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Boeing's "original" Space Gas Station

Posted by: gaetanomarano - Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:27 pm
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Boeing's "original" Space Gas Station 
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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:24 pm
Sigurd wrote:
Then why do so many people fail?


unfortunately, not all companies can be successful, not even if they are pioneers in their fields

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:08 pm
.

two further suggestions/options about MY proposal of ESAS orbital refuel:

1. the "pink tank" and the Orion's SM could (both) have two-three refuel-ports/pipelines (to increase the refuel reliability to 100%)

2. the "pink tank" and the Orion's SM could store enough propellents for (both) LOI and TEI (the global lunar-convoy weight will be a few tons more than now, but the LSAM hardware will be lighter and the landed payload mass higher)

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:30 pm
The more interesting aspect of Boeing's propsal and concept are others in my eyes.

The article referred to also says that
Quote:
Down the road, Boeing’s gas station could provide even more benefits than an improved lunar payload. Communications companies could improve their satellite payloads to geostationary orbit and beyond.


This is sounding a bit is if vehicles for interorbital traffic might be required because the depot would be in one particular orbit while the payloads and satellites will be in different orbits - higher, differently shaped or with a different inclination.

The next aspect is that there are different propellants than LOX/LH2 - LOX/cerosene, LOX/methane (futurely), NTO/ADMH - also. For different purposes different propellants might be used.

So one question is if the concept can be enhanced to multiple propellants - which would enable enhanced success regarding business and regarding the costs of all kinds of flights - orbital, interorbital, lunar, interplanetary and even powered landing on Earth to enable or ease reusability (Kistler-concept - perhaps similarly applied by the second stages of SpaceX's Falcon 9, Falcon 9 Heavy and the Falcon 5 not yet under construction).



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...Boeing's propsal and concept...


the Boeing's evolution of my "ESAS orbital refuel" is better but very complex and expensive (since it need a complete change of architecture of the ESAS plan) while MY proposal is EASY and PRAGMATIC since it add several advantages with a small increase of costs (so, it can happen soon)

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:20 pm
Hello, Gaetanomarano,

please let's leave away the aspect of "expensive". The concept clearly is an investment to be depreciated over time - and thus this aspect of THIS concept completely is subject to the Financial Barriers section.

The article you refer to explicitly mentions that the concept is going beyond ESASA and its architecture.

The concept is NOT restricted to be applied within ESAS and assists more than one flight towards the Moon.

While for each flight a least one complete new Ares needs to be produced the depot need to be produced onyl once for all flights. This is the significant property of such a depot.

The change of the architecture of the ESAS-plan this way may be expensive but can result in a trade-off by a reduction of the costs of each flight to the Moon - there will be a critical number of flights beyond which Boeing's concept will make the flights cheaper. And this really is subject to the other section.

Such depots mustn't be kept or judged with the constraints of one single project or plan like ESAS - which also has to do with the very long lifetime of such structures in space.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:55 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...please let's leave away the aspect of "expensive"...


unfortunately we live in a REAL world where "costs" are the #1 problem

despite NASA is the biggest space agency of the world, it has no money for such big plans

space refuel stations could become real only with an international effort

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:10 pm
Hello, gaetanomarano,

first of all costs and structure of costs are explained in the Financial Barriers section by a particular thread where questions can be asked and so on.

Next - as can also be understood from the thread mentioned above - costs don't have to do with money really nothing. Costs are consumption and use - consumption means something disapperaing or being during use while use means abrasion or depletion during use which economically is taken into account via depreciations.

Third NASA has set up or is thinking about a Centennial Challenges prize for such depots - Boeing's concept might be considered under this aspect.

Fourth my hint that the depot mustn't be kept or judged within the constraints of ESAS or similar projects easyly can be understood as meaning that NASA will NOT be the only one paying for the depot because the depreciations of the depot can be charged to everyone who takes fuel from it.

Fifth the depot can be refueld by SpaceX'S Falcon 9 Heavy for example.

