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Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?  
User currently offlineRC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4347 times:

I checked NASA's site and while there is mention of Orion and Aries parachute tests, I have never heard any information about where NASA intends to bring the Orion craft down at the end of a mission. Does anyone have any thoughts or insight regarding this issue?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBoeing nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4341 times:

There's a video out that shows a "typical" moon mission utilizing the one and a half launch sequence. (Ares 1 and 5) The video shows a landing in the desert somewhere which I assume is in the SW desert region in the US. I have also heard that the craft will be designed for water landings as well if needed.

User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4327 times:

Quoting Boeing nut (Reply 1):
The video shows a landing in the desert somewhere which I assume is in the SW desert region in the US. I have also heard that the craft will be designed for water landings as well if needed.

Likely touch-down points are the Utah flats or Edwards AFB.

Water landing is still a required capability, but it adds a great deal of logistics complexity to the recovery operations.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

Quoting RC135U (Thread starter):
I checked NASA's site and while there is mention of Orion and Aries parachute tests, I have never heard any information about where NASA intends to bring the Orion craft down at the end of a mission. Does anyone have any thoughts or insight regarding this issue?

NASA prefers land touchdown, and fears of a repeat of the Columbia accident have led NASA to focus on a western landing site (less flying over populated areas) with Edwards AFB, California and Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah (where Stardust landed) as the frontrunners. However, land touchdown presents some problems, such as the need for airbags or braking rockets to reduce impact loads. Both will be heavy, especially for such a massive spacecraft as Orion. Therefore, NASA has not yet ruled out standard sea recovery, like the American ballistic capsules in the past.

Sea recovery will have to be available for launch aborts in any case, but is generally seen as complicating plans to reuse Orion. On the other hand, sea recovery may allow recovery off Cape Canaveral (following the same descent path as the Shuttle currently uses), which might streamline operations somewhat (use the same Shuttle SRB ships for recovery).


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4282 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 3):
need for airbags

Well, they worked great for the Mars rovers, but I can't imagine astronauts bouncing like a giant golf ball and rolling into a crater. Big grin

Quoting Thorny (Reply 3):
generally seen as complicating plans to reuse Orion.

I assumed that reusability is incompatible with ocean landings, so I was surprised that they would even consider it for anything other than emergency.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4275 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 4):
I assumed that reusability is incompatible with ocean landings, so I was surprised that they would even consider it for anything other than emergency.

The Shuttle SRB casings are fully immersed in sea water after every flight, and I believe are qualified for 20-30 flights. It's all in the refurbishment process and how quickly you wash off that salt water.

It isn't as if sand is spacecraft-friendly either. When the Shuttle lands at Edwards, don't they always try to move the orbiter into a hanger as quickly as possible?


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4257 times:

During the announcement last week, one of the comments made in answer to a question from a reporter was that they hadnt yet decided whether the majority of landings would be on water or land.

User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4232 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 4):
I assumed that reusability is incompatible with ocean landings

It's already been done... Gemini 2. Gemini 2 was launched first as the second unmanned test flight for Gemini in January, 1965. It was launched again as part of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory test flight in November, 1966.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
When the Shuttle lands at Edwards, don't they always try to move the orbiter into a hanger as quickly as possible?

No.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16822 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4223 times:

How about Kwajalein lagoon, they use that area for ICBM tests fired from California.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineRC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4149 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 3):
Sea recovery will have to be available for launch aborts in any case, but is generally seen as complicating plans to reuse Orion. On the other hand, sea recovery may allow recovery off Cape Canaveral (following the same descent path as the Shuttle currently uses), which might streamline operations somewhat (use the same Shuttle SRB ships for recovery).

I was thinking much the same thing Thorny - landing off the Cape. There might be some concerns about an undershoot and having Orion touching down
in central Florida somewhere. Be a bit of an awkward PR problem to have your spacecraft land in the parking lot at Disney World...
 Wink


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks ago) and read 4100 times:

Quoting RC135U (Reply 9):
Be a bit of an awkward PR problem to have your spacecraft land in the parking lot at Disney World...

