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NASA Human Landing System


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2 minutes ago, tater said:

All the vehicles have to deal with the abysmal capabilities of Orion.

This means that abort contingency means returning to NRHO (with any relevant phasing issues).

NRHO looks nice but honestly it is pretty difficult to connect down to the surface if you're only going over them every now and then. Mascons doesn't make things easier I suppose.

And yeah idk how Orion is going.

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2 hours ago, YNM said:

NRHO looks nice but honestly it is pretty difficult to connect down to the surface if you're only going over them every now and then. Mascons doesn't make things easier I suppose.

And yeah idk how Orion is going.

The orbit passes over the south pole every 6.5 days I believe. Hence minimum duration capability for any lander must incorporate that. I suppose we could work out what the contingencies are. If you abort on descent it's not so bad. Assume you land, then there is some issue that requires you leave a day later, say... Where do you go? LLO, I guess, then wait the remaining 5 days, then try to rendezvous? What if 5 days is too long?

Better would be a frozen lunar orbit (no worries for masscons).

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6 hours ago, RCgothic said:

Wow. That's either incredibly incompetent or extremely arrogant to assume that they could submit a proposal that doesn't comply with the rules and still expect to get an award.

Lots of times the rules for these things are super complicated and somewhat ambiguous. Almost certainly they didn't realize the interpretation of their proposal and the interpretation of the rule were in conflict.

This is one reason why these things *often* end up in court.

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Well, so far highest cost of Starship development lies in destroyed Raptors. Rest by bulk is mostly stainless steel - which is dirt cheap comparable to engines. AND reuseable :D

Ability to build prototypes practically next to launch pad, and not in a full scale high-tech facility (unlike New Glenn), indicates that the process is not particularly hard and expensive.

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Soon they will reveal the actual cost of all those multi-million rocket things.

Why a aluminium barrel covered with rubber costs 200...1000 mln.

Edited by kerbiloid
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The report implied that the all up development for Starship is likely to be somewhere in the ballpark of $6Bn to $10Bn for booster, ground systems and starship variants.

Considering this is the largest, most complicated spacecraft ever on the most powerful booster by a factor of 2, that's not bad going.

Sure, it's not cheap (a lot cheaper than some others) but less than half is tax dollars and the amount beyond that doesn't really matter. As long as SpaceX deliver a working vehicle the taxpayer had nothing to complain about in this, and as long as SpaceX can afford to service the interest on their private debt it's all good.

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This is how the bids were rated at the previous phase:

Blue Origin: Technical Rating: Acceptable, Management Rating: Very Good (most expensive)

Dynetics: Technical Rating: Very Good, Management Rating: Very Good

SpaceX: Technical Rating: Acceptable, Management Rating: Acceptable (cheapest)

 

From April 2021 selection statement:

Blue Origin: Technical Rating: Acceptable, Management Rating: Very Good

Dynetics: Technical Rating: Marginal, Management Rating: Very Good (most expensive)

SpaceX: Technical Rating: Acceptable, Management Rating: Outstanding (cheapest)

 

Blue Origin held steady, Dynetics plummeted on the technical side, and SpaceX more than overcame doubts about its management capability.

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8 hours ago, tater said:

Better would be a frozen lunar orbit (no worries for masscons).

Aren't they only on some weird inclinations though ? Although at least with being closer phasing is much less of a problem.

4 hours ago, Scotius said:

Well, so far highest cost of Starship development lies in destroyed Raptors. Rest by bulk is mostly stainless steel - which is dirt cheap comparable to engines. AND reuseable :D

Recyclable != Reusable.

By mass they're very close (most of rockets are just fuel and tanks), but we haven't yet to see LSS, ingress/egress, automated unmanned docking (well ISS docking is autonomous but they do have humans on board and on the loop to control, not completely on it's own) etc. Though I wouldn't be too surprised if they reuse something like a Dragon capsule on the very top of the rocket (no bellyflop so I presume no need for header tanks) tipped with an IDA/IDSS, then some way down to the payload area. I still wonder how they're going to transfer fuel if it's skirt-to-skirt situation... it's very good for fitting and stability though (9 m docking ring is massive in any case).

2 hours ago, RCgothic said:

The report implied that the all up development for Starship is likely to be somewhere in the ballpark of $6Bn to $10Bn for booster, ground systems and starship variants.

I think that the 2.6bn figure is just for stuff that are relevant to HLS. Heatshield, Earth re-entry, launch human rating etc. isn't included in that I suppose. Superheavy might not even be in that figure, given that they seem to include a case for a rapid launch of Starships to refuel one of them that'd go and be used as a lander (otherwise I don't think launching 2 rockets in succession is *that* impressive, Gemini did that half a century ago).

