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Continuing drop in prices?



 
 
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  #11  
Old May 20th 18, 09:58 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,550
Default Continuing drop in prices?

JF Mezei wrote on Sun, 20 May 2018
13:44:12 -0400:

On 2018-05-19 07:25, Jeff Findley wrote:

LOL yeah, not much you can do except toss the other US providers some US
Government launches as part of DOD's strategy of having at least two
certified launch providers.


Please enlighten me. Apart from SpaceX, who, of the newbies have an
established and running commercial launch business in USA ?


Do you want 'newbies' or 'established'? Your question contradicts
itself.


And BTW, why is Orbital ATK not using its Antares rocket for commercial
launches? Did getting 2nd stage contract for ULA's Vulcan entail a no
compete clause? Does the transaction with Northrop Grunman change things?


They've only launched half a dozen of them, for Christ's sake! The
fourth launch failed catastrophically and led to a temporary stand
down of some duration. To use it for commercial launches someone
would need to contract with them for a commercial launch. It's early
days...


If ULA can't turn around and develop a competitor to Falcon9, then it is
likely they will just buy SpaceX.


Yeah, and monkeys might fly out your butt (with equal likelihood).


BTW, will ESA respond to SpaceX, or will they stick with Arianne 5?


You know, this stuff is not hard to find out. I looked for less than
five minutes. Look into Prometheus, Adeline and Ariane 6. Prometheus
(a reusable Methane/LOX rocket engine) and Ariane 6 (which will use
said engine) are already well into development. Adeline, which is a
recovery scheme for the engine modules Ariane 6 (or pretty much any
liquid fuel rocket) is in conceptual design. Another reuse concept,
the German LFBB to replace the solid boosters on Ariane 5 was
cancelled. ArianeSpace thinks they can get around a 30% cost
reduction with Adeline.


In the meantime, Boeing and Lockheed will lobby themselves to continued
military contracts, finding some feature that their launch vehicles has
that Falcon9 doesn't to justify the exhorbitant pricing.


You mean ULA, which is the space business spun off by Boeing and
Lockheed. The only thing they'll have that SpaceX doesn't is that
they're not SpaceX.



Yeah, but partial reuse on a vehicle which still depends on solid strap-
ons isn't going to be able to compete with Falcon 9 Block 5 and Falcon
Heavy.


partial re-use might yield results similar to the Shuttle with more work
needed to reuse engines. From a hardware point of view, is adding
ability to land very difficult?


Yeah, and we all saw what it did for price per kg to orbit.


-Is it hard to give engines ability to ignite multiple times in flight?


Depends on the engine type. It certainly takes some additional
hardware and a lot of testing.


-apart from landing legs and fins, is there much more hardware needed
that gave Falcon9 the ability to land?


See the list of stuff changed for Falcon 9 Block 5. Most rockets
don't try to land. Why do you think that is? Even given the example
of SpaceX, big players (ULA, ESA) are going with bringing back engine
modules rather than complete stages. Why do you think that is?



to construct New Glenn launch vehicles. It will likely take another 5
years before we'll be able to judge the success of New Glenn.


I know that there is a huge difference between real orbit with payload
and a joy ride that goes up/down.


How nice for you. Relevance?


However, from a re-usability/landing if 1st stage point of view, is New
Shepard pretty much "mission accomplished" and that experience/software
can be transfered to New Glenn ?


It's hard to classify a vehicle that has never flown operationally as
"mission accomplished". New Glenn is very different from New Shepard.
While some knowledge will be transferable, there are significant
things Blue Origin will have to work out.


Or in other words, in terms of difficulties/stress/heat, does the Falcon
9 1st stage experience stresses/heat on re-entry that are significantly
different from what New Shepard experiences?


Those are certainly other words, to the point of being a different
question. The answer is 'Yes'.


--
"Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar
territory."
--G. Behn
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  #12  
Old May 21st 18, 11:37 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,528
Default Continuing drop in prices?

In article ,
says...

On 2018-05-19 07:59, Jeff Findley wrote:

past hey had a monopoly). Again, they simply won't be making the sort
of money they used to make.


While I agree with this, you forgot one variable: a growing demand for
launches. ULA/Boeing may not win new business from that growing market,
but they may be able to keep their existing portion of military/NASA
spending.


And you ignored the part where the US DOD really only needs two
certified EELV class launch providers. Maybe ULA can keep half of the
Delta IV Heavy business, since very large payloads are "unique", but
that's a tiny part of their business. The rest of their 1/2 of launches
could go to Orbital ATK or Blue Origin.

That assumes that Orbital ATK won't be able to certify their new EELV
class launch vehicle for US Government launches and that it won't be
cheaper than Vulcan.


So what happens? ULA is folded up, and Boeing focuses on satellites for
ist space business ?


ULA isn't Boeing! ULA is a joint venture only part of which is owned by
Boeing.

No we don't, but let's cut their goals in half, just as a thought
experiment.


I also agree that even if SpaceX achieves only half the re-usability
that they promise, they are still revolutionizing the launch business.

But my point was that until you know what SpaceX actually achieves, if
you're a potential competitor, you can't target the design of your own
product to beat SpaceX.

No Boeing "rocket" is going to "come back and land". WTF are you
talking about? Boeing is going to be making SLS, which is completely
expendable. If you're thinking about ULA, eventually they may be
snagging the engines under parachutes with a helicopter, but they're not
going to be landing any stages either.


Sorry, I used ULA/Boeing interchangeably. My bad.


snip

ULA isn't working on anything ground breaking to compete with SpaceX.
They just can't. It's not in their corporate DNA anymore to actually
innovate. They've been doing launch operations for far too long while
their development staff atrophied, retired, or simply went to work for
another company.

The SpaceX steamroller (launch cadence) is just starting to build up
speed. There's likely no stopping it now.


Isn't there a capacity limit imposed by capacity of launch pads? And
they still need to attach the stage2/payload to stage1 , even if the
later landed next door and is still hot when it gets to assembly
building. Doesn't that become a bottleneck in terms of launch rates?


If you'd been paying attention you'd know that SpaceX has been
developing GPS based range safety. This would allow a greater launch
cadence from KSC/Cape Canaveral (two pads there) and possibly even
Vandenberg (one pad there). SpaceX has been optimizing their operations
for a high launch cadence. 2018 is already shaping up to be the highest
launch cadence for the company ever.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #13  
Old May 21st 18, 04:50 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,550
Default Continuing drop in prices?

JF Mezei wrote on Sun, 20 May 2018
14:26:47 -0400:

On 2018-05-19 07:59, Jeff Findley wrote:

past hey had a monopoly). Again, they simply won't be making the sort
of money they used to make.


While I agree with this, you forgot one variable: a growing demand for
launches. ULA/Boeing may not win new business from that growing market,
but they may be able to keep their existing portion of military/NASA
spending.


I don't think he forgot anything. There were some 90 launches
worldwide last year. Of those 90, 18 were on Falcon 9. Some 19 of
them are Russian and will stay Russian. Some 18 of them are Chinese
and those aren't going to move. One is Japanese and 5 are from India,
and those aren't going to change, either. Around 11 launches are ESA
and few of those will move. That leaves less than 30 launches up for
grabs. SpaceX is talking about 60+ launches a year. That means if
you assume 10% growth a year it takes quite a few years to exceed
their current plan. They have all kinds of time to react. Remember,
Elon Musk considers 5 years to essentially be 'forever'. Also keep in
mind that one of the goals is to refly a booster in less than 24
hours. That means that SpaceX would be able to manage a 'surge'
launch rate of hundreds of launches per year.



That assumes that Orbital ATK won't be able to certify their new EELV
class launch vehicle for US Government launches and that it won't be
cheaper than Vulcan.


So what happens? ULA is folded up, and Boeing focuses on satellites for
ist space business ?


Stranger things have happened.



No we don't, but let's cut their goals in half, just as a thought
experiment.


I also agree that even if SpaceX achieves only half the re-usability
that they promise, they are still revolutionizing the launch business.

But my point was that until you know what SpaceX actually achieves, if
you're a potential competitor, you can't target the design of your own
product to beat SpaceX.




No Boeing "rocket" is going to "come back and land". WTF are you
talking about? Boeing is going to be making SLS, which is completely
expendable. If you're thinking about ULA, eventually they may be
snagging the engines under parachutes with a helicopter, but they're not
going to be landing any stages either.


Sorry, I used ULA/Boeing interchangeably. My bad.

Look back at the late 1990s. Boeing was losing bad against Airbus. They
came out with their "Sonic cruiser" plane to replace the 767, a plane
that would fly faster, just under sound barrier.

The response from the market: Airlines were not interested (costs too
much to operate), and more imkportantly, marklte lost confidence that
Boeing could compete.

Behind the scenes, Boeing was busy spending some NASA money to study
all-composite fuselages. And when time came to admit Sonic Cruiser was a
bad idea, Boeing came back with the 787 which brought Boeing back to
life not just with sales, but also image of its ability to innovate and
get ahead of Airbus.


Yeah, and all that hurt them in a pretty major way.


I would qualify the Vulcan right now as being at the "Sonic Cruiser"
stage. Cute but nobody wants it because it will just cost too much.

You may recall I had stated many moons ago that SpaceX had yet to prove
it could consistently deliver on reusablility and know the real
economics of it.

2017 was an important year because SpaceX started to prove it does
deliver on re-usability. And even at low re-usability rates of block 4,
put the Vulcan into an "also ran" category.


You're obsessesd with 2017. Anyone with a clue figured it out three
years earlier.


Put yourself in ULA's feet: newbie claims it will revolutionize launch
business. You're not sure newbie can deliver, you're not sure newbie has
enough money to get it done. Do you cannibalize your Vulcan project just
in case or do you trod along with the project and then if/when SpaceX
proves their are a worthy competitor, you will rethink it?


You're confused about how companies make decisions. If you're ULA you
don't care what SpaceX can do. You care what you can do to maximize
profit.


I think ULA is at that stage now. It would not surprise me if they
converted their Sonic Cruiser Vulcan project into a properly re-usable one.


It would astonich me, since things like reuse need to be designed in
up front.


The other options are to buy SpaceX,


You need to stop imagining this. SpaceX currently has a market value
of $21 billion


... or get out of the launch business
once the military is happy that there is more than 1 "newbie" launch
companies to replace ULA.

Consider the Wall Street Casino Analysts who question whether Musk has
enough money to do SpaceX, BFR, Tesla, the Boring company, hyperloop and
whatever else he thinks of. Boeing/ULA may just be waiting for the money
where Musk is caught with a big need for cash and just offer to buy
SpaceX from him so he can fund all his other projects.


SpaceX generates net profit. If push comes to shove, it stays and
Tesla goes.

But if Musk manages to make Tesla profitable and prove analysts wrong,
the Boeing/ULA will be stuck with a competitor they can neither beat nor
buy.


If Musk doesn't manage to make Tesla profitable, Tesla goes away and
SpaceX stays.



The SpaceX steamroller (launch cadence) is just starting to build up
speed. There's likely no stopping it now.


Isn't there a capacity limit imposed by capacity of launch pads? And
they still need to attach the stage2/payload to stage1 , even if the
later landed next door and is still hot when it gets to assembly
building. Doesn't that become a bottleneck in terms of launch rates?


Yes, but it's nowhere near any possiblity. SpaceX won't have
'bottleneck' problems.


--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable
man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore,
all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
--George Bernard Shaw
  #14  
Old May 21st 18, 10:24 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,550
Default Continuing drop in prices?

JF Mezei wrote on Sun, 20 May 2018
18:21:36 -0400:

On 2018-05-20 16:58, Fred J. McCall wrote:

They've only launched half a dozen of them, for Christ's sake! The
fourth launch failed catastrophically and led to a temporary stand
down of some duration. To use it for commercial launches someone
would need to contract with them for a commercial launch. It's early
days...


