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Topic: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-09-05 16:39:28 and read 7349 times.

Well the Augustine Commission and the Obama Administration aside I think it's time to start the Ares I-X thread.

Ares I-X is a 4 segment SRB with a dummy 5th segment, dummy second stage, and dummy spacecraft and launch abort mission. Mission is to test vehicle dynamics during first stage flight.

Planned launch is 31 Oct.

Vehicle has been stacked and is presently testing in the VAB.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/co...ares/flighttests/aresIx/index.html

Interesting video here of the dynamic response testing...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28634332@N05/3882242036/

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Sinlock
Posted 2009-09-10 12:12:09 and read 7093 times.

Any word yet on when roll out will take place. might try to drive up for that.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-09-10 15:29:47 and read 7074 times.



Quoting Sinlock (Reply 1):
Any word yet on when roll out will take place. might try to drive up for that.

27 Oct is my understanding.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-09-22 16:13:48 and read 6776 times.

RELEASE : 09-219 NASA Sets Target Date for Ares I-X Rocket's Test Launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA is targeting Tuesday, Oct. 27, for the flight test of the Ares I-X rocket, pending successful testing and data verification. Senior managers made the decision after a meeting Monday at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The Oct. 27 target date has been confirmed with the Air Force's Eastern Range. The launch window will extend from 8 a.m. to noon EDT. There is another launch opportunity on Oct. 28. The date will be finalized at a Flight Test Readiness Review scheduled for Oct. 23 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Technicians at Kennedy have completed the stacking, or assembly, of the rocket on a mobile launch platform. This week, Ares I-X team members are conducting a launch countdown simulation and conducting final checks of the rocket's systems. The checks will begin with the launch abort system simulator atop the rocket and continue down to its aft skirt. The rocket is targeted to roll out to Kennedy's Launch Pad 39B on Oct. 19.

The launch will provide NASA with an opportunity to test and prove hardware, facilities and ground operations, while gathering critical data for the Ares I rocket and future launch vehicles. To follow Ares I-X processing on Twitter, visit:


http://www.twitter.com/NASA_Ares_I_X


For more information about Ares I-X and NASA's next-generation spacecraft, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/ares


- end -

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Sinlock
Posted 2009-10-05 05:42:44 and read 6397 times.

Just two short weeks untill Rollout.  bouncy 

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-07 17:35:39 and read 6245 times.

Not strictly regarding Ares I-X (there's a Ares I-X blurb at the end) but this recent quarterly update on the Ares program is interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUXpoLe7nFI

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Sinlock
Posted 2009-10-16 11:06:22 and read 5977 times.

Small delay to Rollout 1-2 days. Launch target has been mover up to the 27-28th.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-16 11:54:30 and read 5972 times.



Quoting Sinlock (Reply 6):
Small delay to Rollout 1-2 days. Launch target has been mover up to the 27-28th.

My understanding is that this was due to a bad hydraulic accumulator in the thrust vector control system.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-18 09:40:14 and read 5880 times.



Quoting Sinlock (Reply 6):
Small delay to Rollout 1-2 days. Launch target has been mover up to the 27-28th.

Rollout now scheduled for 20 Oct at 12:01AM EDT

MEDIA ADVISORY : M09-201 NASA Reschedules Rollout Of Ares I-X CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA has rescheduled to Tuesday, Oct. 20, the rollout of the Ares I-X rocket to Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first motion of the Ares I-X out of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building is targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT. The 4.2-mile journey is expected to last about seven hours. Media activities include a first motion photo opportunity and interviews with Ares I-X managers. In addition, a sunrise photo opportunity will be available at 7 a.m.

Live NASA Television coverage with commentary will start at 11:45 p.m., Oct. 19, and 7 a.m., Oct. 20. Video highlights of the move will air on NASA Television's Video File.

Reporters must arrive at Kennedy's news center by 10:30 p.m., Oct. 19 for transportation to the viewing area. For the sunrise event, reporters must arrive by 6:30 a.m., Oct. 20. Media accreditation for these events is closed.

Badges will be available for pick up at the badging facility on State Road 3 on Monday, Oct. 19, from 8:30 - 10 p.m. Updates with times for all events are available by calling 321-867-2525. All participants must be properly dressed in full-length pants, flat shoes that entirely cover the feet, and shirts with sleeves.

