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Everything posted by RCgothic

  1. The Starship plume anomalies prior to FTS suggested a loss of attitude to me.
  2. Musk's descent down the rabbit hole of public behaviour that would get any of us promptly banned from this site makes it a lot harder to enjoy SpaceX's successes and I certainly don't want him in charge of any off-world colonies. I am looking forward to IFT2 today though, and hope it goes as planned. I'm going to take "high teens" as the number of flights required for Artemis III with a pinch of salt. It's so at odds with what we've been hearing about payload capacity, the amount of fuel lunar starship would be able to hold, and the amount of fuel calculated as necessary for the mission.
  3. If you look closely you'll see that of the two flat portions with the pins through, the left hand pin mount doesn't extend all the way down and the right hand pin mount doesn't extend all the way up. Two axis freedom. I'm 99% certain that's the gimbal mount.
  4. Europe determines to source their next-gen launchers through a NASA-style competitive commercial procurement process: https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/11/after-the-sting-of-ariane-6-europe-finally-embraces-commercial-rockets/amp/
  5. Apparently we don't have a dedicated thread for the European Space Agency (ESA). Some news that I'm sure has been covered in the Arianespace thread is a brewing rift among European Partners over the future of Europe's Launch Capability and the woes of Ariane 6 and Vega C: https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/11/ariane-6-cost-and-delays-bring-european-launch-industry-to-a-breaking-point/amp/ There's also news about a new programme to source a European capsule for which ESA will be the anchor customer to debut in 2028. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-67339057.amp One of the competing concepts is Exploration Company's Nyx capsule: And the Argo concept from Rocket Factory Ausberg: The Seville meeting also opened up the Zero Debris Charter for signatories. "This encourages everyone operating in space to leave behind no hardware that might collide with operational missions. The UK, one of the big four nations in Esa, will be introducing a new regulatory framework early next year that aims to promote good behaviour and foster a market for services that remove trash from orbit. "We want to reward compliant operators," said UK science minister George Freeman. "If you're bringing back what you put up, if you're doing in-flight servicing and not contributing to space debris - we're going to give you faster licensing, better insurance and quicker access to finance," he told BBC News."
  6. Actually "we won't sign fixed price contracts" isn't what they said. They said they won't do any development work on fixed price contracts. Maybe not as absolute an outcome as my first reading.
  7. Death knell for Starliner beyond its already contacted missions I fear. Not a great prospect for SLS either as NASA desperately tries to reign in its budget.
  8. I'd be very interested to know more about the hydrogen-fuelled Prometheus. Until now everything we know about it says methane.
  9. That's certainly cutting a 2023 launch date fine.
  10. This is so the crew aren't short a lifeboat if the capsule can't redock, not because the capsule can't do the docking itself. If it absolutely came to it, I reckon a cargo dragon could serve as a lifeboat if it had to with an immediate deorbit burn and the crew strapped down to the floor. Last resort.
  11. 4 crew every other year isn't one tenth as ambitious as either HLS option could reasonably support. And once again the problem is SLS/Orion.
  12. With or without the upgrade the deluge system probably could withstand a launch-realistic test firing because it will have to in a launch. A full flight duration firing is of course quite different and any system to withstand that would need a tank capacity far larger than is reasonable. But they still won't do a full power launch simulation of the system because the launch clamps can't hold down a partially-fuelled stack at full thrust, and there's no good reason to take the small but potentially severely consequential risk of fully fuelling a stack and lighting the engines except for conducting an actual launch.
  13. Agreed with most of what he said up until 17mins or so. I like ALPACA, but not more than either of the other two HLS solutions and I'm willing to wait. In my opinion getting back to the moon fast is not as important as getting back in a cost effective and scalable fashion, so I'm not especially upset ALPACA wasn't picked looking at the potential of the ones that were. Secondly, Starship doesn't need to be fully crew-rated for Earth entry descent and landing to perform creed lunar missions, and that wouldn't hold things up particularly in the absence of SLS. The crew can meet Starship in LEO via Dragon/Starliner, or even putting Orion atop an expendable Superheavy is something that looks comparatively quick and cheap. With Orion's oversized LAS and Superheavy's potentially high flight rate (even expendably), getting Superheavy crew-rated for launch really wouldn't that big a deal. Thirdly, even ALPACA would have needed orbital refuelling. This is just something we need to master, and he doesn't even doubt we will. So once again my disagreement is on schedule not feasibility, and so each to their own.
  14. Saturn V could manage upwards of 140t to LEO and did not have a reasonably sized lander.
  15. The capability options were interesting but additional complexity for greater performance isn't going to help with the cost, cadence, comanifest volume or schedule issues.
  16. There just isn't any way to modify any part of SLS/Orion without making the cost and schedule problem worse, not better. All the low-cost/high-cadence architectures that we could reasonably achieve within 10 years are Earth Orbit Rendezvous using some combination of Falcon/Superheavy/Vulcan/New Glenn and Dragon/Starship HLS/BO HLS and probably Starliner once they finally get that flying. The biggest modifications to those basic elements we could get completed in a reasonable timescale and budget would be an expendable upper stage for Superheavy, and maybe one new service/propulsion module.
  17. The key to a cost-effective replacement for SLS is for the love of Jeb never award any more business to Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne or Northrop Grumman.
  18. 1 Exploration Upper Stage for Artemis IV Contract Value: $9.7B Number of articles: 1 Cost per SLS1B: $482m That isn't how maths works. NASA keep trying to pretend tax dollars spent on R&D don't count, but actually they do.
  19. Hey kids, you too can design a rocket with fantasy performance if you make an error in the 1st stage dry mass figure used for the DV calculations! The gross mass at burnout figure was correct, but later where the spreadsheet used dry mass for the DV calc it wasn't using the same figure. More reasonable values for payloads were 2-stage 165t to LEO and 75t direct to TLI. It's still got multiple useful applications though, unlike SLS. The 205t 3-stage payload might be a little low on the TWR side at liftoff though - down to 1.13. Apologies for the quality, I applied a filter to soften the raster a bit. @sevenperforce I've got 1st stage dry mass about 5% plus engines, 2nd & 3rd stages 8% plus engines, both significantly heavier than the STS super lightweight external tank. The reason it's not J2-X on the 2nd stage is 6-7 don't fit at an 8.4m diameter.
  20. I've been messing about with a design I might have chosen in 2011 instead of SLS. It keeps the 5-segment SRBs and 8.4m form factor to keep congress happy, but the first stage uses 3x RD-171Ms (or maybe a 171M and 4 RD180s) and the 2nd stage uses 7x J2s. It would be capable of throwing 285t payload to LEO. With an optional 285t 3rd stage (2x J2-X) it could throw around 120t to TLI in a single launch (in this case the 3rd stage ignition would need to begin prior to achieving LEO), and would weigh 4180t on the pad and stand ~95m tall to the 3rd stage payload adaptor. The 3rd stage can be placed fully fuelled into LEO to meet a payload already there. 200t to TLI or 120t to TMI. Credible Mars missions and lunar surface bases? Yup. These are all within the transporter crawler and VAB margins, would have though there might be a challenge with the SRBs bridging two stages and RD engines would probably have run into foreign issues by now. Fun exercise
  21. In order to get 41t of lander to NRHO takes ~48.5t to TLI.
  22. It may be overkill for that, but eventually the mission planners start asking "Well what isn't it overkill for?" And that's when things get exciting. (Even more exciting). Personally I'm never going to get excited or feel motivated to support downgrading the mission to what SLS can limp into a lunar round trip. Compared to what we could have once mission planners wake up to what we can do with Starship and the BO lander architectures? No thanks. Even if using the current architectures takes a decade longer than an alternative (and as previously discussed it would only be the other way around), I still wouldn't make that trade. A skeletal mission could only lead to flags and footprints, disappointment, and cancellation. There's no scope for future progression. The HLS architectures give access to the entire solar system and obsolesce the grossly over expensive SLS/Orion ESM at the same time. There's one good part of the Artemis Programme and HLS is it.
  23. Want to do it with a Boeing Lander? They don't have a lander. Want to do it in a single launch? Can't get a meaningful mission through NRHO. Don't want to go through NRHO? That's the only place SLS Orion can go. Want to do a skeletal mission? Why? Also no lander and certainly not safer. Want to go sooner? That's not what changing the mission parameters gets.
  24. As others have said, it's not the regulation it's the opaqueness of the process that's frustrating.
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