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NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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21 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

BFR and NG.  

BFR will take time and, i'm sure, won't exist in its current form. And while the big New Glenn is impressive, it's gto capacity is only slightly bigger than Ariane 5's. A more realistic Commercial SLS replacement would be a dual launch Vulcan with ACES.

Edit: a little correction, 3 stage new glenn seems to be comparable to a fully fueled ACES in low earth orbit. 

Edited by Canopus

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Just now, DAL59 said:

BFR and NG.  

BFR as a colonial transporter to Mars? Not happening.

BFR as a commercial flight service, city to city on Earth? Not happening.

BFR as a to the moon transporter? Not happening.

BFR as a space tourist spacecraft? Not happening.

BFR as a satellite launch vehicle? Massive overkill that will not be profitable.

It'll be cancelled in some years with something even dumber and bigger announced to replace it. Mark my words. 

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24 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

BFR as a colonial transporter to Mars? Not happening.

BFR as a commercial flight service, city to city on Earth? Not happening.

BFR as a space tourist spacecraft? Not happening.

Not happening in the foreseeable future. Correct.

24 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

BFR as a to the moon transporter? Not happening.

Why not, refilling is part of the point, and something that we've needed to work on for ages, and would have, except Alabama and Texas were not fans (they prefer throwing everything away, cost plus!).

Refilling BFS makes it lunar capable, direct ascent. 9 km/s dv in LEO.

 

24 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

BFR as a satellite launch vehicle? Massive overkill that will not be profitable.

This is a nonsensical statement. If the cost of propellants, and the pro-rata cost of the vehicle is less than the cost to throw away a rocket for the same launch, it's profitable. Propellants are cheap. Several hundred thousand $ for BFR. A few hundred million for the 2 vehicles, combined. Call it 300 M$. If they can relaunch even just 10 times, the total cost/launch is 31 M$. For up to 150 tons. 5 times? It;s in F9 territory. just once? Sadly, that's Delta IV Heavy kinda pricing---but for 150 tons.

24 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

It'll be cancelled in some years with something even dumber and bigger announced to replace it. Mark my words. 

If that happens, that's a good thing. It means that they will have decided something about it doesn't work, or has no market. Unlike SLS, which has no useful payloads, and should have been cancelled ages ago.

Working on something with no real use case makes the people doing that not terribly smart. Sometimes the smart thing to do is to quit, contrary to the myth that the best thing to do is to keep trying. You might keep trying on the goal, but quit on the method.

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2 minutes ago, tater said:

Not happening in the foreseeable future. Correct.

Why not, refilling is part of the point, and something that we've needed to work on for ages, and would have, except Alabama and Texas were not fans (they prefer throwing everything away, cost plus!).

Refilling BFS makes it lunar capable, direct ascent. 9 km/s dv in LEO.

 

This is a nonsensical statement. If the cost of propellants, and the pro-rata cost of the vehicle is less than the cost to throw away a rocket for the same launch, it's profitable. Propellants are cheap. Several hundred thousand $ for BFR. A few hundred million for the 2 vehicles, combined. Call it 300 M$. If they can relaunch even just 10 times, the total cost/launch is 31 M$. For up to 150 tons. 5 times? It;s in F9 territory. just once? Sadly, that's Delta IV Heavy kinda pricing---but for 150 tons.

If that happens, that's a good thing. It means that they will have decided something about it doesn't work, or has no market. Unlike SLS, which has no useful payloads, and should have been cancelled ages ago.

Working on something with no real use case makes the people doing that not terribly smart. Sometimes the smart thing to do is to quit, contrary to the myth that the best thing to do is to keep trying. You might keep trying on the goal, but quit on the method.

If you believe a BFR is ever going to launch in its current form...

 

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7 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

If you believe a BFR is ever going to launch in its current form..

What's with the "current form" nonsense? SpaceX iterates everything. If you said a few weeks ago when they announced Fairing 2.0, "If you think SpaceX will use fairing 2.0 in its current form, I have a bridge to sell you!" you'd of course be right. They tested today, and it will change (bigger chute to control sink rate). Just as the M1D has changed multiple times (M1A-D, then a few D variants). F9 was stretched, legs added, grid fins added.

Yeah, BFR/BFS will certainly evolve.

