Re: Space Elevators (Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V)

2003-09-10 Thread Michael Turner

Commercial applications of Space Elevators?  Um ... let capitalism
figger it out.  Build it and the apps will come, it says here:

http://www.liftport.com/faqs/index.php?fuseAction=faqfgID=14faqID=28

Some of the industries mentioned -- pharmaceuticals, semiconductor
manufacturing -- have put microgravity to experimental uses, but
mainly to factor high gravity out of processes under study.  The results
have been applied not in how to manufacture in space, but on Earth.
Pure crystal growth seems to be a mantra among some space
enthusiasts, but the reality seems to be that people do pretty well
these days at 1 G.  Microgravity still doesn't have a killer app,
at any price point.

Solar power satellites (also mentioned) are still alive as an idea, but
would require yet further investment, in the usual O'Neill Scenario
of mining the moon or bringing in asteroids.  Take solar power gear
up on the elevator itself?  At $100/lb added cost, it probably still
makes more sense to keep solar on the ground.

Interestingly, this site gives short shrift to space tourism as a
market.

It does, however, talk about beyond-Earth missions, some
of which are currently funded in the 9-figure (dollar) range.
This *is* a definite, current market, even if it's basically
only governments as customers.

Much of what's going on in micro/nano/picosat research may,
however, radically reduce the costs of payload design and
integration, as well as reducing the payload weights.  You
don't need giant clean rooms and armies of technicians to
put together and test (and re-test) space probes if the whole
package comes out of a microscale fab's cleanroom already
integrated, largely by processes that have been automated.
The day may come when you can think about taking
a freshly-minted satellite off a microscale fab line ordinarily
used to make custom terrestrial equipment, wrap it in plastic,
then in bubblepak, put it in a box, and ship it FedEx.

If you replace cost per orbited pound with some more
appropriate metric like cost per function point or
something, costs to orbit for unmanned missions could
start dropping radically in 5-10 years, even with
costs per orbited pound staying high.  If nanotech is
the key to getting large masses in orbit cheaply, it
may also be its Enemy Number One in terms of
yielding a market.  Markets, however, aren't everything --
some government might come up with the gigabucks
that a manned Mars mission would cost.

-michael turner
[EMAIL PROTECTED]



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RE: Fw: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-08 Thread Vern Radul
Title: Message



Saturn 5 Blueprints Safely in 
Storagehttp://www.space.com/news/spacehistory/saturn_five_000313.html

  
  -Original Message-From: 
  [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Michael 
  TurnerSent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 9:00 PMTo: 
  [EMAIL PROTECTED]Subject: Re: Fw: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn 
  V
  Actually, the original rationale for 
  periodic Japanese temple burnings is much simpler than this: burning these 
  temples was the easiest and (on a windless day, at any rate) safest way to 
  demolish a structure made entirely of wood and susceptible to the degradation 
  that an open-air wooden structure suffers in a climate that gets quite humid 
  (as I can tell you right now, sitting in our family's pre-war, and rather 
  porous, woodenhouse in Tokyo, worrying about the next big 
  earthquake). In the west, churches and cathedrals were built for the 
  ages, and some cathedrals took decades to erect. In China and Japan, the 
  perpetual edifice was reserved for the static, immortal State. While I'm 
  sure there has been some after-the-fact mystical or philosophical rationale 
  for a rite celebrating temple burning, the real reasons are practical ones at 
  the root.
  
  Seymour Cray, father of the supercomputer, 
  endured some similar mythicalization. He liked wooden boats, but one day 
  had to retire one on a lakeside beach, and figured out that the cheapest and 
  safest approach was incineration. Someone noticed this, word got around, 
  and a romantico-mystical myth grew: that Cray built a new boat every year, and 
  burned it at the end of a year. He was at loss as to how to debunk this 
  urban legend, and I guess he finally gave up.
  
  I'm frankly skeptical about all this "lost 
  art" handwringing over the Saturn V vehicles. Sure, some of the people 
  who applied poorly documented techniques are dead or senile, but a 25 year old 
  technician who, in 1969,actually practiced what a 50 year old engineer 
  came up with is very likely to still be alive and kicking in 2003, and a 25 
  year old recent engineering graduate, upon being shown what was possible then, 
  has a very good shot at reinventing it if necessary. These people 
  weren't demigods. The main obstacle at NASA (then as now) was people who 
  *thought* they were demigods.
  
  -michael turner
  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  
- Original Message - 
From: 
Gary McMurtry 
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ; europa 
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 
5:27 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: SPACE: Loss of the 
    Saturn V
Larry,Thanks for posting that informative piece on 
the Saturn V. In Japan, there is a temple made of local pine that is 
periodically burned to the ground and rebuilt. The rationale is the 
technology and "know how" (i.e., the important details not on the 
blueprints) to make a replacement are thus passed along to future 
generations. I note that the abstract below was presented over ten 
years ago. The last time an F-1 engine was fired was over 30 years 
ago.GaryAt 01:15 PM 9/7/2003 -0400, LARRY KLAES wrote:
Larry: 
  That all the blueprints were destroyed is, I believe, an urban 
  legend. The following annotations from my Romance to Reality 
  website (http://rtr.marsinstitute.info) might go some way 
  toward answering Mr. Bradbury's questions. "The Saturn V F-1 
  Engine Revisited," AIAA 92-1547, B. W. Shelton and T. Murphy; paper 
  presented at the AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, March 
  24-27, 1992, Huntsville, Alabama. The authors are engineers at 
  NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the Rocketdyne Division of 
  Rockwell, respectively. Marshall designed the Saturn V rocket which 
  propelled Americans to the moon, while Rocketdyne built the F-1 engine. 
  Saturn V had five F-1 rocket engines in its first stage - together they 
  developed 7.5 million pounds of thrust. Sixty-five F-1 engines launched 
  thirteen Saturn Vs from 1967 to 1973 with "100% success." Shelton and 
  Murphy point out that the SEI Synthesis Group recommended considering the 
  F-1 for use on SEI heavy-lift rockets. They propose changes in the F-1 
  design reflecting 20 years of manufacturing and materials advancements to 
  produce an upgraded F-1A engine. Upgrades include strengthening the engine 
  bell, thrust chambers, and turbine exhaust manifold, and replacing 
  undesirable materials such as asbestos. Suppliers exist for all major 
  parts, and Rocketdyne has 300 active personnel who participated in F-1 
  production, test, and flight operations in the Apollo era. Five spare F-1s 
  in storage are available as "tooling aids" and "pathfinders" for test 
  stand activation. The authors point out that the Atlas and Delta 
  production lines were revived after shutdown

Re: mass drivers for earth-to-orbit cargo lift (was Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V)

2003-09-07 Thread Michael Turner

Bad form to reply to your own post, but here's an afterthought anyway.

