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Stratolaunch

Archibald

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I want to see what they will do with the big bird. Hopefully it is not a caretaking / mothballing team... I want this thing to become a fire bomber (in your face, Evergreen 747) or a NASA high altitude astronomy platform (in your face SOFIA, who needs 747s, really ?)
 

FighterJock

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I want to see what they will do with the big bird. Hopefully it is not a caretaking / mothballing team... I want this thing to become a fire bomber (in your face, Evergreen 747) or a NASA high altitude astronomy platform (in your face SOFIA, who needs 747s, really ?)
I like the sound of the NASA high altitude astronomy platform. Though instead of replacing SOFIA I would imagine it working in a different wavelength altogether so they do not compete with each other.
 

Archibald

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Yeah my reference to SOFIA was rather tongue-in-cheek.
What I had in mind was the ER-2, were sensors on pallets are swapped according to the daily or weekly mission. Also the CV-990s used for Spacelab, the Learjets carrying small telescopes, and so many others platforms. NASA has a knack for that.

The Roc aircraft could do the same but on a huge scale. Build a huge pressurized pod and cling that under the central wing. Then into that pod put science instruments that can be swapped according to the mission. The usual business: above 18 000 ft the thick of the atmosphere is below you. At 45 000 ft, perhaps 80% of it. Imagine, when they stuffed a 2.7 m IR telescope into a 747-SP, they had to cut a huge window into the rear fuselage side. Compared to that, building a pod mostly independant from Stratolaunch own structure might be a little easier. You could build the pod from the beginning with a huge hole for the telescope - unlike a 747-SP fuselage which was not exactly designed by Boeing with such idea in mind.
 

RanulfC

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Yeah my reference to SOFIA was rather tongue-in-cheek.
What I had in mind was the ER-2, were sensors on pallets are swapped according to the daily or weekly mission. Also the CV-990s used for Spacelab, the Learjets carrying small telescopes, and so many others platforms. NASA has a knack for that.

The Roc aircraft could do the same but on a huge scale. Build a huge pressurized pod and cling that under the central wing. Then into that pod put science instruments that can be swapped according to the mission. The usual business: above 18 000 ft the thick of the atmosphere is below you. At 45 000 ft, perhaps 80% of it. Imagine, when they stuffed a 2.7 m IR telescope into a 747-SP, they had to cut a huge window into the rear fuselage side. Compared to that, building a pod mostly independant from Stratolaunch own structure might be a little easier. You could build the pod from the beginning with a huge hole for the telescope - unlike a 747-SP fuselage which was not exactly designed by Boeing with such idea in mind.
Didn't they study using a pod for various purposes along the way? I seem to recall "large, outsized cargo" but there was mention of other pods for other uses... OH DEAR LORD IT'S THUNDERBIRD 2!

Randy
 

Byeman

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Yeah my reference to SOFIA was rather tongue-in-cheek.
What I had in mind was the ER-2, were sensors on pallets are swapped according to the daily or weekly mission. Also the CV-990s used for Spacelab, the Learjets carrying small telescopes, and so many others platforms. NASA has a knack for that.

The Roc aircraft could do the same but on a huge scale. Build a huge pressurized pod and cling that under the central wing. Then into that pod put science instruments that can be swapped according to the mission. The usual business: above 18 000 ft the thick of the atmosphere is below you. At 45 000 ft, perhaps 80% of it. Imagine, when they stuffed a 2.7 m IR telescope into a 747-SP, they had to cut a huge window into the rear fuselage side. Compared to that, building a pod mostly independant from Stratolaunch own structure might be a little easier. You could build the pod from the beginning with a huge hole for the telescope - unlike a 747-SP fuselage which was not exactly designed by Boeing with such idea in mind.
Unworkable. The wing and fuselage would block the field of view. Need a low wing aircraft.
 

RanulfC

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Yeah my reference to SOFIA was rather tongue-in-cheek.
What I had in mind was the ER-2, were sensors on pallets are swapped according to the daily or weekly mission. Also the CV-990s used for Spacelab, the Learjets carrying small telescopes, and so many others platforms. NASA has a knack for that.

The Roc aircraft could do the same but on a huge scale. Build a huge pressurized pod and cling that under the central wing. Then into that pod put science instruments that can be swapped according to the mission. The usual business: above 18 000 ft the thick of the atmosphere is below you. At 45 000 ft, perhaps 80% of it. Imagine, when they stuffed a 2.7 m IR telescope into a 747-SP, they had to cut a huge window into the rear fuselage side. Compared to that, building a pod mostly independant from Stratolaunch own structure might be a little easier. You could build the pod from the beginning with a huge hole for the telescope - unlike a 747-SP fuselage which was not exactly designed by Boeing with such idea in mind.
Unworkable. The wing and fuselage would block the field of view. Need a low wing aircraft.
Wouldn't or couldn't the pod extend forward and aft of the wing for a clear view?

Randy
 

Archibald

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That was my idea indeed... plenty of room to avoid the wing above.
 

RanulfC

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You still have the fuselages to the sides.
Not to the rear and front though so you 'field of view' is actually more open. Less a 'hatch' in the side of the pod but more an proper observatory turret fore and aft, (or just one) which you can adjust to sight along the open lanes. You may have to fly "towards" or "away" but your field of view would be the same if not better.

Randy
 

sferrin

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You sure about that?

thunderbolt-image02.jpg
 

RanulfC

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Ok need some mod help here but I was trying to link back to the old thread to link to the Dan DeLong, Teledyne Brown Air Launch To Orbit Spaceplane Concept but no go. (Tried the NSF and Selenian Boondocks link but that seems dead as well :( )

In essence I'm wondering, (which is why I'm trying to do the BoTE) how the BE3/4 and/or Raptor would do in place of the SSME? The RL10 is supposed to be pretty straight forward to convert to methalox so ...

RAndy
Edit: Found the NSF link at: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27520.msg1811704#msg1811704
I'll try to attach it here
 

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Orionblamblam

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You still have the fuselages to the sides.
If it's an astronomical telescope, having a central pod extending somewhat aft of the trailing edge with the tail cut off at a slant leaving a big upwards-exposed hole for the telescope to look up and out from would seema good solution. The airflow environent would seem to be - or at least could be made to be - fairly benign, and the view upwards would be quite clear. Simply point the tail of the aircraft at the target in the sky and fly "away" from it, and the scope could stare at the target probably longer than the fuel supply would allow.
 

Archibald

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Ok need some mod help here but I was trying to link back to the old thread to link to the Dan DeLong, Teledyne Brown Air Launch To Orbit Spaceplane Concept but no go. (Tried the NSF and Selenian Boondocks link but that seems dead as well :( )

In essence I'm wondering, (which is why I'm trying to do the BoTE) how the BE3/4 and/or Raptor would do in place of the SSME? The RL10 is supposed to be pretty straight forward to convert to methalox so ...

RAndy
Edit: Found the NSF link at: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27520.msg1811704#msg1811704
I'll try to attach it here
That study is fascinating, and so is the paper. The detailed weight breakdowns of the vehicle and Shuttle orbiter particularly. I used it as a template for my suborbital refueling rocketplane.
 
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martinbayer

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Ok need some mod help here but I was trying to link back to the old thread to link to the Dan DeLong, Teledyne Brown Air Launch To Orbit Spaceplane Concept but no go. (Tried the NSF and Selenian Boondocks link but that seems dead as well :( )

In essence I'm wondering, (which is why I'm trying to do the BoTE) how the BE3/4 and/or Raptor would do in place of the SSME? The RL10 is supposed to be pretty straight forward to convert to methalox so ...

RAndy
Edit: Found the NSF link at: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27520.msg1811704#msg1811704
I'll try to attach it here
That study is fascinating, and so is the paper. The detailed weight breakdowns of the vehicle and Shuttle orbiter particularly. I used it as a template for my suborbital refueling rocketplane.
Hello Archibald,

It's good to see that you finally seem to be opening up to entertaining the possibility of a subsonically air launched winged reusable launch vehicle with cryogenic rocket propulsion after all... ;)

Martin
 
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Archibald

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Air launch is excellent (1100 m/s gain if done properly) but suborbital refueling leave it in the dust, performance-wise. Because it doesn't hit at the extremities ( at the beginning) of the ascent delta-v to Earth orbit, 9 km/s. It punches it right in the guts, at 6 km/s. That's the moment when the exponential aspect of the rocket equation becomes a real, giant PITA. The propellant mass fraction rise smoothly up to 0.85 and 6 km/s.
Then on the last percents - going from 0.85 to 0.95 and 9 km/s it just... skyrockets, pretty brutally.

