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Old 09-27-2019, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
Well, I expect the Apollo blueprints and specifications are still on file.
That’s half the battle, the bigger issue is manufacturing things like the Saturn V engines. Those skills are lost.
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Old 09-27-2019, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
That’s half the battle, the bigger issue is manufacturing things like the Saturn V engines. Those skills are lost.
Not sure I agree with that. We have people building very complex rocket engines, very competently, right here in the US.

The F1s main characteristic was their size (I know, stating the obvious), but their design wasn't magical. Of course, we run into the entire "would we want to do it the old way?" conundrum.

If the guys who built the F1s had had access to the metallurgy and manufacturing and QA we have today, they'd jump at the chance of using it. And as a result, we would have ended up with something not an F1.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Mars City
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Originally Posted by HouseBuilder328 View Post
...changing Presidents.
We get the same results because Congressional approval/funding and higher priorities remain the same regardless of the White House. It's not a presidential matter. True, at one time, things were different. But we have to deal with how things are now.

Most people are not excited to spend large amounts of money doing what's been done before. If it's not something revolutionary and ground-breaking, it will sit on the shelf, regardless of the lip-flapping.

It's definitely not an issue of lack of technology or records. All the relevant data from the past is archived out the wazoo. All the drawings, specifications, test reports, etc. are there. They aren't going away. But even if we wanted to exhume old technology, the main issue - besides funding - would be obsolete parts and technologies that wouldn't want to use (in the midst of improvements). So that actually adds another layer, redesign and testing, for more time and cost. As you see, even older technologies start adding up costs and time quickly.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
Not sure I agree with that. We have people building very complex rocket engines, very competently, right here in the US.

The F1s main characteristic was their size (I know, stating the obvious), but their design wasn't magical. Of course, we run into the entire "would we want to do it the old way?" conundrum.

If the guys who built the F1s had had access to the metallurgy and manufacturing and QA we have today, they'd jump at the chance of using it. And as a result, we would have ended up with something not an F1.
Understood - but then it wouldn't be a F-1 My response was to the post that the Apollo blueprints and specs are on file. From what I recall watching a documentary on the F-1 was that despite the blueprints there was a lot of "hand tooling" to make things all work and to minimize pogo.

I also think earlier this decade there was a reverse engineering exercise done with an unused F1 for a new booster program (F-1B?) but not sure where that went.

Either way it should be possible to build a new powerful-enough platform - if we put our mind to it. It's not a national priority.
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Understood - but then it wouldn't be a F-1 My response was to the post that the Apollo blueprints and specs are on file. From what I recall watching a documentary on the F-1 was that despite the blueprints there was a lot of "hand tooling" to make things all work and to minimize pogo.
Ah, I see what you're getting at. Kinda like how we can't rebuild the Titanic from the original blueprints, because we don't have the institutional knowledge of a large body of riveters and boiler fitters who can work from 1910s blueprints.

Quote:
Either way it should be possible to build a new powerful-enough platform - if we put our mind to it.
It absolutely is. But the trend seems to be towards more, smaller engines. The Falcon 9 Heavy flies with 27 Merlins, and seems to do a very good job. If I were to venture a guess, I's say that's where the improvements in processing power comes in - we are getting better at real-time processing the data streams from a whole lot of sensors and that makes it easier to manage a lot of engines.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:06 PM
 
7,168 posts, read 3,920,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
Ah, I see what you're getting at. Kinda like how we can't rebuild the Titanic from the original blueprints, because we don't have the institutional knowledge of a large body of riveters and boiler fitters who can work from 1910s blueprints.

