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SERV - 1971 VTOVL alternate shuttle proposal

PMN1

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From the astonautix site

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/shuttle.htm



VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Status: Study 1971. Manufacturer's Designation: SERV.

Chrysler ballistic single stage to orbit alternate shuttle proposal of June 1971. This was the most detailed design study ever performed on a VTOVL SSTO launch vehicle. The 2,040 tonne SERV was designed to deliver a 53 tonne payload to orbit in a capacious 7 m x 18 m payload bay.

The Chrysler SERV single-stage-to-orbit ballistic vehicle was the subject of a six-volume report produced under the $ 1.9 million NASA contract NAS8-26341. The booster could be launched from the existing LC39 built for the Saturn V. SERV would be built at NASA's Michoud facility and transported by a 'Bay'-class vessel modified to carry the wide load through the existing inland waterway system between Michoud and Cape Canaveral. SERV was a squat 27.4 m in diameter and 20.3 m tall. A payload of 52,800 kg, housed in a 7 m x 18.3 m cargo bay, could be transported to a 185 km/28.5 deg orbit. The vehicle was powered by a 12-module aerospike engine, 26.6 m in diameter and 2.5 m tall, producing 2.45 million kilograms of thrust at a specific impulse of 347 seconds at lift-off. The engine could be throttled to 80%, and the turbopumps were interlinked, so that the failure of any one pump could be compensated for by bringing the others up to 120% of their rated capacity. Protective doors covered the engine during the base-first re-entry, which would be accurate enough to bring the booster to within 6500 m of the aim point.. After slowing to subsonic speed,. 28 x 11,400 kgf turbojet engines powered by JP-4 fuel braked the spacecraft to a hover and soft touchdown on landing pads 2.8 km from the Vertical Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. For manned missions, a MURP spaceplane would be used for separate return of the crew to earth. Total development costs was estimated as $3.565 billion, with each SERV costing $350 million in FY1971 dollars, and being rated for 100 flights over a 10 year service life.

As had Philip Bonob at Douglas before them, the Chrysler team, led by Charles Tharratt, fervently believed that they had the best solution to providing America with routine access to space. But NASA was wedded to the concept of a winged shuttle and never gave SERV any serious consideration.

Manufacturer: Chrysler. LEO Payload: 52,800 kg (116,400 lb). to: 185 km Orbit. at: 28.50 degrees. Liftoff Thrust: 25,795.300 kN (5,799,014 lbf). Total Mass: 2,040,816 kg (4,499,229 lb). Core Diameter: 27.40 m (89.80 ft). Total Length: 20.30 m (66.60 ft). Development Cost $: 3,565.000 million. in: 1971 average dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 350.000 million. in: 1971 unit dollars.

* Stage1: 1 x Shuttle SERV-1. Gross Mass: 2,040,816 kg (4,499,229 lb). Empty Mass: 226,757 kg (499,913 lb). Motor: 1 x Plug-Nozzle SERV. Thrust (vac): 31,980.515 kN (7,189,506 lbf). Isp: 455 sec. Burn time: 249 sec. Length: 20.27 m (66.50 ft). Diameter: 18.29 m (60.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2.



Was this idea workable and why did they design for 52,800kg to LEO, this is way above what NASA and the USAF were looking at?

Also some information here

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=5771.0
 

Skybolt

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Well, it wasn't above, it was DIFFERENT... By 1971 the choice was either a winged orbiter or... no orbiter at all (the light glider on top an uprated Titan was very much n the table, and very menacing..). The SERV used a light glider as man carrying vehicle, so you can see the trap: "great idea... let's discard the SSTO and keep the glider"...
Some more info (apart other topics in the forum, use the search engine, it works .... ;))
http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19760073980
http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19770075726
 

OM

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Skybolt said:
Well, it wasn't above, it was DIFFERENT... By 1971 the choice was either a winged orbiter or... no orbiter at all (the light glider on top an uprated Titan was very much n the table, and very menacing..). The SERV used a light glider as man carrying vehicle, so you can see the trap: "great idea... let's discard the SSTO and keep the glider"...
Some more info (apart other topics in the forum, use the search engine, it works .... ;))
http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19760073980
http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19770075726

...These are actually a pretty fun read, although the shape of SERV tends to remind me of Von Braun's A-10 "Fat Ass" concept.
 

