Author Topic: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION  (Read 20605 times)

Offline 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.

Offline 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 »

Online 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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Offline 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.

Offline 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.

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