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(Ars Technica)   NASA is returning to the glory days by resurrecting the F-1 Saturn V "Moon Rocket" engine   (arstechnica.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, NASA, moons, Saturn, rockets, SLS, Space Launch System, lunar landing, Marshall Space Flight Center  
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3426 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Apr 2013 at 11:38 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-15 11:48:30 AM  
Are they going to make big enough marshmallows to go with that as well?
 
2013-04-15 11:54:12 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Are they going to make big enough marshmallows to go with that as well?


I was actually thinking "They're going to need a bigger sound stage" , but yours is better.
 
2013-04-15 11:59:26 AM  
As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.
 
2013-04-15 12:08:36 PM  
Are these the "lots of fire comes out here" parts?
 
2013-04-15 12:09:14 PM  

LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.


If you need a locomotive in low Earth orbit, it's the way to go. Now, why you'd want a locomotive in low Earth orbit...
 
2013-04-15 12:11:18 PM  
If they ever fire one of those again I am SO THERE!
 
2013-04-15 12:11:38 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.

If you need a locomotive in low Earth orbit, it's the way to go. Now, why you'd want a locomotive in low Earth orbit...


For training purposes, obviously.
 
2013-04-15 12:12:24 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.

If you need a locomotive in low Earth orbit, it's the way to go. Now, why you'd want a locomotive in low Earth orbit...


Dude, I would suck a million dicks to live in a locomotive in LEO.
 
2013-04-15 12:12:27 PM  
Is Tang going to make a comeback too?
 
2013-04-15 12:12:40 PM  
An excellent article, but ATK and their solid fuel boosters has a huge political advantage; which is far more important to NASA than efficiency or cost.
 
2013-04-15 12:16:04 PM  

groppet: Is Tang going to make a comeback too?


Yeah, he came back from his toe injury a few games ago -- had an assist against Tampa and a goal against Florida
 
2013-04-15 12:32:23 PM  
I'm no rocket surgeon, so my questions are these:
-what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)

Apologies if the article actually answered this, but my eyes started to glaze over by page 2 as it started getting technical.
 
2013-04-15 12:34:16 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.

If you need a locomotive in low Earth orbit, it's the way to go. Now, why you'd want a locomotive in low Earth orbit...


cdn101.iofferphoto.com
 
2013-04-15 12:35:33 PM  

LavenderWolf: Quantum Apostrophe: LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.

If you need a locomotive in low Earth orbit, it's the way to go. Now, why you'd want a locomotive in low Earth orbit...

Dude, I would suck a million dicks to live in a locomotive in LEO.


Why? I mean I know you'd duck a million dicks, but what's the obsession with things in space?
 
2013-04-15 12:37:38 PM  

The Bestest: -what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)


Per the article, as I understood it, they need an F1 for heavy lifting, my guess for the need is to be to build another space station when the ISS wears out.  As for the advantages, the article seems to indicate cost is the biggest advantage, with modern techniques it should be cheaper to build 1 F1b than a cluster of smaller engines.
 
2013-04-15 12:39:14 PM  

The Bestest: I'm no rocket surgeon, so my questions are these:
-what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)

Apologies if the article actually answered this, but my eyes started to glaze over by page 2 as it started getting technical.


C'mon...  Space-X, Tesla Automotive, Pay-Pal... He's even South-African, which might mean something.

i.cnn.net

Elon Musk is clearly a super-villain in the bud.  We can't allow him to completely dominate our space delivery sector.
 
2013-04-15 12:47:05 PM  
Reading the article, it looks like the main advantage of the F-1 engines over other liquid-fueled engines is in, well, the fuel. The kerosene mix used by the F-1 has a much greater energy density by volume, so tanks for this fuel can be much smaller, which is important when pushing through the denser atmosphere from sea level on up during the first stage of flight.

The main advantage over solid fuel engines is that liquid-fueled engines can be throttled or turned off early. Remember watching Apollo 13, the center engine cut out early, so Mission Control decided they'd burn the other four a little bit longer? Not possible with a solid fuel booster. Not that it would be necessary with solid fuel boosters, but that ability adds flexibility.
 
2013-04-15 12:48:19 PM  

The Bestest: I'm no rocket surgeon, so my questions are these:
-what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)

Apologies if the article actually answered this, but my eyes started to glaze over by page 2 as it started getting technical.


