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It's time to "standardize" the space hardware

Posted by: gaetanomarano - Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:49 pm
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It's time to "standardize" the space hardware 
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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:07 am
In Germany Engineers are required to write at least one study or report after half the time of their education. To do so they must work in the industry as member of a team of construction, development or so and then write about it. This way they are required to get insights into practice and link and connect it to what they are teached at university.

I don't know if that's still so today but past in the eighties when some of my friends studied engineering it was valid.



Hello, Sigurd,

of course I agree that there should be several competing standards - which is so in the IT as well.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:47 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
I read that Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) doesn't have to make up new material, he can just take it from e-mails he gets from real working stiffs everyday.
When I was working at Motorola they cut back on janitorial service and each employee had to empty his own wastebasket. Right after that Dilbert's company did the same thing. Some people told me that Adams got half his material from Motorola.


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Post Re: It's time to "standardize" the space hardware   Posted on: Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:37 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
I think it's time to STANDARDIZE the space hardware to reduce costs.

When will finally arrive the "IBM PC" & "MS-DOS" of space industry?


It's happening in some way with parts and components of larger space systems, and has been going on for quite some time, but you won't necessarily read about it in the press. Mind you, the press only realized the impact of the PC after something like 20 years.

On the other hand, it would be foolish to consider a CXV or ATV as a PC. You should consider them like, say, Deep Blue the super chess computer. You wouldn't expect major computing centres to be standardized. You will expect them to use custom configurations of standard computers within, and something comparable is happening in many areas of satellite design. It's still some way off for launch vehicles and certainly a long way for manned systems, but there's no denying the trend goes there.

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Post Re: It's time to "standardize" the space hardware   Posted on: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:35 pm
Max Lange wrote:

It's happening in some way with parts and components of larger space systems, and has been going on for quite some time, but you won't necessarily read about it in the press. Mind you, the press only realized the impact of the PC after something like 20 years.


you've focused the real point of my proposal

I don't suggest to standardize "something" (like a few parts of serial-built TV sats)

I suggest to standardize BIG, expensive and VISIBLE parts

the real standardization is to have many (cargo or crew) vehicles (or, better, one vehicle with different versions) that can be launched with many rockets, with standardized launch pads from many spaceports

the tragic aspect of standardization is that it is only a (good) proposal and will never happen in next 20+ years since NASA will build its own CEV with a special made rocket, Russia will increase in the next years the number of its own Soyuz and China will use its own capsule also to build its own space station (with a special version)

we can only hope that China will build a better vehicle and sell it at a very low cost to all the countries of the world that want to go in the space

so, we will have a de-facto standardization... like with to-day's PCs

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:32 am
Hello, gaetanomarano,

there are two factors which might force standardization or are standardization.

The first one is the reusable Falcon of SpaceX. Up to now only the first stage is reusable but the reusability of this first stage means that diamter, length, volume and engines are fixed resulting in limitations for upper stages mounted on that reusable first stage. And these limitations again imply limitations for the diameter etc. of payloads.

So the reusability of the first stage of the Falcons might generate standards of the payloads regarding diameter, size, volume of payloads.

The second factor is Burt Rutan's air launch. Here too the reusability is one essential factor that will cause a standard to evolve but there are additional factors here. 1. The airplane as the first stage limits the weight of payload + booster + propellant that can be launched. 2. The space between the lower side of the airplane and the runway limits the diamter etc. of payload + booster. 3. Air launch according to Air Launch LLC simplifies the technology of the second stage regarding ignition etc. - so air launch might this technology to become a standard.



Of course - the expendable rockets are standardized also but their diameter, size etc. can be modified each time such a rocket is required and produced - and for each launch a new rocket is required. This is not the case reagrding reusable rockets - modification of diameter etc. is nearly impossible.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:14 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Hello, gaetanomarano,

reusable Falcon of SpaceX.

The second factor is Burt Rutan's air launch.



I agree with you that not all parts can be standardized and, especially, not the expendable rockets, this is the reason that I prefer the RLV (like a new, little, safer and cheaper air-launched Shuttle for the crews and a few tons of cargo)

but I think that new designs MUST standardize (at least) the most expensive parts

three examples from last monts' news:

1. the (wrong) use of two rockets (CLV and CaLV) for the VSE moon missions instead of ONE reliable Single Launch Vehicle (see my signature's link) like the successful SaturnV

2. the use of two different engines (the earth-started, non-restartable but throttleable SSME and the air-started and restartable but non-throttleable J2X); why don't make ONE air/earth-started, restartable and throttleable engine, build it in dozens units and sell also to privates and other space agencies, so it's unit cost will falls? This is very important with expendable vehicles costs (five SSMEs cost $300m!)

3. Instead of use the 4-segment "dumb" SRB made for the Shuttle (that costs only $40m each) NASA will use two (different!) 5-segments SRBs that need many changes, many years of research and test and up to $3 billion of R&D!

That choices not only haven't any standardization but not even ONE pound of rationality!

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:04 pm
Hello, gaetomarano,

I agreed with you - my post was meant to say that there is hope that it will happen what you consider to be required. It's a pity that it seems that it can't be expected to be applied regarding NASA's present plans.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:13 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Hello, gaetomarano,

I agreed with you - my post was meant to say that there is hope that it will happen what you consider to be required. It's a pity that it seems that it can't be expected to be applied regarding NASA's present plans.



Probably some changes will happen.

I'm sure that the final VSE/ESAS rocket will be ONE and not two, because the time, costs and risks of build and use two rockets will grow every day to reach unacceptable levels.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:08 pm
gaetanomarano - what you said in your previous post is exactly why I argue that what we need isn't so much standardization as launcher independence. The fundimental problem with the ideal of a single standard is it doesn't allow for any sort of advancement (not that the current plan allows for it either)

To a certain degree,what your arguing for remind me of Otrag, something I think is a great idea, but unfortantily isn't really being pursued right now.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:11 am
FerrisValyn wrote:
gaetanomarano - what you said in your previous post is exactly why I argue that what we need isn't so much standardization as launcher independence. The fundimental problem with the ideal of a single standard is it doesn't allow for any sort of advancement (not that the current plan allows for it either)

To a certain degree,what your arguing for remind me of Otrag, something I think is a great idea, but unfortantily isn't really being pursued right now.


OTRAG demonstrate that standardization is possible, works and that it may live or dead only by political decision, not due to technical problems

but NASA don't need to use the OTRAG to standardize the ESAS

despite ESAS is not an international program, NASA may save many $Billions with:

1. build one (standard) SLV intead of two rockets

2. use the (standard and reliable) 4-segment SRB of the Shuttle instead of build two new SRBs

3. develop and use the same (standard) engine for 1st and 2nd stage of the SLV

4. etc.

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Post    Posted on: Sun May 07, 2006 8:13 pm
I agree, The Stick may be such a drain that CaLV will have no support.


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Post the BEST and FAST way to build the SLV with STANDARD parts   Posted on: Fri May 12, 2006 8:52 pm
.

In some posts I've suggested to use a Single Launch Vehicle (SLV) instead of two (CLV and CaLV) as explained in my article here: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/004.html

Then, in this thread I've suggested to "standardize" the space-hardware to reduce costs.

Also, I've proposed a possible standardization of the NASA hardware using ONE model of liquid engine, ONE model of solid engine, ONE model of rocket for all missions, etc.

Now I've had the idea to build a new Single Launch Vehicle FASTER (to save time and money) using not the "shuttle-derived" technology but the SAME (ready available) Shuttles' hardware!

I explain my idea in detail (with a drawing of the "FAST-SLV") here: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/005_SLVnow.html

What do you think about?

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Post    Posted on: Mon May 15, 2006 9:06 am
I think you are missing the EDS (Earth Departure Stage) needed for LEO insertion & TLI (Trans Lunar Injection). Weighs about 240 tonnes. That's why they need the bigger CALV and a separate CLV.

NB: A significant part of the shuttle's 'payload' is the SSME's and thrust structure. You can't include that as available payload for your design. You've already included it & more in the booster!

And your shuttle derived booster is overkill for crew & light cargo delivery to the ISS. Part of the problem with the shuttle is it doesn't separate crew & cargo missions.

Also the engines required for high thrust sea-level launch, and for vacuum operations need very different pressures & expansion ratios. One size does not fit all. Even the shuttle uses much smaller OMS engines for orbital insertion and retro.


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 15, 2006 9:54 am
Hello, WannaneSpaceCadet,

as I understand gaetanomarano up to now he simply wants standardization regarding payload-geometry and -weight as well as regarding the stages/booster/vehicles for sea level launch OR vacuum operations. But he has not in mind to use same or identical engines for sea level launch as well as vaccum operations.

In so far he might be also right regarding the Single Launch Vehicle for Crew and Cargo - I don't understand that as if he wants both crew and cargo to be launched together. I understand it as follows: The two vehicles should have in common as much as possible - they might for example be based on the same standardized engines for the sea level launch and standardized boosters for the sea level launch but the CaLV might use more of these standardized boosters than the CLV.

This mean that the Single Launch Vehicle is adjustable to the purpose - crew launching or cargo launching.

...



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Post    Posted on: Mon May 15, 2006 11:49 am
WannabeSpaceCadet wrote:
I think you are missing the EDS...


physics' laws hasn't changed from apollo era

the EDS don't needs to be four times the CM/SM/LEM system but only (about) 55% of the total CM/SM/LEM/EDS weight

in the ESAS plan the total weight of EDS/LSAM/CEV/SM is about 150 mT (25 launched with the CLV and 125 launched with the CaLV)

the 4-astronauts' CEV/SM is 25 mT, the 4-astronauts' (+ 2 mT of moon hardware) LSAM is 45 mT and the EDS for TLI is 80 mT

with a 3-astronauts' mission, resized vehicle/fuel and the exploration hardware sent separately (for 5+ missions) the total weight of the system may be around 110 mT

in my drawing of the FAST-SLV the white cylinder is the EDS, the white cone is the LSAM's shell and on its top there is the CEV/SM

the weight of the shuttle is about 109 mT max, 9 mT is the weight of the three SSME and the max (nominal) payload is 28 mT

if you put the three SSME and its basket (about 15 mT in total) under the SLV, you can put the rest of the paylaod (110+ mT) on the top of the rocket (the other parts of the SLV have the same weight of a shuttle launch)

the real problem of the shuttle is not the launch of crew+cargo (that is a BIG advantage to move and assemble the payload in orbit) but its very high maintenance costs (and, now, also the risk to fly with an old vehicle)

in the SLV the SSME are used EXACTLY like with Shuttle, if the SLV payload needs an OMS for orbital insertion, it can be added (a "light" version, since the Shuttles' OMS is also used for other purposes)

.

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Last edited by gaetanomarano on Mon May 15, 2006 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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