Author Topic: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION  (Read 17166 times)

Offline rayleighscatter

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Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« on: 04/04/2017 12:12 AM »
With more solid information about the rocket starting to come it was about time the Next Generation Launch (NGL) System had it's own thread as opposed to continuing the past highly speculative thread. (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.0)

500 Series
Stage 1: Castor 600
Stage 2: Castor 300
Stage 3: Cryogenic
Fairing: 5x15m
Payload: 5,500-8,500kg GTO

500XL
Stage 1: Castor 1200
Stage 2: Castor 300
Stage 3: Cryogenic
Fairing: 5x15m or 5x20m
Payload: 5,250- 7,000kg GEO

Here's the information from Orbital ATK's Press Release today:
Quote
Company’s Partnership with U. S. Air Force Focused on New Intermediate- and Large-Class Space Launch Vehicles

New Launchers to Use Company’s Industry-Leading Solid Rocket Propulsion Technology and Other Modular Elements


Dulles, Virginia 3 April 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that it has made important progress over the past 18 months in developing advanced solid rocket propulsion and other technologies to be used in a new generation of intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicles. Through a combination of internal investment and government funding from an Air Force contract awarded in late 2015 by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Systems Directorate, the company’s Flight Systems Group recently completed design reviews, facility upgrades and tooling fabrication, and has now begun early production of development hardware for its Next Generation Launch (NGL) system.
 
The company’s modular NGL rocket family will be capable of launching a wide variety of national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by its current fleet of Pegasus, Minotaur and Antares space launch vehicles.  The NGL vehicles will operate from both east and west coast launch facilities and will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with other company programs, including its smaller space launch vehicles as well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic missile systems.

“The NGL program is a great example of how industry and government can work together to develop an American launch system to support national security space launch requirements,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “Orbital ATK is well-positioned to introduce an intermediate- and large-class family of launch vehicles by leveraging the strengths of the merged company to achieve low-cost assured space access for current and future national security payloads and other satellites.”

Through commonality of hardware and other economies of scale, Orbital ATK’s proposed launch system will also reduce the cost of other U.S. Government rocket and missile programs managed by the Air Force, Navy, NASA and Missile Defense Agency, saving taxpayers up to $600 million on these programs over a ten-year period.

Over the past 18 months, Orbital ATK has successfully completed critical design reviews for major elements of the company’s solid propulsion stages, along with preliminary vehicle-level and launch site infrastructure reviews. The company has also refurbished a 60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors. Recently, the company completed the manufacturing of prototype motor test articles to be used in verification activities this summer.

“The Orbital ATK NGL team, which now numbers several hundred engineers and technicians, has made tremendous progress since late 2015.  Building on this work, we are looking forward to providing the Air Force and other customers with a highly-reliable and cost-effective launch system within the next four years,” said Lehr.

The next phase of the program is expected to commence when the Air Force awards Launch Services Agreements in early 2018, which would entail full vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; and Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

About Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,500 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.

Attached is also OA's NGL fact sheet
« Last Edit: 04/04/2017 12:26 AM by rayleighscatter »

Offline IanThePineapple

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #1 on: 04/04/2017 12:26 AM »
from a distance the bottom pic looks like an Atlas V 521 on 39B
Proud creator of Ian's Paper Model Rocket Collection:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42383.0

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #2 on: 04/04/2017 12:33 AM »
from a distance the bottom pic looks like an Atlas V 521 on 39B

Yep. I'm curious what Vandenberg pad they are hoping to use, though. There is no Shuttle heritage infrastructure left there.

Offline GWH

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #3 on: 04/04/2017 12:36 AM »
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #4 on: 04/04/2017 02:59 AM »
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
Super 4 Segment Cygnus?

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #5 on: 04/04/2017 03:15 AM »
Even more interesting is ability to deliver payloads direct to GEO, something only ULA have offered and will be with ACES.

This long lived US may also be capable of delivering payloads direct to DSG.

Not stated but US is likely to be BE3U powered with possibility Blue will build complete stage.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #6 on: 04/04/2017 04:22 AM »
from a distance the bottom pic looks like an Atlas V 521 on 39B

Yep. I'm curious what Vandenberg pad they are hoping to use, though. There is no Shuttle heritage infrastructure left there.
In his story last year, Stephen Clark said that Orbital ATK was looking at rebuilding SLC 2.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Dante80

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #7 on: 04/04/2017 07:19 AM »
Not stated but US is likely to be BE3U powered with possibility Blue will build complete stage.

We do know that BE-3U is definitely the engine. OA is developing an extendable vacuum nozzle for it.

Judging from the fact that OA has not dabbled in hydrolox yet, it is very possible indeed that Blue will be the contractor for the US as a whole.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2017 07:21 AM by Dante80 »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #8 on: 04/04/2017 10:04 AM »
Blue may not be launching DOD missions but their engines will be, whether it is ULA or OA LV.

Offline GWH

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #9 on: 04/04/2017 03:58 PM »
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
Super 4 Segment Cygnus?

HA! Why limit it at 4 segments when they could fit 6  ;)
Was more thinking about potential for heavy lift for the not-yet-existent prop depot market.

Even more interesting is ability to deliver payloads direct to GEO, something only ULA have offered and will be with ACES.

In it's largest configuration 250kg more payload to GEO than Delta-IV Heavy.  If they are competitive on price could be very lucrative contracts.

While my speculation is baseless I wonder if they are looking at direct to GEO capabilities as an extension to their satellite servicing being developed.  A type of rapid response repair service.

This long lived US may also be capable of delivering payloads direct to DSG. 

Less dV required than direct to GEO.  Would be very capable at delivery of Cygnus flown cargo or station modules (see Deep Space Habitat Proposal) to DSG.

Online brickmack

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #10 on: 04/04/2017 05:25 PM »
Neat, bigger than DIVH then it looks like (for the XL version). Not a big fan of expendable solids, but maybe this could be a good stopgap for the next few years until reuse becomes a requirement for competitiveness

Super 4 Segment Cygnus?

At these sizes, probably makes more sense to design a totally new PCM (ATV/MPLM sized?). More mass efficient per volume, and at a certain point lengthening it more will probably cause SSRMS reach issues since the grapple fixtures are on the SM.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #11 on: 04/04/2017 05:32 PM »
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
It's usually between 2.5X~3X GTO performance. So this should be somewhere between 15 and 25 tonnes. The big uncertainty is due to the GTO undertainty. But yes, a 4.2m diameter evolution of the Cygnus could very well do up to something equivalent to the ATV performance (~20tonnes of cargo).

Offline GWH

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #12 on: 04/04/2017 05:49 PM »
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
It's usually between 2.5X~3X GTO performance. So this should be somewhere between 15 and 25 tonnes. The big uncertainty is due to the GTO undertainty. But yes, a 4.2m diameter evolution of the Cygnus could very well do up to something equivalent to the ATV performance (~20tonnes of cargo).

That is for the 500 series though right?

For the 500XL series, comparing the relative performance of Detla IV Heavy to GTO (14,700kg) & GEO performance (6750kg) & a taking WAG from the 7000kg max to GEO to approximate LEO performance would estimate from 35,000 kg to 44,000 kg. 
That's a lot more than the Delta IV heavy, but from my understanding the single RL-10 is really limited for LEO by gravity losses?  The BE-3U with over 4x the trust of an RL-10 should have a lot better performance there.

Offline kingfisherb90

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #13 on: 04/04/2017 08:07 PM »
I am also highly interested in the LEO and DRO payloads.
I would love to see an set of trades on an OATK Deep Space Gateway.

Course i'd also like to see trades on an "All of the above" Commercial DSG.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #14 on: 04/04/2017 08:19 PM »
I am also highly interested in the LEO and DRO payloads.
I would love to see an set of trades on an OATK Deep Space Gateway.

Course i'd also like to see trades on an "All of the above" Commercial DSG.

AIUI, TLI is less than GEO. For example, DIVH does 6.75 tonnes to GEO but 10.57 to TLI (C3=-2km²/s²). Atlas V 551 does 3.9 and 6.3 respectively. Thus, a 500XL should do anywhere between 8.4 and 10.8 tonnes to TLI. The payload would then need propellant to move from and away from the DRO. So a 500XL could very comfortably enable SuperCygnus cargo to DRO.

Offline Kosmos2001

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #15 on: 04/04/2017 09:08 PM »
Orbital ATK just tweeted a pic with a model of the launcher:

Orbital ATK@OrbitalATK
 Come by and talk with our Orbital ATK space & launch teams at the Space Symposium (booth #750) & check out our NGL launch system #EELV #33SS

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #16 on: 04/04/2017 09:48 PM »
Bigger version.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline JH

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #17 on: 04/05/2017 06:57 AM »
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #18 on: 04/05/2017 07:00 AM »
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.

Offline woods170

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #19 on: 04/05/2017 09:53 AM »
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.
My thoughts exactly. Given that the capacity of all those new/existing launch systems far exceeds the long-term capacity predictions I don't see NGL progressing significantly beyond the Powerpoint-and-models stage.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 01:05 PM by woods170 »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #20 on: 04/05/2017 10:22 AM »
May not be cheaper than F9R but should be competitive with Ariane 6 and Vulcan.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #21 on: 04/05/2017 11:33 AM »
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.

I think this will show the limitations of big solids. Unless they get the SLS Block 2 boostr contract and leverage the government payed infrastructure.

Offline JPK

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #22 on: 04/05/2017 12:03 PM »
possible typothe paylode for the castor 1200 is given as less than the 600. Is this a typo?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #23 on: 04/05/2017 01:54 PM »
Given that the capacity of all those new/existing launch systems far exceeds the long-term capacity predictions I don't see NGL progressing significantly beyond the Powerpoint-and-models stage.
I would say the same for several of the other proposed launch vehicles.   Much depends on what happens, likely this year, when the button is finally pressed for BE-4 and Falcon Heavy.   Orbital ATK's decision point comes after those events are planned.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #24 on: 04/05/2017 03:05 PM »
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.

I think this will show the limitations of big solids. Unless they get the SLS Block 2 boostr contract and leverage the government payed infrastructure.
This rocket will already make use of a lot of shared costs. It will share the BE-3 and potentially the upper stage with Blue. It will share the strap on SRMs with ULA. It will use LC-39B and potentially the VAB. The fairing is likely to be built by a company already supplying another launch provider. The government has already paid for the a lot of the development of those big solids.

If they retire Antares and launch Cygnus on this rocket then they only have to get a few extra launches to be viable. It is interesting that they didn't use the liquid core from Antares instead of the big solids as the core of this rocket. I wonder what the cost and performance would have been if they upgraded Antares with the SRMs and the BE-3 upper stage.

Offline StarryKnight

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #25 on: 04/05/2017 04:26 PM »
possible typothe paylode for the castor 1200 is given as less than the 600. Is this a typo?

The payload weights for the two vehicle types reference different types of orbits (GTO vs.  direct to GEO), so not an apples to apples comparison.
In satellite operations, schedules are governed by the laws of physics and bounded by the limits of technology.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #26 on: 04/05/2017 04:56 PM »
Bigger version.

 - Ed Kyle

Does this more detailed model give us more clues about the stages involved in this rocket? It appears at a brief glance be a 2 stage and booster setup, but one single large solid first stage would not seem to have sufficient performance with the small liquid upper stage (in fairing) to match Delta IV Heavy...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #27 on: 04/05/2017 05:03 PM »
Bigger version.

 - Ed Kyle

Does this more detailed model give us more clues about the stages involved in this rocket? It appears at a brief glance be a 2 stage and booster setup, but one single large solid first stage would not seem to have sufficient performance with the small liquid upper stage (in fairing) to match Delta IV Heavy...
It seems at first glance consistent with last year's presentation slide, which showed or discussed two in-line solid motors topped by an LH2/LOX third stage.  If you look real close, you'll see a break in the cable conduit on the side of the solids about where the interstage should be located.  I think we're looking at a two-segment first stage topped by a one-segment second stage.  These are likely the new composite common booster segments rather than the SRB segments to which we are accustomed.

(I hope OATK releases a better copy of that slide.)

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 05:09 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Kosmos2001

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #28 on: 04/05/2017 05:44 PM »
From an appearance point of view I personally like it.

Offline Kryten

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #29 on: 04/05/2017 07:22 PM »
Attached is an Orbital fact sheet on NGL, with new renders for 500 and 500XL. I'm not sure exactly how old it is, but it's recent.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #30 on: 04/05/2017 08:49 PM »
May not be cheaper than F9R but should be competitive with Ariane 6 and Vulcan.
It should be.

Earlier concept for Ariane 6 was a PPH like this was to be. However, OA could make it work where Airbus Safran couldn't in part due to more cost sharing ...

It will share the BE-3 and potentially the upper stage with Blue. It will share the strap on SRMs with ULA. It will use LC-39B and potentially the VAB. The fairing is likely to be built by a company already supplying another launch provider. The government has already paid for the a lot of the development of those big solids.
Indeed. As Ed remarked in previous thread. They only need to qualify the Black Knights IIRC.

Quote
If they retire Antares and launch Cygnus on this rocket then they only have to get a few extra launches to be viable.
Not so sure. Depends on the trade-offs for this vehicle.

Remember that configuration for a solids vehicle is quite different than a LRE one.

Quote
It is interesting that they didn't use the liquid core from Antares instead of the big solids as the core of this rocket. I wonder what the cost and performance would have been if they upgraded Antares with the SRMs and the BE-3 upper stage.
Remember where the liquid core originates - from Ukraine. And the engines - Russia.

I think this will show the limitations of big solids. Unless they get the SLS Block 2 booster contract and leverage the government paid infrastructure.
It does.

And the problems with the booster contract is that SLS may be imperiled overall, and that even with the Black Knights you may not be able to make a compelling case for Block 2 as it is too small, given ITS/NA on the horizon.

Musk and Bezos are already having an effect on that front (cf my remarks on AR-1 thread).

If you look real close, you'll see a break in the cable conduit on the side of the solids about where the interstage should be located.  I think we're looking at a two-segment first stage topped by a one-segment second stage.  These are likely the new composite common booster segments rather than the SRB segments to which we are accustomed.
Thank you Ed, that was bothering me, glad you explained it.

That would allow them to field a vehicle sooner and for less upfront costs/risks.

Also might explain aspects of a Vandenberg pad cost/timing that could work on such a schedule.

I'm still reading this as a "SX or BE4 screw-up" opportunity for them. E.g. longshot.

But its a good proposal. Far better than the Liberty nonsense, and much more capable than Athena was.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #31 on: 04/06/2017 11:26 AM »
Wow OATK accually started manufacturing hardware for NGL, that's a big commitment.
In my view a solid rocket consists of five parts. The insuladed casing, the igniter, the fuel grain, the nozzle and the nozzle actuation system. The new part is the insulated casing, all other parts have a STS legacy.

OATK states that they need 5 to 6 launches annually. Assuming this are NGL500 launches, this corresponds with 15 to 24 casing segments, and grains to cast. And 10 to 12 igniters, nozzles and actuation systems. I assume OATK outsources the liquid upper-stage productions (5 to 6).
My guess is that one casing production station can produce up to 12 to 24 segments annually (1 month - 2 weeks production time).

A NGL500 requires three segments for it's two Solid stages,
a NGL 500XL requires 5 segments for it's two Solid stages.
And an SLS launch most likely requires 8 or 10 segments for the two SRB's.
I guess the business case closes with an anual production of 24 casings and grains and 8 igniters, nozzles and actuation systems.

For Ariane 6 it is rumoured that a single P120c (ESR/P142) will cost about 15mln euro.
I guess the Castor 300 will cost about the same in dollars. A Castor600 could cost 25mln and a Castor1200 45mln. So I guss NGL could be really price compatible.

As writen by others, Antares will have to be faced out for the same reason Atlas V has to be replaced by Vulcan. The real rockets that support the ICBM/ BMD production are;
Pegasus, Minotour and Athena. I think LM dropped off the Athena program, and I hope OATK will bring it to market eventually.
 

Offline GClark

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #32 on: 04/06/2017 12:04 PM »
a) I think LM dropped off the Athena program

b) I hope OATK will bring it to market eventually

a) They did.

b) OATK won't.  It directly competes with Pegasus and Taurus err, Minotaur-C.  IMNSHO, of course.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #33 on: 04/06/2017 01:41 PM »
Some bits of news in today's Defense News article. First, Orbital ATK believes NGL can be profitable on "three to four missions [per] year".  Second, C300 and C600 motors have completed CDR and will be static test fired in 2019.  Third, Orbital ATK will "select its [third stage] engine supplier as early as a month from now".  Finally, the third stage "tank assembly" will be "homegrown" (built by Orbital ATK).

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commonality-key-for-orbital-atks-bid-to-win-air-force-launch-vehicle-program

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/06/2017 01:42 PM by edkyle99 »

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #34 on: 04/06/2017 01:45 PM »
Some bits of news in today's Defense News article. First, Orbital ATK believes NGL can be profitable on "three to four missions [per] year".  Second, C300 and C600 motors have completed CDR and will be static test fired in 2019.  Third, Orbital ATK will "select its [third stage] engine supplier as early as a month from now".  Finally, the third stage "tank assembly" will be "homegrown" (built by Orbital ATK).

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commonality-key-for-orbital-atks-bid-to-win-air-force-launch-vehicle-program

 - Ed Kyle

So could it be profitable launching just Cygnus? Or with one other launch a year?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #35 on: 04/06/2017 02:00 PM »
Some bits of news in today's Defense News article. First, Orbital ATK believes NGL can be profitable on "three to four missions [per] year".  Second, C300 and C600 motors have completed CDR and will be static test fired in 2019.  Third, Orbital ATK will "select its [third stage] engine supplier as early as a month from now".  Finally, the third stage "tank assembly" will be "homegrown" (built by Orbital ATK).

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commonality-key-for-orbital-atks-bid-to-win-air-force-launch-vehicle-program

 - Ed Kyle

So could it be profitable launching just Cygnus? Or with one other launch a year?
It isn't being designed for Cygnus (it is Antares times two capability, roughly speaking).  NGL is vying for EELV work, primarily.  The idea is to win a core number of EELV launches and then augment those with NASA work.  It could presumably orbited an enlarged, much heavier Cygnus.  The XL version might also launch a Cygnus type spacecraft to a lunar outpost, etc. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/06/2017 02:33 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #36 on: 04/06/2017 02:46 PM »
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Six...

SpaceX, BFR
« Last Edit: 04/06/2017 02:47 PM by AncientU »
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Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #37 on: 04/06/2017 06:17 PM »
Building 3rd stage inhouse means they are not dependant on Blue, can always switch to RL10s if need be.

Avionics can come from Antares.
SRBs lend themselves to robotic assembly, case and fuel loading especially.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #38 on: 04/06/2017 08:46 PM »
Building 3rd stage inhouse means they are not dependant on Blue, can always switch to RL10s if need be.

Avionics can come from Antares.
SRBs lend themselves to robotic assembly, case and fuel loading especially.
All not true.

Solids have significant handling issues too.

Likely they are caught in a choice between what they should do and what they can do.

Once they know what their opening is viz Vulcan/FH "issues", then they can chose US strategy to match.

The signal about tanks internal is that they'll be responsible for most of the stage for cost reasons.
« Last Edit: 04/06/2017 10:28 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline JH

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #39 on: 04/07/2017 12:48 AM »
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Six...

SpaceX, BFR

Yeah, I had listed ITS but then decided that it was a bit too nebulous at the moment with Musk recently hinting at "refinements" to be revealed in the near future.

Offline corneliussulla

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #40 on: 05/16/2017 10:20 AM »
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Six...

SpaceX, BFR

ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #41 on: 05/16/2017 01:51 PM »
ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Can't the same be said for some of the others?  Vulcan ACES is as much paper as NGL.  New Glenn is no further along than NGL.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 01:52 PM by edkyle99 »

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #42 on: 05/16/2017 04:16 PM »
ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Can't the same be said for some of the others?  Vulcan ACES is as much paper as NGL.  New Glenn is no further along than NGL.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

They are all well past the paper stage as they are all building and testing primary propulsion - except NGL, which is still heavily based on built and tested STS/SLS hardware.

I think the point above was more about the money. Of the six US heavy or super-heavy lift vehicles in development, only NGL and SLS are primarily dependent on USG funding for development and missions. Vulcan is at least trying to be commercially viable, and its dev funding is primarily from ULA.

