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ISS Modules without Shuttle?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 20th 03, 05:21 AM
Josh Gigantino
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

What would be necessary to launch the remaining ISS modules - Node 2,
Centrifuge, Kibo, Columbus - without the Shuttle? Obviously any new
Russian modules will go up on Proton, but I am assuming that would not
be feasible for Shuttle-manifested launches due to politics. What
would be required to launch them on EELVs? Is there a third stage that
could deliver and dock the modules, or co-orbit for docking by the
SSRMS? Could the European ATV be used for this purpose?

I'm wondering what are the issues involved, because Shuttle RTF keeps
slipping and in the recent hearings know one mentioned any other ways
of achieving station complete. Is "station complete" still a realistic
goal?

thanks,
J05H
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  #2  
Old November 20th 03, 07:05 AM
Jorge R. Frank
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

(Josh Gigantino) wrote in
om:

What would be necessary to launch the remaining ISS modules - Node 2,
Centrifuge, Kibo, Columbus - without the Shuttle?


As you state below, there are basically two approaches: an ELV upper stage
with autonomous rendezvous and either capture or docking capability (as the
Russians did with Kvant on Mir, and Pirs on ISS), or a maneuvering vehicle
stationed at ISS which would retrieve the modules (as was planned for OMV
with SSF).

Obviously any new
Russian modules will go up on Proton, but I am assuming that would not
be feasible for Shuttle-manifested launches due to politics.


It's not just politics (although with the Iran Nonproliferation Act,
politics is indeed major). Proton can put around 19.5 tons into ISS orbit,
but the heaviest ISS modules (P3/P4, S3/S4, S6, and Kibo) are in the 17 ton
range. Even the smallest upper stage the Russians have (the Progress M-CO1
used with Pirs, basically a Soyuz/Progress service module) would be too
heavy, and it may not even have enough control authority - you'd want
something like a FGB tug (used with Kvant) instead.

What
would be required to launch them on EELVs? Is there a third stage that
could deliver and dock the modules, or co-orbit for docking by the
SSRMS? Could the European ATV be used for this purpose?


Not without extensive modifications, to either the ATV or the modules, I'm
afraid. ATV can be thought of as having rendezvous/docking hardware on the
forward end and propulsion hardware at the aft. If the forward end docks
to the ISS module, which end docks with ISS?

Japan's HTV might be easier to modify for this purpose, but it would still
require a lot of mods. HTV has no docking capability, so that would have to
be added in order for it to capture an ISS module. Once at ISS, HTV can be
captured by the SSRMS, so that's not a problem in the same way it would be
for ATV.

Finally, *any* solution is going to involve quite a few mods to the modules
themselves. They are designed for the shuttle's 3 g launch environment, and
are designed to absorb launch loads through the longeron trunnion pins
rather than the base, as all ELVs require. They are designed to take
advantage of the thermal environment of the payload bay during transit to
ISS, and most require at least "keep-alive" power to be provided by the
orbiter. So even if you use an OMV-like vehicle stationed at ISS, the
modules would require these services to be supplied by the ELV in some way
prior to the OMV picking them up. Any modifications to the modules
themselves would likely be expensive, since for the most part they are
already built and being integrated for launch at the SSPF in Florida.

I'm wondering what are the issues involved, because Shuttle RTF keeps
slipping and in the recent hearings know one mentioned any other ways
of achieving station complete.


On the surface, RTF appears to have slipped a lot. But all the "RTF" dates
NASA published prior to the current one (12 Sept 2004) were internal
planning dates only, and *none* of them were based on what it would
actually take to meet the CAIB requirements. So they weren't really
realistic to begin with. That's not to say that further slippage won't
occur - it almost certainly will.

Is "station complete" still a realistic
goal?


That depends on how you define "station complete". :-)

--
JRF

Reply-to address spam-proofed - to reply by E-mail,
check "Organization" (I am not assimilated) and
think one step ahead of IBM.
  #3  
Old November 21st 03, 05:34 PM
jeff findley
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

"Alan Erskine" writes:

"Josh Gigantino" wrote in message
om...
What would be necessary to launch the remaining ISS modules - Node 2,
Centrifuge, Kibo, Columbus - without the Shuttle?


Proton, like the Russians have been using since the '60's and have used to
launch all their ISS, Mir and Salyut modules.

What about the 'American Proton' - Delta IV heavy?


You're forgetting that after you launch a module, you have rendezvous,
then actually dock or berth the thing to ISS. All the while you have
to provide these modules services like power, communications, and
cooling.

Russian modules either do all of this themselves (e.g. FGB and SM), or
they're delivered by a service module like Piers on ISS or Kvant on
Mir. The Russians have at least two versions of such a module. If
memory serves, the one used for Piers was a modified Progress service
module (launched by a Soyuz) and the one used for Kvant on Mir was TKS
derived and launched on Proton.

The US has no such service module, as it's relied on the shuttle for
far too long to even need such a thing.

Jeff
--
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If it says "This is not spam!", it's surely a lie.
  #4  
Old November 21st 03, 10:33 PM
Terry Goodrich
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

I seemed to remeber having read that they were looking to modify the shuttle
to fly unmanned. Is this really a possibililty?

Terry
"jeff findley" wrote in message
...
"Alan Erskine" writes:

"Josh Gigantino" wrote in message
om...
What would be necessary to launch the remaining ISS modules - Node 2,
Centrifuge, Kibo, Columbus - without the Shuttle?


Proton, like the Russians have been using since the '60's and have used

to
launch all their ISS, Mir and Salyut modules.

What about the 'American Proton' - Delta IV heavy?


You're forgetting that after you launch a module, you have rendezvous,
then actually dock or berth the thing to ISS. All the while you have
to provide these modules services like power, communications, and
cooling.

Russian modules either do all of this themselves (e.g. FGB and SM), or
they're delivered by a service module like Piers on ISS or Kvant on
Mir. The Russians have at least two versions of such a module. If
memory serves, the one used for Piers was a modified Progress service
module (launched by a Soyuz) and the one used for Kvant on Mir was TKS
derived and launched on Proton.

The US has no such service module, as it's relied on the shuttle for
far too long to even need such a thing.

Jeff
--
Remove "no" and "spam" from email address to reply.
If it says "This is not spam!", it's surely a lie.



  #5  
Old November 22nd 03, 06:35 AM
Henry Spencer
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

In article ,
Terry Goodrich wrote:
I seemed to remeber having read that they were looking to modify the shuttle
to fly unmanned. Is this really a possibililty?


It is not impossible in principle, but a lot of detail changes would be
needed. Since there has never been a requirement for unmanned operation,
there are many bits of hardware which are not under computer control. (In
some cases, like landing-gear deployment, this is deliberate, to make sure
a software bug can't kill the crew.) Some of them are not necessary for a
minimal mission, but a number of them are.
--
MOST launched 30 June; first light, 29 July; 5arcsec | Henry Spencer
pointing, 10 Sept; first science, early Oct; all well. |
  #6  
Old November 24th 03, 03:58 AM
Paul F. Dietz
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

Josh Gigantino wrote:

In your opinion, would it be simpler to modify a Shuttle for robotic
flight, or make a new type of upper stage capable of delivering the
modules via ELV?


How about a small manned RLV that would rendevous in orbit with the
cargo and act as the tug?

Paul

  #8  
Old November 24th 03, 05:53 AM
Jorge R. Frank
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Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

(Josh Gigantino) wrote in
om:

"Jorge R. Frank" wrote in message
...
(Josh Gigantino) wrote in
om:


Obviously any new
Russian modules will go up on Proton, but I am assuming that would
not be feasible for Shuttle-manifested launches due to politics.


It's not just politics (although with the Iran Nonproliferation Act,
politics is indeed major). Proton can put around 19.5 tons into ISS
orbit, but the heaviest ISS modules (P3/P4, S3/S4, S6, and Kibo) are
in the 17 ton range. Even the smallest upper stage the Russians have
(the Progress M-CO1 used with Pirs, basically a Soyuz/Progress
service module) would be too heavy, and it may not even have enough
control authority - you'd want something like a FGB tug (used with
Kvant) instead.


Could an FGB dock with an appropriately modified module and manuever
it to ISS? I'm thinking of the Enterprise/Mir2 baseblock sitting in
storage.


Modifications would be required. FGB has but one active Kurs system (on the
"aft" end); the systems on the forward end are all passive. RCS
modifications would likely be required as well, since the main braking
engines are canted toward the aft end.

This would get around Iran Non-Prof (launch ISS modules from
Cape on Delta, FGB frm Baikonur) and could add even more capacity to
the station.


It would only get around the INPA if no payment from NASA to Russia was
involved. That includes through third-parties, IIRC. So it would have to be
a barter agreement, no cash involved. An example of this is how NASA is
keeping Soyuz flights going to ISS during the shuttle standdown: barter
deal with ESA on ISS utilization, in return for which ESA buys up all the
available "third seats" on Soyuz flights.

I've been studying Russian hardware some lately, and have reached a
stumbling block. I think it is a terminology issue. In Dragonfly,
Burroughs refers to several Mir modules as being "FGBs", here you have
refered to the Kvant as being delivered by FGB tug. Was this another
baseblock (w/ node, living quarters, etc) that was then destroyed, or
a stripped-down version? Does "FGB" refer to a hull design/lineage or
is it a capability (ie, station keeping, OMS, etc)?


It's a hull design/lineage, visually distinguished by four thermal
radiators arranged around a central cylinder, with a conical active docking
adapter at the aft end. The forward end is mission-specific. FGB modules
have no living quarters; life-support capability is provided by the base
module.

Examples of FGB-type modules:include TKS ferries, Salyut add-ons (Kosmos
1267, 1443, and 1686), Polyus propulsion module, Mir add-ons (Kvant, Kvant-
2, Kristall, Spektr, Priroda), and of course the ISS FGB. Of these, Kvant
is unique because the FGB propulsion system did not remain attached to Mir
after Kvant docked; it undocked and was deorbited later.

What
would be required to launch them on EELVs? Is there a third stage
that could deliver and dock the modules, or co-orbit for docking by
the SSRMS? Could the European ATV be used for this purpose?


Not without extensive modifications, to either the ATV or the
modules, I'm afraid. ATV can be thought of as having
rendezvous/docking hardware on the forward end and propulsion
hardware at the aft. If the forward end docks to the ISS module,
which end docks with ISS?

snip
Japan's HTV might be easier to modify for this purpose,


I would guess that a ATV-module would need to be snagged by the
station arm, the ATV would then disengage, and the arm would dock the
module. Sort of a combination of the two, an AHTV - it'd be even more
useful if it was refuelable.


That's really an HTV, then - ATV is simply not designed to do that. The
stationkeeping requirements for HTV grapple by the SSRMS are far more
exacting than the ATV docking requirements, plus the ATV docking aids are
oriented in the wrong direction.

Finally, *any* solution is going to involve quite a few mods to the
modules themselves. They are designed for the shuttle's 3 g launch
environment, and are designed to absorb launch loads through the
longeron trunnion pins rather than the base, as all ELVs require.
They are designed to take advantage of the thermal environment of the
payload bay during transit to ISS, and most require at least
"keep-alive" power to be provided by the orbiter. So even if you use
an OMV-like vehicle stationed at ISS, the modules would require these
services to be supplied by the ELV in some way prior to the OMV
picking them up. Any modifications to the modules themselves would
likely be expensive, since for the most part they are already built
and being integrated for launch at the SSPF in Florida.


Keep alive and vibration would seem to be the hardest problems. My
idea for launching on an ELV would be to have a minimal third stage
attached to the module - it would have a frame stretching up the
length of the module, replicating the connections of the Shuttle bay.
The stage could provide power, etc, and orientation while the module
awaits a tug of some sort. The downside is an unmanned orbital
rendevous, unless the tug is an FGB w/ cosmonauts aboard - but that is
almost starting a new station. 8)

From all the stumbling blocks, it sounds simpler to either wait for
return to flight, or for a Shuttle to fly robotically.


Robotic shuttle flights are not going to happen in the near term. Think 4-5
years before the first demonstration flights, at a minimum. The US simply
does not have automated rendezvous/docking capability, and retrofitting
this capability onto the existing shuttle will be neither quick nor cheap.

I'm wondering what are the issues involved, because Shuttle RTF
keeps slipping and in the recent hearings know one mentioned any
other ways of achieving station complete.


On the surface, RTF appears to have slipped a lot. But all the "RTF"
dates NASA published prior to the current one (12 Sept 2004) were
internal planning dates only, and *none* of them were based on what
it would actually take to meet the CAIB requirements. So they weren't
really realistic to begin with. That's not to say that further
slippage won't occur - it almost certainly will.


