach is single point of failure. If the attachment point breaks, or weakens, it is much more likely to tear itself apart. Connected in a ring would give a bit more chance for recovery.

Another alternative would be a hexagonal or octagonal configuration:
As engineers from North American and Langley probed more deeply into the possibilities of a rotating hexagon, they became increasingly confident that they were on the right track. The condition that the station be self-deploying or self-erecting (implying some means of mechanical erection or a combination of mechanical erection with inflation) was not negotiable, given the economic and technological benefits of being able to deliver the space station to its orbit via a single booster. Early on, the space station group talked with their fellow engineers in the Scout Project Office at Langley about using a Scout booster to launch the station, but Scout did not appear to be powerful enough to carry all 171,000 tons of the rotating hexagon to orbit altitude. The group also looked into using a Centaur, a liquid-fuel booster for which NASA had taken over the responsibility from the DOD. The Centaur promised higher thrust and bigger payloads for lunar and planetary missions; however, Langley learned in early 1961 that the Centaur was "out of the question" because "nothing in the [high priority] NASA manned space programs calls for it." Furthermore, the Centaur was not yet "man-rated," that is, approved for flights with astronauts aboard, and a man rating was "neither expected nor anticipated." Centaur would prove to be a troublesome launch vehicle even for its specified unmanned missions, and the rocket never would be authorized to fly humans.

Soon space station advocates turned to von Braun's Saturn. With its 210,000-pound payload capacity, an advanced Saturn could easily lift the 171,000-pound hexagon into orbit. A team of Langley researchers led by Berglund did what they could to mate their space station to the top stage of a Saturn. Working with a dynamic scale model, they refined the system of mechanical hinges that enabled the six interconnected modules of the hexagon to fold into one compact mass. As a bonus, the hinges also eliminated the need for fabric connections between modules, which were more vulnerable to damage. Tests demonstrated that the arrangement could be carried aloft in one piece with the three retractable spokes stowed safely inside the cavity of the assimilated module cluster. Once orbit was achieved, a series of screwjack actuators located at the joints between the modules would kick in to deploy the folded structure. The Langley researchers also made sure that the nonrotating central hub of their hexagon would have a port that could accommodate ferry vehicles. Such vehicles were then being proposed for the Apollo circumlunar mission and, later, for a lunar landing via EOR.

The estimated cost for the entire space station project, for either the erectable torus or the rotating hexagon, was $100 million, a tidy sum upon which Langley and NASA headquarters agreed. This figure amounted to the lowest cost proposal for a space station submitted to the air force at its space station conference in early 1961.

"North American selected this space station design in 1962 for final systems analysis. Incorporating all the advantages of a wheel configuration, it had rigid cylindrical modules arranged in a hexagonal shape with three rigid telescoping spokes."
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4308/ch9.htm
 
S

sftommy

Guest
Best return on the investment for yards would be to build and service a fleet of spacecraft.

Proper lunar development might require a half-dozen lunar shuttles which would need such a LEO-yard for repair, maintenance, refueling, etc. Don't see near-term demand for a fleet outside of lunar travel.
 
R

rockett

Guest
sftommy":v5pihx18 said:
Best return on the investment for yards would be to build and service a fleet of spacecraft.

Proper lunar development might require a half-dozen lunar shuttles which would need such a LEO-yard for repair, maintenance, refueling, etc. Don't see near-term demand for a fleet outside of lunar travel.
Or use the ISS for a construction shack. Very few additions required to oufit it for that.

Then again, maybe another multibillion dollar investment and multiyear effort:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/05/20/326773/2025-leo-shipyard-is-new-esa-roscosmos-goal.html
 
D

dryson

Guest
Why is everyone so LEO centered? Being in a LEO will cost twice the amount of money in fuel to keep the station at constant altitude and from being pulled into the atmosphere of Earth. My suggestion is to find the Lagrange point between Earth and the Moon and park a station there. By putting the station in HEO or High Earth Orbit the cost of constanlty having to maintain a perfect altitude will result in less money being spent on fuel which we all know is probably the number one cost involved with space exploration. You eleviate the expense of fuel as much as you can then you can then roll the money used for fuel into other projects for the space station.
 
R

rockett

Guest
dryson":2htc4fkp said:
Why is everyone so LEO centered? Being in a LEO will cost twice the amount of money in fuel to keep the station at constant altitude and from being pulled into the atmosphere of Earth. My suggestion is to find the Lagrange point between Earth and the Moon and park a station there. By putting the station in HEO or High Earth Orbit the cost of constanlty having to maintain a perfect altitude will result in less money being spent on fuel which we all know is probably the number one cost involved with space exploration. You eleviate the expense of fuel as much as you can then you can then roll the money used for fuel into other projects for the space station.
Here is the reason for LEO: COST TO ORBIT PER POUND

1. A very real and practical example.
The ISS removed some of the space transportation burden from the Shuttle's back since the other international partners were to contribute their own rocket. However, ISS was also more challenging because its orbit had to be accessible to rockets launched from Russia's Baikonur spaceport at 45 degrees northern latitude. The greater ISS orbital inclinaion meant that the Shuttle's net payload was substantially reduced.