FH, NG, and ITS are almost entirely privately funded through development and don't need USG payloads to make development worthwhile.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #43 on: 05/16/2017 05:09 PM »
ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Can't the same be said for some of the others?  Vulcan ACES is as much paper as NGL.  New Glenn is no further along than NGL.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

They are all well past the paper stage as they are all building and testing primary propulsion - except NGL, which is still heavily based on built and tested STS/SLS hardware.
Orbital ATK has fabricated composite Common Booster Segment casings.  ULA has fabricated some Vulcan core test panels.  Orbital ATK has not yet test fired a CBS motor, but then again BE-4 has also not yet been test fired.  NGL's upper stage motor is (most likely) derived from BE-3.  The ACES upper stage motor has not yet been selected, but BE-3 is a candidate.  It seems to me that there are similarities in state-of-progress.
Quote

I think the point above was more about the money. Of the six US heavy or super-heavy lift vehicles in development, only NGL and SLS are primarily dependent on USG funding for development and missions. Vulcan is at least trying to be commercially viable, and its dev funding is primarily from ULA.

FH, NG, and ITS are almost entirely privately funded through development and don't need USG payloads to make development worthwhile.
If the Pentagon passes on Vulcan, ULA will drop it in an instant.  Just like Orbital ATK, ULA is getting some money from the government for this early development work.  Falcon Heavy is being developed to compete for EELV work, and yes, SpaceX is also getting a piece of Pentagon funding help.  (I would be surprised to see FH continue to fly if it were to lose the EELV competition.)  This is all part of the funding allotted after RD-180 became a political football.  There are at least three contenders, but plans call for only two winners in the end.     
http://www.americaspace.com/2016/03/03/air-force-funds-both-ar1-and-be-4-rocket-engine-development-to-replace-ulas-russian-rd-180/
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/as-rd-180-ban-looms-space-companies-make-steady-progress-on-new-launch-technologies

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 05:17 PM by edkyle99 »

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #44 on: 05/16/2017 08:30 PM »
...  It seems to me that there are similarities in state-of-progress.
That was indeed my point.


Quote
If the Pentagon passes on Vulcan, ULA will drop it in an instant. Just like Orbital ATK, ULA is getting some money from the government for this early development work.  Falcon Heavy is being developed to compete for EELV work, and yes, SpaceX is also getting a piece of Pentagon funding help.  (I would be surprised to see FH continue to fly if it were to lose the EELV competition.)

Vulcan should be at least marginally competitive in the commercial market. It wouldn't be a viable project without USG funding and payloads, but it should be able to win some commercial customers.

NGL doesn't seem to be going anywhere unless the majority of development is USG funded, and several USG payloads per year guaranteed. It doesn't sound like it will be competitive commercially, and even moving Cygnus missions to NGL and canning Antares wouldn't be enough to keep it alive.

SLS is pretty much in the same boat as NGL - a USG built launcher for USG purposes.

FH is commercially viable for large commsats and HSF, and has paying customers for both. Add in SpaceX's internal needs and I'd be highly surprised to see it canceled. They can't even delay it much more, since they have to stop improving F9. I haven't seen any indication that FH is specifically getting USG funding. Raptor is partially funded by the USAF, notionally for F9/FH, but Raptor seems rather unlikely to fly until some version of ITS.
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 08:32 PM by envy887 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #45 on: 05/17/2017 12:15 AM »
SLS is pretty much in the same boat as NGL - a USG built launcher for USG purposes.
SLS is a NASA design, with NASA serving as the oversight general contractor in a way.  NGL is an Orbital ATK project and design.  It is not all government funded, so erase that fallacy from your mind.  The current development efforts are proceeding on a cost-sharing basis, just like the comparable ULA and SpaceX efforts.  And don't kid yourself about Vulcan being commercially competitive.  If Vulcan does not win a Pentagon contract, it won't get built, in my opinion.  The same is true of NGL and, I believe, Falcon Heavy.

Falcon Heavy only has two or three commercial contracts, and only a handful of total planned launches at present.  It could very well prosper, but that is not a certainty.  I see NGL as part of an "all hands on deck" effort to replace RD-180.   Multiple efforts are underway.  Not all will succeed.  I'm not willing to bet for or against any of these efforts at this time.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/17/2017 12:17 AM by edkyle99 »

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #46 on: 05/17/2017 01:48 AM »
SLS is pretty much in the same boat as NGL - a USG built launcher for USG purposes.
SLS is a NASA design, with NASA serving as the oversight general contractor in a way.  NGL is an Orbital ATK project and design.  It is not all government funded, so erase that fallacy from your mind.  The current development efforts are proceeding on a cost-sharing basis, just like the comparable ULA and SpaceX efforts.  And don't kid yourself about Vulcan being commercially competitive.  If Vulcan does not win a Pentagon contract, it won't get built, in my opinion.  The same is true of NGL and, I believe, Falcon Heavy.

Falcon Heavy only has two or three commercial contracts, and only a handful of total planned launches at present.  It could very well prosper, but that is not a certainty.  I see NGL as part of an "all hands on deck" effort to replace RD-180.   Multiple efforts are underway.  Not all will succeed.  I'm not willing to bet for or against any of these efforts at this time.

 - Ed Kyle

While technically "commercial" I don't think NGL has any commercial launch business case, and it has been primarily funded by the USAF contributing $180M while Orbital chipped in $135M to develop propulsion [1]. The USAF also paid $200M to develop BE-4, but ULA is paying $135M and Blue a "sizable but proprietary" amount [2]. The USAF only paid "up to" $60M to SpaceX for Raptor, contingent on SpaceX contributing twice that amount [3].

