Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

We here at RocketsandSuch appreciate our readers and hope you have a great holiday.

As for the Emperor, we heard that he received nothing but polybutadiene acrylonitrile in his stocking this morning...and a gift certificate to the Burlington Coat factory.


Space said...

FYI, the interstage structural test for Ares I-X has failed:


kT said...

It's pretty obvious to anyone with any technical knowledge at all that the Ares I/V is DOA. No amount of additional money is going to be able to save it, let alone speed up its development. The problem now boils down to helping the Emperor extricate himself from the smoking hole in the ground he has dug for himself. Clearly he's going to need external advice in this matter, the question now is whether he is willing to swallow his pride and take it, or if he intends to leave it for the next administration.

It's not for lack of alternatives.

1) EELVs - Delta IV Heavy for the large capsules, Delta IV Medium and Atlas V for the smaller capsules.

2) Continue to fly the shuttle.

3) Falcon 9 and Dragon.

4) Ground started SSMEs with large hydrocarbon booster enhancement. This is my high end COTS proposal. Upon retirement of the STS 14 SSMEs will be immediately available.

4) Mid-range COTS proposals. There were 8 proposals, four of which use EELVs and four of which propose launch vehicles. Ed Kyle did a nice graphic of three of them at NSF :


a) Andrews Space Hercules - TSTO kerosene core with ATK boosters is all that can be discerned here.

b) PlanetSpace/ATK - three stage solid rocket - 2-1/2 segment SRBs with two solid upper stages.

c) Orbital Sciences - TSTO kerosene core with either a solid or liquid upper stage.

d) SpaceX - TSTO kerosene core with Merlin 1C engines in a 9 by 1 configuration.

It looks to me that both the Andrews and Orbital proposals may end up using the NK-33s which Kistler had originally proposed. If anyone knows of any other suitable engines, I would love to hear it.

Most technically minded people don't consider Direct as a viable alternative, or anything that uses large SRBs for that matter.