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    Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

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    Mike E
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:00 pm

    Yep, you have got it!

    I wasn't a fan of solids, until recently. They have a terrible isp, and poor safety like you mentioned etc. However, they make up for it with their thrust, and the sheer violence used to create that thrust. - That is why they are good for booster stages within the atmosphere. 

    IMHO, boosters (depending on the kind of rocket) should be either solid, liquid, or gel (?). The core should be liquid, and further stages should be hydrogen.

    Methane is good, but not as powerful or dense as kerosene, so it is more of a backup plan.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:58 pm

    Energia-5K;


    Sodruzhestvo;






    Yenisei-5



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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:50 am

    Slush hydrogen has enormous potential... low cost... non toxic... but most importantly has enormous potential for space flight because hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe.

    Another advantage is that the heat barrier will become a problem with aircraft flying inside the atmosphere using scramjet propulsion and pumping slush hydrogen through the aircraft skin on the leading edges where temperatures get highest to stop those surfaces from melting and also to preheat the hydrogen for use in the scramjet engine would make it very useful...


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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:30 pm

    True GarryB, slush and gels in general are looking very hopeful... I just want to see Metallic Hydrogen! - Hydrogen slush is unquestionably an improvement over "normal" Hydrogen, however, it really only has tankage and density advantages over the "normal" stuff. If Metallic Hydrogen could be produced and made, we would be talking about a ~1500 isp and smaller tanks in one fuel.... The question, is if it can ever be made here on Earth. (It is abundant on all gas planets, even ones outside the Solar System.)

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:42 pm

    Mike E wrote:True GarryB, slush and gels in general are looking very hopeful... I just want to see Metallic Hydrogen! - Hydrogen slush is unquestionably an improvement over "normal" Hydrogen, however, it really only has tankage and density advantages over the "normal" stuff. If Metallic Hydrogen could be produced and made, we would be talking about a ~1500 isp and smaller tanks in one fuel.... The question, is if it can ever be made here on Earth. (It is abundant on all gas planets, even ones outside the Solar System.)

    Metallic Hydrogen? Like what's found in the center of Jupiter? Simply out of the question, it would be extremely expensive and difficult to make in large enough batches, it takes 2.2-3.4 million times atmospheric pressure to make minute quantities of the stuff:

    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/2260/20130604/new-solid-form-hydrogen-discovered-extreme-pressures.htm


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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:54 pm

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    Mike E wrote:True GarryB, slush and gels in general are looking very hopeful... I just want to see Metallic Hydrogen! - Hydrogen slush is unquestionably an improvement over "normal" Hydrogen, however, it really only has tankage and density advantages over the "normal" stuff. If Metallic Hydrogen could be produced and made, we would be talking about a ~1500 isp and smaller tanks in one fuel.... The question, is if it can ever be made here on Earth. (It is abundant on all gas planets, even ones outside the Solar System.)

    Metallic Hydrogen? Like what's found in the center of Jupiter? Simply out of the question, it would be extremely expensive and difficult to make in large enough batches, it takes 2.2-3.4 million times atmospheric pressure to make minute quantities of the stuff:

    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/2260/20130604/new-solid-form-hydrogen-discovered-extreme-pressures.htm


    Yep, that is it! Scientists are finding a ways to reach higher-than-enough pressure to produce it, and while it is expensive, price should/would go down when it is "mass produced". As of now it is a pipe-dream, but a good one at that!

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:29 pm

    Energia-M: The swan song of the Soviet space program


    At the beginning of the 1990s, Russian rocket engineers watching with horror the demise of the magnificent Energia-Buran program under the crumbling Soviet economy made a last-ditch attempt to save its unique technological heritage within the Energia-M rocket. While much smaller and cheaper than the original 2,400-ton Energia, the Energia-M would preserve all key components, launch infrastructure and experience of the USSR's largest space project... And, it would still be the most powerful space vehicle of its day!












    Origin of the Energia-M design
    At the dawn of the Energia-Buran program, its creators at NPO Energia near Moscow studied a stepped approach toward the 100-ton-payload Energia rocket with "lighter" vehicles, which could carry from 30 to 60 tons of cargo. In 1976, engineers proposed the RLA-125/Groza ("thunder") vehicle, which would be comprised of the regular (core) stage of the Energia rocket, however it would be assisted at launch by only two boosters, instead of four on the original vehicle. In 1977, the project was further detailed, but remained on paper, as all resources had to be focused on the super-heavy Energia. Only at the end of 1984, the Soviet government gave the green light to a preliminary design of the Groza heavy launcher, which was completed next year, promising a payload of 63 tons to the low Earth orbit.
    Yet again, the project remained on the drawing board until Buran's first launch in 1988. By that time, the space industry was already facing a shrinking space budget prompting its leaders to ask NPO Energia to study a scaled-down version of Groza for launching civilian and military satellite with a mass from 25 to 40 tons. In 1989, engineers achieved this goal by dropping two out of four RD-0120 engines on the core stage with a corresponding shortening of its body for a smaller propellant load. In addition, engineers looked at a possible design which would carry from 27 to 50 tons, including a version using a winged reusable first stage.
    By 1990, this work resulted in the new preliminary design of the Neitron (Neutron) rocket, later renamed Energia-M. As clouds around the main Energia rocket were gathering, its smaller cousin increasingly looked as the only way out for the cash-strapped program. After the Russian Ministry of Defense essentially abandoned its support for the reusable Buran orbiter, the super-heavy Energia had little prospects of finding any alternative passengers with a mass of 100 tons. At the same time, the smaller, cheaper Energia-M could be employed to carry clusters of big commercial satellites, or so its creators thought. Not to waste any time, NPO Energia quickly formed a team led by its veteran engineer Vechaslav Filin to turn the project into metal.
    By the end of 1990, a full-scale prototype of the Energia-M was manufactured and then rolled out to the launch pad at Site 250 in Baikonur at a price tag of seven million rubles. At the time, a few foreign journalists were allowed to access the Baikonur Cosmodrome for the first time. A veteran observer of the Soviet space program Jakob Terweij took unique photos of the Energia-M rocket during its short-lived stay on the launch pad. Only recently digitized, these photos are now preserved for history on this page along with other visuals related to this historic event.
    In the first half of 1991, in the midst of Gorbachev's perestroika (a Russian term for "reforms"), the Soviet government tried the novel idea of a tender for the next-generation launch vehicle. NPO Energia submitted the Energia-M design, competing with bids from teams at KB Yuzhnoe in Dnepropetrovsk, who put forward a multi-booster version of its Zenit rocket known as 11K37; and with KB Salyut, which offered a radical upgrade of its Proton rocket. On July 6, Energia-M was declared the winner. Immediately, NPO Energia began work on specifications and technical assignments for the Energia-M's components.
    The collapse
    The USSR suddenly dissolved in just few months in the second half of 1991, however NPO Energia has continued the work on the design documentation and the preparation of the manufacturing base for the Energia-M rocket until as late as 1993.
    In the same year, the director general of the newly created Russian space agency, RKA, Yuri Koptev signed off on the formal technical assignment for the development of the Energia-M rocket. The document was also approved by the commander of the Russian Military space forces Vladimir Ivanov. Money provided, Energia-M could make its first liftoff as early as 1995.
    Too big not to fail
    The 1,050-ton Energia-M rocket could deliver up to 34 tons to low Earth orbit, thus exceeding the payload mass of the US Space Shuttle by as much as 10 tons. The rocket relied on propulsion systems from both stages of the original Energia, but used two RD-170 engines instead of four on the first stage and only one RD-0120 engine on the second stage instead of four on the Energia. Using RD-0120, the Energia-M would allow the post-Soviet Russia to retain all necessary technology and infrastructure for the most powerful hydrogen rocket engine ever built in the USSR. The rocket would also require much of the existing Energia-Buran launch infrastructure in Baikonur.
    Its creators hoped that Energia-M would eventually replace the smaller Proton rocket, which relied on toxic propellant. For that purpose, NPO Energia's engineers drafted at least three different space tugs for Energia-M, which would act as a third stage boosting satellites from an initial parking orbit to a geostationary orbit. The largest of these stages would use hydrogen fuel. Along with the largest communications satellites, the two-stage version of Energia-M could carry space station modules to low Earth orbit.
    However, Energia-M's awesome capabilities and reliance on existing infrastructure in Baikonur turned into its weaknesses after the collapse of the USSR. Despite its scaled-down design, the vehicle was still oversized for most existing Russian payloads, prompting NPO Energia to look for other, sometimes really exotic jobs for Energia-M, such as hauling radioactive waste into burial orbits! NPO Energia's proposals for an oversized communications platform, which would require Energia-M, also went unfunded.
    Moreover, Baikonur, where Energia-M was to be based, ended up in the newly independent Kazakhstan and the Russian Ministry of Defense saw a serious threat to its presence at the site, thus choosing to bank on Plesetsk (safely located inside Russia) as a launch site for any future space vehicles. Energia-M's design and propellant combination also required involvement of contractors in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

