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NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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There's also the mass of the LAS. That's gotta be well over 5 tons, maybe closer to 10. Hard to characterize since it gets dumped part way.

I think the point of that study was to motivate Boeing more than anything else.

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36 minutes ago, tater said:

There's also the mass of the LAS. That's gotta be well over 5 tons, maybe closer to 10. Hard to characterize since it gets dumped part way.

And it may introduce more drag losses on ascent, which would have to be factored in. Regardless, those are whopping margins if Orion really does carry over 1.8 km/s.

I have also seen non-NASA estimates that place Orion's dV at less than 1.4 km/s, at which point it makes a little more sense to demur.

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On 3/29/2019 at 2:26 PM, ZooNamedGames said:

Not Man Rated- Never will be

Why not?  Also, if they provided their own private astronauts, couldn't they launch anyway.

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1 hour ago, DAL59 said:

Why not?  Also, if they provided their own private astronauts, couldn't they launch anyway.

For reasons Musk said himself. It isn’t worth the RnD when it could go into F9B5/Dragon 2 or the BFR. 

Could he launch on his own? Sure. But potential fines, and lose of NASA support for putting lives at risk (after all man rating a rocket is intended to make sure a rocket is capable of not harming its crew during launch, being safe, reliable and capable to safely overcome many failures while allowing the crew to safely abort, whether to escape abort (LES), ATO, or AOA, etc), and going rogue. Seeing as NASA is SpaceX’s biggest customer and supporter, launching crew without their support would be a very poor decision.

As to the Delta IV Heavy... have we heard ULA ever say they want to man rate the Delta IV series of rockets?

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

For reasons Musk said himself. It isn’t worth the RnD when it could go into F9B5/Dragon 2 or the BFR. 

Could he launch on his own? Sure. But potential fines, and lose of NASA support for putting lives at risk (after all man rating a rocket is intended to make sure a rocket is capable of not harming its crew during launch, being safe, reliable and capable to safely overcome many failures while allowing the crew to safely abort, whether to escape abort (LES), ATO, or AOA, etc), and going rogue. Seeing as NASA is SpaceX’s biggest customer and supporter, launching crew without their support would be a very poor decision.

One, there are no fines whatsoever possible. Not a thing.

Two, the Commercial Crew contract in fact requires that they seek private customers for the crew vehicle. That was the point, to leverage government spending to jumpstart an industry.

 

Quote

As to the Delta IV Heavy... have we heard ULA ever say they want to man rate the Delta IV series of rockets?

NASA literally just expressed tangential interest in it yesterday (and the previous 2 weeks privately) (either via launching (uncrewed) Orion again, or via changing the upper stage to facilitate use for EOR distributed launch mission architectures.

(to be clear, not man rating the LV, but putting crew rated stages into LEO for crew to be sent to)

 

Edited by tater

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3 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

As to the Delta IV Heavy... have we heard ULA ever say they want to man rate the Delta IV series of rockets?

Delta IV cannot be man-rated. The RS-68s would have to be completely redesigned to meet NASA's criteria.

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So they are now presumably pushing for EUS to happen, ideally faster (hard to be slower, they've so far accomplished nothing at all).

EUS is required for even the minimally useful Block 1b SLS, and the far more useful Block 2 (the latter is only true assuming they have another way to get Orion to space, since they will never launch more than once every year or two).

The only real issue with this, vs stupidly flying Block 1 multiple times (because it's useless, look at the EM-2 mission profile) is that flying block 1 was always a mistake. The mobile launcher has to be entirely rebuilt at huge expense (or a second one), and the VAB has to be expensively reconfigured (a few years time to do this).

This doesn't help scheduling issues in a program with zero slop. (odd they are killing the green run test after talking up how it certifies safety for crew).

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And just because EM said they wouldn't manrate FH, because of monetary causes, doesn't mean they won't do it if thats what NASA wants.

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3 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

Delta IV cannot be man-rated. The RS-68s would have to be completely redesigned to meet NASA's criteria.

Is this a heating issue with clusters and the SRBs?

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1 minute ago, tater said:

Is this a heating issue with clusters and the SRBs?

I suspect part of the issue is throttle sensativity.

That and the flames that creep up the side...

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2 minutes ago, tater said:

Is this a heating issue with clusters and the SRBs?

The fuel-rich start is a big part. It's also generally a bare-bones rocket engine; it doesn't have very robust subsystems and can't take much variation. The whole vehicle is generally single-fault or no-fault tolerant, whereas human-rating requires a blend of single-fault and double-fault tolerance. The engine controller is not terribly reliable, the engine itself is built with low structural margins, and fault detection (a critical element in human-rating because faults trigger aborts) is insufficiently redundant. NASA estimated that the each engine would need to have 86 kg of additional structural margin and parts. 

Here's NASA's report on human-rating the RS-68.

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11 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

That and the flames that creep up the side.

During flight or at ignition? The ignition fireball should be eliminated by Shuttle-style spark generators which were specifically to prevent hydrogen from accumulating 

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11 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

During flight or at ignition? The ignition fireball should be eliminated by Shuttle-style spark generators which were specifically to prevent hydrogen from accumulating 

IIRC the fuel-rich start of the SSME is much less severe than the RS-68's. 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

And just because EM said they wouldn't manrate FH, because of monetary causes, doesn't mean they won't do it if thats what NASA wants.

NASA wants Musk in LEO and BFR. Spreading SpaceX further wouldn’t be beneficial long term.

Edited by ZooNamedGames

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The critical take away is that NASA is open to anything that works at this point. If SLS/Orion was a going concern already (meaning it had happened as legally required, on schedule), then things would be a little different. As-is, the entire mission cobbled together for SLS, building LOP-G, has been pretty much farmed out to commercial providers.

SLS had nothing it could do. So NASA invented Gateway for SLS to build. Now SLS cannot comanifest cargo, so Orion cannot build anything at all, so commercial will build Gateway, sans Orion. SLS also cannot comanifest Orion with a lander, so either Orion goes to Gateway alone (wasting the point of the EUS), or it merely takes Gateway modules (which cost money, and are not what is actually needed, since what is needed is a lander). So now all the lander elements have to be sent ahead on commercial vehicles. Wonder what minor changes are required to Crew Dragon and Starliner to obviate Orion. At least at that point maybe they build Block 2 and throw a lander up in 1 go.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

One, there are no fines whatsoever possible. Not a thing.

Two, the Commercial Crew contract in fact requires that they seek private customers for the crew vehicle. That was the point, to leverage government spending to jumpstart an industry.

 

NASA literally just expressed tangential interest in it yesterday (and the previous 2 weeks privately) (either via launching (uncrewed) Orion again, or via changing the upper stage to facilitate use for EOR distributed launch mission architectures.

(to be clear, not man rating the LV, but putting crew rated stages into LEO for crew to be sent to)

 

SpaceX could go rogue and launch whatever and whoever they want but again it wouldn’t benefit them long term as they’d be putting people at risk and SpaceX doesn’t need the stain of the next Space Shuttle-Esque disaster on their hands because they decided to ignore the rules set in place to keep crews safe. 

Its no different than Musk creating and selling a Tesla that has a terrible crash safety rating. Can he? Of course. Will it work to his benefit? No. It won’t as he’s knowingly and willingly putting people in danger. So he’d be wise to just man rate his vehicles not only to appease NASA but to also show that he isn’t NASA level careless with his crews. 

Can doesn’t mean should.

Also yes he should be after private missions but a quick look to how private funding is helping Sierra Nevada, and other non-government funded groups, progress is slow. If not painfully so. Musk may have more personal funds than these groups but he isn’t wealthy enough to replace what profit he receives from NASA right now. Maybe by the time BFR is flying routinely SpaceX will no longer be dependent on other sources but NASA is still a major customer for SpaceX. 

