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Thread: Heavy-lift boosters?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Figure 12 looks like a prototype for the Starship Enterprise.
    An interesting way to use the 20 meter circular capability. I might have thought of an aeroshell & possibly EOR with a bigger Tuna Can hab as from Mars Direct (or asteroid missions -centripetal artificial G is a necessity for us to develop).
    They show the primary hull saucer section as the center for a bigger structure & mirror for a space telescope/antennae array.

    Figure 14., the Ultimate Launch System is perhaps the most sensible use of the Shuttle hardware. Existing vehicle processing and launch facilities, if held to two LRBs. Something like the Shuttle-C/Side-Mount should have been flying since the early '80s.

  2. #62
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    There's rumblings of a conceptual SpaceX rocket with clustered methane-burning Raptor engines, supposedly with a payload of 100 metric tons to Mars. This is from some speech at MIT by SpaceX's propulsion chief, but I lack a proper source. I'm sure it'll come out eventually.
    I don't know if that's to Mars orbit or surface (I would guess orbit), but either way we're talking about something slightly bigger than a Saturn V.

  3. #63
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    Something like this?

    http://blog.nss.org/?p=4250
    A major clue to the “Big Rocket” from SpaceX (bigger than the Falcon Heavy) was recently revealed when an agreement with the Stennis Space Center to test the Raptor engine showed that its vacuum thrust is almost 600,000 lbs. We had been expecting a much smaller engine for upper stage use. This means the methane oxygen engine could be used on both the first and second stages of the Big Rocket.

    We could assume that the same configuration as the Falcon 9 is used, with the upper stage having a single engine with a nozzle extension to allow greater thrust in space, and with the engine-out capability of the 9 engine Falcon 9, duplicating its basic eight-and-one first stage configuration with the new engines. This would mean that the Big Rocket’s total thrust would be about 5.4 million lbs of thrust (about 2500 tons at sea level), more than 2/3 that of the Saturn V, and with more efficient engines to boot...
    Sorry, had to add this one in as well: http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/201...ne-rocket.html
    Last edited by Trakar; 2014-Feb-21 at 07:47 AM.

  4. #64
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    A methane-oxygen engine? That's not been very common. Methane has the nice feature of boiling at 109 K instead of 20 K for hydrogen. That's close to oxygen at 90 K. So it requires similar cryogenics. However, I've estimated that its effective exhaust velocity (specific impulse) is close to that of kerosene-oxygen at a little bit more than 3 km/s, and much less than hydrogen-oxygen at around 4.5 km/s.

  5. #65
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    The original thrust given for Raptor was when it was announced component testing would start at NASA Stennis early this year. Then it was a ~650,000 lbf methalox staged combustion beast.

    More recently Tom Mueller stated it would actually be 1,000,000 lbf, that the big rocket would use a cluster of 9 Raptors/core and a Mars mission would mass 100 tonnes.


    Yup, a 9M lbf core.

    http://www.pacbiztimes.com/2014/02/1...santa-barbara/

    Methane architecture? If also used on the ERV you can make methane for the return rides via ISRU on Mars.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2014-Feb-22 at 11:34 AM.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    A methane-oxygen engine? That's not been very common. Methane has the nice feature of boiling at 109 K instead of 20 K for hydrogen. That's close to oxygen at 90 K. So it requires similar cryogenics. However, I've estimated that its effective exhaust velocity (specific impulse) is close to that of kerosene-oxygen at a little bit more than 3 km/s, and much less than hydrogen-oxygen at around 4.5 km/s.
    Yes, the specific impulse is only a little better than LOX/RP-1, but that doesn't seem to be why they're using it. It's very cheap and easy to source on Earth. RP-1 is a particular hydrocarbon blend with tight tolerances on composition and impurities, I wouldn't be surprised if it's easier to obtain methane at the required purity levels...they might even be able to purify natural gas on-site. (Perhaps they can build a plant that does fractional distillation of both natural gas and air, burning the less-pure fractions of the natural gas to power the process.) Methane might also be more useful as a coolant, or be better for reusable engines (especially more complex staged combustion cycle ones) due to being less prone to coking.

