[ExI] Eyes on the Solar System

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Sun Sep 4 21:26:44 UTC 2022

Quoting Spike:

> One more thing BillK if you read this far: the main engine design is space
> shuttle derived, which means it was originally designed to be used 50 times.
> When space hardware (or any machine) is designed to be used 50 times (and be
> capable of restart) there are cost and weight penalties inherent in the
> design compared to the throw-away after one use engine.  Turned out it was
> cheaper, faster and more practical to use the existing engine designs with
> all those cost, weight and complication costs already in place rather than
> design a new engine (Why?  Because we don't have enough rocket engine
> designers anymore, that's why.)  So NASA is left throwing away hardware
> after each flight which was designed with a 10 year 50 cycle life.  Damn.

It boggles common sense. Why is NASA being so deliberately wasteful?  
The selfish monkey in me understands why old-school NASA techs would  
want to eschew Elon's new-fangled engines and shit, but if you were  
going resurrect old designs from the mothballs, why resurrect the  
Shuttle engine when you could have resurrected the ONLY heavy
lift design that has made it beyond LEO i.e. Saturn V?

For its first stage engine, Saturn V used the S-IC that was *irony  
alert* also built by the Boeing Company which used a liquid  
hydrocarbon fuel called RP-1, which was chemically similar to kerosene  
and jet fuel, in combination with LOX. Which is pretty much what you  
suggested above. If you are going to use legacy designs from your  
company, why not use the legacy designs you know for sure work?


> My approach woulda been different.  We don't desperately need to get back to
> the moon, or even if so, there is no big hurry, and we really aren't going
> to fly Artemis to Mars anyway (we really aren't (time to face up to that
> reality (details cheerfully available on request.)))

Elon would not let a bloated government political statement beat him  
to Mars, even if NASA did have its shit together, which its engine  
designs leave me in doubt of.

> So... I woulda just bought a coupla Elon's SpaceseXey tail landers and
> designed a new kerosene burning main stage (with advanced control to dial in
> a bit of modern automated control system sexiness) which coincidentally, is
> what LockMart proposed to start with.

Well that would made more sense with an engine design meant to  
withstand 50 launches. I understand they wanting to distinguish  
themselves from Elon. But why did they choose so poorly? Did they hire  
Disney writers for engineering positions?

Stuart LaForge

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