    Last but not least, the economic crisis in Russia forced the Kremlin to largely abandon the expensive hydrogen infrastructure of the Energia-Buran project. With it, the Energia-M was doomed as well. In 1992, the Russian governmentset the course toward the new-generation launch vehicle to be built and launched inside Russia, while the Energia-M project was finally abandoned in 1995.


     - From RSW, http://www.russianspaceweb.com/energia_m.html .


    That Energia-M sure is a looker! - It also weighs less than the Angara A7, while lifting an almost equivalent amount... Bummer it was never produced! cry

    If they had produced the -M, they also could've made a ~50 ton payload lifter to bridge the gap between the two Energias. I'm thinking 3 of the RD-170 powered boosters, with two RD-0120 engines on an enlarged core stage. - It probably wouldn't even weigh that much, and would slot above the Angara A7. WHY? WHY? Sad

     - Thank you all for posting!

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:36 am

    I briefly mentioned the Soyuz-5 in the Angara thread, but I figured that I should add more...

    For all of you Methane lovers out there, the Soyuz-5 is powered by.... Methane (what a surprise...)! Currently Russia doesn't have any Methane powered engines in production, so new ones will be built. The booster and core engines include the RD-0162/4 and the RD-191 based RD-192. The RD-0162/4 is by far the superior engine, as it has a power to weight ratio of 88 versus the RD-192's 67. That being said, it does generate ~70,000 lb less thrust (/4 generates more than both, win-win)... Much like the Angara, both the boosters and core-stage would be the same design and everything. According to most sources, every booster would have two formally mentioned engines. It would come in three flavors, the largest of which (two boosters) could loft 25 tons into LEO, all while weighing 100+ tons less than the Angara A-5 (643.5 vs 773)!!! Not bad at all, considering the Methane fuel and all... Speaking of which, Russia seems to be miles ahead of the US (besides SpaceX) on developing advanced Methane powered engines, even though SpaceX's engine will hit the market sooner... Both engines should have a vacuum isp of at least 355, much higher than Russia's current Kerosene lineup. Back to the Soyuz-5, it would supplement the Angara, and could be launch from modified Soyuz launchpads, which makes it ever more tempting.... It could probably support a 4 booster, upgraded third stage variant as well, which could probably put A-7 or larger payloads into orbit. So it could technically replace the Rus-M in that respect. Not only that, but if it succeeds Russia may start adopting Methane sooner, which I now support. Upper stages would be Methane-fuelled variants of current equipment...

    As if that isn't enough, the Soyuz-5 could be the base for a future "super-heavy" lifter. - I imagine a larger core-stage, with at least twice as many engines as the smaller models on the core stage (4 vs 2), along with six regular boosters. That could probably launch a sixty ton payload into orbit, which would perfectly slot below the STK super-heavy that is in R&D. (Assuming a larger upper-stage.)

