Boldly Going: A History of an American Space Station

View attachment 626043
That Reverence data about most LRB
source:
Liquid Rocket Booster Study Final Report
Volume I Executive Summary 1989
General Dynamics.
I'll point out that aerospikes WERE considered for LRB's and as this indicates the airflow might not be as 'messed up' as one might think. Specifically in both the SRB and LRB case they were very worried about exhaust plume impingement on the ET, Orbiter and the "other" SRB/LRB. It was a question but one that didn't seem to be overly worrying to the engineers. While I'd note the idea was to use "New, Low-Cost, pump-fed engines" that was more or less a general sticking point with the idea of developing a "new" engine period and not just the aerospike engine for the LRBs. NASA in fact hadn't done a whole lot of work on aerospikes compared to say the Air Force so they were never quite as confident on their utility and/or usage at the time :)

Oddly using an aerospike would have made keeping the engines from getting 'too' wet a LOT easier since one of the proposed 'vectoring' methods was literally having the individual 'panels' of the stub-spike translate in and out of to push the exhaust stream. So they would simply transition to a point where they 'sealed' against the aerospike lip and shut off the combustion chambers, (and the rest of the sensitive plumbing) long before it every hit the water. Rapidly got lost in the shuffle though and frankly I don't think NASA took the idea too seriously despite Rocketdyne and Pratt-&Whitney both renewing their 'aerospike' and 'aerospike-vectoring-thrust' patents from the 50s. (Which notably Rocketdyne did AGAIN in the 90s and again in the 2000s when they worked on "Thrust Augmentation Nozzles"... again :) ie: they had a patent for "it-wasn't-called-TAN-at-the-time" engines in the 50s as well :) )

Damn my brain for immediately trying to rewrite Queen's Fat-Bottomed Girls as Fat-Rocket Girls
I don't know why this thread keeps giving me musical cues. Maybe it's the long association with putting music over soundless space footage.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's likely just that you're nerdy and weird like the rest of us :)

Randy
 
John Henry was a steel-driving man
Made to carry the sky
He laid steel all the way from Cape to Luna
Took five engines skyward, Lord, Lord!
Took five engines skyward.

Two he'd drop off part way
Three he'd bring down after
Leave a payload in orbit large as a house
Came back to swim in the sea, Lord, Lord!
Came back to swim in the sea.
I love it, absolutely brilliant. OPAMs will return to the western deserts however, not the ocean ;)

View attachment 626043
That Reverence data about most LRB
source:
Liquid Rocket Booster Study Final Report
Volume I Executive Summary 1989
General Dynamics.
That's one of the designs.
The relevant NTRS number blocks would be 1990000817 through 1990000823 (your diagram is from 19900000821), 19900019283 through 19900019290, 19910013053, 19910013055, 19910013061, & 19910020940 through 19910020945.

There are certainly lots of things in the papers, including discussions on recovery:




And some weird tank geometry studies:







I'll point out that aerospikes WERE considered for LRB's and as this indicates the airflow might not be as 'messed up' as one might think.
I don't recall any aerospikes in the 1987-1991 studies that are the basis for what we're doing here...
 

(and yes, I know 4:24 implies some sort of impossible SSTO)

Finally got a chance to watch the video, (even my home YouTube has been acting up for some reason) so I can now see what we're talking about... essentially it's not that much different from the Shuttle/STS itself and it's a 1.5STO or Stage-and-a-Half-to-Orbit vehicle. Yes it actually does work like that though I've got doubts as to why you'd hang the 'cargo' off the side like that with the rest being an "in-line" design. Cool vid, thanks

Randy
 
I love it, absolutely brilliant. OPAMs will return to the western deserts however, not the ocean ;)

Well technically Western and Northern, (Australia and Mexico for the ballistic pods get some lift and you can call it the South Western deserts :)

I don't recall any aerospikes in the 1987-1991 studies that are the basis for what we're doing here...

IIRC it's usually just a line or two or a mention, nothing big because they simply didn't really register on the radar though some contactors brought it up. Like a lot of contractor studies for NASA you don't really push what the customer doesn't want to hear :) On the converse side, much like SERV and the GD Millennium Express concept if you get the timing JUST right you might get some notice :)

Wish I'd been smart enough to actually take more notes on some of the stuff I've grabbed over the years :( I found what was left of an illustration that didn't survive the various moves and transfers, (got wet somehow and dried out AFTER most of the ink ran :( ) but was of a 'concept' with a shuttle mounted to an ET with a plug-nozzle engine set mounted the base of the ET and the "SRB's" were actually articulated side tanks for the aerospike tri-propellant engines. It was an awesome idea but NO idea where I got it from and the only note is illegible. Stuck to the back, (and what bleed through) was a blow up of Phil Bono's "Pegasus" shuttle booster, the one with 24 full size SSME's as propulsion around the plug-nozzle. Again no idea where I got that one as it was a full page rather than the small illustration that's in the "Frontiers of Space"...

Randy
 
Finally got a chance to watch the video, (even my home YouTube has been acting up for some reason) so I can now see what we're talking about... essentially it's not that much different from the Shuttle/STS itself and it's a 1.5STO or Stage-and-a-Half-to-Orbit vehicle. Yes it actually does work like that though I've got doubts as to why you'd hang the 'cargo' off the side like that with the rest being an "in-line" design. Cool vid, thanks

Randy
I meant the Liquid Rocket Boosters somehow being left in orbit.
 
I'll point out that aerospikes WERE considered for LRB's and as this indicates the airflow might not be as 'messed up' as one might think.
I don't recall any aerospikes in the 1987-1991 studies that are the basis for what we're doing here...

There were consider for short time in STS Program around time as First stage was replaced by Booster in 1970 (or as in SSTO proposal)
But they drop do R&D high cost, also were question if Aerospike are so effective as claimed
in end they went for cheaper LBR (low cost pressure fed) and finalized to far cheaper Solids after Budget cuts...
 
The relevant NTRS number blocks would be 1990000817 through 1990000823 (your diagram is from 19900000821), 19900019283 through 19900019290, 19910013053, 19910013055, 19910013061, & 19910020940 through 19910020945.
check out also 19890004878, 19900019291 and 19930016963 (Martin Marietta studies)
and also the Sigma Corporation 1976 proposal to replace SRB by rocket Stage with F-1 engines under ET see 19790008730 and 19790008731
 
Part 19: Alternative evolved expendable launch vehicles become national security space launchers
Boldly Going Part 19

The Shuttle-C debut wasn’t the only place where Shuttle-heritage liquid and solid rocket boosters were being weighed against one another. Even before the tragic loss of Discovery, forces within the Department of Defense had already questioned the wisdom of concentrating their entire heavy launch manifest on the Space Shuttle. With dubious flight rate assumptions and high operational costs, an alternative that would complement the shuttle was sought. Once the Space Shuttle returned to flight, these issues were only amplified, especially given the requirement to support every Shuttle mission out of Vandenberg with a second launch-on-need standby orbiter out of Florida. Thus, the DoD decided that it was in the interest of national security for them to maintain their own parallel stable of launch vehicles. The immediate result was the conversion of the Titan IV, originally intended to complement the Space Shuttle, into an entirely parallel program. The Titan IV, a derivative of the long-standing Titan vehicle, pushed its heritage to the limits in order to launch Space Shuttle-class payloads. However, it became clear that the Titan IV had very little remaining growth potential, and costs for the Titan-derived vehicles were spiralling upwards at dizzying rates. If the DoD was to have a parallel stable of launch vehicles as a backup or alternative to using NASA’s Space Shuttles, it would need a new vehicle, designed from the ground up to be cost-effective for the Department’s current needs. Beginning in the late 1980s, the DoD began incubating the concept of a new expendable launch vehicle program to replace the Titan IV and end dependence on Shuttle. In one of few solid policy actions taken in spaceflight between Bush’s 1989 Space Exploration Initiative speech and the 1991 formal authorization of Space Station Enterprise expansion and the new lunar program, Congress authorized the DoD to conduct a competition to select a new “Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.”

In the original 1991 specification, the Department of Defense called for contractors to submit designs for a vehicle or family of vehicles capable of launching payloads ranging between 20,000 and 65,000 pounds to a low Earth orbit, with geostationary orbit performance of up to 25,000 pounds. Most companies submitted proposals, but when the downselections were made in late 1992, two proposals stood head and shoulders ahead of the pack both in terms of capability but also in terms of operational cost: Thiokol’s Heimdall launcher (the new marketing-approved name for a variant on their 1980s SRB-X family) and General Dynamics’ Atlas III (the marketing-approved name for that company’s proposal to use their Shuttle-C LRB engine pod mounted to a lightly modified tank set for a common-core booster). Drawing on the legacy of the existing Space Shuttle and the development already funded by NASA for the new Shuttle-C lunar launch vehicle, Heimdall and Atlas III offered relatively low development costs and strong payload growth potential. Moreover, though the DoD had not initially required consideration of recoverability and reuse in their bid specifications--a fact the “Expendable” in the competition name hinted at--the recoverability of significant portions of both vehicles helped boost their cost-competitiveness compared to the other alternatives.



