By: Patrap , 9:53 PM GMT on April 28, 2008
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After the Final Space Shuttle Flight in 2010-11.America will be bringing a new Space Vehicle on-line. The Orion/Ares Project will be our new access to Low earth Orbit.
And eventually back to Lunar Orbit and the Lunar Surface.
Those over 45 may remember the Look of the Orion Spacecraft is very Similar to that of the Apollo Spacecraft.
A Good design that brought every American Home safely from Earth orbit and the Moon.
Operational Ares I Shown on New Mobile Launcher (NASA)
Ares I, a classic example of a government-funded and managed launch vehicle program, is expected to become the third human space launcher developed entirely by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Ares I is being developed to do just one job - launch the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle. Orion is planned to carry on NASA's human spaceflight efforts after Space Shuttle is retired in 2010.
As currently envisioned, the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle will consist of a five-segment solid propellant first stage derived from Space Shuttle's four-segment reusable solid rocket booster (RSRB) topped by an all-new liquid hydrogen/oxygen upper stage. The upper stage will be powered by a new J-2X upper stage engine derived, in part, from the J-2 engine used on Apollo/Saturn upper stages and the simplified J-2S engine developed but never flown.
Mission requirements call for the two-stage launch vehicle to be capable of inserting a 23.63 tonne Orion spacecraft into a -55.56 x 185.2 km x 28.5 deg suborbital trajectory. This will aim the spent Ares I second stage toward an Indian Ocean impact while Orion fires its service module engine to complete the ascent to orbit. A service module burn at first apogee would need to provide 73.2 meters per second of additional velocity to circularize the orbit at 185.2 km, which is roughly the same as the "OMS-2" burn used to complete the space shuttle ascent to orbit.
Ares I Description
The Ares I/Orion stack is expected to weigh about 906 tonnes at liftoff and stand more than 94 meters to the tip of the launch abort system mast. The launch vehicle itself will be about 79.4 meters from its base to the top of its Instrument Unit. The first stage will be 3.71 meters in diameter, the upper stage 5.5 meters in diameter, and the Orion spacecraft will be 5 meters in diameter.
The first stage will produce roughly 1,600 tonnes of thrust at liftoff and will average 1,245 tonnes of thrust during its roughly 130 second burn. Approximately 630 tonnes of polybutadiene acrylonitride (PBAN) solid propellant will be consumed during the burn. The movable RSRB nozzle will provide pitch and yaw control while a new monopropellant roll control system located in the interstage will control vehicle roll during the first stage burn.
First stage separation will occur at roughly 59 km at a velocity of about 2,024 meters per second. Booster separation motors will back the stage away from the upper stage and interstage, tumble motors will cause it to enter a slow spin, and the tapered frustum section at the top of the stage will separate. The stage will reach a 99 km apogee before beginning its descent. A drogue chute will begin to deploy when the RSRB passes 4.6 km, having already been slowed by the atmosphere to a speed of about 195 meters per second. The stage will impact the Atlantic Ocean under a triple ringsail main chute canopy about 7 minutes 45 seconds after liftoff.
A cylindrical interstage will connect the RSRB and upper stages. It will be composed of composite materials, marking the first large-scale use of a composite structural element in a U.S. human-rated launch vehicle. The interstage will contain important propulsion elements, including the first stage roll control system, the booster separation motors (the 8.39 tonne thrust motors currently located in the RSRB nose), and two interstage separation systems. Current plans call for the roll control system to use monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. Thrust will be produced by the decomposition of hydrazine as it passes through a catalyst bed.
The upper stage J-2X engine will burn liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for about 463 seconds, producing 133 tonnes of thrust at a 448 second vacuum specific impulse. A 125 tonne thrust J-2XD version may be used for initial flights. Velocity at shutdown will be somewhere in the range of 7,800 meters per second.
The J-2X engine will swivel to provide pitch and yaw control. Roll control will be provided by a blow-down system feeding monopropellant hydrazine to a series of attitude control thrusters. Small solid motors will fire to separate the upper stage from the interstage and to settle propellants.
An aft liquid oxygen tank will be topped by a forward liquid hydrogen tank, with a common bulkhead between, to compose the upper stage structure. The tanks will hold up to 128 tonnes of propellants. Tanks will be fabricated from the same 2195 aluminum-lithium alloy currently used to build shuttle External Tanks. The stage itself will be assembled at the current Michoud External Tank factory in New Orleans.
A cylindrical Instrument Unit will top the upper stage. It will contain guidance and control systems for the entire launch vehicle. Link
Apollo Spacecraft in Lunar Orbit
NASA's New Spacecraft: Ares and Orion
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