Author Topic: Arianespace launch offering around 2030, discussion topic  (Read 919 times)

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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To get rid of the ArianeNext being discussed inside the Ariane 6 discussion topic. I've started this one.
At this moment arianespace offers five different launchers, I: Ariane 5 ECA, A5 ES, Vega, Soyuz (Starsem, will end) and Rockot (also ends).
From Around 2021 Arianespace will offer four or five launchers: Ariane 64, A62, Vega-C, Vega and Soyuz from CSG.
ESA's FLPP program is developing new engines that could be introduced into new stages for the Arianespace launchers. One new launcher is already on the drawing board, Vega-E with the VUS (Vega new Upper Stage) with the LOxLNG Expander cycle Myra engine. (I don't get why the decision for Myra has already been made, this could be misleading info from Avio) Vega-E is planned to be introduced in 2025.
Avio also showed their Vega-L proposal at Paris Air Show 2017. And the Adeline launcher proposal was showed a couple of years back.

Prometheus is the demonstrator engine for a 5x reusable LOxLNG GasGenerator cyle engine that should cost 1/10th of Vulcan 2 (~1mln). It has a vacuum thrust of 1000kN, and can throttle from 30% to 110%.
Callisto is a reusable stage demonstrator. If both the Callisto and Prometheus demonstrators are successful, ArianeGroup could develop a Reusable first stage. But the engines developed by the FLPP NEO program could also be applied to expendable launchers.
Feel free to discuss and propose a future Arianespace launcher line up.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace launch offering around 2030, discussion topic
« Reply #1 on: 11/14/2017 11:03 AM »
Let me be the first to make a lineup prediction.
I think that around 2030 Arianespace will operate: Vega-L (1 & 2); Vega-M, Vega-E; Vega-F; Ariane 62; Ariane 64 and Adeline (heavy). For this launcher offering European space industry has to produce:
- Three or four different solid stages: P120c; P40/Z40c; (Z9A).
- Five different cryogenic stages: LLPM(Vulcain 2.?); ULPM(Vince); VUS(?); PrometheusUS; Adeline(Prometheus).
- And two in orbit stages; AVUM-G & SEOTV (Solar-Electric Orbital Transfer Vehicle)

I assume that both the FLPP NEO ETID (both LOxLH2 & LOxCH4), Green storable and Prometheus engines are developed successfully. I also assume that Callisto will have several successful launches. This will most likely have happened around 2022.
For the Vega-E VUS upper-stage; I think both Myra and engines developed by the ETID FLPP project could be used, I think the later is more likely. Vega-E will use P120c + Z40c + VUS, and can launch ~3mT to 700km SSO. If Vega-E development is funded during a ministerial conference between 2018 & 2022 it could become operational around 2025. I expect that the engine choice for VUS will determine if Arianespace keeps using LOxLH2 or will also use LOxLCH4. I assume that LCH4/LNG facilities will be build at CSG.
Most likely P80 production will be stopped, instead a P40 (P36-P75) derived from Z40c will be developed by Avio. This will enable three new Vega variants: Vega-L1 (P40 + Z9a + AVUM-G); Vega-L2 (P40 + VUS); Vega-M (P40 + Z40c + VUS). The first are the Vega-L R&D proposal from Avio, the later is the replacement for Vega.
[Avum-G is the replacement of NTO&UDMH with a green storable bi-propallent combination, most likely H2O2 >90% and a hydrocarbon. AVUM-G can also serve as in orbit stage and can be developed into a lunar lander.]

If the decision for a Methane expander cycle is made for VUS, I expect that Prometheus will also be introduced on Arianespace launcher family. Prometheus is developed as first stage engine, but also a upper-stage variant could be developed. I think the first application of prometheus is in Adeline. This will initially be a expendable launch vehicle with a single Prometheus on the first stage and VUS as the upper-stage. I expect that the capability for this rocket will be in between of Vega-L2 and Vega-M (~1mT to SSO). I expect ESA/ArianeGroup will continue stage recovery development with this Adeline first stage in the 2022-2028 time frame. Adeline could become a first stage reusable launcher.
For the launch site, the ELS (Soyuz), ELA-3 (Ariane 5) or Diamant zone, could be modified.
Later possibly also a heavy variant (2x reusable boosters + expendable core + AVUM-G or VUS) could be developed.

