On the shoulders of apollo page 4 alternate history discussion gas density conversion

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"We thought about that. A low cost Saturn SIVB combined with clusters of Titan 7-segment, 1,400,000 l b thrust solid rocket motors (SRM) could serve as an interim launch vehicle. Payload such a vehicle could deliver into a 100 nm 28 degree easterly orbit was calculated for several launch configurations made up of four to eight SRM as the first stage, either one or two SRM as the second stage, and the SIVB as the third stage.

The analysis took into account the aerodynamic load limitations of the SIVB but did not fully consider other aerodynamic effects that might result from the different configurations. Results indicated payloads ranging from 88,000 lb for a four SRM first stage and one SRM second stage to 121,000 lb for six and two.

Now there’s one hell of a better engine that was partially tested a while back. It is called the XLR-129, and was to power ISINGLASS, once the SR-71 / A-12 ultra fast successor. Pratt&Whitney tried to sold it as the space shuttle main engine, but they were told thrust was too low.

"We know that. ARES would drop costs by recovering the solids while the other part of the system – the XLR-129 S-IVB – would have superb performance. It would make for an impressive Earth-Moon tug. Cost could be as low as 100$ a pound to orbit, a number targeted by the long cancelled space shuttle. Unlike the shuttle that low cost doesn’t come from reusability but from the other way around, that is, cheap and dirty subsystems. Solids don’t cost much; neither the J-2 nor the S-IVB structure are really expensive. The more S-IVB and solids we build, the lower the cost. And we have all that Titan and Saturn experience to build from. There might be two variants, one with the J-2 for Earth orbit duties such as hauling loads of propellants; and at a later date the XLR-129 could enhance performance on the Earth-Moon trajectory."

"We thought about that. A low cost Saturn SIVB combined with clusters of Titan 7-segment, 1,400,000 l b thrust solid rocket motors (SRM) could serve as an interim launch vehicle. Payload such a vehicle could deliver into a 100 nm 28 degree easterly orbit was calculated for several launch configurations made up of four to eight SRM as the first stage, either one or two SRM as the second stage, and the SIVB as the third stage.

The analysis took into account the aerodynamic load limitations of the SIVB but did not fully consider other aerodynamic effects that might result from the different configurations. Results indicated payloads ranging from 88,000 lb for a four SRM first stage and one SRM second stage to 121,000 lb for six and two.

Now there’s one hell of a better engine that was partially tested a while back. It is called the XLR-129, and was to power ISINGLASS, once the SR-71 / A-12 ultra fast successor. Pratt&Whitney tried to sold it as the space shuttle main engine, but they were told thrust was too low.

"We know that. ARES would drop costs by recovering the solids while the other part of the system – the XLR-129 S-IVB – would have superb performance. It would make for an impressive Earth-Moon tug. Cost could be as low as 100$ a pound to orbit, a number targeted by the long cancelled space shuttle. Unlike the shuttle that low cost doesn’t come from reusability but from the other way around, that is, cheap and dirty subsystems. Solids don’t cost much; neither the J-2 nor the S-IVB structure are really expensive. The more S-IVB and solids we build, the lower the cost. And we have all that Titan and Saturn experience to build from. There might be two variants, one with the J-2 for Earth orbit duties such as hauling loads of propellants; and at a later date the XLR-129 could enhance performance on the Earth-Moon trajectory."

The orbit was slowly decreased to a 35 km circular polar orbit before maneuvers in mid-October led to a flyby of Eros within 5.3 km of the surface. Starting on January 24 we began a series of close passes (5 to 6 km) to the surface and on January 28 passed 2 to 3 km from the asteroid.

This event may also be responsible for the 40 percent of the Erotian surface that is devoid of craters smaller than 0.5 kilometers across. A preliminary analysis of crater densities over the surface indicates that the areas with lower crater density are within 9 kilometers of the impact point. Some of the lower density areas were found on the opposite side of the asteroid but still within 9 kilometers.

It is theorized that seismic shockwaves propagated through the asteroid, shaking smaller craters into rubble. Since Eros is irregularly shaped, parts of the surface antipodal to the point of impact can be within 9 kilometres of the impact point (measured in a straight line through the asteroid) even though some intervening parts of the surface are more than 9 kilometres away in straight-line distance. A suitable analogy would be the distance from the top centre of a bun to the bottom centre as compared to the distance from the top centre to a point on the bun’s circumference: top-to-bottom is a longer distance than top-to-periphery when measured along the surface but shorter than it in direct straight-line terms.

Not too far above my head is our big Mission Module of Skylab, eeerh, I mean, ISS heritage. One could ask why did we used Moon machines, that is, a complete CSM and Lunar Module, to land on Eros surface since gravity is ridiculous when compared with the Big Moon. And the fact is, we didn’t spent a lot of propellant, only a tiny amount of our Service Module, Descent and Ascent stages.

But that enormous amount of delta-v won’t be wasted. We will ascent, or more exactly hop, to our Mission Module; once there we will expend the Lunar Module stage propellants like some huge rocket booster. It will drastically cut into our return time to Earth. Same goes for our Apollo ship; we will burn the Service Module to the last drop."

Gene Sheomaker sought the remote Earth in Eros sky, and ultimately found it. It was nothing more than a pale blue dot. How hard it had been for him to accomplish the dream of a lifetime, that is, to fly to an asteroid as an astrogeologist with that fucking Addison disease. He had had first to proof he could manage it during a long duration flight aboard Skylab B. And he had done it, clearing his path toward Eros. [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif] [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]