Considering they are in production for ISS cargo launches, I would have
expected them to seek out comemrcial launches and be in the news for
winning such contracts.


Consider they just returned to operation in 2016 with a new
configuration and new engines, I would expect commercial customers to
be a little leery.


Or does the Virginia/Maryland launch latitude result in sufficient cargo
penalty for GTO that they can't compete?


Antares capability to GTO would be miniscule and they've never
launched a GTO payload.


You know, this stuff is not hard to find out. I looked for less than
five minutes. Look into Prometheus, Adeline and Ariane 6.


I checked Wikipedia entry for ESA and didn't find any text on future
launchers. Would have expected this to be in that one.


So your expectation is to be spoon fed? I've certainly noticed that.
Again, less than five minutes...


You mean ULA, which is the space business spun off by Boeing and
Lockheed. The only thing they'll have that SpaceX doesn't is that
they're not SpaceX.


I cases where a payload and orbital inclination means SpaceX can't land
the booster, woudln't ULA become on a less unequal footing than SpaceX ?


Less unequal, but still more expensive by a lot.


In cases where Boeing makes the staellite and uses ULA, could this
become more competitively priced (a "bundle") as opposed to Boeing
making satellite and using SpaceX to launch?


No.


I realise ULA will be more expensive than SpaceX but if there are
situations where the price difference in no longer orders of magnitutes,
then perhaps ULA still has some market niche.


The price difference is never "orders of magnitude". Do you even know
what that means?


Depends on the engine type. It certainly takes some additional
hardware and a lot of testing.


Isn't restart a no brainer?


See above.


Non-Hypergolic stage 2s all have ability to
start in vacuum and that seems to be a pretty reliable technology.


Not true.


Since rocket engines are fired multiple times for tests prior to going
in a rocket, ...


Not a given.


... is "restart" the issue as opposed to self-contained ignition?


The latter is required for the former.


And where does ignition happen? at the narrower part fo engine bell? or
inside the combustion chamber?


It's called a 'combustion chamber' for a reason...


in other words: does ignition happen in a place where outside conditions
are not important (falling backwards in atmosphere, staic on pad, or in
vacuum) ?


A usual, those are indeed 'other words' and they have no connection to
the original word. There is no such place "where outside conditions
are not important".


Did the shuttle have the equivalent of a spark plug inside the engine,
but powered by the ground, or did the pad have some prod that went up
each of the 3 engine bells with the spark plug at the end ?


I don't believe Shuttle engines were ever restarted after MECO.


Or were engines ignited by the sparks seen on launch videos way below
the bells (which comentators explained existed to burn off any stray
hydrogen before ignition).


Oh, good Lord!


See the list of stuff changed for Falcon 9 Block 5.


Block 4 landed sucesfully. 5 made it easier to re-use, it didn't add
the ability to land sicne it was already there.


Don't ask questions if you don't want the answers.


Most rockets
don't try to land. Why do you think that is?


Because people, having no choice but to pay the big bucks to ULA meant
ULA had no motivation to change their rockets. Now that SpaceX has done
it and is offering significantlty lower launch costs, my curiosity is
just how difficult it is at the hardware level to add landing capability.


Do you see ULA landing rockets now? No. Do you see ESA landing
rockets now? No. Do you see ANY launch providers other than SpaceX
and Blue Origin landing rockets now? No. Why do you think that is?


I realise that the software side is the big challenge in making it work
correctly.


You realize many things that are only partly true.


Even given the example
of SpaceX, big players (ULA, ESA) are going with bringing back engine
modules rather than complete stages. Why do you think that is?


This was done before SpaceX demonstrated they could re-use succesfully.


Bull****.


The question is whether ULA and the other "old" providers will now
become more agressive and "upgrade" their plans for next generation
rockets for full re-usability.


The question is whether you're always this stupid or you make a
special effort just for us.


A year from now, if they haven't changed their plans, then yeah, they
will be stuck with legacy business model with little future once lobby
becomes ineffective to get contracts.


A year from now they'll be on the same path. They won't even be
landing engines yet.


It's hard to classify a vehicle that has never flown operationally as
"mission accomplished". New Glenn is very different from New Shepard.


Blue Origin says it wants to scale up capabilities. New Shepard doesn't
have orbital capabilities. But it has landing capability. Hence my
question on how much of that capability developped for a "up/down" joy
ride to 100km altitude are re-usable for New Glen where stage 1 also
drops from non-orbital speed.


Asked and answered. See below.


If New Shepard's technooogies won't translate to New Glenn (for landing
stage 1), then its current exercises are merely to build in-house
expertise so scaling up to New Glenn woudl take much longer.


Asked and answered. See below.


While some knowledge will be transferable, there are significant
things Blue Origin will have to work out.


My question still stands. From the re-entry/landing of stage 1, is the
100km up/down ride similar to what a stage 1 for a real orbital vehicle
experiences?


No.


--
"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the
truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
-- Thomas Jefferson
  #15  
Old May 22nd 18, 09:38 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,550
Default Continuing drop in prices?

JF Mezei wrote on Mon, 21 May 2018
14:19:08 -0400:

On 2018-05-21 06:37, Jeff Findley wrote:

ULA isn't working on anything ground breaking to compete with SpaceX.
They just can't. It's not in their corporate DNA anymore to actually
innovate. They've been doing launch operations for far too long while
their development staff atrophied, retired, or simply went to work for
another company.


This is from Wikipedia:

##
United Launch Alliance has further stated, back in 2015, that they must
win both "commercial and civil space flight contracts" in addition to US
government military missions, or they would be forced to go out of
business. [22]
##


They must but they probably won't. Target price for the base Vulcan
is $99 million. So they're building something designed to cut Atlas
prices in half that will still be more expensive than Falcon Heavy.


As a joint venture, the corporate DNA is infused by its 2 owners. And
the 2 owners would inject more capital for new projects if it is decided
it was good business. Boeing and I assume Lockheed also have a lot of
their own intellectual IP and engineers that can be transfered to ULA if
needed. (in particular composite use).


An engineer is NOT an engineer.


Since landing rockets is new tech. Not having engineers experienced in
landing rockets didn't stop SpaceX from developping, testing, failing
and eventually succeeding.


Almost anything can be developed given enough time. Do you have a
point?


Vulcan was started in 2014, before SpaceX had a proven record of
landing/reusing stages. One could argue that they decided their partial
re-use was more realistic than SpaceX' fancyfull plan of landing and
reusing whole stages.


Except they're not doing that until later, either. Vulcan first
flight will be in a couple of years. It will be fully expendable.


SpaceX proved them wrong, and ULA now stuck with a half baked plan,
which would have been a big advancement had SpaceX failed, but is now
too little too late.


Note that ESA has the same 'half baked plan'.


Boeing/Lockheed CEOs will have a few lunches together to decide whether
to sink more money into ULA to make it a viable competitor, or whether
to throw in the towel. At the end of the day, they report to
shareholders and unless additional investment in ULA is going to bring
better return on investment than investing elsewhere, they will jst let
UAL continue to sell their legacy launches until nobody buys them.


They're trying to get government money to fund it.


BUT, if they decide to stay in the launch business, don't be surprised
if they tell their engineers to work with a reusable stage. They may not
say this publicy until engineers are close enough to a solution.


I would be astonished, not surprised.


One blurb I read is that Vulcan is to re-use the Delta IV fuselage
diametre and PRODUCTION PROCESS. They may have to design a new fuselage
from scratch if they want it to be re-usable and that may have been the
cost saving measure which prevents true re-usability.


That's only true if they decide to go with the AR1 engine. If they go
with the BE-4, the stage will have to be bigger around.


The "use helicopters to catch falling engines" isn't gonna work reliably.


Oh, really? You know how we used to get film back from reconnaissance
satellites, don't you?


Since Vulcan is going to use BE-4 engines from Blue Origin, won't those
engines be inherently re-usable (both for multiple uses and for multiple
ignitions per flight) ?


Rephrase that to MAY be going to use BE-4 engines. It's not decided
yet, is it?


So ULA's owners would now have to decide whether to cut their losses on
Vulcan project or invest and make it reusable. Note that it has been
delayed by a year so this ~could~ be because of skunkworks to develop a
reusable stage fuselage needing more time.


Or the delay COULD be due to waiting for both candidate engines to be
ready and complete testing, which is actually the case.


If you'd been paying attention you'd know that SpaceX has been
developing GPS based range safety.


Removing pad limits does not remove processing limits. It may allow
launch rate to increase but only until it hits the processing limits. A
freshly landed stage still needs to cool down, moved to the assembly
building where stage2/payload/fairing is attached.


SpaceX thinks they can do that in less than a day.


Adding "assembly lines" in the assembly building to process multiple
rockets at same time would solve that. But again, it depends on how
much processing is needed for re-used stages.


That's the reason for Block 5. Assuming they see what they expect
when they tear down their latest launch, the answer is 'none' for most
flights.


BTW, what does SpaceX intend to stop bringing stages back to Hawthorne
for refurb and just have the stages live on the Florida coast? I assume
this would represent a big cost savings.


That's the plan, but the big cost saving is not needing to do anything
to them after a launch, so you just restack, refuel, and launch again.


for a high launch cadence. 2018 is already shaping up to be the highest
launch cadence for the company ever.


I don't doubt it. They have much room to increase it, but that doesn't
mean they can instantly move to launching within 24 hours of landing.


Not 'instantly', but not all that far away, either.


--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable
man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore,
all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
--George Bernard Shaw
  #16  
Old May 22nd 18, 11:21 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,528
Default Continuing drop in prices?

In article ,
says...

On 2018-05-19 07:25, Jeff Findley wrote:

LOL yeah, not much you can do except toss the other US providers some US
Government launches as part of DOD's strategy of having at least two
certified launch providers.


Please enlighten me. Apart from SpaceX, who, of the newbies have an
established and running commercial launch business in USA ?


Blue Origin isn't going to stop until it's successful, but they may, or
may not, be the near term threat. You can't ignore Orbital ATK.

And BTW, why is Orbital ATK not using its Antares rocket for commercial
launches? Did getting 2nd stage contract for ULA's Vulcan entail a no
compete clause? Does the transaction with Northrop Grunman change things?


Antares is a medium launcher. It's really not EELV class (with it's
solid upper stage, it likely isn't suitable for anything but LEO
missions).

That said, Orbital ATK has a much larger EELV class launcher in
development and it looks to be fairly close to actually flying. They're
calling it Next Generation Launch System.

https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-sy...-vehicles/NGL/

I don't like it due to the use of large solids, but that's Orbital ATK's
wheelhouse so they absolutely will make it work. And due to the need of
DOD to maintain the infrastructure to manufacture large solids (i.e.
ICBMs), they'll buy launches, you can bet on that.

If ULA can't turn around and develop a competitor to Falcon9, then it is
likely they will just buy SpaceX.


Bull****. SpaceX is owned by private investors. Such a feat would be
quite difficult without the support of the investors. It's also
possible there are other legal provisions which would help prevent such
a hostile takeover (so called "poison pills" and the like).

BTW, will ESA respond to SpaceX, or will they stick with Arianne 5?


Ariane chief seems frustrated with SpaceX for driving down launch costs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywgRXoL0Vmc

It's finally hitting home and the chief is very salty.

In the meantime, Boeing and Lockheed will lobby themselves to continued
military contracts, finding some feature that their launch vehicles has
that Falcon9 doesn't to justify the exhorbitant pricing.


That will only last so long. They will have to compete with Vulcan
(initially with Centaur, not Vulcan), which will need to be certified
for EELV launches. I'm sure DOD will bend over backwards to help with
this, but even so, it's not going to happen overnight. Meanwhile the
competition isn't sitting still.

Yeah, but partial reuse on a vehicle which still depends on solid

strap-
ons isn't going to be able to compete with Falcon 9 Block 5 and Falcon
Heavy.


partial re-use might yield results similar to the Shuttle with more work
needed to reuse engines. From a hardware point of view, is adding
ability to land very difficult?


It is when you have what Henry Spencer called the "performance uber
alles" mindset. ULA designs their vehicles to be undersized with the
ability to add strap on solids for increased performance. So they've
not got excess performance to work with. They have continued this with
Vulcan, which is not the trade to make if you intend to recover and
reuse the first stage. They've blown it before they've even flown.

Also, they won't reuse Vulcan engines at first. This is something they
"plan" on adding later. Much later apparently.

-Is it hard to give engines ability to ignite multiple times in flight?
-apart from landing legs and fins, is there much more hardware needed
that gave Falcon9 the ability to land?


Depends on the details. ULA hasn't picked a first stage engine yet for
Vulcan. It's no secret they favor the BE-4, but to not anger the
politicians who support the AR-1, they're still waiting to make the
final decision.

to construct New Glenn launch vehicles. It will likely take another 5
years before we'll be able to judge the success of New Glenn.


I know that there is a huge difference between real orbit with payload
and a joy ride that goes up/down.

However, from a re-usability/landing if 1st stage point of view, is New
Shepard pretty much "mission accomplished" and that experience/software
can be transfered to New Glenn ?


Perhaps, but things that are different just aren't the same. When ESA
tried that with the Ariane 4 to 5 transition with their flight software,
they lost the first flight due to the "proven" flight software.

Or in other words, in terms of difficulties/stress/heat, does the
Falcon 9 1st stage experience stresses/heat on re-entry that are
significantly different from what New Shepard experiences?


Night and day. Look at the velocity of a Falcon 9 first stage at engine
shutdown. That's why they need a reentry burn, to reduce the velocity
of the stage so it doesn't burn up.

Jeff
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These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
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  #17  
Old May 22nd 18, 11:28 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,528
Default Continuing drop in prices?

In article ,
says...

On 2018-05-20 16:58, Fred J. McCall wrote:

They've only launched half a dozen of them, for Christ's sake! The
fourth launch failed catastrophically and led to a temporary stand
down of some duration. To use it for commercial launches someone
would need to contract with them for a commercial launch. It's early
days...


Considering they are in production for ISS cargo launches, I would have
expected them to seek out comemrcial launches and be in the news for
winning such contracts.

Or does the Virginia/Maryland launch latitude result in sufficient cargo
penalty for GTO that they can't compete?


Antares has a solid upper stage. I'd bet it would be terrible at
launching GTO payloads. Antares is optimized for commercial cargo. So
LEO payloads would be fine, but beyond that, not so much.

You know, this stuff is not hard to find out. I looked for less than
five minutes. Look into Prometheus, Adeline and Ariane 6.


I checked Wikipedia entry for ESA and didn't find any text on future
launchers. Would have expected this to be in that one.


Google broken? Seriously, they've been all over the news for several
years because Falcon 9 has literally made Ariane 5 obsolete on price.

You mean ULA, which is the space business spun off by Boeing and
Lockheed. The only thing they'll have that SpaceX doesn't is that
they're not SpaceX.


I cases where a payload and orbital inclination means SpaceX can't land
the booster, woudln't ULA become on a less unequal footing than SpaceX ?


SpaceX has Falcon Heavy for those missions. Core and boosters can be
reused for all but the heaviest payloads and most energetic
trajectories.

In cases where Boeing makes the staellite and uses ULA, could this
become more competitively priced (a "bundle") as opposed to Boeing
making satellite and using SpaceX to launch?


LOL, no. ULA is a separate entity that has its own accounting. This
isn't likely to happen. Boeing is only part owner of ULA.

I realise ULA will be more expensive than SpaceX but if there are
situations where the price difference in no longer orders of magnitutes,
then perhaps ULA still has some market niche.


Only until another provider is certified for EELV launches. My bet is
Orbital ATK with their Next Generation Launcher which looks to be closer
to flying than New Glenn.

All this stuff is all over the space news websites. You might want to
read up on it. Wikipedia clearly isn't helping.

Jeff
--
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These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
 




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