Altair’s unhelpful Ares V Earth departure stage adaptor

by | Aug 14, 2008 | Ares | 3 comments

The Ares V Earth departure stage (EDS), Altair lunar lander adaptor, visible in this picture has been a cause of concern for NASA because of the extra mass it could represent

NASA’s own documentation states that “Given the fact that the EDS/Lander adaptor…is not part of the Lander…mass allocation; there is a possiblity that any change in this situation will adversely impact the Lander budget and control mass.”

In presentation images and data the adaptor’s mass is not included in the p711-B design that is being used by companies for NASA’s safety improvements study  (although there is a manager’s reserve figure that could encompass it) and this “minimal functional” concept has not been resized for Ares V’s 10m diameter shroud change either – or the expected forthcoming change to an Ogive shape

The image below from NASA’s Lunar Capability Concept Review shows the adaptor structure and itemises design changes related to the Ares V shroud change

That shroud change has added mass to the Lander and according to NASA reports the LCCR was expected to “formally capture the EDS adaptor DDT&E responsibility, as well as the Altair mass allocation including the adaptor”. The due date for all that was 18 July

The result of the mass conflicts is that Altair now has a payload/rock sample capability of just 100kg (220lb), 10kg less than Apollo, when the planned week-plus sorties for early Constellation lunar missions are expected to see astronauts produce over 300kg for analysis on Earth

The history of this situation began with last year’s LDAC-1 delta and its initial estimate of the lander configuration and adaptor mass

While the Altair project office was apparently assigned the adaptor responsibility on 26 September last year, as of June this year there was apparently no documentation in existence to formally record this decision

Since June evolution of the EDS interface/adaptor has been ongoing and the adaptor may become “integral to the Lander descent module”. Lander Design Analysis Cycle (LDAC)-2 is going to contribute to this adaptor resolution process and LDAC-3 should be underway by October

Outstanding activities are to identify appropriate Constellation programme documentation to record this EDS adaptor responsibility and incorporate that into “identified Constellation documentation” and to begin the integrated lunar architecture analyses

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Atlas V launches Trojan asteroid surveyor Lucy on mission for NASA…then has trouble locking out one of her solar arrays

An Atlas V 401 rocket from ULA (United Launch Alliance) has launched a Lockheed Martin-built, NASA Discovery-class spacecraft into orbit. Read more

ULA wins NASA launch contract for LUCY mission to visit the Trojans…as SpaceX protests

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has won a NASA contract to launch the LUCY mission – a “Discovery-class” mission to Read more

A happy retirement Frank

We wish Frank Morring Jr., a very happy retirement as he hangs up his pencil at Aviation Week & Space Read more

Lucy and Psyche get the nod for NASA Discovery missions

The Lucy mission, to be launched in 2021, was one of two missions to be selected for Discovery mission funding out of Read more

How did gliders help win D-Day battle and will they ever fly on Mars?
How did gliders help win D-Day battle and will they ever fly on Mars?

Every now and then interplanetary missions have been proposed which are are both exciting and innovative and yet, regretfully, still Read more

Japan asks private industry to provide military satellite communications
Japan asks private industry to provide military satellite communications

Taking its lead from the UK's Paradigm Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal which had Astrium, in the form of its Read more

Constellation: Hyperbola’s journey to nowhere
Constellation: Hyperbola’s journey to nowhere

When this blogger saw the headline of this 30 March article by Aviation Week's senior space editor Frank Morring it Read more

Flexible path is doomed?
Flexible path is doomed?

In that great tradition of immoveable objects encountering the unstoppable force it seems the force has won out and the Read more

Categories

Archives