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/intation.htm
That change just to inclination turned out to be cumulatively a very costly one, further out is worse.

2. Radiation protection by the Earth's magnetic field. Further out, less protection, more shielding, more cost, more cost, etc.

3. "Being in a LEO will cost twice the amount of money in fuel to keep the station at constant altitude" - cost is negligible compared to the cost of boosting everything to a higher orbit (supplies, remember?)

4. See my tag line ;)

Sure there are more, but that's a start.

Now I isuppose we could MOVE ISS if we wanted to (turned out to be really robust design) but there are trade offs no matter what. As for grand schemes supposing an unlimited budget, location is no problem. However we presently are economically reduced to Ford Escorts instead of Hummers...
 
M

mental_avenger

Guest
What we really need is a 2001: A Space Odyssey Station V type space station. It would be very expensive to build, but in the long run it is the best possible platform for working and living in space. The only modifications I would suggest would be to add additional levels in concentric wheels to provide various levels of artificial gravity for research and for industrial processes.

The ISS is a joke, and IMO was a waste of money. What we need is a space station in orbit that is large enough to provide all the services that will be required, and also large enough and configured properly to be largely self-sufficient. Such a station would be able to maintain a large and diverse work force relatively inexpensively. It would also be able to process and recycle virtually anything launched into orbit, including booster rockets, failed satellites, and orbital space debris.

Once the main skeleton is constructed, and the major workshops and living quarters are built, it could be supplied with raw materials or partially fabricated materials from a shallow gravity well such as the Moon.

In addition, Rail Assisted Launch from a high mountain will reduce the cost of sending materials into orbit from the Earth.
 
V

Valcan

Guest
mental_avenger":18q2gbgv said:
What we really need is a 2001: A Space Odyssey Station V type space station. It would be very expensive to build, but in the long run it is the best possible platform for working and living in space. The only modifications I would suggest would be to add additional levels in concentric wheels to provide various levels of artificial gravity for research and for industrial processes.

The ISS is a joke, and IMO was a waste of money. What we need is a space station in orbit that is large enough to provide all the services that will be required, and also large enough and configured properly to be largely self-sufficient. Such a station would be able to maintain a large and diverse work force relatively inexpensively. It would also be able to process and recycle virtually anything launched into orbit, including booster rockets, failed satellites, and orbital space debris.

Once the main skeleton is constructed, and the major workshops and living quarters are built, it could be supplied with raw materials or partially fabricated materials from a shallow gravity well such as the Moon.

In addition, Rail Assisted Launch from a high mountain will reduce the cost of sending materials into orbit from the Earth.
The ISS can be expanded with bigelow moduals and eventually a orbital construction yard that could build the station you desire.

Thats the point just shipping up peices by themselves is harder and more limiting than shipping up materials. Do it cheaply.

It can be done. Once the idea we could build ships of steel the size of a city was impossible. Then the Idea they could move faster than the wind was thought so. Now we have carriers and supertankers that weigh as much as a mountain.

Its all about finding and using the best approuch.
 
R

rockett

Guest
Valcan":x9al0xak said:
The ISS can be expanded with bigelow moduals and eventually a orbital construction yard ...
Yes, it can, in fact that will most likely be how it is done if it ever is.

But I really like this idea. (make the ring out of Bigalow modules)

"North American selected this space station design in 1962 for final systems analysis. Incorporating all the advantages of a wheel configuration, it had rigid cylindrical modules arranged in a hexagonal shape with three rigid telescoping spokes."
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4308/ch9.htm
 
V

Valcan

Guest
rockett":1mo8zzmz said:
Valcan":1mo8zzmz said:
The ISS can be expanded with bigelow moduals and eventually a orbital construction yard ...
Yes, it can, in fact that will most likely be how it is done if it ever is.

But I really like this idea. (make the ring out of Bigalow modules)

"North American selected this space station design in 1962 for final systems analysis. Incorporating all the advantages of a wheel configuration, it had rigid cylindrical modules arranged in a hexagonal shape with three rigid telescoping spokes."
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4308/ch9.htm
Yea but something that size is a problem could we construct something wide enought to hold the thing without it being rediculous? Plus this would require a superheavy.
 
R

rockett

Guest
Valcan":15m7x572 said:
Yea but something that size is a problem could we construct something wide enought to hold the thing without it being rediculous? Plus this would require a superheavy.
Probably so. The original design was for a Saturn V, I think (North American was the contractor for the second stage). Or, we could stack several Bigalow modules in separate boosters and stick them together on site. Remember, we are talking 60's design here (with limited launch capability) with rigid skin for this particular design. We have come a long way since then...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY