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  [Discuss] ATK/Astrium Liberty Launch Vehicle

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] ATK/Astrium Liberty Launch Vehicle
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-08-2011 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topic CCDev: ATK/Astrium Liberty Launch Vehicle focused on status updates, reader's feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss the Liberty launch vehicle that combines ATK's five-segment solid rocket first stage with Astrium's liquid-fueled Ariane V-based second stage.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-08-2011 12:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The New York Times reports that Liberty would be much cheaper than the Ares I, because the unfinished NASA-designed upper stage would be replaced with the first stage of the Ariane 5.
The Liberty could also solve other issues. Launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it would generate about 300 jobs and make use of facilities that might otherwise sit idle after the space shuttles are retired this year. The Atlas V launches from the neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force station.

ATK is seeking part of $200 million that NASA will distribute next month for commercial crew efforts. The Liberty’s first test launching could take place in 2013, and it could be ready to carry astronauts two years later.

ATK and Astrium also hope the rocket can compete for future contracts for space station cargo. With an eventual four to six launchings a year, the Liberty could also help reduce the cost of the heavy-lift rocket that NASA is to develop for deep-space missions. The current design of the heavy-lift calls for the same solid rocket motors as the Liberty.

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 02-08-2011 01:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A partnership between the US and Europe, that's an idea!

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-08-2011 04:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent news. I like that the companies involved are thinking outside the box. How would the second stage arrive at KSC?

Let's fly this baby!!

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-08-2011 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This seems like a great idea! Go ATK and EADS!

issman1
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Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 02-08-2011 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
A partnership between the US and Europe
If Europe does not wish to develop its own manned spacecraft, or be forever reliant on Russia for Soyuz rides to the ISS, then teaming up with an American company makes perfect sense.

alanh_7
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Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 05-10-2012 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to take anything away from the ATK project. I hope they are able to get a man rated vehicle up and flying by 2015. It just seems to me of late there is a 'flavour of the week' proposal for commercial spaceflight.

I guess that is the concerns Congress has and why they want NASA to focus its resources on one commercial program.

I do not really agree with putting all your eggs in one basket as Congress would have, but I also see the concern Congress has the all these companies going after NASA cash (I know Liberty is not funded by public money) it makes me wonder if any of them will ever fly.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-05-2012 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on NASA's 15-foot diameter Multi-Purpose Logistic Module design, the LLM will include a common berthing mechanism and will be capable of transporting up to 5,100 pounds of pressurized cargo. With that capability, the LLM could be used to transport four full-size science racks to the International Space Station — along with a team of scientists to perform the associated science.
This is brilliant. I hope it flies.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2012 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ATK vice president and former astronaut Kent Rominger will answer questions about the Liberty Launch System posed to him on Twitter beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT (1630 GMT) today (July 13).

Send your questions to @Astro_Rommel or @LibertyLaunch and use the hashtag #AskRommel.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2012 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some updates via the Twitter chat with Kent Rominger:
  • What is the construction status of actual Liberty hardware?

    We have first stage hardware ready to be casted, second stage structural testing underway, capsule composite tested now at MSFC.

  • What is the next big milestone or test for the Liberty Launch System?

    The next big milestones are two major test on second stage structural testing and Vulcain 2 [engine] air start.

  • Based on an interview with Spaceflight Observer, you hinted that you have Liberty astronauts already. Is this true?

    Yes we have chosen our Liberty test flight commander and will announce that at a later date.

  • When do you expect we may realistically see the first Liberty launch?

    Liberty Launch test flights begin in 2014 and I will fly our test crew in Nov. 2015.

  • Is the first stage recoverable like the shuttle?

    At my initial launch rate of the Liberty Launch system my first stage will not be recovered for economic reasons.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 07-17-2012 04:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is this first segment going to utilize shuttle SRB casings or new ones? It seems kind of weird to not recover the first stage as one would figure the engineering data that could be gleemed off of a recovered first stage would be very important.

Fra Mauro
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Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 07-18-2012 06:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This company is my personal favorite, the underdog.

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