Designing a Spacecraft any tips?

In summary, the conversation revolved around the speaker's passion project of designing a lunar capable space shuttle that can also perform LEO missions with easy modifications. The project has been in the designing phase for a couple of years and the speaker was seeking tips and feedback. The design includes a shuttle mounted on a SLS type rocket for lunar missions and an external tank and SRBs for LEO missions. The speaker also mentioned plans to enlist in the army and pursue an aerospace degree to eventually join NASA.
  • #1

HellRanger2558

I've been working on this passion project for a couple of years now and was wondering if you guys have any tips all I can say right now is.Its lunar capable,going to carry 8-10 crew and 2 landers or cargo,reusable,and easily modifiable for Earth orbit operations.
 
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  • #2
HellRanger2558 said:
I've been working on this passion project for a couple of years now and was wondering if you guys have any tips all I can say right now is.Its lunar capable,going to carry 8-10 crew and 2 landers or cargo,reusable,and easily modifiable for Earth orbit operations.
Welcome to the PF. :smile:

What's a Passion Project?

Since you have been working on it for a copule of years, can you post a summary of your work so far? That would be the best way to start out your thread asking for comments...
 
  • #3
It's a project I do just because I enjoy it and I'm pretty much still in the designing phase I finished gathering information I needed I'm having a issue making a LOx/LH2 fuel system fit into a 15 by 30 ft space.

Btw I'm still in high school so there is still a lot I don't know so don't expect it to be perfect
 
  • #4
Do you have a rocketry club at your school or in the nearby area? If not, maybe try to start one. :smile:
 
  • #5
berkeman said:
Do you have a rocketry club at your school or in the nearby area? If not, maybe try to start one. :smile:
I live in a small farming town and most of my classmates look at me like I'm a nutjob when I start getting into talking about rocket engines so I don't think that's going to happen
 
  • #6
Define the mission(s), design to meet the mission requirements. Space horse before space cart.
 
  • #7
If you intend to launch from the Earth's surface, then it sounds like you are designing your own Saturn V. They were quite a bit bigger than 15 x 30 feet, IIRC. It takes a lot of energy, IOW fuel, to get up to orbit, and chemical propellants are rather bulky. It might be more doable if you were willing to launch from low Earth orbit.
 
  • #8
The laser-launching system would be nice if it should actually ever work. Lasers stay on Earth while the ship goes up.
 
  • #9
Basically it's going to be a shuttle type craft mounted to a SLS type rocket the missions would be space station construction in LEO or lunar orbit also lunar lander deployment the Shuttle-SLS idea is just a baseline of what I'm thinking.And for Leo operations the core stage would be replaced with a ET and SRB's
 
  • #10
You intend to use the same type of vehicle to ascend to orbit and to do lunar missions? Obviously getting up to orbit, and particularly returning using atmospheric braking, puts stringent aerodynamic demands on the vehicle that would not apply to LEO-lunar missions. And sorry, what's an ET?
 
  • #11
HellRanger2558 said:
I've been working on this passion project for a couple of years now and was wondering if you guys have any tips all I can say right now is.Its lunar capable,going to carry 8-10 crew and 2 landers or cargo,reusable,and easily modifiable for Earth orbit operations.
That's all well and good, but you won't be able to actually create (fully build a working model) a lunar capable rocket carrying 8-10 crew members by yourself. Designing for theory is all well and good, but there will be things you have overlooked.

If you are passionate about rocketry and space, as I think you are, then maybe try designing your own model rocket. Call it a small scale prototype. One must walk before they can run. By building a rocket and evaluating its usage, you will likely learn some things that you can incorporate into your passion project. :)
 
  • #12
@HellRanger2558, apply for an internship at SpaceX and impress Elon Musk! :wink:
 
  • #13
sandy stone said:
You intend to use the same type of vehicle to ascend to orbit and to do lunar missions? Obviously getting up to orbit, and particularly returning using atmospheric braking, puts stringent aerodynamic demands on the vehicle that would not apply to LEO-lunar missions. And sorry, what's an ET?
A external tank and SLS SRB's similar to the space shuttle design for LEO missions and some kind of first stage rocket for lunar operations like the SLS core stage.
 
