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ARGOSY outer solar system exploration architecture

GeorgeA

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From a researcher at Johns Hopkins U Applied Physics Lab:

http://techdigest.jhuapl.edu/td2703/mcNutt.pdf

Fun facts:

-- 100 year plan for solar system exploration, starting with manned mission to Callisto in 2050 and culminating in a manned mission to Pluto in 2110.

-- multiple in-space propulsion options, inducing gas-core reactors with Brayton-cycle energy conversion for NEP.

-- 4900 MT IMLEO.

-- Supernova launch vehicle, 2.2X scale-up of 1964 MSFC Post-Saturn technology. 2.2 million lb payload, 56 million lbf at liftoff, 45 million lb GLOW

-- Hypernova: 10X scale-up of Supernova, 22 million lb payload, 500 million lbf at liftoff, 450 million lb GLOW (2/3rd of Empire State Building); 1100 ft stack height, 288 ft diameter.

I'm sure the experts on the forum can pick this apart six ways from Sunday, but it's a fun read nonetheless.
 

robunos

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I'm intrigued. Question; using 'conventional' technology,(metal tank construction, bell-nozzle engines, LOX+LH2 propellants, etc,) what is the largest launch vehicle capable of being built? Is this even known?



cheers,
Robin.
 

GeorgeA

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Interesting question. Back in 1964 or so, when Koelle and others at Marshall were studying the Post-Saturn proposals, they and the contractors identified vehicle maufacturing, assembly, and checkout as hugely significant cost drivers, especially if noise and safety issues forced an offshore launch solution.

The Martin NOVA launch facility study examined a 700-foot-high VAB for the 400-500 foot tall launch vehicles being proposed. The 1100-foot-tall Hypernova would probably require a building 1400 feet high, with a footprint something like that of Cowboys Stadium. Constructing such a building would be a monumental task in itself.

The rocket would have to be fabricated on site, since moving structures that big would be enormously difficult and expensive. I assume the engines would have to be fabricated on site too. Liquid engines would have to be pressure-fed, since turbopumps large enough to deliver the fuel required would themselves be an enormous development task.

Florida wouldn't be suitable as a launch site due to the encroachment of populated areas, leaving aside the fact that the land north of Pad 39 is no longer available to NASA for its use. Offshore facilties would be incredibly complicated, and would be subject to severe storm damage.

And this doesn't even touch on the feasibility of the vehicle itself.

This all leaves aside the question of affordability. This kind of enterprise would resemble the Great Pyramids in terms of its dominating effect on the economy.

(Edit: corrected typo in 1st para.)
 

Michel Van

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Boeing NOVA T-65D proposal with Solidbooster and Lox/Lh2 upperstage
had to be assembly and launch in a crossover of VAB and overground ICBM Silo !


other like Martin proposed channels were NOVA swim on platfrom
and are tug from VAB to launch site or to even a offshore platform.

Sorry i don't find the PDF source for the moment
 

PMN1

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Sounds like the kind of thing Sea Dragon would be useful for.
 

robunos

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Sounds like the kind of thing Sea Dragon would be useful for.

Forgot about the Sea Dragon, :-[

I was thinking purely in terms of vehicle size/weight/payload, rather than feasibility of launch facilities,etc, though I can see how those would be limiting factors themselves.
Like ships and aircraft, there must a size beyond which the technology no longer works.......


cheers,
Robin.
 

shockonlip

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GeorgeA said:
From a researcher at Johns Hopkins U Applied Physics Lab:

http://techdigest.jhuapl.edu/td2703/mcNutt.pdf

...

Thanks GeorgeA for the interesting .pdf !

It must be getting near the end of the week, so I'm getting a bit silly.

Figure 3 caption at bottom of pg. 271:
"Figure 3. Comparisons (approximately to scale) of various existing and conceptual launch vehicles."

I wonder if they really were thinking of launching the Washington Momument or Statue of Liberty !


By the way, I saw the main injector plate for the M-1 (Figure 2 in yur .pdf) at the
Evergreen Air Museum in Oregon. I was there abut a month ago, and it is on display! FYI.

Regards,

Larry
 

mz

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Yeah, kind of mind boggling that aiming towards economies of scale only lead them to think of launching a single huge rocket, ignoring the other alternative - how it'd be just easier to launch more of the normal sized ones... Or perhaps even launch smaller single vehicles many times each.

Fundamentally different thinking from the programs of record (Apollo especially being the worst example!) is required if there is going to be sustained and expanding spaceflight.
 

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