Author Topic: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)  (Read 83398 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« on: 03/03/2012 03:38 PM »
L
« Last Edit: 03/22/2013 01:29 AM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #1 on: 03/03/2012 03:45 PM »
Umm..... has LM found any customers for Athena yet?  ::)

It's probably not that surprising for LM to dust off the Athena 3 proposals: with the loss of Delta 2 and the Antares failing to attract any non-Cygnus customers, maybe the Athena have a chance of capturing that part of the American launch market?
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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #2 on: 03/03/2012 09:10 PM »
maybe the Athena have a chance of capturing that part of the American launch market?

With an all solid design, Athena will exacerbate the upperstage issues of Antares.
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Offline Antares

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #3 on: 03/04/2012 12:11 AM »
Athena 3 is not cost competitive with Delta 2 costs (real) or Falcon (paper, ie no launch service performed yet) or Antares (paper). It's just an annoying diversion.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #4 on: 03/04/2012 03:54 AM »
Have they published estimated costs yet?
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #5 on: 03/04/2012 01:18 PM »
A question on the matter of the Athena-II/-III family.

As matters stand (if I understand it correctly), Athena is an ATK product that Lockheed Martin is looking to operate.  ULA is a Lockheed/Boeing joint venture and operates three (now essentially two) launch vehicles, the Atlas-V, the Delta-II (retired although some vehicles remain unflown) and Delta-IV.

Is  there any reason whatsoever (legal, commercial or political) why LM could not spin off their license to operate Athena-II/-III to ULA as a direct replacement for Delta-II? It would strike me as good business sense for a company not to lose a whole payload envelope just because one old LV family is being retired.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #6 on: 03/04/2012 01:42 PM »

Is  there any reason whatsoever (legal, commercial or political) why LM could not spin off their license to operate Athena-II/-III to ULA as a direct replacement for Delta-II?

Yes.    LM keeps all the revenue from operating Athena-II/-III itself.  If it were part of ULA, it splits the money with Boeing.

Offline Prober

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #7 on: 03/04/2012 03:52 PM »

Is  there any reason whatsoever (legal, commercial or political) why LM could not spin off their license to operate Athena-II/-III to ULA as a direct replacement for Delta-II?

Yes.    LM keeps all the revenue from operating Athena-II/-III itself.  If it were part of ULA, it splits the money with Boeing.

Is it possible Boeing wants out of the launch business? 
The end result being LM owning all of ULA.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #8 on: 03/04/2012 04:06 PM »

Is  there any reason whatsoever (legal, commercial or political) why LM could not spin off their license to operate Athena-II/-III to ULA as a direct replacement for Delta-II?

Yes.    LM keeps all the revenue from operating Athena-II/-III itself.  If it were part of ULA, it splits the money with Boeing.

Is it possible Boeing wants out of the launch business? 
The end result being LM owning all of ULA.


Delta goes with it.

Offline Antares

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #9 on: 03/05/2012 12:23 AM »
Re: Antares comment:  I don't regard free market capitalism as annoying.

Agree 100%.  Press releases on a vehicle that can't compete (and whose companies have a history of using influence to gain contracts rather than technical merits and best value) are annoying.
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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #10 on: 03/05/2012 03:56 PM »
Because there have been unsold Athena 1s and 2s sitting around for years.  Nothing has changed with the cost drivers.  For the A3, it would require infrastructure spending for a launch pad and processing facilities.  Without guaranteed contracts, there's insufficient ROI.
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #11 on: 03/05/2012 07:50 PM »
Looks like the Athena 3 will launched from Kodiak with a new pad that was already in the works.

http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?number=325065887

After all Kodiak was initiated for the original Athena rocket.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #12 on: 03/06/2012 12:31 PM »
I just noticed, on reading about X-37B, that Athena 3 could lift that spacecraft mass to orbit from an East Coast pad.

