Update on TLE and the Tsiolkovsky Group – The Delta X Reusable Launch Vehicle – RLVby Tommy on 26/09/2012
Ok, you heard it here first. After extensive discussions with the group and considering many amazing new recent discoveries and developments we’ve decided on three (3) meter diameter two stage to orbit (TSTO) reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) with XCOR hydrogen engines when and if they are developed. Pending those developments we will be pursuing an independent engine development program for a 30,000 lb class throttleable regenerative cryogenic engine, unless SpaceX comes up with a really powerful engine of this class – then we’re good.
Hydrogen. Oh yes hydrogen. If we’re going to talk the talk we need to walk the walk. It will have to be
solar and wind powered and electrocatalytically produced shipped in and stored on site, and the tank will have to be ground insulated with an insulation retraction system for launching. We think we can use cameras in the tanks to examine the fuel sloshing, boiloff and cavitation behaviors and issues in situ. That’s one of the reasons we’ve decided to go with TSTO as well, for a wider diameter for manned capsule operations, and a cleaner vehicle stack for drag loads and heating. The capsule will of course be integrated with the upper stage and the engine for extended station operations as a hotel room, because we want to develop and colonize space. So obviously cryogenic boiloff management is going to be the big issue. This should be fun.
Clearly we’re going to start with the upper stage and capsule development first, taking that directly through high fidelity hovering and landing flight operations, but well before that we’ll be validating our closed loop thrust vector control and guidance and navigation and control (GNC) software techniques using electric and pneumatic toys in the office, before we even go out into the backyard. That should keep us busy for a couple of years at least. Then we could move on to
Port Washington, the Cape, Kennedy Space Center, the Bahamas, full surface operations.
Update : I reserve the right to change my mind … again! With engines and tankage this efficient I could easily start designing multi-fuel fully reusable single stage to orbit launch vehicles now.
Update 2 : Orbitec! And of course,
Pratt & Whitney Aerojet.