Sixth it can free the Areses from carrying fuel into the orbit which is required to launch towards the Moon - it opens up the alternative to reach the orbit nearly empty. And then the lunar lander can be carried by the same rocket that also carries the crew and the CEV.

This again would save the expenses for the Ares 5 which would be repeated each flight towards the Moon.

All in all a portion of the $ 104 bio ESAS is estimated to require can be saved or spent for better purposes this way.

Although I now have continued to speak about the economics of it this all can be understood technologically - THE CONCEPT SIMPLY ENABLES TO SHIFT WORK TO OTHER TECHNOLOGIES ALOS REQUIRED FOR THE MOON URGENTLY AND IT OPENS THE CHANCE TO GET EXTENDED ASSISTANCE BY THE CONGRESS.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:51 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...structure of costs...


every time I suggest a new concept I'm aware that it needs funds NASA don't have (until the Congress will give them, of course) so I don't talk of any "structure of costs"

clearly, have that fuel launched with low cost rockets could solve half problems, but we need (first) to see that rockets really FLY

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:09 pm
Hello, gaetanomarano,

regarding your issue
Quote:
every time I suggest a new concept I'm aware that it needs funds NASA don't have (until the Congress will give them, of course) so I don't talk of any "structure of costs"
I seriously have the impression that you didn't read my previous post precisely - FUNDS DON'T BE COSTS NO WAY.

It indeed can be that Boeing themselves will fund the depot and offer to everyone to be refuelled from that depot. Then ONE of the "everyone"s can be NASA - and they only will have to pay a portion of the depreciations each flight they will refuel there.

In such a case NASA don't have to fund the depot but have to bear a few costs only. They don't have to invest money or development then.

Others would have to pay as well and so a lot of users will pay to Boeing who wil fund the depot themselves this way.

Under this aspect it makes sense to involve the concept into ESAS and save some development and the investment into it.

Additionally the depot could win Boeing a Centennial Challenges prize for which money is reserved explicitly.

Boeing is able to develop, construct and build and install the depot in orbit themselves since they have all the required rockets. Because of this your hint that
Quote:
we need (first) to see that rockets really FLY
is irrelevant completely - it is valid regardless of ESASA and its architecture.

Vehicles and rockets can be seen to fly to the ISS since years - so they doubtlessly can fly to such depot as well.

And to get one rocket or vehicle fly is less difficult than to get two different rockets fly.

Boeing's depot is a significant improvement of ESAS and synergies with the Centennial Challenges which should be discussed without your personal anger and suing Boeing.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:57 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
FUNDS DON'T BE COSTS


I know the difference, but you know how NASA works... they propose a plan and the Congress give it the money... they can't make big changes in the plan without a Congress' decision, and, of course, a change needs some funds now (that will save costs in future)

Quote:
Boeing is able to develop, construct and build and install the depot in orbit themselves since they have all the required rockets.


if Boeing funds the space gas station the problem is solved

Quote:
Because of this your hint that
Quote:
we need (first) to see that rockets really FLY
is irrelevant completely - it is valid regardless of ESASA and its architecture.


but it's not "irrelevant" on "space fuel prices" since it depends from the price of the rockets used (infact, I refer to the Falcon-like low cost rockets)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:39 am
Hello, gaetanomarano,

since you seem to agree reagrding the economics to a large degree only one hint and then really the aspect of economics should be ignored here.

The one hint is that based on issues by Elon Musk, numbers published by SpaceX, some articles and logical conclusions from it all done and going to be continued in the SpaceX-related thread of the Financial Barriers section point to the possibility and opporotunity that the price of fuel delivery via the Falcon 9 Heavy may drop down to $ 1 mio to $ 2 mio per flight - per flight 24,750 kg of propellant can be launched to Boeing's depot. Per kg the costs then are $ 40.41 kg to $ 80.81 kg plus the production costs of the oxidizer and the fuel which in the case of LOX/LH2 are known to be $ 0.08 and between $ 1 and $ 3.60.

So the costs of the propellant don't matter.