The Prometheus upper-stage engine variant could be used for a Vega-F (P120c + PrometheusUS). This could replace Soyuz, and be capable of <4.5mT to SSO. For different orbits then SSO and higher performance, a third stage could be added (VUS; AVUM-G or SEOTV).
 
For Ariane 6 I don't expect a lot of change. Ariane 62 and Ariane 64 will start launching from 2020/2021. I expect that the production methods proven with the Prometheus engine demonstrator will also be used for future Vulcain 2.x variants. This will most likely more then half the production cost of a Vulcain engine, and Vulcain could become restart-able as well.
So I think that around 2030 Arianespace will use: Vega-L; Adeline; Vega-M;  (Adeline heavy); Vega-E; Vega-F; Ariane 62 & Ariane 6. All Vega variants will use ELV (Vega Launch site) which can accommodate up to 10 launches annually. (This is possible because the solid stages are tested before they are moved to ELV). Ariane 6 can launch up to 14 times from ELA4, in the very unlikely scenario more Ariane 6 launches are required ELA3 could be modified to support Ariane 6. For Adeline, I think the diamond launch site is the most likely, followed by ELA3 & ELS.

If Ariane 6 proves to be to expansive I think there are to options:
1) The development of new large solid P250 with two P120c size segments. With the PrometheusUS a Vega-XF can be developed. This is a <<200mln project so industry can fund it for the largest part. The Vega-F's are replacing the Soyuz and could launch for ~45 and 55mln.
2) They could also move to the PPC (2x P120c + P120C + PrometheusUS or ULPM(Vince)) or PC? (2x P120c + Elongated PrometheusUS as core stage + VUS/ULPM(vince).
I think this configuration is fare more likely than the replacement of 1x  Vulcain 2.1 by 1x Prometheus.
3) The political decision could be made that the use of solids has to be reduced. For the missile industry the smaller Vega types; (-L & -M) at a launch rate of 4-6 should suffice to sustain their production capabilities.
With this option the reusable 7x Prometheus engine stage should be developed. The first two options could be funded by industry, this option can't. The launchers that could be created in this scenario are ArianeNext (7xPrometheus + ULPM/PrometheusUS2{a other version}) and ArianeNext Heavy: 2x 7xPrometheus + LLPM/1xPrometheusUS2 with optionally a third stage (VUS;ULPM).
The difficulty with a reusable stage is that at the low launch rate, the production requirement becomes very low again. This will drive up stage production cost. Leading back to the Ariane 5 production scenario.

It's probable that by 2030 US commercial launchers will be offering launch services on a whole different level than what you are prospecting for Arianespace. I think the technological divide between US and EU with the low prices, high cadence, high flexibility and reliability achieved through mature, operational and full reusability will be so deep to be ignored especially at a strategical, political level. The EU will be forced to develop similar capabilities and embrace the paradigm shift. They'll need to mature the design of a fully reusable launcher as soon as possible after Ariane 6.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2017 12:00 PM by AbuSimbel »
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Offline calapine

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Re: Arianespace launch offering around 2030, discussion topic
« Reply #3 on: 11/14/2017 07:22 PM »
< Lot's of text >

Your post reminds me of the famous Niels Bohr quote: "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."

Vega

A lineup with five different VEGA versions, as you presented, doesn't seem very practical or realistic.

VEGA-E is already (almost) sure to come. Replaces Z9 + Avum with a single stage, brings all manufacturing to Europe.

As next upgrade I see a reusable space-tug (such as VENUS or others) to broaden Vega's capabilities. Payload of most concepts is around 1,000 kg into MEO or GEO. Enough to lift Galileo replacement sats (much cheaper than Ariane 62), O3b or similar MEO constellations.



VEGA-L might make sense if there is enough business case. If it employs a temporary launch-stool the height of P120C all connection interfaces and GSC of VEGA could be reused without need for adaption.


After Ariane 6, 2025+

My guess would be Ariane Next, employing a Vinci-based upper stage with a new reusable first stage that replaces the current main stages as well as all SRBs.

Regarding the method of re-use, I don't really dare to make predictions, but would sort the likelihood in following order:

A) Vertical landing, SpaceX style
B) Adeline-based concept returning the engine section
C) Winged stage with either Flyback or Aircapture-TowBack, as studied by the DLR

« Last Edit: 11/14/2017 07:30 PM by calapine »

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Arianespace launch offering around 2030, discussion topic
« Reply #4 on: 11/14/2017 08:06 PM »
what about ArianeSpace making a EU consortium to develop REL's Skylon?

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace launch offering around 2030, discussion topic
« Reply #5 on: 11/15/2017 01:05 PM »
what about ArianeSpace making a EU consortium to develop REL's Skylon?
Skylon and especially it's engines are very advanced and complicated technology. It will take a long time to develop. Much longer than a normal rocket engine. Skylon can only replace the first stage. In my opinion staging is very complicated proces with Skylon. Lot's can go wrong there.

Your post reminds me of the famous Niels Bohr quote: "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."

VEGA-E is already (almost) sure to come. Replaces Z9 + Avum with a single stage, brings all manufacturing to Europe.
As next upgrade I see a reusable space-tug (such as VENUS or others) to broaden Vega's capabilities. Payload of most concepts is around 1,000 kg into MEO or GEO. Enough to lift Galileo replacement sats (much cheaper than Ariane 62), O3b or similar MEO constellations.

I totally agree.

Quote from: calapine
Vega
A lineup with five different VEGA versions, as you presented, doesn't seem very practical or realistic.

VEGA-L might make sense if there is enough business case. If it employs a temporary launch-stool the height of P120C all connection interfaces and GSC of VEGA could be reused without need for adaption.
Totally the method I had in mind to launch multiple versions of VEGA from ELV, for the five versions three different launch stools are required. I think it can work with two mobile tables and two adapters, one for Vega-L and one for Vega-M. The purpose it to keep the umbilical lines at the same level.
I agree that five different Vega versions is less efficient. But I think the cost savings with higher launch rate and gained flexibility by being able to offer the right size launcher outweigh the complexity with multiple Vega variants. Vega-L1 is a surplus ICMB (M51), Vega-L2;Vega-M and Vega-E are one launcher family.
Because P120C is used on both Vega-C/E and Ariane6, it will be produced at high production rate ~35 annually. This will lower their production cost. For the LLPM and ULPM stages for Ariane6, ArianeGroup aims for a production rate of at least 11 annually. If the Ariane6 launch rate is lower, they can't reach their cost targets.
With both ride-share on Vega-E and Ariane 6, I can't see the Vega-E launching more then 4x annually.
This means that both VUS and Z40c only have a production rate of 4x annually. My idea is, that by also offering Vega-L2 and Vega-M, the Vega family will launch about 8x annually. If I assume 3x Vega-E; 3x Vega-L & 2x Vega-M. This will require an annual production of 8x VUS and 10x P40/Z40c.

With also offering Adeline, VUS production rate can be increased further. Both Adeline and VUS have the same diameter as Z40( 2.3m). Both stage structures can be produced using the same tooling. Adeline will compete with Vega-L2 and -M. I think for a short period both Adeline and all versions of Vega will be offered. Adeline will be operated like Falcon 9 was used from 2013-2016. It will be used to mature stage recovery technologies.

Vega-F/XF are where I expect the upper-stage version of Prometheus will be applied first. I'm not very certain this will happen. I think it will only happen when Ariane 6 can't be operated economically. The Vega-F's are replacements for Soyuz, and they compete with Vega-E and Ariane 62. The Vega-F's are part of the PC/PPC replacement for Ariane 6.

Quote from: calapine
After Ariane 6, 2025+

My guess would be Ariane Next, employing a Vinci-based upper stage with a new reusable first stage that replaces the current main stages as well as all SRBs.

Regarding the method of re-use, I don't really dare to make predictions, but would sort the likelihood in following order:
A) Vertical landing, SpaceX style
 ... /BlueOrigin style
B) Adeline-based concept returning the engine section
C) Winged stage with either Flyback or Aircapture-TowBack, as studied by the DLR
I think only engine reuse isn't a option. It will be no reuse or stage reuse. I think CNES did a very good study on different stage recovery methods, this was presented during IAA2016. The recovery methods are to numerous to mention. But I think Callisto, Adeline and ArianeNext will use a method more like BlueOrigin then Falcon 9. (Gliding down, with only landing burn, instead of a boostback; reentry and landing burn.)
At a annual launch rate of 8-16 launches for Arianespace, I don't think EU industry can make a good fabrication business case. Thus reuse will lead to higher launch cost in this scenario. Lets try to do the math.
Prometheus is designed for 4x use. I assume only first stage reuse and two reusable boosters Adeline (1x prometheus) and ArianeNext (7x prometheus). With these boosters four to seven launchers can be created:
- Adeline (Adeline + VUS [/AVUM-G]);
- Adeline Heavy (2x Adeline + Expendable Adeline [+ VUS]);
- ArianeNext+{PrometheusUS/}VinceUS;
- ArianeNExt Heavy: (2xArianeNext+{Vulcain/}Prometheus expandable core +VinceUS).
Now launch rates for these versions: 3x Adeline; 3x Adeline Heavy; 6x ArianeNext & 4x ArianeNext Heavy (=16 launches).
So stage us is: 9x Adeline, 3x Adeline expendable; 6x VUS; 14x ArianeNext, 4x heavy core, 10x ArianeNextUS.
10x ArianeNextUS is good production rates. I assume that ArianeNext and the heavy core use nearly the same tank structure. With 4x stage use, annually 3x Adeline; 3.5xArianeNext & 4xheavy core are required.
- 3x Adeline + 6x VUS is a low rate for 2.3m diameter tank production.
- 3.5x ArianeNext + 4xHeavy core + 10x Next US is acceptable for 3.4-5.4m tank production.
- 6x 12kN expander cycle + 10x Vince 180kN expander cycle is a nice production rate.
- 31.5x (3+3.5*7+4=) Prometheus is a nice production rate.

Solid and missile industry have a huge problem, only EU industry requires at least two Vega-L and two Vega-M launches (6xP40/Z40c). Add these launches and the total is 20 launches annually. Four additional VUS might make the 2.3m tank production acceptable.

I think everything below this is not acceptable. The Arianespace launch offering is a jobs program, so GDP multiplier effects generate tax income that can compensate more expansive Arianespace launches for EU institutions. Higher reuse rates, mean lower production, thus less jobs = unattractive for industry and governments. This calculation makes me skeptical about the chances for re-usability. Especially because a lot of R&D is required before  reusable launchers could work.

In my opinion; reusability works at:
A) very low launch rate (<6x annually), here the production run is to low for a continuous production. Thus batch production is chosen. This is where PLDspace and BlueOrigin are aiming for.
B) High launch rate (>20x), and very few tooling. This is where SpaceX is aiming for. This case has the potential for lowering the launch cost. But stage design, recovery, refurbishment and re-certification have to be very efficient. Otherwise it doesn't work. And if launch demand doesn't grow, you could be headed for inefficient low production rates.
Soyuz has proven that high launch rates (>40) on a expendable launcher also works economically. But cost per launch is high, in this case.
« Last Edit: 11/15/2017 01:06 PM by Rik ISS-fan »