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Delta IV Heavy suitability as a booster for a manned craft

Posted by: Andy Hill - Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:56 am
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Delta IV Heavy suitability as a booster for a manned craft 
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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:08 pm
Aldrin's Aouila concept (not the hybrid AMROC Aouila) design reminds me of an Americanized Energiya. Aldrin and Hu Davis know their business. Let's wish them luck.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:54 am
There seems a clarification to be required: I have been speaking of Aldrin's concept of astronaut hotels pendling between Earth and Mars. And Bigelow's inflatable stations could be the technology for such hotels.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:58 pm
I don't doubt the utility of inflatables--but External Tanks make for better cycler stuctures due to their strength and the ability to put solar panels on them--and use them to hold fuel in space. Large metal structures will always be needed. Th VASIMIR will need a lot of hydrogen--and metal tankage form ET's in orbit fits the bill.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:30 pm
I think that inflatables will make better crew habitats (the walls of Bigelow's are multilayered and a foot thick) but your right that there will be a need for in orbit fuel dumps acting as filling stations for ferry craft going between Earth, Moon and Mars, ETs could be used for this. I always thought that it was wasteful to throw the thing away after the shuttle got into space, the Space Island Group have some imaginative ideas about their use and even went as far as contacting Lockheed about adapting them.

Yet another reason to have a shuttle derived heavy lift vehicle.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:24 am
Nothing like those external tanks should be thrown away.

But tanks filled with propellant could be lifted to space by Scaled's concept too. The CEV-concept of t/Space would use Scaled's air launch to launch tankers into orbit and from the there to the moon too.

Wouldn't that mean that Shuttle-derived heavy lifters wouldn't be required for providing propellent/fuel to filling stations in the orbit(s)? It may be safer too to do several air-launches of small or medium-sized tanks instead of one vertical ground launch of one large heavy tank.

Where is my error?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:43 am
A Shuttle derived HLV would be used for many lifting tasks and as such it makes sense to use it to move fuel as well. Having a large capacity will mean that it is likely to be cheaper than a multiple launch system and could be configured that where light weight cargos take up most of the cargo volume additional weight capacity could be used for fuel which would be transferred to tanks in orbit, this would maximise the amount lifted on each flight. This approach would not be feasible on smaller craft.

Also there is the question of download capacity of equipment needing to return to earth which a shuttle derived HLV is likely to have.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:01 am
Sounds as if I have to change my image or what you mean by "heavy lifter" and "shuttle-derived" - I always had in mind the picture of the vertical groud launching Shuttle or/and someting like the Delta4 Heavy.

A much larger vehicle of that kind developed by Scaled would be good choice. And what about JP Aerospace's concept? It explicitly is aiming at transfer of cargo to orbit. The vehicle are very huge and it may be possibel to scale them up significantly. No rocket engines like that os SSO, no boosters and no propellent consumption up to 42 km altitude (John Powell wants to recover the helium in a later stage of development) and from there going up much higher by buoyancy and after that starting ion drives. Could it be calles Shutle-derived and/or heavy lifter too?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:23 am
When I speak about shuttle derived heavy lift craft I am thinking about something along the lines of Zubrin's Ares vehicle, see link

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/ares.htm

The capacity of over 100 tons to LEO makes the Delta IV heavy look like a sounding rocket. For a Delta IV to achieve the same payload it would need something like 6 or 7 common core boosters, not very desirable IMO.

Other designs such as a shuttle-C are not as good because of the side loads, but an external tank fitted with 3 SSMEs under it with 2 SRBs and a upper stage would give the capacity needed to get a lot of infrastructure where it was needed. Using a large capsule cargo hold mounted on top would give download capacity and an additional fuel tank could be inserted between capsule and upperstage to take fuel into orbit when the cargo was under weight.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:44 pm
I think the term 'heavy' has been abused. Boeing had the gall to call its latest thor-based elta a Delta II "Heavy"--simply because it used the taller solids from the Delta III abortion.

I call 'Heavy-Lift' as being 80-100 tons to LEO. I call Proton/Delta IV (3 CBC)/Ariane 5/Titan IV/Saturn IB medium heavy to medium.

I call Delta II a sounding rocket. :o


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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:29 pm
Unfortunately, there's not likely to be much of a market for truly heavy-lift launch vehicles until some infrastructure in space is established.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:32 pm
publiusr
Damn Straight about the abuse of the 'heavy' term. It's also very disappointing how much of the space-media let them get away with it. At the moment there are no truly heavy payload rockets.

spacecowboy
>>Unfortunately, there's not likely to be much of a market for truly heavy-lift launch vehicles until some infrastructure in space is established.
Not at today's prices :( and if that doesn't change we may all be old before we see that infrastructure.

