NASA's ARES 1 Going off the Rails

Discussion in 'Science' started by Knotched, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Knotched

    Knotched Member

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    The Constellation program was put in place by the Bush administration to continue from the end of life Shuttle lifter and push space activity to the Moon and ultimately, Mars.

    The mandate was to take established technology, off the shelf rocket engines, fuel tanks, and existing hardware to acheive a cheap but reliable vehicle for low earth orbit mission to the ISS and later revisit and ultimately a Moon base.

    However, the new head of NASA, Dr Griffin, had other ideas. Within the much restricted budget contraints put in place by Congress, he has planned a totally new launch vehicle, requiring new design, development and testing. The only element from the Shuttle program is the Solid Rocket Booster (SRBs).

    The design for this new lifter is ARES 1, with a much bigger lifter planned for Moon and Mars to be ARES V.

    The ARES 1 uses a single SRB design with the payload (Orion crew capsule) on top. Unfortunately this design has come up short with Thrust to weight well under that planned, meaning the Orion capsule must be redesigned (stripped) to reduce weight. The project has also rapidly climbed in cost into around the $250 Billion mark.

    Another group, DIRECT, has identified itself as a number of serving (moonlighting) NASA managers and engineers, who disagree with the current design philosophy and argue using the Shuttle's twin SRBs + the Shuttles liquid rocket engines is compliant with the original mandate and far cheaper and more effective, particularly for Moon and beyond missions where they say their design will scale up much better.

    NASA investigated the DIRECT proposal and declared it not viable because the DIRECT proposal's claims were too optimistic. DIRECT has hit back saying NASA hasn't evaluated their proposal fairly and want a US Government body to assess their updated proposal - DIRECT 2.0

    In the meantime ARES 1 has been subject to a project showstopper; Thrust Oscillation.
    Because it uses solid fuel the vibrations and sympathetic oscillations from combustion particularly near the end of the SRB's burn induce violent "jackhammer" effects on the crew which would incapacitate them (or possibly kill them).

    This is a fascinating unfolding saga and the links below;

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1133/1


    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5477

    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12379.0
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Knotched

    Knotched Member

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    The writing is on the wall for ARES 1 and it's vastly reduced payload restrictions and thrust oscillation problems.

    With the US elections looming there is strong feeling that NASA will give up the ARES 1 design.

    In the meantime, Direct has opened a new website -

    http://www.directlauncher.com/

    and justifies its proposal to be the next heavy lifter for the US.
     
  3. HUMMER

    HUMMER Member

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    i can see where they are going with the issues of vibrations that could be deadly for the people inside this craft. von braun (sp??) can across this problem when first developing rockets to fly into space.
     
  4. bcann

    bcann Member

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    yet again top level management at nasa justifying employing tens of thousands of engineers and pissing away money.... there is so much "off the shelf" tech out there why are they re-inventing the wheel at massive cost..

    We could have a moon base (or be well on the way too it) by now if people would stop their own petty agendas. Lets stop reinventing things and wasting money and just get the job done with commercial tech as it is now..
     
  5. knowsfords

    knowsfords Member

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    At least they're using J2X's
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  6. Jedi Jezz

    Jedi Jezz Member

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    Actually as someone who works on in house and off the shelf equipment I would have to say the off the off shelf eqiupment is no where near as reliable or as easy to work on when it does break down.
     
  7. tornado33

    tornado33 Member

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    How come it is so hard for them to effectively go back to an old fashioned space capsule system using ex Shuttle parts?, when Nasa managed to come up with the Shuttle system in the first place. Ironically the 2 fatal accidents were not because of fundamantal flaws in the system but completely preventable ones that were even foreseen (warnings issued re SRB casing seals failing in extreme cold, and debris damage from ET on Shuttle tiles in previous missions)

    NASA may as well keep the Shuttles flying, and for heavy launchers they should have replaced the SRB's with liquid fuelled boosters and for really big payloads (100t) Gone for the Shuttle C system
    That would get you to the Moon and beyond
     
  8. SKiB

    SKiB Member

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    Big Fanboy of Energia/Buran Here. Although it's very unlikely NASA would buy Energia plans. It's a rather capable platform capable of moon shots. And it's been tested.

