Author Topic: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket  (Read 64570 times)

Online Kryten

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #40 on: 03/06/2016 11:19 PM »
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.
Do you think it's possible they could use a common US with the Blue orbital LV?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #41 on: 03/07/2016 01:08 AM »
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.
Do you think it's possible they could use a common US with the Blue orbital LV?

ULA has been working toward a common US  before for Delta/Atlas/Vulcan. The plan for Vulcan is to start with Centaur, shared with Atlas. Those are your current examples.

If we were to see this proposed LV as a backup for Atlas/Vulcan, it would make most sense to piggyback that effort for a stage. But that would imply a lot of things I'd not like to defend.

And, Bruno has said that BE-3U an candidate for that as well.

Now ... in theory you could share US with various vehicles. BE-3 is already in use as a suborbital booster, and from it we can abstract much about BO's "use case" for a hydrolox stage.

We already know OA's desired "use case" is NSS payloads - is it likely that BO's hydrolox stage will be useful in achieving that, from what is at hand already? No - the point of BO's vehicle strategy appears to be different - they are making trades that appear to favor exclusively a human transport vehicle. Perhaps that may change, but currently nothing in the slightest suggests that is a consideration. Not even a shroud for an SC.

Does it take long to achieve a capable US for NSS payloads? Yes - it was the chief advantage that LMT had from the start with Atlas V (by taking it wholly, heritage included, from prior vehicles), and the largest technical deficit to surmount with Delta (largely from scratch + Delta III, and they never really did finish it). Its the weakest part of SX's story right now, and their first F9 LOM. If you share US with another LV/provider, why would it be in their interest to underwrite say multiple restarts, longer lived stages for coasts between burns, precision orientation for complex orbital injections, disposal, prop boil off reduction, ... All of these provide a competitive advantage for NSS launch services.

Makes more sense for BO to provide engines, possibly under a similar arrangement that ULA desires for BE-4, to share development, operation, and manufacturing/test/certification overhead.

Now, lets say OA does this with BO somehow, perhaps as a "stage vendor" around BO's engine. If BO accepts these stages, how much is compromised for BO's usage case? Does it incent BO to use some of those above mentioned features to compete with ULA/OA for launches?

US are very, very "usage case" specific. Once you get the economics working for them, you don't want to change them for fear of either putting at risk missions or wrecking the economics of your LV. Even having two different US might not be economic, because of the N x M problem of N stages with M different things/issues to contend with.

Which is why Antares has a solid second stage ... easiest way to finesse this with a new LV ... don't mess with added capabilities, just fly your manifested missions ASAP with something almost "off the shelf", and let a new program deal with added cost/capability/US.

Or Falcon 9, which is reuse as much of the booster components to do a US out of, incrementally stretching/proving new capabilities as needed to address more manifested missions, and living with the propulsion compromises.

So how does BO do a stage that they can use ... that is of any use to an OA EELV solid LV? It isn't clear.

Offline sdsds

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #42 on: 03/07/2016 01:34 AM »
The idea of strapping stage 0 solids onto this and getting "heavy" performance is fascinating. Is there a logical west coast pad to support that configuration?
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Offline spacenut

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #43 on: 03/07/2016 09:33 PM »
If they are going for an all solid lower stages, why not have a hypergolic upper stage.  That way they could have a quick and easy launch of an emergency Air Force satellite if need be.  It would be like the old Titan III except only the upper stage being hypergolic.  It might not be as cost effective, but it would be off the shelf easier than liquid for emergency launches. 

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #44 on: 03/07/2016 10:01 PM »
I read this statement as Blue providing not just engine but whole US. Given a low flight rate, buying an US makes more sense than developing and building their own.
For less demanding LEO missions OrbitalATK may still use a solid US eg Castor.


“We are proud to provide the BE-3U high energy upper stage solution for Orbital ATK’s next generation launch vehicle,” Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin’s president, said in an email to SpaceNews. - See more at: http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-spacex-win-air-force-propulsion-contracts/#sthash.v2IhyUKh.dpuf

Offline Kasponaut

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #45 on: 03/14/2016 03:26 PM »
I must ask again  :)
When will Orbital ATK present all the details about this new launch vehicle?
Anyone?

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #46 on: 03/14/2016 08:23 PM »
I must ask again  :)
When will Orbital ATK present all the details about this new launch vehicle?
Anyone?

On an earnings call with investors, OrbATK implied they're planning on making a yes/no commitment in the first half of 2017. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38298.msg1498832#msg1498832)

I doubt we'll see anything official before then.

Offline Kasponaut

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #47 on: 03/17/2016 08:08 AM »
Hopefully we don't have to wait that long 😉

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #48 on: 03/26/2016 02:01 PM »
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.

That isn't true, Orbital ATK makes composite structures for the Delta IV:

Quote
Orbital ATK also supplied a combined eighteen Delta IV and GEM-60 key composite structures, which provide lower weight and higher performance. The largest composite structures are four to five meters in diameter, range from one to eight meters in length, and are produced using either advanced wet winding or hand layup, machining and inspection techniques at Orbital ATK’s manufacturing facilities in Iuka, Mississippi, and Clearfield, Utah.

Additionally, Orbital ATK manufactured the propellant tank for the Delta IV upper stage roll control system at the company’s Commerce, California, facility, and it designed and manufactured the nozzle for Delta IV's RS-68A engine at its Promontory, Utah, facility. Orbital ATK also designed and produced the nozzle's thermal protection material, which is capable of shielding the nozzle from the extreme heat of launch, when external temperatures can exceed 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150724005291/en/Orbital-ATK-Integral-Successful-ULA-Delta-IV
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Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #49 on: 03/26/2016 04:30 PM »
Yes, but I don't think any of the things OA makes for the Delta 4 are in contact with LH2.  To the extent that propellants are involved, I think they are all solid or hypergolic.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #50 on: 03/26/2016 08:05 PM »
Yes, but I don't think any of the things OA makes for the Delta 4 are in contact with LH2.  To the extent that propellants are involved, I think they are all solid or hypergolic.
Actually yes there are some parts (tubing) within RS-68A leading to and then across the nozzle extension and back that are in contact with LH2 and LO2

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #51 on: 03/26/2016 10:28 PM »
Yes, but I don't think any of the things OA makes for the Delta 4 are in contact with LH2.  To the extent that propellants are involved, I think they are all solid or hypergolic.
Actually yes there are some parts (tubing) within RS-68A leading to and then across the nozzle extension and back that are in contact with LH2 and LO2

Boy are we chasing down the rathole ...

RS68 has a channel wall LH2 cooled combustion chamber that attaches to an ablative lower nozzle that ATK makes for the AR RS68A. And, it is the material that ATK makes to fabricate the nozzle from, to AR's detail, that is the chief advantage for the engine from thermal/structures point of view.

We can continue down this rathole as much as you'd like. BTW, Dr. Antonio Elias himself said what I said on this forum years back about the Taurus II, later renamed Antares, and now Antares 200. Take it up with him, not me.

He spoke of the various options (including certain Russian and American engines) for kerolox/hydrolox stages. The key reason they went with a solid US was that they were taking enough of a gamble on the LRE first stage and didn't want to risk more.

It would appear he was validated in this more than he would have liked to have been.

Now, I can also add that ATK has a few LRE engines in its portfolio as well, including one intended for a lunar ascent use. And I know they have "played" with hydrolox in some interesting ways, so they are not totally ignorant.

And they did talk about Liberty with a hydrolox second stage, largely from Ariane V sourced components.

From Atlas V inception a larger hydrolox stage specifically designed for EELV has been on the boards, while much of the same Centaur has been around preexisting EELV for decades. While tweaked significantly, ULA is still attempting to modernize/replace Centaur to this day for excellent reasons.

Now tell me where you suddenly get the same class/quality/reliability/performance/capability stage for OA?

Its not in the company. It's a hard, costly, and risky development to pull off for the best.

Are we done?

Online rayleighscatter

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #52 on: 03/26/2016 11:02 PM »

He spoke of the various options (including certain Russian and American engines) for kerolox/hydrolox stages. The key reason they went with a solid US was that they were taking enough of a gamble on the LRE first stage and didn't want to risk more.
I wouldn't necessarily read that to mean they didn't think they could do it. At the time Orbital was competing in a very crowded field so by using an existing option on the US the perceived development risk, and possibly more likely the perceived schedule risk was reduced making their bid more attractive to NASA.

