Author Topic: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)  (Read 123575 times)

Offline russianhalo117

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Published on 21 Jul 2017
AR1 preburner testing at NASA's Stennis Space Center
Looks like the E-6 test stand was stripped of AJ-26 hardware and rebuilt. Possibly going to be used for full AR-1 tests??

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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AR1 rocket R&D costs reach $228 million
by Michael Fabey — August 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — Research and development (R&D) costs for the AR1 rocket from the program’s inception through June 30 have reached about $228 million, according to recent Security Exchange Commission (SEC) filings by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the engine’s manufacturer.

http://spacenews.com/ar1-rocket-rd-costs-reach-288-4-million/

Offline john smith 19

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Quote
AR1 rocket R&D costs reach $228 million
by Michael Fabey — August 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — Research and development (R&D) costs for the AR1 rocket from the program’s inception through June 30 have reached about $228 million, according to recent Security Exchange Commission (SEC) filings by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the engine’s manufacturer.

http://spacenews.com/ar1-rocket-rd-costs-reach-288-4-million/
So $220m in and AJR have managed to get to a preburner test.

You've got to wonder how that has compared to the Raptor sub scale engine, and where it is in its test programme for costs.

If they are equivalent that would be more than SX spent on the whole F1 and F9 to first launch.

Somehow I rather doubt that's what SX did spend, but it was a new fuel and new engine cycle.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline john smith 19

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If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
You might like to look up ATK's claims at how they'd pursue Liberty (their predecessor liquid-on-solid ELV concept) if they lost the commercial cargo contract from NASA.

And what they actually did.  :(

This things a bunch of power points and a big price tag for someone else to pay.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline TrevorMonty

If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
You might like to look up ATK's claims at how they'd pursue Liberty (their predecessor liquid-on-solid ELV concept) if they lost the commercial cargo contract from NASA.

And what they actually did.  :(

This things a bunch of power points and a big price tag for someone else to pay.
The difference this time round is Orbital LV expertise and all stages built inhouse except low cost BE3 US engine.
 The Liberty used a very expensive Ariane 5 core stage as US.

Offline john smith 19

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The difference this time round is Orbital LV expertise and all stages built inhouse except low cost BE3 US engine.
 The Liberty used a very expensive Ariane 5 core stage as US.
Given Ariane 5 has been in production for some time its marginal cost (provided it didn't need a complete redesign) would probably not have been that high. The Antares booster was built in Russia as well.

The difference. Antares had a NASA development contract on it.

This new rocket will be built in exact proportion to how much some part of the USG foots the bill. If they foot 50% of the actual estimated development bill, that's what'll get built.  :(

"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Too much OT, too much ill considered, too much conflated.

For any LV, stage/engine development is never cheap. You look at marginal flight rates that will eventually pay off/operate the vehicle, given expected competition for such missions.

Look at why ULA is reducing its footprint - to match SX costing ala FAR/other. And also look at what ULA is going through to retain the manifest it needs to survive. As well as Vulcan. And the anxiety of BE-4 arriving late.

Know the AR-1 program. An extremely optimistic view is 2+years. The real fun (as BO and SX found) starts when you get a full scale engine on a test stand. For engines of this scale, there is an painful, indefinite time til success reliably delivers a useful engine.

The wonder was SX getting 1MN methalox mach diamonds so quickly. The free fall BO is currently in is to be expected (and I wish them well). AJR aspires to hope of such optimism as the best case in two years.

As for the OT OA - there is a completely paper vehicle with unqualified components, not stages, test stands, functional pad/GSE, operations, and logistics in place. Even further behind the 8 ball. Duh.

(Oh, and Ariane 5/6/next can move mountains too, with much in place. Their chief problem is really that they can afford one vehicle plus research, but they had financial pressure (A5) that drove the need to do a vehicle (A6) as the market was undergoing unprecedented change (F9R) leading to a different, incompatible future (Anext). Likely by the end of this there will be a different outcome than expected.)

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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The Antares booster was built in Russia as well.

The Antares engines were built in Russia. The booster was built in the Ukraine.
« Last Edit: 09/06/2017 07:20 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline john smith 19

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The Antares booster was built in Russia as well.

The Antares engines were built in Russia. The booster was built in the Ukraine.
A fair point but the key point was OA were quite happy to have mfg offshore and were expecting to make a profit on it, provided they had a NASA contract to do so.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline edkyle99

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ULA in "secret talks" with Russians to buy five more RD-180s, according to this story.
https://themoscowtimes.com/news/us-in-talks-to-buy-5-rocket-engines-from-russia-58862

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/07/2017 11:30 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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With the latest BE-4 50% thrust level 3 second successful test, what does this portend for the AR-1 program?

The basic items are that until ULA confirms it's choice and finishes CDR with the choice and that choice not being AR-1 there is no immediate consequence. But after?

The key here unless AJR can show that some other US launcher that wants to use the AR-1 for NSS launches, the AF would not renew any follow-on development contracts. Most likely not cancel the current one but just let it run out with no-follow on and no option exercising. That would probably get the AF the most for least effort. Information is always useful. Plus the current contract is funded so if canceled the AF would not be able to move the money elsewhere unless they were extremely lucky with the cancellation clauses and contract termination terms. (NOT LIKELY). Primarily the timeframe would be the contract would end at the end of this FY. BTW the current FY is FY2018 and it ends on 30 Sept 2018.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.

Offline rcoppola

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The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.
Sail the oceans of space and set foot upon new lands!
http://www.stormsurgemedia.com

Online ZachS09

The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.

How do you know the AR-1 has stopped development? I somehow don't believe you.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline rcoppola

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The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.

How do you know the AR-1 has stopped development? I somehow don't believe you.
I know only one thing...Engines are made for launchers. There is no launcher for this engine.  But sure, if they can find the funds, they can build it and then ever so gently, place it right next to that shiny J2X...
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Offline yokem55

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The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.

How do you know the AR-1 has stopped development? I somehow don't believe you.
I know only one thing...Engines are made for launchers. There is no launcher for this engine.  But sure, if they can find the funds, they can build it and then ever so gently, place it right next to that shiny J2X...

If AJR was a little bit more ambitious and willing to take a risk, they would have most of the pieces for their own LV. It's no wonder Musk doesn't want SpaceX to become publicly traded.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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At the IAC AR-1 presentation I asked if they will continue with AR-1 if ULA doesn't choose the AR-1. The speaker said they are talking to the USAF about that. Not much technical information was presented, other than they are using a metal alloy for the oxidiser rich preburner.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Hauerg

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Which, of course, is the best combination on this planet right now.

Offline woods170

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Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
For that to be even viable AR-1 will have to switch to burning methane in stead of RP-1. You can do dual development work for the core, based on 2 different propellants, for only so long. Right up to CDR. After that, all bets are on a single propellant. And that will be methane. And with it, the "backup" role for AR-1 goes away. Quickly IMO.

But I agree that won't stop Aerojet-Rocketdyne lobbyists from keeping the pressure on certain folks in US Congress. After all, government funding is their bread-and-butter.

Offline AncientU

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Which, of course, is the best combination on this planet right now.

This needs to be said now (and quickly)... the 'industry leader' is in third place in head-to-head competition.
Soon -- five years from now -- they might not have a single vehicle flying their engines.
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