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  • #14
sandy stone said:
If you intend to launch from the Earth's surface, then it sounds like you are designing your own Saturn V. They were quite a bit bigger than 15 x 30 feet, IIRC. It takes a lot of energy, IOW fuel, to get up to orbit, and chemical propellants are rather bulky. It might be more doable if you were willing to launch from low Earth orbit.
The 15 by 30 system is for transearth injection and maybe lunar orbit circulation.I'm wondering if that's enough space to power the 3 SSME's for a worthwhile burn or do i need a different design?
 
  • #15
Vitro said:
@HellRanger2558, apply for an internship at SpaceX and impress Elon Musk! :wink:
A high school student with a 2.0 gpa? I would get laughed out of the room i appreciate the confidence though! My plan is to enlist in the army,get my aerospace degree with my gi bill,and try to join NASA hopefully.
 
  • #16
HellRanger2558 said:
The 15 by 30 system is for transearth injection and maybe lunar orbit circulation.I'm wondering if that's enough space to power the 3 SSME's for a worthwhile burn or do i need a different design?
You arent giving us nearly enough information. what's your end goal with "designing" this
 
  • #17
In really dumbed down terms?I basically trying to make a lunar capable space shuttle and have it available to do LEO missions as well with easy modifications.For the lunar configuration think of a space shuttle slapped onto the slide of a SLS for now.
 
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  • #18
HellRanger2558 said:
In really dumbed down terms?I basically trying to make a lunar capable space shuttle and have it available to do LEO missions as well with easy modifications.For the lunar configuration think of a space shuttle slapped onto the slide of a SLS for now.
youve said that...
are you just doing high level conceptual. are you trying to build a model, are you trying to build a full scale working version
 
  • #19
Trying for a full scale version but I'm still in the very early stages such as aerodynamic testing and the such mainly I came here because I couldn't find the fuel consumption stats for the SSME's and was wondering if the 15ft fuel system would even be worth it or not enough for a good burn.i apologize for being very vague.
 
  • #20
Full scale you say? Do you have a LOT of money for materials and to hire peeps to help build it? Agree with Noisy, baby steps, horse before the cart.

dmac257
 

1. How do you determine the necessary design specifications for a spacecraft?

The design specifications for a spacecraft are determined by considering the mission objectives, the environment the spacecraft will operate in, and the capabilities of available technology. This includes factors such as speed, payload capacity, power requirements, and communication capabilities.

2. What are some key considerations when choosing materials for a spacecraft?

The materials used for a spacecraft must be able to withstand the extreme conditions of space, including extreme temperatures, radiation, and vacuum. They must also be lightweight and durable to ensure efficient and safe operation. Additionally, the materials must be able to withstand the forces of launch and the stresses of the mission.

3. How do you ensure the safety and reliability of a spacecraft design?

To ensure the safety and reliability of a spacecraft design, rigorous testing and simulations are conducted to evaluate its performance in various scenarios. This includes testing for structural integrity, thermal management, and communication capabilities. The design must also comply with all relevant regulations and standards.

4. What role does computer-aided design (CAD) play in spacecraft design?

CAD is an essential tool in spacecraft design as it allows engineers to create detailed 3D models of the spacecraft and simulate its performance in various conditions. This helps identify potential issues and refine the design before physical prototypes are built, saving time and resources.

5. How do you factor in cost considerations when designing a spacecraft?

The cost of a spacecraft is a critical factor in its design and development. Engineers must balance the mission objectives and performance requirements with the available budget. This often involves trade-offs and prioritizing certain features over others. Additionally, cost-saving measures such as using off-the-shelf components and streamlining manufacturing processes are also considered during the design phase.

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