1,522,000 lbf of thrust vs. 147,000 lbf of thrust.  Even strapping 9 Merlins together to create the SpaceX Falcon 9 does not get the Merlin in the same area code as the F-1.

It is really very difficult to come to grips with the truly absurd amount of power in the F-1
 
2013-04-15 12:51:37 PM  
The F-1 is needed because North Korea.
 
2013-04-15 12:52:20 PM  
When I was at NASA, the word was they'd lost the knowledge to assemble those beasts.  Certain techniques and details - such as the formula for an epoxy used on some parts - hadn't been documented.  I had a conversation about it at JSC with the guy that headed up the flight controllers division, so I'd think he'd know.

There's one laying on the ground at JSC.  Pretty impressive.
 
2013-04-15 12:55:35 PM  
From Wikipedia:

 Based on actual measurement the liftoff thrust of was 7.823 million lbf (34.8 MN), which equates to an average F-1 thrust of 1.565 million lbf (6.962 MN)

Mother. Of.  God.
 
2013-04-15 12:59:06 PM  

MisterRonbo: When I was at NASA, the word was they'd lost the knowledge to assemble those beasts.  Certain techniques and details - such as the formula for an epoxy used on some parts - hadn't been documented.  I had a conversation about it at JSC with the guy that headed up the flight controllers division, so I'd think he'd know.


The thrust of this article is that we are now letting young engineers take the museum pieces apart to re-learn how to build them.  Knowledge lost is not necessarily lost forever.
 
2013-04-15 01:00:51 PM  

Tom_Slick: The Bestest: -what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)

Per the article, as I understood it, they need an F1 for heavy lifting, my guess for the need is to be to build another space station when the ISS wears out.  As for the advantages, the article seems to indicate cost is the biggest advantage, with modern techniques it should be cheaper to build 1 F1b than a cluster of smaller engines.


If you supply science with a heavy lifter, they will quickly find usages for it.  From giant probes, to telescopes, to space stations, landers, etc.
 
2013-04-15 01:01:15 PM  

The Bestest: what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again



We want to put a device in orbit to move a moderate sized asteroid within the next 15 years.

http://www.space.com/20612-nasa-asteroid-capture-mission-explained.h tm l
 
2013-04-15 01:03:56 PM  
Is it true they could be heard in Atlanta when taking off from the Cape?
 
2013-04-15 01:06:25 PM  

theurge14: From Wikipedia:

 Based on actual measurement the liftoff thrust of was 7.823 million lbf (34.8 MN), which equates to an average F-1 thrust of 1.565 million lbf (6.962 MN)

Mother. Of.  God.


There's talk of a new derivative called F-1B whcih will be in the neighborhood of 1.8M lb. thrust.
 
2013-04-15 01:08:46 PM  

NightSteel: The kerosene mix used by the F-1 has a much greater energy density by volume,


It's also dirt cheap and easy to handle. Well, it was dirt cheap back then.

Name_Omitted: It is really very difficult to come to grips with the truly absurd amount of power in the F-1


And it still wasn't enough to enable the delirious space fever dreams of the '60s...

Antimatter: If you supply science with a heavy lifter, they will quickly find usages for it. From giant probes, to telescopes, to space stations, landers, etc.


Which we already have today. And technology means we don't need people in orbit, and ground-based telescopes are getting so much better... because processing information is basically free, you don't need to put that telescope in orbit. And if you do, it'll be smaller than you think...
 
2013-04-15 01:09:27 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: LavenderWolf: Quantum Apostrophe: LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.

If you need a locomotive in low Earth orbit, it's the way to go. Now, why you'd want a locomotive in low Earth orbit...

Dude, I would suck a million dicks to live in a locomotive in LEO.

Why? I mean I know you'd duck a million dicks, but what's the obsession with things in space?


A good, short explanation of it is that you are the kind of person who would have asked Magellan why he'd want to sail around the world. Or, more accurately, you'd have asked Thog why he'd want to cross that hill over there, because nothing useful would ever come out of it and we should focus on doing more things with the rocks in this valley.
 
2013-04-15 01:09:45 PM  
Apropos, according to Wikipedia;

On March 28, 2012, a team funded by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, reported that they had located the F-1 rocket engines from an mission using sonar equipment.Bezos stated he planned to raise at least one of the engines, which rest at a depth of 14,000 feet (4,300 m), about 400 miles (640 km) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida; however, the condition of the engines, which have been submerged for more than 40 years, was unknown.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocketdyne_F-1

/Yeah, cool story.
 