Thiokol’s Heimdall was viewed as a low-risk and immediately available option. Better yet, the opportunity to support the heavy solid rocket booster production industry found powerful backers within the DoD and on Capitol Hill. Still, much as with the Space Shuttle and Shuttle-C, General Dynamics’ liquid booster offered increased performance and decreased maintenance time and cost. Though originally the EELV program had been expected to downselect to just one vehicle, it ultimately selected both of the two Shuttle-related vehicles in late 1992. The fact that both programs had powerful interests on the Hill helped protect the DoD from charges of unneeded duplication of contract costs, and having two vehicles with largely separate supply chains would help protect the DoD’s “independent” stable of launch vehicles from any stand-downs of NASA’s Space Shuttles. In such an event, the DoD could simply fall back to its other launch vehicle. In keeping with the reusability of both selected options, the program was renamed in 1993 into the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program. By the end of the year, the Atlas III NSSL entry had been inherited by Martin Marietta when they completed a purchase of General Dynamics’ entire space division, including both the Shuttle-C LRB and its Atlas III derivative.



As had happened with Commercial Titan III, NASA too found benefits in the availability of a Shuttle-parallel cost-effective launch vehicle, both for flagship exploration missions and for the carrying out of tasks which would have otherwise required diverting scarce Space Shuttle launch windows to lower-priority but still schedule-critical missions. This was illustrated best with the debut of Thiokol’s Heimdall rocket in the spring of 1997, when NASA provided the DoD with payloads for the first several “risk-reduction” launches. These payloads were the satellites of the Lunar Data Relay System, revised versions of NASA’s existing TDRS satellite constellation able to handle the relatively minor differences between operations in geostationary orbit and operations in long-life halo orbits around the Earth-Moon Lagrange points EML-1 and EML-2. A set of three satellites at each of these points would extend NASA’s continuous communications and tracking relay system from low Earth orbit to anywhere in cis-lunar space or on the surface of the moon. While NASA weighed the benefits of waiting for Lockheed Martin’s liquid booster for Shuttle-C, the Thiokol Heimdall was proving its value paving the way for future astronauts with the launch of six LDRS satellites spread between three early Heimdall launches in 1997 and 1998.
 
Boldly Going Part 19

The Shuttle-C debut wasn’t the only place where Shuttle-heritage liquid and solid rocket boosters were being weighed against one another. Even before the tragic loss of Discovery, forces within the Department of Defense had already questioned the wisdom of concentrating their entire heavy launch manifest on the Space Shuttle. With dubious flight rate assumptions and high operational costs, an alternative that would complement the shuttle was sought. Once the Space Shuttle returned to flight, these issues were only amplified, especially given the requirement to support every Shuttle mission out of Vandenberg with a second launch-on-need standby orbiter out of Florida. Thus, the DoD decided that it was in the interest of national security for them to maintain their own parallel stable of launch vehicles. The immediate result was the conversion of the Titan IV, originally intended to complement the Space Shuttle, into an entirely parallel program. The Titan IV, a derivative of the long-standing Titan vehicle, pushed its heritage to the limits in order to launch Space Shuttle-class payloads. However, it became clear that the Titan IV had very little remaining growth potential, and costs for the Titan-derived vehicles were spiralling upwards at dizzying rates. If the DoD was to have a parallel stable of launch vehicles as a backup or alternative to using NASA’s Space Shuttles, it would need a new vehicle, designed from the ground up to be cost-effective for the Department’s current needs. Beginning in the late 1980s, the DoD began incubating the concept of a new expendable launch vehicle program to replace the Titan IV and end dependence on Shuttle. In one of few solid policy actions taken in spaceflight between Bush’s 1989 Space Exploration Initiative speech and the 1991 formal authorization of Space Station Enterprise expansion and the new lunar program, Congress authorized the DoD to conduct a competition to select a new “Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.”

