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Author Topic: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)  (Read 28090 times)

Offline DSE

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DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« on: November 13, 2013, 12:21:02 pm »

Offline ikke666

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 10:15:39 am »
cooool  B)

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 08:26:20 pm »
From Page 24 of the Program Overview
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 12:52:13 pm »
Via the Space.com article:
To the Stars

Offline FighterJock

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 09:27:10 am »
A very cool find  B)  I wonder if it would see the light of day as flyable hardware and not just a paper exercise.

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 09:40:11 am »
A very cool find  B)  I wonder if it would see the light of day as flyable hardware and not just a paper exercise.

I'd put the odds somewhere between "hell no" and "BWAH HAH HAH HA".   :'(
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Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2014, 12:06:33 pm »
A very cool find  B)  I wonder if it would see the light of day as flyable hardware and not just a paper exercise.

I'd put the odds somewhere between "hell no" and "BWAH HAH HAH HA".   :'(


DAMN, an optimist! How about this new RFI from the USAF Space and Missile Command in LA to Terminal Phase Experiments?
"The ultimate goal of the flight program is to address technical challenges and improve understanding of terminal phase performance of hypersonic flight vehicles."
 
This leaves me wondering what happened to the information they got from Pershing II RVs?   ???
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Offline PMN1

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 04:40:32 am »
On the subject of loosing data, there is an interesting cooment in BSP: Hupersonics, Ramjets and Missiles.

In his unpublished memoir on ramjet development at Bristol Aero Engines and BSEL, John Lane describes a series of papers he wrote with Robin Jamieson on air-breathing high-speed propulsion systems. Lane makes a very interesting statement: “The papers caused quite a stir when they came out and were ahead of the field. The work was trotted around the US by the author for Rolls Royce in the 1980’s. The author found that the US had not recorded their own work and had forgotten most of it.’
 

Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 05:03:57 am »
A very cool find  B)  I wonder if it would see the light of day as flyable hardware and not just a paper exercise.

I'd put the odds somewhere between "hell no" and "BWAH HAH HAH HA".   :'(

They may develop some hardware. Whether it ultimately flies or not is another question. This is pretty ambitious. Many DARPA projects are ambitious, but many DARPA projects die early on. Although DARPA has this popular image as a miracle factory, the reality is that much of what they try fails. You expect that in cutting edge R&D, but I have talked to a few very knowledgeable people who actually think that DARPA pursues too many high risk projects and really should dial it back. I think that's an argument that resurfaces in the R&D community and DARPA at least once a decade.

Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 05:13:21 am »
This leaves me wondering what happened to the information they got from Pershing II RVs?

There's lots of data. But there's lots of different kinds of data to gather too. There is all kinds of hypersonic research, from how to control a hypersonic vehicle in flight (which you can do by firing an HV on a rocket and then letting it glide at hypersonic speeds, like they did with the HVX-2) to the major challenge, which is an air-breathing hypersonic engine.

I haven't looked closely at DARPA's XS-1 program, but off the top of my head my guess is that gathering hypersonic data is just a box that they checked to get that community on board. It is common with research proposals (for instance, when people are asking for money) to claim that your project will not only reveal the secrets of the universe, but will also cure cancer and work well as a floor polish. So my guess is that they looked at the regime that this thing will operate in and said "Hey, let's try and get the support of the hypersonics people too, because it will fly hypersonically."

The U.S. made substantial progress on hypersonics in the past decade or so, but there are still some big gaps in the data. There is no concerted U.S. hypersonics research program right now (it has sort of fallen through the cracks), but at least China is still going strong!

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2014, 06:49:56 pm »
US Military's XS-1 Space Plane Project Seeks $27 Million in 2015 Funding
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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency expects to spend some $800 million on space programs from 2015 through 2018, an increase of $130 million over what was projected at this time last year, Defense Department [size=100%]budget[/size] documents show.
 Nearly all of the targeted increase for DARPA's Space Programs and Technology Office is backloaded into the outyears, the documents show. For 2015, the office is seeking nearly $180 million, only $7.5 million more than this year’s funding level.
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Offline airrocket

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 08:14:46 pm »
So what company won its been several weeks past the submit date????
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 09:25:19 pm »
IIRC, *four* companies were to win Phase A contracts. I don't think winners have been announced yet.
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Offline DSE

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2014, 04:05:09 am »
So what company won its been several weeks past the submit date? ???

Parabolic Arc: DARPA Moves Forward With Phoenix, ALASA and XS-1 Projects

No players yet, but shows requested FY15 $$.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 04:14:58 am by DSE »

Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2014, 05:11:43 am »
ALASA

Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2014, 08:35:57 am »
ALASA

Not to jump topics but could ALASA be a strike weapon or a tail chase ABM
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Offline DSE

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 11:23:57 am »
ALASA


Boeing: Boeing wins contract to design DARPA Airborne Satellite Launch Vehicle
Quote
Boeing’s design takes the concept one step further and shifts traditional thinking when it comes to today’s launch vehicles.
 “As these stages are jettisoned (or dropped), the fuel tank and engines are just thrown away. We developed a cost-effective design by moving the engines forward on the launch vehicle. With our design, the first and second stages are powered by the same engines, reducing weight and complexity,” explained Steve Johnston, director, Advanced Space Exploration.