I've come of the opinion that Shuttle should only fly again with
minimal crew, preferably unmanned.


You're probably going to be disappointed, I'm afraid: ISS assembly flights
are *very* manpower-intensive and will generally carry as many crewmembers
as vehicle performance will allow. The first return-to-flight mission, STS-
114, just had three new crewmembers assigned to it to replace the ISS crew
rotation that was previously scheduled.

Is "station complete" still a realistic
goal?


That depends on how you define "station complete". :-)


LOL. I've been laughing about that since you posted it!


It's funny but there's a serious point behind it: Space Station Freedom/ISS
has gone through multiple redesigns, and each redesign represents the
administration/Congress "moving the goalposts" on what "station complete"
really means. Right now, there is no "station complete", just the
following three milestones:

"US Core Complete" = current ISS config + replacement CMG (LF-1), P3/P4
(12A), P5 (12A.1), S3/S4 (13A), S5 (13A.1), S6 (15A), Node 2 (10A)

"International Core Complete" = US core complete + Columbus (1E), Kibo
(1J/A, 1J, 2J/A), SPDM (UF-4), SPP/MTsM (9A.1), CAM (UF-7), Cupola (14A)

"Assembly Complete" = international core complete + Node 3 (20A), Hab (16A,
17A, 19A), CRV (18A), UDM (3R), Research Modules (8R, 10R)

"Assembly Complete" is pretty much a fantasy right now; there's no funding
for the Hab, though Node 3 has been added back to the manifest, and OSP is
replacing CRV. And the Russian modules (UDM, Research Modules) are
vaporware. But I think "US Core Complete" will definitely happen, and other
than the SPP/MTsM, there are no showstoppers for "International Core
Complete".

--
JRF

Reply-to address spam-proofed - to reply by E-mail,
check "Organization" (I am not assimilated) and
think one step ahead of IBM.
  #9  
Old November 24th 03, 11:29 PM
Henry Spencer
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Posts: n/a
Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

In article ,
Josh Gigantino wrote:
I seemed to remeber having read that they were looking to modify the shuttle
to fly unmanned. Is this really a possibililty?

It is not impossible in principle, but a lot of detail changes would be
needed...


In your opinion, would it be simpler to modify a Shuttle for robotic
flight, or make a new type of upper stage capable of delivering the
modules via ELV?


I was thinking just of plain shuttle flights, not considering the ISS
angle. If by "robotic flight" you mean ISS visits and module drop-off,
that gets you into nasty complications like the US's lack of an automated
docking system, and the need to teleoperate the arm.

Either one's going to be a big job. My gut feeling is that neither is an
obvious winner, in vehicle terms. Starting with the shuttle means you
don't have to build certain subsystems from scratch, but you have to
modify the controls, and you're subject to the shuttle's constraints --
one of which is that the three remaining flightworthy orbiters are
irreplaceable assets which must not be endangered.

(In a rational world, unmanned shuttle operations make no sense -- the
orbiters are far more valuable than the crews, so it makes sense to have
at least a couple of pilots on board, just because they might save the
orbiter if the automation screws up. Cargo aircraft always have pilots.)

As JRF noted, it's very awkward to fit a new launcher into the assembly
plans now, since the modules waiting to fly are built for shuttle launch.
I think that's the deciding factor. If you absolutely insist on unmanned
delivery, modifying an orbiter is the right thing to do, painful though
it is.

Also, what are your thoughts on orbital rendevous with a separate tug,
per Jorge's post?


In general, it makes all kinds of sense to base a tug at the station, and
send it down to haul cargo shipments (and even crews) up from a lower
orbit. Even given the need to bring up fuel for the tug, it's a sizable
net win, especially with reusable or semi-reusable launchers where the
orbiter much outweighs the payload.

However, this isn't something you can easily retrofit into ISS now, not
least because of the lack of a suitable tug.
--
MOST launched 30 June; first light, 29 July; 5arcsec | Henry Spencer
pointing, 10 Sept; first science, early Oct; all well. |
  #10  
Old November 26th 03, 11:54 PM
Josh Gigantino
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Posts: n/a
Default ISS Modules without Shuttle?