Also as to the Delta IV and NASA expressing interest in using other vehicles for EM; yes they probably are. Doesn’t mean they’re suddenly going to slap a crew on a vehicle that isn’t man rated or fund a group (ULA in this case) to suddenly man rate one of their rockets. Development costs could just go to SLS (which is just as expendable as any Delta).

3 minutes ago, tater said:

The critical take away is that NASA is open to anything that works at this point. If SLS/Orion was a going concern already (meaning it had happened as legally required, on schedule), then things would be a little different. As-is, the entire mission cobbled together for SLS, building LOP-G, has been pretty much farmed out to commercial providers.

SLS had nothing it could do. So NASA invented Gateway for SLS to build. Now SLS cannot comanifest cargo, so Orion cannot build anything at all, so commercial will build Gateway, sans Orion. SLS also cannot comanifest Orion with a lander, so either Orion goes to Gateway alone (wasting the point of the EUS), or it merely takes Gateway modules (which cost money, and are not what is actually needed, since what is needed is a lander). So now all the lander elements have to be sent ahead on commercial vehicles. Wonder what minor changes are required to Crew Dragon and Starliner to obviate Orion. At least at that point maybe they build Block 2 and throw a lander up in 1 go.

Have we seen any testing that proves Starliner or Dragon 2 are ready for space beyond LEO? Do they have any radiation shielding? Plans for such? Space to accommodate such? Systems capable of withstanding the increased effects from solar radiation? 

Orion unlike Dragon or Starliner was actually built with the intent to go BEO. So it’s designed for it. Now yes, Musk long long time ago promised Dragon would go to Mars but so much has changed that this claim really doesn’t hold water (ie like saying Falcon Heavy was going to feature fuel crossfeed back in 2012, means that it’ll suddenly appear in the near future; neither makes sense).

So I’d factor that in.

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20 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

SpaceX could go rogue and launch whatever and whoever they want but again it wouldn’t benefit them long term as they’d be putting people at risk and SpaceX doesn’t need the stain of the next Space Shuttle-Esque disaster on their hands because they decided to ignore the rules set in place to keep crews safe. 

Its no different than Musk creating and selling a Tesla that has a terrible crash safety rating. Can he? Of course. Will it work to his benefit? No. It won’t as he’s knowingly and willingly putting people in danger. So he’d be wise to just man rate his vehicles not only to appease NASA but to also show that he isn’t NASA level careless with his crews. 

Can doesn’t mean should.

Also yes he should be after private missions but a quick look to how private funding is helping Sierra Nevada, and other non-government funded groups, progress is slow. If not painfully so. Musk may have more personal funds than these groups but he isn’t wealthy enough to replace what profit he receives from NASA right now. Maybe by the time BFR is flying routinely SpaceX will no longer be dependent on other sources but NASA is still a major customer for SpaceX. 

Also as to the Delta IV and NASA expressing interest in using other vehicles for EM; yes they probably are. Doesn’t mean they’re suddenly going to slap a crew on a vehicle that isn’t man rated or fund a group (ULA in this case) to suddenly man rate one of their rockets. Development costs could just go to SLS (which is just as expendable as any Delta).

It's a matter of cost. If SLS ever manages to launch once a year, each flight will cost ~ 3 billion $, not counting any co-manifested cargo (should that ever be a thing). If they launch every other year, then almost double that (2.5B*2 + 0.5B$ marginal launch cost (likely super low)).

Even lofting Orion alone (no man rating required), then flying crew up to it on Dragon or Starliner is vastly cheaper than even a single SLS launch. Alternately uncrewed Orion goes to ISS, crew boards at ISS.

 

20 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Have we seen any testing that proves Starliner or Dragon 2 are ready for space beyond LEO? Do they have any radiation shielding? Plans for such? Space to accommodate such? Systems capable of withstanding the increased effects from solar radiation? 

Orion unlike Dragon or Starliner was actually built with the intent to go BEO. So it’s designed for it. Now yes, Musk long long time ago promised Dragon would go to Mars but so much has changed that this claim really doesn’t hold water (ie like saying Falcon Heavy was going to feature fuel crossfeed back in 2012, means that it’ll suddenly appear in the near future; neither makes sense).

So I’d factor that in.

Radiation shielding isn't a thing. GCRs get through everything sans meters of protection, or putting crew inside a propellant tank area. Current storm shelter behavior would be the same, point thickest part of craft into solar storm, wait it out. Any BLEO use of either Commercial Crew vehicle would require a better SM for each, so that would become the thicker bit. If ULA gets ACES going (which would be awesome), then a tug architecture is possible (needed for Gateway <-> Moon operations, anyway.

If the goal was to get crew to Gateway and back, and the money available was anything remotely like the annual budget of SLS/Orion even when not flying (~2.5 B$/yr), then all kinds of possibilities exist, including flying more than once a year, even if every flight takes multiple launches (because SLS is that overpriced).

Meanwhile, of course, super safe (because paperwork says so) Orion will literally fly all-up the first time with crew. EM-1 is not an all-up flight (close, but no cigar).

Seems like whatever on-paper stuff makes the Orion SM acceptable for deep space could be ported to Starliner and Crew Dragon SMs (since those would be entirely new, anyway).

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19 minutes ago, tater said:

It's a matter of cost. If SLS ever manages to launch once a year, each flight will cost ~ 3 billion $, not counting any co-manifested cargo (should that ever be a thing). If they launch every other year, then almost double that (2.5B*2 + 0.5B$ marginal launch cost (likely super low)).

Even lofting Orion alone (no man rating required), then flying crew up to it on Dragon or Starliner is vastly cheaper than even a single SLS launch. Alternately uncrewed Orion goes to ISS, crew boards at ISS.

 

Radiation shielding isn't a thing. GCRs get through everything sans meters of protection, or putting crew inside a propellant tank area. Current storm shelter behavior would be the same, point thickest part of craft into solar storm, wait it out. Any BLEO use of either Commercial Crew vehicle would require a better SM for each, so that would become the thicker bit. If ULA gets ACES going (which would be awesome), then a tug architecture is possible (needed for Gateway <-> Moon operations, anyway.

If the goal was to get crew to Gateway and back, and the money available was anything remotely like the annual budget of SLS/Orion even when not flying (~2.5 B$/yr), then all kinds of possibilities exist, including flying more than once a year, even if every flight takes multiple launches (because SLS is that overpriced).

Meanwhile, of course, super safe (because paperwork says so) Orion will literally fly all-up the first time with crew. EM-1 is not an all-up flight (close, but no cigar).

Seems like whatever on-paper stuff makes the Orion SM acceptable for deep space could be ported to Starliner and Crew Dragon SMs (since those would be entirely new, anyway).

Issue is that Dragon and Starliner is completed vehicles. Potentially changing them now may require vast changes to other systems. Besides practically we don’t need 3 BEO capable crew vehicles from the US alone. The vehicles fill the same requirements. Optimizing vehicles for LEO would be more profitable since again we don’t need to launch BEO as often as we need to launch LEO missions to places like the ISS. 

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1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Issue is that Dragon and Starliner is completed vehicles. Potentially changing them now may require vast changes to other systems. Besides practically we don’t need 3 BEO capable crew vehicles from the US alone. The vehicles fill the same requirements. Optimizing vehicles for LEO would be more profitable since again we don’t need to launch BEO as often as we need to launch LEO missions to places like the ISS.  

Orion has yet to actually exist. So far, Crew Dragon exists, and Starliner is a close second.

When all-up Orion flies, it will exist---which has zero chance of happening until probably 2023. That's a long time to alter systems. Seems to me, the primary cnanges required to the 2 commercial crew vehicles have to do with ECLSS systems, much of which can be upgraded on the SM anyway (which in both cases would have to be made from scratch).

We don't need 3 crew vehicles if the goal is to spend several billion every other year to send people to near the Moon for a week. If the goal to to send people to near the Moon for more than a week or two every year or two, then we absolutely need more vehicles. If the goal is to not spend several billion $ for this service, then we need a different set of vehicles.

What's the goal, exactly?

Say the goal is exploration/science on/around the Moon. How many days per year are required to achieve this goal? Does 1-2 weeks/yr do this?

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7 minutes ago, tater said:

When all-up Orion flies, it will exist---which has zero chance of happening until probably 2023. That's a long time to alter systems. Seems to me, the primary cnanges required to the 2 commercial crew vehicles have to do with ECLSS systems, much of which can be upgraded on the SM anyway (which in both cases would have to be made from scratch).

Does anyone have any reasonable idea of how much dV is carried by Starliner? It can't be much.

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14 minutes ago, tater said:

 

When all-up Orion flies, it will exist---which has zero chance of happening until probably 2023. That's a long time to alter systems. Seems to me, the primary cnanges required to the 2 commercial crew vehicles have to do with ECLSS systems, much of which can be upgraded on the SM anyway (which in both cases would have to be made from scratch).

And also heat shielding. IIRC Dragon was designed with way more than necessary, so it *might* be able to work with a normal heat shield, but I don't know how good Starliner's heat shield is.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Orion has yet to actually exist. So far, Crew Dragon exists, and Starliner is a close second.

When all-up Orion flies, it will exist---which has zero chance of happening until probably 2023. That's a long time to alter systems. Seems to me, the primary cnanges required to the 2 commercial crew vehicles have to do with ECLSS systems, much of which can be upgraded on the SM anyway (which in both cases would have to be made from scratch).

We don't need 3 crew vehicles if the goal is to spend several billion every other year to send people to near the Moon for a week. If the goal to to send people to near the Moon for more than a week or two every year or two, then we absolutely need more vehicles. If the goal is to not spend several billion $ for this service, then we need a different set of vehicles.

What's the goal, exactly?

Say the goal is exploration/science on/around the Moon. How many days per year are required to achieve this goal? Does 1-2 weeks/yr do this?

Orion has done an unmanned flight in 2014. SM was a dummy but that’s what the upcoming mission is for. Orion has been optimized for BEO. We don’t need 3 vehicles to go to the moon, especially if the end goal is to extend lunar duration. Aim for a month or 2 for each mission rather than a mere week in duration.

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2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Does anyone have any reasonable idea of how much dV is carried by Starliner? It can't be much.

Very, very little. Look at how little Crew Dragon needs (forgetting the abort motors).

55 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Orion has done an unmanned flight in 2014. SM was a dummy but that’s what the upcoming mission is for. Orion has been optimized for BEO. We don’t need 3 vehicles to go to the moon, especially if the end goal is to extend lunar duration. Aim for a month or 2 for each mission rather than a mere week in duration.

No, a boilerplate Orion flew in 2014. The heatshield has changed. It had no SM, no ECLSS. It's about as close to Orion (real) as Dragon is to Crew Dragon (actually, less close, Dragon is actually a 100% functional spacecraft).

OK, you're right, the missions are roughly a month, starting many years from now (assuming Gateway is there), only EM-2 is 9 days. There's a few days of transit each way, then 2-3 weeks at Gateway, possibly more.

Not enough for any long term study at all, in other words (as if we'd want to destructively test humans in that radiation environment, anyway).

What's the goal, exactly? What data is gathered out by the Moon for a few weeks with people? How quickly they are irreparably damaged?

I'm a little unsure how they can possibly pay for this. ISS and SLS/Orion take about the same amount of money/yr once operational. Gateway will take yet more, and a lander program?

 

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I wonder if the CST-100 or Crew Dragon pressure vessels could be used as landers? Strip all the aeroshell off, maybe even flip them over, if needed, or sideways (keeping window openings, but making sure they point the right way to visualize landing area).

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