Having a hard time wrapping my head around how this might be accomplished, but then again it is Monday.
Also, isn't the F-15 the first stage?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 11:46:34 am by DSE »

Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 12:38:52 pm »
ALASA

Not to jump topics but could ALASA be a strike weapon or a tail chase ABM

Why would it be either of those things? If you want a strike weapon, you design a strike weapon. No need to go through all this trouble to say that you're designing a small satellite launcher and then do something else with it.

And under what scenario would a "tail chase" ABM work? If you're behind the missile you want to shoot down, then you're over the bad guy's territory. Why would you be there? And if you were there, why wouldn't you just be shooting at the missile on the ground?

There's a lot of interest in really small satellites lately. They are usually launched in multiples atop bigger rockets, almost always as ride-along secondary payloads. That makes their launch relatively cheap, but it also puts the secondary at the mercy of the main payload. So for awhile now people have been talking about developing cheap ways to launch small satellites one at a time. ALASA is one effort to do that. We can have our doubts, because for starters an F-15 is not a cheap aircraft to operate. And if you only have one, you have to spread out your cost across all your launches. Thus, if it only launches once a month, you have to charge the entire month's cost to that launch. (And if it only launches once a year, you charge the entire year's cost.)

We'll see if they can make it work. Remember that DARPA is often about trying stuff to see if the technology can work, but it does not have to turn into something that is useful in the end. People remember DARPA's successes, but are often unaware that they fail a lot. DARPA fails a lot at what it tries to do. (Let's repeat that: DARPA fails a lot at what it tries to do.)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:37:00 am by blackstar »

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 12:54:48 pm »
If they never failed I'd be worried.  It would mean they're not trying hard enough.  ;D
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2014, 02:06:25 pm »
When I say 'tail chase' I just mean boost phase interception with a missile I believe the concept has been studied in various configurations with a very fast burn missile. I have just read that referred to as chasing a missiles tail, sorry if I was unclear in my post.
 
..............The BPI Phase I ACTD evaluated the affordability and assessed the operational utility and mission effectiveness of BPI engagements. The BPI ACTD technical approach employed a high speed tactical missile with a kinetic kill vehicle carried on an airbreathing platform such as the F-14 or F-15. The missile was capable of velocities in excess of 3 km/s and a range of 120 km, and was designed to be a precursor to an objective system with a 5.5 km/s velocity and a 250 km range. On-board and off-board sensors were used to detect, track, and provide in-flight updates. The BPI Phase I was completed in fourth quarter FY95............
 
http://scienceandglobalsecurity.org/archive/sgs12wilkening.pdf
 
 
As for weaponization something that could put a 100kg payload in orbit can put a 100kg warhead 'next' to something in orbit or if it in going from air to ground probably a larger warhead for A2G.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 02:15:55 pm by bobbymike »
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Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 02:20:04 pm »
When I say 'tail chase' I just mean boost phase interception with a missile I believe the concept has been studied in various configurations with a very fast burn missile. I have just read that referred to as chasing a missiles tail, sorry if I was unclear in my post.
 
..............The BPI Phase I ACTD evaluated the affordability and assessed the operational utility and mission effectiveness of BPI engagements. The BPI ACTD technical approach employed a high speed tactical missile with a kinetic kill vehicle carried on an airbreathing platform such as the F-14 or F-15. The missile was capable of velocities in excess of 3 km/s and a range of 120 km, and was designed to be a precursor to an objective system with a 5.5 km/s velocity and a 250 km range. On-board and off-board sensors were used to detect, track, and provide in-flight updates. The BPI Phase I was completed in fourth quarter FY95............
 
http://scienceandglobalsecurity.org/archive/sgs12wilkening.pdf
 
 
As for weaponization something that could put a 100kg payload in orbit can put a 100kg warhead 'next' to something in orbit or if it in going from air to ground probably a larger warhead for A2G.

And if you're going to do either of those things, why not just do those things? Why do this instead?

There's lots of problems/issues with the things you mention. BPI, for instance, requires that you be relatively close to the launch site. It also requires really good tracking. There has been some discussion of doing that with F-15 type launches (the Israelis were interested a few years ago). Problem is that you'd have to put a lot of interceptors up. And you'd have to have good intel and tracking. Tough thing to do.

USAF is not in favor of kinetic kill ASATs. They don't want to create a lot of debris that might end up destroying their own satellites.

So, no. This is not for doing that. This is for doing what they say it is for.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2014, 02:59:59 pm »
When I say 'tail chase' I just mean boost phase interception with a missile I believe the concept has been studied in various configurations with a very fast burn missile. I have just read that referred to as chasing a missiles tail, sorry if I was unclear in my post.
 
..............The BPI Phase I ACTD evaluated the affordability and assessed the operational utility and mission effectiveness of BPI engagements. The BPI ACTD technical approach employed a high speed tactical missile with a kinetic kill vehicle carried on an airbreathing platform such as the F-14 or F-15. The missile was capable of velocities in excess of 3 km/s and a range of 120 km, and was designed to be a precursor to an objective system with a 5.5 km/s velocity and a 250 km range. On-board and off-board sensors were used to detect, track, and provide in-flight updates. The BPI Phase I was completed in fourth quarter FY95............
 
http://scienceandglobalsecurity.org/archive/sgs12wilkening.pdf
 
 
As for weaponization something that could put a 100kg payload in orbit can put a 100kg warhead 'next' to something in orbit or if it in going from air to ground probably a larger warhead for A2G.

And if you're going to do either of those things, why not just do those things? Why do this instead?

There's lots of problems/issues with the things you mention. BPI, for instance, requires that you be relatively close to the launch site. It also requires really good tracking. There has been some discussion of doing that with F-15 type launches (the Israelis were interested a few years ago). Problem is that you'd have to put a lot of interceptors up. And you'd have to have good intel and tracking. Tough thing to do.

USAF is not in favor of kinetic kill ASATs. They don't want to create a lot of debris that might end up destroying their own satellites.

So, no. This is not for doing that. This is for doing what they say it is for.
Sorry did I imply this is what the program was for or simply ask if the booster/payload combo could be used for those alternate purposes? Like using an ATACMS for the X-51 test. I'm sure when the first ATACMS was shown at ground launch if someone would have asked, 'Hey can you put one of those on a B-52 external pylon for hypersonics research"? Would have gotten the same response you just gave me.
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Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2014, 04:01:32 pm »

Sorry did I imply this is what the program was for or simply ask if the booster/payload combo could be used for those alternate purposes?

That rocket could also be used to cook steaks. It's not ideal for that, mind you, but fire is fire, right?

Boost phase intercept requires really high acceleration to go catch a missile from behind. Satellite launchers tend to not have really high acceleration.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2014, 04:46:38 pm »

Sorry did I imply this is what the program was for or simply ask if the booster/payload combo could be used for those alternate purposes?

That rocket could also be used to cook steaks. It's not ideal for that, mind you, but fire is fire, right?

Boost phase intercept requires really high acceleration to go catch a missile from behind. Satellite launchers tend to not have really high acceleration.

Mmmm - rocket steaks
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Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 07:36:33 am »
Scroll back up and look at the ALASA image.

Notice that the rocket appears to have its engine nozzles near the top. Interesting, no?

Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2014, 03:45:10 pm »
Scroll back up and look at the ALASA image.

Notice that the rocket appears to have its engine nozzles near the top. Interesting, no?

Yes very interesting a nosecone divert system prior to payload release of mini-sat?
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Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2014, 05:05:41 pm »
Scroll back up and look at the ALASA image.

Notice that the rocket appears to have its engine nozzles near the top. Interesting, no?

Yes very interesting a nosecone divert system prior to payload release of mini-sat?

Those are the rocket engine nozzles.

Offline TomS

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2014, 06:59:17 pm »
So it's got a tractor configuration, with the fuel tanks for the first stage below the rocket engines.  The first stage pumps fuel up the stack to the engines, then drops the tank when it's empty.

Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2014, 08:10:39 am »
So it's got a tractor configuration, with the fuel tanks for the first stage below the rocket engines.  The first stage pumps fuel up the stack to the engines, then drops the tank when it's empty.

Yeah, and the question is why? What advantage is this configuration? One guess is that they have a two-stage configuration, but keep the engines, only dropping a tank.

Offline TomS

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2014, 10:31:23 am »
Yep, that's exactly what they say -- they have two stages but only one set of engines, which saves weight. 
 
Seems sensible, but there must be disadvantages or we'd have seen it more often. 
 

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2014, 10:50:54 am »
Yep, that's exactly what they say -- they have two stages but only one set of engines, which saves weight. 
 
Seems sensible, but there must be disadvantages or we'd have seen it more often.

Can you imagine a circle of F-1s around the Apollo command module?   :o   Could be because it's air-launched and is never going to be sitting on the pad in compression. 
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Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2014, 11:59:32 am »
I'll get better versions of this. Boeing has built a mockup of the launch vehicle.

Offline antiquark

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2014, 07:45:22 am »

Seems sensible, but there must be disadvantages or we'd have seen it more often.

Off the top of my head, I'd say there are some problems:

  • The exhaust will scorch the lower fuel tank.
  • Cosine losses because the engines have to point slightly sideways.
  • The rockets have to be powerful enough to lift the lower tank, which means they are too powerful for the upper stage.

However, every launch scenario is different and has different optimizations, so the tractor method might actually work well here.


Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2014, 08:24:08 am »
  • The rockets have to be powerful enough to lift the lower tank, which means they are too powerful for the upper stage.
However, every launch scenario is different and has different optimizations, so the tractor method might actually work well here.

But they're the same as you'd need for a lower stage and it means you don't need to carry the added weight of an upper stage propulsion system (of course you're having to accelerate that larger propulsion system to a higher velocity).  OTH your thrust-vector lines aren't optimal as you mentioned.  OTOOH you should be able to have a lighter structure with it not being in compression from the get-go.  Have there been many other tractor systems other than the Zeus B & Spartan 3rd stages?  ???
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 08:26:30 am by sferrin »
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Offline antiquark

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2014, 09:16:08 am »
Have there been many other tractor systems other than the Zeus B & Spartan 3rd stages?  ???

I haven't heard of any. Actually I think the biggest problem would be the 5000 degree flames licking down the sides of the tanks. Not an easy problem to ignore, IMHO!

Offline TomS

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2014, 09:34:12 am »
You do see the configuration in things like the TOW missile (the sustainer motor exhausts midway along the missile body, to keep the tail clear for the wire reel and the tracking flare).  But yeah, not a lot of other space launch applications.
 
 

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2014, 05:28:19 pm »
This  tractor rocket configuration was also - kinda - used on the Spartan ABM. The Thiokol TX-239 was a spherical "gas generator," with the exhaust ducted forward and out through for rocket nozzles, each in the trailing edges of the forward fins. Moving the fins vectored the nozzles. I imagine this was thought to simplify the control system, at the expense of weight and some pretty harsh environments for the duct work and rotary joints.

Not sure that's what they're going for with ALASA, but there it is.