In the original 1991 specification, the Department of Defense called for contractors to submit designs for a vehicle or family of vehicles capable of launching payloads ranging between 20,000 and 65,000 pounds to a low Earth orbit, with geostationary orbit performance of up to 25,000 pounds. Most companies submitted proposals, but when the downselections were made in late 1992, two proposals stood head and shoulders ahead of the pack both in terms of capability but also in terms of operational cost: Thiokol’s Heimdall launcher (the new marketing-approved name for a variant on their 1980s SRB-X family) and General Dynamics’ Atlas III (the marketing-approved name for that company’s proposal to use their Shuttle-C LRB engine pod mounted to a lightly modified tank set for a common-core booster). Drawing on the legacy of the existing Space Shuttle and the development already funded by NASA for the new Shuttle-C lunar launch vehicle, Heimdall and Atlas III offered relatively low development costs and strong payload growth potential. Moreover, though the DoD had not initially required consideration of recoverability and reuse in their bid specifications--a fact the “Expendable” in the competition name hinted at--the recoverability of significant portions of both vehicles helped boost their cost-competitiveness compared to the other alternatives.



Thiokol’s Heimdall was viewed as a low-risk and immediately available option. Better yet, the opportunity to support the heavy solid rocket booster production industry found powerful backers within the DoD and on Capitol Hill. Still, much as with the Space Shuttle and Shuttle-C, General Dynamics’ liquid booster offered increased performance and decreased maintenance time and cost. Though originally the EELV program had been expected to downselect to just one vehicle, it ultimately selected both of the two Shuttle-related vehicles in late 1992. The fact that both programs had powerful interests on the Hill helped protect the DoD from charges of unneeded duplication of contract costs, and having two vehicles with largely separate supply chains would help protect the DoD’s “independent” stable of launch vehicles from any stand-downs of NASA’s Space Shuttles. In such an event, the DoD could simply fall back to its other launch vehicle. In keeping with the reusability of both selected options, the program was renamed in 1993 into the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program. By the end of the year, the Atlas III NSSL entry had been inherited by Martin Marietta when they completed a purchase of General Dynamics’ entire space division, including both the Shuttle-C LRB and its Atlas III derivative.



As had happened with Commercial Titan III, NASA too found benefits in the availability of a Shuttle-parallel cost-effective launch vehicle, both for flagship exploration missions and for the carrying out of tasks which would have otherwise required diverting scarce Space Shuttle launch windows to lower-priority but still schedule-critical missions. This was illustrated best with the debut of Thiokol’s Heimdall rocket in the spring of 1997, when NASA provided the DoD with payloads for the first several “risk-reduction” launches. These payloads were the satellites of the Lunar Data Relay System, revised versions of NASA’s existing TDRS satellite constellation able to handle the relatively minor differences between operations in geostationary orbit and operations in long-life halo orbits around the Earth-Moon Lagrange points EML-1 and EML-2. A set of three satellites at each of these points would extend NASA’s continuous communications and tracking relay system from low Earth orbit to anywhere in cis-lunar space or on the surface of the moon. While NASA weighed the benefits of waiting for Lockheed Martin’s liquid booster for Shuttle-C, the Thiokol Heimdall was proving its value paving the way for future astronauts with the launch of six LDRS satellites spread between three early Heimdall launches in 1997 and 1998.
These are great!

A few questions:

  • Would be fascinated by any light you can shed on the outriggers and their ability to resist launch forces and stresses - looks ungainly but I'm sure it would work!
  • I'm assuming the Heimdall 4231 Core would be airlit - looking at the 3 core segments and the 4 outrigger segments?
  • Briefly slipping into my day job, while Heimdall is a cool name I'm not sure it would be appropriate; even at the time, due to him being the 'whitest of the gods'. Sure there would be an alternative that would get the mythological message across without a NAACP field day for NASA. DoD.
  • On the LRB derivative, how is the lower engine pack recovered? Under parachutes?
 
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  • Briefly slipping into my day job, while Heimdall is a cool name I'm not sure it would be appropriate; even at the time, due to him being the 'whitest of the gods'. Sure there would be an alternative that would get the mythological message across without a NAACP field day for NASA.

It is the 1980's and it is a DoD led project.
 
I'm so incredibly happy with all of this. All LH2 vehicles continue to capture my imagination like I was an engineer designing SSTOs in the 90s (although I tend to stick with 2 stages), so seeing the Shuttle kitted out that way is awesome. I've always had a soft spot for "the stick", and going full SRB-X just makes it more fun. These are all beautiful, in their own gangly ways.
 
It is the 1980's and it is a DoD led project.

I know the timeframe, hence the 'even at the time'. It's still an unforced error from the ATL DoD though when there are endless names that could replace it (and probably sound a bit less Germanic while we're at it). Perhaps that debate adds a bit of colour to the timeline!
 
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TTL's Atlas III - I've never seen a multi-core launcher design with the boosters spaced that far from the central core.
were real proposals for SRB-X and Atlas proposal using the NASA launch complex 39

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