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NASA Space Launch System (SLS)

TomcatViP

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“SLS will go away," he said. "It could go away during a Biden administration or a next Trump administration… because at some point commercial entities are going to catch up. They are really going to build a heavy lift launch vehicle sort of like SLS that they will be able to fly for a much cheaper price than NASA can do SLS. That’s just the way it works.”
Charlie Bolden, a four-time astronaut, served as NASA administrator from mid-2009 through early 2017.
 

merriman

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Catch up with what? The Saturn-5? Another big piece of disposable ammunition that has yet to fly?

NASA: lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

NASA should do the basic research and development. Let the private sector pick and chose what findings have utility and are worthy of exploitation.

David
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TomcatViP

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If that is a solid booster, that's not how combustion takes place.

A better simulation would be scratching a matches and holding it upside down b/w your fingers...
 

Byeman

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Has anyone already pointed out that Lockheed's "Orion" capsule is after all the capsule that Boeing proposed for the "Orbital Space Plane" program, which Lockheed won with their innovative hypersonic-lifting body design that required parachutes to land because it became unstable at low speed.

No.
A. Lockheed did not win OSP. Both Boeing and Lockheed were still in competition. Downselect to one contractor hadn't occurred at the time of cancelation.
B. Lockheed's current design at the time of OSP cancellation was a capsule and not a lifting body. The change to capsules occurred early in the OSP project.
c. Starliner is basically Boeing's OSP design at the point of cancelation.
 
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Byeman

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Catch up with what? The Saturn-5? Another big piece of disposable ammunition that has yet to fly?

David
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Just stop with it. Falcon 9 and New Glenn are still disposable rockets.
 

Moose

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If that is a solid booster, that's not how combustion takes place.

A better simulation would be scratching a matches and holding it upside down b/w your fingers...
It's a decent enough sim, the big SRBs uses by STS/SLS are ignited from the top and burn down through the hollow core.
 

TomcatViP

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I do admit that it is confusing but:

The fire 2 commands cause the redundant NSDs to fire through a thin barrier seal down a flame tunnel. This ignites a pyro. booster charge, which is retained in the safe and arm device behind a perforated plate. The booster charge ignites the propellant in the igniter initiator; and combustion products of this propellant ignite the solid rocket motor initiator, which fires down the entire vertical length of the solid rocket motor igniting the solid rocket motor propellant along its entire surface area instantaneously.

500px-Space_Shuttle_SRB_diagram.png


 

RanulfC

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Has anyone already pointed out that Lockheed's "Orion" capsule is after all the capsule that Boeing proposed for the "Orbital Space Plane" program, which Lockheed won with their innovative hypersonic-lifting body design that required parachutes to land because it became unstable at low speed.

No.
A. Lockheed did not win OSP. Both Boeing and Lockheed were still in competition. Downselect to one contractor hadn't occurred at the time of cancelation.

Quite right actually :) I let my self be draw in by LM's hype near the end.

B. Lockheed's current design at the time of OSP cancellation was a capsule and not a lifting body. The change to capsules occurred early in the OSP project.

Actually near the end of OSP LM had a 'winged' body:
1602620374809.png
... configuration, (they did in fact state in an official report that a capsule was actually what fit the NASA requirements, better than any lifting or winged body would) that morphed into a hypersonic lifting body design seen here:
1602619959079.png
At that point Boeing was the only company pushing a capsule and to meet the "Spaceplane" requirement they still offered an "X-37-ish" concept:
1602620080985.png
that I can't find was every pushed as hard as the capsule design. The LM change to a capsule didn't come till CEV evolved quite a bit.
1602620200602.png

c. Starliner is basically Boeing's OSP design at the point of cancelation.[/QUOTE]

This being the what essentially both were offering when OSP transitioned into CEV program.
 

Byeman

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B. Lockheed's current design at the time of OSP cancellation was a capsule and not a lifting body. The change to capsules occurred early in the OSP project.

Actually near the end of OSP LM had a 'winged' body:

... configuration, (they did in fact state in an official report that a capsule was actually what fit the NASA requirements, better than any lifting or winged body would) that morphed into a hypersonic lifting body design seen here:

At that point Boeing was the only company pushing a capsule and to meet the "Spaceplane" requirement they still offered an "X-37-ish" concept:

that I can't find was every pushed as hard as the capsule design. The LM change to a capsule didn't come till CEV evolved quite a bit.
[/QUOTE]

No, capsules were proposed by both Boeing and LM in the summer of 2003, long before there was a CEV program or the end of OSP. I was working OSP launch vehicle integration. I have documents, just can't share them. The requirement that drove the designs to capsule was passive entry. Lifting bodies need active guidance, a ballistic capsule doesn't.
 

