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CEV / CLV construction

Posted by: Andy Hill - Sat May 06, 2006 10:48 pm
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CEV / CLV construction 
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Post CEV / CLV construction   Posted on: Sat May 06, 2006 10:48 pm
I must admit to being somewhat disappointed with the latest developments in the ongoing CEV / CLV saga. It seems that every news item reports something that appears to suggest a dilution of capability or the reliance on old technology.

The use of te J-2X engine for instance, while being a good design, still dates from the 60s and I find myself wondering why a better/cheaper engine hasn't been designed in the last 4 decades that could be used.

Another point is the use of a capsule, while I admit that this is possibly a safer option, I also wonder why NASA cant build a much safer smaller shuttle when they must have loads of data on how these vehicles operate.

By using for the apollo type capsule I think they are being too conservative and have generated a lot of questions from the general public as to why bother repeating something that was done more than 40 years ago. I think that people were expecting to see progress and what they percieve is the return to a much earlier design with less capability than the shuttle. Now before anyone starts with the "its a totally different craft" and the "here are the differences" responses, I must stress that is not what most people see. It looks like Apollo so therefore that's what it is seems to have sunk into people's minds.

I think that NASA should have adopted a design that demonstrated that progress was being made rather than one where they had to explain what that progress was, even if the reality was that technical advances were not being made it would have looked like it.

There seems to be a tendancy to either concentrate on technology that is decades from being ready or alternatively been tried decades ago. Whatever happened to the stuff that was developed in the last 10 years or so, are we to conclude that it was all useless.

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Post    Posted on: Sun May 07, 2006 12:55 am
Burt Rutan agrees with you.
http://www.space.com/adastra/adastra_is ... 60504.html
I have gotten used to these continuing disappointments in the 30+ years since Apollo was cancelled. :(


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Post    Posted on: Sun May 07, 2006 5:42 am
I don't entirely agree that the technology is obsolete. In the near term, I see it as the only thing scalable and possibly cheap and simple enough for a enduring presence between Earth to the Moon.

What I disagree with NASA is probably the process. Ultimately, what screwed the space program is how its being run. They seem to exist in their own fantasy land which they decide what is workable and what is not. Occasionally, they are rudely disturb by the 'politicos' which they promptly co-op into their own little fantasy.


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Post    Posted on: Sun May 07, 2006 8:47 pm
Burt needs to shut his mouth. Making an ME-163 on steroids (that's forward thinking?) and a capsule are two different things. if it is so obsolete--why is t/Space going even farther back with CORONA capsules on steroids.

Rutan is a hypocrite.


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Post    Posted on: Sun May 07, 2006 9:02 pm
I didn't say that the technology was obsolete just that it was surprising that there were not newer alternatives being used.

Surely the mountain of data from all those shuttle flights could have been used to design a much better crew carrier than the 40 year old data from Apollo. Why be so conservative in their approach to the CEV? While I would agree that using "to be developed technolgies" should be avoided I would have hought they could have pushed the envelope a little further than they have.

The Kliper will be seen as a more modern craft even though its components are likely to be less technologically advanced because it will look like a newer design. NASA will find it hard to defend using "Apollo on steroids" when the likes of Rutan will be flying space planes and it will not matter a jot that those space planes wont be able to reach orbit. People will draw comparasons between the craft and wonder what NASA is doing with its money. Perception is everything and if people have to wait until 2018 for the CEV to fly beyond earth orbit then I believe NASA will have missed the boat.

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Post    Posted on: Mon May 08, 2006 4:39 pm
publiusr wrote:
Rutan is a hypocrite.
A hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does another. You may not like what he says and does, but as far as I can tell, he does what he says and says what he does.


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Post    Posted on: Thu May 18, 2006 6:20 pm
No, Rutan called CEV backward while at the same time going farther back in time with his pathetic little 'spaceship' little different in scale from KOMET.


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 19, 2006 8:14 am
No Publiusr you're quite wrong about Rutan. He does what he says he's going to do. His business reputation depends on his being able to deliver and he has certainly done that as evidenced by the successful business he runs. He also has engendered sufficient confidence in his operations to get other business people to put up money based on what he has to say to develop new air/space craft.
NASA on the other hand, hasn't done that recently to the same extent as evidenced by the ISS and the Shuttle. The ISS was supposed to be finished and isn't and the STS was supposed to increase safety levels for spaceflight and never managed to fly anywhere near the number of missions and reduce costs being the platform on which it was sold to the American public. Admittedly the scale of operations is totally different but the size of the organisations and relative resources for the programs being undertaken isn't.
I continue to follow both NASA and Rutan and I know who to put money on with respect to following through on their promises. That's not NASA bashing by the way as I believe that NASA has done many wonderful things through it's programs however I think that it's really dropped the ball in the human spaceflight arena and is having a lot of trouble picking it back up.
By the way, I read the study you recommended on cheap access to LEO - very interesting and thanks for the link. I'm still digesting the contents however I may have to rethink some of my previous positions.

