Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 254988 times)

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #900 on: 04/19/2017 08:11 PM »
Tech needed to do SMART.

- reusable engine (many times) -> the BE-4 is this engine. Not sure about the re-usability of the AR-1.
- detachable engine assembly -> this has been around since the Atlas very early days in 1956-57.
- reentry heat protection -> being at much less than orbital velocity this is still needed but it is not a significant weight penalty to add it.
- guided parrafoil and air capture

The only item that will be the most challenging is the guided parafoil and air capture of such a heavy object.

The other considerations is that all the 1st stage avionics is in this package as well. Which includes an IMU, computer, the comm, and telemetry systems. This would be such that the expended portion is not much more than the tank cables, pipes, and the flight destruct systems. In other words about 80% of the cost is recovered in just this package.

But here is the real interesting point and that is that the 1st stage could be completely recovered at some point in the future since the major item is basically the engines being fully reusable with little refurbishment needed.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #901 on: 04/20/2017 12:22 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #902 on: 04/20/2017 01:32 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522
Fortunately for ULA they already have most of the tooling (DIV) to do 5.1m tanks. The tanks will be different being liquid CH4 instead of LH2. So some reprogramming of the automated machinery is still needed. That is why the test panel.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #903 on: 04/20/2017 01:33 PM »
Some interesting follow-ups on twitter:

Quote
Though I miss the old days when your first stage had stainless steel balloon tanks too...
https://twitter.com/rocketrepreneur/status/855044671512379392

Quote
Yup. Considered that pretty seriously for V. Highest possible performance. Same mfg tech as Centaur/ACES, But logistics are complicated
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855045312234217475

Quote
Yeah, having to keep it pressurized or stretched at all times has to be a bit of a drag.
https://twitter.com/rocketrepreneur/status/855048024363552774

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #904 on: 04/20/2017 01:39 PM »
More follow-ups:

Quote
hopefully you can find ways to lower manufacturing costs...
https://twitter.com/jabe8/status/855034493102678016

Quote
Have made big reductions so far. More to come. Time also matters. Can now build a rocket at Decatur in half the time
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855039449427722241

Quote
awesome..friction stir welding help?
https://twitter.com/jabe8/status/855040815294545921

Quote
Absolutely
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855041606797348864

Quote
abe to replace alot of current parts with "3-d printed" parts? quicker..cheaper i guess if you do?
https://twitter.com/jabe8/status/855044090072883201

Quote
Already flying additive mfg on Atlas. Continuing to phase in there while designing AM into Vulcan
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855044640717680640

Online Navier–Stokes

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #905 on: 04/20/2017 01:49 PM »
Vulcan still scheduled to fly by end of 2019 according to Spaceflight Now article on BE-4.
Despite a delay of several months in the start of full-scale BE-4 testing, Bruno said the Vulcan rocket is still on track for a maiden flight by the end of 2019 if Blue Origin ends up the winner in ULA’s engine test-off.

“Assuming we can make this decision in a reasonable span of time, yes,” Bruno told reporters on the sidelines of the Space Symposium. “If we’re on the BE-4, it’s a pretty clear schedule. If the BE-4 is not going to work out and we select AR1, they’re further behind, so that puts a little more pressure on that schedule … If we had to select the AR1, I cannot fly it by 2019.”

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #906 on: 04/20/2017 01:50 PM »
Yet more follow-ups:

Quote
5m core stage, so 3-5 of those to make a core segment?
https://twitter.com/delta_iv_heavy/status/855033981087223811

Quote
4
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855039560773812225
___________________

Quote
Why the change? Ease of manufacture?
https://twitter.com/rokkerboyy/status/855039995199066113

Quote
Yes, and a more efficient structure. Analytical tools today make the switch easy.  My fav is a new topo structure we've designed and built
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855041519379562496

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #907 on: 04/20/2017 01:53 PM »
And a final follow-up on (lack of) reusability:

Quote
Its ashame to throw all of that work away after a single launch. You need a winged reusable vehicle to carry payloads to LEO. Just saying :)
https://twitter.com/blkwooly/status/855050438797819904

Quote
To everything, there is a season
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855051951578390528

Make of that what you will  :)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #908 on: 04/20/2017 03:07 PM »
I'm surprised ULA has not looked at incorporating aspects of Aldrin's Starbooster concept into Vulcan in light of Spacex's success at reuse.

Though engine recovery should have less cost in mass than both boost back and fly back recovery.
« Last Edit: 04/20/2017 03:10 PM by Patchouli »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #909 on: 04/20/2017 03:41 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522
Fortunately for ULA they already have most of the tooling (DIV) to do 5.1m tanks. The tanks will be different being liquid CH4 instead of LH2. So some reprogramming of the automated machinery is still needed. That is why the test panel.
Bruno has tweeted about ULA getting new welding tooling for Vulcan, so it isn't clear to me that the company plans to use the Delta 4 CBC infrastructure for Vulcan.  The panel shown, for example, is orthogrid rather than isogrid.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/20/2017 03:43 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline envy887

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #910 on: 04/20/2017 04:27 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522
Fortunately for ULA they already have most of the tooling (DIV) to do 5.1m tanks. The tanks will be different being liquid CH4 instead of LH2. So some reprogramming of the automated machinery is still needed. That is why the test panel.
Bruno has tweeted about ULA getting new welding tooling for Vulcan, so it isn't clear to me that the company plans to use the Delta 4 CBC infrastructure for Vulcan.  The panel shown, for example, is orthogrid rather than isogrid.

 - Ed Kyle

Bruno has said they plan to use Delta IV tooling for Vulcan. Iso vs Ortho grid is just a change in the CNC program - the tooling should be the same as long as the panel size and diameter are the same.

It still astounds me that stir welding stringers into place isn't much faster and cheaper than rolling that thick slab and cutting out all those pockets.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #911 on: 04/20/2017 05:21 PM »
As to RocketBuilder, I put in a configuration for LEO with a 5m short fairing, and this is how they priced it:

Unmatched Reliability = $12M
Schedule Certainty = $23M
Orbit Optimization = $30M
Cost after added value = $55M

Total = $120M
It's not clear to me how you get a $30M better LEO orbit.   For GTO or GEO, this potentially makes sense - a better GTO orbit can require less delta-V to the final orbit, allowing for increased satellite life.  (Though in practice you would need to know the competitor's delta-V to make an estimate of these savings, if any.  It's not a fixed $30M.)

But for LEO, all vendors can give you a more-or-less identical orbit, so I don't see where the savings comes from. 

Offline edkyle99

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #912 on: 04/20/2017 05:44 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522
Fortunately for ULA they already have most of the tooling (DIV) to do 5.1m tanks. The tanks will be different being liquid CH4 instead of LH2. So some reprogramming of the automated machinery is still needed. That is why the test panel.
Bruno has tweeted about ULA getting new welding tooling for Vulcan, so it isn't clear to me that the company plans to use the Delta 4 CBC infrastructure for Vulcan.  The panel shown, for example, is orthogrid rather than isogrid.

 - Ed Kyle

Bruno has said they plan to use Delta IV tooling for Vulcan. Iso vs Ortho grid is just a change in the CNC program - the tooling should be the same as long as the panel size and diameter are the same.
The panel size is not the same.  Bruno said that they are going to four panels, from the current five used to make a Delta 4 CBC.  I remain to be convinced that the diameter is the same.  There was talk at one point about making the tanks match the fairing diameter (5.2 meters I believe).  The fairing is presumably metric (European-made) while CBC is Imperial units (200 inches).  Will Vulcan be metric?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/20/2017 05:49 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #913 on: 04/20/2017 06:07 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522
Fortunately for ULA they already have most of the tooling (DIV) to do 5.1m tanks. The tanks will be different being liquid CH4 instead of LH2. So some reprogramming of the automated machinery is still needed. That is why the test panel.
Bruno has tweeted about ULA getting new welding tooling for Vulcan, so it isn't clear to me that the company plans to use the Delta 4 CBC infrastructure for Vulcan.  The panel shown, for example, is orthogrid rather than isogrid.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, and isn't the diameter of Vulcan larger than Delta IV? I seem to recall reading 5.4m vs 5.0m. Am I wrong? Anyway, it seems like all new tooling is being put in place for Vulcan.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #914 on: 04/20/2017 06:36 PM »
Anyway, it seems like all new tooling is being put in place for Vulcan.

I take it as a good sign that they are investing in new tooling for Vulcan.  It means that they are willing to invest now to try to make the ongoing costs of Vulcan lower, rather than sticking with legacy tooling because it reduces initial costs.

Offline woods170

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #915 on: 04/21/2017 06:40 AM »
The panel size is not the same.  Bruno said that they are going to four panels, from the current five used to make a Delta 4 CBC.  I remain to be convinced that the diameter is the same.  There was talk at one point about making the tanks match the fairing diameter (5.2 meters I believe).  The fairing is presumably metric (European-made) while CBC is Imperial units (200 inches).  Will Vulcan be metric?

Yes please. Them folks in the USA have been stuck with that silly US Customary System for far too long.  ;)
« Last Edit: 04/21/2017 06:40 AM by woods170 »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #916 on: 04/21/2017 07:12 AM »
The panel size is not the same.  Bruno said that they are going to four panels, from the current five used to make a Delta 4 CBC.  I remain to be convinced that the diameter is the same.  There was talk at one point about making the tanks match the fairing diameter (5.2 meters I believe).  The fairing is presumably metric (European-made) while CBC is Imperial units (200 inches).  Will Vulcan be metric?

Yes please. Them folks in the USA have been stuck with that silly US Customary System for far too long.  ;)

We're just preserving the cultural heritage of our ancestors.

Offline envy887

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #917 on: 04/21/2017 01:34 PM »
Great to see some hardware:

Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Orthogrid trial panel for Vulcan Rocket propellant tank.  (Bigger than it looks...)

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522
Fortunately for ULA they already have most of the tooling (DIV) to do 5.1m tanks. The tanks will be different being liquid CH4 instead of LH2. So some reprogramming of the automated machinery is still needed. That is why the test panel.
Bruno has tweeted about ULA getting new welding tooling for Vulcan, so it isn't clear to me that the company plans to use the Delta 4 CBC infrastructure for Vulcan.  The panel shown, for example, is orthogrid rather than isogrid.

 - Ed Kyle

Bruno has said they plan to use Delta IV tooling for Vulcan. Iso vs Ortho grid is just a change in the CNC program - the tooling should be the same as long as the panel size and diameter are the same.
The panel size is not the same.  Bruno said that they are going to four panels, from the current five used to make a Delta 4 CBC.  I remain to be convinced that the diameter is the same.  There was talk at one point about making the tanks match the fairing diameter (5.2 meters I believe).  The fairing is presumably metric (European-made) while CBC is Imperial units (200 inches).  Will Vulcan be metric?

 - Ed Kyle

I don't know the exact tank or fairing sizes, but it is certainly possible for the diameter to be specified in inches and built in meters. But from the posts below it appears the fairings will be built on-site anyway.

Offline brickmack

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #918 on: 04/21/2017 09:14 PM »
Not sure about the re-usability of the AR-1.

AR-1 was previously planned for use on a reusable flyback booster for the military, its reusable. Probably not as reusable as BE-4 because of coking and such, but still.

And a final follow-up on (lack of) reusability:

Quote
Its ashame to throw all of that work away after a single launch. You need a winged reusable vehicle to carry payloads to LEO. Just saying :)
https://twitter.com/blkwooly/status/855050438797819904

Quote
To everything, there is a season
https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855051951578390528

Make of that what you will  :)

Perhaps referring to those winged engine pods we've seen in a couple ULA presentations? Bruno confirmed a while ago on reddit that this was being considered as an upgrade option, though I'm not really sure how its supposed to be better than SMART (still throwing away the tank, but the pod is heavier and more expensive, and as depicted not very aerodynamic and requires twice as many pods)

Offline Chasm

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #919 on: 04/21/2017 10:06 PM »
The guys and gals at ULA is not exactly stupid, they can see the writing on the wall with both SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Question is what they can do about it over political realities (aka RD180 saga) and more importantly what cooperate at LM and B decides.
Probably busy writing some papers like in the past and -just maybe- trying to keep some options open in the Vulcan design. Say how to shoe in a small landing engine should the need arise.

Vulcan diameter is 5.4m, most recently via Tory on reddit. [source] In the past reasons included: Same as the fairing, maximizing volume for the fixed height (crew access tower), keeping aerodynamics simple. Tooling slated for reuse can be modified without too much effort, same for pad structures. More diameter makes it also easier to mount the SRB, and it still fits the flame trench.


As far as SMART goes there should be 2 significant problems left. The inflatable heat shied and catching such a heavy load. Large stuff has been snatched in the past but nothing as heavy. Big enough helicopters exist but the margins are not huge and thus further testing is required. Quite disappointing that this work also seems to be on the year 2020+ pile.

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