If in testing, the basic concept is sound, it will look a lot like the current design. If the concept is not working, they will change it. That's kind of the point of testing. The shape is not something they pulled out of thin air, NASA has had Mars lander concepts that look similar for decades now (biconics).

Do you really think full reuse is a bad idea? If so, why? Do you prefer spaceflight to be something a handful of humans do once a year?

The nice thing about BFR is that it's costing us (actual taxpayers)... nothing.

I'll be a fanboy of it when I see it fly. Until then, it's a great idea, but I remain properly skeptical. I see no need to be negative, as it's not wasting my tax dollars (which SLS is doing).

Edited by tater

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Of course BFR isn't hurting anybody and i too would be excited to see it fly. But should NASA cancel SLS and hope for BFR to fly? What if Musk would really change his mind and stop development.

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2 minutes ago, Canopus said:

Of course BFR isn't hurting anybody and i too would be excited to see it fly. But should NASA cancel SLS and hope for BFR to fly? What if Musk would really change his mind and stop development.

That would be dumb, and it's not going to happen.

NASA cannot plan around a vehicle that doesn't exist. FH didn't exist to them until a couple weeks ago, for example. Now that it does, they can consider it.

Aside from a few who are irrational on the other side of things, no one suggests that, I think.

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15 minutes ago, tater said:

That would be dumb, and it's not going to happen.

Why would that be dumb? And why such blind faith?  

After a few years Musk and SpaceX could easily be having serious development problems. They might scrap the whole thing for something more economically profitable with a new mission. You know these Falcon 9 fly-backs are still having the occasional failure. If you're landing people with supersonic retro-propulsion like the BFR wants to do, you don't have the luxury of those occasional failures. This thing has to work perfect every single time. And I can't see them getting the reliability to an acceptable level to carry John Q. Public commercially. And there goes the whole new opening of deep space because the BFR failed to come.    

I'm confident the SLS and Orion will work. That's why it's my bird.

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Actually, it IS dumb for them to continue with SLS if they can instead make their own version of BFR. If SpaceX can do it, NASA can do it as well. Even starting from scratch would be a better idea than this whole SLS-DSG stuff. 

@Kerbal7 so you like iterative design? No problem, it can start without orbital refilling capabilities, ambitious Mars colony plans, even without a crewed version. Just a launcher with two reusable stages that require minimal to no refurbishment between flights. And it will be a bomb on LEO launch market already. Start small, test things out, then add new stuff. Like refilling in orbit. Or bigger stages. Or crewed upper stage. Every step will improve its capabilities and open up new destinations. In the end, it will be a rocket that can do any mission, while also being very cheap, compared to the SLS that can barely do anything useful.

A fully reusable and refillable rocket will be able to do everything that’s planned for SLS, and much more, for a fraction of the cost. 

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3 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

Why would that be dumb? And why such blind faith?  

After a few years Musk and SpaceX could easily be having serious development problems. They might scrap the whole thing for something more economically profitable with a new mission. You know these Falcon 9 fly-backs are still having the occasional failure. If you're landing people with supersonic retro-propulsion like the BFR wants to do, you don't have the luxury of those occasional failures. This thing has to work perfect every single time. And I can't see them getting the reliability to an acceptable level to carry John Q. Public commercially. And there goes the whole new opening of deep space because the BFR failed to come.    

I'm confident the SLS and Orion will work. That's why it's my bird.

Can you read?

I said it would be dumb for NASA to cancel SLS in the blind hope BFR could replace it.

That said, the safety claim for SLS is nonsense. It’s literally flying crew to the moon the first time it ever flies. Nothing except stage 1 core and boosters will have flown when crew climb aboard.

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4 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

 If SpaceX can do it, NASA can do it as well. 

Well SpaceX has to prove they can do it first then.

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3 minutes ago, tater said:

Can you read?

I said it would be dumb for NASA to cancel SLS in the blind hope BFR could replace it.

That said, the safety claim for SLS is nonsense. It’s literally flying crew to the moon the first time it ever flies. Nothing except stage 1 core and boosters will have flown when crew climb aboard.

Apollo 4 was the first full scale test flight of the Saturn V. Apollo 6 was the second and (was to) perform a similar mission. Unlike the S-V, most of the SLS is previously flown hardware (ie, RS-25s, SRMs, etc).

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Not flown together in their current iteration, but built as LEGO.

Not even the life support tested. They should have stuck with the LM service module.

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17 minutes ago, tater said:

Can you read?