The rollout of Ares I-X originally was set for Monday, Oct. 19. During testing on Oct. 14, engineers detected a nitrogen gas leak in an accumulator located in the aft skirt of the rocket. The accumulator, which absorbs hydraulic pressure spikes as the system operates, was replaced and successfully retested. Management is assessing what effect, if any, this delayed rollout will have on the targeted Oct. 27 launch date.

For NASA Television downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

To receive Ares I-X updates via Twitter, go to:


http://www.twitter.com/NASA_Ares_I_X


For information about Ares I-X, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/aresIX

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Tugger
Posted 2009-10-20 10:48:38 and read 5738 times.



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 8):
Rollout now scheduled for 20 Oct at 12:01AM EDT

Rollout is complete! Ares I-X is now standing for launch, tests will be performed between now and the scheduled Oct. 27 launch date.



Quote:
The 327-foot-tall rocket, bolted to a shuttle mobile launch platform, arrived at the pad at 9:17 a.m. EDT (1317 GMT) after a nearly eight-hour sojourn from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39B.
....

Scheduled to launch next Tuesday, the $445 million mission will hand engineers data on the environments the Ares 1 rocket will encounter during the first two minutes of flight.

The rocket is made up of a scaled-down four-segment solid rocket booster first stage and aerodynamic simulators for the Ares 1's upper stage, the Orion crew module and the launch abort system.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/ares1x/091020pad/

Tugg

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Tiger119
Posted 2009-10-21 04:12:55 and read 5626 times.

That's one tall sucker! I'm looking forward to seeing it launch. Do they (NASA) have a firm schedule on future launches? I am wondering about night launches.

David

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Sinlock
Posted 2009-10-21 11:12:21 and read 5569 times.

Ares I-X launch window is from 8am to 12pm.
I would not expect a Ares night launch until well into the program. The first Shuttle night launch was STS-8 and night launch and landing were part of the Mission goals, the next night launch after that was over 6 years later on STS-33.

[Edited 2009-10-21 11:24:05]

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Andz
Posted 2009-10-22 20:45:54 and read 5440 times.

I just saw on the news that it might not launch at all. Damned politicians.

Quoting Norman Augustine:

"The premier conclusion and finding of the committee is that the human space flight program that the United States is currently pursuing is one that is on an unsustainable trajectory. We say that because of a mismatch between the scope of the program and the funds to support the program.

"We believe there are compelling reasons to extend the ISS for at least another 5 years but if we do that we also believe it is very important that we provide additional funds for the utilisation of the space station, there's no benefit that we can see for having the space station continue in space without providing money to conduct science and engineering aboard."

The report concludes saying that President Obama has the final say on the launch.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: L-188
Posted 2009-10-22 23:13:18 and read 5419 times.

So a suborbital flight?

Sounds like this rocket can do everything the Redstone that Alan Shepard rode can do.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Rwessel
Posted 2009-10-22 23:25:06 and read 5418 times.



Quoting Andz (Reply 12):
I just saw on the news that it might not launch at all. Damned politicians.

Quoting Norman Augustine:

"The premier conclusion and finding of the committee is that the human space flight program that the United States is currently pursuing is one that is on an unsustainable trajectory. We say that because of a mismatch between the scope of the program and the funds to support the program.

"We believe there are compelling reasons to extend the ISS for at least another 5 years but if we do that we also believe it is very important that we provide additional funds for the utilisation of the space station, there's no benefit that we can see for having the space station continue in space without providing money to conduct science and engineering aboard."

The report concludes saying that President Obama has the final say on the launch.

Ummm... No. The report is a long range planning document and has basically no bearing on the Ares-I-X launch. What the report says is the direction to be taken for the manned spaceflight program is up to the president (subject to congressional approval and funding, of course). While the president could, presumably, tell NASA to scrub next weeks Ares-I-X launch, why would he? As flawed as the test is, and as little of anything actually related to the "real" Ares-I configuration that it's going to be testing, it *is* ready to go.

The report makes it clear that there is a serious disconnect between the current plans, funding and reality. This is not exactly news, but the Augustine Commission report pretty well spells out the issues, and presents some plausible alternatives, at least assuming some budget increases.

At the current budget levels (adding only enough to run the Shuttle program a few months into 2011 to finish the current flight schedule, and provide funds to de-orbit ISS as scheduled in 2016), we won't be doing anything since Ares-I won't be ready to go to LEO until 2017, Ares-V won't be ready until the late 2020s, and Altair (the lunar lander) not until the 2030s, if ever. At that point the question is what's the point of pursuing any of this stuff? The Ares-V-Lite option, doesn't do much better.

But with increased funding ($3B/year more, plus a realistic inflation adjustment, is the minimum increase needed to fund a viable exploration program), they do lay out some reasonable plans, none of which include an actual Mars landing, but do build towards that goal.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Rwessel
Posted 2009-10-22 23:36:12 and read 5411 times.



Quoting L-188 (Reply 13):
So a suborbital flight?

Sounds like this rocket can do everything the Redstone that Alan Shepard rode can do.

It's an extremely limited test of a partial configuration of the first stage only. There's nothing wrong with that per se, and many rockets have flown that way early in their development. I do think this test is rather more limited than engineering principals would dictate because NASA needs some good PR to show some progress on the program, so they've sort-of hacked some stuff together for a somewhat quick-and-dirty test.

Note that the next scheduled flight (Ares-I-Y in 2013), which is to be of a "real" Ares-I first stage and a partial second stage (specifically missing a functional engine - but the rest of the stage should be approximately real), will also be suborbital.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: TheSonntag
Posted 2009-10-23 02:39:49 and read 5381 times.

In fact the Augustine Commission has brought forward a very reasonable report. I still do not think we will see an Ares-1-Y launch in the upcoming future, but the Ares-1-X launch is useful in itself.

I just hope they go forward with the "flexible path" concept, which seems to be quite reasonable without abandoning the moon at all.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: PC12Fan
Posted 2009-10-25 07:05:27 and read 5165 times.

I personally would support Direct Launcher over Ares as it seems to be a much more capable launch platform.  twocents 

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: JBirdAV8r
Posted 2009-10-25 21:40:02 and read 5073 times.

Well, the weather's looking pretty poor for a Tuesday launch.

I'm trying to decide whether or not to buy an airline ticket. I could stay for Tuesday or maybe Wednesday, or Wednesday or maybe Thursday. I'm conflicted. 40% go Tuesday, 60% Wed/Thurs...

I'm close enough to drive (10 hours) and I'm thinking I may save up my pennies to try STS-129 in a few weeks...

I'm thinking they might go fairly conservative on the weather flight rules since the triboelectrification rule (primary concern) has tightened up. I may chance getting a ticket/driving down for Wednesday. I'm just not sure.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: RedFlyer
Posted 2009-10-27 05:18:57 and read 4941 times.

Four minute hold continues...but they announced that we can expect a launch at 9:24 AM ET. Just a little over an hour to go. Been up since 3:00 AM PT to watch this event on NASA TV. Sure hope it goes off today.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: FlybaurLAX
Posted 2009-10-27 06:51:37 and read 4893 times.

Just a few more minutes! (Hopefully). This is pretty exciting. I hope we'll see a full test in the near future.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: AGC525
Posted 2009-10-27 07:18:29 and read 4871 times.

Another Wx hold.

Launch now scheduled for 1054hrs.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: RedFlyer
Posted 2009-10-27 08:21:15 and read 4840 times.

Scrubbed for the day due to weather. Dang!

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Dazed767
Posted 2009-10-27 08:22:23 and read 4835 times.

Scrubbed today, hopefully tomorrow!

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: FlybaurLAX
Posted 2009-10-27 11:10:12 and read 4775 times.

I was pretty much expecting that. I mean, there's only about a 20% chance that a shuttle launch will actually happen on the first scheduled time.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: RedFlyer
Posted 2009-10-28 08:41:40 and read 4569 times.

Very cool launch. My heart skipped a beat when the nose pitched over slightly right after clearing the pad as I thought something had gone wrong, but apparently all was as planned. Very cool watching the staging at altitude, too.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Sinlock
Posted 2009-10-28 09:21:32 and read 4759 times.

Great launch. Whether kept everyone on their toes till the end.
Post launch conference on NASA TV at around 1:30EST.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: FlybaurLAX
Posted 2009-10-28 13:17:12 and read 4611 times.

That was quite awesome. About half of the students in the computer lab were watching the launch. About a minute into it someone said "Hey, it didn't blow up!" Good job NASA!

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: DiamondFlyer
Posted 2009-10-28 13:47:40 and read 4583 times.

Eh, it was quite unimpressive to me. Sure, it worked (sadly, but that's another discussion). Granted, we couldn't see much in DAB, due to cloud cover, but I caught a glimpse of it through the holes in the clouds.

-DiamondFlyer

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-28 15:34:34 and read 4541 times.

Staging was interesting. The Upper Stage Simulator pitched over, looked like there might be a recontact situation.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Centrair
Posted 2009-10-28 18:12:37 and read 4476 times.

