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Launching the Crew

Jonathan Drake

I have tried to stick to the reference mission plan as much as I could, which is why I listed the maximum payload as the maximum that could be delivered to the International Space Station (the point of assembly in the reference mission). The first section details the technical specifications of these vehicles, while the second section deals with two scenarios which appear to be the most efficient. You are free to add more at your leisure.

When I wrote most of this I thought that delivering the Artemis Project Reference Mission stack to the International Space Station was feasible; however, its orbit was changed when the Russians became involved in the project. Thus, the most probable destination would be LEO at 29.5°, and 100x100 NMi as a reference altitude (whenever this appears in the text, it will be refered to as option 2.

These scenarios try to keep (a) the number of launches to a minimum; (b) the money spent to a minimum; (c) the amount of on-orbit assembly to a minimum; and (d) crew safety to a maximum. Also, when it states maximum payload to the International Space Station, they are all approximations, because I was only in possession of a graph containing the data for orbits of 100 x 100 and 400 x 100, not the ISSA's 300 x 300 orbit. These facts can still be assumed to be reasonably accurate, providing that my original source was. I did the math. That said, here begins part 1.





C.I.S. Proton:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): Between 24,000 lbs and 25,000 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~ 12,000 lbs

Launch Sites: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, C.I.S (46.12°E 63.98°W)

Price: $35-$70m Success: 87.7%

Pros: Can lift triple-spacehab, each fully loaded to ISSA in one launch.

Cons: Too thin (3.5 meters across) to accommodate a spacehab module (4.5 meters across)
Can't lift too much to option 2.

C.I.S. Soyuz:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): Between 5,900 lbs and 6,000 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): Not Available.

Launch Sites: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, C.I.S (46.12°E 63.98°W)

Price: $15m Success: 93.1%

Pros: Has been used on about 1100 missions with a 93.1% success rate.

Cons: Far too weak to launch even 2 spacehabs at once to either altitude, and the number of required launches to get everything up there would be too expensive. Launch site supports only high-inclination orbits.

C.I.S. Zenit:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~ 22,000 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): Not Available

Price: $65m Success: 88.0%

Launch Sites: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, C.I.S (46.12°E 63.98°W)

Pros: Can launch 3 fully loaded spacehabs to ISSA.

Cons: Adding an ascent and/or descent stage would be pushing it.

E.S.A. Ariane 40:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~8,750 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~10,785 lbs

Price: Unavailable; Success:100% (as of 1994)

Launch sites: ELA-2, Kourou, French Guiana (52.3°N 52.78°W.)

Pros: Excellent track record for launching commercial payloads in the past.

Cons: Much too weak even for option 2 (see Soyuz above)

E.S.A. Ariane 44P:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~13,550 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~16,522 lbs

Price: Not sure, possibly $95m Success:100% (as of 1994)

Launch sites: ELA-2, Kourou, French Guiana (52.3° N 52.78° W.)

Pros: Excellent track record for launching commercial payloads in the past.

Cons: Weak.

E.S.A. Ariane 44L:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~17,690 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~21,095 lbs

Price: $115m Success:93.7%

Launch sites: ELA-2, Kourou, French Guiana (52.3° N 52.78° W.)

Pros: Excellent track record for launching commercial payloads in the past.

Cons: Too weak to launch anything but 3 spacehabs (minus asc/desc, LTV)

E.S.A. Ariane 5:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~35,500 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~40,895 lbs

Price: $105m (?) Success rate: 0% as of 1996.

Launch sites: ELA-2, Kourou, French Guiana (52.3° N 52.78° W.)

Pros: Could lift the entire Artemis stack (minus some fuel) to the space station in one launch. This includes: HAB [3 spacehabs] airlock, LTV [cm/sm] Asc, Desc.

Cons: Unacceptable reliability statistics; price is questionable.

C.I.S. Energia:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~180,500 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): Not Available.

Price: $110m ???- I guess this assumes that the vehicle was operational.

Success: 100.0% (2 of 2 flights)

Launch sites: Baiknour Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, C.I.S (46.12° E 63.98° W)

Pros: Can lift truly MASSIVE payloads.

Cons: Only 2/3 of one left,- for sale, out of production.

Titan IV w/SRM:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): 19,500 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~38,116 lbs

Price: $315-360m Success: 90.9% (1994)

Launch Sites: CCAFS launch site at: 28.56° N/80.58°W; VAFB launch site SLC-4E at: 34.63° N/120.61° W

Pros: Doesn't lift as much as Ariane 5, from in the US.

Cons: Not commercially available as of 1996.

Titan IV w/SRMU:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~27,550 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~47,883 lbs

Price: Unknown Success; Unknown as of 1994, First flight 1996.

Launch Sites: CCAFS launch site at: 28.56° N/80.58°W; VAFB launch site SLC-4E at 34.63° N/120.61° W

Pros: Lifts slightly less payload to ISS than Ariane 5 (i.e., it can carry less fuel in the LTV tanks)
Lifts slightly more to option 2, but it will still require 3 launches, and it is probably really expensive.

Cons: Not commercially available as of 1996.

Delta II 7920/25:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~9,900 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): ~11,671 lbs

Price: Unknown Success: 100.0% (as of 1994)

Launch Sites: CCAFS LC-17A/B at 28.44° N 80.56° W. Can also launch from VAFB SLC-2W at 34.799° N 120.63° W.

STS w/RSRM:

Max Payload Weight to ISSA (300x300 NMi 51.6°): ~27,200 lbs

Max Payload Weight to LEO (100x100, 29.5°): Not Available.

Price: $350-$400 M Success:98.4%

Launch Sites: KSC - Complex 39A&B At 28.61° N 80.60° W.

Pros: Manned, can carry Artemis stack, w/o some fuel.

Cons: Cost, availability of launcher.

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