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The "Real Aerospace" Thread 
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Let's hope the power supply lasts that long!

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Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:40 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Krulle wrote:
Let's hope the power supply lasts that long!

New Horizons is powered by a plutonium thermoelectric generator, so it should have power until about 2065.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
^ Yep - they don't produce much power but, they last a VERY long time (ask Voyager 1 & 2).


Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:47 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
The Dragon 2 capsule has successfully re-entered and splashed down. Ripley is home!



Apparently the Russians are being super salty about it. I guess that shouldn't be surprising, since the success of a modern, more capable, less expensive manned vehicle essentially spells the doom of the Soyuz program.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Not hard to be faster then dead horse.


Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:43 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Rogozin "The Trampoline" is well known corrupted state executive and schemer, his words shouldn't be taken seriously.

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Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:22 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
How does one get a name like "The Trampoline"?


Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:55 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Werra wrote:
How does one get a name like "The Trampoline"?


Read the article. Its explained there. :lol:

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:48 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Okay, that was a very interesting article.
Indeed, astonishing a Russian was this open with his critique of the implementation of the program....

Well... We'll see how it'll play out.

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:26 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Werra wrote:
How does one get a name like "The Trampoline"?

It's like saying:
Quote:
I suggest that the USA bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline.

while your space industry failing spectacularly.

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
So the US is back in the space race? Finally, perhaps this time greed will bring some progress because the lack of nationalistic spacepenis envy has caused things to stall.

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:24 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
dragoongfa wrote:
So the US is back in the space race? Finally, perhaps this time greed will bring some progress because the lack of nationalistic spacepenis envy has caused things to stall.


CNSA begs to differ...

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
GeoModder wrote:
dragoongfa wrote:
So the US is back in the space race? Finally, perhaps this time greed will bring some progress because the lack of nationalistic spacepenis envy has caused things to stall.


CNSA begs to differ...


Not much of a progress on that front, they have sent a Rover to the dark side of the moon but NASA actually sent humans there more than 50 years ago. Then again they are Chinese; they have a monetary angle into it as well, we just have to find it :P.

Come on Elon, do something neater next.

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:20 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Dark side of the Moon? I assume you meant far side? :P
And nobody had landed on farside before, so I'd say it is an accomplishment.
CNSA is catching up, and does sofar a good job on it.

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:54 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
There's some bad mojo going around the SLS, the current administration is putting up cuts for the SLS, NASA is pushing expanded upper stage to the 4th mission - if it ever flies that many - and all booster upgrades have fallen into historical silence. Orion is being mused to being put onto a commercial launch as well.

Thoughts?


Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:54 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
danuis wrote:
There's some bad mojo going around the SLS, the current administration is putting up cuts for the SLS, NASA is pushing expanded upper stage to the 4th mission - if it ever flies that many - and all booster upgrades have fallen into historical silence. Orion is being mused to being put onto a commercial launch as well.

Thoughts?

While I think there's value to having redundant systems, I'm sure the administration is getting hounded by people asking why we're spending so much to complete an over-budget, oft-delayed full-expendable heavy launch vehicle when SpaceX has a cheaper reusable heavy launch system available right now that can do most of what SLS is supposed to do. But Congress' pork barrel committee has saved SLS before over the President's objections; I expect they'll do it again. That said, I'm beginning to doubt it will ever actually fly. I wouldn't be surprised if the BFR will be operational before SLS even makes its first test flight.

GeoModder wrote:
CNSA is catching up, and does sofar a good job on it.

I'm perfectly happy to see everyone getting into the space race, and in particular we need a Chinese space station so that Sandra Bullock has an emergency sleepover spot when the satellite apocalypse happens. But "catching up"? I think you're being generous.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
hi hi

Unless we get some government power trying to monopolize space and keep everyone else out, there's enough space out there for everyone.


Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:38 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Arioch wrote:
danuis wrote:
There's some bad mojo going around the SLS, the current administration is putting up cuts for the SLS, NASA is pushing expanded upper stage to the 4th mission - if it ever flies that many - and all booster upgrades have fallen into historical silence. Orion is being mused to being put onto a commercial launch as well.