    Methane can also be manufactured from CO2 and H2O, so it's an appealing propellant for ISRU.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by John F View Post
    An interesting way to use the 20 meter circular capability. I might have thought of an aeroshell & possibly EOR with a bigger Tuna Can hab as from Mars Direct (or asteroid missions -centripetal artificial G is a necessity for us to develop).
    They show the primary hull saucer section as the center for a bigger structure & mirror for a space telescope/antennae array.

    Figure 14., the Ultimate Launch System is perhaps the most sensible use of the Shuttle hardware. Existing vehicle processing and launch facilities, if held to two LRBs. Something like the Shuttle-C/Side-Mount should have been flying since the early '80s.
    OTRAG would also allow for wide payloads: http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/otrag.htm


    "Parallel staging allowed very large payload diameters up to 30 m and thrust acceleration to be limited to a maximum of 3 g to allow lighter payload and space vehicle structures"

    Now I seem to remember hearing that Mars Aerobrakes needed to be around 30 meters...perfect

    "The $ 200 million spiral development and test program took 40 years, went through more than 1000 versions, included over 6000 static tests firings with total burning time approaching one million seconds, and achieved 14 suborbital test flights. The CRPU was human-rated and had a confidence level higher than 6-sigma. "

    That would allow these spacecraft
    http://www.astronautix.com/fam/lenicles.htm

  8. #68
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    India is far behind in heavy lift rockets but at least has plans to match current capabilities within 6 years. They just managed to put a 2T satellite into GeoŽsynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) in January this year. 4T capability is to be tested later this year and operational by 2016/17. Further enhancing to six to 10 tonne before 2020.

    http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/centr...i-1412867.html
    http://www.business-standard.com/art...2801241_1.html

    New Delhi: Government today approved the revised allocation of Rs 2962.78 crore for completing the heavy-duty Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III programme and to carry out experimental flight LVM3-X.
    That means they will have capabilities to put up to 20T in LEO by 2020.

  9. #69
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    More than enough to put people into orbit.

  10. #70
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    They should have enough to put a 2/3 man capsule in the next 2/3 years. In 6 years, the moon will be calling .

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    They should have enough to put a 2/3 man capsule in the next 2/3 years. In 6 years, the moon will be calling .
    Two thirds of a man? When will they have enough room for a whole person?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  12. #72
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    ok I will make it 2 whole men then

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...l#.UxG0HM6l1VM


    INDIA is about to take one small step towards human space flight. Last week the country's space agency unveiled a prototype of its first crew capsule, a 4-metre-high module designed to carry two people into low Earth orbit.

  13. #73
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    Their GSLV III is quite impressive--almost an Ariane 5 level LV
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSLV_III

    I've seen art of their capsule atop the standard GSLV:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSLV

    That looks to be false--it will be GSLV III that is to carry the capsule IIRC

    More http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISRO_Orbital_Vehicle
    "The crew vehicle is planned to be launch on ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III, which is currently under development, in April 2014"
    But the art on that same page shows the capsule atop the standard GSLV--so there seems to be a little confusion--since the text on that same page says something different.


    I think this means the Indian craft will wind up looking like the Ariane 5 ARV concept instead
    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1009/29arv/
    http://www.astronautix.com/craft/mulpsule.htm

    ARV itself looks to be part of Orion now, perhaps
    Last edited by publiusr; 2014-Mar-01 at 07:10 PM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post

    That looks to be false--it will be GSLV III that is to carry the capsule IIRC

    More http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISRO_Orbital_Vehicle
    "The crew vehicle is planned to be launch on ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III, which is currently under development, in April 2014"
    But the art on that same page shows the capsule atop the standard GSLV--so there seems to be a little confusion--since the text on that same page says something different.
    The capsule is a prototype the is still being flashed out and scheduled to be launched at the May/June on top of the Mk III. The Mk III itself will also have only the 1st and 2nd stage tested.

    http://www.newindianexpress.com/stat...e#.UxJKOM6l1VM

    Work on India’s most powerful rocket to date, scheduled for an experimental flight in April, is progressing fast. The first stage of the hefty Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III) is ready, officials of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) here said. Two S-200 boosters, which use solid fuel, comprise the first stage of Mk-III. This stage will burn for 130 seconds. ‘’The stage is ready. Work is now progressing on the second stage at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) in Mahendragiri,’’ VSSC director S Ramakrishnan said. The GSLV Mk-III has three ‘stages’ in all.

    The second stage uses liquid fuel - Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) with Dinitrogen Tetroxide. This stage - L 110 - has two advanced Vikas engines and will burn for 200 seconds. The upper, third stage uses a more powerful version of the cryogenic engine used on the recent GSLV D-5 mission. The engine has been designated CE-2O and uses Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Hydrogen as fuel. Theoretically, this stage will burn for 580 seconds, but the April flight being an experimental one, the cryo stage won’t be carrying propellant.
    The April date has been put back to May/ June to get Indian space agency time to equip the human space capsule with with systems required to support crew, navigation, guidance and control systems (They only took delivery of the capsule mid February)

    http://www.business-standard.com/art...1301250_1.html

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The capsule is a prototype the is still being flashed out and scheduled to be launched at the May/June on top of the Mk III. The Mk III itself will also have only the 1st and 2nd stage tested.

    http://www.newindianexpress.com/stat...e#.UxJKOM6l1VM
    Which sounds quite similar to the Ares 1-X; essentially an expensive mock up only testing basic characteristics.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Which sounds quite similar to the Ares 1-X; essentially an expensive mock up only testing basic characteristics.
    I was referring to the human space capsule portion only, and not the Mk III rocket.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Their GSLV III is quite impressive--almost an Ariane 5 level LV
    Your insight is correct at least with the first two stages of the GSLV. They use different versions of the Viking engine (or based on it) that comes from Ariane 1.

    http://www.spaceflight101.com/gslv-l...formation.html

    Each Booster is equipped with a single Vikas 2 engine which is a Viking engine that was used aboard the European Ariane 1 launcher and is now manufactured under license in India.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I was referring to the human space capsule portion only, and not the Mk III rocket.
    And I was referring to the fact the capsule and the third stage are essentially non-functioning test items. This is some way from a functional prototype and hardly supports your suggestion they could go to the moon in 6 years. Frankly by then I suspect at best they will be where the Chinese are now.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    And I was referring to the fact the capsule and the third stage are essentially non-functioning test items. This is some way from a functional prototype and hardly supports your suggestion they could go to the moon in 6 years. Frankly by then I suspect at best they will be where the Chinese are now.
    Agreed and here is ISRO boss on that test

    What is the next important milestone for the GSLV?

    The immediate thing is GSLV MkIII, the experimental mission with the passive cryo stage.

    What do you mean by passive cryo?

    No engine will be burnt in the third stage. Actually, if you look at the GSLV, 50 per cent of the velocity is given by the non-cryo portion. So we will get about 5 km/s velocity, and it will be a suborbital flight. But what we want to test here is the atmospheric phase of the flight. While it is coming down, we will use it to characterise the crew module. We can measure the thermal stress when it is coming down. As far as the vehicle is concerned, its exterior will be ditto. Internally, the cryo will be passive.
    And agree with you they will be where China is now but might have achieved a robotic sample return (China might do that in 2017). Than is when, they will be looking at a maned landing on the moon.

  20. #80
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    The GSLV III is expected to be able to send about 10 mt into orbit. Checking on Comparison of orbital launch systems - Wikipedia, there are several boosters with more capacity that have been launched several times, so calling it heavy-lift is pushing it.

    So what would be a good heavy-lift threshold?

    I think about 25 mt to LEO. The 25 mt is to get just above the maximum for active and recently-active boosters, and the LEO because that's the first step toward farther travel. This avoids such issues as trying to compare LEO and GSO performance.

    What's in development:
    The Angara A5, Long March 5, and Ariane 5ME are right on that threshold at 25 mt to LEO.
    The Angara A7 is at 41 mt to LEO, and the Long March 9 is at 130 mt to LEO.
    The Falcon Heavy is at 53 mt to LEO, the SLS Block 1 at 70 mt to LEO, and the SLS Block 2 at 130 mt to LEO.