It absolutely is. But the trend seems to be towards more, smaller engines. The Falcon 9 Heavy flies with 27 Merlins, and seems to do a very good job. If I were to venture a guess, I's say that's where the improvements in processing power comes in - we are getting better at real-time processing the data streams from a whole lot of sensors and that makes it easier to manage a lot of engines.
The Russians have always used more/smaller engines. Unfortunately their N1 didn’t have the benefit of today’s computing technology...30 first stage engines

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Old 09-30-2019, 07:26 PM
 
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The N1 was a bit of a plumber's nightmare. And IIRC, at least one crash was due to a problem with the computerized control system.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
The N1 was a bit of a plumber's nightmare. And IIRC, at least one crash was due to a problem with the computerized control system.
I think the Russians still used analog computers in the late 60’s so imagine the data requirements of 30 engines x a lot of sensors x many reads per second.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:53 PM
 
1,150 posts, read 802,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
The turf wars between aerospace lobbyists are not exactly helping matters.

Boeing's lobbying arm is busily trying to kill of the Gateway lunar orbit facility in favor of the Upper Exploration stage. Why, you ask? Because the entire SLS boondoggle - including the upper stage - is primarily Boeing's, whereas other companies would be involved in building Gateway. And Boeing is not going to let anyone else get at that delicious pork if they can help it. This sort of infighting guarantees delays.

Boeing may or may not get us to the moon eventually, but it's getting obvious that it's completely secondary tpo them. They're building a rocket that's obsolete before having flown, and as far as I can tell, they're perfectly fine with that - as are their tame Congresspeople, who'd support going to the moon by wheelbarrow, as long as the wheelbarrow is built in their district. It's maddening.

Oh, and I should add that none of my ire is directed at the good people at Boeing who are actually building stuff.

In the meantime, SpaceX is building more modern rockets, launching like clockwork, and selling lifting capacity to whoever wants it - including NASA and the USAF.
Bears repeating. Couldn't have said it better, myself.

I'm trying really hard not to fall totally into SpaceX fanboy-ism. I mean, I want to send my kids to college and not die of a heart attack in 3 years, so I turned down their job offer.

But holy ****, Batman! I'm beginning to think Elon really is a space alien--or that he at least hired some--because they're now talking about ORBITING a 7th-generation launch vehicle NEXT YEAR, while the rest of the field is still developing their 5th-generation boosters!

China's ultra-heavy Long-March garbage heap, which is just a bigger version of their current copy of a Russian garbage heap, is slated for 2038. The SLS-Block I might fly before 2025 (Optimistically projected for 2021). No way the less-capable, at least a full factor of 10X more expensive Block-II flies prior to 2028, and probably 38 is a better estimate.

My question is really: When is everyone else going to give up? Only Blue Origin's rocket is mostly cut hardware and performs anywhere close to SpaceX's curently-operational Falcon Heavy.

It's patently obvious to everyone in the LV world that SpaceX has completely crushed all competition, foreign and domestic. ULA went from the world's (or at least America's) premier launch vehicle provider to being a Zombie corporation, shambling along dribbling millions of taxpayer dollars down the drain.

I guess all these people must be hanging their hats on the (not-so) Hail-Mary that SpaceX is dead wrong about BFR/Starship; that the prototype booster will detonate and/or Starship will crater and the whole system will prove impossible to field with today's technology.

That wasn't a winning bet with landing Falcon 9's, and later Falcon Heavy's. I might have taken that bet back in 2012, but SpaceX's momentum (and sci-fi fanaticism) doesn't seem to be something likely to be halted for the decade-or-so everyeone else needs to catch up. If I were (still) working for Aerojet/Rocketdyne or any of the SLS primes or subs, I'd be keeping my resume polished and ready.

Even if they lawn dart Starship MK1 and/or the the first few BFR's become Big ****ing Fireworks, I'm not sure they can't/won't just shovel a few hundered million more dollars into the furnace, make some major tweaks, and resume their breakneck pace toward kicking all our butts into "spacefaring civilization" status.

Remember, this isn't Tesla or Solar City. SpaceX is a private company run by a sci-fi maniac/visionary.

And for an on-topic blurb: I predict Musk will land humans on Mars via his own launch vehicles long before NASA returns humans to the Moon via the SLS.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
Remember, this isn't Tesla or Solar City. SpaceX is a private company run by a sci-fi maniac/visionary.
Hiring people with a similar vision and having those people be the best or near the top in their field also helps Elon and SpaceX! Jobs had a similar strategy with Apple.
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