I attended the ICDERS 19 meeting (International Colloquium on
the Dynamics of Explosions and Reacting Systems) in Hakone,
Japan, this year, where one of the presentations related to research
on implosion-tube launchers -- the idea of lining a long tube with
high explosives and detonating them (but smoothly, smoothly!) behind
the projectile, with a mediating gas between the leading wave of
implosion and the projectile, so that you don't simply vaporize
the sabot and its payload.  The presenter was a graduate student
under the supervision of Andrew Higgins at McGill University,
operating out of the lab once operated by the notorious but
(IMHO) underappreciated Gerald Bull.  (Bull, you might remember,
came to grief before his Iraq Supergun could go into operation.
This installation was dismantled by the U.N. in the early
90s.)  Andrew Higgins is very expert in direct launch proposals,
and did quite a lot of research on the ram accelerator concept
at University of Washington.  He's still interested in pushing
ram accelerators through their current slump in funding, but is
also clearly hedging his bets.

If the problems of controlling the rate that the implosion
travels can be solved, an idea mentioned here by Jack Reeve --
using standard oil drilling equipment to make a long tube
through hard rock -- could considerably reduce the cost
of labor and facilities.  You'd need special equipment to line
the tube with explosives, but it's astonishing what the oil
prospecting industry is doing with downhole robotics these
days.  There may even be equipment available now that
could do the job with minor modifications.  Exploratory
wells have been drilled at costs in the order of hundreds
of thousands of dollars, reaching depths that are adequate
for high-G launch.  30-inch drill bits have seen production
use, and treating the bore with liner and explosive wouldn't
reduce the diameter very much.  Drilling for oil and gas
at angles appropriate for direct launch has a long history.
In papers proposing ram accelerator designs, you can
find estimates that a mere 500 m/s delta V is required to
prevent the projectile from reentering the atmosphere
at the opposite side of the Earth. So a kick motor stage
need not be a huge contributor to costs or a serious
reduction in mass payload ration.  Can a rocket, especially
a liquid fueled one, survive gun launch?  Probably --
Bull proposed immersing it in water, inside the sabot,
to equalize the pressure on the fuel tank walls.

Getting a bit optimistic, and guessing that you could loft
500 lbs for $500,000 yields a quite appealing $1,000 / lb
-- from the first shot. Having drilled in one place, it's
somewhat cheaper to drill again nearby -- you need to
move the rig, but you'd better do that anyway, if you're
launching something at 8 km/s out of the hole.  And this
doesn't address the scenario in which boreholes are
reusable -- if you can make one borehole fire 10 shots,
truly impressive economies might appear.  The whole
operation could be substantially automated -- you might
have a few dozen people on site, once it's in production,
launching every few days, rather than the thousands
that attend to a single typical satellite launch.

Now, there's still something wrong with this picture; I
didn't mention Gerald Bull just for colorful historical
background.  To spell it out: any way to put stuff into
space relatively cheaply (or, even more cheaply, to
drop it into the atmosphere on the other side of the Earth,
if not closer) will be cheap not only for The Good Guys
(that's us, right?) but also for anybody else.  An
illegitimate launch complex that can be so easily
camouflaged as nothing more than a oil/gas prospecting
activity raises even more questions.  In short, for the
prospects of cheap launch in the near term, if there is
anything that has cast a longer shadow than the collapse
of the telecom bubble (with its high rocket launch rates),
it's a day whose second anniversary is almost upon us.

-michael turner
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

- Original Message -
From: Michael Turner [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 1:19 PM
Subject: mass drivers for earth-to-orbit cargo lift (was Re: SPACE: Loss of
the Saturn V)




 Robert (or maybe Larry) writes:
  I suspect I'd lean towards a mass-driver + small rocket combination
  before I'd go with a space elevator.  The nice thing about
  robotic missions is that they can be hurled off a mass-driver
  at much higher velocity (due to higher G-force acceleration)
  than can be done with human missions.

  I've never seen to date any estimates for what it would take in
  terms of a mass driver that could launch 100 tons with the velocity
  of a Saturn V 1st stage but I would like to know.  Apparently
  the Saturn V 1st stage puts out enough power to power NYC for several
  minutes so one would probably need several nuclear reactors