Commercial crew is a good example of this. Any major space company could probably manage (and how many proposed) spaceplanes, but in the end capsules presented less risk from NASA's POV.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #53 on: 03/26/2016 11:25 PM »
So ATK manufacturs the ablative nozzle of the RS-68A. And Orbital ATK got the contract to develop the nozzle extension (ablative) for blueorigin BE-3U. I think it would be logical when Orbital ATK would use the BE-3U on their launch vehicles. Both on their new solid rocket as on Antares.
For Antares I think there wasn't an HyLox engine that matched their needs. The upperstage would need about 200kN (45 000 lbf) engine. So Orbital choose for an cheap solution they could offer themselfs,  castor 30 (xl). BE-3U can trottle down and meets te requirements.
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180. Multiple upper-stage options; castor30xl (with in orbit stage), BE-3U upper-stage.  Another option is that BlueOrigin first orbital launch vehicle will replace Antares. And the new solid rocket for heavier payloads (> 10mT; 22 000lb).

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #54 on: 03/26/2016 11:48 PM »
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180.

"Antares 300" is an RD-181 optimized version of Antares already in the pipeline.

I think the chances of OrbATK buying a booster engine from AJR are approximately 0%.

But we are OT.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #55 on: 03/26/2016 11:53 PM »

He spoke of the various options (including certain Russian and American engines) for kerolox/hydrolox stages. The key reason they went with a solid US was that they were taking enough of a gamble on the LRE first stage and didn't want to risk more.
I wouldn't necessarily read that to mean they didn't think they could do it.

What LV designer doesn't think that they can do anything? ;)

Management pushes back on schedule/budget/risk all the time.

Its irrelevant if they think they can do something.

Again, go back and read the posts Antonio wrote. He's great and I miss his posts because you really see the delineation on decisions.

Quote
At the time Orbital was competing in a very crowded field so by using an existing option on the US the perceived development risk, and possibly more likely the perceived schedule risk was reduced making their bid more attractive to NASA.

As with any customer. And the field hasn't got any less crowded, likely even more before we have the next LV fallout.

And it wasn't just NASA - both Orbital and ATK pre merger had larger, wider ambitions of who/what to serve as a provider.

Quote
Commercial crew is a good example of this. Any major space company could probably manage (and how many proposed) spaceplanes, but in the end capsules presented less risk from NASA's POV.

No its not a good example at all. Schedule pressure, operational need, means to address with an offering for any spacecraft depend not only on legacy of the components but testing/validation/certification of the system as used in the same role/capacity/function, sometimes near exactly.

LV's "live" a much shorter operational life (unless you reuse them ;) ). The issues with boosters are very different than US, which are a bit of a hybrid with some kind of short lived SC (sorta but not really).

Online Kryten

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #56 on: 03/27/2016 02:19 AM »
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180.
The ban is on use of any Russian designed or built engine for national security launches; it's not relevant to Antares, which is at most targeting a few commercial launches as well as CRS. Besides, AR-1 isn't going to be available anytime 'soon', and quite possibly never will be.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #57 on: 03/27/2016 03:21 AM »
For Antares I think there wasn't an HyLox engine that matched their needs. The upperstage would need about 200kN (45 000 lbf) engine. So Orbital choose for an cheap solution they could offer themselfs,  castor 30 (xl). BE-3U can trottle down and meets te requirements.
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180.
There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124, the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.

Antonio Elias said that Orbital had been working towards using the RD-0124 in the Antares High Energy Second Stage, but that they were starting with Castor 30. Later on, they decided growing the Castor to the 30XL was enough for CRS, so the HESS was shelved, pending a customer that needed it. Also, this was before the merger, so Castor 30 was not an internal product then.

Antares 300 is already announced, and is powered by RD-181, same as Antares 200, but the tanks have been lengthened to take better advantage of the engine. The ban isn't relevant to Antares, because it only applies to national security launches.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
« Reply #58 on: 04/01/2016 07:13 PM »
Does anyone have a sketch of what this rocket might look like?

Offline kevin-rf

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