Aethon

Blue Origin Thread (merged)

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Perhaps putting parachutes on the engine and just returning that? Maybe Vulcan-style recovery? Still the problem of pressure but...

1 hour ago, Scotius said:

I wonder if Dream Chaser or old-style European Hermes shuttle wouldn't be a good idea for a reuseable second stage? Instead of standard stage put on top of a Falcon Heavy,use a winged\body lifting spaceplane that will deliver the payload to orbit Space Shuttle style. Then it will return to landing site via gliding, land on a runway and be towed to hangar for refurbishing. Something like a downscaled ITS. Falcon Heavy can lift what - 50+ tons to LEO? Plenty of power even for not-so-small shuttle.

Actually I think the shuttle weighs over 100 tons. But maybe without a second stage it could be lifted.

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2 hours ago, Scotius said:

I wonder if Dream Chaser or old-style European Hermes shuttle wouldn't be a good idea for a reuseable second stage? Instead of standard stage put on top of a Falcon Heavy,use a winged\body lifting spaceplane that will deliver the payload to orbit Space Shuttle style. Then it will return to landing site via gliding, land on a runway and be towed to hangar for refurbishing. Something like a downscaled ITS. Falcon Heavy can lift what - 50+ tons to LEO? Plenty of power even for not-so-small shuttle.

Winged recovery is a mixed bag. I know it's not something SpaceX is considering. Aerodynamics for the launch of a winged second stage is really tough; that's why the X-37 launches inside a fairing.

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that having a winged second stage would require some first stage changes. At the very least, you'd need to mount some huge fins on the first stage for stability, like below, which would definitely affect landing.

220px-Dyna-Soar_on_Titan_booster.jpg

That's a DynaSoar on top of a Titan (note the huge fins at the bottom).

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6 minutes ago, TheEpicSquared said:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that having a winged second stage would require some first stage changes. At the very least, you'd need to mount some huge fins on the first stage for stability, like below, which would definitely affect landing.

Then how does Dream Chaser fly without a fairing or wings on the Atlas V?

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1 minute ago, _Augustus_ said:

Then how does Dream Chaser fly without a fairing or wings on the Atlas V?

It's unclear weather dream chaser will fly in a fairing or not, the renderings for the cargo version (the one likely to fly) has folding wings to fit in a standard 5 meter fairing.

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Just now, _Augustus_ said:

Then how does Dream Chaser fly without a fairing or wings on the Atlas V?

I'm not sure. :) 

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4 hours ago, tater said:

The only recent talk has been attempting reuse of S2 on the FH demo flight. They're not sending anything that matters on the flight, and there will be plenty of excess mass available to attempt something with it.

They've also said they're using the silliest payload they can think of, AND trying to do everything on the cheap, being just a test flight...

...so my money's on a recovered Dragon, or part of one, bolted upside down on the top of the second stage. Just for the lulz. And the dataz. Even if when it's a complete failure, it's still a golden opportunity to get hard numbers on recovering the stage without compromising a paying payload or spending a lot.

 

On another note, did they ever announce why the next launch got delayed till the end of the month?

 

  

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They probably won't announce that, it being a military payload.

Having a winged payload without fins may be doable these days. Heck of a dynamic stability problem though.

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52 minutes ago, _Augustus_ said:

Then how does Dream Chaser fly without a fairing or wings on the Atlas V?

It doesn't, not yet. 

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16 hours ago, DarthVader said:

It's unclear weather dream chaser will fly in a fairing or not, the renderings for the cargo version (the one likely to fly) has folding wings to fit in a standard 5 meter fairing.

It's pretty clear that it flies inside a fairing.

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5 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

It's pretty clear that it flies inside a fairing.

A manned version wouldn't be able to fly inside a fairing, would it?

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Meanwhile, in the non-SpaceX world, ULA has sent Cygnus otw to station in  their predictably perfect, boring way. Maybe we need a ULA thread. They might be "boring," but that's cause they get the job done, almost every time. Was fun to watch Centaur lifting the perigee post-apogee, then circularizing with RCS before the deorbit burn. 

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9 minutes ago, tater said:

Meanwhile, in the non-SpaceX world, ULA has sent Cygnus otw to station in  their predictably perfect, boring way. Maybe we need a ULA thread. They might be "boring," but that's cause they get the job done, almost every time. Was fun to watch Centaur lifting the perigee post-apogee, then circularizing with RCS before the deorbit burn. 

Nah, I'll stick with the "Innovations with a chance of explosions" channel. Come to see the future, stay for the floor show. :D

besides, this thread has the attention span of a sugared-up two-year-old...

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26 minutes ago, tater said:

Meanwhile, in the non-SpaceX world, ULA has sent Cygnus otw to station in  their predictably perfect, boring way. Maybe we need a ULA thread. They might be "boring," but that's cause they get the job done, almost every time. Was fun to watch Centaur lifting the perigee post-apogee, then circularizing with RCS before the deorbit burn. 

WHY DO YOU HATE SPACEX

Kidding, kidding.

The 360-degree video wasn't nearly as cool as I was anticipating, mostly because the launch itself was like...3 frames.

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27 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Nah, I'll stick with the "Innovations with a chance of explosions" channel. Come to see the future, stay for the floor show. :D

besides, this thread has the attention span of a sugared-up two-year-old...

Heck, my sugared-up two-year-old can stick with one subject longer than this thread can.

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23 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Winged recovery is a mixed bag. I know it's not something SpaceX is considering. Aerodynamics for the launch of a winged second stage is really tough; that's why the X-37 launches inside a fairing.

Then launch it in fairing and recover winged part... you will lose only fairing.

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27 minutes ago, IllyrianTheGreat said:

Then launch it in fairing and recover winged part... you will lose only fairing.

They don't make a fairing big enough for the entire second stage.

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

A manned version wouldn't be able to fly inside a fairing, would it?

There was an ESA concept for a capsule on Ariane that would use an LES under a special quick-release fairing. SNC probably aren't doing that with DC, but it is possible.

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9 minutes ago, Kryten said:

There was an ESA concept for a capsule on Ariane that would use an LES under a special quick-release fairing. SNC probably aren't doing that with DC, but it is possible.

Right. Technically Orion has a fairing, but it is attached to the LES and jettisoned with it.

In any case, it's one thing to put a fairing around a spacecraft; it's another altogether to put a fairing around an entire stage.

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

Heck, my sugared-up two-year-old can stick with one subject longer than this thread can.

And only moderately more prone to explosions. :D

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2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

A manned version wouldn't be able to fly inside a fairing, would it?

I can't think of any good reason why not provided that you can jettison it quickly in an emergency. The Apollo spacecraft had a boost protective cover which was jettisoned in flight (at the same time as the LES I think although I could be misremembering). Not quite the same as a fairing but not too dissimilar either.

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I think this is on topic. There is a petition to name the first crewed dragon capsule Jebediah Kerman. Check it out: Petition Here

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Posted (edited)

Thought about a reusable second stage much smaller than the ITS...

The Raptor will feature autogenous tank pressurization, using both LOX and CH4 in coolant loops that vaporize into pressure-bearing spherical intertanks in the ITS, as shown here:

pressure-bearing_intertanks.png

The intertanks are tapped to pressurize the main liquid propellant tanks; they are also tapped to operate the hot-gas methane-oxygen RCS/OMS thrusters. Since these tanks are filled off coolant loops on the main engine, the total dV is limited.

Even though the Raptor will be able to downthrottle to 20%, that would still be far too powerful for landing a smaller reusable second stage, and the vacuum Raptor on a hypothetical reusable second stage would have really bad flow separation at sea level. However, if the RCS/OMS engines were sized large enough, and could compensate for altitude, then a reusable second stage could land propulsively on those, if there was enough dV. As an added bonus, it could land on its long axis rather than on its tail, allowing for better safety margins and simpler egress. A reusable second stage would need to have a biconic re-entry anyway, so it would already be strengthened to allow for this.

Putting everything together might be tricky, though. I'm not sure where the thrusters (or the landing legs/skids) could be placed that would still be protected from plasma during re-entry. The Shuttle had its landing gear fold up inside its heat shields, so that's always a possibility.

30 minutes ago, KSK said:

I can't think of any good reason why not provided that you can jettison it quickly in an emergency. The Apollo spacecraft had a boost protective cover which was jettisoned in flight (at the same time as the LES I think although I could be misremembering). Not quite the same as a fairing but not too dissimilar either.

As I noted above, the bigger problem is the size of a second-stage vehicle.

48 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

And only moderately more prone to explosions. :D

He has just recently started saying "excuse me" on a regular basis. And I do mean regular. As in, at least twice every minute.

Edited by sevenperforce
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58 minutes ago, Brent Kerman said:

I think this is on topic. There is a petition to name the first crewed dragon capsule Jebediah Kerman. Check it out: Petition Here

Erm... perhaps that's not setting the most encouraging precedent...  :0.0:

 

1 hour ago, KSK said:

I can't think of any good reason why not provided that you can jettison it quickly in an emergency. The Apollo spacecraft had a boost protective cover which was jettisoned in flight (at the same time as the LES I think although I could be misremembering). Not quite the same as a fairing but not too dissimilar either.

Yes, the boost cover was integral to the LES. It's whole purpose was to protect the capsule from the LES

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Another thought on potential second-stage recovery, more near-term....

The difference between the expendable F9 first stage and the reusable F9 first stage is fairly minor, really. They use the exact same core design; the difference is that the reusable version has legs (with pneumatic systems) and grid fins bolted on.

I wonder if a similar process might be followed for the second stage. Same exact core design, but bolt on wing-like extensions (think ITS spaceship) with TPS wrapping around one side, to allow for biconic re-entry. They could add SuperDracos inside the wings for the landing burn.

S2_R.png

As depicted, the prop tanks (and pressurant tank) for the SuperDracos would be inside the bolt-on recovery sections. Not sure where the landing legs would go, though. If the base was stiffened enough, I suppose that landing legs could fold down from the top.

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