Author Topic: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket  (Read 64527 times)

Offline baldusi

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #20 on: 03/03/2016 06:59 PM »
Those clearly are the three composite segments that ATK was touting for the Advanced Boosters.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #21 on: 03/03/2016 07:12 PM »
Those clearly are the three composite segments that ATK was touting for the Advanced Boosters.
Any guesses on payloads to GTO and LEO if topped with 50t BE3U US?. Don't forget SRBs are also an option, most likely the same ones as Vulcan will use.

Blue will most likely use a versus of US for its orbital LV plus it will share a lot of New Shepards tooling so production volumes should be high enough to keep price low.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #22 on: 03/03/2016 08:39 PM »
Those clearly are the three composite segments that ATK was touting for the Advanced Boosters.
And if I'm seeing things correctly, there are two for a first stage and one for a second stage.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/03/2016 08:44 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Oli

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #23 on: 03/03/2016 09:22 PM »

I'd say ~8t to GTO and with 2 additional 2-segment boosters ~16t to GTO. Plus intermediate versions with Vulcan solids.

 :)

Online ethan829

Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #24 on: 03/03/2016 09:57 PM »

Someone on Reddit uploaded a pdf with General Greaves' EELV talking points.  Included in the pdf was an (unfortunately small) image which may provide a look at the Orb-ATK proposal.
Neat, that was me! Hopefully we'll get a better render soon.

And if I'm seeing things correctly, there are two for a first stage and one for a second stage.
Huh, I hadn't considered that it might be a three-stage design. I figured it would be like Ares I or Liberty.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #25 on: 03/03/2016 10:17 PM »

I'd say ~8t to GTO and with 2 additional 2-segment boosters ~16t to GTO. Plus intermediate versions with Vulcan solids.

 :)
The fine numbers all depend on the size of the upper stage.  But even with a 30 tonne upper stage this rocket should beat Delta 4 Heavy to GEO/GTO if two Stage Zero boosters are added.  It would be mid-EELV (~Atlas 421/431) range in the three-stage in-line form suggested in the image upthread. 

It is the Heavy version that I find compelling.  Heavy has always been so much more complex and costly than Medium, even going back to the Titan 4 days.  This concept may offer a lower-cost modular solution to the Medium/Heavy problem.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/03/2016 10:18 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #26 on: 03/03/2016 10:26 PM »
Huh, I hadn't considered that it might be a three-stage design. I figured it would be like Ares I or Liberty.
Even Liberty would have needed a third (liquid) stage to do GTO missions.  Much better to split the solid motors into two stages, which gives a smaller, more optimum liquid insertion stage.  The launch vehicle ends up grossing only 70% as much at liftoff.

Europe (Arianespace and ILS) should probably pay more attention to this rocket than Falcon Heavy.  It is the original solid core Ariane 6 redux, and expanded.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/03/2016 10:52 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline LastStarFighter

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #27 on: 03/03/2016 10:37 PM »
I think the CBS (Common Booster Segment) is a carbonfiber-epoxy filament wound replacement for the RSRM (Reusable Solid Rocket Motor) rocket segments. From what I've read about the Brazilian VLS and VLM rockets, carbonfiber filament wound booster casings are much faster and cheaper to fabricate than metal (steel) casings. The investment in the development of these expendable composite solid rocket segments could have a very fast return on investment. (possibly one SLS mission)
Most likely the SLS solids will be replaced from 5segment RSRM's to 5 (or less, because they are larger) segment CBS engines. And I think Orbital ATK will use 2,5 (or less possibly 1 or 1,5) segment CBS as Castor 900 on Athena III (Athena is LM & ATK's commercial equivalent offer to the Minotaur rocket family. It uses Castor engines instead of military surplus Minuteman and Peacekeeper stages [surplus= stages that are close to or past their storage time]).

I do want to note that ATK could also have made these changes within the developement of the Five segment RSRM's. But SLS is a cost plus, old space Jobs program.  ::)

Edit: Could the LC-43 launch site location be a good location for the Athena III, it is on the launch site 46 the Minotaur and Athena launch site at Cape Canaveral. A new launch site has to be build. For possible liquid upper-stages on the Athena family the facilities at LC-17 (Delta II) or LC-36 (BlueOrigin) could be used.
I've added a map I picked from a document about commercial development on the Cape, and I've edited it. 
And a links to Info about Athena III from 2007, 2013 and a presentation from 2014.

@Kraisee, sorry I used your picture.
Have I put it correctly now?

It's also possible they will use SLC-39B. Positives are NASA is maintaining it, it has LH2/LOX available, flame duct is plenty big enough and NASA wants a shared use pad. Negatives are having to share the pad, probably renting up VAB space and crawlers are expensive. Not that I think it's a good option but just thought I'd throw it out there.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #28 on: 03/03/2016 10:41 PM »
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #29 on: 03/03/2016 10:50 PM »
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
That's why this may work.  The Heavy design, which would fly rarely, doesn't have to compromise the Medium, because it might lift the Medium.  A key would be to use the same upper stage for both.

I can see Orbital/ATK's strategy here.  The Medium would be able to lift payloads that are out of Falcon 9 Upgrade's reach.  The Heavy would be simpler than Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/03/2016 10:55 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline LastStarFighter

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #30 on: 03/03/2016 11:33 PM »
Very curious to see if/how they fixed the problems ARES-1 had with environments. If I remember correctly that vehicle would shake everything to pieces. Maybe this doesn't experience the same level of vibration though.

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #31 on: 03/03/2016 11:35 PM »
It would be very interesting to see how the commercial market chooses and values a "cost optimized" FH vs. something like this ORB-ATK vision, that while very likely not cheaper than FH, but arguably more simple and reliable.  I hope we get to find out.

As to the previous question of how many Delta IV heavy missions are out there?   Tough to say, D-IV is mainly US government captive rocket design, made special for a very few number of payloads.   However if this ORB-ATK vehicle is as speculated, it is competing for the segment out of reach of F9-FT, as point out elsewhere.  It will also have to compete against Ariane 6-4, Vulcan, & maybe Proton?

There is an Airbus-Safran .ppt in the NSS archives that puts the market for +6.2t to GTO/GSO at around 6 launches per year through 2020.  I don't think that is an "outlier" market that will be satisfied with a vehicle not optimized for their payloads.


Online spacenut

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #32 on: 03/03/2016 11:49 PM »
Can a 10' diameter road transportable solid with say 6-8 monolithic strap on solids compete in the medium lift market?  I know it might take a three stage with strap on's to lift something.  Just wondering.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #33 on: 03/04/2016 01:18 AM »
Can a 10' diameter road transportable solid with say 6-8 monolithic strap on solids compete in the medium lift market?  I know it might take a three stage with strap on's to lift something.  Just wondering.
OrbitalATK did mention using Vulcan SRBs on the LV. At this assume LV pictured with up to 6 SRBs. Should be able to cover most of the market. The SRBs are in-house so considerably cheaper than when they will be when fitted to Vulcan.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #34 on: 03/04/2016 03:46 AM »
Very curious to see if/how they fixed the problems ARES-1 had with environments. If I remember correctly that vehicle would shake everything to pieces. Maybe this doesn't experience the same level of vibration though.
Fixes were identified for Ares 1 thrust oscillation.  The shorter solids used in this design should have higher resonant frequencies, and ,since this is a new design, resonances could be de-tuned from the outset. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Lobo

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #35 on: 03/04/2016 06:16 PM »
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
That's why this may work.  The Heavy design, which would fly rarely, doesn't have to compromise the Medium, because it might lift the Medium.  A key would be to use the same upper stage for both.

I can see Orbital/ATK's strategy here.  The Medium would be able to lift payloads that are out of Falcon 9 Upgrade's reach.  The Heavy would be simpler than Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, very interesting.  I think the key is if they can manufacture the expendable booster casings and segments for price points that can be competitive with SpaceX's reusable boosters. 
If they really are -much- cheaper than metal casings, there may be something to that.
Because even if FH is more complex, given it's more simple propellants (vs. LH2 on D4H) that's probably a cost that will be incurred during development, but not sure it'll make reoccuring costs much more once flying.  Especially if the mission profile allows for recovery of the cores. 

But, to consider.  FH with all 3 cores recovered would probably only have a performance similar to a single core of this Orb-ATK LV.  Performance that will require a heavy version of the Orb-ATK solid LV would probably require at least an expendable FH central core.  So the price points might be single-core solid LV vs. FH with all 3 recoverd cores.  Or tri-core solid LV vs. FH with expendable central core.

Could be interesting. 

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #36 on: 03/05/2016 06:40 PM »
Solids do have their advantages, none of fuelling issues that have scrubbed F9 launches recently. They can sit on pad for hours waiting for range or weather to clear.

Still have to maintain the LOX/LH US.

Offline Kasponaut

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #37 on: 03/06/2016 10:30 PM »
When will Orbital ATK present all the details about this new launch vehicle?

Offline Arcas

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #38 on: 03/06/2016 10:49 PM »
Solids do have their advantages, none of fuelling issues that have scrubbed F9 launches recently. They can sit on pad for hours waiting for range or weather to clear.

Still have to maintain the LOX/LH US.
True, but this is true of normal LOX as well, you just vent the offgas and top it off. With Falcon 9 v1.2, you had the oxygen warming up without boiling, which made it hard to remove the warm stuff and pump in fresh cool stuff.
The risk I took was calculated, but boy am I bad at math.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #39 on: 03/06/2016 11:03 PM »
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
That's why this may work.  The Heavy design, which would fly rarely, doesn't have to compromise the Medium, because it might lift the Medium.  A key would be to use the same upper stage for both.

I can see Orbital/ATK's strategy here.  The Medium would be able to lift payloads that are out of Falcon 9 Upgrade's reach.  The Heavy would be simpler than Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, very interesting.  I think the key is if they can manufacture the expendable booster casings and segments for price points that can be competitive with SpaceX's reusable boosters. 
If they really are -much- cheaper than metal casings, there may be something to that.
Because even if FH is more complex, given it's more simple propellants (vs. LH2 on D4H) that's probably a cost that will be incurred during development, but not sure it'll make reoccuring costs much more once flying.  Especially if the mission profile allows for recovery of the cores. 

Keep in mind (just considering solids only of this hypothetical vehicle, not the hypothetical LRE US) the low fixed costs of LV/facilities, the amount risked as a "speculative" service provider means they can "cherry pick" opportunities, they can bid on less desirable (to say SX/ULA) payloads, and in general they can be a "spoiler" provider that does not have to have any certain minimum of launches to keep "alive" the launcher.

Quote

But, to consider.  FH with all 3 cores recovered would probably only have a performance similar to a single core of this Orb-ATK LV.  Performance that will require a heavy version of the Orb-ATK solid LV would probably require at least an expendable FH central core.  So the price points might be single-core solid LV vs. FH with all 3 recoverd cores.  Or tri-core solid LV vs. FH with expendable central core.

We don't know the "recycle" time/economics yet. There have been recent hints that this might be quite different then we were led to believe with Shuttle. If "once in a blue moon" FH NSS launches w/o reuse from F9 payload business contributing, then a solid vehicle that is gradually produced/stacked economically might compete favorably. It gets around the "minimum number of launches" per annum issues that ULA has.

Now, the part I completely don't buy is the hydrolox US. OA has no experience with LH - they chickened out of it before with Antares (which was wise in retrospect), and I can't see them outsourcing this need, much less having the launch frequency to "keep alive" a hydrolox US in house.

Best I could see is sharing it with Antares, but once you'd have two LV (Antares LV + solid LV), there would be enormous pressure to have just one LV, so one would be back to all the same problems as before, which is why they didn't do a solid Antares nor a LH US for it.

So all this seems to be is a backup LV paper concept for if ULA trips and falls flat on its face ;)

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