Author Topic: Antares General Discussion Thread  (Read 205768 times)

Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #720 on: 04/19/2017 12:31 PM »
Don't forget that Antares is the last NPO Energomash client on the West, and the same goes for Yuzhnoye. I'm pretty sure they will make a very special price to OA to keep their business. Yuzhnoye might go as far as to give it the RD-871 engines (basically a clone of the RD-120K), to keep it on the "politically correct" supply list. So I wouldn't count it out, just yet. Having three launches per year should be enough for them (Yuzhnoye and OA), and they would "keep" most of the revenue.
AIUI, the CRS-2 is for current Enhanced Cygnus and they don't have many incentives to make a Super Cygnus (4 segment PCM).
« Last Edit: 04/19/2017 12:31 PM by baldusi »

Offline acolangelo

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #721 on: 04/19/2017 11:47 PM »
NGL is a big "IF" at this point.  If the Government wants NGL, Orbital ATK will proceed with development.  If not, it won't.  There are only going to be two ultimate EELV winners.  Right now there are at least three competitors.

It’s certainly an if, but I wouldn’t say big if. The Air Force policy is to have two providers, but that doesn’t necessarily limit this next round of contracts to only two winners.

I think we would all be shocked if Vulcan isn’t a winner. SpaceX may throw their hat in the ring with something like a new Falcon 9/Heavy variant with a Raptor-powered upper stage.

But with the Falcon family (mostly) up and running and starting to launch DOD payloads—and with parts of the US government already a bit weary of constant Falcon upgrades—I wouldn’t be surprised if NGL is awarded a contract.

Especially considering how much vested interest there is within both NASA and the DOD in keeping Orbital ATK around.
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Online Lars-J

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #722 on: 04/20/2017 12:07 AM »
Antares once they've optimized the first stage for the new engines will probably be able to get another 1000lbs up, but it still won't be able to match atlas I believe.

My take on this (sorry in advance for dragging a certain company from Hawthorne into the mix):
The entry of SpaceX into the market resulted in ULA dropping it's price for the basic versions of Atlas 5. When that happened Atlas V became a cost-effective solution for getting (enhanced) Cygnus into orbit with a bonus being the increased up-mass capacity.
So, if and when Antares is put on the back-burner with Atlas V taking the majority of Cygnus launches than SpaceX has succeeded in putting at least one competing launcher out of action.

Exactly. NGL is irrelevant for Antares. Thanks to OrbitalATKs use of Atlas V, Antares will fade away even if NGL never happens.

I know Antares was an Orbital project before the merger with ATK, and after the merger it really looks like OrbitalATK has zero interest in Antares.
« Last Edit: 04/20/2017 12:10 AM by Lars-J »

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #723 on: 04/20/2017 03:24 AM »
It's a really good question to ask "who wants Antares/NGL" and "why do they want Antares/NGL".

Originally Antares, like F9 and K-1 before that, were funded under a non-EELV program to provide Delta II class launch services, as Delta II was (still is) going away, largely due to its high labor costs (and little crossover with other LV's).

NGL isn't a Delta II class but an EELV class. If Atlas V flies indefinitely (which is possible but not assured), apparently the Delta II class need that handled Cygnus payloads ... seems to be obviated by a low cost, higher volume Atlas V. And, as we've seen, no additional missions on the manifest. At a guess, the theory here is possibly that a RTLS 24 hour F9R with a sequence of F9US probably handles the rest of that need below Antares costing.

So the only remaining reason is for OA to self-contract/manufacture/qualify/launch entire missions as a one-stop shop - which we have yet to see them do, kind of like Boeing/LockMart do through ULA themselves (haven't seen SX do this either yet). How likely is that?

As far as NPO Energomash, does it really make a difference selling one RD-180 or two RD-181's? Same either way (if Atlas V still flies post Vulcan step up).

