# A TRF Challange

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##### Well-Known Member
First let me set the record straight...I am perfectly sober as I write this.
Now, last night at about 4:30 in the morning, I woke from a dream that was so real, I feel I have to share it. Since I hate writing long and lengthy threads, here it is in a nut shell.

The dream I had in involved all of us in TRF taking on a project of sending a video transmitter to the moon. The idea of the project came from a TRF memeber (I'll save that name for a later date!! ) who was essentially **ssed off at the fact that most of the hardware coming out of NASA these days seemed to be less than reliable. Remember here, I am only telling you the story of a dream...not stating an opinon. Anyway, by the time the dream was over, memebers of TRF had set up different project managers, who in turn were to come ot an agreement as to what our goals should be for the project.

I wonder...could we, the members of TRF, take on the ultimate in rocketry projects? Food for thought.

#### daveyfire

##### Piled Higher and Deeper
I'll help with the motors! A really big hybrid oughta do us right in the booster, with a couple solid strapons...

#### cls

##### Well-Known Member
rough calculations show an S motor will put a minimum weight, minimum diameter rocket in to orbit. scale up as needed to match the payload.

I am sure my son would volunteer his new Lego MER rover!!

#### Milo

##### TRF BoD Member
hmmmm.... is there any difference between starting a story "I was perfectly sober when I wrote this" and "This is a true story honest"?

To the moon....

#### rocwizard

##### Well-Known Member
An, S motor, nah. We gotta try something that has never been done in amateur rocketry! A 'T' motor!

Allright everyone, break out the wallets...

#### daveyfire

##### Piled Higher and Deeper
Hmmm... T... that's 1,310,720 newton-seconds. Assuming an Isp of 200 and a basic 75/5 aluminum HTPB propellant, that would cost... $9840, at low quantity prices. I imagine with discounts we could get it down to around$8000 Not to mention the cost of the case, liner, nozzle, bulkhead, o-rings, casting tubes, and the labor to make it!

Sounds like fun

#### nomopbo

##### Well-Known Member
That's Dirt cheap compared to the "Fly Rockets.com" commercial!

#### BlueNinja

##### Well-Known Member
Uh... You guys start without me im broke lol... With casing and all that good stuff what would it be... 20k?

#### jflis

##### Well-Known Member
oh man, us *cluster-heads* are going to have a ball with *this*...

Actually, this *does* make for an interesting study. Understand, getting to orbit is the easy part.

Lifting out of Earths gravity well is tougher, but hitting a small (relatively speaking), moving target, about 240,000 miles away.... well...... When was the last time you had to chase a rocket cuz it didn't land where you wanted it to???

I'll tell you this... As interesting as this discussion could (and probably WILL) be, I actually think I have a *real* (potential) solution....

...This WHOLE space initiative program is in need of a LOT of things and one of them is public acceptance. As a result, *good* PR would be of great value. Why not approach the powers-that-be with the proposal that an organization such as TRF, in conjunction with (for example) educators, schools, whatever, *combine* our tallents/efforts and have such a *civilian* payload included in whatever goes to the moon under the new initiative?

The shuttle was full of such payloads over the years and has usually (if well thought out) been well received by NASA.

just my ramblings....
jim

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Milo
hmmmm.... is there any difference between starting a story "I was perfectly sober when I wrote this" and "This is a true story honest"?

To the moon....
I swear on my mothers bible I was sober....

##### Well-Known Member
I'll be honest. I wouldn't know where to start. But I'm in. If it's broken down into smaller projects, it would at the very least be neat to see the feasibility.

Where do you start?

#### Rocketmaniac

##### Well-Known Member
Where do you start?

We might need to start with some rocksim work........ Multi-stage rocket, with strap-on boosters...........

#### Silverleaf

##### Well-Known Member

Procedural design, based on best materials = lightest strongest rocket.

A 2 to 3 stage design would be best (IMHO), BUT you are dealing with high altiude winds, and the closer you get to the 60 mile barrier, the less dynamic force will be placed on the engine, and more on the body. Hence, you'll need backup plans with the ideal scenario being two or three sealed barometric chambers tested for deep space.

You'll need a secondary safety tether to absorb any extra shock if the project fails and re-enters the atmosphere for chute recovery.