Only if someone is hurt by it.  Wink

I would love to see the CEV landing east of the cape, especially if it can leave a supersonic footprint over central Florida. That will be the thing I'll miss most about STS.


User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4046 times:

In section 5.3.5.2.1 (p309ff) of NASA's Exploration Systems Architecture Study available at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/exploration/news/ESAS_report.html the prime suspect landing sites are given as Moses Lake, WA, Carson Flats, NV, and Edwards AFB, CA. This is based on having the 900 nmi long SM disposal footprint lying comfortably out to sea, while the CM hits a nice broad land target. This is for orbital flights; lunar return uses a skip trajectory that places CM landing much farther away from the area where SM parts might rain down.

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 4):
Quoting Thorny (Reply 3):
need for airbags

Well, they worked great for the Mars rovers, but I can't imagine astronauts bouncing like a giant golf ball and rolling into a crater.

The working plan is to drop the heat shield and deploy two airbags: an outer bag that deflates to absorb most of the shock, and an inner bag that remains inflated. It is not supposed to bounce and roll.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4025 times:

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 11):
The working plan is to drop the heat shield and deploy two airbags: an outer bag that deflates to absorb most of the shock, and an inner bag that remains inflated. It is not supposed to bounce and roll.

The problem, though, is that airbags are looking increasingly marginal for the job... a consequence of NASA's love affair with the huge (relative to Apollo or Soyuz) Orion. Hence, retro-rockets are being increasingly mentioned in press releases. Both retro-rockets and air bags can be eliminated by choosing sea recovery, at the cost of rather more complicated recovery.


User currently offlineRC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4005 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 12):
The problem, though, is that airbags are looking increasingly marginal for the job... a consequence of NASA's love affair with the huge (relative to Apollo or Soyuz) Orion. Hence, retro-rockets are being increasingly mentioned

Airbags don't seem all that great - I guess they were OK for the F-111 escape modules, but the capsule-equipped B-1A that was lost on a test flight had one (or more) airbag malfunctions resulting in a heavy impact and killing one of the crew.

Quoting Thorny (Reply 12):
Both retro-rockets and air bags can be eliminated by choosing sea recovery, at the cost of rather more complicated recovery.

Dispensing with airbags and retros would sure save weight and complexity. Sea recovery used to work pretty well, once they learned how to precisely land near the recovery vessels. NASA might even be able to contract out the job of recovery.


User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 12):
The problem, though, is that airbags are looking increasingly marginal for the job... a consequence of NASA's love affair with the huge (relative to Apollo or Soyuz) Orion. Hence, retro-rockets are being increasingly mentioned in press releases. Both retro-rockets and air bags can be eliminated by choosing sea recovery, at the cost of rather more complicated recovery.

Suppose you have a vehicle designed to land at sea and you have to land on land ( rare, I'm sure....)? How expensive would it be, in money and weight, to allow for this contingency? I'm assuming that just saving the crew would be the aim in this scenario - being that it would probably be rare enough to accept the loss of the vehicle and any stuff returned from orbit.


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 14):
Suppose you have a vehicle designed to land at sea and you have to land on land ( rare, I'm sure....)? How expensive would it be, in money and weight, to allow for this contingency? I'm assuming that just saving the crew would be the aim in this scenario - being that it would probably be rare enough to accept the loss of the vehicle and any stuff returned from orbit.

You wouldnt do it, you would bring them down SOMEWHERE in the world where the conditions allow.

The weight penalty of including said equipment is just too severe over the alternative of including a couple days extra air and bringing them down at one of several planned sites.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3948 times:

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 14):
Suppose you have a vehicle designed to land at sea and you have to land on land ( rare, I'm sure....)? How expensive would it be, in money and weight, to allow for this contingency? I'm assuming that just saving the crew would be the aim in this scenario - being that it would probably be rare enough to accept the loss of the vehicle and any stuff returned from orbit.