Fw: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-07 Thread LARRY KLAES
Larry: That all the blueprints were destroyed is, I believe, an urban legend. The following annotations from my Romance to Reality website (http://rtr.marsinstitute.info) might go some way toward answering Mr. Bradbury's questions. "The Saturn V F-1 Engine Revisited," AIAA 92-1547, B. W. Shelton and T. Murphy; paper presented at the AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, March 24-27, 1992, Huntsville, Alabama. The authors are engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell, respectively. Marshall designed the Saturn V rocket which propelled Americans to the moon, while Rocketdyne built the F-1 engine. Saturn V had five F-1 rocket engines in its first stage - together they developed 7.5 million pounds of thrust. Sixty-five F-1 engines launched thirteen Saturn Vs from 1967 to 1973 with "100% success." Shelton and Murphy point out that the SEI Synthesis Group recommended considering the F-1 for use on SEI heavy-lift rockets. They propose changes in the F-1 design reflecting 20 years of manufacturing and materials advancements to produce an upgraded F-1A engine. Upgrades include strengthening the engine bell, thrust chambers, and turbine exhaust manifold, and replacing undesirable materials such as asbestos. Suppliers exist for all major parts, and Rocketdyne has 300 active personnel who participated in F-1 production, test, and flight operations in the Apollo era. Five spare F-1s in storage are available as "tooling aids" and "pathfinders" for test stand activation. The authors point out that the Atlas and Delta production lines were revived after shutdowns lasting about 20 years. Shelton and Murphy estimate that reviving the production line and test facilities will cost about $500 million, and each F-1A engine will cost $15 million if eight engines are manufactured per year. "Launch Vehicles for the Space Exploration Initiative," AIAA 92-1546, Stephen Cook and Uwe Hueter; paper presented at the AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference conference held in Huntsville, Alabama, March 24-27, 1992. NASA's Exploration Program Office (ExPO) launched the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) study in late 1991. Initially, ExPO invoked an Earth-orbit rendezvous (EOR) mission scenario using four heavy-lift rockets, each capable of placing 120 tons into low-Earth orbit (LEO), to establish its lunar outpost. By the time this paper was presented, however, ExPO had opted for a direct ascent mission profile using two heavy-lifters, each capable of placing more than 200 tons into LEO. The authors, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, note that this is roughly twice the requirement imposed on the Saturn V rocket used to launch Apollo missions to the moon. The authors analyze FLO launcher configurations based on both Saturn V and projected National Launch System (NLS) technology. They assume that the FLO booster will eventually launch piloted Mars missions (thus raising the LEO payload requirement to about 250 tons). Both the NLS and Saturn V-derived vehicles use an upgraded version of the Saturn V F1 engine designated F1-A. Saturn V-derived launcher: The 12.4 million pound rocket includes two strap-on boosters with two F1-A engines each, a stretched first stage derived from the Saturn V S-IC stage, a stretched second stage derived from the Saturn V S-II, and an upper stage for Trans-Lunar Injection (TLI) with one engine derived from the Saturn V J-2 engine. The Saturn V used for Apollo moon missions stood 363 feet tall; the FLO derivative stands 40 feet taller (403.2 feet). The rocket can place 254 tons into LEO and launch 95 tons out of LEO to the moon. NLS-derived launcher: The 12.4 million pound rocket includes four strap-on boosters with two F1-A engines each, an "NLS Core" consisting of a stretched Space Shuttle External Tank with four engines derived from the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), and a TLI stage with one SSME. The NLS-derived FLO launcher stands 372 feet tall. The rocket can place 265 tons into LEO and launch 95 tons out of LEO to the moon. Both designs could be launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, the authors find. They assume that NASA will launch two FLO missions per year, each requiring two FLO heavy-lift rocket launches, and will fly eight Space Shuttle missions per year during the FLO Program. They find that new facilities and changes to existing ones, such as the twin Complex 39 Shuttle launch pads and Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), are required. New facilities include a Lunar Payload Encapsulation Building for placing FLO landers inside their streamlined launch shrouds. A new Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) Stacking Building would permit SRB operations to be moved from their current place in the VAB to make room for FLO stage stacking. Alternately, a new Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) sized to assemble eventual Mars program rockets might take on FLO payload encapsulation and stacking, 

Re: Fw: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-07 Thread Gary McMurtry


Larry,
Thanks for posting that informative piece on the Saturn V. In
Japan, there is a temple made of local pine that is periodically burned
to the ground and rebuilt. The rationale is the technology and
know how (i.e., the important details not on the blueprints)
to make a replacement are thus passed along to future generations.
I note that the abstract below was presented over ten years ago.
The last time an F-1 engine was fired was over 30 years ago.
Gary
At 01:15 PM 9/7/2003 -0400, LARRY KLAES wrote:
Larry:

That all the blueprints were destroyed is, I believe, an urban legend.

The following annotations from my Romance to Reality website
(http://rtr.marsinstitute.info)
might go some way toward answering Mr. Bradbury's questions. 
The Saturn V F-1 Engine Revisited, AIAA 92-1547, B. W.
Shelton and T. Murphy; paper presented at the AIAA Space Programs and
Technologies Conference, March 24-27, 1992, Huntsville, Alabama.

The authors are engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the
Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell, respectively. Marshall designed the
Saturn V rocket which propelled Americans to the moon, while Rocketdyne
built the F-1 engine. Saturn V had five F-1 rocket engines in its first
stage - together they developed 7.5 million pounds of thrust. Sixty-five
F-1 engines launched thirteen Saturn Vs from 1967 to 1973 with 100%
success. Shelton and Murphy point out that the SEI Synthesis Group
recommended considering the F-1 for use on SEI heavy-lift rockets. They
propose changes in the F-1 design reflecting 20 years of manufacturing
and materials advancements to produce an upgraded F-1A engine. Upgrades
include strengthening the engine bell, thrust chambers, and turbine
exhaust manifold, and replacing undesirable materials such as asbestos.
Suppliers exist for all major parts, and Rocketdyne has 300 active
personnel who participated in F-1 production, test, and flight operations
in the Apollo era. Five spare F-1s in storage are available as
tooling aids and pathfinders for test stand
activation. The authors point out that the Atlas and Delta production
lines were revived after shutdowns lasting about 20 years. Shelton and
Murphy estimate that reviving the production line and test facilities
will cost about $500 million, and each F-1A engine will cost $15 million
if eight engines are manufactured per year. 
Launch Vehicles for the Space Exploration Initiative, AIAA
92-1546, Stephen Cook and Uwe Hueter; paper presented at the AIAA Space
Programs and Technologies Conference conference held in Huntsville,
Alabama, March 24-27, 1992. 
NASA's Exploration Program Office (ExPO) launched the First Lunar Outpost
(FLO) study in late 1991. Initially, ExPO invoked an Earth-orbit
rendezvous (EOR) mission scenario using four heavy-lift rockets, each
capable of placing 120 tons into low-Earth orbit (LEO), to establish its
lunar outpost. By the time this paper was presented, however, ExPO had
opted for a direct ascent mission profile using two heavy-lifters, each
capable of placing more than 200 tons into LEO. The authors, engineers at
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, note that
this is roughly twice the requirement imposed on the Saturn V rocket used
to launch Apollo missions to the moon. The authors analyze FLO launcher
configurations based on both Saturn V and projected National Launch
System (NLS) technology. They assume that the FLO booster will eventually
launch piloted Mars missions (thus raising the LEO payload requirement to
about 250 tons). Both the NLS and Saturn V-derived vehicles use an
upgraded version of the Saturn V F1 engine designated F1-A. 
Saturn V-derived launcher: The 12.4 million pound rocket includes
two strap-on boosters with two F1-A engines each, a stretched first stage
derived from the Saturn V S-IC stage, a stretched second stage derived
from the Saturn V S-II, and an upper stage for Trans-Lunar Injection
(TLI) with one engine derived from the Saturn V J-2 engine. The Saturn V
used for Apollo moon missions stood 363 feet tall; the FLO derivative
stands 40 feet taller (403.2 feet). The rocket can place 254 tons into
LEO and launch 95 tons out of LEO to the moon. 
NLS-derived launcher: The 12.4 million pound rocket includes four
strap-on boosters with two F1-A engines each, an NLS Core
consisting of a stretched Space Shuttle External Tank with four engines
derived from the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), and a TLI stage with
one SSME. The NLS-derived FLO launcher stands 372 feet tall. The rocket
can place 265 tons into LEO and launch 95 tons out of LEO to the moon.
Both designs could be launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in
Florida, the authors find. They assume that NASA will launch two FLO
missions per year, each requiring two FLO heavy-lift rocket launches, and
will fly eight Space Shuttle missions per year during the FLO Program.
They find that new facilities and changes to existing ones, such as the
twin Complex 39 Shuttle launch pads and 

