NASA blogs Ares I staging risk response

by | Feb 17, 2009 | Seradata News | 3 comments

Ares Staging.JPG

credit NASA / click on this image to see a larger version in the same browser window

I never got an answer from NASA to my questions about the schedule, cost, performance and other impacts of the Ares I crew launch vehicle (CLV) staging issue that the Ares project office has given a likelihood risk rating of two but an impact rating of five (the highest) across all the consequence categories. My story was published on the 8 February and three days later this 11 February NASA blog post appears (BTW I didn’t write the spiteful commentt) with an image that shows the ullage settling motors in action on the Ares I upper stage assisting with the stagingPersonally when I had seen references to J-2X nozzle contact with the first stage I always thought that referred to the upper stage engine’s nozzle bumping or getting dragged up the interior side of the interstage as the first-stage slowed with its deceleration motors and the upper stage kept on going

Neither did I think that ullage settling motors would apparently be required to assist quite so literally in staging and not just force propellant (ullage being the remaining propellant) to the bottom of the tanks – I’ve sent some questons into NASA today to clarify their role

It was not until I read the project office documents back in late January did I realise that recontact literally meant a first-stage hitting an upper stage that couldn’t accelerate fast enough to avoid the remaining interstage coming up behind it in the milliseconds after the linear charge cuts through that structure

Seeing the NASA image I wonder how powerful those ullage motors are going to have to be?

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

IAC 2008: VIDEO – The virtual assembly of Ares I

Boeing Ares I crew launch vehicle upper stage instrument unit assembly video shown at the 59th International Astronautical Congress in Read more

NASA cancels Ares I electric thrust vector control study

It didn't last that long and this procurement, which Hyperbola has had a peculiar interest in, had the potential to Read more

NASA: Refuelled Altair descent stages to aid sample return

NASA is considering launching Moon rock samples into low lunar orbit using refuelled Altair lunar lander descent stages to overcome Read more

Can an electric TVC help the drift issue?

Back in September I reported about how NASA was considering an electromechanical actuator and provided the schematic above of a Read more

Most “dangerous” EVA ever over, Discovery crew looks forward to shore leave

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

ATK delays Ares first stage rocket motor test by up to 6 months

NASA's first Ares I crew launch vehicle (CLV) five-segment solid rocket motor (SRM) firing test has been delayed by up Read more

Categories

Archives