Note: I think the illustration below has the gas generator in backwards.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2014, 06:33:38 pm »
In action:

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Offline TomS

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2014, 08:21:24 pm »
You do see the configuration in things like the TOW missile (the sustainer motor exhausts midway along the missile body, to keep the tail clear for the wire reel and the tracking flare).  But yeah, not a lot of other space launch applications.
And the TOW fires for how long and with how many stages?


Please notice that I specifically pointed out that this was not a comparable application.

Offline martinbayer

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2014, 03:06:45 pm »
There are three awards:

The Boeing Company (working with Blue Origin, LLC)
 Masten Space Systems (working with XCOR Aerospace)
 Northrop Grumman Corporation (working with Virgin Galactic)

http://www.universetoday.com/113259/darpas-experimental-space-plane-xs-1-starts-development/
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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2014, 03:19:18 pm »
"Boeing to Design XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane For DARPA"
Posted July 15, 2014 11:34 AM

Source:
http://spaceref.biz/agencies/darpa-1/boeing-to-design-xs-1-experimental-spaceplane-for-darpa.html

Quote
Boeing plans to design a reusable launch vehicle for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in support of the U.S. government's efforts to reduce satellite launch costs. DARPA's XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane is conceived as a reusable, unmanned booster with costs, operation and reliability similar to modern aircraft.

"Developing a vehicle that launches small payloads more affordably is a priority for future U.S. Defense Department operations," said Steve Johnston, director of Boeing's Phantom Works Advanced Space Exploration division. "Boeing brings a combination of proven experience in developing launch systems and reusable space vehicles, along with unparalleled expertise in the development and fielding of highly operable and cost-effective transportation systems."

Under the $4 million preliminary design contract, Boeing plans to work on a reusable first stage launch vehicle capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage to launch small satellite payloads of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,361 kg to 2,268 kg) into low-Earth orbit.

"Our design would allow the autonomous booster to carry the second stage and payload to high altitude and deploy them into space. The booster would then return to Earth, where it could be quickly prepared for the next flight by applying operation and maintenance principles similar to modern aircraft." said Will Hampton, Boeing XS-1 program manager. "Drawing on our other innovative technologies, Boeing intends to provide a concept that uses efficient, streamlined ground infrastructure and improves the turnaround time to relaunch this spacecraft for subsequent missions."

DARPA plans to hold a Phase II competition next year for the follow-on production order to build the vehicle and conduct demonstration flights.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 56,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

Offline Triton

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2014, 03:21:12 pm »
Uploaded on Jul 9, 2014

DARPA created its Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program to help create a new paradigm for more routine, responsive and affordable space operations. The program aims to develop a fully-reusable unmanned vehicle that would provide aircraft-like access to space and deploy small satellites to orbit using expendable upper stages. XS-1 seeks to deploy small satellites faster and more affordably, and develop technology for next-generation hypersonic vehicles.



Offline fightingirish

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2014, 10:44:58 am »
Quote
WORK COMMENCES ON EXPERIMENTAL SPACEPLANE (XS-1) DESIGNS


July 15, 2014


Three companies get the nod to outline their visions of DARPA’s next-generation spaceplane


In an era of declining budgets and adversaries’ evolving capabilities, quick, affordable and routine access to space is increasingly critical for both national and economic security. Current satellite launch systems, however, require scheduling years in advance for a handful of available slots. Launches often cost hundreds of millions of dollars each, in large part to the massive amounts of dedicated infrastructure and personnel required.


DARPA created its Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program to help overcome these challenges and create a new paradigm for more routine, responsive and affordable space operations. In an important step toward that goal, DARPA has awarded prime contracts for Phase 1 of XS-1 to three companies:


  • The Boeing Company (working with Blue Origin, LLC)
  • Masten Space Systems (working with XCOR Aerospace)
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (working with Virgin Galactic)


“We chose performers who could prudently integrate existing and up-and-coming technologies and operations, while making XS-1 as reliable, easy-to-use and cost-effective as possible,” Jess Sponable, DARPA program manager. “We’re eager to see how their initial designs envision making spaceflight commonplace—with all the potential military, civilian and commercial benefits that capability would provide.”


The XS-1 program aims to develop a fully-reusable unmanned vehicle that would provide aircraft-like access to space and deploy small satellites to orbit using expendable upper stages. XS-1 seeks to deploy small satellites faster and more affordably, and develop technology for next-generation hypersonic vehicles.


XS-1 envisions that a reusable first stage would fly to hypersonic speeds at a suborbital altitude. At that point, one or more expendable upper stages would separate and deploy a satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The reusable first stage would then return to earth, land and be prepared for the next flight. Modular components, durable thermal protection systems and automatic launch, flight and recovery systems should significantly reduce logistical needs, enabling rapid turnaround between flights.


Key XS-1 technical goals include flying 10 times in 10 days, flying to Mach 10+ at least once and launching a representative small payload to orbit. The program also seeks to reduce the cost of access to space for 3,000- to 5,000-pound payloads to less than $5 million per flight.


In Phase 1 of XS-1, DARPA intends to evaluate the technical feasibility and methods for achieving the program’s goals. Tasks currently include:


Develop the XS-1 demonstration vehicle
Identify and conduct critical risk reduction of core component technologies and processes
Develop a technology maturation plan for fabrication and flight test of XS-1 system capabilities 
DARPA expects the performers to explore alternative technical approaches from the perspectives of feasibility, performance, system design and development cost and operational cost. They must also assess potential suitability for near-term transition opportunities to military, civil and commercial users. These opportunities include both launching small payloads per the program goals as well as others, such as supporting future hypersonic testing and a future space access aircraft.