IF Earth was somewhere in size between Mars (too small) and Venus (smaller, but not enough smaller) chemical propulsion and SSTO would have a far easier time...
 
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martinbayer

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Air launch is excellent (1100 m/s gain if done properly) but suborbital refueling leave it in the dust, performance-wise. Because it doesn't hit at the extremities ( at the beginning) of the ascent delta-v to Earth orbit, 9 km/s. It punches it right in the guts, at 6 km/s. That's the moment when the exponential aspect of the rocket equation becomes a real, giant PITA. The propellant mass fraction rise smoothly up to 0.85 and 6 km/s.
Then on the last percents - going from 0.85 to 0.95 and 9 km/s it just... skyrockets, pretty brutally.

IF Earth was somewhere in size between Mars (too small) and Venus (smaller, but not enough smaller) chemical propulsion and SSTO would have a far easier time...
If I understand you correctly, how is refueling at 6 km/s accomplished? Leaving the rendezvous and coupling mechanics aside, that would require a rather large dedicated tanker in addition to the orbiter. Considering that that tanker would need, well, copious tankage, propulsion, flight systems, propellant transfer equipment, and (assuming reusability) presumably some sort of landing equipment, I severely doubt that vehicle combo would be any more reliable and cost effective overall than a straight up parallel TSTO with continuous crossfeed, but I'm curious what your (comparative?) analysis based on the TBE spaceplane looks like that drives you to postulating such an exotic solution.
 
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Archibald

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drop me a mail in my forum inbox and you shall see. don't want to hijack this thread further...
 

Archibald

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well anybody else interested can do the same, btw
 

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Air launch is excellent (1100 m/s gain if done properly) but suborbital refueling leave it in the dust, performance-wise. Because it doesn't hit at the extremities ( at the beginning) of the ascent delta-v to Earth orbit, 9 km/s. It punches it right in the guts, at 6 km/s. That's the moment when the exponential aspect of the rocket equation becomes a real, giant PITA. The propellant mass fraction rise smoothly up to 0.85 and 6 km/s.
Then on the last percents - going from 0.85 to 0.95 and 9 km/s it just... skyrockets, pretty brutally.
Worth starting a spin-off thread?
Technically? :)

If I understand you correctly, how is refueling at 6 km/s accomplished? Leaving the rendezvous and coupling mechanics aside, that would require a rather large dedicated tanker in addition to the orbiter. Considering that that tanker would need, well, copious tankage, propulsion, flight systems, propellant transfer equipment, and (assuming reusability) presumably some sort of landing equipment, I severely doubt that vehicle combo would be any more reliable and cost effective overall than a straight up parallel TSTO with continuous crossfeed, but I'm curious what your (comparative?) analysis based on the TBE spaceplane looks like that drives you to postulating such an exotic solution.
In context you'd need one or two more "Roc's" to make it happen in any case, which presents it's own issues :)

IF Earth was somewhere in size between Mars (too small) and Venus (smaller, but not enough smaller) chemical propulsion and SSTO would have a far easier time...
Whiners... "The planet's too big, it's too small, it's to hot, it's too cold" Yeesh...

Randy
 

Archibald

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LMAO. Martin: the crux of the matter is that the amount of oxidizer to be transfered is not huge, in the 20 000 to 80 000 pound range. The system works better with unbalanced O/F ratios - keroxide is 7, hydrolox is 6. Hydrogen peroxide can be done through bladders, very much like the USN refueling system (probe and drogue). LOX is harder because of ullage and cryogens. Needs a rigid system perhaps boom RDV. https://selenianboondocks.com/2009/11/boom-rendezvous-a-path-not-yet-taken/
 

Flyaway

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Now under new ownership.

 

Flyaway

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Thanks to a poster on NSF for digging this article up:


Stratolaunch reported the ownership handover today on Twitter and its website, without saying who the new owner is. However, information gleaned from the grapevine at Mojave Air and Space Port, where Stratolaunch’s flight operations are based, suggests that private investors are playing a role.
 

FighterJock

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Thanks to a poster on NSF for digging this article up:


Stratolaunch reported the ownership handover today on Twitter and its website, without saying who the new owner is. However, information gleaned from the grapevine at Mojave Air and Space Port, where Stratolaunch’s flight operations are based, suggests that private investors are playing a role.
Private investors? Wonder who they are. I suppose that news will come out eventually.
 
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