US 80s TNMTS/AMLS studies aka Shuttle II

Byeman

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Did foam problems suddenly get worse due a formulation change ? I've a vague memory of reading that the stuff's consistency and adhesion suffered when the CFC foaming agent was replaced...
urban myth
 

Byeman

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I like the Idea of that as part of a Buran type Shuttle II....as in figure 21. here:

---but there could be another possibility:

Imagine if you will, an all hydrogen External Tank made from the start to be used as a wet workshop---with no foam problems.

The payload of crew/cargo goes in a forward cargo carrier in the nose of the External Tank....top mount...escape tower, etc.

The oxidizer tank is inside the unmanned orbiter where the payload bay used to be.

This way, you can still fly back the SSMEs.....the orbiter is simplified, and the ET can has smaller motors to take care of itself.
Not viable. Liquid hydrogen always requires foam insulation. Also, no point in a winged engine return pod.
 

RanulfC

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Not viable. Liquid hydrogen always requires foam insulation. Also, no point in a winged engine return pod.

Actually there was a 'point' to adding significant lift to the engine recovery pods: Landing location :)
The deep Outback of Australia or the Mexican Northern deserts were NOT convenient to land and recover from. Ballistic recovery pods didn't/couldn't have the cross-range needed.

Randy
 

publiusr

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I am not saying to not have foam. Wet workshops also need insulation. There would be an outer smooth layer-a double hull is also good for a simple all hydogen ET station module. There are hydrophobic coatings that could be added to the second skin to reduce ice...so it slides off at lift-off. Remember- the oxidizer is in the orbiter...so no oxygen ramp. The payload is atop the ET here. My point is is that the tankage for low density LH2 is an asset, for wet workshops need no grid fins, TPS, or legs-and need not endure the Adama maneuver. Winged spaceflight has its place. My thought was that Wayne Ordway' Shuttle II would prevail with a Buran type orbiter that could be replaced by factory pods the orbiter could service...returning tons of goods to Earth..sparking investments...with shuttle 3 spaceplanes grown in space. To me...orbital factories need come first and RLVs last.
 
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Byeman

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I am not saying to not have foam. Wet workshops also need insulation. There would be an outer smooth layer-a double hull is also good for a simple all hydogen ET station module. There are hydrophobic coatings that could be added to the second skin to reduce ice...so it slides off at lift-off. Remember- the oxidizer is in the orbiter...so no oxygen ramp. The payload is atop the ET here. My point is is that the tankage for low density LH2 is an asset, for wet workshops need no grid fins, TPS, or legs-and need not endure the Adama maneuver. Winged spaceflight has its place. My thought was that Wayne Ordway' Shuttle II would prevail with a Buran type orbiter that could be replaced by factory pods the orbiter could service...returning tons of goods to Earth..sparking investments...with shuttle 3 spaceplanes grown in space. To me...orbital factories need come first and RLVs last.
Double hull is not viable.
Wet workshop is not viable for decades. Not until there is an existing healthy infrastructure already present on orbit. Just better to use the dry workshop concept stacked on top of the vehicle using similar tanks.

Oxygen ramp was unique to shuttle, and there where other areas were foam was liberated.

No factories do not come first. RLVs and cheap launch are required to make orbital factories feasible. Factories aren't built anywhere until there is a viable transportation infrastructure in place. And they are usually built using the same infrastructure.
 

Byeman

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Not viable. Liquid hydrogen always requires foam insulation. Also, no point in a winged engine return pod.

Actually there was a 'point' to adding significant lift to the engine recovery pods: Landing location :)
The deep Outback of Australia or the Mexican Northern deserts were NOT convenient to land and recover from. Ballistic recovery pods didn't/couldn't have the cross-range needed.

Randy
Don't need wings to produce lift.
 

publiusr

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But without factories as a destination, RLV markets can be over saturated. Space has to be funded by more than a handful of squabbling billionaires...and having goods spill out of some crafts' hold is probably what is needed to mainstream space beyond vanity projects that turn many off. We know what you are against. Tell me what you are for.
Getting back to the topic at hand-a Buran type system may have been for the best. With an Energia type SLS, perhaps different winged boilerplates could be tested on what would have been a giant Navaho for high speed tests-and released by 747 for low speed tests. Hurricane Andrew might have opened up Homestead...with the de facto F-2 eyewall damage track 'pressed into service as a repurposed long runway.

An interesting aside

An engineless orbiter developed from a “challenge” by an individual at NASA/MSFC regarding the ability of the orbiter to evolve into an unpowered vehicle, something like the Russian Buran. This worked out very nicely, as seen in Fig. 21, by adding a payload bay segment at the aft end of the bay (as noted above for the stretched orbiter) and moving as much equipment into a new faired aft body as possible to compensate for the removal of the engines and thrust structure. The subsonic L/D increased to an estimated 6.02 as a result.


From NSF:

It's interesting to compare the Shuttle and Buran three main propulsion systems
- the main rocket engines
- the two OMS
- the planned jet engines (deleted in '74 for the Shuttle, kept to the very end on Buran but not flown)

In a sense, Buran dropped its SSME-look-alike engines into its Energiya rocket carrier.

And this meant two things
- Buran OMS went to the back end - where the Shuttle had its 3*SSME.
- the AL-31 jet engines went flanking the vertical tail - where the Shuttle had its OMS pods instead
- Note: before 1974 the Shuttle ferry jets (TF30s, then F401s) were to be hanged below the wing and TPS, in a removeable big pod.

Some more thoughts.

Buran AL-31 were unreheated Su-27 engines, aproximately 1500 kg in weight. One SSME is 3200 kg, and the Shuttle had three of them in the back.

Hence Buran pair of turbojets weighed as much as 1*SSME, and the Shuttle had three of them. Center of gravity issues must have been slighty easier to handle (well, for the computers & FBW system) on Buran, with so much weight removed from the back.
 
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Byeman

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But without factories as a destination, RLV markets can be over saturated. Space has to be funded by more than a handful of squabbling billionaires...and having goods spill out of some crafts' hold is probably what is needed to mainstream space beyond vanity projects that turn many off. We know what you are against. Tell me what you are for.
Wrong.
1. RLVs are used to build the factories. That is the only way to make it work (business case).
2. No, space doesn't have to be funded by gov'ts. The marketplace and industry (billionaires) are the rightful sources. Why does space have to be treated like social program? The gov't doesn't do the same for the oceans, land and air, now it is time for space (don't include the military).
3. The govt can stick to space science and robotic exploration. Space exploitation can be left to the marketplace and industry
 

publiusr

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Space shouldn't have to be funded by gov'ts....but with Musk killing winged spaceflight, Bezos could have the weight of the USAF behind him if he goes that route--and they have more pull and longevity than Shelby even...so there's that. Branson has been no friend to the cause of rocketplanes--that's for bloody sure.

As far as a Buran type Shuttle II---Wayne Ordway (Fred's son) seemed to like the concept:

I'm not saying that a Buran type system is the cheapest winged RLV...but it would be the simplest. A pathbreaker.

The point is to get winged research going and get some type of cargos back to increase the appetites of the business community at large. Once that is done---even sleepy Boeing might take notice and start work on Star Raker or something really useful.

But you are correct in saying the marketplace and industry are the right sources--but billionaire vanity projects aren't.

Musk doesn’t like wings?

Well, I don’t like eggshell tankage…and the “Adama Maneuver” falls under what I call stupid tank tricks…because it is land perfectly or die.

An Americanized Buran with turbojets…esp if it can have a metal heat shield—-that is a full aircraft. Not a glider. With F-111 type escape pods…you have even more margin…launch heads up.

Buran might be an old space design…but with new space passion it can work. The engine-equipped ET core can more easily be a wet workshop later or if you assembly line 3D printed engines…can be expended or come back with wings of its own if scaled up enough…the Buran itself as close to an airplane as can be…not an eggshell.

In FOR ALL MANKIND we see a lunar shuttle. The only way that could work is if it were refilled with the ET remaining attached there and back again so as to slow down to orbital velocity for re-entry. While this was pooh-poohed…it is no different than Starship…but that full frame orbiter just says “hold my beer” to the ET.

With Starship…the beer can holds you.

A Buran style orbiter with perhaps beefed up snap-on ablatives Portree once wrote about…might leave a refilled engine equipped ET (after emptying itself on a burn to Luna) behind to soft land on the Moon as an “uncrasher” stage…and perhaps come back all by itself.

It is tankage…not wings…that get in the way.
Unless you like landing grain silos…then…knock yourself out.
 
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