Re: Fw: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-07 Thread Michael Turner



Actually, the original rationale for periodic 
Japanese temple burnings is much simpler than this: burning these temples was 
the easiest and (on a windless day, at any rate) safest way to demolish a 
structure made entirely of wood and susceptible to the degradation that an 
open-air wooden structure suffers in a climate that gets quite humid (as I can 
tell you right now, sitting in our family's pre-war, and rather porous, 
woodenhouse in Tokyo, worrying about the next big earthquake). In 
the west, churches and cathedrals were built for the ages, and some cathedrals 
took decades to erect. In China and Japan, the perpetual edifice was 
reserved for the static, immortal State. While I'm sure there has been 
some after-the-fact mystical or philosophical rationale for a rite celebrating 
temple burning, the real reasons are practical ones at the root.

Seymour Cray, father of the supercomputer, 
endured some similar mythicalization. He liked wooden boats, but one day 
had to retire one on a lakeside beach, and figured out that the cheapest and 
safest approach was incineration. Someone noticed this, word got around, 
and a romantico-mystical myth grew: that Cray built a new boat every year, and 
burned it at the end of a year. He was at loss as to how to debunk this 
urban legend, and I guess he finally gave up.

I'm frankly skeptical about all this "lost 
art" handwringing over the Saturn V vehicles. Sure, some of the people who 
applied poorly documented techniques are dead or senile, but a 25 year old 
technician who, in 1969,actually practiced what a 50 year old engineer 
came up with is very likely to still be alive and kicking in 2003, and a 25 year 
old recent engineering graduate, upon being shown what was possible then, has a 
very good shot at reinventing it if necessary. These people weren't 
demigods. The main obstacle at NASA (then as now) was people who *thought* 
they were demigods.

-michael turner
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

  - Original Message - 
  From: 
  Gary McMurtry 
  To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ; europa 
  Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 5:27 
  AM
  Subject: Re: Fw: SPACE: Loss of the 
  Saturn V
  Larry,Thanks for posting that informative piece on the 
  Saturn V. In Japan, there is a temple made of local pine that is 
  periodically burned to the ground and rebuilt. The rationale is the 
  technology and "know how" (i.e., the important details not on the blueprints) 
  to make a replacement are thus passed along to future generations. I 
  note that the abstract below was presented over ten years ago. The last 
  time an F-1 engine was fired was over 30 years ago.GaryAt 
  01:15 PM 9/7/2003 -0400, LARRY KLAES wrote:
  Larry: 
That all the blueprints were destroyed is, I believe, an urban 
legend. The following annotations from my Romance to Reality website 
(http://rtr.marsinstitute.info) might go some way toward 
answering Mr. Bradbury's questions. "The Saturn V F-1 Engine 
Revisited," AIAA 92-1547, B. W. Shelton and T. Murphy; paper presented at 
the AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, March 24-27, 1992, 
Huntsville, Alabama. The authors are engineers at NASA's 
Marshall Space Flight Center and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell, 
respectively. Marshall designed the Saturn V rocket which propelled 
Americans to the moon, while Rocketdyne built the F-1 engine. Saturn V had 
five F-1 rocket engines in its first stage - together they developed 7.5 
million pounds of thrust. Sixty-five F-1 engines launched thirteen Saturn Vs 
from 1967 to 1973 with "100% success." Shelton and Murphy point out that the 
SEI Synthesis Group recommended considering the F-1 for use on SEI 
heavy-lift rockets. They propose changes in the F-1 design reflecting 20 
years of manufacturing and materials advancements to produce an upgraded 
F-1A engine. Upgrades include strengthening the engine bell, thrust 
chambers, and turbine exhaust manifold, and replacing undesirable materials 
such as asbestos. Suppliers exist for all major parts, and Rocketdyne has 
300 active personnel who participated in F-1 production, test, and flight 
operations in the Apollo era. Five spare F-1s in storage are available as 
"tooling aids" and "pathfinders" for test stand activation. The authors 
point out that the Atlas and Delta production lines were revived after 
shutdowns lasting about 20 years. Shelton and Murphy estimate that reviving 
the production line and test facilities will cost about $500 million, and 
each F-1A engine will cost $15 million if eight engines are manufactured per 
year. "Launch Vehicles for the Space Exploration Initiative," 
AIAA 92-1546, Stephen Cook and Uwe Hueter; paper presented at the AIAA Space 
Programs and Technologies Conference conference held in Huntsville, Alabama, 
March 24-27, 1992. 

Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread Gary McMurtry
Robert, Joe, et al.,

We've been down this road before.  Even if the folklore (?) about the 
blueprints being stored in a trailer that burned is true, there is at least 
one Saturn V left--on display at Johnson Space Center in Houston, possibly 
yet another in Huntley, Alabama--that could be reverse-engineered.  They 
were marvelous, flawless craft.  That we have to go through so many 
contortions now to justify a probe to Europa is ample testimony that the 
technology they represented is sorely missed.  Blame Nixon--he's the one 
that cancelled Apollo in favor of the Shuttle, on the dubious claim that 
they would make great launch vehicles for spy satellites, etc.  Maybe they 
have, but I don't think so.  Recall that Apollo was a JFK project, and 
Nixon was not one of his biggest fans.  We all suffer now for the 
short-sighted views of a single, powerful man.

Gary

  At 10:58 PM 9/5/2003 -0600, you wrote:

Robert,

The biggest problem is that even if you had the blueprints it still
wouldn't work right.  The techniques used in manufacturing the Saturn
are forever lost.  We have newer (and supposedly better) ways of
building things.  A lot of things have just changed too much.
Now with that said, if the Rocketdyne people kept anything about how the
engines were built, then we could design a HLLV (heavy lift launch
vehicle) that could lift significantly more than the Saturn did.  We now
have lightweight and strong composites.  Even if the craft were not
reusable, at $250 Million a launch the craft would be cheap.
Joe L.

On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 16:55, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
 The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
 hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
 e.g.:

 
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=134tid=160tid=98tid=99

 Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
 entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
 to send it would be very very different.

 The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:

 When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle. Rocketyne
 engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
 overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each without
 overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built today
 with modern technology and some basic return features could be built for
 about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS of lift
 that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable para-sail
 on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two of
 these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is configured
 in orbit!

 Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might be?

 I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does anyone
 know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?

 If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
 responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
 a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
 certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.

 (A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether or
 not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
 the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
 heavy lift capacity.)

 Robert



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Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread Michael Turner


Joe Latrell writes, in response to Robert Bradbury, about the loss
of Saturn V design information:

 ... if the Rocketdyne people kept anything about how the
 engines were built, then we could design a HLLV (heavy lift launch
 vehicle) that could lift significantly more than the Saturn did.  We now
 have lightweight and strong composites.  Even if the craft were not
 reusable, at $250 Million a launch the craft would be cheap.

Nothing that costs $250 million can be called "cheap."  No matter
what, you're still talking about tens of thousands of dollars per
pound of payload launched.  The typical engineering response to this
high launch cost is well-known: adding tens of thousands of dollars
per pound of "added value" to payloads on the ground.

While I doubt some of the figures cited on this Slashdot thread
(despite SlashDot's stratospherically-high reputation as a
source of accurate information) accepting the figures at face
value still doesn't give you "cheap" launch.  Maybe a launcher
that cost $250 million in 1969 on a one-shot basis could be
made for $100 million now, but making it reliably reusable
as a whole system is almost certainly not a simple matter
of attaching return parasails to New Improved Saturn Vs,
Any approach that does make such a system reusable
is going to have its own recurring costs.

The Shuttle solid fuel boosters are quasi-reusable, but they
really aren't very big -- designed (according to what may be
somewhat of an urban legend) to be shippable through railway
tunnels if need be.  If making "big dumb boosters" reusable
were so easy, why haven't the Russians done it already?
Why hasn't *anyone* done it already?  If there were some
factor of 5 or 10 improvement in launch costs with big
boosters, available so easily, comsat companies alone
(forget about NASA) would have footed the RD bill, long
ago, on bank credit willingly extended.

In an op-ed on SpaceDaily.com, entitled "Back to the Future,"
I chimed in about returning to a more ballistic style of launch.
It is, after all, hardly an original proposal.  However,
it never occurred to me that this would involve significant
reusability, except perhaps for the return capsules (which
appears more practical than I realized.)

I'm not against using older, proven techniques.  I am
against wishful thinking, however -- which is precisely
why I wrote that essay.  The Shuttle is a collection of
wishful thinking concepts flying in close formation.  As
always, if you want real traction, it helps to have your
feet on the ground.

-michael turner
[EMAIL PROTECTED]


 Joe L.

 On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 16:55, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
  The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
  hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
  e.g.:
 
 
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=
134tid=160tid=98tid=99
 
  Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
  entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
  to send it would be very very different.
 
  The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:
 
  "When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle. Rocketyne
  engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
  overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each without
  overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built today
  with modern technology and some basic return features could be built for
  about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS of lift
  that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable
para-sail
  on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two of
  these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is
configured
  in orbit!"
 
  Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might be?
 
  I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does anyone
  know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?
 
  If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
  responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
  a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
  certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.
 
  (A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether or
  not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
  the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
  heavy lift capacity.)
 
  Robert
 
 
 
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Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread Michael Turner

I am no fan of Tricky Dick, but his decision on funding a penny-wise-
pound-foolish compromised design for future space transportation
has to be put into political perspective -- I don't think it was simply a
swipe at JFK's legacy.  Apollo was, after all, planned with the idea
in mind that it could be junked if public enthusiasm waned -- this was
one of JFK's requirements, in fact.  (See Logsdon, _The Decision to
Go to the Moon_)  That Nixon junked it when public enthusiasm
*did* wane probably only made Nixon grateful that he'd been
bequeathed such an easily-scaled-back program.  But you
can hardly call that Nixon's fault, under the circumstances.

At its peak, Apollo was consuming around 5% of Federal spending
-- and that's of the total budget, not of discretionary spending.

Nixon himself, if you take his public announcement of the
Shuttle program

 http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/stsnixon.htm

at face value, bought NASA's party line that the Shuttle
would reduce launch costs dramatically, and in some ways
what he said in the speech is more visionary than any
space program justification we ever heard from Kennedy.
Kennedy said we're doing this because it's hard, with
the understanding that the U.S. voter didn't like seeing
their country upstaged by the Soviet Union.  He was
cheerleader-in-chief for a grudge match, to a great
extent.  Once the race was won, and over, however,
votes won in that style wouldn't count for much.  And
JFK knew it.  Nothing depreciates faster than political
capital.

1971 had already brought the Oil Shocks and what amounted
to a sudden external tax on the U.S. economy by OPEC.
Nixon had enacted wage and price controls, previously
unthinkable for a Republican except during a major war,
because inflation was becoming a serious problem.

But in a way, there was a major war -- and the costs of
the Vietnam War were being seen as no longer worth
the candle, yet no so easy to scale back.  Against this
backdrop of economic crisis, it's hardly surprising that
Nixon asked NASA to come back with cheaper proposals.

It's now pretty well documented, I think, that NASA, just
to survive, simply lied about how economical the
Shuttle would be, especially with a compromised
design.  Well, government agencies do that, don't
they?  It certainly doesn't make for good engineering
decisions.  But money on that scale, for such uncertain
goals, has to come out of a political process somehow.
So in some sense, it was inevitable in the immediate
context.

Now, I'm sure I've pissed off Republicans who
still like Nixon, Democrats who still like JFK,
Shuttle diehards, and maybe even those who are
nostalgic for Apollo.  But as I mentioned in the
context of dreams of some phoenix-like reincarnation
of Saturn V, but with reusability thrown in -- if
you want to get some traction, it helps to have your
feet on the ground.  Take off your shoes, and stick
your feet down into the mud of an unpleasant
reality: in a democracy, the people get the national
space programs they deserve.  Being in the tiny
minority who can see how it all might be done
better doesn't entitle you to a better space program,
any more than being right about anything else entitles
you to anything.  There's nothing in the Bible (AFAIK)
about what must have been the hundreds of hours
David put in on honing his slingshot skills.  Get your
facts down stone-cold, *and* your political instincts
similarly honed, and life might just offer you a shot at
making a real difference.  Otherwise, you're just
another voter, out of the loop.

-michael turner
[EMAIL PROTECTED]


- Original Message -
From: Gary McMurtry [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V



 Robert, Joe, et al.,

 We've been down this road before.  Even if the folklore (?) about the
 blueprints being stored in a trailer that burned is true, there is at
least
 one Saturn V left--on display at Johnson Space Center in Houston, possibly
 yet another in Huntley, Alabama--that could be reverse-engineered.  They
 were marvelous, flawless craft.  That we have to go through so many
 contortions now to justify a probe to Europa is ample testimony that the
 technology they represented is sorely missed.  Blame Nixon--he's the one
 that cancelled Apollo in favor of the Shuttle, on the dubious claim that
 they would make great launch vehicles for spy satellites, etc.  Maybe they
 have, but I don't think so.  Recall that Apollo was a JFK project, and
 Nixon was not one of his biggest fans.  We all suffer now for the
 short-sighted views of a single, powerful man.

 Gary

At 10:58 PM 9/5/2003 -0600, you wrote:

 Robert,
 
 The biggest problem is that even if you had the blueprints it still
 wouldn't work right.  The techniques used in manufacturing the Saturn
 are forever lost.  We have newer (and supposedly better) ways of
 building things.  A lot of things have just changed too much.
 
 Now

Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread Joe Latrell
: in a democracy, the people get the national
 space programs they deserve.  Being in the tiny
 minority who can see how it all might be done
 better doesn't entitle you to a better space program,
 any more than being right about anything else entitles
 you to anything.  There's nothing in the Bible (AFAIK)
 about what must have been the hundreds of hours
 David put in on honing his slingshot skills.  Get your
 facts down stone-cold, *and* your political instincts
 similarly honed, and life might just offer you a shot at
 making a real difference.  Otherwise, you're just
 another voter, out of the loop.
 
 -michael turner
 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 
 
 - Original Message -
 From: Gary McMurtry [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 3:30 PM
 Subject: Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V
 
 
 
  Robert, Joe, et al.,
 
  We've been down this road before.  Even if the folklore (?) about the
  blueprints being stored in a trailer that burned is true, there is at
 least
  one Saturn V left--on display at Johnson Space Center in Houston, possibly
  yet another in Huntley, Alabama--that could be reverse-engineered.  They
  were marvelous, flawless craft.  That we have to go through so many
  contortions now to justify a probe to Europa is ample testimony that the
  technology they represented is sorely missed.  Blame Nixon--he's the one
  that cancelled Apollo in favor of the Shuttle, on the dubious claim that
  they would make great launch vehicles for spy satellites, etc.  Maybe they
  have, but I don't think so.  Recall that Apollo was a JFK project, and
  Nixon was not one of his biggest fans.  We all suffer now for the
  short-sighted views of a single, powerful man.
 
  Gary
 
 At 10:58 PM 9/5/2003 -0600, you wrote:
 
  Robert,
  
  The biggest problem is that even if you had the blueprints it still
  wouldn't work right.  The techniques used in manufacturing the Saturn
  are forever lost.  We have newer (and supposedly better) ways of
  building things.  A lot of things have just changed too much.
  
  Now with that said, if the Rocketdyne people kept anything about how the
  engines were built, then we could design a HLLV (heavy lift launch
  vehicle) that could lift significantly more than the Saturn did.  We now
  have lightweight and strong composites.  Even if the craft were not
  reusable, at $250 Million a launch the craft would be cheap.
  
  Joe L.
  
  On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 16:55, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
e.g.:
   
   
  
 http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=
 134tid=160tid=98tid=99
   
Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
to send it would be very very different.
   
The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:
   
When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle. Rocketyne
engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each without
overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built today
with modern technology and some basic return features could be built
 for
about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS of
 lift
that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable
 para-sail
on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two of
these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is
 configured
in orbit!
   
Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might be?
   
I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does
 anyone
know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?
   
If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.
   
(A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether or
not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
heavy lift capacity.)
   
Robert
   
   
   
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Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread Michael Turner
  you to anything.  There's nothing in the Bible (AFAIK)
  about what must have been the hundreds of hours
  David put in on honing his slingshot skills.  Get your
  facts down stone-cold, *and* your political instincts
  similarly honed, and life might just offer you a shot at
  making a real difference.  Otherwise, you're just
  another voter, out of the loop.
 
  -michael turner
  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 
 
  - Original Message -
  From: "Gary McMurtry" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 3:30 PM
  Subject: Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V
 
 
  
   Robert, Joe, et al.,
  
   We've been down this road before.  Even if the folklore (?) about the
   blueprints being stored in a trailer that burned is true, there is at
  least
   one Saturn V left--on display at Johnson Space Center in Houston,
possibly
   yet another in Huntley, Alabama--that could be reverse-engineered.
They
   were marvelous, flawless craft.  That we have to go through so many
   contortions now to justify a probe to Europa is ample testimony that
the
   technology they represented is sorely missed.  Blame Nixon--he's the
one
   that cancelled Apollo in favor of the Shuttle, on the dubious claim
that
   they would make great launch vehicles for spy satellites, etc.  Maybe
they
   have, but I don't think so.  Recall that Apollo was a JFK project, and
   Nixon was not one of his biggest fans.  We all suffer now for the
   short-sighted views of a single, powerful man.
  
   Gary
  
  At 10:58 PM 9/5/2003 -0600, you wrote:
  
   Robert,
   
   The biggest problem is that even if you had the blueprints it still
   wouldn't work right.  The techniques used in manufacturing the Saturn
   are forever lost.  We have newer (and supposedly better) ways of
   building things.  A lot of things have just changed too much.
   
   Now with that said, if the Rocketdyne people kept anything about how
the
   engines were built, then we could design a HLLV (heavy lift launch
   vehicle) that could lift significantly more than the Saturn did.  We
now
   have lightweight and strong composites.  Even if the craft were not
   reusable, at $250 Million a launch the craft would be cheap.
   
   Joe L.
   
   On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 16:55, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
 The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
 hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
 e.g.:


   
 
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=
  134tid=160tid=98tid=99

 Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
 entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
 to send it would be very very different.

 The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:

 "When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle.
Rocketyne
 engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
 overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each
without
 overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built
today
 with modern technology and some basic return features could be
built
  for
 about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS
of
  lift
 that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable
  para-sail
 on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two
of
 these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is
  configured
 in orbit!"

 Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might
be?

 I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does
  anyone
 know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?

 If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
 responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
 a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
 certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.

 (A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether
or
 not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
 the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
 heavy lift capacity.)