Thoughts?

While I think there's value to having redundant systems, I'm sure the administration is getting hounded by people asking why we're spending so much to complete an over-budget, oft-delayed full-expendable heavy launch vehicle when SpaceX has a cheaper reusable heavy launch system available right now that can do most of what SLS is supposed to do. But Congress' pork barrel committee has saved SLS before over the President's objections; I expect they'll do it again. That said, I'm beginning to doubt it will ever actually fly. I wouldn't be surprised if the BFR will be operational before SLS even makes its first test flight.


Moving Europa Clipper to a commercial launch, deferring Block 1B and moving formerly co-manifested payloads to commercial launches meant the only purpose left for SLS was Orion launches. And if they're already doing Orion launches with commercial launchers for $700M cheaper without the SLS...well, that purpose kind of evaporates. Of course, it never really existed, but it's going to be hard to go back to pretending it's there after admitting the alternatives exist.

It doesn't end there. The whole Gateway/Orion/SLS setup was contrived so each part justified the others:

  • Orion needed SLS to get launched direct to TLI. The idea of doing multiple launches and doing rendezvous in LEO was taboo.
  • SLS couldn't launch Orion, a co-manifested payload, and a service module big enough to reach low lunar orbit, so the Gateway was created to give it somewhere to go in an orbit it could reach, NRHO.
  • Building Gateway needed the capabilities of SLS Block 1B to get an Orion with a Gateway component as co-manifested payload to NRHO. Again, combining propulsion and payload launches in LEO was taboo, so was just launching Gateway components without an Orion.

They are now talking about combining multiple launches in LEO. But that means you are no longer limited to the TLI performance of SLS, and you can assemble the vehicle you need from much larger parts in LEO and then go straight to the actual moon. No need to limit your architecture to components massing 10 metric tons or less, no need to detour to some "Gateway" station along the way. Develop a reusable lander and you can operate it from a surface base and rendezvous with transports in LLO, and actually be working on the moon instead of talking about someday doing it while you piece together an intermittently-occupied space station.

I had expected a token Block 1 launch to get "the SLS" flying (Block 1 really being basically half a SLS, with a Delta IV second stage), followed by years more development with the status as an "operational" system to protect it from cancellation. It's starting to look like they delayed too much for things to work out this way, though.


Arioch wrote:
GeoModder wrote:
CNSA is catching up, and does sofar a good job on it.

I'm perfectly happy to see everyone getting into the space race, and in particular we need a Chinese space station so that Sandra Bullock has an emergency sleepover spot when the satellite apocalypse happens. But "catching up"? I think you're being generous.


Well...they're making progress, at least. They've substantially improved on the Soyuz with their Shenzhou, which the slowly-disintegrating Russian space program has failed to do. At least they're not complaining that they wouldn't be able to spend as much money on rockets if they built reusable vehicles and making nutty accusations of subsidies that don't even come close to working mathematically, or pretending that salvaging dropped engines with a helicopter would be a competitive approach.


Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:55 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Mjolnir wrote:
Moving Europa Clipper to a commercial launch, deferring Block 1B and moving formerly co-manifested payloads to commercial launches meant the only purpose left for SLS was Orion launches. And if they're already doing Orion launches with commercial launchers for $700M cheaper without the SLS...well, that purpose kind of evaporates. Of course, it never really existed, but it's going to be hard to go back to pretending it's there after admitting the alternatives exist.

It doesn't end there. The whole Gateway/Orion/SLS setup was contrived so each part justified the others:

  • Orion needed SLS to get launched direct to TLI. The idea of doing multiple launches and doing rendezvous in LEO was taboo.
  • SLS couldn't launch Orion, a co-manifested payload, and a service module big enough to reach low lunar orbit, so the Gateway was created to give it somewhere to go in an orbit it could reach, NRHO.
  • Building Gateway needed the capabilities of SLS Block 1B to get an Orion with a Gateway component as co-manifested payload to NRHO. Again, combining propulsion and payload launches in LEO was taboo, so was just launching Gateway components without an Orion.

They are now talking about combining multiple launches in LEO. But that means you are no longer limited to the TLI performance of SLS, and you can assemble the vehicle you need from much larger parts in LEO and then go straight to the actual moon. No need to limit your architecture to components massing 10 metric tons or less, no need to detour to some "Gateway" station along the way. Develop a reusable lander and you can operate it from a surface base and rendezvous with transports in LLO, and actually be working on the moon instead of talking about someday doing it while you piece together an intermittently-occupied space station.

I had expected a token Block 1 launch to get "the SLS" flying (Block 1 really being basically half a SLS, with a Delta IV second stage), followed by years more development with the status as an "operational" system to protect it from cancellation. It's starting to look like they delayed too much for things to work out this way, though.

I was a fan of Ares and SLS because I like space hardware and I'll gladly fork over the appropriate portion of my paycheck to pay for it, but I'm really starting to think that this is all for the best. I kind of lost confidence in the concept of government-led space programs when they canceled the SSTO. In hindsight, Ares/Constellation was kind of dead on arrival... it failed to inspire anyone. It was a rehash of a 45 year old Apollo system reusing 33 year old Space Shuttle parts. There was nothing in it that was new or innovative or inspiring. SLS/Orion is really more of the same.

Meanwhile SpaceX lights people's imaginations on fire with new technologies and new approaches, and launches sports cars on cis-Martian orbits and mans its capsules with dummies named Ripley. Propulsive landing of conventional-looking Falcon boosters isn't quite as sexy as a single-stage Delta Clipper doing the same thing, but the economics work better, and it totally changes the game for practical spaceflight.

I suspect that SLS will live on in some form until the progress made by private space companies will make it literally irrelevant... but not before we've spent billions more on it.

Mjolnir wrote:
Well...they're making progress, at least. They've substantially improved on the Soyuz with their Shenzhou, which the slowly-disintegrating Russian space program has failed to do. At least they're not complaining that they wouldn't be able to spend as much money on rockets if they built reusable vehicles and making nutty accusations of subsidies that don't even come close to working mathematically, or pretending that salvaging dropped engines with a helicopter would be a competitive approach.

Sure, they're making progress. The Chinese space program is impressive, especially compared to Roscosmos who seems content to feed off the rotting 28-year-old carcass of the Soviet space program (I say that without meaning to offend any of our Russian readers... NASA was not in a much better state before the shift in focus to private commercial spaceflight). I think that anyone who can land a craft on the Moon has accomplished an impressive feat, but let's not pretend that the Chinese are breathing down our necks just because they accomplished something that Soviet Luna and US Surveyor craft did in 1966. I'm sure that the Chinese selected the far side of the Moon so that they could say they did something that no one has ever done, but no one ever did it because there was no compelling reason to. Aside from the need to establish relay satellites for communication, there's nothing particularly hard or special about landing on the far side of the Moon.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Arioch wrote:
Mjolnir wrote:
Well...they're making progress, at least. They've substantially improved on the Soyuz with their Shenzhou, which the slowly-disintegrating Russian space program has failed to do. At least they're not complaining that they wouldn't be able to spend as much money on rockets if they built reusable vehicles and making nutty accusations of subsidies that don't even come close to working mathematically, or pretending that salvaging dropped engines with a helicopter would be a competitive approach.

Sure, they're making progress. The Chinese space program is impressive, especially compared to Roscosmos who seems content to feed off the rotting 28-year-old carcass of the Soviet space program (I say that without meaning to offend any of our Russian readers... NASA was not in a much better state before the shift in focus to private commercial spaceflight). I think that anyone who can land a craft on the Moon has accomplished an impressive feat, but let's not pretend that the Chinese are breathing down our necks just because they accomplished something that Soviet Luna and US Surveyor craft did in 1966. I'm sure that the Chinese selected the far side of the Moon so that they could say they did something that no one has ever done, but no one ever did it because there was no compelling reason to. Aside from the need to establish relay satellites for communication, there's nothing particularly hard or special about landing on the far side of the Moon.


Making progress is reason enough for being generous. As least as long as it lasts.
And there are rarely compelling reasons to do something like the Luna and Surveyor craft did. If it wasn't for the space race in the sixties, it remains to be seen if the US and USSR space programs ever would have come as far as they did. CNSA is regretably enough another player in the same type of alley, and a late one at that, but at least they try.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Plus they do test it with more modern materials, and modern software.
They work more autonomously than previous missions of the sixties did (where it was due to a lack of computer power for the systems).

Basically, they need to redo all the steps, because those are steps in the direction of "We're here, and we're here to stay!".

And it finally put them on the wikipedia list of Timeline of space exploration.

It's also impressive to see how quick they evolve their abilities.
It's simply that most of the time since the collapse of the USSR, the push into space seemed very glacial. At best they sent some satellites to improve our knowledge of space, but actual hands-on space exploration was more or less halted.
Heck, to me the ISS seemed like a big thing, finally a new station in orbit again! But it was still a remade step, since we (Humans) have had space stations before already.

Man, I'd prefer to spend my paycheck part for military on space exploration instead. Or at least a very large part of it.

But then, space missions always have been lighthouse missions. A lot of money for rather inefficient results, but very visible to the masses (thus allowing PR to attract more money for more effective exploration of space).

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Arioch wrote:
Sure, they're making progress. The Chinese space program is impressive, especially compared to Roscosmos who seems content to feed off the rotting 28-year-old carcass of the Soviet space program (I say that without meaning to offend any of our Russian readers... NASA was not in a much better state before the shift in focus to private commercial spaceflight). I think that anyone who can land a craft on the Moon has accomplished an impressive feat, but let's not pretend that the Chinese are breathing down our necks just because they accomplished something that Soviet Luna and US Surveyor craft did in 1966. I'm sure that the Chinese selected the far side of the Moon so that they could say they did something that no one has ever done, but no one ever did it because there was no compelling reason to. Aside from the need to establish relay satellites for communication, there's nothing particularly hard or special about landing on the far side of the Moon.


There are actually significant differences in geology and composition. The differences are enough that it's been seriously proposed that the moon formed from two intermediate bodies in a low-energy collision, the smaller one spreading across one hemisphere to form the far side highlands: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10289.

Russia still has excellent engines that would work great in a reusable system, launch sites from which they could easily set up downrange landing pads, and a history of doing far more with far less than others, and of interest in reusable boosters. They could have stayed on top of things. Instead Rogozin ridiculed US efforts while SpaceX steamrolled the commercial launch market with Falcon 9 and developed Crew Dragon, and while Russian capabilities decayed to the point where Soyuz spacecraft sometimes have extra holes drilled in the hull.

But I wouldn't stay that NASA's much better, even now. Apart from their repeated failures to successfully develop a launch vehicle (at least the long-delayed Angara's put a mass simulator in orbit), look at the sheer absurd scale of the delays and cost inflation of JWST, and the problems that have cropped up in testing. And while Commercial Cargo was a huge success, NASA went into full inflexible bureaucracy mode when it came to getting the Commercial Crew vehicles certified, to a degree that seems unlikely to be anything but deliberate stalling in an effort to get either Starliner or Orion flying first.


Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:39 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
hi hi

Congress is often times NASA's biggest enemy. They make absurd demands (I'm lookin' at you, space shuttle) and cancel projects that are just coming to completion.

To paraphrase someone I know who works in putting spaceships into space, "It's amazing what you can do with total dictatorial control and the ability to exploit your workers." And it's no wonder that Space X grabs up people who know what they're doing when their projects get canned.

If anyone remembers from earlier discussions, I'm not very fond of Elon Musk, but I certainly will concede that he's good at marketing things and getting people to buy in. Which, given the way the world economy and big government budgets work these days, is an incredibly important thing.


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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Not a fan of the whole of New Space, either, but if they can whip up Lunar and Martian rockets, superheavies etal, then it's a welcome addition. Governments will snap back in time anyway.


Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:50 pm
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