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 19, 2006 12:56 pm
NASA has now decided to use RS-68 engines on their big booster rather than SSMEs

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/ma ... NGINE.html

Not sure what I think about this decision, while its going to be a lot cheaper than constantly throwing away SSMEs there is likely to be tooling issues in manufacturing due to the increased size necessary for the extra fuel.

I know these programs evolve over time but it makes me wonder whether NASA really thought everything through properly in the first place with all these major changes happening.

As to using shuttle technology I think that is becoming as rare as rocking horse s**t and seems to be somewhat misleading when mentioned by NASA.

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 19, 2006 1:43 pm
Hello, Andy Hill,

would it be a solution if in case of lunar missions the stages would be made fly around the Moon without entering a lunar orbit, returning to Earth and entering an earthian orbit then?

I am asking this because according to wikipedia etc. the third stages of the Apollo missions have been made to crash onto the lunar surface or to enter a solar orbit. Since this was possible I suppose that it perhaps might be possible also to do what I am asking here.

Stages in Earth orbit could be captured later and reused.

Waht about it?



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Post    Posted on: Fri May 19, 2006 3:10 pm
beancounter wrote:
...


beancounter,

You are getting it wrong. We all know Burt Rutan has delivered the goods and we all have the highest respect for what he had accomplished.

But with respect to him, what publiusr is pointing out is that in context of the quoted article, he appears to be contradicting himself.

He blasted NASA's conservative approach as being backwards. Yet, he should also be aware NASA had previously tried to go with the NEXT BIG THING approach (remember X33/Venture Star/ASTP blah blah?) with negative results.

The WK/Space Ship 1 launch system is elegant, yes, but the mothership/rocket plane concept owes a debt to the ME-163 and X-1/X-15. But what he had done was to refine the design, gave it new life (carefree re-entry, hybrid motor, extensive use of COTS) and more importantly, shown what can be done if a team is focus, well funded and does not need to deal with extensive red tape (again, it recalls the early days of Skunk Works...)

The bottomline is this, NASA will continue to remain a buercratic monster.

The best hope is really to get NASA to built useful but cheap (relatively speaking compare to the Shuttle) which can get humanity somewhere with my taxdollars and leave LEO to the private companies / winners of the COTS.


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 19, 2006 7:01 pm
publiusr wrote:
... pathetic little 'spaceship' little different in scale from KOMET.
Well, if ALL you care about is size... :roll:

Otherwise, SS1 is definitely an advance on the Komet. I am actually quite impressed than a plastic airplane can do Mach 3 and reenter without melting. Komet was subsonic, could not go to space and was made with materials and systems hopelessly primitive compared to SS1.

The CEV may be an advance on the Apollo capsule too, but with each new announcement, one more advance is being dropped from the program. If that continues, it won't be Apollo on steroids any more, it will just be Apollo all over again.


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Post    Posted on: Sun May 21, 2006 9:10 pm
I'll take it, believe me. The CaLV can launch one way hab bases, as was planned before Nixon crapped on things

From the web

NASA has a cool new CEV movie on the main page

http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html
Go down to NASA's New Spacecraft under MULTIMEDIA FEATURES.
It's Quicktime

I thought it was interesting that the new lunar lander is intended to be a LOT heavier and that the capsule had a land landing.


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 22, 2006 1:39 am
publiusr wrote:
NASA has a cool new CEV movie on the main page...


EXCELLENT and PROFESSIONAL animation ...but... the world's FIRST (very simple...) CEV from the Moon Flash animation was mine... published on my website months ago: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/003cevmoon.html

sorry NASA... :)

.

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Last edited by gaetanomarano on Mon May 22, 2006 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Mon May 22, 2006 4:38 am
Rutan may have started out with suborbital and got a bit distracted by the tourist part of that but he has mentioned a number of times wanting to go orbital and having solved all the theoretical problems bar one - guess that would be the political problem!! I bet he's already got the finance sorted out by now and that political is the only issue left. He and I think Branson have mentioned that that issue could still sink the Virgin Galactic tourist venture.
By the way, composite technology has been around for many years incorporated in both the small aircraft and yachting areas and is now being seriously incorporated into the large aircraft market with Boeing and Airbus looking to utilise it more in their large aircraft due to weight/strength considerations. Even the Shuttle has carbon/carbon structures and this is part the composite world.

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