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Don't now whether to laugh or cry, the project officer for that was a fellow captain in EELV we worked the project as risk reduction should the RD-180 go away (he was the PO and I owned the RM process), nothing like a government program that continues after the user chose the BE-4...
 

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ULA's rocket is not the last ever to be built, having another high-performance kerolox engine out there ready for use isn't the worst thing in the world.
 

sferrin

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Don't now whether to laugh or cry, the project officer for that was a fellow captain in EELV we worked the project as risk reduction should the RD-180 go away (he was the PO and I owned the RM process), nothing like a government program that continues after the user chose the BE-4...
Government efficiency.
 

mkellytx

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ULA's rocket is not the last ever to be built, having another high-performance kerolox engine out there ready for use isn't the worst thing in the world.
Perhaps, wonder what the SLS throw weight becomes with 4 AR-1's?
 

mkellytx

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Don't now whether to laugh or cry, the project officer for that was a fellow captain in EELV we worked the project as risk reduction should the RD-180 go away (he was the PO and I owned the RM process), nothing like a government program that continues after the user chose the BE-4...
Government efficiency.
Self licking ice cream cones?
 

Moose

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ULA's rocket is not the last ever to be built, having another high-performance kerolox engine out there ready for use isn't the worst thing in the world.
Perhaps, wonder what the SLS throw weight becomes with 4 AR-1's?
Studies of SLS withhigh-performance liquid boosters in place of the solids have pointed to something like 10-20t improvement to LEO depending upon the details of the booster. Thats maybe more politically doable with Lockheed backing the engine following their purchase of AJR, maybe.

But I was thinking of the on-again, off-again DARPA and USAF (presumably Space Force going forward) efforts to build a winged fly-back booster. AR-1 would be a great fit for a Lockheed bid on such a vehicle.
 

mkellytx

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But I was thinking of the on-again, off-again DARPA and USAF (presumably Space Force going forward) efforts to build a winged fly-back booster. AR-1 would be a great fit for a Lockheed bid on such a vehicle.
Back in 2011 my commander gave me the news that project was my next job, the next week it went through the off-again phase. IIRC AR-1 was supposed to be used on it.
 

sean hunter

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i guess the joint venture with nasa was them saying they needed spacex's help. i mean the retunable/landable first stage is kinda cool though.
 

TomcatViP

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UPDATE #2 – Jan. 16th at 9:25 pm EST
In a post-test briefing, NASA and Boeing officials confirmed that an investigation into the cause of the Major Component Failure on Engine 4 that stopped the hot fire test at 67.7 seconds after ignition is underway, but stated that no further information was known at the time.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated that not enough information was known about the abort to determine whether the test can be classed as a success.
If another hot fire test is scheduled, it will take a minimum of 21-30 days to refurbish the engines to fire again.
Administrator Bridenstine also stated that despite not accomplishing major test objectives and the outstanding questions and investigations that now must take place, the agency is not ruling out signing off on the test and sending the Core Stage to Florida for flight this year to “stay on schedule.”

 

Grey Havoc

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Flyaway

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Yeah, that’s a challenging question to answer because, you know, it involves speculation. What I can say now is that the Space Launch System is farther along than the Starship or any other commercial [project] with respect to a super heavy-lift capability that’s purpose-built for human spaceflight missions. I think in the near term, we’re really focused on getting SLS developed and getting this crewed test flight on the schedule so we can then do future Artemis missions including the first crewed mission to the lunar surface. We will always look at evolving capabilities within the industry and look for how they can best be utilized to meet our goals and objectives, including those at the heart of this program. But it’s hard for me to determine.

I know what the timelines are for the SLS, but it’s hard to determine what the timeline is and capabilities are for the Starship. And then the Starship is the spacecraft, but there’s still the undeveloped super-heavy lift rocket that would actually lift the Starship to orbit and eventually on to the Moon. I applaud SpaceX and what they’ve been able to accomplish in partnership with us through the commercial cargo and the commercial crew program. It’s just I know what our plan is for SLS, and it’s just hard for me to determine how we would leverage capabilities like Starship and the super-heavy that would launch Starship without understanding their timeline, their capabilities, and a lot more detail.

It’s sort of an apples-to-oranges comparison between the SLS and Starship because the Starship is really the spacecraft. Rather, it’s where we are at SLS versus where SpaceX would be with their super-heavy launch vehicle that really launches the Starship.

From this interview with the new head of NASA.

 

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Flyaway

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It seems the huge costs of SLS has caught the attention of the Biden administration. In the world of commercial launchers especially if the Starship system pans out what is point of SLS longer term.

 

Grey Havoc

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On the other hand:
 

Grey Havoc

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