 Robert



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Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread James McEnanly
I seem to recall that in the wake of the Challenger accident, Hughes was working on something called a Jarvis launcher http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/jarvis.htm, which used components from the Saturn V. this would be very difficult if the tooling and blueprints were destroyed.Michael Turner [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   We've been down this road before. Even if the folklore (?) about the   blueprints being stored in a trailer that burned is true, there is at  least   one Saturn V left--on display at Johnson Space Center in Houston,possibly   yet another in Huntley, Alabama--that could be reverse-engineered.They   were marvelous, flawless craft. That we have to go through so many   contortions now to justify a probe to Europa is ample testimony thatthe   technology they represented is sorely missed. Blame Nixon--he's theone   that cancelled Apollo in favor of the Shuttle, on the dubious claimthat   they would make great launch vehicles for spy satellites, etc. Maybethey   have, but I don't think s!
 o. Recall
 that Apollo was a JFK project, and   Nixon was not one of his biggest fans. We all suffer now for the   short-sighted views of a single, powerful man. Gary At 10:58 PM 9/5/2003 -0600, you wrote: Robert,  The biggest problem is that even if you had the blueprints it still   wouldn't work right. The techniques used in manufacturing the Saturn   are forever lost. We have newer (and supposedly better) ways of   building things. A lot of things have just changed too much.  Now with that said, if the Rocketdyne people kept anything about howthe   engines were built, then we could design a HLLV (heavy lift launch   vehicle) that could lift significant!
 ly more
 than the Saturn did. Wenow   have lightweight and strong composites. Even if the craft were not   reusable, at $250 Million a launch the craft would be cheap.  Joe L.  On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 16:55, Robert J. Bradbury wrote: The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations, e.g.:http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=  134tid=160tid=98tid=99 I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does  anyone know if this claim is valid or an u!
 rban
 legend? If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind. (A related but slightly different conversation vector is whetheror not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have heavy lift capacity.) Robert Sincerely 

James McEnanly
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software

Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread LARRY KLAES
Since we are speculating here, I would like to ask:  Would a Space Elevator pay for itself in the end?  http://www.highliftsystems.com/  Some day we are going to look back at rockets and think how utterly crude and dangerous they were as a means to leave Earth.  Larry- Original Message - From: Michael Turner Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 10:23 AM To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V Joe writes: I do not pine for the old days of apollo - I just want the technology. The engines were fabulous and as pointed out could probably be reverse engineered. An HLLV would be a fantastic addition to our lift capabilities. According to my calculations, $250 Million divided by 100 tons equals $1,250 per pound. Given every other launch vehicle out there, this is dirt cheap. "I'll take 450 pounds please."As would I, in a heartbeat. (A little short of cash this week, though ;-)And yet, each added Apollo launch cost about $3 billion by some estimates,but was only able to put some 40,000 kg (about 45 tons) into a lunarintercept orbit. OK, this isn't fair -- a lot of that $3 billion wentinto payload engineering and astronaut training and various odds andends. But a lot went into launch alone. "$250 million to construct"is not the same as "$250 million to launch."An Atlas launch is 4,000 people on the ground, preparing for months.Boeing's Sea Launch is 1,000 people, preparing for months (and that'swith cutting costs by sending those cheap Ukrainians back to theirhome country between launches. Their launch sequence is probablymore automated than any other in existence, or in history.) Neitherhas broken any major new ground in reducing launch costs, thoughthey do pretty well.Skilled manpower is still by far and away the biggest contributor tolaunch costs. The cheapest cost to orbit I've ever noted was asatellite launch from a Soviet sub. About $1800 per lb, if I rememberright. Did they charge for the entire cost of the mission? Probablynot -- it may have just seemed like a good way to earn pocketchange on what was otherwise a routine patrol. Missiles? Gottadump 'em anyway under the current arms limitations regime.Additional labor costs? The CIS can barely pay its army anyway,those guys were probably along for the ride just so they couldeat a little better than they do at home. Not how I'd want to live.Would you buy a car for $200 if it cost $200 per mile to run it? On the subject of feet on the ground, you better believe I understand the issues. The LAST thing I want is another government space program. I want NASA in the science business and not in the launch business. They need to buy payload capabilities, not create them.In an ideal world, perhaps, but the reality is that among the payingspace applications we've seen (comsats, mainly), many of themprobably wouldn't exist, or would see rapid replacement by terrestrialor long-term upper-atmosphere solutions, were it not for thegovernment subsidies to various launch programs. Governmentswill very likely remain by far the biggest customers for launchservices. Their favorite launch service, counted by number ofvehicles produced, has been a non-launch service: ICBMs.Governments are loath to surrender to foreign controlany industry that is militarily strategic, whether it's agricultureor rocketry. This psychology has helped to make launch servicesa very distorted and unnatural market indeed. But what othersignificant market is there, at this point? I say this because (letting the cat out of the bag) I am working on cheaper access to space. I have a rocket team that is devoted to lower launch costs. I started with an X-prize vehicle but realized I came to the table too late and the approach that was being taken to get that $10M prize money cut too many corners and would not produce a design that can be scaled upwards to orbital. I know personally the blood, sweat and heartache it takes to build a launch vehicle because I am doing it. One step at a time. One failure or success at a time.Hats off to you -- I'm a big fan of the X Prize, and of the notionof space tourism as the eventual way to go. What a concept: getpeople into space by exploiting ... their desire to go into space!Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (Well, they did, butwhy it didn't start sooner is a long story, in which the aboveline of argument plays a big, and sad, role.) I want to send something to Europa, but it won't happen with just discussion, it takes work and I am working on it. The research it takes to accomplish this can be done inexpensively, but it takes more time that way. A weekend here, an hour or two there, all in the name of progress on a launcher that may yet get us to space without any government monies involved. We do need a launcher don't we?Europa strikes me as precisely the kind of thing that shouldn'tbe undertaken by the private sector alone, for the simple reasonthat there's no money in it. Of course, private comp

Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-06 Thread Robert J. Bradbury


Ok, the best information I been advised of at this time
(from what I would call semi-authoritative sources)
is that the blueprints for the Saturn V are preserved
on microfilm.  However they would be insufficient because
apparently there were on-the-fly modifications made by
the engineers/assemblers of the rocket stacks that were
not documented.

With respect to the lack of ability to make the F-1 engines
in Stage 1, there is the problem of tooling.  However the
RD-170 engines that powered the Energia have slightly more
thrust than the F-1 engines did, though they have not been
tested as much as the F-1 engines were.  So we might
still have the ability to manufacture engines that can do
the job.  The RD-180 engines that power the Atlas V are
in production and are a scaled down version of the RD-170
engines (roughly 2/3 the capacity).  So one might be able to
get a Saturn V 1st stage capacity with something like 8 RD-170
engines instead of 5 F-1 engines.