# # #


Associated images posted on www.darpa.mil  and video posted at www.youtube.com/darpatv may be reused according to the terms of the DARPA User Agreement, available here: http://go.usa.gov/nYr.


Tweet @darpa
Source: http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2014/07/15.aspx
Slán,
fightingirish

Slán ist an Irish Gaelic word for Goodbye.  :)

Offline sublight is back

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2014, 12:04:27 pm »
A very cool find  B)  I wonder if it would see the light of day as flyable hardware and not just a paper exercise.

I'd put the odds somewhere between "hell no" and "BWAH HAH HAH HA".   :'(

Since we've gotten really good at railguns (General Atomics has anyway) wouldn't it be more cost effective to have a combo rail launch, to scramjet to solid booster platform. You'd have to find that balance between the maximum G load your sat package can take and the size of your humongous rail gun and its cost. After the pain of the initial expenditure, the launches should be pretty cheap.

Offline mz

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2014, 07:33:31 am »
A rocket engine and lots of fuel is way cheaper and more flexible than a huge railgun and a scramjet.

Offline sublight is back

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2014, 09:17:37 am »
A rocket engine and lots of fuel is way cheaper and more flexible than a huge railgun and a scramjet.

A railgun could spit out launches like a bus schedule. That would be more than all the space launch sites on earth combined.

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2014, 10:30:36 am »

A railgun could spit out launches like a bus schedule. That would be more than all the space launch sites on earth combined.

Yeah, but space launch sites typically involve launch vehicles that can actually attain orbit. A railgun cannot. 2.5 km/sec is *really* *fast* for a cannon, but it's only a small fraction of the 8 km/sec needed for orbital velocity. So you'd still need to generate more than 90% of the kinetic energy via the "upper stage." And scramjets just seem to seriously suck. Using an airbreather from sea level to vacuum is asking for trouble.
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Offline TomS

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2014, 10:35:23 am »
Since we've gotten really good at railguns (General Atomics has anyway) wouldn't it be more cost effective to have a combo rail launch, to scramjet to solid booster platform. You'd have to find that balance between the maximum G load your sat package can take and the size of your humongous rail gun and its cost. After the pain of the initial expenditure, the launches should be pretty cheap.

Railguns haven't been scaled up to anything close to the mass or velocity needed for this role.  XS-1 is practically proven tech by comparison -- part X-37, part Pegasus.

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2014, 10:44:12 am »

A railgun could spit out launches like a bus schedule. That would be more than all the space launch sites on earth combined.

Yeah, but space launch sites typically involve launch vehicles that can actually attain orbit. A railgun cannot. 2.5 km/sec is *really* *fast* for a cannon, but it's only a small fraction of the 8 km/sec needed for orbital velocity. So you'd still need to generate more than 90% of the kinetic energy via the "upper stage." And scramjets just seem to seriously suck. Using an airbreather from sea level to vacuum is asking for trouble.

Not to mention how much more your space thing-a-ma-jig is going to weigh to enable it to withstand railgun launch forces. 
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2014, 11:21:16 am »

Not to mention how much more your space thing-a-ma-jig is going to weigh to enable it to withstand railgun launch forces.

If you have massive construction projects in LEO that need metals like aluminum and titanium and such, this *might* be a way to get it done. The vehicle *is* the payload; gets snagged on orbit and melted down and reprocessed. But to survive atmospheric flight, the shell would likely need a lot of ceramics, RCC, composites, etc. that cannot be cost effectively reprocessed.

And then some smartass will park a small nickle-iron asteroid in GEO and ruin your business model.
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Offline sublight is back

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2014, 01:06:26 pm »

A railgun could spit out launches like a bus schedule. That would be more than all the space launch sites on earth combined.

Yeah, but space launch sites typically involve launch vehicles that can actually attain orbit. A railgun cannot. 2.5 km/sec is *really* *fast* for a cannon, but it's only a small fraction of the 8 km/sec needed for orbital velocity. So you'd still need to generate more than 90% of the kinetic energy via the "upper stage." And scramjets just seem to seriously suck. Using an airbreather from sea level to vacuum is asking for trouble.

I was thinking a scaled up railgun would have a much higher velocity potential. Something several hundred yards long with the majority of it underground, maybe in a mountainside. It is a fantasy concept, but likely no less feasible than this DARPA proposal will turn out to be....

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2014, 01:40:21 pm »

Not to mention how much more your space thing-a-ma-jig is going to weigh to enable it to withstand railgun launch forces.

If you have massive construction projects in LEO that need metals like aluminum and titanium and such, this *might* be a way to get it done. The vehicle *is* the payload; gets snagged on orbit and melted down and reprocessed. But to survive atmospheric flight, the shell would likely need a lot of ceramics, RCC, composites, etc. that cannot be cost effectively reprocessed.

And then some smartass will park a small nickle-iron asteroid in GEO and ruin your business model.

Reminds me of the idea to fire moonrock cinderblocks with a liner accelerator from the moon for space colonies / solar power stations.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2014, 01:43:00 pm »

A railgun could spit out launches like a bus schedule. That would be more than all the space launch sites on earth combined.

Yeah, but space launch sites typically involve launch vehicles that can actually attain orbit. A railgun cannot. 2.5 km/sec is *really* *fast* for a cannon, but it's only a small fraction of the 8 km/sec needed for orbital velocity. So you'd still need to generate more than 90% of the kinetic energy via the "upper stage." And scramjets just seem to seriously suck. Using an airbreather from sea level to vacuum is asking for trouble.

I was thinking a scaled up railgun would have a much higher velocity potential. Something several hundred yards long with the majority of it underground, maybe in a mountainside. It is a fantasy concept, but likely no less feasible than this DARPA proposal will turn out to be....

 
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2014, 01:52:20 pm »

A railgun could spit out launches like a bus schedule. That would be more than all the space launch sites on earth combined.

Yeah, but space launch sites typically involve launch vehicles that can actually attain orbit. A railgun cannot. 2.5 km/sec is *really* *fast* for a cannon, but it's only a small fraction of the 8 km/sec needed for orbital velocity. So you'd still need to generate more than 90% of the kinetic energy via the "upper stage." And scramjets just seem to seriously suck. Using an airbreather from sea level to vacuum is asking for trouble.

I was thinking a scaled up railgun would have a much higher velocity potential. Something several hundred yards long with the majority of it underground, maybe in a mountainside. It is a fantasy concept, but likely no less feasible than this DARPA proposal will turn out to be....

What is the theoretical velocity of a railgun projectile? Probably depends on many factors but is there a number people use for say the proposed 64Mj class of naval gun?

I think they've hit 32Mj with a goal of 64Mj
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2014, 03:26:20 pm »
*Theoretically* you can get relativistic speeds out of railguns, but realistically I think a few kilometers per second is about the limit. I don't believe there is a whole lot of interest in atmospheric railguns faster than maybe 3 km/sec; faster than that, and not only do you have severe erosion of the rails (remember, you've got a physical projectile in physical contract with two rails in precise alignment), but the atmospheric drag on the projectile would be like slamming into a wall.

Coil guns have a faster theoretical muzzle velocity, but only in a vacuum.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 04:04:58 pm by Orionblamblam »
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Offline circle-5

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2014, 03:36:51 pm »
Better photo of ELHV.

Offline TomS

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2014, 06:04:02 pm »
The railgns they've tested hit about 2.5 km/sec at the muzzle.  The scaling up of energy is done mainly by increasing projectile mass - a 64-Mj railgun would fire a round weighing about 10.5kg.  By comparison, XS-1 has a payload goal of 1800 kg.  The reference design has an expendable upper stage weighing about 6800 kg.  No one has any real idea how to build a railgun that big.

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2014, 06:16:09 pm »
The railgns they've tested hit about 2.5 km/sec at the muzzle.  The scaling up of energy is done mainly by increasing projectile mass - a 64-Mj railgun would fire a round weighing about 10.5kg.  By comparison, XS-1 has a payload goal of 1800 kg.  The reference design has an expendable upper stage weighing about 6800 kg.  No one has any real idea how to build a railgun that big.

Also I think it needs to be said that for stuff like that "railguns" are not what would be used but linear accelerators.  Different principles.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2014, 08:34:12 pm »
Coilguns at least in principle should be able to get ridiculously fast (particle accelerators are basically the same thing but for *tiny* projectiles, and they get arbitrarily close to the speed of light). There have been notional ideas for coilguns kilometers long being used for starship propulsion... not just the thrust produced via recoil, but if you send a small iron pellet at 100 km/sec or so into a properly shaped stationary pellet of frozen deuterium, you can initiate a fusion reaction with *no* fissionables. And these reactions can be as big as you like. The Bond/Martin "worldships" envisioned fusion pellets with yields of gigatons.
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Offline XP67_Moonbat

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« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 08:41:09 pm by XP67_Moonbat »
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Offline antigravite

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #61 on: August 20, 2014, 12:52:11 pm »
Hi.
This post is about source materials.
 
1. NG XS-1 Press Release source (link) here:
http://www.northropgrumman.com/MediaResources/Pages/NewsArticle.aspx?art=http://www.globenewswire.com/newsarchive/noc/press/xml/nitf.html?d=10095324and

2. NG XS-1 artwork (HiRes image link) here (attachment too):
http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/189/hires/28304.jpg

Interestingly, this 3D artwork is authored by a certain PBarnett'14 (watermarked signature on the lower left-hand right-hand* side corner, vertically displayed), a pretty odd twist as company image hardly filtered out, signed in plain sight…

3. Screengrab of NG homepage with XS1 story.

A.
*Thx DSE for noticing my error ;)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 11:56:44 am by antigravite »
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Offline antigravite

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #62 on: August 20, 2014, 01:25:26 pm »
Guys,

As a reminder, and for the sake of keeping an eye on future XS-1 developments, NG's HLV project manager was a decade (or so) ago, Dennis Poulos (1)
who left NG in 2010 to create his own consulting company. There is some legacy here (2).

A.

sources:
(1) http://www.chron.com/news/article/PZ-Photo-Release-Northrop-Grumman-Proposes-1855502.php
(2) http://pouloscorp.com/about-us/staff/
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Offline antigravite

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #63 on: August 21, 2014, 07:45:01 am »
Right. You're right. Doing do many things at the same time.
I  edited & corrected my post with acknowledgement. Thx again.
A.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 07:47:34 am by antigravite »
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Offline airrocket

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2015, 08:25:05 pm »
One of the entries the did not make the cut........ concept by Retro Flight
FDL- 7 Platform
 Fly back booster 4 TVG Rockets Inc. RT-30 Reusable Slick Thottleable Rocket Engines (60k thrust each)

Upper Stage two LR-101 rocket engines.

Windward TPS of TVG Rockets Inc. TUFI Coated AETB and M-D-R Inc.
A heat pipe based coolant system is imbedded in the LE similar to that developed by the Wadley research Group and flows from the hot leading edges to the cooler fuselage sides.
MOOG avionics GN&C
Jacobs pad construction.....THOR like.
Global trailers - launch transport trailer.
Spaceport America - Launch site
Molzin Corbin - Flame trench

Fabricator - Janicki Industries

 
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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2015, 08:34:39 pm »
Downsized  as Cubestat launcher  the XR-1 Rocket with dual ramjets. Currently under development schedule  to fly late summer 2015.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2015, 10:53:40 pm »
The "Retro Flight" website looks like it's one guy who makes model airplanes.

http://retroflight.com/X_DARK_WORKS.html
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Offline flateric

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #68 on: August 08, 2015, 08:40:29 am »
Another idiot in charge of newspaper technology section...what a profound article title
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #69 on: August 08, 2015, 09:07:57 am »
Another idiot in charge of newspaper technology section...what a profound article title

At least he didn't put "game changing" or "revolutionary" in the title.  (Though, as you point out, he did get the obligatory "hypersonic" in there.)
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Offline Flyaway

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2015, 01:19:00 pm »
Here's hopefully a somewhat better article. ???

US Military Awards New Contracts for XS-1 Space Plane

http://www.space.com/30196-xs1-military-space-plane-boeing-contract.html

Offline antigravite

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #71 on: August 21, 2015, 01:39:54 am »
Hi.

Under DoD SBIR, Darpa initiated (2015) the study of a very low cost expendable upper stage launcher which could be used by XS-1.
 
SBIR Contract info referenced as "Low Cost Expendable Launch Technology":
  • "There is a compelling DoD need to leverage emerging commercial entrepreneurial and defense technologies enabling lightweight, high-specific-energy liquid-rocket technology. Many established aerospace and emerging entrepreneurial companies are developing new rocket stage technologies that promise to reduce the cost of access to space.
  • The goal of this topic is to leverage these investments to enable low-cost launch vehicles that minimize gross and dry weight while maximizing the propellant load, engine specific impulse and/or payload.
  • Technological trends facilitating such lightweight stages include an ongoing computer/software revolution enabling affordable design, sophisticated software in lieu of mechanical complexity, integration, and test; micro-miniaturization of electronics and mechanical actuators; high strength-to-weight composites and nano-engineered materials; lightweight structural concepts and thermal protection; advanced manufacturing methods, high thrust/weight rocket engines and turbo-machinery; and novel high-density-impulse liquid propellants that are safe, cheap and easy to handle. The offeror must demonstrate a clear understanding of the system applications of the launch vehicle and the supporting technologies. A system application of interest to the government is modifying the launch vehicle as a low-cost upper stage for DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program.
  • Key design goals include balancing low gross mass with adequate velocity change, payload and manufacturing cost. Additionally, reusable launch concepts such as XS-1 may carry stages through either normal or longitudinally-oriented hardpoints/racks. Stages with efficient structural arrangements to cope with such load paths while remaining low in mass and cost are of interest.
  • Other potential system applications include a wide range of commercial launch vehicles, tactical missiles, satellite integral propulsion and future boost-glide tactical or air transport systems. Similarly, a clear understanding of the technology applications to XS-1 as well as other proposed military and commercial systems is also essential. Critical technologies could include lightweight structures and propulsion, high-density-impulse propellants, miniaturized avionics, modular components, altitude compensation and complementary aerodynamic/propulsion integration, and stability, guidance and control subsystems all integrated into the stage while keeping the system simple and affordable. Offerors may seek to design and fabricate an entire stage or only critical subsystems.
  • PHASE I: Develop the design, manufacturing and test approach for fabricating extremely low-cost, high propellant mass fraction launch vehicles and upper stages for space access. Critical component or analytical risk reduction is encouraged. Identify potential system level and technology applications of the proposed innovation. Although multiple applications are encouraged, to help assess the military utility the proposed stage should be useful as an upper stage on the XS-1 experimental spaceplane. The stage(s) must be designed to support: 1) an ideal velocity change of up to 20,000 fps objective, 2) a payload of 3,000 lbs, 3) a gross mass of less than 30,000 lbs, 4) a unit fly away cost of <$1M per stage, and 5) a safe and affordable alternative to today’s carcinogenic propellants such as hydrazine, unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and red fuming nitric acid.
  • PHASE II: Finalize the Phase I design, then develop, demonstrate and validate the system design, critical hardware components and/or enabling technologies. Design, construct and demonstrate the experimental hardware or component prototypes identified or developed in Phase I. The Phase II demonstration should advance the state of the art to between Technology Readiness Level 5 and 6. Required Phase II deliverables will include the experimental prototype hardware and a final report including design data such as CAD and detailed mass properties, manufacturing and test plan, costing data, test data, updated future applications and Phase III military transition and commercialization strategies.
  • PHASE III: The offeror will identify military applications of the proposed innovative technology(s) including use as a low-cost upper stage on the XS-1 experimental spaceplane. Leveraging of commercial and defense stages tailored to support specific upper stage needs is encouraged. Technology transition opportunities will be identified along with the most likely path for transition from SBIR research to an operational capability. The transition path may include use on commercial launch vehicles or alternative system and technology applications of interest to operational military and commercial customers."
source: https://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/736809

A.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 09:47:57 pm by antigravite »
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Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2015, 07:01:08 pm »
ALASA and XS-1 are not the same thing. ALASA has been discussed a bit in other threads.

That said, the end of ALASA is possibly an indication of what is going to happen with XS-1. I know somebody who is very involved in military space R&D, including space transportation, and he has a dim view of both DARPA projects. He thinks the ALASA propulsion choice was ridiculous, and the XS-1 goals are totally unrealistic and an indication that the people involved don't understand pretty basic issues for launch vehicles. So don't be surprised to see XS-1 get canceled at some point.

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2015, 07:06:28 pm »
Alright Dwayne, it's gone.
In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

Offline blackstar

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2015, 07:14:01 pm »
Oh, I didn't think it needed to go away. The electrons are free, however. It's just that somebody searching for ALASA is going to find a bunch of different threads. I do think there's a connection between the programs--not simply DARPA, but DARPA made bad technology choices, which they do.

Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline Flyaway

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #78 on: July 13, 2016, 11:59:08 am »

Offline bobbymike

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"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

"On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?" - Lord Macaulay

Offline bobbymike

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"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

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Offline bobbymike

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"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #82 on: May 10, 2017, 11:02:03 pm »
DARPA XS-1 Spaceplane Award Coming Soon

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency expects to award a contract for the XS-1 spaceplane program “soon,” according to a contractor authorized to speak about the program. Michael Arnone of Spire Communications said DARPA is indeed in the final stages of a “downselect” to choose one company to proceed into the flying phase of the spaceplane, which is meant to be a two-stage to orbit vehicle potentially able to bring down the cost of space lift “by orders of magnitude,” according to DARPA’s website. Arnone acknowledged that program plans called for the downselect in late 2016 or early this year, but “this is the government and things sometimes take time,” he said. Phase I of the program explored concepts offered by Boeing partnered with Blue Origin, Masten Space Systems teamed with XCOR Aerospace, and Northrop Grumman working with Virgin Galactic. However, the Phase II contractor won’t necessarily be chosen from the three Phase I participants. After downselect, a critical design review would take place in 2018 and a series of flights could be made as early as 2020. One of the program requirements is to fly 10 suborbital or orbital missions in as many days, achieving space operations with “aircraft-like” frequency, DARPA said. If successful, a “public-private partnership” model of operating the vehicles could be adopted, DARPA documents show.
"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

"On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?" - Lord Macaulay

Offline FighterJock

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #83 on: May 11, 2017, 07:43:40 am »
It will be interesting to see who wins the competition.  Good to see Virgin Galactic and Northrop working together.

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #84 on: May 11, 2017, 07:52:48 am »
It will be interesting to see who wins the competition.  Good to see Virgin Galactic and Northrop working together.

Not surprising really, considering the VG / Scaled Composites relationship.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #85 on: May 11, 2017, 09:12:34 am »
It will be interesting to see who wins the competition.  Good to see Virgin Galactic and Northrop working together.

Not surprising really, considering the VG / Scaled Composites relationship.
I see the booster on it's back breaking away to reveal an HTV-2  ;D
"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

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Offline Flyaway

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Offline bobbymike

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"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

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Offline fredymac

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #88 on: May 24, 2017, 08:53:18 am »
From the video description:

"DARPA has selected The Boeing Company to complete advanced design work for the Agency’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program, which aims to build and fly the first of an entirely new class of hypersonic aircraft that would bolster national security by providing short-notice, low-cost access to space."

So this award is just for design work.  I don't have expectations that they will get much past there.  I wonder who Boeing is thinking about for the reusable rockets.


Offline George Allegrezza

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Offline Flyaway

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #90 on: May 24, 2017, 09:22:30 am »
Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust

Interesting that Boeing’s vehicle will be powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne engine; Boeing had partnered with Blue Origin on XS-1 Phase 1.

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867398825408909313

Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust

Replying to @thehighfrontier
The DARPA release includes the 10 flights/10 days test requirement in phase 3.
4:55 pm · 24 May 2017

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867408696833343489
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 09:24:52 am by Flyaway »

Offline sferrin

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #91 on: May 24, 2017, 10:07:48 am »
From the video description:

"... an entirely new class of hypersonic aircraft ...

 ::)
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1)
« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2017, 01:57:49 pm »
Boeing, DARPA to base XS-1 spaceplane at Cape Canaveral

Quote
A reusable suborbital spaceplane the size of a business jet being developed by Boeing and the Defense Department’s research and development arm could be launching and landing at Cape Canaveral in 2020, officials said after the defense contractor won a competition last month to design and test the vehicle.

Quote
The Phantom Express booster stage would be powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 engine, a version of the space shuttle main engine, burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.

Boeing originally partnered with Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, as an engine provider for the XS-1 program, but later switched to an Aerojet Rocketdyne engine, according to Cheryl Sampson, a Boeing spokesperson.

“We conducted trade studies with Blue Origin in the first phase of the program,” Sampson wrote in an email to Spaceflight Now. “Boeing selected the Aerojet Rocketdyne engine for this next phase as it offers a flight proven, reusable engine to meet the DARPA mission requirements.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne said it will provide two engines for the XS-1 program with “legacy shuttle flight experience to demonstrate reusability, a wide operating range and rapid turnarounds.”

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/06/13/boeing-darpa-to-base-xs-1-spaceplane-at-cape-canaveral/