RC135U
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Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:01 am

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?
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:38 am

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.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:09 am

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.
 
Thorny
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:27 am

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).
 
Bobster2
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:12 pm

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.
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:48 pm

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?
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:17 pm

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.
 
Thorny
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:58 pm

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.
 
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STT757
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:32 pm

How about Kwajalein lagoon, they use that area for ICBM tests fired from California.
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RC135U
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:33 am

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
 
TedTAce
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:42 pm

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.
This space intentionally left blank
 
Areopagus
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:12 am

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.
 
Thorny
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:50 am

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.
 
RC135U
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:55 am

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.
 
cloudy
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:24 am

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.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:35 am

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.
 
Thorny
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:50 am

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.
 
Mir
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:01 am

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
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TeamAmerica
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:22 pm

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.
 
Thorny
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:44 pm

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.
 
RC135U
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:50 pm

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]
 
Thorny
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:43 pm

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
 
RC135U
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:27 am

Thanks Thorny. That's a big difference.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Where's Nasa Planning To Bring Orion Down?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:06 am

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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