Edited by YNM
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Superheavy might not even be in that figure, given that they seem to include a case for a rapid launch of Starships to refuel one of them that'd go and be used as a lander

The orbital refuelling part is true, that is the current plan, but it still includes Superheavy for the launch. If I remember correctly even a Starship with no payload isn't an SSTO, let alone refuelling another one and making the suicide burn

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57 minutes ago, Beccab said:

If I remember correctly even a Starship with no payload isn't an SSTO, let alone refuelling another one and making the suicide burn

As I recall, a Starship could SSTO but not land, any payload would depend on what the final dry mass of the craft turns out to be. And who knows how much mass will be added by equipping the shell for mid-term human missions.

I'm really curious about how that skin stands up to MMOD.

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15 hours ago, YNM said:

NRHO looks nice but honestly it is pretty difficult to connect down to the surface if you're only going over them every now and then. Mascons doesn't make things easier I suppose.

And yeah idk how Orion is going.

Does not starship make NRHO redundant, starship is an space station in moon orbit if it orbit the moon. Yes starship has some weaknesses as an long duration station like steel is not very good regarding radiation. 

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17 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Does not starship make NRHO redundant, starship is an space station in moon orbit if it orbit the moon. Yes starship has some weaknesses as an long duration station like steel is not very good regarding radiation. 

NRHO is a thing only because it's the only place Orion can go. There are some reasons why such orbits could be useful, but being constrained to only using that family of orbits is clearly a problem, IMO.

A low orbiting station is entirely possible (frozen orbit), and proximity to the Moon cuts the radiation exposure to the extent the Moon fills the sky from the POV of the station. LLO makes nearly half the the sky "rock," and cuts the radiation threat by ~half.

One possible solution (still assuming Orion for giggles) is for "not SLS" to put Orion in LEO after Lunar Starship is prop loaded in LEO. Dock in LEO, and part of Starship's cargo load is the 26.5t of Orion on the front. SS goes from LEO to LLO, undocks with Orion, and lands. Returns to LLO, docks with Orion. At this point, the Orion SM has more than enough dv to head home by itself. If the Lunar SS operations model is to stay in LLO, then Orion goes home. If the model is for Lunar SS to aerobrake to LEO for refilling at Earth, then SS can take Orion home, with the crew undocking at some point before any course correction burns are done by SS, and the crew does EDL in Orion, SS enters LEO by itself, ready for tanking up and another mission.

 

 

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6 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

As I recall, a Starship could SSTO but not land, any payload would depend on what the final dry mass of the craft turns out to be. And who knows how much mass will be added by equipping the shell for mid-term human missions.

The refuelers could be barely more than the current belly-flop-test flight articles, honestly, with maybe a lot more propellant load. Dispose of it after you're done.

6 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Does not starship make NRHO redundant, starship is an space station in moon orbit if it orbit the moon.

Would probably require much more man-rated developments I think... But that could be the case if Gateway is delayed or something.

5 hours ago, tater said:

One possible solution (still assuming Orion for giggles) is for "not SLS" to put Orion in LEO after Lunar Starship is prop loaded in LEO.

EOR ops is deffo possible with Starship. Problem is that NRHO is still going to be utilized at some point to make sure the other nations can join in the game too.

Edited by YNM
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11 minutes ago, YNM said:

EOR ops is deffo possible with Starship. Problem is that NRHO is still going to be utilized at some point to make sure the other nations can join in the game too.

If SpaceX manages to get Lunar Starship to the Moon, that requires at least refilling operations with expendable upper stages, and ideally with reusable tankers.

If the former is cost effective at any level (~10 launches including Lunar SS for ~$1.5B), SS obviates all other vehicles.

If the latter? LOL. Even more so.

At that point, the other nations might as well make cargoes to be delivered BY SpaceX, instead of pretending like their efforts are actually contributing. A JAXA rover, for example—perfect contribution.

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4 minutes ago, tater said:

At that point, the other nations might as well make cargoes to be delivered BY SpaceX, instead of pretending like their efforts are actually contributing.

Well, they need a replacement for ISS, that's the problem. I think the rest isn't ready to do much on the surface yet (and to be completely honest I don't see surface ops as being that interesting, unless we're ready to clear out surface extraction or something).

ISS itself is going to be an interesting lookout for how lunar commercialization would be like though... in any case I do expect some form of First Space Lord Musk.

Edited by YNM
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Mars SS to LEO for long term habitation testing (radiators, solar, life support, etc).

Expandable hab concepts (Bigelow, or SNC) lofted cheaply by SS.

SS working at any level at all makes expendable LVs less useful than horse carts after automobiles—horses actually have loads of utility for some use cases, Ariane, Vulcan, etc? Nope.

That is of course predicated on SS actually working.

