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Potential launch vehicles

Posted by: Rocket Scientist - Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:02 pm
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Potential launch vehicles 
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Post Potential launch vehicles   Posted on: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:02 pm
I wanted to start a new thread about potential launch vehicles for the Google Lunar X Prize. We've been discussing SpaceX quite often. I am interested to see what other launch systems are out there. There are several alternative launch systems that I have discovered. Of course most of these other launch services providers are not actually operational but the various companies claim they will be shortly. Take a look and tell me what you think.

I think Ekkehard Augustin mentioned Air Launch: http://www.airlaunchllc.com/index.htm#

Interorbital Systems: http://www.interorbital.com/

Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion Systems: http://www.space-rockets.com/slv.html

Eurockot: http://www.eurockot.com/alist.asp?cnt=2 ... n=1&subm=0

Eurockot is actually operational and has launched several payloads successfully.

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Last edited by Rocket Scientist on Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:34 am, edited 3 times in total.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:32 pm
What a about a Russian Dnepr or Kosmos rocket?

How do you see Ariane 5's ASAP5 launch package?

I think Blue Origin wants to build a launcher as well.

The Australians plan AUSROC IV.

PS: The correct spelling is Eurockot, not Eurocket.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:02 am
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
What a about a Russian Dnepr or Kosmos rocket?

How do you see Ariane 5's ASAP5 launch package?

I haven't researched this much. I'll look into it.

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I think Blue Origin wants to build a launcher as well.

Is this in addition to the New Sheppard manned space vehicle?

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The Australians plan AUSROC IV.

Another launch vehicle I have never heard of.

Quote:
PS: The correct spelling is Eurockot, not Eurocket.

OK, I fixed it. Forgive me, I'm an American. I don't know how to spell correctly. :wink:

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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:07 am
Another potential problem for Amerian teams is ITAR issues with exporting a lunar lander/rover out of the US. The U.S. State Department would probably have to give approval.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:48 pm
.

I think that a $7 million Falcon-1 is still too expensive for the """Go ogle""" prize since the rover+lander R&D may cost very much

a possible solution is to launch the rover as 2nd payload of a commercial sat launch

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:01 am
A quick look at some of the launch alternatives

There are lots of other launchers, of course but this list will do for a start.

Falcon 1 $7M 670kg to LEO
Falcon 9 $55M 9,900kg to LEO
Ariane V $211M 16,000kg to LEO
Delta IV $147M 8,600 to LEO
Atlas V $147M 10,300 to LEO
Pegasus XL $16M 443kg to LEO

These figures may be off somewhat, but it's not that crucial as it's just for illustration.
I've taken payload to LEO from Wikipedia
and costs from astronautica

Falcon 1 is far and away the cheapest. unless you can get somebody to pick up the cost of another launch vehicle or piggyback on a commercial launch for free. Even if you had to pay just one 20th of the launch cost of a Ariane V (say) you'd still be better going with a falcon 1.

All they've got to do is actually launch it.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:14 am
Another option I forgot
QuickReach $5M 1,000kg to LEO
but hasn't flown yet.
Due to fly 2008 funded by DARPA

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:47 am
I think you can plan on Ausroc IV to never be made.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:28 am
What about ESA's Vega rocket, something like 2000kg to LEO of 400km and a cost of about $18M if I remember rightly. It must be due to fly either 2008 or 2009.


Maybe ESA would give a free ride to someone. If ESA are going to launch demo flights with ballast to test Vega, perhaps they would be willing to replace the ballast with a lunar transfer vehicle, lander and rover. The extra publicity for ESA would be good and there wouldn't be much downside (as shown by SpaceX's Falcon 1 failure to put its payload into orbit) if the rocket didn't make it. Maybe a European based team should pitch this to ESA?

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:38 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
Maybe ESA would give a free ride to someone.

The winning team must use 90% private funding. If they want to use an ESA "free ride" that free ride must also be made reasonably available to all other teams for the same "free" price.

$18M for 2000kg to 400km is still pretty inexpensive, perhaps two or more teams could purchase a ride on the same launch. However, depending on where the US $ goes, this might not be as attractive for US teams.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:29 pm
This article gives late 2008 as the date for Vega's maiden flight. So it would seem that it will be available at the right time for teams to use.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMXE029R9F_Expanding_0.html


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The winning team must use 90% private funding. If they want to use an ESA "free ride" that free ride must also be made reasonably available to all other teams for the same "free" price.


I dont see what the difference is between offerring to replace ballast on an early Vega flight with a Google lunar lander craft and being included as an add on to any other flight. As to offering it to everyone, why not. I just think that ESA might be more inclined to using a European team and it's fairly easy to make up excuses not to pick a particular team if they choose to. Also there are not an indefinite number of trips so it will be first come first served.

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 23, 2008 11:20 pm
Btw SpaceX offers for some time now a PDF (http://www.spacex.com/FalconLunarCapabilityGuide.pdf) about their Lunar transfer capabilities.

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Post    Posted on: Mon May 26, 2008 6:42 pm
That is a great document! It is interesting how they show the highly eccentric orbits that Falcon 1 and 1e can reach, and especially how they show your departure for the Moon, using a kick stage or engine on the space craft, is done from the LOW point and not the high point in the orbit. It is just one of the counter intuitive things you need to know about orbital mechanics to do space flight efficiently. Because in orbits, it is less about where you are and more about your velocity.


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Post Re: Potential launch vehicles   Posted on: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:16 pm
Here is a rocket design with the hydrogen tank inside the oxygen tank. There are pumps and valves at the bottom to control the flow and therefore the direction of the rocket.


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Post Re: Potential launch vehicles   Posted on: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:10 pm
You need a lot more H2 than that. And why not have the central tank pipe off fuel to the verniers instead of having separate tanks?

Also with H2 you are going to have significant insulation issues with that surface area.

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