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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #13 on: 03/06/2012 12:41 PM »
Purely FWIW -

If I were to nominate a possible HSF application for the Athena family, it would be to launch a quick-reaction crew rescue vehicle - Basically an uncrewed CST-100 that would be flown up to rendezvous with an imperilled spacecraft to allow the crew to transfer over and fly it back down.

Being all-solid, Athena has the advantage of a very short reaction time compared to any liquid-fuelled booster.  You'd need to have a good automatic flight control system for the rescue vehicle itself and it would need to be checked regularly to ensure it is still flight-worthy but the only launch constraint would really be phasing - launching close enough to the target vehicle's next over-pass so that it can catch up quickly.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #14 on: 03/06/2012 12:52 PM »
Purely FWIW -

If I were to nominate a possible HSF application for the Athena family, it would be to launch a quick-reaction crew rescue vehicle - Basically an uncrewed CST-100 that would be flown up to rendezvous with an imperilled spacecraft to allow the crew to transfer over and fly it back down.

Being all-solid, Athena has the advantage of a very short reaction time compared to any liquid-fuelled booster.  You'd need to have a good automatic flight control system for the rescue vehicle itself and it would need to be checked regularly to ensure it is still flight-worthy but the only launch constraint would really be phasing - launching close enough to the target vehicle's next over-pass so that it can catch up quickly.

Quick reaction time only if it is pre-stacked and squatting on a pad, sized correctly, solids do not have a "restart" capability, and I do not think Athena III has the Minute Man thrust termination system for fine tuning the final trajectory. The "CST-100" is going to have to do a fair amount of the orbital adjustments. But that's just software and we know software can be written very quickly ;)
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #15 on: 03/06/2012 03:37 PM »
Purely FWIW -

If I were to nominate a possible HSF application for the Athena family, it would be to launch a quick-reaction crew rescue vehicle - Basically an uncrewed CST-100 that would be flown up to rendezvous with an imperilled spacecraft to allow the crew to transfer over and fly it back down.

Being all-solid, Athena has the advantage of a very short reaction time compared to any liquid-fuelled booster.  You'd need to have a good automatic flight control system for the rescue vehicle itself and it would need to be checked regularly to ensure it is still flight-worthy but the only launch constraint would really be phasing - launching close enough to the target vehicle's next over-pass so that it can catch up quickly.

Quick reaction time only if it is pre-stacked and squatting on a pad, sized correctly, solids do not have a "restart" capability, and I do not think Athena III has the Minute Man thrust termination system for fine tuning the final trajectory. The "CST-100" is going to have to do a fair amount of the orbital adjustments. But that's just software and we know software can be written very quickly ;)
I know you were being sarcastic, but of course software can be written quickly. It's the qualification that takes time (a lot of it).
« Last Edit: 03/06/2012 04:19 PM by Robotbeat »
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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #16 on: 03/06/2012 04:03 PM »
Falcon 9 and Antares are going to be busy with COTS/CRS.

Are the 8 CRS flights in the next several years really enough to call Antares busy? Too busy to get additional launch contracts? If not, where are those contracts and why should Athena be expected to win them over a practically existing vehicle now?

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #17 on: 03/06/2012 04:53 PM »
So anyone got a guess at how much for an Athena 3 launch out of Kodiak at annual flight rates of 2, 3 or 4 annually?

Also would the Athena 3 replace the Minotaur LV family? So that  customers other than US government entities can be using it.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #18 on: 03/06/2012 08:17 PM »

Quick reaction time only if it is pre-stacked and squatting on a pad, sized correctly, solids do not have a "restart" capability, and I do not think Athena III has the Minute Man thrust termination system for fine tuning the final trajectory. The "CST-100" is going to have to do a fair amount of the orbital adjustments. But that's just software and we know software can be written very quickly ;)

Design modification to software may be difficult but, within a pre-set range, changing the destination should be no harder than changing the destination on a car's GPS navigation system.

Offline Jim

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #19 on: 03/06/2012 08:24 PM »
wrong, not even remotely close to what reality is.  That is not how launch vehicle trajectories are designed nor is it applicable to rendezvous mission design.

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