As pointed out on several lists -- we have composites and
higher strength aluminium alloys now so one might be able
to put together a significantly lighter stack.

On Sat, 6 Sep 2003, LARRY KLAES wrote:

 Would a Space Elevator pay for itself in the end?

 http://www.highliftsystems.com/

This remains to be determined.  It might be a great way to get
humans into space but still might not solve the heavy lift problem.
I don't know what mass the proposed elevator designs are capable
of handling.  While we do now have what can be called bucky-fibers
they are still expensive to manufacture and aren't continuous
molecular structures thousands of km in length -- so I don't know
how this would impact the capacity of a space elevator.  There is
also the significant problem of where to put one, what happens to
the bottom levels during a tropical storm and the problem that all
hell breaks loose if the cable snaps at any point.

I suspect I'd lean towards a mass-driver + small rocket combination
before I'd go with a space elevator.  The nice thing about
robotic missions is that they can be hurled off a mass-driver
at much higher velocity (due to higher G-force acceleration)
than can be done with human missions.  On the other hand something
like some of the X-prize approaches would seem to be much better
for simply getting humans up there.  Looks like it is a question
of using the right tool for each specific job.

I've never seen to date any estimates for what it would take in
terms of a mass driver that could launch 100 tons with the velocity
of a Saturn V 1st stage but I would like to know.  Apparently
the Saturn V 1st stage puts out enough power to power NYC for several
minutes so one would probably need several nuclear reactors to power
the mass driver.

Robert


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mass drivers for earth-to-orbit cargo lift (was Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V)

2003-09-06 Thread Michael Turner


Robert (or maybe Larry) writes:
 I suspect I'd lean towards a mass-driver + small rocket combination
 before I'd go with a space elevator.  The nice thing about
 robotic missions is that they can be hurled off a mass-driver
 at much higher velocity (due to higher G-force acceleration)
 than can be done with human missions.

 I've never seen to date any estimates for what it would take in
 terms of a mass driver that could launch 100 tons with the velocity
 of a Saturn V 1st stage but I would like to know.  Apparently
 the Saturn V 1st stage puts out enough power to power NYC for several
 minutes so one would probably need several nuclear reactors to power
 the mass driver.

A rocket launcher has very high short-term energy expenditure in
part because it's mostly lifting its own fuel for most of the burn.
A terrestrial mass driver is pushing little more than the payload
itself, which makes a huge difference in the energy requirements.

One of the more elegant (but, it turns out, somewhat persnickety)
gun-type launch systems I've looked into, the ram accelerator,
stores all its fuel in the launch tube itself.  It's a fair amount of
fuel (various mixtures at pressures on the order of 40 atmospheres)
in a long launch tube, but the total energy requirement is quite modest.

Energy isn't really a cost issue for launch -- it's said that the Shuttle
could power a medium-size town for the minutes that it's burning
rocket fuel.  That sounds impressive, but if you do the math,
you come up with a dollar amount that would cover the
costs of an only-mildly-lavish wedding reception.  This is not
how all that money is being burned.  If there's a serious
energy cost component in the Shuttle program, it's more in the
gasoline used to fuel the cars of its employees, and the
industrial fuels that make western-style affluence possible.

Engineering a mass driver to push 100 tons to orbit is rather
pointless, actually -- the chief advantage of mass drivers is
the potential for massive throughput, not high payload mass.
If you can launch 200 lbs to orbit at $200/lb, every few
days, many problems simply go away.  On-orbit construction
of 100-ton packages is mainly held back by the cost of putting
construction equipment, teleoperators, and people into orbit.
Putting people up will always be expensive (until gizmos
like the Space Elevator come along, anyway), but when
you look at how much of a human being's space-survival
infrastructure outweighs the person, and think about how
it might be redesigned to survive very high accelerations,
the arguments for going multimodal in space transportation
(if other, much cheaper, non-man-rated modes can be
made to work), appear very compelling.

Also, with mass drivers and space elevators, it's not an
either-or proposition.  Mass drivers, used to get
a bootstrap quantity of carbon nanotube ribbon up
geosynch orbit, may in fact end up being a prerequisite
technology more than a competing one.

In any case, the capital requirements are daunting, and
there's the question of market.  There are lots of ideas
for how to make space transportation much cheaper,
in some very long run -- take my plan and add $50 billion.
As Gerard O'Neill pointed out, until you squeeze all the
technical risk out of these proposals, it hardly matters that
you might ultimately be able to produce clean power from
space more cheaply than any energy technology on Earth.
The Panama Canal was just a big digging project;
the main technological breakthrough that made it
possible was the discovery of quinine as a treatment
for malaria.  Space transportation faces much more
serious challenges, in both technological and market
terms.

-michael turner
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SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-05 Thread Robert J. Bradbury


The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
e.g.:

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=134tid=160tid=98tid=99

Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
to send it would be very very different.

The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:

When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle. Rocketyne
engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each without
overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built today
with modern technology and some basic return features could be built for
about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS of lift
that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable para-sail
on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two of
these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is configured
in orbit!

Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might be?

I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does anyone
know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?

If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.

(A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether or
not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
heavy lift capacity.)

Robert



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Re: SPACE: Loss of the Saturn V

2003-09-05 Thread Joe Latrell

Robert,

The biggest problem is that even if you had the blueprints it still
wouldn't work right.  The techniques used in manufacturing the Saturn
are forever lost.  We have newer (and supposedly better) ways of
building things.  A lot of things have just changed too much.

Now with that said, if the Rocketdyne people kept anything about how the
engines were built, then we could design a HLLV (heavy lift launch
vehicle) that could lift significantly more than the Saturn did.  We now
have lightweight and strong composites.  Even if the craft were not
reusable, at $250 Million a launch the craft would be cheap.

Joe L.

On Fri, 2003-09-05 at 16:55, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
 The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
 hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
 e.g.:
 
 http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237mode=threadtid=134tid=160tid=98tid=99
 
 Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
 entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
 to send it would be very very different.
 
 The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:
 
 When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle. Rocketyne
 engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
 overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each without
 overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built today
 with modern technology and some basic return features could be built for
 about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS of lift
 that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable para-sail
 on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two of
 these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is configured
 in orbit!
 
 Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might be?
 
 I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does anyone
 know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?
 
 If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
 responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
 a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
 certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.
 
 (A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether or
 not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
 the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
 heavy lift capacity.)
 
 Robert
 
 
 
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