I stayed up till 1:00am to watch NASA TV.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 25):
My heart skipped a beat when the nose pitched over slightly right after clearing the pad as I thought something had gone wrong, but apparently all was as planned.

I did to. I know rockets don't go straight up but it seemed the roll program was just earlier than anything I had ever seen.
Then I thought...

Quoting FlybaurLAX (Reply 27):
"Hey, it didn't blow up!" Good job NASA!

I like the whole Ares program idea but was not as excited as I was to see SpaceShip One win the X prize.

Is it me or is 3 people crammed in a capsule on top of a rocket come across more as nostalgic and not revolutionary. I am far more excited about what private companies are trying to do than what NASA is trying to live again. If I were the Obama administration, I would encourage NASA to look more at SpaceShipOne type vehicles for LEO and use heavy lift to work on building a real starship up in LEO. We need something that can just shuttle back and forth between Earth and the Moon or Mars without re-entering the atmosphere. We need small spacecraft that can test new propulsion systems and technologies easily. I would love to see NASA take on some old NACA type work for Space travel.

If that is not possible, give me a crash program between Shuttle and Ares ala Gemini....Atlas V/Dream Chaser.

Otherwise....nice rocket launch....maybe better use of money on the launch...less dummies.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: N328KF
Posted 2009-10-28 20:49:49 and read 4427 times.



Quoting Centrair (Reply 30):
Is it me or is 3 people crammed in a capsule on top of a rocket come across more as nostalgic and not revolutionary.

FYI, Orion (the Constellation capsule) has a crew of six.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Connies4ever
Posted 2009-10-29 02:44:19 and read 4358 times.



Quoting N328KF (Reply 31):
FYI, Orion (the Constellation capsule) has a crew of six.

I think it is likely to be limited to four for some time as the capsule with six people is pretty near the load limit for the parachute system. Orion will need some dieting to be able to handle six.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-29 14:08:03 and read 4205 times.



Quoting Centrair (Reply 30):
SpaceShipOne type vehicles for LEO

Won't happen. An order of magnitude more energy is required to go to orbit and that energy has got to go somewhere, SS1 & SS2 have no way to handle it.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 32):
I think it is likely to be limited to four for some time as the capsule with six people is pretty near the load limit for the parachute system. Orion will need some dieting to be able to handle six.

Yes, however the real weight restriction is with Ares I not Orion. Ares I can't lift the 6 person Orion.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Rwessel
Posted 2009-10-29 15:01:19 and read 4192 times.



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 33):
Yes, however the real weight restriction is with Ares I not Orion. Ares I can't lift the 6 person Orion.

It's both. Ares-I *and* Orion have gotten considerably heavier, and despite changes to increase Ares-I's capabilities, the weight increases have outpaced that.

Latest Ares-I-X news item:

It appears that the SRB was damaged, apparently due to a hard splashdown. Speculation is that one or more of the parachutes failed to fully deploy.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-29 16:49:49 and read 4155 times.



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 34):
It appears that the SRB was damaged, apparently due to a hard splashdown. Speculation is that one or more of the parachutes failed to fully deploy.

Article and pix here;

http://www.floridatoday.com/content/...ksc-ares-i-x-parachutes-fail.shtml

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: L-188
Posted 2009-10-30 21:40:59 and read 3980 times.



Quoting FlybaurLAX (Reply 27):
About a minute into it someone said "Hey, it didn't blow up!" Good job NASA!

Again, shades of 1961

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-10-31 03:51:53 and read 3951 times.

1 chute deployed, 1 opened partially, and the 3rd failed altogether.

http://blog.al.com/space-news/2009/1...ares_i-x_solid_rocket_booster.html

The FSS took a good hit as well..

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/...-damage-ares-i-x-parachute-update/

[Edited 2009-10-31 04:20:55]

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Tiger119
Posted 2009-11-01 00:04:03 and read 3835 times.

I liked this YouTube though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5htFcB3_X8c

David

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-11-01 10:08:50 and read 3759 times.

Some pix starting to emerge now.

These two from NASA.gov show the launch and the view the divers had of the buckling damage.

Note that you can see the, soon to be, damaged area in the launch photo just below the "A" in USA.

Big version: Width: 482 Height: 720 File size: 335kb
Courtesy: NASA


Big version: Width: 720 Height: 540 File size: 346kb
Courtesy: NASA


This site has a pix from a chase plane of the chute problems:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/...-damage-ares-i-x-parachute-update/

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-11-02 17:30:23 and read 3643 times.