"Jorge R. Frank" wrote in message ...
(Josh Gigantino) wrote in
om:

"Jorge R. Frank" wrote in message
...
(Josh Gigantino) wrote in
om:


Modifications would be required. FGB has but one active Kurs system (on the
"aft" end); the systems on the forward end are all passive. RCS
modifications would likely be required as well, since the main braking
engines are canted toward the aft end.


below, you mention mission-specific forward sections on the FGBs. I
know there have been aquistion problems w/ Kurs system, but would it
be difficult for Energia to add the Kurs system to the node-end of an
FGB?

snip

a stripped-down version? Does "FGB" refer to a hull design/lineage or
is it a capability (ie, station keeping, OMS, etc)?


It's a hull design/lineage, visually distinguished by four thermal
radiators arranged around a central cylinder, with a conical active docking
adapter at the aft end. The forward end is mission-specific. FGB modules
have no living quarters; life-support capability is provided by the base
module.

Examples of FGB-type modules:include TKS ferries, Salyut add-ons (Kosmos
1267, 1443, and 1686), Polyus propulsion module, Mir add-ons (Kvant, Kvant-
2, Kristall, Spektr, Priroda), and of course the ISS FGB. Of these, Kvant
is unique because the FGB propulsion system did not remain attached to Mir
after Kvant docked; it undocked and was deorbited later.



OK, the radiators+central core, adapter on stern is what I normally
think of as an FGB, as well. would it be reasonable to think of the
FGB as the propulsion/electronics that baseblock and other craft are
built on? On the graphics linked below, would the "fgb" portion be
just the rear 1/5th of the baseblock? (the unpressurized section in
mircut.jpg)

Here's Mark Wade's diagrams:
http://astronautix.com/graphics/m/mircut.jpg
http://astronautix.com/graphics/m/mirbig.gif

Would it be reasonable to think of Mir's "baseblock" as made of an
"FGB" and "base module"? Again, i think it's just a terminology thing
for me.

For Kvant, did the propulsion system fit around the smaller-diameter
cylinder on the rear, the Soyuz port? Did the prop module slide off
the module, like a donut? Was this the kind of hardware that Energia
could build commercially?

module. Sort of a combination of the two, an AHTV - it'd be even more
useful if it was refuelable.


That's really an HTV, then - ATV is simply not designed to do that. The
stationkeeping requirements for HTV grapple by the SSRMS are far more
exacting than the ATV docking requirements, plus the ATV docking aids are
oriented in the wrong direction.


interesting. Does the arm move so slowly that it needs a totally
stationary target?

Robotic shuttle flights are not going to happen in the near term. Think 4-5
years before the first demonstration flights, at a minimum. The US simply
does not have automated rendezvous/docking capability, and retrofitting
this capability onto the existing shuttle will be neither quick nor cheap.


Got it. Do you think that automated Shuttle flights will happen?

I've come of the opinion that Shuttle should only fly again with
minimal crew, preferably unmanned.


You're probably going to be disappointed, I'm afraid: ISS assembly flights
are *very* manpower-intensive and will generally carry as many crewmembers
as vehicle performance will allow. The first return-to-flight mission, STS-
114, just had three new crewmembers assigned to it to replace the ISS crew
rotation that was previously scheduled.


I know I'll be dissappointed. NASA just manifested a full 7 astronaut
crew for STS-114. I hope they wrap up the use of Shuttles quickly.
Would it make sense to rush the launch of the remaining modules? Once
Shuttle RTF happens, 6-8 flights/yr, dedicated to assembly, flying the
modules up one after another, even if they just sit docked while
waiting for spacewalk outfitting, etc. Ignoring INPA, maybe speed up
Soyuz production enough to support 4-5 astronauts, expand life support
w/ the launch of Node 3 (the pseudo-Hab that has been discussed).

"Assembly Complete" is pretty much a fantasy right now; there's no funding
for the Hab, though Node 3 has been added back to the manifest, and OSP is
replacing CRV. And the Russian modules (UDM, Research Modules) are
vaporware. But I think "US Core Complete" will definitely happen, and other
than the SPP/MTsM, there are no showstoppers for "International Core
Complete".


It would be good to see the station get some kind of Complete,
especially if the station eventually can hold 6+ astronauts. From what
I understand, the only possible new Russian module that could find
it's way to ISS would be the commercial Enterprise unit.

thanks for all the help,
Josh
 




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