2013-04-15 01:13:15 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: ground-based telescopes are getting so much better


Ground based telescopes will never be as good as a space based telescope,  world wide light pollution, the atmosphere, weather etc.
 
2013-04-15 01:17:56 PM  

The Bestest: I'm no rocket surgeon, so my questions are these:
-what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)

Apologies if the article actually answered this, but my eyes started to glaze over by page 2 as it started getting technical.


There's a growing market for serious heavy lift vehicles.  The advantage of a single large engine over 10 or 12 smaller engines is simplicity -- lower parts count reduces the number of things that can go wrong (though clustered engines can provide resilience if they're done right, so that's not a universal advantage) and tends to reduce the price tag.  Even SpaceX has been throwing around concepts for an F-1 scale engine (though it looks like they ditched RP-1 in favor of liquid methane) for their larger designs.
 
2013-04-15 01:30:31 PM  

MisterRonbo: When I was at NASA, the word was they'd lost the knowledge to assemble those beasts.  Certain techniques and details - such as the formula for an epoxy used on some parts - hadn't been documented.  I had a conversation about it at JSC with the guy that headed up the flight controllers division, so I'd think he'd know.

There's one laying on the ground at JSC.  Pretty impressive.


They are using more modern chemistry for some of the parts that didn't hold up that well in storage. They could reverse engineer the old epoxy and seal materials, but they are better off finding a new one that meets the performance specs.
 
2013-04-15 01:33:33 PM  

Tom_Slick: Quantum Apostrophe: ground-based telescopes are getting so much better

Ground based telescopes will never be as good as a space based telescope,  world wide light pollution, the atmosphere, weather etc.


Good at what?  The LBT telescope in Arizona beats Hubble for sharpness of image in some wavelengths, and only cost $120 Million to build.  The European Exreamly Large Telescope is set to have an almost 40 meter mirror, which is a lot bigger than we will get into a space observatory anytime soon (at about half the cost of Hubble)

Science as room for a lot more tools.  Focusing on being in space for the sake of being in space limits what we can do with the limited amount of money we are willing to put into science.  Yes, we need Hubble and Webb, but don't discount what we can do down here on earth.
 
2013-04-15 01:41:22 PM  

The Bestest: I'm no rocket surgeon, so my questions are these:
-what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)


There isn't one specific role for the new engine/booster but just the idea that commercial companies are going to be handling the LEO stuff while NASA can refocus on deep space exploration. Going anywhere far, or building a larger craft in orbit, is a heck of a lot easier with a heavy duty lifter like the Saturn V.

As far as the advantages of the new F-1 derivative over SpaceX, look at the sidebar on the first page that talks about the N-1. While America built the biggest engine possible and then made a rocket with five of them, the Russians had thirty (30!) smaller engines clustered in the N-1 and never could get them all to cooperate well enough to not blow the thing apart.  As another poster said, the Falcon 9 is not in the same league as the SLS. Doesn't make one better or worse, but one is a F-350 while the other is an 18-wheeler.
 
2013-04-15 01:46:01 PM  

Name_Omitted: Tom_Slick: Quantum Apostrophe: ground-based telescopes are getting so much better

Ground based telescopes will never be as good as a space based telescope,  world wide light pollution, the atmosphere, weather etc.

Good at what?  The LBT telescope in Arizona beats Hubble for sharpness of image in some wavelengths, and only cost $120 Million to build.  The European Exreamly Large Telescope is set to have an almost 40 meter mirror, which is a lot bigger than we will get into a space observatory anytime soon (at about half the cost of Hubble)

Science as room for a lot more tools.  Focusing on being in space for the sake of being in space limits what we can do with the limited amount of money we are willing to put into science.  Yes, we need Hubble and Webb, but don't discount what we can do down here on earth.


Remind me how old hubble is again?  and what vehicle was available to launch it?
 
2013-04-15 01:51:48 PM  
did you know they essentially lost all the plans?  A friend in the know was telling me how most of the blue prints were thrown away after older scientists retired.  What they could find was unreadable by the current crop of students due to a heavy reliance on CAD.

Essentially why our space programmed died after the shuttles was due to the lack of high power cheap rockets.
So we had to outsource to the Russians.   N

now we are back in the game baby!
 
2013-04-15 01:58:37 PM  
Name_Omitted: ground-based telescopes are getting so much better

Ground based telescopes will never be as good as a space based telescope,  world wide light pollution, the atmosphere, weather etc.

Good at what?  The LBT telescope in Arizona beats Hubble for sharpness of image in some wavelengths, and only cost $120 Million to build.  The European Exreamly Large Telescope is set to have an almost 40 meter mirror, which is a lot bigger than we will get into a space observatory anytime soon (at about half the cost of Hubble)

Science as room for a lot more tools.  Focusing on being in space for the sake of being in space limits what we can do with the limited amount of money we are willing to put into science.  Yes, we need Hubble and Webb, but don't discount what we can do down here on earth.

 

It's good to do on Earth what can be done on Earth, but there's really no substitute for a platform that doesn't have to deal with atmospheric distortion (even from the top of a mountain) or the Earth's rotation. There's room in science for both applications. And we need both.

Penny4NASA
"Penny4NASA was founded to uphold the importance of Space Exploration and Science. We believe wholeheartedly that our federal funding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at a wimpy 0.48% of the total, does not reflect the hugely important economical, technological and inspirational resource that this agency has been throughout its 50+ year history. With thousands of new science and engineering students becoming inspired continuously, and the multitude of technologies that NASA research has both directly and indirectly made possible, we believe that NASA needs to be funded at a level of at least 1% of the US federal budget. This isn't a partisan argument, and this isn't a fiscal budget argument. What this is, is the American people saying that as a society, we want our tax dollars to reflect the importance of science and space exploration. And 0.48% doesn't cut it. We are calling for NASA budget to be increased to at least 1% of the US annual budget."

www.penny4nasa.org
 
2013-04-15 01:59:26 PM  

bromah: did you know they essentially lost all the plans?  A friend in the know was telling me how most of the blue prints were thrown away after older scientists retired.  What they could find was unreadable by the current crop of students due to a heavy reliance on CAD.

Essentially why our space programmed died after the shuttles was due to the lack of high power cheap rockets.
So we had to outsource to the Russians.   N

now we are back in the game baby!


FTFA:

One urban legend holds that key "plans" or "blueprints" were disposed of long ago through carelessness or bureaucratic oversight. Nothing could be further from the truth; every scrap of documentation produced during Project Apollo, including the design documents for the Saturn V and the F-1 engines, remains on file. If re-creating the F-1 engine were simply a matter of cribbing from some 1960s blueprints, NASA would have already done so

A typical design document for something like the F-1, though, was produced under intense deadline pressure and lacked even the barest forms of computerized design aids. Such a document simply cannot tell the entire story of the hardware. Each F-1 engine was uniquely built by hand, and each has its own undocumented quirks. In addition, the design process used in the 1960s was necessarily iterative: engineers would design a component, fabricate it, test it, and see how it performed. Then they would modify the design, build the new version, and test it again. This would continue until the design was "good enough."


Basically they had the plans, but not all the information was on the plans and each engine was hand built with out computer machining so there were variances.
 
2013-04-15 02:03:17 PM  

bromah: did you know they essentially lost all the plans?  A friend in the know was telling me how most of the blue prints were thrown away after older scientists retired.  What they could find was unreadable by the current crop of students due to a heavy reliance on CAD.

Essentially why our space programmed died after the shuttles was due to the lack of high power cheap rockets.
So we had to outsource to the Russians.   N

now we are back in the game baby!


The article goes over that point too. They have the blueprints/all the information/engineering data from the apollo program, the main point is that the blue prints don't have enough information to give you a full understanding. So they took an F-1 that we still had and took it apart to understand better how it worked.
 
2013-04-15 02:06:16 PM  

bromah: did you know they essentially lost all the plans? A friend in the know was telling me how most of the blue prints were thrown away after older scientists retired. What they could find was unreadable by the current crop of students due to a heavy reliance on CAD.


The article addressed this. None of the (important, at least) blueprints and deigns were thrown out. And they're perfectly readable. The problem is, that's all they're good for - building another one. The plans don't say why certain decisions where made, or how the thing actually *works* (just that it does), or what the manufacturing process was (turns out, a heck of a lot of manual welding and customized parts), or which pieces can be replaced or simplified with more modern stuff, or what parts of the design were workarounds for specific problems encountered during the design-build-test-reiterate process. And while they could try to build a brand new one, and learn that way, it's more efficient (and accurate) to take apart an existing one in good condition and diagram everything that way.
 
2013-04-15 02:17:19 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: And it still wasn't enough to enable the delirious space fever dreams of the '60s...


