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  PWR and Dynetics propose F-1 engines for SLS

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Author Topic:   PWR and Dynetics propose F-1 engines for SLS
Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-20-2012 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation Week reports that among the kerosene-fueled rocket engines NASA is considering as a powerplant for its planned heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) is the venerable F-1 engine that took 12 men to the Moon. [via Kevin McGinnis]
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which owns rights to the massive engines built by its predecessor Rocketdyne, proposed it as an option to companies that have submitted risk reduction proposals to the U.S. space agency for a strap-on SLS booster.

The advanced booster would crank the lift capacity of the deep-space SLS up to at least 130 metric tons, from the targeted 70 metric tons after its first scheduled flights in 2017 and 2021. It's early days yet, to say the least, but the engine-maker had interest in the big old engine from some of the launch vehicle companies that submitted proposals, so it's on the table for the time being...

NASA will decide this summer what design options for the advanced booster that it wants to pursue, and the F-1 has some advantages. It's still the most powerful rocket engine ever built, and Rocketdyne engineers in the 1960s solved issues like combustion stability that would cost a fortune to recreate today.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-20-2012 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dynetics press release
Dynetics and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Announce Exclusive Partnership to Compete for NASA SLS Booster Contract

Dynetics and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) announced here today (April 18) at the National Space Symposium a long-term partnership to compete for the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) procurement. Under this agreement, Dynetics and PWR are exclusive partners with respect to use of the proven Saturn V F-1 rocket engine technology.

"The SLS booster procurement requires a team that can balance affordability, innovation and experience throughout the life cycle - from development to production and operations," said Steve Cook, Dynetics director of space technologies. "Dynetics and PWR have formed such a team, offering a wide-ranging set of risk reduction activities and demonstrations that enable a superior booster solution."

Leading the SLS team as project manager is Kimberly Doering, a 28-year aerospace veteran with 13 years' experience at NASA, including serving as deputy program manager of the Space Shuttle program. Doering most recently served as vice president of United Space Alliance's corporate business development and strategic planning, and vice president of Huntsville operations.

Ron Ramos, PWR's vice president for Exploration and Missile Defense, explained the proven technology of the team. He said, "We offer a domestic booster design that takes advantage of the - more - flight-proven Apollo-Saturn F-1, still the most powerful U.S. liquid rocket engine ever flown. PWR is the only company to have returned a Saturn-era engine, the J-2X, to production. We bring unique lessons to the Advanced Booster cost and performance trades."

The F-1 is ideally suited to the Advanced Booster, providing an ideal combination of high thrust-to-weight and reliability in a low-cost package, according to Cook and Ramos. "The high-cost non-recurring engineering typical of engine development was accomplished during the Apollo-Saturn program, and significant risks (e.g., turbopump design and combustion stability) were eliminated, so our team can focus on booster affordability rather than technical feasibility," Cook said.

Dynetics has demonstrated an aggressive approach to low-cost innovation on space programs, such as Paul Allen's Stratolaunch Systems and the FASTSAT microsatellite, and brings those lean system management methodologies to the proposed program. PWR, the original F-1 designer and producer, is the only U.S. company to develop and manufacture cryogenic engines over 200,000 lbf thrust. They bring successes from developing the RS-68 commercially, and their approach to engine manufacturing enables affordability at low production rates.

David King, Dynetics executive vice president, said, "Our integrated team offers an ideal mix of proven leadership; successful related experience; and innovative, low-cost, commercial management practices to enable an affordable and effective engineering demonstration and risk-reduction effort."

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 04-20-2012 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and the F-1 has some advantages. It's still the most powerful rocket engine ever built
I'd love to see the F-1 resurrected, however the article is a tad inaccurate - the RD-170 had (has) higher rated thrust (Rocketdyne also produces a derivative of that engine, the 180 under license from the Russians).

Blackarrow
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posted 04-21-2012 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Surely that isn't comparing like with like. The F-1 had a single combustion chamber and a single nozzle. It was one engine, with (from memory) about 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The RD-170 and its derivatives had (have) multiple combustion chambers and multiple nozzles.

The RD-170 had four of each. That's four engines in every way that counts. The derivative that powers the Atlas V has two combustion chambers and two nozzles. To all intents and purposes it has two engines, not one.

Try replacing the F-1 with the RD-170 on the Saturn V. Five RD-170s equals 20 rocket nozzles. I don't think so...

SpaceAholic
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posted 04-21-2012 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 170 has four combustion chambers but they are fed from a single turbo-pump (same as the F-1)... even though of unconventional design (from traditional single chambered engines) its still appropriate to make the comparison. In a pressure fed engine, the turbopump is largely responsible for rated thrust.

Blackarrow
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posted 05-14-2012 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's not the point. It's the number of nozzles that determines whether a particular engine fits a particular rocket. The RD170 could not have powered the Saturn V S-1C because there would have been too many nozzles to fit.

SpaceAholic
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posted 05-14-2012 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Comparison was being made in rated performance, not application (however your premise regarding engine selection is also incorrect).

quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
Try replacing the F-1 with the RD-170 on the Saturn V. Five RD-170s equals 20 rocket nozzles.

Geometrically they would fit (the mean diameter of the F-1 and RD-170 is about the same - 146 inches).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2012 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation Week reports that the powerful F-1 rocket engine developed in the 1960s to launch the first men to the Moon could be reprised in the 2020s as the powerplant for strap-on boosters that NASA hopes to use in heavy-lift human missions to Mars.
Dynetics scored big in a $200 million NASA effort to reduce the risk on advanced boosters for the planned Space Launch System (SLS) that Congress ordered as a government-owned deep-space alternative to the commercial vehicles the agency wants to use for transport to the International Space Station. Last week NASA selected the company to negotiate for three of six 30-month study contracts designed to reduce risk on the twin boosters that will be needed to raise the SLS capability from an initial 70 metric tons to the 130 metric tons the agency believes will be needed for human missions beyond low Earth orbit.

"With an F-1-based approach, we get significant performance enhancement beyond the 130 [tons], on the order of 20 metric tons," Steve Cook, Dynetics' director of space technologies and NASA's former Ares program manager, tells Aviation Week's Jefferson Morris.

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

posted 04-10-2013 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation Week reports that Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is working toward a full-scale turbomachinery test next year of the F-1B kerosene fueled rocket engine it is developing with Dynetics as a potential power plant for the advanced side-mounted boosters NASA will need to meet the 130-metric-ton congressional requirement for its planned Space Launch System.
The company displayed a vintage F-1 gas generator and turbomachinery unit at the National Space Symposium here. The flight hardware, left over from the Saturn V program, dwarfed other full-scale rocket engines the company had on display in its exhibition-hall booth. The company has two more F-1A engines that it is using for its NASA work.

"We've torn them down and inspected them to see how they look," said Main combustion chamber development lead Tom Martin. "We're refurbishing those. We're taking some of the components and using modern processes to replicate that hardware."

PWR is using the vintage gas-generator cycle to get the SLS off the pad, relying on its 1.8 million-lb. thrust capability to provide the needed boost even without the efficiency of a staged-combustion engine that is also in the running under NASA's advanced booster program.

...PWR took over testing of a heritage F-1A gas generator earlier this year from NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center, and has subsequently refurbished the engine components using the company-developed improved manufacturing techniques. "We will take the gas generator that we and Marshall tested, and do a power pack test at [NASA] Stennis. It will be the largest flow test," said Martin. The exercise will wrap up the 30-month program and is scheduled for "late 2014," he said.

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