Why does NASA hate the Atlas V and Delta IV?

Page 3 - 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.
F

frodo1008

Guest
<font color="yellow"> OK. However it should be noted that unmanned test flights are not a requirement for man rating. </font><br /><br />That is one of the reasons why I do not think the process should be nearly as difficult and expensive as some would have us believe here. Originally, when NASA said they were going to use such parts of the STS system as the original four segment SRB's and the venerable but still great SSME's, then I thought it was indeed a great cost saving idea! <br /><br />However, all this seems to have changed. Now, we have a very large and expensive development program for an entirely new five segment SRB (at such a cost that even Griffin himself was not happy, and as for congress, with the possible exception of Utah.....). Then they come along and have Rocketdyne (where I retired from, and still have friends, so don't talk about my being a political person that approves of pork!) start up another such program.<br /><br />The big question to me (in all my inexperience) is all this new development going to be more expensive than using the already available EELV's even with this man-rating thing?<br /><br />NASA is perhap playing these kinds of political games while staring at an entirely new paradigm of a possibly new and <br />entirely different administration right in the face!<br /><br />I don't think that I am the only person here that is somewhat worried about the future of NASA, and the entire space program! If that somehow makes me clueless then I am more than happy to be that way!
 
J

jimfromnsf

Guest
That is the real issue. Other than NASA standards, there is the FAA, but they aren't the same. There is no industry standard<br /><br />Since the F9 is going to carry a manned capsule, by definition, it is manrated. How Spacex incorporates reliability and safety into their design is up to their interpretation. <br /><br />Spacex can fly their Dragon to the ISS with an Spacex crew which fine with NASA. But if it is to carry a NASA astronaut, it has to meet NASA manrating requirements.
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
If there are going to turn out to be as many different man-rating systems as there are different space programs, then this is just another reason to not have such an activity as the sole arbiter of whether or not you use one rocket launch system over another!<br /><br />The same kind of thing happened in the early pc computer industry, with many different standards, and some of them then being discarded as the industry matured. <br /><br />Again, just how less or more expensive is man-rating an already known launch system over developing an entirely new launch system from scratch that is so rated as it is developed?<br /><br />I am not so arrogant as to think that this is something that only I think about. It would seem to me that there must be very smart young scientifically educated congressional staffers that would also be intrigued by this, And their conclusions and figures may not make NASA too very happy!<br /><br />
 
T

thereiwas

Guest
The Falcon-9 is being developed from day one to carry people, so they are clearly thinking about it so they don't have to change it later. Clearly an improvement over adapting old ICBM designs. The F9 data sheet does have some numbers about G-forces and acoustic levels but I don't know how those compare to what NASA expects. I do know the F9 is planned to have much more redundancy in its flight control electronics than the F1.
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
I was NOT talking about the Falcon 9. But about the Ares I.<br /><br />Sorry, if that was not clear.
 
W

windnwar

Guest
I've wondered if it would be possible to mate two standard 4 segment SRB's to the Delta IV or Atlas V to get the lift capacity they need. It would eliminate the wieght issues they've been having with Orion, and still keep the SRB line running, and it'd lower the performance needed for the for the Aries IV possibly since they could put more of the launch mass on this vehicle, if not, they can still keep working on the five segment SRB's for it. I'd figure a launch profile where the Atlas or Delta throttles back to minimum at launch and then throttles up after SRB seperation. The question would be if its even possible and if the launch would stay under g load limits on the crew etc. Anyone have any idea what the payload to LEO would be? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
N

nyarlathotep

Guest
<i>The Atlas and Delta were designed to launch sattelites as cheaply and reliably as possible. <b>They typically fly flight profiles that could pose serious risks to humans</b></i><br /><br />I thought Lockheed reran the trajectory and closed those black zones almost a year ago. <br /><br />As far as the rest of the man rating bull, some guy called Griffin stated in congressional testimony in May 2003 that a rocket reliable enough to launch a billion dollar payload is reliable enough for humans. That guy was a smart cookie, I wonder what he's doing nowadays.
 