Skybolt

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mmm, sure, more direct ancestor probably the Krafft Ehricke's Nexus concept(s).
 

Grif

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I think I saw what you mean about the "Fat Ass" A10 on "Encyclopaedia Astronautica" - does anyone know anything about this?
Grif
 

Archibald

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Single stage to orbit is still very, very, very hard. 92% pure propellant, 8% for the vehicle itself - including the payload !

From what I've understand of many, many readings, looks like the general consensus over SSTO is as follow

- Expendable SSTO is doable, but unuseful.
Some examples of possible expendable SSTOs includes Saturn S-IVB with SSME ; Shuttle E.T with RS-68 or SSME; Saturn S-II; Titan II first stage; Centaur.

- SSTO RLV is difficult because we just don't know how to kill the damn weight growth.
I mean that every aircraft or spacecraft takes 10% to 20 % mass between the drawing-board and roll-out. Even modern airliners or spacecrafts. Even computerized design didn't changed that. A380 is an example. 787 is another.

This weight growth is acceptable... outside SSTO and their darn 92% mass-fraction. Chrysler SERV would have been no exception.

What make thinks worse: shifting requirements. Each time you change the mission, you change the SSTO, and add weight. Well, the shuttle program was a bundle of shifting requirements, very bad for a SSTO...
 

Just call me Ray

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Archibald said:
Single stage to orbit is still very, very, very hard. 92% pure propellant, 8% for the vehicle itself - including the payload !

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. For those who don't like the shuttle from an efficiency standpoint, this is worse!
 

ouroboros

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Was the payload designated to be so large initially because they were expecting significant weight growth that would otherwise kill the concept? Even a payload of 1% can be significant as the SSTO approaches Big Dumb Booster levels of size. Though once you reach a certain size, water launch and landings sound more attractive from a cost/construction/operations standpoint, especially if you go for full or near full spike for the aerospike engine, which would server triple duty as engine ramp, hypersonic sharp leading edge reentry spike, and buoyancy pole.
 

Grey Havoc

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Some more info:

http://falsesteps.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/servmurp-chryslers-space-truck/
On its ballistic return to earth the SERV could aim for an area about 15 kilometers in diameter, but unfortunately that was not accurate enough to meet NASA’s requirements. Undaunted, Chrysler proposed to put a ring of 28 jet engines with associated air intake doors around the edge of the SERV’s tubby body, inside its fairing so their profile wouldn’t disturb the booster’s smooth aerodynamics. These would kick in at 7600 meters of altitude, gulping air for oxidizer (and saving some weight by doing so, rather than using liquid oxygen) and push the SERV even closer to its goal. It could even hover for as long as its jet fuel held out. With the aid of the jets, it could get to within 75 meters of its aim point. Two special landing pads would have been built at Cape Canaveral right next to maintenance buildings on the shore of the Banana River so that returning SERVs could be whisked in for a post-mission checkup and refurbishment.

With that kind of performance, Chrysler pointed out in its Phase A proposal that the SERV would be within striking distance of providing a commercially viable suborbital “space airline” between major cities. Almost anywhere on Earth was forty minutes away. The main stumbling block was the cost of fuel, which brought the cost of a ticket to about US$33,000 (in 1969 currency). Chrysler somewhat arbitrarily felt that fuel costs would drop by three-quarters given the volumes that would be made to accommodate NASA’s requirement that any Shuttle would have to fly at a punishing schedule of roughly three times per month. Under those circumstances per-person costs would be only about US$10,900