But technologically that's much more obvious because each Orion must launch the propellant into orbit nonetheless - and to do so required additional amounts of propellant which tend to increase the price.

Additionally the Orions are expendable - and will require much integer multiples of the propellant-costs. So the Orion-technology causes the major amount of costs by far.

The technology of Boeing's depot would free not only one Orion-launch from a significant amount of propellant to be carried - it would free EACH Orion-launch from that amount. It also would free the orion itself from some weight of tanks and from the danger linked to unconsumed LOX/LH2.

As far as others beyond NASA are allowed to refuel from the depot it would assist much more technologies and reduce their R&D-costs in the case of test-flights in space.

Also Ad Astra's plasma-engine could be assisted because that engine-technology will require LH2 only nad by much less amounts only. Ad Astra might install their engine in space unfueled, then fuel it from the depot and do tests. After testing the prototype certified Ad Astra-engines could also be launched empty, be fueled from teh depot and then go to the satellite they are designed to be docked to - IF such a docking really would be done or considered at least.

...



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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:03 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
So the costs of the propellant don't matter.

true, that's why I refer to the launch costs

Quote:
The technology of Boeing's depot would free not only one Orion-launch from a significant amount of propellant to be carried - it would free EACH Orion-launch from that amount. It also would free the orion itself from some weight of tanks and from the danger linked to unconsumed LOX/LH2.


no, the Orion use a small amount (about 8 mT) of HYPERGOLIC propellents, not LOX/LH2, that's why MY "pink tank" refuel is more rational than a giant fuel depot

the LOX/LH2 fuel depot could be good to fill the EDS and the LSAM descent stage (to launch them with a smaller AresV)

however, I doubt that Boeing will launch the Space Gas Station with its own money since:

1. rumors say that these big companies gain very low (or no) profits from space hardware and they do that ONLY for prestige

2. a fuel depoth is useless if there are no "refuelable" vehicles, so, it's very important that NASA change it's plans to allow the use of orbital refuel

3. the NASA and government contracts are TOO important for Boeing, so, they can't build a Space Gas Station without NASA or (worse!) "against" NASA... do you forget the influence of politics?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:04 pm
Hello, gaetanomarano,

regarding
Quote:
the Orion use a small amount (about 8 mT) of HYPERGOLIC propellents, not LOX/LH2
I am quite sure that Boeing knows lof the correct oxidizer and fuel the Orion/EDS will consume and wouldn't propose a LOX/LH2-depot if these weren't the correct propellants. And the informations published I know say that these are the propellants.

Rumors - you are mentioning aren't reliable informations but speculations. They can be applied and used only by placing an "If" before them and also applying something that is different to what rumours say.

Essential contracts and orders have gone to Lockheed Martin instead of to Boeing - so Boeing may consider the depot the best equivalent for it. They also may be preparing for the upcoming future of reusable rockets which will make the business of expendable rockets go down. SpaceX's Falcon 9 Heavy will be a serious competitor beginning in 2009 - two years from now - according to the actual Launch Manifest of SpaceX. So there is a threat to existing Boeing-rocket-technology and the depot may be a part of a long-term strategy Lockheed seems to be NOT working on. So such a strategy could put boeing in front of Lockheed in the longer or the long run.

NASA is interested in such depots explicitly and it would drive down NASA's costs - so it is likely that they can get the assistance of NASA. Else they wouldn't talk to NASA about the involvement of their depot into ESAS. In doubt Boeing has power over NASA and not reverse. This indeed is the influence of politics. Trusts like Boeing are as mighty as governments. The depot really may increase the chances that NASA changes to orbital refuelling and the devlopment of more vehicles and rockets that consume the propellants made available at the depot.

The fuel depot might be used by Boeings rockets also - it might free Boeing from being forced to develop HLLVs because their existing rockets might carry heavier payloads to the orbit of the depot first. refuel there and then transit into any higher orbit being the correct destination of the payload. Or their depot might be used if a payload has been placed into a wrong orbit from which the depot can be reached - thus the depot could improve reliability.

These aspect also are sufficiently interesting that Boeing really might launch the depot at their own costs.

The interesting aspects of this thread really are the questions of extending it to other propellants also and of its incentive to develop vehicles for interorbital traffic or inter-satellite traffic.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:07 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...aren't reliable informations but speculations...


many times "rumors" had become "news" within a few time...

lately, rumors said that Boeing has won the Ares-I 2nd stage contract thanks to a "too low offer" made NOT to gain profits but ONLY to be "part of the game" (after they lose the Orion contract)

Quote:
NASA is interested in such depots


we can be sure of that ONLY when NASA will change its long-term ESAS plan from "fueled" to "refuelable"

Quote:
In doubt Boeing has power over NASA and not reverse. This indeed is the influence of politics. Trusts like Boeing are as mighty as governments.


if that's true, why do Boeing has lost ALL big ESAS contracts?

Quote:
These aspect also are sufficiently interesting that Boeing really might launch the depot at their own costs.


maybe or maybe not... this is one of those things we can believe to ONLY when happen... :)

however, I doubt that Boeing will build an orbital depot, because the "orbital price" the "fuel" launched with its Delta will be close to the price of a fueled AresV

a REAL saving on costs will be possible ONLY if the propellent will be launched with (cheaper) russian rockets or (best) with low cost new.space companies' rockets

so... do you think that Boeing will buy dozens Falcon-1 ro refuel its depot?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:37 pm
Hello, gaetanomarano,

it seems I have by error been speaking of Orion where I meant Ares - I referred to the rocket doing the launch but dod NOT mean the CEV, the vehicle.

IF they really have charged a too low price then this the more may be a reason to really propose the depot because to produce a second stage at too low prices again and again would or at least might mean to suffer losses again and again. The depot-technology may free them from such losses.

The interest of NASA in depots can be seen by:

Quote:
NASA's Centennial Challenges Program Seeks Input On New Prize Competitions

Category: Acquisition News

NASA's Centennial Challenges Program released today draft rules for six new prize competitions. NASA is seeking external comments and collaborating organizations in order to finalize and initiate these Challenges.

The six prize competitions encompass a range of capabilities and technologies, including: on-orbit propellant provisioning, lunar astronaut rovers, space suits, advanced power storage, orbital sample return, and solar sails. NASA released a Request for Comments (RFC) today that asks potential competitors and other interested parties for their comments on the detailed rules and achievability of the following competitions:

Fuel Depot Demonstration Challenge
( ctd.hq.nasa.gov/cc/cc_announcements.htm )

Quote:
RELEASE: 06-057


NASA's Challenges Program Seeks Input For New Competitions



NASA's Centennial Challenges Program has released draft rules for six new prize competitions. NASA is seeking external comments and collaborating organizations to help finalize criteria and to initiate these challenges.

The program promotes technical innovation through novel prize competitions. The six prize competitions encompass a range of capabilities and technologies. NASA has released a Request for Comments asking potential competitors and interested parties for comments about the detailed rules and achievability of the competitions.

The competitions are: Fuel Depot Demonstration Challenge;...
( www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/feb/HQ_06 ... enges.html )

Regarding the loss of all big ESAS contracts they share the power over NASA with Lockheed Martin - but they have power over NASA because NASA don't produce rockets themselves. Loc´kheed and Boeing also have joined some of their power by forming ULA. The market is t0 90% a dyopoly - which means power over all customers including NASA but rivalry between the two who share the power. This can be compared to memebrs of a clan having all the power over a country - the members of such clans tend to kill each other. Saudi-Arabia is a good example of that.

Regarding your final remark keep precisosn - I said "interesting" which only means that they consider it to be worth to be investigated, analysed and checked including the check for future advantages, revenues and so on. And if this is the case never can be checked by watching if a rocket will launch a depot or parts of it - it is quite clear already because it has been made public by the article you link to. They already have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars by making engineers employed at them into such a plan - otherwise they wouldn't have made it public.



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Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.



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