Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 275580 times)

Offline spacenut

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1220 on: 09/05/2017 07:26 PM »
Since BE-4 failed its first test and AR-1 has its first test, would AR-1 now be in the lead?  ULA could still use BE-3 for ACES and AR-1's for first stage. 

Online Rebel44

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1221 on: 09/05/2017 07:39 PM »
Since BE-4 failed its first test and AR-1 has its first test, would AR-1 now be in the lead?  ULA could still use BE-3 for ACES and AR-1's for first stage.

No

AR-1 only had component tests for now - not a full scale engine test - if development continue, that might happen in 2019

So, BE-4 would need at least another 18 months delays and AR-1 would need to avoid any delays, for AR-1 to win ULA contract for Vulcan. While its not impossible, its unlikely scenario.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2017 07:48 PM by Rebel44 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1222 on: 09/05/2017 07:45 PM »
Since BE-4 failed its first test and AR-1 has its first test, would AR-1 now be in the lead?  ULA could still use BE-3 for ACES and AR-1's for first stage. 
To my understanding, that wasn't BE-4's "first test".  The first full-scale start still has yet to take place.  The failure was of a powerpack.  I suspect powerpack testing was underway for awhile before the May incident, but I admit I'm guessing.  According to the infamous Peter de Selding speech in 2016, Blue had also blown up a powerpack at least once before.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/05/2017 07:52 PM by edkyle99 »

Online Rebel44

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1223 on: 09/05/2017 07:47 PM »

(Treamed quote)

Perhaps the real question is, are the parents in or out?

ULA called the bluff... they know they  are going to get the engines they needed... so the pressure to transition is no longer fixed... they have time to finish engine qualification  and down select.. go at the pace they see fit.

Until/unless restriction for number of russian engines for NSS launches get removed or incresed, ULA cant (or at least shouldnt) count on that.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1224 on: 09/05/2017 08:29 PM »
Since BE-4 failed its first test and AR-1 has its first test, would AR-1 now be in the lead?  ULA could still use BE-3 for ACES and AR-1's for first stage. 
To my understanding, that wasn't BE-4's "first test".  The first full-scale start still has yet to take place.  The failure was of a powerpack.  I suspect powerpack testing was underway for awhile before the May incident, but I admit I'm guessing.  According to the infamous Peter de Selding speech in 2016, Blue had also blown up a powerpack at least once before.

 - Ed Kyle
which suggests they understand that things happen and are comfortable with picking up the pieces and carrying on.

Given that no one in the US has any development experience of an Oxidizer rich SC engine and both have suffered partial engine failures I'd say it's difficult to say who is ahead.
"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 Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1225 on: 09/05/2017 08:39 PM »
There are substantial cost implications of maintaining multiple launchers. Especially without future ELC payments. I would think ULA (and parents) would move with all possible haste to Vulcan.
Keep in mind that the parents "are" ULA.

(They mostly squabble with each other.)

Note Boeing launches (like the current one) with Falcon. They will always be able to "fall back" to Falcon. So what does that leave them with for "in house" launch needs for ULA Atlas/Delta/Vulcan? Ones that would be desirable to have the higher launch "add on" services SX doesn't. Currently this is a really broad gap of $0.1-1.2B, which will narrow in time.

Eventually they want a LV that can compete on the low end at a fraction of Atlas V, and cover to a fraction of a DIV-HU. Consider against this a cost footprint where gradually phased out Atlas/Delta leaves an essential lowest cost Vulcan core LV to which those expensive additions are made to.

So while you'd be able to bid for most govt/NSS/some commercial (as a compliant ULA is expected to), you'd only expect to win those where your unique capabilities made you effectively the "sole source", as a "long goodbye" strategy.

Quote
After all, the pad, workforce and manufacturing reductions were supposed to prepare the way for Vulcan and a more commercially viable future. So I just don't see doing a slow roll of Vulcan as being a sound business strategy.

It is essential for Vulcan's core vehicle to 1) replace Atlas as a "biddable" even if not qualified alternative. Because the political winds might shift at any time to lock out non-indigenous sources. What hangs over ULA's head.

It is essential that Vulcan have a low cost footprint because its rival already has one, so that it can afford to constantly bid as expected.

Eventually Vulcan will be qualified for NSS missions. Eventually Vulcan will regain DIVH capability/capacity. These are your potential "slow roll" items. The rest is geared to SX-like economics of development, waiting on BO-driven engine development timing as well as outside contractors.

(We still don't know about US/engine economics - low-end driven at the moment by F9US which is starting to drop again in costing after having risen in past years.)

Quote
Maybe they're reassessing Ms. Shotwell's comment about "launch as commodity". A notion Tory was emphatically against. I'm just not seeing evidence of an "all in" with Vulcan. Something has changed their calculations.

Perhaps the real question is, are the parents in or out?
The parents, see above, have a "fall back". Two or three.

Everyone is watching to see how things pan out. The closest thing to NSS commodity launch might be reflights of X-37B. If that were to become a continuous practice, Tory would have to reconsider his position.

Vulcan has never been about "all in". It, like Ariane 6, has been a obvious next move to cover a position.  Note the indefinite consideration of "Anext". That is what you are picking up on.

My suggestion is that NG resembles a ULA vision of an Anext, but like with BE-4, remains an indefinite illusion that needs to become real first before anyone can mouth something.

add:

The first full-scale start still has yet to take place.  The failure was of a powerpack.  I suspect powerpack testing was underway for awhile before the May incident, but I admit I'm guessing.
Suggest that this is a quibble.

Likely no nozzle, just power head to injectors to combustion chamber. Then you have the mass flows in the context of a operable engine. Clearly they had the parts to do that step.

So in this case technically not a full engine. But that's again just a quibble.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2017 08:47 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1226 on: 09/06/2017 10:39 AM »
So while you'd be able to bid for most govt/NSS/some commercial (as a compliant ULA is expected to), you'd only expect to win those where your unique capabilities made you effectively the "sole source", as a "long goodbye" strategy.
That may be what all the "smart money" thinks.   :(

I wonder if Bruno agrees with them? Maybe he thinks they can deliver a design that's got a real fighting chance of competing head to head with SX on cost.

Didn't the "smart money" also think SX was a joke that would never fly?  :(

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
It is essential for Vulcan's core vehicle to 1) replace Atlas as a "biddable" even if not qualified alternative. Because the political winds might shift at any time to lock out non-indigenous sources. What hangs over ULA's head.

It is essential that Vulcan have a low cost footprint because its rival already has one, so that it can afford to constantly bid as expected.

Eventually Vulcan will be qualified for NSS missions. Eventually Vulcan will regain DIVH capability/capacity. These are your potential "slow roll" items.
I think once Vulcan is a real LV Bruno will move heaven and earth to certify it for NSS launches and retire Atlas V, otherwise (depending on how you look at it) ULA will be supporting 4 LV's ( I think DIV H is sufficiently different to viewed as a separate LV, but I may be wrong).

I know ULA have done a lot of work to consolidate mfg lines and make as many parts as possible common across all 3 (with potential economies of scale)  but that's only going to go so far.  At bottom they are just very different vehicles.

If Boeing is making a lot on specialist launch services that DIVH provides I can see they will be less keen to phase it out.

But that raises a question I'd not considered before.

AIUI ULA profits have been split by the LV. Boeing gets DIV launches, LM gets Atlas V.

But Vulcan has no direct heritage from either, and Centaur is used by both of them.

So will they do a straight 50/50 split on the profits, or something more complex based on performance ranges?
If it's in the Atlas V range of payload and final velocity, it goes to LM, if higher it goes to Boeing? IIRC there is also an overlap range where it could go either way. Again, what happens then?

for Boeing a straight 50/50 split would be a case of "Heads we get half the Vulcan revenue, tails we get all the DIV and DIV H revenue," which sounds like a pretty sweet deal for them, but it should make them a bit more willing to phase out DIV H when the time comes.

The "performance ranges" split seems a bit more equitable to begin with, but suggests Boeing would be very reluctant to retire DIV and DIV H down the road and Green light any upgrades needed for Vulcan to deliver the full DIV H spec.

Obviously this is pretty much irrelevant to the engineering of Vulcan but I can see it causing all sorts of roadblocks to Bruno in getting  Vulcan to first launch.

For the parents the bottom line is the bottom line.  :(
"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 titusou

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1227 on: 09/06/2017 11:26 AM »
This is what always make me wonder...

BO New Glenn is obviously looking at a full 1st stage recover
ULA Vulcan is obviously looking at a engine-section-only recover

Which means BO New Glenn is more likly to be a Falcon9-liked staging timing, where ULA Vulcan be a more AtlasV/DeltaV-liked staging timing. 150s staging vs 250s staging.

Wasn't that means the ER of BE-4 will almost certain to be different? Assuming ULA Vulcan endup using BE-4?


Titus

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1228 on: 09/06/2017 12:12 PM »
Quote
Tory Bruno‏ Verified account @torybruno 5m5 minutes ago

Lots of questions re: 9/4 WSJ article on RD180 replacement.  Unclear who their source is.  No change to Vulcan Baseline.

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/905401050546421762


(The WSJ article being: https://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon-faces-delays-in-shift-away-from-russian-rocket-engines-1504526402)

Offline Chasm

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1229 on: 09/06/2017 02:20 PM »
Wasn't that means the ER of BE-4 will almost certain to be different? Assuming ULA Vulcan endup using BE-4?

In Blue Origin staff were quite explicit in their public talks and following Q&A sessions. The BE-4 engines on Vulcan and New Glenn will be the same. "Same part number."


We'll find out how that evolves. I can see Blue flying improved engine iterations sooner than ULA who has to satisfy certification requirements.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1230 on: 09/06/2017 03:57 PM »

In Blue Origin staff were quite explicit in their public talks and following Q&A sessions. The BE-4 engines on Vulcan and New Glenn will be the same. "Same part number."


We'll find out how that evolves. I can see Blue flying improved engine iterations sooner than ULA who has to satisfy certification requirements.
Which suggests different suffices on the versions depending on where they get used. Say a "-1" for ULA, and rest for Blue.

time will tell how that works out.
"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 Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1231 on: 09/06/2017 06:52 PM »
So while you'd be able to bid for most govt/NSS/some commercial (as a compliant ULA is expected to), you'd only expect to win those where your unique capabilities made you effectively the "sole source", as a "long goodbye" strategy.
That may be what all the "smart money" thinks.   :(

I wonder if Bruno agrees with them? Maybe he thinks they can deliver a design that's got a real fighting chance of competing head to head with SX on cost.

Didn't the "smart money" also think SX was a joke that would never fly?  :(

There was no "smart money" in SX from the start. Zero. That's why he almost lost everything with Falcon 1. (He actually got investment at the tail of it. Because he'd gotten further than any start-up from scratch LV.)

Bruno is more calculating than you give him credit for. The parents specifically don't want commodity launches, because they don't want to do commodity sats either. The deal about ULA/govt is more about always having a bid than always having a launch. That's why the AF was so frakked when they didn't bid.

Of course he wants the most affordable vehicle he can get on the parent's dime (it's not ULA's cash here but the parents). They are the ones who don't want to fund ULA to go "eyeball to eyeball" with SX - nothing in it for them, not that ULA couldn't rise to the challenge. That's what's so demoralizing to ULA.

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
It is essential for Vulcan's core vehicle to 1) replace Atlas as a "biddable" even if not qualified alternative. Because the political winds might shift at any time to lock out non-indigenous sources. What hangs over ULA's head.

It is essential that Vulcan have a low cost footprint because its rival already has one, so that it can afford to constantly bid as expected.

Eventually Vulcan will be qualified for NSS missions. Eventually Vulcan will regain DIVH capability/capacity. These are your potential "slow roll" items.
I think once Vulcan is a real LV Bruno will move heaven and earth to certify it for NSS launches and retire Atlas V, otherwise (depending on how you look at it) ULA will be supporting 4 LV's ( I think DIV H is sufficiently different to viewed as a separate LV, but I may be wrong).
Sure they want to fly fast. Everyone does. But that's not realistic.

But that isn't what the parents are funding.  Nor how the launch costing will work out. So you'll get a Vulcan booster to the pad, it'll fly once then spend a few years for 1-3 more flights. DIVH likely will fly til FH qualifies, then will act as backup with already assembled vehicles as the line becomes Vulcan, with Atlas V flying overlapping with Vulcan.

Quote
I know ULA have done a lot of work to consolidate mfg lines and make as many parts as possible common across all 3 (with potential economies of scale)  but that's only going to go so far.  At bottom they are just very different vehicles.

If Boeing is making a lot on specialist launch services that DIVH provides I can see they will be less keen to phase it out.

All Vulcan is, is reversed order Atlas Phase 1/2 evolution, with a BE4 instead of RD180. Most of this has been in the planning for a decade. (Plus they have learned a bit from SX in terms of improving the vehicle further.) It was the singular vehicle they were to go forward with.

The specialized services came/come across on this combined vehicle.

Quote
But that raises a question I'd not considered before.

AIUI ULA profits have been split by the LV. Boeing gets DIV launches, LM gets Atlas V.

But Vulcan has no direct heritage from either, and Centaur is used by both of them.

So will they do a straight 50/50 split on the profits, or something more complex based on performance ranges?
If it's in the Atlas V range of payload and final velocity, it goes to LM, if higher it goes to Boeing? IIRC there is also an overlap range where it could go either way. Again, what happens then?

for Boeing a straight 50/50 split would be a case of "Heads we get half the Vulcan revenue, tails we get all the DIV and DIV H revenue," which sounds like a pretty sweet deal for them, but it should make them a bit more willing to phase out DIV H when the time comes.

The "performance ranges" split seems a bit more equitable to begin with, but suggests Boeing would be very reluctant to retire DIV and DIV H down the road and Green light any upgrades needed for Vulcan to deliver the full DIV H spec.

Obviously this is pretty much irrelevant to the engineering of Vulcan but I can see it causing all sorts of roadblocks to Bruno in getting  Vulcan to first launch.

For the parents the bottom line is the bottom line.  :(

You're over complicating this. It's a 50/50 split, period. The parents independently contract own launches on any vehicle. Since Atlas is the "cheaper" vehicle, both parents have favored flying it when possible.

The point here is that realistically Atlas V will still be the cheaper, more qualified LV when Vulcan first flies. So it will continue to fly, be bid, alongside Vulcan/Falcon bids. Eventually it will win bids over Atlas V, and Atlas will then gradually phase out. (Likewise, FH bids will also be won by Vulcan, the question will then be "how many"?)

Where a lot of the squabbles come from is whose deficit gets lowered more by the profit being applied to the original EELV "hole". Part of the reason they're not big on "overspending" on ULA.

The discussion about "beyond Vulcan" or reuse doesn't factor in to the above. But the issue is not unlike that of "A6/Anext" of Ariane Group. The entire point of Vulcan is survival of ULA post RD180, not long term competition that "Anext" might be considering. The parents haven't gotten down that road yet.

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1232 on: 09/06/2017 07:47 PM »

AIUI ULA profits have been split by the LV. Boeing gets DIV launches, LM gets Atlas V.


Wrong.  They are 50/50

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1233 on: 09/07/2017 08:46 PM »
Wrong.  They are 50/50
I stand corrected. Duly noted.
"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 FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1234 on: 09/12/2017 03:42 PM »
Interesting, this could be quite some time ahead of successful engine testing?

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 1m1 minute ago

Tory Bruno, CEO @ulalaunch: CDR for Vulcan rocket by end this yr; we'll determine engine choice - @AerojetRdyne v @blueorigin before then.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629989377576962

Online Rebel44

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1235 on: 09/12/2017 05:21 PM »
Interesting, this could be quite some time ahead of successful engine testing?

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 1m1 minute ago

Tory Bruno, CEO @ulalaunch: CDR for Vulcan rocket by end this yr; we'll determine engine choice - @AerojetRdyne v @blueorigin before then.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629989377576962

IMO its likely that BO will try another test of full scale BE-4 before end of 2017.

I am not convinced ULA will pick AR-1, even if BE-4 blows up another test stand, because AR-1 would still be behind in development (and they can encounter delays as well).

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1236 on: 09/13/2017 11:15 PM »
Perhaps BE4 has a deadline.

Offline Semmel

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1237 on: 09/13/2017 11:28 PM »
Perhaps BE4 has a deadline.

I would rather think AR-1 has one. If ULA chooses BE-4 over AR-1, AR-1 will not see the light of day. The other way around its not the case. Even if ULA chooses AR-1, BE-4 would still be developed. The deadline seems to be for AR-1 if at all.
« Last Edit: 09/14/2017 09:22 AM by Semmel »

Offline spacenut

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1238 on: 09/14/2017 02:34 AM »
Could Vulcan be designed to use Merlins from SpaceX?  Or is this out of the question?  I figure they could use 5 or 7 with the solids.  They might even be able to stay with the Atlas V diameter.  Air Force or NASA may not want this in order to have more competition. 

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1239 on: 09/14/2017 02:53 AM »
Could Vulcan be designed to use Merlins from SpaceX?  Or is this out of the question?  I figure they could use 5 or 7 with the solids.  They might even be able to stay with the Atlas V diameter.  Air Force or NASA may not want this in order to have more competition. 
It is out of the question. I believe both Elon and Shotwell have answered this before saying Merlins and Raptors were not for sale and use outside of SpaceX.

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