I said it would be dumb for NASA to cancel SLS in the blind hope BFR could replace it.

That said, the safety claim for SLS is nonsense. It’s literally flying crew to the moon the first time it ever flies. Nothing except stage 1 core and boosters will have flown when crew climb aboard.

I can read. In 2 languages. :P

Good. Because the as it stands now the BFR is a pipe dream.

SLS is safe. It's using proven technology. And a capsule and parachute is extremely safe for crews. Using supersonic retro-propulsion is NOT SAFE enough for people. Not even close. It might be in the future, but it has a long way to go. Any configuration you think viable from anyone, not just SpaceX, using this landing system for human missions is wishful thinking. 

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5 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

Using supersonic retro-propulsion is NOT SAFE enough for people.

That is NASA's plan for landing on Mars too.  

104737553-mars-lander.1910x1000.jpg

6 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

ecause the as it stands now the BFR is a pipe dream.

That is currently being built.  

7 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

It's using proven technology.

What do you think all of the precicion landings by F9 were proving?

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3 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

That is NASA's plan for landing on Mars too.  

In how many years? :wink: And that's a tiny astronaut team accepting huge risk. Not a giant space colonial ship carrying a 100 people.

Edited by Kerbal7

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2 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

In how many years? :wink: And that's a tiny astronaut team accepting huge risk. Not giant space colonial ships carrying 100 people.

Why should SRP be arbitralily delayed by 20 years?

2 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

And that's a tiny astronaut team accepting huge risk. Not giant space colonial ships carrying 100 people.

Exactly.  Its not feasible to send tiny teams.  We need hundreds of people building colonies ASAP.

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1 minute ago, DAL59 said:

Exactly.  Its not feasible to send tiny teams.  We need hundreds of people building colonies ASAP.

:D Okay.

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So NASA plans to put people on a rocket that never flew before as a single stack? But it’s NOT SAFE!

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Please note that there is no good reason for astronauts to fly on either the BFR or SLS. SHLVs should be used for cargo, with astronauts carried separately on a conservatively built taxicab spacecraft like the CST-100 or Crew Dragon.

Once you remove astronauts from the equation, its about which lift vehicle is more economical, in both cost and reliability.

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21 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

In how many years? :wink: And that's a tiny astronaut team accepting huge risk. Not a giant space colonial ship carrying a 100 people.

A vehicle that can deliver hundreds of tons to Mars can take a few crew, and extra propellant, or it can take lots of people. You are irrationally fixated on this colonial nonsense. The 747 was designed to carry tanks and troops. Every time you see one, do you complain that it is being misused because it lost the bid to LockMart (C-5)? No, you're happy it is misused for passengers and cargo.

BFS will first fly as a cargo vehicle. The 100 people version is merely one possible fitting out of a pressurized, crew version. That's a fitting out I see as stunningly unlikely. I would expect an actual crew version to maybe hold 10-20 people (it's freaking huge, might as well have 10 people with room for 20), the rest of the space occupied by cargo. This would facilitate the sort of cargo that international partners have said they want to deliver to the Moon, for example.

33 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

I can read. In 2 languages. :P

Then why did you attribute to me the exact opposite of what I said. The last bit that part of my reply quoted was a specific question, which I answered.

33 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

Good. Because the as it stands now the BFR is a pipe dream.

The engines exist. A composite tank (12m diameter!) was tested. They plan on starting construction on a testbed in the next year. It is their next generation launch vehicle. It's more than a pipe dream.

 

33 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

SLS is safe. It's using proven technology. And a capsule and parachute is extremely safe for crews. Using supersonic retro-propulsion is NOT SAFE enough for people. Not even close. It might be in the future, but it has a long way to go. Any configuration you think viable from anyone, not just SpaceX, using this landing system for human missions is wishful thinking. 

SLS is utterly unknown. It has not flown, not even once. Sure, the engines probably won't explode, but the stack is untested. Ever.

Yes, capsules are safe. My gut feeling is that any crew fitout for BFS will in fact have a capsule on top, with a form of LES, that's the only way to crew the thing to start (as the Shuttle had (useless) ejection seats to start).

If retropropulsion is not even close for people, then people are not landing on Mars, even with NASA designed spacecraft, since that is a required technology, and there is no LES on Mars. Nor on the Moon, unless the lander is staged (so S2 can abort to orbit). Of course SLS cannot get such a vehicle anywhere, anyway.

2 minutes ago, Starman4308 said:

Please note that there is no good reason for astronauts to fly on either the BFR or SLS. SHLVs should be used for cargo, with astronauts carried separately on a conservatively built taxicab spacecraft like the CST-100 or Crew Dragon.

Once you remove astronauts from the equation, its about which lift vehicle is more economical, in both cost and reliability.

This.

 

How about we agree that outside a colonization thread, people ignore nonsense about BFS taking 100 people anywhere. The vehicle is a shell than can land while holding XXX tons of cargo. That is all that matters. What the cargo is doesn't matter. He shows 100 people just to give a sense of scale to regular people, and because he aspires to a city on another planet.

It's just as irrational to focus on what's wrong with that one part of the architecture as it is to say that BFR will somehow magically cancel SLS (which isn't happening).

Like most things in the real world, it's gray, not black and white.

 

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51 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

Exactly.  Its not feasible to send tiny teams.  We need hundreds of people building colonies ASAP.

Why exactly? Do you know something we don‘t? Should i be scared?

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8 minutes ago, tater said:

A vehicle that can deliver hundreds of tons to Mars can take a few crew, and extra propellant, or it can take lots of people.

Vehicles that can land hundreds of tons of whatever to Mars do not exist and are not about to exist.

 

10 minutes ago, tater said:

BFS will first fly as a cargo vehicle.

 A giant rocket that can launch satellites. Sure, that can be done. But it will not reliably land using supersonic retro-propulsion. And using a giant rocket to launch satellites is just dumb at all levels to begin with.

 

14 minutes ago, tater said:

The engines exist. A composite tank (12m diameter!) was tested. They plan on starting construction on a testbed in the next year. It is their next generation launch vehicle. It's more than a pipe dream.

 An engine and a composite tank is not a functioning rocket. Especially one that plans on using cutting edge technology that hasn't been made reliable yet. 

 

19 minutes ago, tater said:

SLS is utterly unknown. It has not flown, not even once. Sure, the engines probably won't explode, but the stack is untested. Ever.

In one post the SLS is being criticized for using archaic but reliable technology from the 1970s. now it's being slammed for being a new design. At least keep the hate angles consistent please. 

23 minutes ago, tater said:

How about we agree that outside a colonization thread, people ignore nonsense about BFS taking 100 people anywhere.

Hehe! :D They're just repeating the man. You know the man. 

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The most difficult aspect of rocket development is funding, followed by rocket engines. It just so happens that the Raptor is well on its way on its development and they'll probably make a bunch of cash off government contracts and commercial launches. If they want to develop BFR, and they do (at this point in time), then they'll develop it.

One of my engineer acquaintances who works at MSFC has repeatedly told me about how screwed SLS's development has been. The core is underpowered, the RS-25s are inconsistent, and they're trying to eek out extra performance from Block 1, about ten tonnes. They're even having issues with potentially damaging the Orion's solar panels with the thrust from the upper stage. It's getting pretty bad...

Edited by Bill Phil

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Guarantee SLS is not landing on the moon or Mars. 

Doesn't have cargo space for a lander or a lander designed for it even if it had the throw weight to include one, which it doesn't. 

Doesn't have life support capacity to reach Mars, or cargo space for a hab module or a hab designed for it even if it had the throw weight to include one, which it doesn't.

Doesn't have the on-orbit it linger time to construct a mothership in leo, even if it had a design for one, which it doesn't. By the time the next SLS upper stage gets into orbit in a year's time the original second stage's dregs will have evaporated, leaving the newly arrived upper stage unable to throw the weight of the combined mothership anywhere useful.

SLS has precisely 3 uses: 

1) Large probes on high energy trajectories. But NASA can't afford to build any large probes whilst operating SLS, and other rockets becoming operational can throw multiple smaller probes to the same places for much less.

2) Large cargos to LEO. Gets spanked on a $/kg basis by currently operational rockets. It's a matter of time before a cheaper rocket with comparable volume comes along.

3) Orion to LLO. But currently operational rockets have a high enough launch cadence to support rendezvous missions and even a landing.

And it's not cheap. The components it uses haven't flown in their current specification before. It's too expensive to do an all up test for.

It will get cancelled the moment the public starts laughing at it, which will be round about the time Blue Origin or SpaceX demonstrate their next gen launchers. 

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