Chase plane video of powered flight, sep, descent, and parachute deployment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4l2wxbMEQg

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Sinlock
Posted 2009-11-03 05:13:58 and read 3562 times.

That video is great. Really shows the stresses that the SRB go's through.
I under stand why the recovery ship would have a hard time seeing the booster and chutes, the mains only deploy at the last minute giving just enough to deploy, fully unfurl, and stabilize.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: RedFlyer
Posted 2009-11-03 05:57:59 and read 3547 times.



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 40):
Chase plane video of powered flight, sep, descent, and parachute deployment.

Looks like that 3rd main just shredded right after deploying.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2009-11-03 14:57:08 and read 3469 times.



Quoting Sinlock (Reply 41):
That video is great.

Yeah I like it as well. Not too many launch videos where the launch vehicle gets bigger vs smaller.

Would have been cool to see the upper stage splash down as well. oh well.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Francoflier
Posted 2009-11-03 20:17:42 and read 3425 times.



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 43):
Would have been cool to see the upper stage splash down as well.

A piece of metal the size of a few houses hitting the water at terminal velocity... That would have been a big splash indeed. Big grin

The part where the SRB tumbles down and decelerates as it hit denser air is amazing. Especially when it rotates 90 degrees to the air flow at supersonic speed and creates that huge shockwave. It's easy to underestimate the amount of engineering that goes into what seems like just a thin metal tube...

It seems like reusing the SRB is only a option that is being studied, and will probably be scrapped anyway as the cost of the recovery almost defeats the savings made by reusing it...

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: RedFlyer
Posted 2009-11-04 05:45:49 and read 3345 times.



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 44):
It seems like reusing the SRB is only a option that is being studied, and will probably be scrapped anyway as the cost of the recovery almost defeats the savings made by reusing it...

The infrastructure costs of the recovery system has already been paid for thanks to almost 30 years of STS flights, so we're only talking the cost of sending out one small ship and the associated personnel to recover each SRB. I think that is still far cheaper than the several millions of dollars that would have to be spent to manufacture a new SRB structure after each and every flight.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Francoflier
Posted 2009-11-06 04:32:55 and read 3133 times.



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 45):
I think that is still far cheaper than the several millions of dollars that would have to be spent to manufacture a new SRB structure after each and every flight.

It probably is, but then I don't know if the difference in cost is that big. I'm guessing they get a thourough overhaul from the ground up.

But you are right, after re-reading the article I realize the reason they're thinking of scrapping it is to save the 2000 Lbs or so that the recovery system weighs, since the Ares is still overweight.

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: Fsnuffer
Posted 2009-11-06 05:42:59 and read 3128 times.



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 45):
I think that is still far cheaper than the several millions of dollars that would have to be spent to manufacture a new SRB structure after each and every flight.

What is the opportunity cost of the lost payload to space? Anyone have the specs on the weight of the recovery system?

I know this is simplistic but $/lb to orbit * weight of the recovery system = ?

Topic: RE: Official Ares I-X Thread
Username: RedFlyer
Posted 2009-11-06 06:22:11 and read 3128 times.



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 46):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 45):
I think that is still far cheaper than the several millions of dollars that would have to be spent to manufacture a new SRB structure after each and every flight.

It probably is, but then I don't know if the difference in cost is that big. I'm guessing they get a thourough overhaul from the ground up.

They do, and there's no doubt costs associated with that. But one has to assume that in the current configuration the cost of recovery/refurbishment still has an advantage to manufacturing from scratch. Then again, making the candle reusable adds costs as well, such as building it to higher tolerances and making the structure as a whole "beefier".

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 47):
What is the opportunity cost of the lost payload to space? Anyone have the specs on the weight of the recovery system?

I know this is simplistic but $/lb to orbit * weight of the recovery system = ?

Look at this link for the various cost-per-pound-to-orbit for each launch vehicle in use today:

http://www.futron.com/pdf/resource_c...hite_papers/FutronLaunchCostWP.pdf

It would appear from the charts that the cost ranges on average from ~$2,000 - ~$5,000 per pound.

Something to consider, though, is that the booster is not lofting the recovery system into orbit. So my (as always humble) guess is the cost of lofting the 2,000 lb recovery system to an altitude and speed that is a fraction required for LEO is in itself a fraction of the cost-per-pound-to-orbit for the specific vehicle.


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