Look at electronics, with an eye towards something similar to the newest G-Wiz computer and even though its not been released yet, your going to need something that advanced to handle the flight - though even that will fall far short of a plausible solution for on-board computer control.

A tracking device, with an eye towards a launch out west - with possibly the Military doing tracking cooperatively for/with you.
On a secondary thought, you will need to have a few stations triangulate the flight and path, simply because I don't think a body as light as this rocket - even if it is 100 pounds etc. will be able to simply exit the atmosphere, and go deep.

The primary/secondary tracking will be needed to communicate with the rocket's computer, to set the proper window of flight towards the moon. GPS MIGHT work, but I doubt that a civilian system can track something moving that fast for that long.

Your almost assuredly going to need a Gimballed system for the engines, simply because that is one sure ( sure being a higher probability ) way to force the rocket to stay vertical till orbit is achieved and then keep it on course.

Beyond that, you'll need an outer shell thats heat resistant, an a thin layer (.050 ) of aluminum or similar metal to protect the rocket from micro meteors and space dust/particles.

On a simpler note..(simple being me thinking too much ), have the rocket taken up to the Russian station, space walk it out, then once guidance is locked on and the astronaut is safely back inside, launch it.

#### Justy

##### Well-Known Member
Is it really all that hard to move stuff from LEO out to, well, out there? I was always told that the most expensive 100km in the solar system are the ones from ground to orbit.

...

Hybrids could be good for getting up to LEO, but once you're up there... orbital adjustments and landing on the Moon would require throttlable, restartable motors. Maybe we should concentrate on a satellite first. Set a target altitude of 300km or so, then if we mess up on the orbit a bit, there's a big margin for error (maybe we screw up and it perigee's at 150km... at least it stays above most of the atmosphere, and stays up there)

...

OTRAG was a German project to make a cheap launch vehicle; their rockets would have been made up of \$8,000 twin-tank modules made of 12" pipe, fueled by nitric acid and kerosene. Cluster and stage a whole pile of these modules, and you're going to space. 81 half-size modules would get a minimum payload to LEO. 625 of them in 4 or 5 stages would lift 5 tons. There was a plan for a 10,000 module cluster (and it was UGLY!)

One site lists that a "Delta Class" OTRAG would use "a bundle of 60 modules, including a 6-module third stage nestled in an 18-module second stage, nested, in turn, in a 36-module first stage shell." Parallel staged, I guess.

But what if we built something similar? Cluster a whole pile of hybrids, and DON'T have an airframe around it. The cluster IS the airframe. Modules -- in our case, combustion chambers & N2O tanks -- just fall off when they're spent.

...

I tried designing a CubeSat once. That's a satellite 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (just shy of 4" cubed) , weighing no more than 1kg (2.2 lbs), launched as a hitchiker payload. I wanted it to carry a simple ham radio repeater. I came across one problem: electrical power. Even covering the machine in solar panels, only a few of them will be pointing at the sun at any given time. And not only do you need enough solar power to run the satellite's payloads, but you need even more power to charge batteries so it'll work, or at least sleep and stay alive, in the shade. The hypothetical TRFSat would need even more power; radio transciever, computer, camera. TRF-Lunar would need even MORE power, because it has to shout a long way... and it'll need enough batteries to sleep for more than two weeks.

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I voulenteer to set up a downlink station in Vancouver, BC, Canada (120 W, 49 N).

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How about a series of missions? LEO, Geosynch, Lunar orbiter, Lunar lander (now that's going to be hard, because we need controlled landing motors)... Lunar sample return...

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Somebody work out how much thrust we need. Will this be something we could launch at LDRS, or are we renting a pad at KSC?

For that matter, are there laws governing private ventures to orbit? Do you have to file flight plans with anybody?

...

Someone at the ESA was stoned the day they decided that Beagle 2's "hey mission control, I'm in place and I'm okay" message should be a song by Blur (though in spite of that, I really wish Beagle 2 had managed to broadcast it). I propose we use something classical. Or classic rock (Peter Schilling - Major Tom? ELO - Don't Bring Me Down? ELO - Ticket To The Moon? Boston - The Launch [instrumental]?). Or a forumite reciting some cool space quote ("Circling the Earth in the orbital spaceship I marvelled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world! Let us safeguard and enhance this beauty - not destroy it!" -- Yuri Gagarin) Or we could forget the music and have the **** thing start sending telemetry. Whatever works. Just... not Blur.