Nick.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:29 pm
Perhaps ATK and Griffin will change that. There are a lot of people in STS who stand to lose jobs--and their representatives know it. This is where the "standing armies' everyone hates are useful. They squawk and get things done.

All we have to do is to shift the massive institutional from STS to STS derived HLLV's--and the thing enjoys the same inertia and becomes hard to kill. And we get five times the payload by leaving the orbiter off--with the same thrust at lift off.

Then--once the infrastructure is in place and, say, is producing goods--then real spaceflight will take off.

people accuse this of the "build it and they will come" thinking. Not so. We come first--and then we build.

The USA was pioneered by big sailing ships, and towns were established. Once the destinations were there--only then did Railroads become feasible. Only then did we build. They linked the Industrial northeast to the breadbasket to the cotton belt to the gold rush.

Large HLLV lofted destinations have to come first, before RLVs can come later.

The Soviets used rail as a means of exploration--and all it did was link one iced in port to the next--from one reindeer town to the next. It saved their butts in WWIi when whole factories--cities even--were moved by rail.

But at a price. The other reasons the USSR collapsed was due to their never having fully recovered from WWII. They lost millions of their populace, 60,000km of railway track, and many thousands or millions of homes burned. We in the states thought 9/11 was bad--but neither that nor the London Bombing raids could compare to the kind of loss. The Soviets endured. And yet the R-7 came a decade later.

The closest thing we had to that kind of loss was Sherman's March To The Sea. The rails were needed in Russia--but the scale was immense. The Trans-Siberian Railway celebrated its complete electrification in Christmass of 2002 after 74 years of work. The Baikal Amur Mainline--a northern clone/spur--cost 20 billion--and 200 million a year to subsidize--a total more than N-1 and Energiya/ Buran combined.

And then Afghanistan's losses broke their back--and their space program took the blame--wrongly. This is how you bankrupt a country--by fighting muslims in parts of the world you have no business being in.

For the 300 billion spent on this war--I could have had a Bering strait bridge done (making the Trans-Siberian link with the new world and justify its cost --at no cost to us. And I would have had plenty left over for HLLV lofted Space Solar Powersat demonstrators.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:29 am
As I know History only the New England states have been established by british forces. Around their garnisons fromed villages and towns beacuse the setllers were protected by the british forces.

These settlers were those who proclamed indepency from the UK and they founded thriteen states forming the United Staes of America.

So far you are right, publiusr.

But west of these thirteen staes there were wide areas not being part of any spanish or french colony - and no villages or towns have been there. Once the spanish and french colonies had become additional staes of the US a lot of farmers etc. went to thos regions that were no part of any countries, had no villages and no towns - the settlers and farmers were the ones who created the villages and towns.

And these farmers and settlers went there of their own and privately - european immigrants, people who didn't like the density of population in the US and so on.

This is an argument against your thesis that the goals to go to have to be there before RLVs make sense. The goals can be established privately as Bigelow Aerospace shows.

That view of yours simply is too one-dimensional.

History provides other examples too - look at ancient Rome when it was founded. There were people already but no such a goal like a town. The simple reason to go there was the Tiber and that it was a place where the Tiber easyly could be crossed - this and nothing else was the reason to go there and only that in turn was the cause that Rome was founded and created there.

The problem of the Soviets was their ideological system which required an organization focussed on their ideology Communism and neglected to look if production and distribution fitted into the needs of the people properly. This is a large and complex economic topic and so I will not discuss it in this section.



Hello, Andy Hill,

may be that the requirement to launch from Earth a heavy lifter heading for Mars can be avoided.

There are already discussions if it has advantages to launch a manned Mars mission from moon is advantageous really. And that question is justified so far - but that station opens an additional way not sufficiently considered yet - inh my eyes.

The alternative to lift one heavy vehicle is to assemble and build it in orbit. This requires a lot of launches but they can be done by existing vehicles and especially RLV. That's no news. To build a lunar station requires vehicles too and NASA wantS a CEV - I suppose and hope that the CEV will be a RLV too. To build the lunar station will require cargo lifters too - and these could easyly be used to assemble a Mars vehicle in orbit too. But all this still isn't the point but only preliminnaries to another thought.

The point is that if ISRU causes sufficient mining and industry at the moon components, parts and elements of a manned Mars vehcile could be launched from the moon too: some parts of that vehicle could be lanched from Earth and other from the moon.