Maybe expendable crew vehicles are a thing for a while, since I consider crew Starship (Earth launch, Earth EDL) to be sorta sketchy (happy to be shown wrong, but it freaks me out a little).

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4 minutes ago, tater said:

That is of course predicated on SS actually working.

Maybe expendable crew vehicles are a thing for a while, since I consider crew Starship (Earth launch, Earth EDL) to be sorta sketchy (happy to be shown wrong, but it freaks me out a little).

Well, it took 10 years after the first orbital launch to man-rate F9+Dragon. Don't think it'd take any shorter on SS+SH.

Edited by YNM
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Crew rate.

Also crew rating is just a NASA review before NASA lets NASA astronaut fly on a vehicle.

If someone other than NASA wants to ride on an experimental vehicle that's on them.

Edited by RCgothic
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2 hours ago, RCgothic said:

If someone other than NASA wants to ride on an experimental vehicle that's on them.

Yeah, it depends on who wants to be put on top of a giant roman candle really. But given the extra complexity I imagine similar timescales just with more achievements along the way.

Anyway, not precisely the Starship-Superheavy thread (even though they're going to be used as HLS they're not going to be used as crew launchers in this particular contract).

Edited by YNM
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Crew rating the lunar version is a much lower bar than as a crew launch and return vehicle I would imagine. The landing is entirely propulsive, and in fact far easier than landing it on Earth. This is particularly true given the landing thruster addition to the lunar version. Seems like they can make those arbitrarily powerful via whatever throttle capability they have, combined with having so many they can selectively shut groups of them down. Unlike F9, or the "flip" we see in Boca Chica, it should be able to hover. There will see be some assessment of LOC probability, and I'm sure that's somewhere in the requirements (1:75, 1:200, whatever it is).

I have to say, I'm still sorta blown away by this selection.

The lander part really is the tip of the iceberg. To get Lunar Starship in a position to function (ie: in NRHO with props to land), they must have cost-effective refilling. So the entirety of planned Starship operations comes for the ride. Combined with Starlink launches using Starship, this will allow them to test Starship EDL the way they tested F9 landing. Starlink payloads allows testing launch and EDL and the cost is not wasted. Refilling can be tested and it is subsidized by the lunar milestone, plus they can then also test EDL again.

I have to wonder about #dearmoon, actually. Build a test version of lunar SS. Use it as the refilling target. Fill it with props. Send crew up in Dragon (full 7 seats), dock to nose, do the free return trip. SS in that case should have enough for a propulsive brake into an orbit that Dragon can deal with for EDL I would think. Obviously the total crew would drop to 7 in that case.

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11 minutes ago, tater said:

Crew rating the lunar version is a much lower bar than as a crew launch and return vehicle I would imagine. The landing is entirely propulsive, and in fact far easier than landing it on Earth. This is particularly true given the landing thruster addition to the lunar version. Seems like they can make those arbitrarily powerful via whatever throttle capability they have, combined with having so many they can selectively shut groups of them down. Unlike F9, or the "flip" we see in Boca Chica, it should be able to hover. There will see be some assessment of LOC probability, and I'm sure that's somewhere in the requirements (1:75, 1:200, whatever it is).

I have to say, I'm still sorta blown away by this selection.

The lander part really is the tip of the iceberg. To get Lunar Starship in a position to function (ie: in NRHO with props to land), they must have cost-effective refilling. So the entirety of planned Starship operations comes for the ride. Combined with Starlink launches using Starship, this will allow them to test Starship EDL the way they tested F9 landing. Starlink payloads allows testing launch and EDL and the cost is not wasted. Refilling can be tested and it is subsidized by the lunar milestone, plus they can then also test EDL again.

I have to wonder about #dearmoon, actually. Build a test version of lunar SS. Use it as the refilling target. Fill it with props. Send crew up in Dragon (full 7 seats), dock to nose, do the free return trip. SS in that case should have enough for a propulsive brake into an orbit that Dragon can deal with for EDL I would think. Obviously the total crew would drop to 7 in that case.

Agree, they probably start launching starlinks on 3th-4th orbital flight, might do an small batch on second. Then try to reenter SS and find out that went wrong. 
With the capacity of SS this should even be competitive with F9. 

I say its some chance they do an unmanned moon flyby first with an tanker before dear moon. 
They could use two dragons if they feel lucky, that would give the A team some days in orbit on SS before second dragon arrive. B team require that second dragon don't get bogged down or moonship leaves without them, again B team. 

Now they could use the actual moonship for dear moon but I guess not, simply because you want to stuff the moonship with lots of stuff you want landing on the moon. 
An drill rig for core samples is high on my list, 2-3 rovers who can be remote controlled, so you can drive outside of walk back distance as you send another to rescue you. 
The limiting factor on moonship is orion as other says. 

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