N

nyarlathotep

Guest
<i>I've wondered if it would be possible to mate two standard 4 segment SRB's to the Delta IV or Atlas V to get the lift capacity they need.</i><br /><br />Anything is possible. They could mate six SRBs to an elephant if they wanted, but it's still not going to get you a reliable low cost launcher. <br /><br />The major issue is the logistical problems handling rockets, particularly ones that are built a thousand miles away and each have a 600 tonne dry mass. Add the refurbishing costs, transport, crawlers and the necessary equipment for vertical assembly, and you're spending almost a billion dollars per year just on the facilities for SRBs.<br /><br />An all liquid setup like the Zenit is lighter so requires no massive cranes, is assembled in a small warehouse in three days, rolled out attached to a locomotive, then launched in four hours with a crew of less than two hundred. With automation this number can easily be reduced by a considerable margin. DC-X after all was launched by half a dozen guys in a trailer.
 
W

windnwar

Guest
True but being we don't have an all liquid setup with the lift capacity that the SRB's have and since they want to use the SRB's later for the Aries IV or V this would keep the plant running, and possibly get Orion off the ground much sooner then the five segment stick. I say possibly because I have no idea if it'd work, and what sort of integration issues they'd run into. This would seem to be the easiest way to make everyone happy, you'd keep the SRB line churning, you'd potentialy shorten the launch gap between the shuttle and Orion, you'd address the launch wieght issue, and you'd not have to worry about recertifying an all new SRB stack that as yet is unknown if it has the performance to get it to the ISS anyway. Or I could be totally out of the ballpark. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
T

tomnackid

Guest
Saying that a rocket is "realiable" isn't the same thing as saying it is "safe for use by humans". Something that the learned congressmen could not seem to grasp. There are more ways to kill or maim a human on a rocket than simply blowing them up.
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
It is worth pointing out that DC-X was rather less than an orbital launch vehicle. The facilities would have to be scaled up considerably for the operational vehicle, as the team who built it knew all along. It was a technology demonstrator, and it performed well. But one should be careful making conclusions about orbital launch vehicles based on what it took to get it off. It would be like assuming that Minotaur operations ought to be similar to sounding rocket operations. (And they are similar, broadly, but there is a significant difference in scale.)<br /><br />I believe cranes are used in the assembly of Zenits. I am not totally sure, but I believe they use overhead cranes that run on tracks on the roof of the assembly building. Like nearly all former Soviet rockets (I won't call it Russian because it's really Ukrainian), it is assembled horizontally, rolled to the pad by rail, and then raised by an erector device. In addition to rapid assembly, the fact that it is assembled off the pad (unlike the majority of American vehicles) means that more than one can be assembled in parallel, though the launch manifest doesn't generally require that. This capability is inherited from the early days of the Russian ICBM program; the ability to assemble in an adjacent shed meant that spy satellites could not see the rockets until they were on the pad, protected them from the weather, and allowed for them to be placed on the pad very rapidly. In the beginning, American rockets were also assembled this way (something they borrowed from V-2), but as the rockets got bigger, American engineers shifted to vertical assembly as a way of solving structural issues associated with horizontal assembly without adding mass. Horizontal assembly meant a faster response time, but since that response time was still a couple of days, it wasn't good enough.<br /><br />Eventually, the horizontal assembly concept became obsolete for ICBMs, replaced by hypergolic rockets fired from missile <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>
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Saying that a rocket is "realiable" isn't the same thing as saying it is "safe for use by humans". Something that the learned congressmen could not seem to grasp. There are more ways to kill or maim a human on a rocket than simply blowing them up.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />That is true. OTOH, if it can reliably get a satellite to orbit, on a trajectory tolerable by humans, then it can get humans into orbit, which was the logic that originally put space capsules onto Redstones, Atlases, Titans, and R-7 missiles. But there is less tolerance for failure when lives are at stake. That's not to say that failure is really tolerated even on unmanned launches, but people do get a lot more serious when lives are at stake rather than just a large financial investment. <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>
 
