SATL382G
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N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:20 am

Griffin just wrapped up his press conference. I'm sure it will replay on NASA TV over the next couple of days.

Press release here:

http://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/cev.html

Exploration Systems website:

http://exploration.nasa.gov/

I noticed some fubars. One graphic of a CEV launch shows it heading south from Complex 39(over a fair portion of populated FL), this graphic is over Griffins left shoulder as he takes questions..... The launch tower in the graphics sure looks a lot like the Apollo tower, which they just scrapped the last one of... I'm sure I'll see more fubars....

edit: griffins briefing slides
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/133654main_ESAS_charts.pdf

[Edited 2005-09-19 18:45:41]
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
SATL382G
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:57 am

Griffins video to accompany briefing...

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/cev/CEVedit2.mov
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
bmacleod
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:38 am

So we're back to the Apollo-era capsule? Well, if it costs a quarter or a third of a shuttle launch and it's a safe and realiable system, I guess the best choice for now...

[Edited 2005-09-19 19:39:16]
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
TedTAce
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:54 am

The Video omits how we are supposed to start a Moon base and move on to Mars.... another fleecing of an already bankrupt America  Sad And here comes Rita!!
This space intentionally left blank
 
Thorny
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:05 pm

Quoting SATL382G (Thread starter):
I noticed some fubars. One graphic of a CEV launch shows it heading south from Complex 39(over a fair portion of populated FL), this graphic is over Griffins left shoulder as he takes questions..... The launch tower in the graphics sure looks a lot like the Apollo tower, which they just scrapped the last one of... I'm sure I'll see more fubars....

Funny, but that's the same NASA photo used as a background in the Freedom 7 launch sequence in HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon". Unforunately, you can see Complex 39 and the Shuttle Landing Facility in the background in FTETTM. Oops.

NASA's definitely going to need new umbilical towers for this, anyway. I just wonder if they're going to level one of the pads and build a new dual purpose tower (SRB CLV and Heavy Lifter) or make two separate Mobile Launch Platforms... one for each type of launcher, and just leave all that hardware on the pad and modify one for each. The could probably put the CLV's tower actually on the Mobile Launcher, like they did Apollo, but the Heavy Lifter is going to need an independent tower (weight on the Crawler is the real constraint), and probably something like Apollo's Mobile Service Structure.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 3):
So we're back to the Apollo-era capsule? Well, if it costs a quarter or a third of a shuttle launch and it's a safe and realiable system, I guess the best choice for now...

The cost of the SRB-derived launcher is likely to be in the neighborhood of $250 million (about 40% that of a Shuttle launch) yet the SRB/Stage 2 combination will be the most powerful launcher in the US inventory (60-70,000 lbs. depending on whether or not it uses the Five Segment Booster) so this should be a significant cost improvement over the Shuttle. And since the number of Solid motors (1 vs. 2), liquid engines (1 vs. 3), and staging events (2 vs. 3) is reduced from that of the Shuttle, it should also have a markedly higher success record.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 3):
The Video omits how we are supposed to start a Moon base and move on to Mars.... another fleecing of an already bankrupt America Sad And here comes Rita!!

Because talk of the Moonbase and manned Mars exploration is just a little too close to putting the cart before the horse. I think the first two years of moon landings (that's only four landings at the stated 2 per year) should be used to scout locations for the lunar settlement, anyway... say two missions each to the North and South Pole areas. Which means we won't need to start planning the base until 2015 or so.

There are hurricanes every year, you know. I didn't notice Florida vanish into economic oblivion after getting hit by four of them last year. Florida, fortunately, was considerably better prepared for them than Louisiana, it seems. I hope Texas is, too, because that's where Rita is headed.
 
centrair
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:23 pm

Who got the contracts for the CEV? Is the an all Boeing/Grumman job?

Apollo was cramped. This thing is to be 3 times the size of Apollo but hold twice as many people. Any ideas on how it would be internally?

That lander certainly is tall... For apollo the LM was only 2 meters off the ground and was cramped for 2... This thing is huge. How would it work?

How do you save money when you are using two rockets, larger cargo, more fuel and crew?

Up to 7 days on the moon. Are we back to fecal containment bangs? No showers for 7 days? That CEV/LL can't have all that stuff?

I guess I was expecting something a little...cooler.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
Thorny
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:26 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 5):
Who got the contracts for the CEV? Is the an all Boeing/Grumman job?

The competition is still open between Lockheed-Martin and a Boeing/Northrop-Grumman partnership. NASA will award the CEV contract early next year.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 5):
Apollo was cramped. This thing is to be 3 times the size of Apollo but hold twice as many people. Any ideas on how it would be internally?

I'm not really sure where NASA is getting "3 times the size" figure. 3 times the size of the Apollo CM would be an Apollo-shaped spacecraft almost 40 feet across. Obviously, not likely. I suspect it will be about 17 feet in diameter (Apollo was 13 feet, the SRB is a little over 12 feet in diameter).

Apollo was capable of supporting five astronauts safely (the SkyLab rescue configuration which was built and almost flew) and there was concept work completed that showed six was easily possible with rearrangment of internal systems and even nine could be packed in for a minimal mission at considerably greater risk (hard landing would have been unsurvivable, otherwise it would work.)

Quoting Centrair (Reply 5):
How do you save money when you are using two rockets, larger cargo, more fuel and crew?

- The two rockets will have numerous parts in common and operate from the same launch facility. The Solid Rocket Booster will launch both the Crew Launch Vehicle and the Heavy Lifter. The CLV's second stage will use one Space Shuttle Main Engine while the Heavy Lifter will use five. The Heavy Lifter's Earth Departure Stage may simply be a wide-diameter tank variant of the CLV's second stage. (FYI the Delta IV already offers two different diameter versions of its second stage. Centaur once was available that way, too.)

- Tankage is just more metal. They will simply add an additional barrel section to the Shuttle's External Tank.

- Fuel is cheap. The cost of propellant is lost in the noise compared to hardware costs.

- It has fewer crew... four (Moon) or six (Space Station) compared to Shuttle (which usually launches with seven and once launched with eight.)

- Current projections show that the CLV will cost about $250 million per launch and have a payload capacity of up to 70,000 lbs. That compares to around $550 million for the Shuttle's 60,000 lbs. payload, or Titan IV's $300 million cost for around 50,000 lbs. payload. And the CLV's booster is reusable.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 5):
Up to 7 days on the moon. Are we back to fecal containment bangs? No showers for 7 days? That CEV/LL can't have all that stuff?

This concept clearly seems to be aimed at more than just a series of independent moon landings. The lander's payload capacity is MUCH greater than Apollo's, and the vehicle will be designed for autonomous operations so that it can be an unmanned cargo ferry. The CEV is solar powered, enabling very long stay-times in lunar orbit. The first few missions will likely be scouting for future moonbase sites (probably at one of the lunar poles) and after that they'll start setting up a base using habitat modules landed by unmanned lunar landers.
 
cloudy
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:45 am

Why are they using the SSME rather than something from the EELV, since they don't appear to be reusing the engines? Are we going to see a new, expendible version of the SSME?
 
SATL382G
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:31 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
I'm not really sure where NASA is getting "3 times the size" figure.

I'm guessing they're talking internal volume vs. external dimensions

Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
The lander's payload capacity is MUCH greater than Apollo's, and the vehicle will be designed for autonomous operations so that it can be an unmanned cargo ferry

19 Sept Aviation Week mentions that the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) can preposition 20 tons (!) to the lunar south pole while operating in the unmanned mode.

Sounds like a base building truck to me...
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
dl021
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:42 am

I'm all for it, but before we try to get this passed there needs to be a serious presentation and discussion of the reasons for such exploration.

What is there on Mars that merits us going there to look further for resources we will need.....either here on Earth or on Mars as we look to develop ourselves further and spread our population beyond the earth?
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
AirRyan
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:19 am

I heard that $110b was going to be needed for manned-moon/mars flights and than of course you could basically double that number to allow for NASA's ineptitude but suffice to say, today's NASA isn't worth half of the $110b.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:51 am

>> I heard that $110b was going to be needed for manned-moon/mars flights

$110B... over more than 13 years.

That's about $8.5 billion every fiscal year, half of which fits into NASA's existing $4 billion dollar manned space flight budget. A few billion can be realocated from NASA's existing budget by consolidating other programs and expendetures. In reality, only 2-3 dollars per year (over NASA's exsting budget) are needed to carry this vision.

Adjusted for inflation, this is half of what Apollo cost. It's a bargin by any measure.

>> than of course you could basically double that number to allow for NASA's ineptitude

(1) It's fun to bash NASA, but we are anything but inept  Yeah sure

(2) Tough(er) luck. The "spiral-based" development cycle puts much more responsibility on the contractors to deliver as promised, rather than sticking NASA with the bill no matter how the product turns out.

>> today's NASA isn't worth half of the $110b.

That makes zero sense. The whole point of this vision is to get NASA back on track to solid exploration and science.
 
Thorny
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:20 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 7):
Why are they using the SSME rather than something from the EELV, since they don't appear to be reusing the engines? Are we going to see a new, expendible version of the SSME?

NASA seriously considered both the J-2S (an uprated version of the Saturn V upper stage engine) and the RS-68 (Delta IV's Main Engine) but chose the SSME because it is more efficient. The SSME has the highest specific impulse (thrust per pound of propellant) of any operational rocket engine. It will need to be modified for in-flight starting and will probably get a nozzle optimized for vacuum operation (versus the sea level / vacuum compromise of today's nozzle as well as RS-68) but neither will be a huge project.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 10):
I heard that $110b was going to be needed for manned-moon/mars flights and than of course you could basically double that number to allow for NASA's ineptitude but suffice to say, today's NASA isn't worth half of the $110b.

The $104 Billion figure is from now until 2018. That's $8 Billion per year, or more or less what NASA has been paying for the last ten years for both Space Shuttle and Space Station. Hence NASA's claim that they don't need funding increases for this.

The $104 Billion already allows for normal cost overruns. Think about it: NASA says that the new Crew Launch Vehicle should cost $5 Billion to develop and that the new Heavy Lifter is expected to cost between $5 and $10 Billion. That's $15 Billion. That leaves $89 Billion. Is a new Lunar Lander and a new Apollo really going to cost roughly five times what it cost to develop the entire Space Shuttle (around $20 Billion in today's dollars)? Three times the cost of the entire International Space Station (around $30 Billion so far not including the Shuttle launches to assemble it)? Hardly. They've already accounted for the "we botched it" factor, as OMB would insist upon before okaying it.
 
centrair
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:22 am

I have more questions... Last night I went back and read parts from books on the Apollo program as well as explored some online diagrams.

Question 1) In Apollo we used LOR (Lunar Orbit Rendevouz). It was chosen over Earth Orbit Rendevouz (EOR) and Direct Decent (DD). We barely understood rendevouz when this all happened but they figured it out. There were tons of technologies we didn't understand but..hey NASA's got dem smart folks you know. The cost of LOR was far lower than EOR and DD. This time around we are doing both EOR and LOR. Is there a massive cost efficiency here?

After every launch of the new system the following things are thrown away:
- Center tank of the Heavy Lift
- Lunar Lander
- Lunar Lander platform
- Upper stage of Heavy Lift
- Upper stage of the CEV Complex
- Service Module of CEV

That seems like a lot of trash.

Question 2) In Apollo there was a Trans Lunar Injection burn (TLI) that took the "stack" out of Earth Orbit and put it on a course for the moon. When they approached the moon, they did a Lunar Orbit Insertion burn (LOI) to put them into orbit. Then there was the TEI on the way home (Trans Earth Injection). Then the craft comes in at 2 million mph or something nutty into a corridor of 5 degrees.

The new program is exactly the same. WHY NO EOI? Why not slow down the velocity with an Earth Orbit Insertion burn? Slow as they come in, go into an Eath orbit, square things away and then when all is good do a deorbit burn.

If I remember right, the Command Module of Apollo came in pretty hot and much of the sides were damaged. The CEV will experience the same problems. Wouldn't an EOI make it so that landing has lower G forces, reduced velocity, reduced friction and therefore save money on any repairs that would need to be done on the CEV before it is reused?

Question 3) I could not find a diagram that states the dimensions of the Shuttle's crew compartment. If the CEV is 3 times the volume of Apollo, I am wondering how close in size it would be to the crew compartment of the shuttle?

Question 4) Not very well thought out but...was looking at a bit from Mission to Mars (not the best film). NASA was consulted heavily for that movie. They wanted some more realistic and not futuristic spacecraft. Much of the design of that spacecraft is the same as what we are looking at today. If the movie is any indication, could the CEV actually be like the camand/landing vehicle in the movie (minus the crew area where Tim Robbins and wife dance)?

Sorry so long. Couldn't decide where to post these questions.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
Thorny
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:50 am

Quoting Centrair (Reply 13):

Question 1) In Apollo we used LOR (Lunar Orbit Rendevouz). It was chosen over Earth Orbit Rendevouz (EOR) and Direct Decent (DD). We barely understood rendevouz when this all happened but they figured it out. There were tons of technologies we didn't understand but..hey NASA's got dem smart folks you know. The cost of LOR was far lower than EOR and DD. This time around we are doing both EOR and LOR. Is there a massive cost efficiency here?

Yes, in that seperating the crew from the cargo (the lander and the boost stage) allows more cargo. That explains why both the CEV and the Lander will be much larger versions of their old Apollo analogs. The new Heavy Lifter can launch about 50,000 lbs. less than Saturn V, I suspect. But with the Crew Launcher taking up 70,000 lbs on its own, we get a net advantage of 20,000 lbs. payload over Apollo. Together with new, lighter-weight technologies, we get a sizable payload advantage over Apollo.

Also...

- It saves the cost of man-rating the new core booster of the Heavy Lifter (what you call the Center Tank)

- It gets the CEV flying a lot sooner than if we had to wait for the new Heavy Lifter to be ready.

- It makes a Crew Launcher available for missions that don't need the Heavy Lifter, such as flights to the International Space Station

Quoting Centrair (Reply 13):
Then there was the TEI on the way home (Trans Earth Injection). Then the craft comes in at 2 million mph or something nutty into a corridor of 5 degrees.

The new program is exactly the same. WHY NO EOI? Why not slow down the velocity with an Earth Orbit Insertion burn? Slow as they come in, go into an Eath orbit, square things away and then when all is good do a deorbit burn.

Lunar return is around 25,000 miles per hour.

Earth Orbit Insertion is prohibitively expensive. There are only two ways to do it: fire an engine to slow down from 25,000 mph to 17,500 mph or use aerobraking in the Earth's atmosphere to slow down.

If you use an engine, you need the fuel to slow your speed by 7,500 mph, or about 40% of orbital velocity. Or put another way, you'd have to carry to the Moon and back a rocket 40% as large as what you need to launch from Earth into Earth orbit. Obviously, that's a mind-bogglingly large rocket to haul to the moon and back.

If you use aerobraking, you're going to need a VERY big heat shield. And if you're hauling around such a big heat shield, why bother going into Earth orbit? Just go straight on in and land on Earth. (A compromise, with a smaller heat shield making several less-intense passes through the atmosphere to gradually slow down, won't work... the resulting flight path would take the CEV through the Van Allen radiation belts repeatedly... not good for the health of the crew or the electronics on the CEV.)

Quoting Centrair (Reply 13):
Question 3) I could not find a diagram that states the dimensions of the Shuttle's crew compartment. If the CEV is 3 times the volume of Apollo, I am wondering how close in size it would be to the crew compartment of the shuttle?

Apollo had 6.17 cubic meters of internal volume.
The Space Shuttle Crew Compartment has 66 cubic meters.

If the CEV indeed is three times larger than Apollo, it should have about 18.5 cubic meters of volume.
 
centrair
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:40 pm

Wow, Thanks Thorny for answering my questions. They were very fun to read and informative. Welcome to my respected user list.

This was my first time to post in the Military/Space forum and it has been much more pleasurable than in Civil Aviation.

Thank you.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:39 pm

>> After every launch of the new system the following things are thrown away:
- Center tank of the Heavy Lift


The "center tank" is an external tank, which is already thrown away after each mission. The ET tanks are relativly cheap to manufacture, and since an in-line configuration will be used, they can shed foam like crazy without major consequence.

>> - Lunar Lander
- Lunar Lander platform


As I understand it, the lander missions will be clustered in regions that could put the lander remains to good use in the future.

>> - Upper stage of Heavy Lift

I know of no way to recover this stage, or use it for anything of purpose. On a Mars mission, perhaps a tether artifical gravity system could be established with the spent stage acting as a counterweight, but this is unnecessary for any Lunar mission.

>> - Upper stage of the CEV Complex
- Service Module of CEV


*Shrugs*

That seems like a lot of trash.

The U.S. over-rated "reusability" in the Shuttle era, and we have learned that sometimes it is safer and more economical to just pitch certain items. The Shuttle program was so expensive because it was reusable, the vehicle required intensive maintenance between flights. Imagine doing that for multiple stages of the 2020 Lunar project. There's no way time and budget considerations could be kept.

The CEV should prove a highly durable vehicle that could easily last as long as Soyuz. This leaves the door open for more advanced (possibly more reusable) lifting vehicles in the future.
 
Thorny
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:29 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 16):

I know of no way to recover this stage, or use it for anything of purpose. On a Mars mission, perhaps a tether artifical gravity system could be established with the spent stage acting as a counterweight, but this is unnecessary for any Lunar mission.

There actually is one way to get more use from the Earth Departure Stage... land it on the moon.

Believe it or not, Apollo's S-IVB stage was fully capable of landing on the moon if they'd done a few things to it...

- Attach landing gear and radar
- Make the J-2 capable of deep throttling (the J-2S engine would have that capability.)
- Add an extra battery or two to extend life out to three or four days.

Remember, Apollo 9 had already demonstrated that the S-IVB could be sent out of Earth orbit all by itself.

There were serious proposals to use spent S-IVB stages as the basis of later Apollo Lunar Bases (the same thinking led to the SkyLab "wet" workshop studies). Of course, the S-IVB wouldn't have had much payload, probably just itself and an airlock module, but it does suggest how the new lunar bases might be built.
 
SATL382G
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:45 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 17):
Believe it or not, Apollo's S-IVB stage was fully capable of landing on the moon if they'd done a few things to it...

- Attach landing gear and radar
- Make the J-2 capable of deep throttling (the J-2S engine would have that capability.)
- Add an extra battery or two to extend life out to three or four days.

Interesting thought....

I should think they would have also had to add at least attach points and cabling for some sort of long term power.....

Residual LOX could be used for breathing. What about the Hydrogen? Might not be desirable to just vent it overboard.... Water perhaps?
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:38 am

>> There actually is one way to get more use from the Earth Departure Stage... land it on the moon.

I must admit that I had not thought of that! Since you already spent the energy sending the stage on a lunar trajectory, it would make sense to find some use, if possible.

>> Residual LOX could be used for breathing. What about the Hydrogen? Might not be desirable to just vent it overboard.... Water perhaps?

Well... some boil-off would inevitibly occur, but if a few hundred liters could be recovered, that would be of some use. O2 and H2 can be used for electricity, water, oxygen, propellent, etc.
 
Thorny
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:20 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 19):
Well... some boil-off would inevitibly occur, but if a few hundred liters could be recovered, that would be of some use. O2 and H2 can be used for electricity, water, oxygen, propellent, etc.

There would be LOX boiloff, but not a serious problem. Note that the CEV is designed for six months on orbit, and it will have a Liquid Methane/LOX engine.
Liquid Hydrogen is the real killer. That's one reason NASA went with methane instead of LH2. By the way, the P&W RL-10 engine has already been test fired using Liquid Methane instead of Liquid Hydrogen, so we pretty much already have the engine we need.
 
SATL382G
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:32 am

Interesting ATK website....

http://www.safesimplesoon.com/default.htm

The crew survivability study on the site is a must read, though I hadn't read it all yet.... abort options will be interesting to see...
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
centrair
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:16 pm

Using methane in just brilliant. It so simple and can be produced easily.
I wonder how this would work? Would you have three tanks with valves? H, C and O tanks. H and O mix to produce water and in electricity. You have H and C and mix it to produce Methane. The only problem would be if there was a mix up and some C and O got mixed...not a pretty sight.

In Wisconsin, there was a farmer who took the cow pies, some of it was used for fertilizer but he had excess so he started burning it to produce electricity to cut his bills. He produced too much and sells it to the grid now. Cows produce a lot..especially if you have 300 head. Now 4 humans in a rocket going on a 6 month trip to Mars could produce a lot of of Methane...why dump it overboard or store it when if burned could propel your ship as well as make electricity. In reality, could astronauts enroute to mars, or while on the moon or mars use their own fecal material to produce some of the carbon or methane needed? Could they extract it? My wife says that I could fuel a rocket...well.. could I?

(sorry if that was a little to graphic but I am actually serious)
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:53 am

>> In reality, could astronauts enroute to mars, or while on the moon or mars use their own fecal material to produce some of the carbon or methane needed? Could they extract it?

(1) Enroute to Mars there is no need to produce fuel, you're simply coasting. The idea of in-suito fuel production is to land and then produce the fuel to get home.

(2) Fecal matter. No, there are more abundent and easy to process sources of carbon than human fecal matter. The little fuel (remember that methane/LOX isn't very high energy) extracted from human waste would probably not be worth the energy and mechanical complexity required to do so.

(3) On the surface of Mars, atmospheric carbon dioxide is a much more logical source of C than fecal matter. On the moon, it would probably just be easier to take the methane with you.

----------

Question- does anyone know if the ETS will have the ability to reuse the 5 SSME used per flight? If the engines were clustered in a detachable pod, they could make a ballistic re-entry over Australia or the Indian Ocean. I know the economics of reusing rocket hardware don't always add-up, but I would be suprised to see NASA throw-away 5 SSME per flight.
 