Nothing is sadder than a religious convert endlessly bashing his old religion because it didn't live up to his unreasonable expectations.
 
2013-04-15 02:24:15 PM  

The Bestest: I'm no rocket surgeon, so my questions are these:
-what would we need the F-1 (or equivalent) for again and
-what advantages would it give over, say SpaceX's approach (clustering smaller engines)

Apologies if the article actually answered this, but my eyes started to glaze over by page 2 as it started getting technical.


The Soviet N1 rocket used 30 NK-15 in its first stage. All four completed N1's failed to launch due to failure to get enough engines to fire at the same time.
 
2013-04-15 02:30:57 PM  

Ed Grubermann: Quantum Apostrophe: And it still wasn't enough to enable the delirious space fever dreams of the '60s...

Nothing is sadder than a religious convert endlessly bashing his old religion because it didn't live up to his unreasonable expectations.


Nothing is sadder than someone pointing out the unreasonable expectations in someone else while not noticing his own. How's that Mars condo working out for ya?
 
2013-04-15 02:42:25 PM  
I'm an electrical engineer and that article makes me want to be a rocket engineer.

DAMNIT!
 
2013-04-15 02:44:37 PM  
wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com
 
2013-04-15 03:04:24 PM  

LavenderWolf: As a heavy lift engine, you will find few better. And you'd probably have to make those few yourself, first.


Don't get me wrong: I <3 the F-1, but it did have a lower isp than the shuttles solid boosters & solids suck for efficency. I don't have time to read the whole article yet; are they planning on making a better one? Because that would be awsome!!

Stay tuned; the NK-33 (AJ-26, whatevs...) from the failed Russian moon shot get a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday on Orbital's Antares launch. I'd love to see those things not blow the hell up for a change (but if they do, that would be cool too...just not for Oribital).
 
2013-04-15 03:05:23 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Ed Grubermann: Quantum Apostrophe: And it still wasn't enough to enable the delirious space fever dreams of the '60s...

Nothing is sadder than a religious convert endlessly bashing his old religion because it didn't live up to his unreasonable expectations.

Nothing is sadder than someone pointing out the unreasonable expectations in someone else while not noticing his own. How's that Mars condo working out for ya?


Show me on the doll where NASA touched you.

Seriously, if it's a space science thread you can be counted upon to appear, set up your soapbox and scream anti-space luddism until someone bites.  (Yes, I know, in this case me.)  Now you seem like an educated individual, and not the usual brand of modern Know-Nothings that seem to infest the politics tab.  What in the world possessed you to take an anti-science stance like that?  You are just about the only person I've ever encountered to not only dislike the advancement of knowledge acquired from the space program (hint: you're typing at us from a space spinoff technology), but to take it to religious zealot levels.

It's human nature to explore, and to expand behind that exploration.  We exist because at some point in our history someone wanted to know what was over the horizon.  Biology demands that species grow or perish.  Contraction implies eventual collapse.  (see: Jared Diamond).  So I'm honestly curious where the bone-deep hatred came from.
 
2013-04-15 03:17:20 PM  

bromah: did you know they essentially lost all the plans?  A friend in the know was telling me how most of the blue prints were thrown away after older scientists retired.  What they could find was unreadable by the current crop of students due to a heavy reliance on CAD.


You know how I know you read less of the article than I did? Also, I'm a drafter in my mid 40s who uses CAD every day. I learned my trade on a drafting board, so pretty much "nope".
 
2013-04-15 03:36:14 PM  

SewerSquirrels: bromah: did you know they essentially lost all the plans?  A friend in the know was telling me how most of the blue prints were thrown away after older scientists retired.  What they could find was unreadable by the current crop of students due to a heavy reliance on CAD.

You know how I know you read less of the article than I did? Also, I'm a drafter in my mid 40s who uses CAD every day. I learned my trade on a drafting board, so pretty much "nope".



hell, *I* learned drafting for reals just a couple years ago, and we were taught on paper first.  and not 'this is so you understand the drawings', but actual legit nuts and bolts drafting.

no CAD drafter worth their salt is going to look at a blueprint and go 'i dunno'. they're taught to read that stuff so they can convert drawings to models in CAD.

/fun fact: over 90% of items produced start as drawings on paper and are THEN converted to CAD by hand.
 
2013-04-15 03:40:16 PM  

cretinbob: [wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com image 175x175]


KSP thread please?
 
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