Hcube

ULA's cis-lunar 1000

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Hcube    248

 

So, what's this ? Is that new, or have ULA talked about it before ?

What do you think of this ? I think that it's grossly unrealistic and optimistic.

Just wondering what it is exactly and what your opinions are about it

Edited by Hcube

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Kaos    116

I have not heard of this, yet. I think it is perfectly possible, but it is far away from happen for sure. It could also be much slower or faster. Predictions are hard.

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fredinno    642

Increase the length of the timeline to 3x their estimates, and you have something relatively reasonable.

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Kaos    116
2 minutes ago, fredinno said:

Increase the length of the timeline to 3x their estimates, and you have something relatively reasonable.

I am not sure, if that is necessary. If something starts to happen, it can sometimes happen fast.

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fredinno    642
16 minutes ago, Kaos said:

I am not sure, if that is necessary. If something starts to happen, it can sometimes happen fast.

It's still amost certainly too fast-especially since how they plan to get Lunar Bases would step on SLS/Orion's toes in this timeline. It's not impossible lunar operations will begin in the near future, with lunar mining, manufacturing, etc, but ULA would likely not play a huge direct role-either it is outcompeted, or stopped by the interests of political pork.

 

I can see that SLS might become commercial at some point, after 2040 (which is also after SpaceX's LC-39A lisence ends, allowing for possibly 3 more launches of SLS a year)

 

Technically, the actual infrastructure, base, and mining operations are commercial, (not to mention sale of the produced goods)- only the transportation aspect is largely government dominated.

 

But either way, this timeline is too fast. I really think this is somewhat more reminiscent of the old Space Transportation Proposals of the 70s than anything else.

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Kaos    116

I agree that it will not happen with the SLS alone. I do not even see it very likely to happen. But I consider it to be possible.

Lets say that SpaceX will have the Falcon 9 in 2 years at a state where they only have to refuel it, give it a new upper stage and can fly it again. Skylon ready to rapidly fly SSTO with just refueling in 4 years. I would not bet on that, but I consider it possible. In that case I see the 20 in 5 years possible. Then in 10 years the MCT ready to fly completely reusable 200 t in LEO, perhaps some more companies too. Also not likely, but opens the possibility for 300 people in 15 years. Then with a bit mining on the moon -- neither will ULA be the only company to land on the moon in this scenario, nor will it be named xeus -- 1000 people in 30 years are possible. Perhaps even in 20.

All these assumptions are not very likely, but I would not exclude them as such. As I said in my first post here "but it is far away from happen for sure".

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ChrisSpace    295

In my opinion it reminds me of this: http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Race_Didn't_End

Just combine it with Skylon, Deep Space Industries' and Planetary Resources' asteroid mining, and Musk's Mars plan and we have a completed SF world setting!

11 hours ago, fredinno said:

Increase the length of the timeline to 3x their estimates, and you have something relatively reasonable.

If they use magic like SpaceX plans to it should be doable in their current timeframe. And by 'magic' I mean 'if absolutely everything goes exactly as planned, which it won't'. But a quick calculation says your 3x multiplier is accurate for a medium-case scenario.

10 hours ago, fredinno said:

I can see that SLS might become commercial at some point, after 2040

YeahNO. By 2040 either SpaceX will have their super heavy launch vehicle which would completely overshadow SLS, or something would have happened to prevent anyone from getting this far.

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fredinno    642
3 minutes ago, ChrisSpace said:

In my opinion it reminds me of this: http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Race_Didn't_End

Just combine it with Skylon, Deep Space Industries' and Planetary Resources' asteroid mining, and Musk's Mars plan and we have a completed SF world setting!

If they use magic like SpaceX plans to it should be doable in their current timeframe. And by 'magic' I mean 'if absolutely everything goes exactly as planned, which it won't'. But a quick calculation says your 3x multiplier is accurate for a medium-case scenario.

YeahNO. By 2040 either SpaceX will have their super heavy launch vehicle which would completely overshadow SLS, or something would have happened to prevent anyone from getting this far.

NASA plans to keep SLS/Orion on until after the decade of 2040- their Mars plans last that long, and it parallels the Shuttle's 30 year lifespan- even though the Shuttle is theoretically (and likely in practice, too) much less useful and viable overall.

 

And Congress would still need a NASA pork project. There's probably a limit to how much commercial integration into NASA's activities there can before Congress starts to shake their heads and pass laws against it. That includes you, BFR and SpaceX. If SpaceX can fund it themselves and land on Mars, good for them, however unlikely that actually is. However, that assumes it's built. However, the current government and NASA culture seems to be keeping BLEO to NASA and LEO to commercial entities. If that's the case for the foreseeable future, there's a good chance it will be mandated to put all payloads that need or would benefit from a Ultra-HLV use SLS- we've seen it happen before with the Shuttle, and SLS needs payloads for the near-term anyways.

 

And SLS is not terrible per kg of cargo- it's slightly cheaper than Vulcan cost per kg to LEO (assuming cost targets per launch are all met), Vulcan 401 which is about 2x Falcon 9 costs per kg, and 1/2 of Atlas V 401 cost per kg ($16.7 Million per Metric Ton to LEO!!) SpaceX could probably do better, but it's surprisingly low for a rocket that uses SSMEs. If they wanted to reduce costs, you might be able to modify SLS to use LRBs (though this might be halted to prop up solid ICBM manufacturers), BE-3s as upper stage engines instead of RL-10s, and/or a reusable SSME engine pod.

 

And I don't get BFR supporters. The only reason people seem to believe it is because it's coming from SpaceX (partially Jool-aid drinking, and partially since SpaceX has garnered results before on their promises). I'll start considering BFR as being something that might happen after we get a layout on what the thing actually looks like, and its properties.

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ChrisSpace    295
19 minutes ago, fredinno said:

And SLS is not terrible per kg of cargo- it's slightly cheaper than Vulcan cost per kg to LEO (assuming cost targets per launch are all met), Vulcan 401 which is about 2x Falcon 9 costs per kg, and 1/2 of Atlas V 401 cost per kg ($16.7 Million per Metric Ton to LEO!!)

I'll find it hard to see a profitable non-reusable SLS alongside reusable SpaceX vehicles. Or any reusable launch vehicles.

20 minutes ago, fredinno said:

And I don't get BFR supporters. The only reason people seem to believe it is because it's coming from SpaceX (partially Jool-aid drinking, and partially since SpaceX has garnered results before on their promises). I'll start considering BFR as being something that might happen after we get a layout on what the thing actually looks like, and its properties.

After seeing what they've done so far with such little time and money, I think the BFR could be operational soon-ish. If not, Falcon Heavy can do heavy lifting as well.

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fredinno    642
18 minutes ago, ChrisSpace said:

I'll find it hard to see a profitable non-reusable SLS alongside reusable SpaceX vehicles. Or any reusable launch vehicles.

After seeing what they've done so far with such little time and money, I think the BFR could be operational soon-ish. If not, Falcon Heavy can do heavy lifting as well.

SLS can still be partially reusable if they wanted to by using LRBs instead. And reusability, even if it is a game-changer (unlikely) will still not be adapted for a while. Not to mention the current infrastructure can only support 3 launches/year, making the investment in reusability kind of pointless, at least until a second SLS pad is available (at least)

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Spaceception    2730

Hey! That's similar to my plan if I get a space program!

(No seriously, I'm not joking)

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fredinno    642
19 minutes ago, Emperor of the Titan Squid said:

The probability of doing it with expendables like Vulcan is low,  but we can do it. Think big. Get to work.

Vulcan is partially reusable....

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sgt_flyer    1585

there is a planned Q&A from viewers tonight with Tory Bruno (ULA's CEO) on DasValdez livestream - while using ksp to show out those concepts :)

so maybe you can prepare some questions ? :)

Edited by sgt_flyer

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StarStreak2109    332

Well, first of all, it is a corporate vision. Interlude: A famous German politician once said, those who have visions, should go see their doctor... Anyway, corporate visions have to be ambitious, otherwise they wouldn't be visions. IMHO, if the big space corporations on earth pull it together and build up a good business case, is it realistic? IMHO sure, maybe not in the timeframe presented, but surely possible. And there are several factors which may or may not severely influence this: FIrst of all, the rate at which technology is progressing is increasing exponentially and secondly, energy requirements on earth beyond what fossile or nuclear fuels we have, can IMO only come from renewable sources. One great potential we have yet to tap into is orbital solar power. And of course there is what other resources there is on the Moon...

So yeah, exciting vision. The New World all over again!

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On 3/8/2016 at 5:22 PM, fredinno said:

Vulcan is partially reusable....

I just feel like the majority of the rocket is not reusable.When you use expendable tanks, it doesn't work well.

I don't get what Zeus is.If we couple the upper stage with falcon X, throw in SKYLON, and Bigelow gets the BA330 into orbit, it could happen.

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fredinno    642
2 hours ago, Emperor of the Titan Squid said:

I just feel like the majority of the rocket is not reusable.When you use expendable tanks, it doesn't work well.

I don't get what Zeus is.If we couple the upper stage with falcon X, throw in SKYLON, and Bigelow gets the BA330 into orbit, it could happen.

It's a modified ACES refueled (implied in LEO or on the moon) with a 10 T to lunar surface payload.

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Nibb31    2329
On 3/8/2016 at 11:22 PM, fredinno said:

Vulcan is partially reusable....

On paper. I'm pretty sure that the "SMART reuse" that we saw by dropping engines and picking them up with helicopters won't ever be implemented. It wasn't a serious proposal, just a concept to show that they can do it if they need to, just like the "Adeline" project from Airbus DS.

Most of the industry has done their homework and simply doesn't believe that reusability makes any economical sense in the near future. They are not ignoring it because they can't do it or because they are too stupid. They simply think that it doesn't reduce costs significantly enough to be of any advantage in the current market.

It's not a matter of technology. For companies like Boeing or Airbus, the technology will be easy to develop when the economical need arises. They can write software and stick landing legs on stuff just as well as anybody else if they want to. It's just that the economical need hasn't arised yet, so they are not investing in it.

Edited by Nibb31

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