If given the contract on January 1, 1973, Chrysler anticipated that the SERV/MURP’s first test flight would be towards the end of 1977, with the first operational flight in the first quarter of 1978. The total cost of flying four SERVs with three MURPs was pegged at US$10.01 billion, including operations through the end of 1986.



http://www.pmview.com/spaceodysseytwo/spacelvs/sld034.htm



http://www.allpar.com/corporate/factories/huntsville.html
 

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bigvlada

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My favorite unbuilt space transporter. NASA links are dead, but I have a copy of the final report if anyone needs it. What are the allowed file hosters for the forum?
 

sienar

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bigvlada said:
My favorite unbuilt space transporter. NASA links are dead, but I have a copy of the final report if anyone needs it. What are the allowed file hosters for the forum?

Do you still have these? You should be able to directly upload pdfs here.
 

minmachine

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Is there any info on the murp d-10 and d-34 shuttles. Can't seem to find plan drawings/layout etc apart from that mentioned in the pdf that seinar posted. Thanks in advance.
 

sienar

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The other NTRS report
 

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minmachine

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Thanks again Sienar.
Looks like lots of minor changes from the initial report to this the final report (as expected).
 

Orionblamblam

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minmachine

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athpilot

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I said it once and I say it again: this channel is absolutely fantastic. Hazegrayat you rock! Btw. I never imagined SERV could be that capable and reusable...

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

RanulfC

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I said it once and I say it again: this channel is absolutely fantastic. Hazegrayat you rock! Btw. I never imagined SERV could be that capable and reusable...

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Chrysler were aware they had no chance to move forward with the Shuttle Phase B program so they set out to build what NASA "said" it wanted but ignoring the artificial, (and they go into detail WHY they are artificial in the final report) requirements of "cross-range" and "winged". (They admit they left out one other 'requirement' which was justified in the request but hampered the economics and turn around time of the vehicle; It couldn't use the VAB) SERV was the result.

I'm re-reading the posted reports but IIRC off the top of my head they note that even if the vehicle would not work as a strict SSTO a 'second-stage' could be placed in the "hold" area and launched into orbit with about half again the proposed payload in the basic design. I somewhat used this concept as the rough design for an improved and fully recoverable Falcon 9 variant that nobody noticed :)

I probably need to get off my keester and drop Hazegray an email to confirm I can't afford anything custom from them :)

Randy
 

fredymac

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.....I somewhat used this concept as the rough design for an improved and fully recoverable Falcon 9 variant that nobody noticed :)

I probably need to get off my keester and drop Hazegray an email to confirm I can't afford anything custom from them :)

Randy



If you ever get a reply from Musk on your ideas for improving Falcon 9 please share with the rest of us.

I wasn't aware that Hazegrayart did contract work. I can't find a website for him (which I would guess would be needed if he actually did contract animations). That little blurb on his video channel saying business inquiries must sign in I would guess were actually for advertising (it appears on all Youtube channels). I did find an old twitter account whose last entry was Nov 2018 and complained that Youtube had demonetized all his videos.
 

RanulfC

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If you ever get a reply from Musk on your ideas for improving Falcon 9 please share with the rest of us.

I'm far from the only one who's made suggestions and I'm sure you'll hear if he ever takes anyone's advice :)

I wasn't aware that Hazegrayart did contract work. I can't find a website for him (which I would guess would be needed if he actually did contract animations). That little blurb on his video channel saying business inquiries must sign in I would guess were actually for advertising (it appears on all Youtube channels). I did find an old twitter account whose last entry was Nov 2018 and complained that Youtube had demonetized all his videos.

I'm not sure as I actually tried to make contact but so far have seen nothing. On the other hand some older comments suggest that there has been some work that no longer appears on the channel possibly because they 'belong' to someone else. Really the only thing you can do is try and see what happens. I like that he's into the big launchers but I'd really like to have some of the smaller, (albeit not all THAT smaller like the "Nexus-like" Saturn S-1 stage design that came out as a 'side-note' on the NEXUS study itself) and differing designs done.

We'll see I suppose

Randy
 

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