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Found 6 results

  1. I have compiled some data on the payload fraction (payload to LEO / Gross mass) of various rocket systems; From this, several thing can be seen; Solid rocket boosters utterly ruin your payload fraction. Despite having a significantly higher specific impulse than other engines (365 seconds for the RS-68 vs. 285 seconds for the RD-275), hydrogen-fueled launch systems only have a slightly better payload fraction than hypergolic systems, or are even significantly worse. Larger rockets generally have a larger payload fraction (Saturn I vs. Saturn V, Falcon 9 vs. Falcon Heavy). Titan II and Titan IV are not entirely comparable. STS is a stupid pile of trash. Kerolox first stage provide significantly better payload fractions in almost all cases, while avoiding the difficulties associated with liquid hydrogen. Hypergolics generally have inferior performance to both, but are significantly easier to handle, and the difference is not extreme. Data via wiki, except where noted (the gross weights for Delta IV Heavy and Atlas V 551 were horribly off, especially for the latter). Encylopedia Astronautica data mostly agreed, but that site is severely lacking in info on the Falcon family. @Sturgeon@Collimatrix@T___A
  2. This is a discussion thread for the greatest horror villain of our time, the Space Transportation System, more commonly known as the Space Shuttle. First, I want to say something positive about the Space Shuttle, and that's that it, and its offspring SLS, has one of the most ingenious launch arrangements out there. Sure, solids may not be the absolute best thing ever for manned spaceflight, but the "two high t/w boosters, one central core with mega-awesome high ISP high thrust engines" arrangement is seriously a great idea. The fact that they pulled it off is even more awesome.
  3. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russias-new-rocket-wont-fit-in-its-new-cosmodrome/536827.html Comments Comrades?
  4. http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/203289-live-long-and-prosper-united-launch-alliance-names-new-rocket-vulcan IT BEGINS Let's see if it can live up to its namesake, Vulkan; http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/vulkan.htm Edit: added more stuff about ULA rocket; Looks like they're planning on having reusability, although apparently not of the whole first stage like on Falcon 9. Also, midair recovery, which is an interesting choice.
  5. Seriously, look at this shit. Doing a backflip at Mach 5 with the external tank still attached, NBD. Rumor has it that the scenario was possible in the sim with an intact shuttle, but in just about any case where you're doing an RTLS the shuttle most likely isn't intact (if it was you could just a transatlantic abort or something). There's also rumors that STS-1 was planned to be a test of the RTLS scenario, before John Young helpfully pointed out that was a retarded idea.
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