GDB
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:22 am

We've all read the inevitable naysayers berating the first decent, focussed, NASA manned exploration programme in decade in the general media, "it's just Apollo 2.0" is one comment.

To me, that is actually a complement, Consider how successful Apollo was, the huge returns in science and technology, not least in microelectronics it brought, how the basic mission to beat the USSR was extended, (Apollo J missions, Skylab).

We've had huge plans before.
The 1969-70 NASA Space Task Group, fully reuseable Shuttles, huge space stations, orbiting and surface lunar bases, NERVA nuclear upper stages, all culminating in manned Mars landings starting in 1982, or 1986.
The huge costs and poor political timing went down like a lead balloon, NASA got (only just) a compromised Shuttle and nothing else.

20 years later, Bush 1 proposes basically an updated Space Task Group report, same response.

Griffins scheme has many attractions, use of existing if adapted hardware, a simple, durable Shuttle replacement in the CEV, goals that sound modest, but are do-able, not too expensive and could lead to follow on programmes.
Remember, if this goes to plan, it will be the first walk on an extraterrestrial body for 46 years.
NASA are right to start slowly.

Mars has to be the long range manned target, whilst it may seem a retrograde step in returning to the Moon, the experience gained will be vital, in any case, 12 men spending at most, three 7 hour EVA's do not constitute exploration of the Moon.
We should explore and eventually when feasible, exploit the Moon.

The baseline mission proposed, even the modest 7 day initial surface stays, will be a quantum leap from even an Apollo J mission.
Twice as many crew, spending over twice as long on the surface, they could work in two 2-man shifts, should have better rovers, (though for later missions, aimed at establishing a base, pressurised rovers will be required, as well as for Mars).

Getting away from both the Moon and Mars, this hardware will also provide NASA with the means to explore, maybe exploit, Asteriods, huge potential mines floating out there waiting to be understood.
I use the word 'mine' in both the resource exploitation and weapon of war meanings, knowing a lot more about these bodies might one day become a vital matter of species, or at least our particular societies survival.

The Dinosaurs never had a space programme.
 
cloudy
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:40 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 23):
Question- does anyone know if the ETS will have the ability to reuse the 5 SSME used per flight? If the engines were clustered in a detachable pod, they could make a ballistic re-entry over Australia or the Indian Ocean. I know the economics of reusing rocket hardware don't always add-up, but I would be suprised to see NASA throw-away 5 SSME per flight.

There are no plans to reuse the SSME, or else the report would certainly have said so. That would have been a major aspect of the program if it was done. Reusing something once it has been in orbit is problematic - it just ruins the mass ratio (the ratio of the payload weight/total launch vehicle weight). It is also very complicated. On the space shuttle, it cost more than it was worth even by conservative measures, as DFWRevolution says. Building a heavilifter of the size envisioned with reusable engines taken all the way to orbit would be a truly monumental undertaking. Such a vehicle may even have to be to big to launch from the Cape. They might keep reusing the booster casings, however. I wouldn't even rule out a return of the liquid flyback booster for the heavilifter, when there is no more urgency surrounding the impending close of the shuttle program. This has the potential to increase payload, decrease per launch costs, and improve safety.

If we knew from the start that reusing the SSME was a bad idea, the shuttle orbiter would probably been put on top of the external tank. This would have prevented the Colombia disaster, and perhaps Challenger as well. It solves a whole bunch of other problems. This kind of vehicle is more inherently stable and easier to design because it does not have to withstand high loads in as many places. My guess is that one could use cheaper hardware in some parts of the SSME if there is no reuse - so the new SSME's would be cheaper than the old. SSMEs were not designed to be reused nearly as often as the orbiter
airframes were anyway.

As for just using an expendible engine. I asked about this before, and thorny gave a pretty good reply ---

Quoting Thorny (Reply 12):
NASA seriously considered both the J-2S (an uprated version of the Saturn V upper stage engine) and the RS-68 (Delta IV's Main Engine) but chose the SSME because it is more efficient. The SSME has the highest specific impulse (thrust per pound of propellant) of any operational rocket engine. It will need to be modified for in-flight starting and will probably get a nozzle optimized for vacuum operation (versus the sea level / vacuum compromise of today's nozzle as well as RS-68) but neither will be a huge project.

Anyway, there seems to be only 2 truly new things in this architecture -
The methane engine of the "service module". and the new inline architecture of the heavilifter. Both seem to be pretty straightforward, though I'm sure the launch infrastructure for the heavilifter will be expensive.