    As to military and astronomical satellites, many of them are optical telescopes, differing mainly in where they are aimed. A heavy-lift booster could send up a telescope with a big primary mirror, something obviously useful. The Delta IV Heavy and the Falcon Heavy currently list a payload-fairing width of 5 m, though it may be possible to use a broader payload fairing. Several rockets have used broad-payload fairings, fairings that taper at the booster end. There's also the problem of getting a good focal length, though many telescope satellites go at least part of the way with Cassegrain systems, which reflect the incoming light back through the primary mirror.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    The GSLV III is expected to be able to send about 10 mt into orbit. Checking on Comparison of orbital launch systems - Wikipedia, there are several boosters with more capacity that have been launched several times, so calling it heavy-lift is pushing it.
    It is 10 tons to GTO which will be 20T to LEO. Agreed we can not call it heavy-lift but by 2020 India will have the potential to build the bigger rockets.

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  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    >
    What's in development:
    The Angara A5, Long March 5, and Ariane 5ME are right on that threshold at 25 mt to LEO.
    The Angara A7 is at 41 mt to LEO, and the Long March 9 is at 130 mt to LEO.
    The Falcon Heavy is at 53 mt to LEO, the SLS Block 1 at 70 mt to LEO, and the SLS Block 2 at 130 mt to LEO.
    >
    You forgot the SpaceX Raptor based SHLV's, the single core being AT LEAST Saturn V class and the tri-core a total beast.

    Raptor components start testing at NASA Stennis this year. It's a 1,000,000 lbf (vacuum) methane/LOX full flow staged combustion, 9 per 10 meter core.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2014-Mar-10 at 11:22 AM.

  24. #84
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    I have heard rumors that some 10 meter core tooling was found somewhere, following the Saturn program. I have often wondered what went with Beal's filament winding machines. The BA-1 was to have more thrust than an SRB. Space X might look into that.

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    The Raptor thread has more info, but Tom Mueller (SpaceX VP of Propulsion, formerly of TRW) leaked that info so it's pretty solid. They've also been 3D printing valves, and the SuperDraco escape rockets using Inconel. Musk tweeted images of them.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2014-Mar-13 at 04:44 AM.

  26. #86
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    Not good news for SLS future

    http://www.space-travel.com/reports/...ds_It_999.html

    Thus, SLS funding will continue at an annual level of about $1.3 billion, with some added advanced-technology money.

    In the meantime, MSFC is pursuing ways to broaden its constituent base, but so far has not announced any good news. To further weaken the SLS case a recent analysis by the Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) offered no mission requirements for a Saturn V-class launch vehicle. Given the expected costs of using the SLS and the limited justification for such a capability, it is difficult to be optimistic about its future.

  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    This is the thing I'm not against an HLV that's being built as part of an overall exploration plan; I'm against an HLV that's being built primarily to prop up parts of NASA with the probably forlorn hope that if the SLS is produced then Congress will have to cough up the funds to do something with it. The SLS has no flexibility and it looks like there aren't a lot of 70 tonne payloads out there.

  28. #88
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    I don't see anything new in this. The prospect of missions needing SLS has always been low, and I have never seen any inferrences of military use of the system. All this does is confirm it.

    As far as military involvement, I was under the impression that SLS is a means to help keep solid rocket booster production propped up. Some time ago, I posted the numbers (which I can't find) that showed that a disproportional large amount of ATK's profit was from the shuttle.

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I don't see anything new in this. The prospect of missions needing SLS has always been low, and I have never seen any inferrences of military use of the system. All this does is confirm it.

    As far as military involvement, I was under the impression that SLS is a means to help keep solid rocket booster production propped up. Some time ago, I posted the numbers (which I can't find) that showed that a disproportional large amount of ATK's profit was from the shuttle.
    For the most part, I agree, what I would like to see are various technology demonstration programs similar to the x-plane programs and possibly along the lines of what was done with the earlier DC-x and Lockheed venture-star. These are the types of programs that NASA should get back to doing.

  30. #90
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    The "missions problem" for an SLS HLV or SHLV is that with it being so bloody expensive it leaves no money in the budget for payloads. Let's hope SpaceX's BFR is more affordable,

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