As with Apollo, you accept a greater risk of injury to the crew with a land touchdown. Apollo was capable of landing on land, and an on-pad launch abort probably would have ended with a land touchdown (if winds were blowing ashore.) They're like ejection seats... only use them if death is otherwise certain, because you're likely to get hurt.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21528 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3924 times:

Quoting RC135U (Reply 9):
Be a bit of an awkward PR problem to have your spacecraft land in the parking lot at Disney World...

"Look mommy, aliens!"  Smile

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3894 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 16):
Apollo was capable of landing on land, and an on-pad launch abort probably would have ended with a land touchdown (if winds were blowing ashore.)

I recall that launch rules included this consideration; offshore wind was required to ensure that an abort capsule would land in the sea. I think it was Wally Schirra who insisted on adding this rule.

Question: even if sea landings would be more cost effective, might the Orion be too heavy to be lifted by helicopter? How heavy will Orion be, and how much external load can a Sea Stallion lift?



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 18):
I recall that launch rules included this consideration; offshore wind was required to ensure that an abort capsule would land in the sea. I think it was Wally Schirra who insisted on adding this rule.

Schirra's Apollo 7 was a bit different in this respect. Apollo 7 was sort of a combination of the Block 1 and Block 2 Apollo spacecraft. Apollo 1 had been a Block 1 spacecraft. After the Fire, NASA decided to abandon the Block 1 design and put all of its efforts into the Block 2. But the Block 2 was not completely ready for Apollo 7, so Apollo 7's spacecraft had some "heritage" Block 1 hardware. One of these were the seat/shock absorber system, which wasn't rated as highly for land touchdown as the later Block 2 would be.

Hence Schirra's concerns about winds blowing ashore during his launch... there was a higher possibility of injury with a land touchdown.


User currently offlineRC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 18):
Question: even if sea landings would be more cost effective, might the Orion be too heavy to be lifted by helicopter? How heavy will Orion be, and how much external load can a Sea Stallion lift?

While the Mercury craft were picked up by helicopter, I think the Apollo CM was fitted by Navy swimmers with stabilizing flotation devices and the recovery vessel ("wessel" keeps popping into my head) was brought alongside and the ship's crane was used to lift it aboard (the crew having already been picked up and brought aboard by chopper).

Specs on the CH-53E indicate a capability to lift 16 tons at sea level.

From what I can find, the Orion CM is projected to weigh around 25 metric tons - about 55,000 pounds.

[Edited 2006-09-09 16:06:10]

User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3858 times:

Quoting RC135U (Reply 20):
From what I can find, the Orion CM is projected to weigh around 25 metric tons - about 55,000 pounds.

No, that's the whole she-bang (Crew Module + Service Module).
The capsule itself weighs around 17,000 lbs.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/156298main_orion_handout.pdf

Configuration Summary
Diameter 16.5 ft
Ref Hypersonic Lift to Drag Ratio .34 @ 157°á
Pressurized Volume (Total) 691.8 ft3
Habitable Volume (Net) 361 ft3
Habitable Volume per 4 CM 90.3 ft3
CM Propellant GO2/GCH4
Total CM Delta V 164 ft/s
RCS Engine Thrust 100 lbf
Lunar Return Payload 220 lbs

Mass Properties Summary
Dry Mass 17396.8 lbs
Propellant Mass 385.1 lbs
Oxygen / Nitrogen Mass / Water 282.8 lbs
CM Landing Wt.16174.3 lbs
GLOW 18706.3 lbs


User currently offlineRC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3832 times:

Thanks Thorny. That's a big difference.

User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3810 times:

Quoting RC135U (Reply 20):
While the Mercury craft were picked up by helicopter, I think the Apollo CM was fitted by Navy swimmers with stabilizing flotation devices and the recovery vessel ("wessel" keeps popping into my head) was brought alongside and the ship's crane was used to lift it aboard (the crew having already been picked up and brought aboard by chopper).

 checkmark  You're right. I strolled thru the Nasa website; here's a couple of photo to demonstrate - they hoisted the capsules using a ship's crane.

Gemini 6 being hoisted aboard USS Wasp:


Apollo 4 test spacecraft hoisted aboard USS Bennington:



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
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