J

jimfromnsf

Guest
"There are more ways to kill or maim a human on a rocket than simply blowing them up."<br /><br />Not true. If a launch vehicle can flight a comsat it can fly a human. Malfunctions ARE the only way to kill or maim a human on a rocket . The ride to orbit is benign wrt to environment for a human<br /><br />As for EELV trajectories, they are only an issue for aborts, not for the actual ride to orbit. And again, this issue has be fixed. <br /><br />Aside from disagreements on factors of safety or redundant avionics, all that is needed is an escape system with an abort detection system<br /><br />
 
T

tomnackid

Guest
Noise, vibration, sudden changes in acceleration can all kill or injure a human crew with little or no damage to equipment. Engineers at the beginning of the space age spent a good deal of time and money researching these issues. When people first proposed launching humans on missles all kinds of ideas were proposed to reduce the chances of death or injury durring a launch. Everything from custom formed couches, to waterbeds, to encasing the astronaut in a hard outer carapace that locked into a special seat. Based on the specs of early missles many were convinced that astronauts would always arrive on orbit uncouncious at the very least! Luckily a combination of rocket redesigns and more reasonable safety systems prevailed.<br /><br />Pathfinder/Sojurnor was a fairly complex system with many moving parts and electronic components that were bought off the shelf at Radio Shack in some cases yet it survived a reentry that would have left humans with concussions at the very least. <br /><br />I have no idea how harsh or benign a typical ride on an off-the-shelf Delta or Atlas would be (its not my area of expertise), but i do know that man-rating is more than "how many flights before one blows up?"
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
In the early days of space placing a human being in to orbit took G forces of up to 7 G's. The shuttle never experiences more than about 3 G's. And some of our earlier astronauts (they were NOT supermen, just men that were military people used to more hardship than people are usually used to) experienced up to 10 G's without blacking out!<br /><br />As I said earlier, the rockets that were used were relatively off the shelf ballistic ICBMs! They designed the capsules to fit such launch systems, incorporated an escape system, and away they went! There was no such a thing as some kind of separate man-rating. Think logically here, how could there be (other than seeing to it that the astronauts themselves received the best in training) any kind of special man-rating, when these things were being done for the very first time!<br /><br />Beside the Russians are still doing this kind of launch, (and even launching civilians to the ISS for money with such launches), are our people somehow less hardy then they are?<br /><br />Of course they aren't! After all, we had to use the Russian system ourselves for years when the shuttle had accidents, and I don't remember anyone complaining that the system wasn't NASA man-rated!<br /><br />IF this is all that is being used by NASA to stop them from using off the shelf Delta IV, or Atlas V, with some degree of modification, even the early ICBMs had some such, but they were not show stoppers or we would still be looking forward to Mercury, then NASA is just using this as a very poor excuse!<br /><br />I don't understand why you can't seem to understand this?<br /><br />
 