    Saturn V would be another good one, tried and tested. Again, I'm sure there's a good reason for not wanting to use it again.

    Thumbs up for Direct!
     
  9. Whisper

    Whisper Member

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    Me too on Mars Direct's approach

    Don't know why its getting so much resistance from the powers that be at NASA? :confused:
     
  10. bcann

    bcann Member

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    But its 10-100 times cheaper in NASA's case... you don't fix it you replace it.
     
  11. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

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    I like the Energia too, but I doubt that NASA would choose to use that over the Saturn V.

    The Saturn V isn't really suitable for NASA's plans at this point. The Ares I only has a payload of 25,000kg (versus over 100,000kg for the Saturn V), so the Saturn V would be un-necessarily large and expensive as a replacement. The Ares V would have a substantially higher payload than the Saturn V managed.

    I'm sure that NASA feel that with modern technology they can design something that's cheaper to build and operate than the Saturn rockets were; the problem is that it's costing them a fortune to actually do that design work.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Knotched

    Knotched Member

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    Popular Mechanics

    New article in PM re the group inside NASA trying to influence Obama's new administration into redirecting NASA's effort into something more sustainable.

    http://www.origin.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4295233.html?page=1
     
  13. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

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    Inflation a bitch?

    I honestly don't know why they didn't ask me about this before they pissed $250b down the drain. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that strapping a bunch of people on the top of a srb isn't going to work. The current SRB's are seperated from the rest of the stack during launch for the exact vibration issues near the end of the burn that have been mentioned. When they are on the sides of the stack this can be done (eg. space shuttle) without destroying or damaging the payload.

    Maybe I should send NASA my CV and see if I can save them a few billion dollars and design them a decent lunch system that can launch more than the shuttle to LEO and have lunar injection capabilities. Mars injection might be a tall order for the same vehicle, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  14. Oosh

    Oosh Member

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    They've had two shuttle disasters, both with big enquiries, both arriving at the root cause being a culture of ego's, yes men, and "tow the line". And they're STILL at it?

    NASA is gargantuan bureaucratic beast resting on its (albeit considerable) laurels in dire need of a shake up, but the shear mind-numbing inertia of the place seems to resist any and all real change, so I'm sad to admit I'm disaffected as to their continuing worth.

    X-Prize initiatives all the way!
     
  15. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

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    X-Prize needs to kick it up a notch, I mean a bomb could achieve Sub Orbital spaceflight back in 1944, 65 years ago. I'd like to see prizes (and attempts) for getting humans into stable Earth orbits, stable Moon and Mars orbits, and of course safe landings and returns on all three. NASA might have already beaten private enterprise on two of these three objectives, but I'm really not seeing humans going back to the moon in any serious capacity, or even getting anywhere close to landing on Mars.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  16. disco frank

    disco frank Member

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    just get the guys that desgined the top gear reliant robin

    hell they almost made space flight in a few weeks and fuck all budget

    i wonder what they could do with time and a few billion!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Knotched

    Knotched Member

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    Here's acommercial launcher to Wet the Appetite

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Space X is developing Falcon 9 to be the first commercial launcher to the International Space Station.

    http://www.spacex.com/updates.php
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  18. toje

    toje Member

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    Fan of the RSA initiatives here, :p

    I fear the commercialization of space, Imagine how much its going to cost to go into space, and how that cost may never come down. I just don't trust Corporations.

    I think the ESA, RSA, NASA, ISA and even the CSA should all band together to beat the corporations, they have the power and the capability.

    Just imagine, Russian Rockets, American-European Computer systems, Chinese Mass Production, They could make it cheap and reliable.
     

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