I am dissapointed in this plan in that it is decidedly unambitious. Returning to the moon, even with a permanent base(which is not in this plan), is not going to excite people like a Mars or even an asteroid mission will. With this plan it will be a long time before we even have people out in space with hardware proven to be reliable enough to go to Mars. We won't have that until we have had people on the moon for months or years. An asteroid mission would force us to design the right kind of hardware to go to Mars from the start, because it would take a significant ammount of time and would be far enough from earth not to depend on being able to just bug out. It also would not involve landing on a body with significant gravity, so we would not need a complicated lander spacecraft - "landing" would be no more than an extended spacewalk with some extra equipment. An asteroid mission need not use any more delta V(rocket power, essentially) than a moon mission. But that may be to much to expect from the NASA of today. It is just to innovative.

HOWEVER, If we really DO need to relearn almost everything we learned in Appolo, we may need something like this plan. It would not surprise me if we do need to relearn that stuff, since a lot of the institutional knowledge built up in that program is gone now. Going straight to mars, or even doing an asteroid mission, would be to ambitious in that case. Its sad but if that is the reality it is good to see NASA admit it.

This plan does have the look of something that was made with the INTENT OF ACTUALLY DOING IT. That is a refreshing change from the NASP, the Venture Star, the OSP, and a whole slew of other powerpoint crap and boondoggles that we have been put through in the last 20 years. With those projects, one wonders if anyone in the know ever actually believed in their heart of hearts that they would work as advertised. NASA has finally chosen to try something easy enough that we can actually blame them for failing to do it, yet hard enough to be worth doing. That does take some guts, and ya got to respect that  Smile. They also are not depending on foreign partners for critical work - and that shows that we have learned something from ISS.
 
centrair
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:27 pm

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 25):
They also are not depending on foreign partners for critical work - and that shows that we have learned something from ISS.

I get your point up to the quote above. I just don't see the problem. Were the foreign counterparts really that bad?

I believe the biggest bug for the ISS ended up being the shuttle. It was required for assembling the thing and led to the reduction in size of the ISS just out of its age. Maybe the rest of the world shouldn't have depended on the U.S and the shuttle?

In the artist's drawings and the 3D virtuals for the CEV, it looks like there are two windows on either side and forward of the main hatch and some more windows on what would be a lower equipment bay. Could it be possible that there would be four seats in an upper level(two forward and two aft) and space on a lower level for two removable seats?
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
SATL382G
Topic Author
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:26 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 26):
I get your point up to the quote above. I just don't see the problem. Were the foreign counterparts really that bad?

The problem wasn't the quality. The problem was that the components were late and underfunded. ISS depends on the Russian Service Module for life support and this component was considerably delayed. This resulted in a considerable delay in the start of permanently manned operations. Meanwhile U.S. components were starting to be stockpiled at KSC waiting to be launched in proper assembly sequence. This problem was further exacerbated later by the delay in shuttle launches following the Columbia accident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISS_Zvezda

Quoting Centrair (Reply 26):
It was required for assembling the thing and led to the reduction in size of the ISS just out of its age.

Please explain how the shuttle is responsible for the reduction in ISS size.

[Edited 2005-09-26 11:36:57]
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
cloudy
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:36 pm

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 27):
Please explain how the shuttle is responsible for the reduction in ISS size.

Probably, he is refering to the many components that can only be launched with the shuttle. If the shuttle dissapears these components have no ride. Also, the delays due to the Colombia disaster have played a part. Largely because of these delays, the station probably will not be built up to full size. If it ever is, some of the components will have a lot of age to them.

I didn't mean to blame all of the ISS's problems on the Russians. The ISS's failures were inherent the program's design. The main problem with ISS is that delays in any of the main partners' space programs could delay the whole project. First we waited for the Russians. Then the Russians waited for us. Too many things had to go right for it to work. Expenses went through the roof as we struggled to piece everything together.

The space station is sometimes touted as a foreign policy success. However, Ive heard that outside the US the space station is refered to as "America's White Elephant". We may never be able to lift the European and Japanese labs with the shuttle like we promised. This is not the way to make friends and influence people.

The ISS is a monumental failure by any reasonable measure. That does not mean we should abandon what is already in orbit or waiting on the ground to be launched - but it does mean that we should try to not make the same mistakes again in new programs.
 