I don't doubt ULA will drop Vulcan (and likely close shop) if it doesn't win a EELV spot. But that doesn't mean they won't sell a decent number of commercial launches on teh side if they win. Probably not enough to support the business, but far more than NGL. And Vulcan can also launch Starliner which is technically commercial and potentially rather profitable.

So while SLS is solely funded by NASA for NASA launches, NGL is just mostly funded by the DOD, mostly for DOD launches. Neither is an enviable position from my view.

[1] http://www.space.com/36362-orbital-atk-new-rocket-family.html
[2] http://www.americaspace.com/2016/03/03/air-force-funds-both-ar1-and-be-4-rocket-engine-development-to-replace-ulas-russian-rd-180/
[3] http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/spacex-air-force-funding-infusion-raptor-engine/

Offline spacenut

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #47 on: 05/17/2017 02:30 AM »
From what I've seen from the last SpaceX launch, it was 6 tons to GTO.  Their website says 5.5 tons.  So, they have improved the F9 to the point it can cut out some FH launches.  IF, big IF, they develop a Raptor based 2nd stage, F9 could very well get 28-30 tons to LEO expendible.  They may not need FH except to compete with SLS or New Glenn with a Raptor based upper stage. 

If Orbital can use existing solid segments to make a 3 stage EELV, that would give some competition to SpaceX and ULA especially for government launches. 

ULA may be hurt if they don't get Vulcan with ACES built, it depends on it's parents.   

Offline GWH

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #48 on: 05/17/2017 02:34 AM »
From what I've seen from the last SpaceX launch, it was 6 tons to GTO.  Their website says 5.5 tons.  So, they have improved the F9 to the point it can cut out some FH launches.

That is the recoverable capacity...

Offline baldusi

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #49 on: 05/17/2017 01:31 PM »
SpaceX has just demonstrated Proton-M/Zenith performance with expendable less-than-Block5 Falcon 9. I don't know what's the price point of expendable Falcon 9, but if they can do 6 tonnes and recover the first stage, NGL would need one huge business case to compete. And I'm assuming failure of New Glenn and Vulcan to match that price point.
CRS2 might be it. A CRS-like contract to a future Moon neighborhood station might be it. But without an Advanced SRB contract for SLS, I don't see the minimum scale of economics.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #50 on: 05/19/2017 04:46 PM »
So while SLS is solely funded by NASA for NASA launches, NGL is just mostly funded by the DOD, mostly for DOD launches. Neither is an enviable position from my view.

I'll bet that DoD will look favorably on NGL, despite iffy economics, simply because it will keep the US solid-motor industry turning over.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 06:06 PM by Proponent »

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #51 on: 06/28/2017 01:30 AM »
Yet another attempt to restrict Air Force funding to the the development of first-stage rocket engines only:
The “chairman’s mark” version of the [fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)], released by the committee June 26, includes a section restricting Air Force funding of vehicle development under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. Under that provision, the Air Force would be limited to funding new engines, integration of those engines with vehicles, and related capabilities to support national security launches.

The section includes a specific prohibition against funding “the development of new launch vehicles under such program.” It also specifically defines a “rocket propulsion system” that can be funded as a first-stage rocket engine or motor. “The term does not include a launch vehicle, an upper stage, a strap-on motor, or related infrastructure,” it states.

The Defense Department opposes that language in the bill. In a document submitted to the committee and obtained by SpaceNews, it warned that the language would force it to abandon some ongoing vehicle development efforts and rely primarily on ULA’s Delta 4 and SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

[...]“Section 1615 appears to force the Department to end the more than $300 [million] investment in the industry-developed systems and instead use a modernized Delta IV launch vehicle and/or the Falcon 9,” it stated, referring to the section of the NDAA that contains the funding restriction. The Falcon 9, it noted, cannot handle many national security missions, while the Delta 4 is significantly more expensive than alternative existing vehicles.
Edit: cross-posted from ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion as it is also relevant to NGL.
« Last Edit: 06/28/2017 01:42 AM by Navier–Stokes »

Offline spacenut

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #52 on: 06/29/2017 01:52 PM »
It seems as if the NGL rocket already has the "components" to make one from existing boosters and developments.  How long if they started today, could they have a complete rocket ready to test and launch?  Could it beat Vulcan or New Glenn to the launch pad?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #53 on: 06/29/2017 02:21 PM »
It seems as if the NGL rocket already has the "components" to make one from existing boosters and developments.  How long if they started today, could they have a complete rocket ready to test and launch?  Could it beat Vulcan or New Glenn to the launch pad?
Vulcan Centaur and 2-Stage New Glenn are both claiming operational dates that precede Orbital ATK's planned NGL-5XX date by a year or two, but I take all of these claims - all of them - with a grain of salt.  Vulcan ACES, 3-Stage New Glenn, and NGL-5XX-XL are all currently aiming for the same year (2023), but, again, salt.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #54 on: 06/29/2017 02:44 PM »
It seems as if the NGL rocket already has the "components" to make one from existing boosters and developments.  How long if they started today, could they have a complete rocket ready to test and launch?  Could it beat Vulcan or New Glenn to the launch pad?

Building the 'components" of the NGL are not the hard part, since they have internal experience with that.

Building a team to be responsible for the entire rocket, building the launch infrastructure, building a launch team, and making it all work is going to take time. And they don't have experience being a launch provider.

Plus, I don't see the company funding a full-up launch unless they have a clear path towards at least breaking even on this, which means either a commitment from the U.S. Government or they find private sector customers that want to use them - which I would not believe is possible.

EDIT: Yep, I goofed on that one. Orbital has launch experience with small and medium rockets. I guess I was thinking of just ATK.

Thanks for pointing that out.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 01:17 AM by Coastal Ron »
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online douglas100

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #55 on: 06/29/2017 02:53 PM »

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.
Douglas Clark

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #56 on: 06/29/2017 11:16 PM »

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.

But all of them except for Antares are assemble with parts derived from various US solid fueled strategic missiles for small to medium payloads. Even the Antares in both incarnation have a large solid upper stage that restricted beyond LEO performance. I take @Coastal Ron's comment to meant that O-ATK don't have much experience launching medium to large commercial comsats to GEO.

edited to add "derived"

@jim is correct. Only the Minotaur uses ex-USAF missile parts.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 12:39 AM by Zed_Noir »

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #57 on: 06/29/2017 11:39 PM »
No, only Minotaur uses ICBM motors. Taurus and Pegasus use new motors

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #58 on: 06/30/2017 12:21 AM »
The Be3U powered US would be the most challenging for OA as they don't have LH experience. Nothing poaching engineers from ULA or Blue couldn't fix. Blue may even offer help if it results in BE3 sales.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #59 on: 06/30/2017 12:27 AM »

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.

It all depends on on how silo'd (separated) off the Orbital and ATK parts of the company are. OATK hasn't exactly warmly embraced Antares until perhaps recently. Also, past history of an organization is no guarantee that the current employees have retained that skill-set. There are lots of examples of that.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #60 on: 06/30/2017 12:46 AM »
It all depends on on how silo'd (separated) off the Orbital and ATK parts of the company are. OATK hasn't exactly warmly embraced Antares until perhaps recently. Also, past history of an organization is no guarantee that the current employees have retained that skill-set. There are lots of examples of that.
David Thompson, Orbital co-founder, is at the helm of this merged company.  He moved Scott Lehr, from the ATK side of the house, into the lead of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, which is developing NGL (and operating Antares, Pegasus, Minotaur, etc.).  It seems to me to have been a purposeful move designed to help tear down the old walls.

No guarantees, but this merger seems to me to have many synergies.  Motor builder joins company that uses motors. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 12:50 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #61 on: 06/30/2017 01:19 AM »

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.

Thanks for pointing that out, and I've edited my post to correct my oversight. I think I was only thinking of the ATK part of Orbital ATK.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #62 on: 06/30/2017 09:49 AM »
You're welcome. I don't think there's any doubt they could do NGL technically and operationally. It's the business case that's problematic.
Douglas Clark

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #63 on: 06/30/2017 10:29 PM »
It all depends on on how silo'd (separated) off the Orbital and ATK parts of the company are. OATK hasn't exactly warmly embraced Antares until perhaps recently. Also, past history of an organization is no guarantee that the current employees have retained that skill-set. There are lots of examples of that.
David Thompson, Orbital co-founder, is at the helm of this merged company.  He moved Scott Lehr, from the ATK side of the house, into the lead of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, which is developing NGL (and operating Antares, Pegasus, Minotaur, etc.).  It seems to me to have been a purposeful move designed to help tear down the old walls.

No guarantees, but this merger seems to me to have many synergies.  Motor builder joins company that uses motors. 

 - Ed Kyle

The merger can also be seen as the next logical step after the "joint venture" model that Orbital and Hercules used to develop Pegasus, in which the companies shared development costs/responsibilities and profits, IIRC.

So if Pegasus was the fruit of a liaison between Orbital and Hercules, NGL will/would be the fruit of a real marriage of Orbital and ATK.

I guess Dave Thompson et al figured the Pegasus joint venture experience was positive enough the take the plunge with ATK.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #64 on: 07/01/2017 10:26 AM »
I keep reading "LNG rocket" hence a rocket running on liquid natural gas (refueled and launched from a LNG ship ?)  ;D
« Last Edit: 07/01/2017 10:27 AM by Archibald »

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #65 on: 07/03/2017 05:26 AM »
I keep reading "LNG rocket" hence a rocket running on liquid natural gas (refueled and launched from a LNG ship ?)  ;D

What do you think about a expendable TSTO with BE-4U engine upper-stage? (Instead of Castor300+BE-3UEN 3th stage)
Could LOx and LNG alu or plastic COPV propallent tanks be produced using the same tooling as for the Castor X00 solid casings?
« Last Edit: 07/03/2017 05:40 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #66 on: 07/04/2017 10:59 AM »
The Be3U powered US would be the most challenging for OA as they don't have LH experience. Nothing poaching engineers from ULA or Blue couldn't fix. Blue may even offer help if it results in BE3 sales.

They might not even need to poach guys from ULA, there is a lot of talent being let go in ULA's downsizing efforts that can be scooped up easily (and cheaply).

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #67 on: 07/07/2017 07:11 PM »
Systems Engineering position (among several) for ULA Vulcan and Orbital ATK Next Generation Launcher (NGL) USAF New Entrant Certification in Los Angeles, CA.  This is likely a job for a contractor working for the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in El Segundo, CA at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/388507126

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/07/2017 07:14 PM by edkyle99 »

Online russianhalo117

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #68 on: 07/07/2017 11:17 PM »
Systems Engineering position (among several) for ULA Vulcan and Orbital ATK Next Generation Launcher (NGL) USAF New Entrant Certification in Los Angeles, CA.  This is likely a job for a contractor working for the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in El Segundo, CA at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/388507126

 - Ed Kyle
My cousin whom works at LAAFB says the position is based out of LAAFB but is a mobile position with varying job sites/locations. My cousin says that security clearance would likely be needed, but to check for the job listing in USAJobs for details (https://dod.usajobs.gov/ and http://godefense.cpms.osd.mil/).

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #69 on: 07/17/2017 12:45 PM »
Dates for static fire testing and operation of the heavy version:

Quote
Orbital ATK plans to compete its proposed NGL intermediate- and heavy-lift rockets in future Air Force competitions. So far, the company has passed crucial design reviews and is working toward a static fire of its four-segment heavy-lift booster in about 2022. The company expects that rocket to be operational in 2024.

Orbital ATK sees NGL as a natural progression from its smaller rockets, such as Pegasus and Antares. Antares currently delivers supplies for NASA to the International Space Station.

“We have made very incremental steps in improving our capability,” said Mark Pieczynski, vice president of business development and strategy for Orbital ATK’s flight systems group. “We’re now ready to move into the intermediate and heavy class.”

Orbital ATK and the Air Force together are investing more than $200 million to develop the launch system.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-heavy-lift-rockets-20170716-htmlstory.html

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #70 on: 07/17/2017 12:56 PM »
I keep reading "LNG rocket" hence a rocket running on liquid natural gas (refueled and launched from a LNG ship ?)  ;D

What do you think about a expendable TSTO with BE-4U engine upper-stage? (Instead of Castor300+BE-3UEN 3th stage)
Could LOx and LNG alu or plastic COPV propallent tanks be produced using the same tooling as for the Castor X00 solid casings?

That would be great for LEO, slightly better than the 3-stage in fact. But the heavy, low impulse upper stage hurts high energy performance. With BE-4 upper the NGL 500 XL would get about 8,000 kg to GTO, while the Castor 300 + BE-3U upper stage pair would get 12,000 kg.

Offline Rebel44

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #71 on: 07/30/2017 09:45 PM »
IMO:

OATKs business plan for NGLV is to hope for competitor(s) to fail - otherwise there wont be enough launches to make money on NGLV.

US DoD wants 2 providers and based on LVs in development (or already operational) we will likely see LVs from:
SpaceX
ULA
OATK
Blue Origin (if they decide to go for for these payloads)

DoD/NRO would have no objections to having more than 2 options, but they wont save 3rd or 4th player if/when they get into trouble, so IMO business plan for NGLV is very weak.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #72 on: 08/03/2017 01:43 PM »
Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 2m2 minutes ago

[Orbital ATK's David] Thompson: expecting joint go/no-go decision with the Air Force late this year or early next year on next phase of Next Generation Launcher.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/893104270689611776

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #73 on: 08/03/2017 02:54 PM »
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #74 on: 08/03/2017 04:31 PM »
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #75 on: 08/03/2017 07:25 PM »
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.

The NGL 500 XL has the same size motors as the STS SRBs, which experienced significant thrust oscillation that was largely damped by the stiffness ET thrust beam and the mass of the ET. NGL doesn't have a ET or a thrust beam.

It is also the same size as the Ares 1-X booster, which apparently didn't have any significant problems related to thrust oscillation.

Online russianhalo117

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #76 on: 08/03/2017 11:18 PM »
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.

The NGL 500 XL has the same size motors as the STS SRBs, which experienced significant thrust oscillation that was largely damped by the stiffness ET thrust beam and the mass of the ET. NGL doesn't have a ET or a thrust beam.

It is also the same size as the Ares 1-X booster, which apparently didn't have any significant problems related to thrust oscillation.
Boosters being used have the Lessons learned from Constellation and other changes from SLS booster tests. OA 2016 Motor catalog refers to Castor 300, 600, 900, 1200 as versions available and other documents and presentations reference 3 of the 4 configurations with the programme..

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #77 on: 08/04/2017 12:42 AM »
From the earnings call today:
Quote
In our flight systems segment, the company and the Air Force are now in the second year of what may well be a thought year, jointly funded program to create a new intermediate and large class launch vehicle.

As I mentioned before, our objective, our joint objective is to develop a family of vehicles capable of launching both defense as well as commercial and scientific satellites that are larger heavier than those that can be accommodated by our current Antares rocket and have those new launchers ready for initial flights in 2020 or 2021.

Our investments last year and this year together with those of the Air Force that covered the preliminary phases of design and facility expansion, we're expecting a joint go no go between the Air Force and Orbital ATK late this year or early next year concerning the next phase to actually move into full-scale development and testing of these vehicles in advance of commencing production and launch operations around the end of the decade.
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4094384-orbital-atks-oa-ceo-dave-thompson-q2-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #78 on: 08/11/2017 05:49 PM »
Did Orbital-ATK select their cryogenic upper stage supplier ? Blue Origin or aerojet-rocketdyne (+ a partner for the rest of the stage) ?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #79 on: 08/29/2017 04:07 PM »
"Chief Engineer-NGL Program
8/22/2017
Orbital ATK - PROD Chandler, AZ"
http://www.americasjobexchange.com/job-detail/chief-engineer-ngl-program-chandler-az-579340565

 - Ed Kyle

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