J

jimfromnsf

Guest
"Noise, vibration, sudden changes in acceleration can all kill or injure a human crew with little or no damage to equipment. Engineers at the beginning of the space age spent a good deal of time and money researching these issues."<br /><br />No longer applicable<br /><br />"Luckily a combination of rocket redesigns "<br /><br />Not true. Redstone, Atlas and Titan were basically off the shelf wrt to the design.<br /><br />"<br />I have no idea how harsh or benign a typical ride on an off-the-shelf Delta or Atlas would be"<br /><br />Benign.<br />
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
"I have no idea how harsh or benign a typical ride on an off-the-shelf Delta or Atlas would be" <br /><br />Benign. "<br /><br />And can you expand on that reply at all?<br />Or do we just have to accept because you said it's benign it must be so?<br /><br />Share some knowledge here!<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Not true. Redstone, Atlas and Titan were basically off the shelf wrt to the design. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Correct. Ironically, the failure rates for those rockets were (IIRC) worse than for modern ELVs. "Man-rating", in my view, should be acheiveable just with enhancements in QA and in various procedural areas. In other words, it's a test problem, not a design problem, and consequently not quite as big of a problem as some might think. Not negligible, but not insurmountable, and probably not requiring much (or possibly any) redesign.<br /><br />Manrating isn't really a question of making the rocket able to sustain humans. AFAIK, all of the ELVs currently on the US market should be able to do that. It's just a matter of proving that.<br /><br />To draw an analogy, the word "bullet proof" originally meant that it had been actually proven against bullets. Breastplates would actually be fired upon by a musket. If it didn't penetrate, the breastplate was declared bulletproof and sold to a customer. The breastplate was obviously able to protect a human before, but it wasn't actually considered bulletproof until the test had been carried out. This is sort of the same situation. <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>
 
J

jimfromnsf

Guest
Benign<br /><br />If it can carry a comsat it can carry a crew<br /><br />OSP was going to use Delta IV and Atlas V as is wrt to environments
 
P

propforce

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Originally, when NASA said they were going to use such parts of the STS system as the original four segment SRB's and the venerable but still great SSME's, then I thought it was indeed a great cost saving idea! <br /><br />However, all this seems to have changed. Now, we have a very large and expensive development program for an entirely new five segment SRB (at such a cost that even Griffin himself was not happy, and as for congress, with the possible exception of Utah.....). Then they come along and have Rocketdyne (where I retired from, and still have friends, so don't talk about my being a political person that approves of pork!) start up another such program. <br /><br />The big question to me (in all my inexperience) is all this new development going to be more expensive than using the already available EELV's even with this man-rating thing? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br /><br />Howdy Frodo! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Man-o-man, take a breather. I get excited & hyper just from reading your posts ! <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br />Allow me to "re-cap" the history of Ares 1 development,<br /><br />1) Yes, NASA <i>chose</i> to design the Ares 1 because it was Griffin's idea (even before he became the NASA adminstrator). I have a copy of paper where he led a team to study such "shuttle-derived" launch system and proposed the SSME as 2nd stage engine and the RSRM as the first stage booster.<br /><br />2) No. The proposed Ares 1 design is not better, or more reliable, than the existing EELVs.<br /><br />3) These so-called "geniuses" Griffin picked for Space Exploration (ESAS) Study rushed to "rubber stamp" Griffin's concept without even bother to call Rocketdyn, the maker of SSME, and asked <font color="yellow">"hey [my buddy & my pal]... can the SSME start in mid-air as a 2nd stage engine???"</font> If they had, they surely would find out "ummm... BIG PROBLEM !!" <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
J

JonClarke

Guest
Care to back up these allegations with evidence?<br /><br />Or are you just another NASA and Griffin hater?<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
T

tomnackid

Guest
Actually, when the Ares I was proposed the engineers new exactly what it would take to air start a SSME (look at the history of the program). NASA decided not to pursue it since they wanted the 5 segment SRB anyway. Developing the 5 segment SRB along with the J-2 based second stage was seen as a better way of spending their limited time and money. <br /><br />I don't know if this decision will prove to be correct or not, but to say that they didn't go with the SSME because they didn't know what it would take to convert one to air starting is not only false, but is downright silly!
 
J

jimfromnsf

Guest
"but to say that they didn't go with the SSME because they didn't know what it would take to convert one to air starting is not only false, but is downright silly!"<br /><br />That is exactly what happen. They found that the risks for developing the airstart were too high<br />
 
J

jimfromnsf

Guest
propforce is 100% right. <br /><br />Also Griffin can be quoted stating that the ESAS keeps 10 healthy center<br /><br />I work for NASA
 
T

thereiwas

Guest
And propforce's story closely matches that of Donny Dot over at nasaspaceflight, another (just retired) NASA insider.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY