Thursday, March 13, 2008

Strutting About

It usually brings out thousands of screaming fans. The drumbeat starts, the bass fills in, and then it appears...The Strut. Mick Jagger walks on stage and all is well for the fans of our aging icon.

Unfortunately, that's not the case with ARES. MSFC and contractor engineers are looking at all sorts of band aids for the vibration problem that ARES is most prone to. The leading candidate this week is a "D" strut system between the first and second stage to reduce the vibration that will literally shake the crew to pieces. The Emperor is putting all of his chips on the table betting on the strut. But the contractors are forlorn. They know the strut has issues...and they know ARES will go away with the Emperor in short order. Its hard to work on something you know is headed for the trash heap of history.

Orion is also having problems with its thermal protection systems. The original material contemplated for the exterior of the capsule is not performing as desired. The answer: keep a piece of the Shuttle tile infrastructure and experts as a contingency.

The minions are also finding out how Orion probably should have been named Aquarius. Water landings are in its future to get rid of the weight associated with landing on land. The problem is that there isn't sufficient structural integrity for re-conditioning and reuse of the external capsule structure with all of the other weight reductions that have been accepted. Life cycle costs will be someone else's problem, as the plan now is to trash the vehicle structure and attempt re-use of its contents if at all possible.

We hope Mick Jagger will continue his Strut for years to come...but we think the curtain is about to come down on the Emperor and his poor excuse for a show. Watch for 3500 layoffs in the near future as the gap developing in his entertainment venue is realized.


kT said...

We long ago decided that the capsules wouldn't be reused, and so we then developed a plan to just strip them out of anything useful, and then put the used capsules in playgrounds and science classrooms across the nation, and thus let the students outfit them with their own Orbiter space flight simulator cabins and cockpits, so that they too can enjoy the facade of human spaceflight. That assumes of course that we will be flying lightweight minimal capsules on a weekly basis.

Patchouli said...
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Patchouli said...

Whats funny is the Russian VA capsule was reusable and it landed on the hard ground.

Also the spacex dragon is completely reusable even the main propulsion is inside the descent vehicle.
BTW it lands in water they seem to have no issues with this.

There really is no excuse for this program to be such a mess.

They could have avoided all of this by either using an EELV as the CLV or by switching to a true shuttle derived vehicle such as direct launcher which uses the RSRM the way it was designed to be used.

I'm not going bore anyone with any math or a lesson in dynamics.

But lets just make a very long story short the side mount and the large liquid filled ET act as a nearly mass free damping system for the shuttle stack thats why they work when side mounted.

BTW the Ares I's under performance is also responsible for the LSAM being over weight since it now has to perform the LOI burn which should be the Orion's job.

I just hope COTS produces some good vehicles so we'll still have a human spaceflight program when the chickens finally come home to roost

kT said...

Looks to me like Ares I is finally dead, as reported by NASAWatch. Lock the doors and preserve the data, just in case somebody wants to use that neat upper stage as a core stage, as described by my recent COTS proposal.