Morning session of ISS Space Manufacturing 14 conference.
Jeff Foust and others are posting notes from the meeting at twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23sm14
Jeff Greason, XCOR Aerospace _Welcome to Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement_ /– Not building rockets out of a love of fire & smoke but to get somewhere – space. /– Got tired of waiting for someone else to build the ride /– Need a poiint, though, in going. /– This missing point is what has led to public indifference to space. /– The point is to go live there. /– Closing of the frontier leads to fears of change and new ideas. /– Leads to pessimism throughout the culture. /– Meanwhile we sit at the edge of ocean of unlimited resources. /– Mars sits there begging for us to go have an impact on its climate /– Gerard O’Neill’s ideas are embodied in the Space Studies Institute /– Picking up “Colonies in Space” by T. A. Heppenheimer in Junior High School sparked his lifelong interest in space settlement.
Session 1: Space Transportation? Chair: Gary C Hudson
/– Last chaired a session of this conference series three decades ago. /– Good time to restart the series.
_Earth to LEO Roadmap: Technologies and Possibilities?_ Gary C Hudson, HMX Inc. /– Costs to orbit constrain everything about space. /– Lower costs is the crucial first step /– Key challenges include market demand, financing and naive regulation /– Not technology, destinations, spaceports, etc. /– Don’t need “heavy lift”, need traffic /– We throw the LVs away /– We fly them only once /– We don’t fly often enough. /– These in turn also drive high costs to get safety /– Still not close to a few times fuel costs as with jets /– “It’s the standing army, stupid!” /– ULA,Orbital, SpaceX have developed new rockets but not fundamentally altered the costs /– The Elastic Market – total revenue does not increase /– Elasticity effect doesn’t take off until hit below $500/lb to LEO /– Need new markets driven by large LEO infrastructure to get over this hump. /– Near term “affirmative action missions” by NASA for ISS /—- resupply, fuel depots, debris cleanup, exploration support /– Medium term tourism, “sovereign customers”, /– Long term, must be people going for space settlement. /– No breakthroughs are required. /– Need an end to pork and “cafeteria-filling” and recognizing the role of the private sector /– Sensible engineering & science based legal framework vs emotional regulation /– No social breakthroughs needed, lots of people are waiting to go… /– Financial – macro issues, venture funding, … /– Major risk is global economic collapse /– Paradigm/perceptual change, e.g. “brother-in-law” effect /– Some nice technologies to have: better TPS, highly operable engines /– Options: ground-launched, air-launched /– Achievable price goals: $500/lb (~$1000/kg) in near term (5 years) /– $100/lb or less in long term (10-15 years) /– Summary: /—- markets and flight rate – not technology, are enabling /—- Cash flow needed more so than investment /—- “Sadly, some “affirmative action” is needed from gov’t” /—- Improved engines & TPS desired but not required /—- No single best answer for vehicle type – less is more /—- “Cheating” via tethers is a good cheat
Dallas Bienhoff, The Boeing Company, and Jon Goff, Altius Space Machines, Inc. _Top Ten Technologies for Reusable Cislunar Transportation_ /– Reusable cislunar transportation architecture /– enable by depots /– Move lunar water back to LEO for fuel /– Aerocapture personnel/cargo depot tug goes from LEO to L1 and back /– Lander module travels from L1 to lunar surface /– Can return 25 tons of water back to LEO /– Shows components of depot-enable cislunar system
/– Top 10 technologies: /— 10. Variable mixture ratio O2/H2 space rocket engine /— 9. Low-g & zero-g O2/H2 liquefaction /— 8. Low -g water electrolysis /— 7. Deep space autonomous rendezvous & docking (AR&D) /— 6. Aerocapture /— 5. Long-life reusable O2/H2 space rocket engine /— 4. Aero-assisted entry, descent and landing (AEDL) /— 3. Long-term zero-g cryogenic storage /— 2. Zero-g cryogenic fluid transfer (CFT) /— 1. Zero-g cryogenic fluid management (CFM)
/– Shows timeline with current budget – all key elements get pushed out to late 2020s and early 2030s /– About half of these technologies are not covered in NASA’s Flagship Technology Development program
/– Shows accelerated timeline with cislunar architecture in place by 2020 /– Proposed budget for technologies were cut from $6B to $1B
?Joe Carroll, Tether Applications _Tether Sling Concepts for LEO and Beyond_ /– Four “wildcards” for ETO transportation /– 1. Mid-air capture of multi-tone payloads /– 2. collecting and recycling aluminum alloys in space /– 3. High-DeltaV slings in LEO to catch and throw payloads /– 4. Manned Moons/Mars artificial-gravity research facility /– Parachute recovery tests in March 1998 /– Mid-air capture /– 1. Allows downrange booster recovery without water impact /– 2. Greatly reduces booster glide performance requirements
/– Capture withoug chute damage allows chute release and recapture /– Capture of large gliders allows for tow-back /– If mid-air capture substantially improves cost-effectiveness, then boosters too heavy to capture may not make much sense.
/– Why consider recycling AL in orbit? /– 1. LEO orbital debris weighs >2100 mT – proabably >1000 tons in recoverable AL allowys /– 2. Controlled vapor & molten-spray deposition on balloon forms allows better properties than ingot metallurgy. Direct fabrication of arbitarily large space structures. /– 3. Provides an intermediate step towards learning how to do space resource manufacturing /– 4. AL rocket fuels
/– Electrodynamic propulsion – propellantless. /– Enables debris collection
/– Discusses advantages of slings. /— Any spinning tether can throw payloads /— Can reuse reaction mass. /— Contrasts rotating slings with vertical elevators /— Change from ships to railroads model
/– constraints on using slings with suborbital vehicles
/– Expects most manned launches for the next few decades will be to 51.6 deg. /– So this probably best orbit for first sling
/– Slings work better with smaller payloads – like railroads rather than ships. /– Eases frequent service, but only along fixed routes /– Encourages 2-way service rather than 1 way
/– NASA has been focused only on micro-g /– Need a manned artificial gravity research facility in LEO /– Focus on effects of long-term hypogravity /– Allows for realistic planning for Moon & Mars settlements /– Address critical long-term questions like whether people & plants can stay healthy. /– Shows rotating tethered “dumbbell”systems with Moon and Mars gravity modules at each end /– 0.06 Gee seems to be lower limit for lot of routine activities/
/– Airbeam tunnels for radial structure /– Shows lightweight arch shaped inflated tube holding up a car.
/– First step: Gemini-like tether test /– low cost test could be done soon if funded.
FAQ – all speakers /– Possible of non-Fed govt funding. /– Once you can do sling in LEO can do it elsewhere /– Commercial cis-lunar GPS system /– “Packing for Mars’ – read it! /– Challenge of Panama Canal was not earth moving issues but dealing with malaria and yellow fever. /– Similarly need to deal with human issues of living in space.