A Shuttle-derived heavy lifter that launches a complete huge Mars vehicle can be launched from one place at a time only and couldn't use any advantages of another planet. It would be expensive. At could be cheaper to assemble and build the vehicle in orbit because a significant amount of parts could be delivered from the Moon and don't need to be borught down to Earth.

Perhaps the major protion of the Mars vehicle could come from the Moon - all except the interiors for the crew, the propellant, atmosphere, food and the crew themselves.: A Heavy Lifter from the Moon that is semi-complete.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:49 am
Hello Ekkehard

While I agree it is possible to assemble a vehicle in orbit this would increase its complexity and possibly compromise its design. Such a vehicle would have to be designed in a modular fashion and each part would be limited in size and weight, this would probably result in a vehicle that cost more and required astronaut assistance during assembly. Also there is a danger of damage occurring during assembly and docking sequence, DART bumping in to its target springs to mind. For these reasons I dont think that this is the best option.

With regard to using components launched from the moon, again this is another level of additional complexity that should be avoided. Also it will be some time before manufacturing facilities on the moon would be at the required level of sophistication and anything done sooner would again compromise the design. Finally the infrastructure at the moon required to create components would probably need a HLV to get it there so why not use the same vehicle to lift the craft.

The US's exploration goals will be difficult to achieve without a HLV and the use of smaller launchers will increase the time needed and the complexity of missions. So while in the short term the cost may be greater to operate a HLV, although there are probably arguments that it is cheaper, it will be required at some point so it makes sense to have one sooner than later:- especially if a STS HLV is built since a delay may result in facilities being closed that would be needed.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:18 pm
To clarify my thought a little bit I look at it from another direction now and go into one special detail first:

What I consider to be launched are assemblies of components, parts and elements that are optimized - not least parts but parts of a weight and a size that they cannot be launched cheaper from the other planet.

To launch 100 tons from Earth is more expensive than to launch 100 tons from the moon. This is valid too for each other weight to be launched.

It seems to be suboptimal to carry the 100 tons to moon piece by piece and then to launch it there. As long as it has to be done this way it would be better not to involve the Moon.

Now I change to a theoretical imagination. NASA wants to install a permanently manned lunar station and the idea is to make use of it someway for a manned Mars mission. NASA intends to apply ISRU.

Now ISRU could be extended to mine material at the moon that can be made parts of the 100 tons-vehicle for the Mars of. This would remove the idea to carry parts of that vehicle from Earth to the Moon. Provided the correct production equipments these parts the difference to the initial heavy lift concept would be the planet only.

Now it is to be expected that there will be permanently regular flights to the moon before the the production of or for the Mars vehicle is ready at the moon. So if the regular flights to the moon have capacity left they could carry partts to the Moon that a re produced on Earth. This would save costs because the fregular flights would be done without this cargo too - simply because of the station and the crew of that station.

In parallel to this other parts of the vehicle would be produced on Earth.

There would be a trade-off between the two planets based on the propellant-costs caused by gravitation and weight. The larger weight(s) would have to be launched from the Moon whereas the smaller weight(s) would have to be launched from Earth.

The risk of accidents and catastrophies during the process of putting together the earthian produced part(s) and the lunar produced part(s) could be reduced if this process woudn't take place in a LEO, HEO or GEO but in that Lagrange Point that is betwenn Earth and Moon. Before the process hasn't been terminated the 100 ton-vehicle wouldn't have available no propellant.

You are right - it will take time until there are sufficient production facilities and equipments at the Moon. But I can imagine these to be available until 2015 or until the date the building of the vehicle can be started - that date depends on large amount of decisons including political ones.

New technologies can be developed until then to ddo efficient mining and production at the Moon, to improve safety of the process of putting together parts and to dock components and to provide a hangar at the Langrange point.

The search for and the development of such technologies could be encouraged and stimulated - by the XPRIZE for example and by further developments of Bigelow's Nautilus and so on. To do so use could be made of the existing experience of docking and of working in space: Gemini, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab, Shuttle-mission to Mir, ISS, Apollo to lunar module, repair missions to Hubble and satellites. All such experiences should be evaluated to list requirements - separated into those a technological solution has to found for and those a technological improvement should be found for.

This doesn't mean "no heavy lifter" - it does mean one lunar heavy lifter and one earthian heavy lifter that would be less heavy than the luanr one I suppose: The heavy lifter thought is modified only.

I am thinking about a quite new propsal for a WTN XPRIZE this moment.




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