    In all honesty, this is one Methane-powered rocket that makes me drool...  lol1



     - http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz5.html

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:54 am

    Here is a comment I found on this website * that is worth sharing... * http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/3161/why-is-spacex-considering-methane-as-fuel-for-their-next-engine-the-raptor 

    "Methane (CH4) and RP-1 are roughly equivalent in realizable performance. As previously mentioned by other posters, CH4 has slightly higher impulse – about 370 s in vacuum vs the 360 s – at the same chamber pressure of 7 MPa. But, this is counterbalanced by its lower bulk density of about 830 kg/m3 vs about 1030 kg/m3. Bulk Density is the density of the combined Fuel and Oxidizer load in their appropriate ratios. Even though Methane is "only" 430 kg/m3 it is burned with 3.5 parts oxygen compared to 2.1 parts for RP-1, hence a CH4 rocket will be carrying more oxygen and less fuel by weight. Oxygen is pretty dense at a little over 1140 kg/m3 which is denser in fact than RP-1 (about 810 kg/m3). If we assume that chamber pressures and engine cycle efficiency will be equal, RP-1 outperforms CH4 simply because a 20% larger tank will impose weigh penalties that slightly outweigh the 3% increase in specific impulse. However, the RP-1 advantage is contingent upon operating at an equal chamber pressure which may not be the case. And, Methane (CH4) has additional advantages that are applicable in specific scenarios.
    The reasons CH4 is a front runner for SpaceX's Raptor can probably be attributed to four factors:

    1) Methane does not coke (polymerize) at the operating temperatures of a rocket engine – it's coking point is roughly twice as high. This makes it easier to make an engine reusable and re-usability is a key SpaceX objective. 

    2) Because Methane does not coke, it is also easier to implement a full-flow stage combustion (FFSC) cycle where all the fuel and oxidizer flow goes through the pre-burner. Compared to contemporary Russian partial flow stage combustion engines higher chamber pressures are attainable resulting in a total impulse advantage of about 30 seconds, or 9%. This eliminates the performance deficiency of CH4 compared to RP-1.

    3) If SpaceX intends to use the same fuel in all the stages, CH4 can be considered a better upper stage fuel and a worse lift-off fuel, even without enabling higher working pressures. This is because upper stages are typically 1/8th to 1/10th the size of the 1st stage, and here impulse is more important than density. Using Methane with the aforementioned FFSC cycle means that SpaceX can potentially get equivalent 1st stage performance and better upper stage performance.

    4) Even though it is, IMHO, somewhat dubious that early Mars mission will use in-site fuel production. If that ever becomes an applicable practice, Methane can be produced from water and CO2 while RP-1 cannot.

    Other than that, there is the non-factor that somewhat favor Methane, such as regular grade Natural Gas being good enough and not having to highly refine the fuel from regular kerosene to RP-1 to achieve low coking characteristics and consistent densities. I say it is a non-factor, because fuel cost is such a negligible part of launch costs that it really doesn't matter if fuel cost a few times more or less. Fuel is typically only about 0.3% of the cost of flying a rocket to orbit, so fuel cost really doesn't matter – Not even when you compare highly expensive propellant combos like Hydrazine/Tetroxide to the relatively cheap Kerosene/Oxygen."

    On #3.... He is somewhat wrong when he claims that Methane is a "worse take-off fuel";

    A) What he said in #2.

    B) Methane gels and slush should be far superior to all Kerosene based equivalents. - Approaching LH2/LOX!*

    C) Methane (in general) has an isp of roughly ~10-20 at sea level. For example, one of the most efficient RP-1/LOX engines at sea level is the RD-180, at ~311 isp. The RD-192 engine, which runs on Methane, will have a SL-isp of around 330! That may not seem like much of a difference, but it could add another ton to orbit. - That also is only ~30 isp away from the SSME, not bad at all!

    D) Even though Methane has a lower density than RP-1, it is still high enough to have the "violent launch" that Hydrogen doesn't have... (The increased density of RP-1 doesn't mean much as improved turbopumps on Methane-based engines could make up for the loss.)
    * Slush Methane won't actually increase the density of Methane very much, but it will allow for the addition of aluminum particles etc to increase isp. It is also easily achievable, unlike the much talked-up slush-Hydrogen.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:12 am

    - This file has more on the subject of "Methane versus Kerosene"...

    http://www.dlr.de/Portaldata/55/Resources/dokumente/sart/0095-0212prop.pdf

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:47 pm

    Mike E wrote:
    Energia-M: The swan song of the Soviet space program

    I had always thought that the Energia-M rolled out at Baikonur was just an engineering boilerplate, but according to Anatoly Zaks' latest article it appears to have been an actual prototype Shocked

    Was this a near-flight ready vehicle?

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:17 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Mike E wrote:
    Energia-M: The swan song of the Soviet space program

    I had always thought that the Energia-M rolled out at Baikonur was just an engineering boilerplate, but according to Anatoly Zaks' latest article it appears to have been an actual prototype Shocked

    Was this a near-flight ready vehicle?
    It appears so.... Worst part is, that shows you it could have been made easily! It would have supplemented the Proton perfectly...

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:53 pm

    Mike E wrote:
    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Mike E wrote:
    Energia-M: The swan song of the Soviet space program

    I had always thought that the Energia-M rolled out at Baikonur was just an engineering boilerplate, but according to Anatoly Zaks' latest article it appears to have been an actual prototype Shocked

    Was this a near-flight ready vehicle?
    It appears so.... Worst part is, that shows you it could have been made easily! It would have supplemented the Proton perfectly...

    But, but that of would of just got in the way of Boris Yeltsin's kleptocratic economy...err I mean Western friendly democracy.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:27 pm

    Haha.. "The sad truth."

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:01 pm

    Mike E wrote:Haha.. "The sad truth."

    Yep, its another just reason for a dirty big blood-red entry scrawled into the Great Book of Grudges. To be paid back with interest... Twisted Evil

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:11 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Haha.. "The sad truth."

    Yep, its another just reason for a dirty big blood-red entry scrawled into the Great Book of Grudges.  To be paid back with interest... Twisted Evil

    Yeah.... Politics + Space Industry = Huge mess... Not to say that govt. owned corporations can't builds great rockets etc...

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:20 pm

    I really don't know what to make of this...

    Kazakhstan plans spacecraft assembly in 2016

    ASTANA, September 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Kazakhstan has announced plans to develop and assemble spacecraft towards the end of 2016.
    The aerospace committee of the republic's Ministry for Investments and Development announced on Monday that a proposed national space center would offer services from design to assembly and testing of space vehicles for domestic and export clients. Detailing the plans to journalists, Meirbek Moldabekov, deputy head of the republic's Kazcosmos space agency, said an experimental design bureau and plant would be set up in the city of Astana.
    The enterprise would be the only one of its kind throughout in the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia, he said.
    "It will develop not only satellites for Kazakhstan, but also export competitive products to the world market," Moldabekov said, adding that domestically developed technologies and components would account for up to 55% of the assembly process.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  coolieno99 on Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:24 am

    Putin approves developing a super heavy launch vehicle with up to 150 ton cargo capacity

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved the development of super-heavy rockets with a cargo capacity of up to 150 tons, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.  "I was told today that the president gave his preliminary approval to begin this work [on creating super-heavy rockets]. This means that after the development of the entire string of light-, mid-, and heavy-class Angara carrier rockets, we will move on to creating carrier rockets of a completely new class: not just a 7-, 15-, or 25-ton cargo load, but a 120- to 150-ton cargo load," Rogozin said. wrote:

    http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Putin_Approves_Developing_Super_Heavy_Rockets_With_Up_to_150_Ton_Cargo_Capacity_999.html

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:44 am

    Sure is exciting, hopefully they deliver...

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:18 am

    So far you created an excellent thread 'Mike E'! I'm learning something new with each post.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:47 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:So far you created an excellent thread 'Mike E'! I'm learning something new with each post.

    Thanks... Very Happy

    It is always fun finding the newest tech when it comes to launch vehicles.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:27 am

    This is interesting...

    Proton can compete with Falcon 9 in commercial launches

    Proton heavy lift launch vehicle services are offered at prices exceeding $100 million while all key players such as Ariane-5 and Atlas have raised their prices for different reasons

    MOSCOW, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Proton rockets can compete with American Space X’s Falcon 9 space vehicles in terms of commercial launch costs, United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) Deputy Director-General Pavel Popov said on Thursday.
    “If Space X offers on the market the prices and quality it is talking about and if it can put its Falcon 9 into a geostationary transfer orbit for $55.5 million, then they will be targeting a segment of satellites lighter than 4.5 tons, which is quite big. We can also achieve this level of costs, slightly higher,” he said.
    If the $81 million Falcon Heavy rocket proves successful as well, “we will see a new price format on the market”, Popov said. “Will we be able to compete with this price? I think we will, but we will have to invest in development,” the official added.

    The corporation and the Khrunichev Space Center have been offering their Proton heavy lift launch vehicle services at prices exceeding $100 million as all key players such as Ariane-5 and Atlas have raised their prices for different reasons. “If we look at them, the fair price of a launch will be above $105 million, and we think it will keep growing,” Popov said.
    URSC Director-General Igor Komarov said Khrunichev would create two “highly effective and compact” plants in Moscow and Omsk. The Moscow plant will reduce its range of products to three, including Proton-M rockets. Angara launch vehicles will be assembled in Omsk. Its plant will make five Angara heavy lift launch vehicles a year in ten years.
    A super-heavy lift launch vehicle will be able to carry a payload of 80 tons to low-earth orbits. In the future, its capacity can be increased to 160 tons and more.

    Angara will allow Russia to launch all kinds of spacecraft to any orbit. Now Russia can launch heavy satellites only aboard Proton rockets from Baikonur, which it leases from Kazakhstan for about $115 million a year.
    According to Khrunichev, a big advantage of the new rocket carrier is that “it is a universal space rocket system” capable of taking three types of rockets into space: light with a payload of up to 3.5 tons, medium with a payload of up to 14.6 tons, and heavy with a payload of up to 24.5 tons.
    Medium lift and heavy lift launch vehicles can take payloads to the geostationary orbit as well.
    The lightweight Angara-1.2PP rocket successfully blasted off from the northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region on July 9. Twenty-one minutes after the liftoff the test weight reached the designated area at the Kura range in Kamchatka, 5,700km from the launch site.
    Khrunichev is planning to invest $1.49 billion in its programs until 2025 and sign long-term contracts for the production of Proton-M and two versions of Angara rockets, and Briz-M boosters in 2016-2025.
    The centre is not planning to assemble modules for the International Space Station.

    Mike E
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:45 am

    I know that metastable liquid Metallic Hydrogen is highly controversial, and will probably never exist, but it (would) have some advantages that I'd like to list...

    - Isp of between 1400-1700, multiple times more efficient than "plain old" H2.

    - Density at least that of the already super-dense RP-1/Kerosene.

    - It *might not* need to be cryogenic, which is a huge advantage over both Methane and H2.

    - Extremely clean, with only O2 as a byproduct when burned with LOX.

    - Very high exhaust velocity.

    Now for the disadvantages...

    - It might not even be "producible", and that chance of it being a metastable liquid is extremely small, at least with current knowledge.

    - If it can be produced, Metallic Hydrogen will be hard to produce, and as such, would be very expensive. Scientists are trying to figure out if it could be produced at low cost, but it will take time to tell.

    There is one thing that is in between...

    - If it can't be in liquid form, it will be a solid. This is both good and bad, as it could usher in the next generation of SRB's.

    In the event that Metallic Hydrogen will never be produced, we will have to deal with current propellants and tri-propellants. Here are some of tri-propellant's advantages.

    - Higher isp than Hydrogen, and it could be denser as well...

    - Almost infinite options of propellants used and the mixtures etc, including having multiple oxidizers or multiple propellants.

    - It *is actually easily achievable*.

    Disadvantages..

    - The cost of tri-propellants could be great, but that depends on the propellants used and other variables.

    - They might not be practical as some tri-propellants would use cryogenic Hydrogen in combination with heated oxidizer.

    - Engines would be more complex.

    Hopefully, Metallic Hydrogen (unlikely) and or tri-propellants will power Russia's rockets for many generations (likely), if not, say hello to Methane! (Gels would be great as well.)

    Viktor
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Viktor on Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:14 pm

    Interesting .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJJE1ah7_K4

    Russia in 2015 will have 11 remote sensing satellites

    Mike E
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:38 pm

    Very.... Remote sensing is a pretty big deal, so it will be interesting to see how this goes...

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