Author Topic: The Respected Rocket - Atlas V making the early strides of the transition  (Read 26778 times)


Offline Paul Howard

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 451
  • Perth, Western Australia
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 13
Great read. Atlas V is the boss!

Offline mborgia

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Agreed, well argued and written...

But does this then make Delta IV the Rodney Dangerfield rocket...no respect?

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks! And Delta IV gets its share of love past the satellite launches via the EFT-1 articles, so it's all good :)

Offline majormajor42

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 221
Great article.

EFT-1 came to mind too in response to that Delta comment. Respect all around.
...water is life and it is out there, where we intend to go. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man or machine on a body such as the Moon and harvest a cup of water for a human to drink or process into fuel for their craft.

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6666
  • Liked: 970
  • Likes Given: 139
Atlas V obviously has a good record, but two things bother me:

Shuttle was successful on 24 of its first 24 flights.
With expendables, you don't get to examine the hardware to see if anything is close to going wrong.  All you have is telemetry, which is highly valuable of course, but so is a tear-down and examination.

"The best advice I ever got—Tommy Holloway told us over and over—is, "You're never as smart as you think you are." If you ever get to the point where you think you've got it under control, you really don't, and you need to be always hungry and looking out for the indications that things aren't going well. "  -- Wayne Hale

Go Atlas V!

Offline Hunt101

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • ULA
  • Liked: 60
  • Likes Given: 11
Loved reading that Chris, thanks!!

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7437
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1440
  • Likes Given: 4500
Just a nit pick: wasn't USA-194 a partial failure (or partial success more correctly). So it's not technically "flawless". But pretty close for the "short" flight history.
What I would tend to say, if asked if it's reliable, it's that probably yes, but sort of too early to tell. If you take the above mentioned partial success as a 50% of success, then the realized reliability is 98.15%, if you take it at 0%, then it's 96.30%. Just the FG version of Soyuz also has 27/27. Albeit, with much less capabilities.
Don't get me wrong, if I had to chose an American rocket to strap to it would be the Atlas V. And I think that it's the right choice for the non SpaceX competitors.

Offline Tcommon

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 146
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Maybe I missed it in the article, but is the Atlas V launch price covered, and possibly compared with those "back slapping twitter tweeters"?
« Last Edit: 11/25/2011 07:50 PM by Tcommon »

Offline rcoppola

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1975
  • USA
  • Liked: 1216
  • Likes Given: 518
Maybe I missed it in the article, but is the Atlas V launch price covered, and possibly compared with those "back slapping twitter tweeters"?
Yes, I have some of the same questions. Do we have integrated launch costs. broken out for CST 100 and Dream Chaser using the Atlas V? And when we do move to the integrated launch services part of COTS, what will be the difference of what ULA will charge Boeing as opposed to SNC and therefore what will be the integrated costs to NASA for these 2 launch services as opposed to the Falcon 9/ Dragon costs?

Also, what of a domestic engine program to replace the RD-180? How will those costs be factored in for future pricing?
Sail the oceans of space and set foot upon new lands!
http://www.stormsurgemedia.com

Offline clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10350
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 2256
  • Likes Given: 728
Really good coverage Chris!

Now if we can only get NASA to strap on a pair of those CCB's in place of each SRB on the SLS then we will really have something; the USGov *and* Commercial Crew launcher being the LRB for NASA's flagship HLV!

Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? :)

Nice article Chris - as always.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31821
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10374
  • Likes Given: 316

1.Yes, I have some of the same questions. Do we have integrated launch costs. broken out for CST 100 and Dream Chaser using the Atlas V?

2.And when we do move to the integrated launch services part of COTS, what will be the difference of what ULA will charge Boeing as opposed to SNC and therefore what will be the integrated costs to NASA for these 2 launch services as opposed to the Falcon 9/ Dragon costs?

3. Also, what of a domestic engine program to replace the RD-180? How will those costs be factored in for future pricing?

1.  No, that is between ULA and Boeing and ULA and SNC.  NASA has no say in it.

2.  Propriety and competition sensitive.  We won't see that.  Only the price of the commercial crew contract after it is awarded.

3.there isn't one.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2011 08:55 PM by Jim »

Offline clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10350
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 2256
  • Likes Given: 728
3. Also, what of a domestic engine program to replace the RD-180? ...
3. There isn't one.

Well ...... there is the AJ26-500 program. It's being funded entirely by Aerojet internally.
In spite of its Russian heritage, it would be a domestic engine and a 2-engine pair would be nearly a drop-in replacement for the 2-chamber RD-180. It has ~65% of the performance of the RD-180 so the 2-engine pair drop-in replacement would provide an approximate 30% performance increase in the same physical space.

There is nothing official to report but I do know that ULA is at least "interested". Time will tell.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2011 11:40 PM by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8374
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2465
  • Likes Given: 5939
Great article Chris! Looking forward to seeing Dream Chaser lifting off on her  :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks very much! :)

And I see Jim answered the question before I saw it, but yeah - we don't go after costs much, given it's not our style and such info will be protected.

Offline Robert Thompson

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1117
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 658
Benchmark towards ULA HSF = Christmas.

How do/did Atlas V and Falcon compare in the proportion of success to failure during the test phases of their sequential versions? Question derives from Cernan's quote, 'they don't know what they don't know'.

Offline mborgia

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Well, the point I wanted to start to raise with the Delta IV comment is that all of the Commercial Crew vehicles are putting all their eggs in one proverbial basket...a basket with a Russian engine. 

What if some political catastrophe limits the number of RD-180 engines available?  If someone knows something I don't, please correct me, but it just seems to me that Atlas V is something the Russians can take away from us.  They can't take Delta IV away.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31821
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10374
  • Likes Given: 316
Well, the point I wanted to start to raise with the Delta IV comment is that all of the Commercial Crew vehicles are putting all their eggs in one proverbial basket...a basket with a Russian engine. 

What if some political catastrophe limits the number of RD-180 engines available?  If someone knows something I don't, please correct me, but it just seems to me that Atlas V is something the Russians can take away from us.  They can't take Delta IV away.

There is enough in storage to allow domestic production

Offline mmeijeri

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7442
  • Martijn Meijering
  • NL
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 162
If someone knows something I don't, please correct me, but it just seems to me that Atlas V is something the Russians can take away from us.  They can't take Delta IV away.

They'd be be shooting themselves in the foot if they did. But because the US DoD needs assured access to space, there are contingency plans in place already. As Jim mentioned there is a stockpile of RD-180s, there are licenses for production in the US as well as enough evidence to convince the DoD that domestic production capability is assured. Delta IV is also available and in future things are likely to improve further as Falcon 9 and perhaps FH come online.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline cd-slam

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 577
  • Singapore
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 16
Well, the point I wanted to start to raise with the Delta IV comment is that all of the Commercial Crew vehicles are putting all their eggs in one proverbial basket.
Atlas V is not the launch vehicle for the SpaceX Dragon.

My concern is exactly the opposite, that by developing so many independent systems there may be no money left to run actual launch operations.

Tags: