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HLLV vs. high flight rates: A look at economies...

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:53 am
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HLLV vs. high flight rates: A look at economies... 
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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:36 pm
pnichols wrote:
publiusr wrote:
There is nothing valid about it at all. We use containerships, not rowboats.


That's because there is an ocean shipping demand on the order of millions of tons a week. Let's take the example of the trans-Atlantic trade, which started with Basque fishermen about 600 years ago, give or take a couple of decades. For the first two-thirds of that period, trans-Atlantic trade was carried exclusively in vessels the size of a large modern yacht. Larger ships didn't start to appear until less than 200 years ago. .


Until Brunel showed that large metal ships were doable--and his critics didn't want anything more than clippers and came up with BS economic arguements to support their prejudices.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 24, 2006 4:12 am
publiusr wrote:
Until Brunel showed that large metal ships were doable--and his critics didn't want anything more than clippers and came up with BS economic arguements to support their prejudices.


Brunel's experience is more of an argument for sizing the transport capacity to the market. His first big ship, Great Eastern, was an economic and technical disaster. His later ships, which were more the size of the existing clippers, were more successful.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:19 am
Surely you mean his earlier ships were more successful? Brunel was on his death bed when the Great Eastern went on her maiden voyage. AFAIK his ships started of big and only got bigger.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:37 pm
nihiladrem wrote:
AFAIK his ships started of big and only got bigger.


That was my point.

It was quite good at laying the Trans-Atlantic cable, after all. It may be that Space Elevator work will help HLLV as that Cable did for large ships.

The big stumbling block is to get people over their instinctive, knee-jerk bias against larger LVs in the same way that people refused to support large metal, ocean-going ships. You just have to do it.

Korolov did with the HLLV of its day--the R-7.

It was a disaster as an ICBM---no silo capability.

I guess it died quietly didn't it?

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Suc ... r_999.html

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz.html
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz_acts.html

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russi ... s_999.html


Yeah, Korolov really made the worlds first "ICBM" too large didn't he? If only he had listened to the 'experts,' why---if that had been done and their biggest rocket was Topol-M--we'd have no space program...anywhere.


Many in Germany hated the idea of a four-engine heavy bomber--thought it was useless. Few advocated it in that country. Then came the B-17 and the Lancaster, proving the worth of heavy aircraft in wartime.

A half century later, B-52 joins the R-7 as two remaining Cold War icons still in service--existing outside the caprices of the market.

Guess which one people pay 20 million a pop to ride in.

Take that, Air Farce.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:37 am
The problem with the Great Eastern was that it was just too big for the level of shipbuilding technology available at the time. The engines were too weak so the ship performed poorly and it cost too much to build so it lost money. Developing that technology on smaller ships would have saved a lot of money.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:11 am
So as long as the engines are powerful enough, and it's cheap to build, it should be a success? That just illustrates why the Space Shuttle never lived up to its promise, and Ares 1 is in trouble.

Bring back Sea Dragon!


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:34 am
The problem with the Great Eastern and the N-1 for that matter is that their designers entered decline as they were being built. Both of those projects were begun with the premise that great singular engineers would oversee each detail of the project. However the designers were just to worn out at that point in their lives to keep it together.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:12 am
"Small reusable vehicles can revolution access to space the way microcomputers revolutionized access to computing"


Surely the best rebuttal to this is that microcomputers very quicky were developed to be just as powerful as early minis and mainframes, ie they could do a useful amount of real-world work. Small rockets are never going to be developed to the point that they can do just as much as a big rocket, even the earliest big rocket, so the analogy is spurious.

The term 'access to space' also deserves scrutiny. I can just about jump up and touch my living room ceiling, but this is not a practical form of access if I want to paint it. Most current efforts at cheap, easy access to space amount to jumping up and touching the ceiling. "Hey, mom, look what I can do! I'm a big boy now!"


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:58 am
Hello, xiphius,

I deleted the duplicate of your post just a moment ago.

But I also musz oppone to a portion of the contents.

For use in my own posts in tgi section as well as in the Technology section I did a lot of looks into source of the internet and into printed sources in between and analyzed the informations and data via calculations, comparisons and more.

The results are very similar nearly each time - there is no advantage of HLLVs over smaller rockets or vehicles. Raelly NO advantage.

The talk here is about costs and economies of scale and scope. No such economies seem to exist.

That small rockets can't lift as much weight as HLLVs is no valid argument. Any valid argument has to be based on answers to the question if the cost per kg at the HLLV are below the costs per kg at several flights of smaller rockets. This also MUST include the question if the HLLV is reusable or not, if it really is or will be reused or not and if the capacity of the HLLV is exhausted to any degree above the critical degree.

If the businees doesn't allow for ehausting the capacity of the HLLV at one flight to above the critical degree then a number of flights of smalle rockets tends to be cheaper. This is valid the more if the small rockets are reusable.

So each rocket has to be evaluated regarding investment into it, reusability, capacity in comparison to other rockets, degree of exhaustion of capacity to be expected and more.

There is one post of mine in the technology section as well as in the Lunar Siyuz-thread in this section where it truned out that there seem to be no fuel savings by HLLVs.

So smaller rockets really can do what HLLVs do and they can do even more - it's a matter of management, organization, infrastructure and logistics. It's a matter of economics.

To look if the single small rocket can do as much as a HLLV at one flight is an improper view. To want everything done by one single flight doesn't have to with economics but with comfortability - Economics never said that economics are comfortable. Comfortabilty doesn't mean cheapness.

I am not out on comfortability of rockets and production here but on productivity of operations, projects etc.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:23 pm
Hi Ekkehard

Thanks for tidying up after me.

I'm not arguing for HLLVs, I'm arguing against a spurious and incomplete analogy (though I may end up using some, I'm only human). Computing was revolutionized, and more importantly, went around revolutionizing everything else, because microprocessors delivered orders-of-magnitude improvements in cost/capability ratio. A paper aeroplane is cheap and reusable but it does not do much apart from provide amusement. Cost-effectively doing something useful is what matters.

I imagine there are diminishing returns at either extreme. An excessively large rocket has excessive overheads in its own structure. With excessively small rockets, the overheads will appear in making an excessively subdivided payload work. Should we build one massive unique rocket to launch a 450-tonne space station, or a million mass-produced rockets each carrying a 'Lego brick'? Both approaches are preposterous, but there is a range of sensible approaches in between to be delineated by the work of engineers and economists.

There is no argument that all rockets should be small or all rockets should be large. We will always need both. I am hopeful that many different approaches to launch vehicles will be successful, and find or create their own niches in a diverse market.

Reusability looks like a good idea economically, but has a history of being abandoned. Glass bottles, nappies and condoms spring to mind. Comfort and convenience come into it. People will pay more for comfort and convenience. Reusability has not been particularly beneficial to the costs of the shuttle. Reusable heat shield, great. Reusable heat shield with the robustness of meringue, maybe not so great. Reusability without robustness seems almost like a liability.

So I am not arguing for HLLVs. I will say there seems to be no one magic bullet for overall economic system performance, whether it is reusability, expendability, bigness, smallness, whatever. Different horses suit different courses.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:54 pm
idiom wrote:
The problem with the Great Eastern and the N-1 for that matter is that their designers entered decline as they were being built.
I don't agree about the Great Eastern (I won't comment on the N-1). The problem with the great Eastern is that it was too big and under powered. That was because it was built too soon. Any engineer trying to build such a large ship that year would have built essentially the same ship. The technology of ship building and engines had simply not matured enough to make it possible to work well until about 50 years later.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:15 am
In his earlier years Brunel started on projects and found the technology lacking, so he apushed those in the industry to advance the technology. I think had he been younger the technology used on the Great Eastern would have been more advanced. But again this is hypothetical and the Great Eastern was what it was.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:33 am
Brunel used the most advanced technology existing at the time and even included many firsts, such as the low pressure turbine engine, in the Great Eastern. The problem was not that Brunel was old, but that the time was wrong. It was too soon.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:41 am
N-1's problem was that there was no test stand available for testing the stages. Only single engine tests were possible. And without any tests it's not that surprising that the rocket blew up.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:59 am
Hello, xiphius,

we seem to be close to each other by far.

Economies of Scale and Scope allways havo do with and seem to depend on the actual available products, engines etc. as well as on if and how those things are applied properly and correct. They also are achieved by standardizations of rockts, engines AND the payloads to be carried.

I have in mind some illustrations using the Falcons as well as other rockets to show by concrete examples what I said in abstract and theoretically.



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