#### Justy

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Silverleaf
Your almost assuredly going to need a Gimballed system for the engines, simply because that is one sure ( sure being a higher probability ) way to force the rocket to stay vertical till orbit is achieved and then keep it on course.
If you have a cluster, you can throttle engines to turn. The harder part will be the control electronics.

Originally posted by Silverleaf
On a simpler note..(simple being me thinking too much ), have the rocket taken up to the Russian station, space walk it out, then once guidance is locked on and the astronaut is safely back inside, launch it.
I assume you mean the ISS. The Russian station, Mir, was deorbited years ago. There are drawbacks to this plan. First, a rocket small enough to fit inside a Progress cargo module, and through the ISS' airlock, is going to have trouble landing on the Moon. Second, the space agencies hate spacewalks, and do them only when they really, really have to. "Because some guys want us to carry a rocket outside" probably isn't a good enough reason. Third, and this is the big one, they absolutely, positively, will not risk an amateur rocket CATO'ing next to the ISS. Ask the Mir 23 crew why that would be a bad thing.

#### AndyC

##### Well-Known Member
No shame in dreaming:- that's where the REALLY good ideas all begin. I reckon the sequential approch is the way to go. Perhaps the XPrize target (100k), combined with a succesful recovery is the way to go as a first baby-step. After all, given a sufficiently large motor, any fool can launch to high altitude. Doing it in a controlled way, and getting the bits back - that's the clever part.

For my part, I would be more than happy to work on the recovery systems for any such endeavour. On which note: thanks to all who have requested, and continue to request plans for my conical/band parachute design posted in the recovery forum. Any of you got round to building one yet??

cheers,

Andy.

##### Well-Known Member
Fine. Let's set the objective first.

To launch a vehicle to the moon. Land it, (or a part there of) and transmit back to earth, a black and white video (or color) of the surface. Would be neat to somehow plant a small TRF banner in lunar soil as well.

#### graylensman

##### Well-Known Member
... I can design the project logo...

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by graylensman
... I can design the project logo...
Great, I'll put you down for the logo. TRF Lunar Challange 2010 maybe something along those lines.

Awesome!
Who's next?

Step right up now, don't be shy.

#### Stymye

##### Well-Known Member
......I volunteer to pilot the craft

now...do I have to go the moon.....or just orbit

what the heck.....count me in !

#### rabidsheeep

##### Well-Known Member
pshh you pilot it... lets get this guy to... (he's my payload for my serno)

and ill be the cheerleader... or can i play the horrified wife? or the grandmother...

woah... startin to sound like apollo13

#### Justy

##### Well-Known Member
I'll design the radio/telemetry system, it gives me an excuse to learn Amateur Television (ATV). I'm thinking two radio systems... one two-way link for data, and a one-way link for video. Data would be transmitted on a short antenna that would be in place for the entire flight, video would be sent on a larger antenna that would be folded up and raised after landing.

We need a robotics person to handle a) the camera mount, b) the antenna mount(s), and c) the all-important flag-planting mechanism. My robotics background involves the ROBOTIX toys from the 80's, and making a Heathkit H.E.R.O. Jr. kit robot sing the Dr. Pepper song.

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Justy
I'll design the radio/telemetry system, it gives me an excuse to learn Amateur Television (ATV). I'm thinking two radio systems... one two-way link for data, and a one-way link for video. Data would be transmitted on a short antenna that would be in place for the entire flight, video would be sent on a larger antenna that would be folded up and raised after landing.

We need a robotics person to handle a) the camera mount, b) the antenna mount(s), and c) the all-important flag-planting mechanism. My robotics background involves the ROBOTIX toys from the 80's, and making a Heathkit H.E.R.O. Jr. kit robot sing the Dr. Pepper song.
Great...you got the job. Will you handle the ground radio op's as well?

Okay, now I need a robotics person.

Who's next.

#### jetra2

##### Well-Known Member
Well, I think he qualifies as the robotics person...now we just need to get Dr. Pepper to sponsor our flight! LOL! Could you imagine it? We land on the moon, then and little rover drives out, deploys a little man, and the robot starts dancing to the Dr. Pepper song! OMG that would be HILARIOUS!

Jason