An engineering student’s Blog

” …All of this. All of this was for nothing – unless we go to the stars.” – Infection, Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski

Jupiter Direct update

A new version maybe worked out and released soon – one that relies more heavily on space shuttle derivatives.
Using currently man rated and tested engines the new plan if opted by NASA would give us a vehicle capable of delivering crew and cargo to the ISS even sooner by using 3 SSME( space shuttle main engines ) instead of the Delta vehicles RS-68 (2) which would not work due to base heating by the Solid rocket boosters. The only way they could use RS-68s is if an entirely new regenerative nozzle were engineered and man rated cost millions of dolars and which the airforce is not inclined to do without this specific demand from NASA. By going with the shuttles main engines this saves in developement cost and is potentially safer than developing and testing a brand spanking new rocket engine.

The current iteration will be a J-130 with 3 SSMEs to get the orion CEV to the International Space Station and with a Delta IV Heavy Derived upperstage a lunar flyby mission can be launched. Secondly by using SSMEs in the core stage the can use RL-10s on the Jupiter Earth Departure Stage another already man rated and extensibly tested engine reducing developement cost further and allowing a manned Lunar mission as early as 2015 depending on the developement time needed for the LSAM ( lunar surface access module ) the Altair. Instead of the 2020 date given for the as of yet undesigned, unworked and untested Ares V heavy lifter. Using RL-10s allow developement funding and time to be spent on more science missions insetad of developing the new J-2X engines that would be required for the Ares I and Ares V upperstages. Funding that could go towards a Near Earth Object or Mars Sample Return mission. Or both. More science from NASA, how about that? Going with the Jupiter direct proposal could now reduce the impending shuttle gap – the time between shuttle retirement in 2010(NEXT YEAR) and the first crewed flight to the ISS on an Ares I – from 2017 on an already overbudgetted and delayed Ares I to 2012 aboard a J-130( or an Ares III if youre so inclined ) thats a 5-7 year gap reduced to 2 if the new NASA administrator investigates the Jupiter proposal and gived it a green light now.

Itll also preserve thousands of Florida, Alabama and Texas hightech jobs – maybe even a politically good thing to do, politics AND space given a win – win – choice, How about that?

Jupiter Direct v2.0 PDF without the new improvements

From the forums




Quote from: mmeijeri on 04/20/2009 10:41 PM
Quote from: William Barton on 04/20/2009 09:53 PM
Kill the Stick and get started on Jupiter 246. Keeps the jobs, keeps the contractors, gets us to the Moon in 2017, instead of merely to ISS. Everybody wins except some guy who already lost his job.

Isn’t it J-130 that could start immediately while the J-246 work is intended to start a couple of years from now? Or is that only with J-232 & J2-X? I wonder how shuttle + ISS extension would affect this. Is there enough money to develop Orion + J-130 while the shuttle is still operational?

One other thing about the autonomous Orion: that only closes one anytime-abort loophole. What good is an Orion in orbit though, if you push the Start button in your Orion and nothing happens? Then you’re going to need to wait at Moonbase until the rescue ship shows up. And since you have to have that capability anyway, it lessens the value of keeping an unmanned Orion in LLO.

True. Of course, I want that autonomous capability for different reasons.

Part of the point of Jupiter (in all it’s variants) is, JS-130 and JS-246 aren’t different vehicles, they’re variations on the same vehicle, with variant capability designed in from the start. So you don’t really think of them as two rockets, started as different projects. JS-130 is JS-246 with one engine and the upper stage left off. Getting started on JS-246 now is the same thing as getting started on JS-130 now, and the entire rationale of JS-246 (as opposed to JS-241) is, there’s no engine development program at all. The path from JS-130 to JS-246 is shorter than the path from JS-130 to JS-241 (because you have to develop J-2X, but you can just order RL-10 [I realize that’s a gross oversimplification]). The point is, from the time you put the last Shuttle on the pad to the time you put the Jupiter-130 test vehicle on the pad is so short you can justify keeping the Shuttle operations people aboard. It’ll take a couple of years to train everyone for the new LV anyway. But no way is anyone going to justify keeps those folks on hand for 5 to 7 years! (And that’s assuming Ares I really does fly some time between the early 2015 [no confidence schedule] and early 2017 [realistic?].)

Quote from: kraisee on 04/21/2009 01:48 PM
I’m not going to go back through all the posts I missed, but if there were any specific questions which didn’t get answered, I’d be happy to take a crack at them if they are asked again.


A little ways back, I asked how many MSFC jobs could be saved in a transfer from the Ares archetecture to your current DIRECT archetecture (specifically, EELV to ISS, Jupiters with SSME/RL-10). After all, JS-130 and JS-246 are mostly an integration excercise with the exception of building the JUS/EDS.

One suggestion I made was that development of an RS-68B/J-2X-based vehicle (in essence, a regen-nozzle J-232) could be kept as a ‘fall-back’ design as this would necessitate a different JUS and a different thrust skirt. Certainly, 5-Seg RSRM should also be retained as a quick and dirty way of stapling an extra 5-10t launch-to-LEO onto the design if required.

However, the issue of budget would ultimately be king. A balance must be made between job retention and focussing resources on actually-needed hardware.
Report to moderator Logged
“Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!” – Duck Dodgers


Posts: 6803
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL

Re: DIRECT v2.0 – Thread 3
« Reply #2765 on: 04/21/2009 02:01 PM »
Reply with quote
No MSFC jobs would be lost at all under DIRECT. I want that to be 100% Crystal clear.

MSFC won’t lose any jobs at all under DIRECT. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I hope I’m being clear…

DIRECT NEEDS all the current workers at MSFC to work Jupiter Core Stage, Jupiter Upper Stage, parts of LSAM and integration of the whole architecture. With all that work to do, MSFC is not going to be getting any smaller under DIRECT, I guarantee it!

The difference is that MSFC won’t be getting any LARGER though.

Right now under the current plans, there are huge amounts of extra work required for developing both Ares-I and Ares-V together at MSFC. So they need to expand (by about 2,000 high-paid development-related jobs) in order to do that.

But to pay for that expansion at MSFC, both funding and jobs are being taken away from both JSC and in greater numbers, from KSC as well.

What we’re planning, is to keep things essentially “as is”. Not scale KSC or JSC down, but not scale MSFC up either.

The sticking point for all this is really Senator Shelby who obviously wants the expansion, worth about $2 billion per year, in his Alabama district. My hope is that, for the good of the whole program and the nation, he is willing to compromise a little. His state won’t “Lose” anything. It just won’t “Gain” what he was hoping it would — albeit at the cost of all the other NASA regions.

I really hope there is an acceptable ground to be found, politically, by keeping all the centers roughly as they are right now.


William Barton
Posts: 1681

Re: DIRECT v2.0 – Thread 3
« Reply #2766 on: 04/21/2009 02:19 PM »
Reply with quote
I’d like to add two points:

“Make work” is never going to happen. Not under Shuttle to Constellation transition, any more than under Apollo to Shuttle transition. If there’s a 5 – 7 year gap, a lot of jobs will be lost. I do not have confidence that Ares development will take up the slack, and so if Constellation succeeds, new workers will be needed in the post-2016 era. Something similar happened with Shuttle.

There an emerging risk that it will be EELV/LEO/ISS only, with close to 100% indefinite job loss. Puttling Jupiter 246 (and JS-130, if needed) into the gap is one of the few ways to interdict that. With an HLLV and the lunar goal, EELV can handle ISS, even if its extended out to 2030 (which, sans a moon program will be increasingly likely). It just takes two launches to do what JS-130 can do in one.


Posts: 6803
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL

Re: DIRECT v2.0 – Thread 3
« Reply #2767 on: 04/21/2009 02:23 PM »

Reply with quote
Its amazing how much your post reminded me of what we were warning about from the very start of the DIRECT effort.

This has been a clear and present danger from the very start of the ESAS efforts…

Now they’ve got no choice but to pay attention, having wasted 4 years of effort.



Filed under: Space

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Private Space Exploration Companies



%d bloggers like this: