Author Topic: Horizon Black Arrow 2  (Read 13778 times)

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Horizon Black Arrow 2
« on: 12/10/2015 06:24 AM »
Might as well start a thread on this new launch vehicle, the Horizon Black Arrow 2 which involves Ross Tierney (Kraisee) famous for his involvement in the Direct heavy launch vehicle work. Their web site is at

http://horizonsas.com/

This is another small launch vehicle project, this time from the UK. They are using a two stage methalox vehicle with a 360 kN first stage and 45 kN second stage. Initial launches will be from Northern Scotland. Vehicle diameter is 1.8 m, with a 2.4 m diameter fairing. Performance is 200 kg into a Sun Synchronous orbit. Price is 5M or $7.6M for a cost of $38K/kg.

The first suborbital test launches are planned for 2017, with orbital flights from 2018.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2015 06:32 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #1 on: 12/10/2015 07:26 AM »
Maybe we need a small launch vehicle section there are enough small LV threads to justify.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2015 07:35 AM by TrevorMonty »

Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #2 on: 12/10/2015 07:30 AM »
Hm. The idea of the IKEA-style launch facility is an interesting one.

Quote
The entire launch facility, including an ISO-7 Class 10,000 cleanroom payload facility, packs away inside 26 standard ISO cargo-containers.
The complete facility can relocate to a new launch site in less than 30 days.

Still though, ohgodanothersmallsatlauncher

All the power to them anyway.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2015 07:31 AM by NovaSilisko »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #3 on: 12/10/2015 07:55 AM »
Still though, ohgodanothersmallsatlauncher

All the power to them anyway.

The more the merrier. Original X-Prize had about 30 entrants. Only one got to space, barely - and orbital rockets are plenty harder.
Best of luck with the venture, this looks like a very reasonable approach.

Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #4 on: 12/10/2015 08:08 AM »
A few other interesting points from their website:

*They plan on an ocean platform for equatorial launches

*They're going to attempt to recover stages eventually ("mainly to examine" them)

*3d printed components

*They're trying to optimize for cost, not performance, which is why the vehicle looks a bit oversized for its payload capacity (to me at least)


I wonder if any of the spent first stages would get far enough to impact arctic sea ice. That could be an environmental concern.


« Last Edit: 12/10/2015 08:18 AM by NovaSilisko »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #5 on: 12/10/2015 08:16 AM »
Still though, ohgodanothersmallsatlauncher

All the power to them anyway.

The more the merrier. Original X-Prize had about 30 entrants. Only one got to space, barely - and orbital rockets are plenty harder.
Best of luck with the venture, this looks like a very reasonable approach.
It all comes down to how well they are financed.

Offline douglas100

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #6 on: 12/10/2015 04:15 PM »

...I wonder if any of the spent first stages would get far enough to impact arctic sea ice. That could be an environmental concern.

I think that concern could be much more applied to launches out of Plesetsk, especially LV's using toxic propellants like Rokot. For this proposed vehicle with LOX and LNG propellants I don't think pollution will be a problem. And there's hundreds of miles of open water to the north of Scotland before you encounter any polar ice.
Douglas Clark

Offline savuporo

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #7 on: 12/10/2015 05:46 PM »
Still though, ohgodanothersmallsatlauncher

All the power to them anyway.

The more the merrier. Original X-Prize had about 30 entrants. Only one got to space, barely - and orbital rockets are plenty harder.
Best of luck with the venture, this looks like a very reasonable approach.
It all comes down to how well they are financed.
Financing is only one part of building a product, you actually need a product/service that is workable and a team with the right combination of talent that is able to execute as well.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #8 on: 12/10/2015 06:35 PM »
Still though, ohgodanothersmallsatlauncher

All the power to them anyway.

The more the merrier. Original X-Prize had about 30 entrants. Only one got to space, barely - and orbital rockets are plenty harder.
Best of luck with the venture, this looks like a very reasonable approach.
It all comes down to how well they are financed.
Financing is only one part of building a product, you actually need a product/service that is workable and a team with the right combination of talent that is able to execute as well.
And the money to pay their wages.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #9 on: 12/11/2015 12:21 AM »
Financing is only one part of building a product, you actually need a product/service that is workable and a team with the right combination of talent that is able to execute as well.
And the money to pay their wages.
Again - money is just one of the key ingredients of launching a new venture successfully, and securing money does not magically grant you the others. Plus, this is off topic here.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #10 on: 02/21/2016 02:34 PM »
@Kraisee: How much longer do we have to wait until the announcement of the Black Arrow 2? Until Farnborough Airshow?
I won't post again until the announcement.  ;)

I think it's appropriate to also post the link to the Seradata article here.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2016 02:35 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline kraisee

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #11 on: 02/21/2016 03:30 PM »
Patience young padawan.   When everything is in place and we are ready to announce, trust me that NSF will be one of the first places to find out.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Marble

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #12 on: 03/21/2017 04:31 PM »
@Kraisee: Any update on how the Black Arrow 2 is progressing? Is any funding been found or real design activity started?

Offline kraisee

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #13 on: 03/21/2017 06:13 PM »
Getting the first round of investment is always the most difficult.

The timing made it particularly hard getting our first investment round (interesting, because we have had a lot of interest for all 6 of our later rounds) because of Brexit. That caused a lot of general uncertainty across the entire investor community, and this meant that every investor in the UK tightened their belts and has been sitting on their money until such time are they felt more comfortable and confident again. Thankfully things seem to be really changing on that front this year.

We also changed fundraising partners at the end of last summer, and so we regrouped and bid-for, and won, a small UK Space Agency grant. We are now using this to leverage a small initial seed round to get this operation moving in April. We have multiple investors lined up to follow this, ready to pay for the entire development.

And we do intend to bid for the recently announced 10m from the UK Space Agency, and Horizon will be one of the only completely British solutions for both launcher and spaceport, so we think we have a good chance there.

We've just got to tip the first of these domino's.

On the technical front, initial designs for the rockets, engines and most of the ground infrastructure are complete. Work is ongoing to develop four new rocket engine test stands at two different UK sites. We are working with two Scottish areas who both want us to setup a launch site. Our team now numbers over 30 truly amazing people from the UK and Europe and there is a real buzz to get moving.

This is the reason why the website currently remains aimed at investors, not the public. As I said previously, when we are in a position to go ahead and announce this programme officially, NSF will get the news first.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Marble

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #14 on: 03/21/2017 09:52 PM »
Ross,

Thanks for the update. I look forward to seeing some activity at Westcott.

Best of luck closing the funding.

Offline Ithirahad

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #15 on: 05/09/2017 03:08 PM »
Am I the only one here who feels that this shouldn't be called Black Arrow 2? Seems to have very little to do with the original Black Arrow, except that it's a rocket, it goes to space, and it's designed to launch satellites.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #16 on: 05/10/2017 10:59 AM »
Yes, about the only thing in common with the two vehicles is that they are British and have a similar paint job! Perhaps they could have called it the Black Clipper, Black Sun, Black Sky, Black Star, or something else beginning with Black (as the previous British Black Knight and Black Arrow rockets were called).
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline kraisee

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #17 on: 06/10/2017 04:23 AM »
Ithirahad & Steven,
You're not wrong!   The configuration is indeed totally different; 2 stage, not 3, and LNG/LOX not Kero/HTP+Solid.

But it's the underlying principal of the thing that is guiding us:   The original vehicle was being developed as a new satellite launch capability best suited for British (and international) customers of that age.   At its heart they were also trying to deliver launches for the most reasonable price possible.   Although it was roughly 50 years ago, that philosophy seems timelessly appropriate, especially within the current renaissance that the global space industry is experiencing at present.

The biggest difference between this and our namesake isn't technical, its econo-political.   Horizon is a purely commercial venture, so our success will be dependent on developing an economically desirable product that works well.   As such we'll be largely insulated from the sort of policy changes that shuttered the original BLACK ARROW (always full capitals) programme, though we will have a variety of interesting global market forces providing a different set of challenges.

Interestingly, we do have some original BLACK ARROW grey beards on the Horizon team, so there is a genuine thread of heritage here.

We considered a range of alternate names, including Alpha, but then Firefly took that before we could announce.   Some names fitted the general 'colour' code name pattern of that era, with BLUE ARROW and WHITE KNIGHT scoring fairly well.   But to be authentic it really needs to be BLACK Something, as that was used as a specific designation for 'non-weapons system' such as BLACK KNIGHT and BLACK ARROW.   In the end we just preferred to have the direct (no pun intended) connection to the original vehicle that made Britain a launching country, so BLACK ARROW 2 it is.   And other series have changed configuration and propellants drastically too, Delta IV for instance, so we don't see that as a limiting factor.

I would consider opening the name up to the public, but Boaty McBoatface suggests that may not be such a good idea ::)

Maybe people on NSF would like to try come up with a better name?   I won't promise we'll change, but if there's a really excellent suggestion out there that captures our team's interest, it would certainly be a shame to miss it!

Ross.

P.S. Horizon news coming next week!
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline Quintus

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #18 on: 06/10/2017 05:00 PM »
BLACK ADDER? BLACK PRINCE? I guess both of those will have been considered already though.  😊

Online William Graham

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Re: Horizon Black Arrow 2
« Reply #19 on: 06/11/2017 11:31 AM »
BLACK ADDER? BLACK PRINCE? I guess both of those will have been considered already though.  😊

Black Prince was a proposed design in the 1960s, with a Blue Streak first stage and a Black Knight second stage. I don't think a Black Adder has ever been proposed but that name should probably be saved until they have a crew capsule and they can send Rowan Atkinson up on the first flight.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the name Black Arrow II. There are plenty of examples of rockets that have kept the same name as their predecessors, despite having little or nothing in common: Delta IV, Ariane 5, GSLV Mk.III. Granted these were made by the same organisations, but I don't think it's a huge leap.

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