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Old October 21 2012, 02:32 AM   #250
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post

HLVs simply don't have the work history to justify the kind of money NASA has been ordered to spend on them, even if they had a coherent plan for how to USE them, and they don't.
Again, STS is a history of HLLV scale operations...
So was Saturn V. How'd that work out for NASA?

and nasaspaceflight is full of coherant [sic] plans...
The internet IN GENERAL is full of coherent plans for space exploration, but I wouldn't want to spend a billion dollars putting a piece of Doctor Who fanfiction into orbit.

R-7 is over fifty years old and going fine--and will be developed.
SLS is not the Soyuz, and neither was the shuttle. Both are projected to operate at five to ten times the cost at perhaps one third the flight rate; both would be damned lucky to have the Soyuz's success rate.

But that just raises another interesting point, doesn't it? Why is it that HLVs like Saturn-V, Energia and STS have consistently under-performed in terms of cost to lift ratio and reliability compared to smaller launchers like Saturn-IB and Soyuz? We consider the shuttle program to be impressive -- 140 missions in over twenty years -- but that's small potatoes compared to the R-7 family, with a resume that includes over 1700 launches since they went operational; Soyuz alone accounts for over half of those.

Falcon 9 has twice the capacity of the Soyuz family, and it's only just entered service. Now imagine what the Falcon family is going to look like with 1700 launches under its belt. Right around the time SLS begins to achieve its maximum carrying capacity, the Falcon Heavy will have already surpassed its Block 1 configuration for about a tenth of the cost.
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