SATL382G
Topic Author
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:17 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 28):
Probably, he is refering to the many components that can only be launched with the shuttle. If the shuttle dissapears these components have no ride. Also, the delays due to the Colombia disaster have played a part. Largely because of these delays, the station probably will not be built up to full size. If it ever is, some of the components will have a lot of age to them.

Centrair said the shuttle had led to an ISS size reduction like it was a done deal. It remains to be seen if the shuttle launch only components will fly or not. Too early yet to pronounce the patient dead.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 28):
The ISS is a monumental failure by any reasonable measure.

Wow!! I'm gonna have to call you on that statement, it's very broad and very damning...

Is ISS a program without direction? Yes. Is the program a budget and schedule buster? You bet. It is not however a monumental failure... It hasn't crashed. It hasn't killed anyone. It is doing useful some useful science. It is providing longterm spaceflight operations experience.

The crews and machines are, within reason, doing exactly what we sent them up to do.

[Edited 2005-09-26 17:22:46]
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4303
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:20 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 28):

The ISS is a monumental failure by any reasonable measure. That does not mean we should abandon what is already in orbit or waiting on the ground to be launched - but it does mean that we should try to not make the same mistakes again in new programs.

Try to see the positive aspects: The ISS was planned as an US project in the 80s and morphed to the biggest international, non military project mankind has ever undertaken. A lot of things went wrong, thats true, yet it actually worked to unite Russians, Europeans, US-Americans, Canadians, and people from many other continents for that project...

It is true that we shall try to learn from the mistakes, but I think the most important message of the project is: There were a lot of disasters, but somehow it was always managed to find a solution. The Russians were never supposed to support the ISS alone for 3 years, yet they managed it (with financial help from the partners). This alone is a big achievement: No matter how big the problems are, the station is still up there, and, as I am convinced, it will be finished...

This is a good message for future projects: There were many problems, but in the end, the partners of the project were reliable...
 
Thorny
Posts: 1508
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RE: N.A.S.A Releases Plan For Manned Space

Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:06 am

Quoting Centrair (Reply 26):

I believe the biggest bug for the ISS ended up being the shuttle. It was required for assembling the thing and led to the reduction in size of the ISS just out of its age. Maybe the rest of the world shouldn't have depended on the U.S and the shuttle?

No one depended on the US and the Shuttle. That's why the Russians were brought in to the program: they offered access to the Station independent of the US. Unfortunately, the Russians have also been deficient in meeting their obligations to the Space Station program (specifically, they were over a year late delivering the Zvezda Service Module, and have never met their quota of Progress resupply flights.)

The reduction in size of the ISS had nothing to do with the Shuttle's age. Remember that the heaviest Shuttle mission ever launched only went up in 1999 (the Chandra X-Ray Observatory) after Space Station assembly had already begun. The problem is actually that the Russians joined the program. For the Russians to be able to launch their spacecraft to the Space Station, the Station's orbit had to be shifted from the original 28.5 degree inclination (due east out of Cape Canaveral) to an inclination of 51.7 degrees (more or less due east out of Baikonour, with a few population-overflight restrictions added in.) That cut the Shuttle's payload by roughly 40%, consequently forcing about a 25% reduction in the size of the Space Station modules and forcing NASA to launch even those half-empty. The number of Shuttle flights, as a result, went up, not down, after the Russians were brought in. Together with redesigns needed to make the US-led half of the Space Station work properly with the Russian-half, the expected cost savings of involving Russia vanished.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 28):
Largely because of these delays, the station probably will not be built up to full size. If it ever is, some of the components will have a lot of age to them.

That actually happened well before the Columbia disaster, when the Russians scaled back plans for its Universal Docking Module so that they could use old Mir backup hardware (which can accomodate only one attached module instead of four in the original design.) As a result, the three Research Modules were cut to only one, and the Docking and Stowage Module was deleted, since the already-launched Piers needs a place to park once the UDM arrives... if it ever does. The scaling back of the Research Modules also led to a reduction in size of the Russian Space Power Platform, cutting in half its number of solar arrays.

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 29):

The crews and machines are, within reason, doing exactly what we sent them up to do.

Exactly. And the two biggest problems, one each from Russia and the United States, are in areas where the experience will be extremely useful to long-duration flight beyond Earth orbit in the future. I am referring to the Vozdukh oxygen generator malfunctions on Russia's Zvezda and the Control Moment Gyroscope problems on the US's Z1. For these reasons, ISS is likely to be, in the future, considered a vital learning ground prior to humanity's expansion onto other worlds.

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