NGL, like SLS, exercises the solids, in this case in the potential performance of NSS missions. If SLS, then lowers aggregate costs due to volume (Antares/NGL/SLS are all very low frequency). If not SLS, then like Athena, used to retain a potential capability long term.

However, NASA and AF have had interests in low cost, high frequency launches under the theory that below a certain threshold they could engage in more effective "usage of space".

In that ambition, where does "keeping alive" OA launch appeal to any govt (or commercial for that matter) interest? Don't get it?

Agree with woods170, that Antares might be one of the early victims of the current congested launch provider market, as perhaps Atlas V gets "cheap" enough in volume that it could have.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #724 on: 05/19/2017 08:24 PM »
Quote
Orbital ATK discusses Antares rocket's future, confirms new NASA cargo mission

Orbital ATK's Antares rocket will launch a Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station for the company's first mission under NASA's next round of commercial cargo flights, known as CRS-2.

[...]

"We do not have plans to retire Antares," company spokesperson Jennifer Bowman said during a recent interview.

http://planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2017/20170519-orbital-atk-crs-2.html

Offline gospacex

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #725 on: 05/19/2017 10:29 PM »
Don't forget that Antares is the last NPO Energomash client on the West, and the same goes for Yuzhnoye. I'm pretty sure they will make a very special price to OA to keep their business. Yuzhnoye might go as far as to give it the RD-871 engines (basically a clone of the RD-120K), to keep it on the "politically correct" supply list.

Do you have any solid information that Yuzhnoye actually is able to build such an engine and it will be functional? They have no "RD-871" on their website. If you meant RD-801 and RD-810, they are listed as "in development".
« Last Edit: 05/20/2017 08:08 PM by gospacex »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #726 on: 05/20/2017 01:25 AM »
Quote
Orbital ATK discusses Antares rocket's future, confirms new NASA cargo mission

Orbital ATK's Antares rocket will launch a Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station for the company's first mission under NASA's next round of commercial cargo flights, known as CRS-2.

[...]

"We do not have plans to retire Antares," company spokesperson Jennifer Bowman said during a recent interview.

http://planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2017/20170519-orbital-atk-crs-2.html
They could use NGLV but it would restrict CRS launches to SLS pad. Which could easily be tied up with a SLS launch for few months.


Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #727 on: 05/20/2017 03:52 PM »
Quote
Orbital ATK discusses Antares rocket's future, confirms new NASA cargo mission

Orbital ATK's Antares rocket will launch a Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station for the company's first mission under NASA's next round of commercial cargo flights, known as CRS-2.

[...]

"We do not have plans to retire Antares," company spokesperson Jennifer Bowman said during a recent interview.

http://planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2017/20170519-orbital-atk-crs-2.html
Hello!

"For CRS-2, however, Orbital ATK said Cygnus flights will be cheaper than both Dragon and a third option, Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser spaceplane. This claim is supported by NASA's CRS-2 selection statement, which said Orbital's proposal "had the lowest mission prices of all the proposals.""

Also this:

"When combined with a CASTOR 30 XL upper stage, Antares in its new configuration is capable of matching the Atlas V 401."

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/20/2017 03:54 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline brickmack

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #728 on: 05/21/2017 03:13 AM »
"For CRS-2, however, Orbital ATK said Cygnus flights will be cheaper than both Dragon and a third option, Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser spaceplane. This claim is supported by NASA's CRS-2 selection statement, which said Orbital's proposal "had the lowest mission prices of all the proposals.""

Also this:

"When combined with a CASTOR 30 XL upper stage, Antares in its new configuration is capable of matching the Atlas V 401."

 - Ed Kyle

Not surprising that Antares 300 is Atlas 401-equivalent. The first stage should be pretty close to Atlas's overall, being that they've effectively got the same engine (just split in half and recombined on Antares). Castor 30XL is inferior by ISP and mass ratio to Centaur, but wins a lot from its shorter burntime/lower gravity losses, at least for LEO

Online rockets4life97

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #729 on: 05/21/2017 08:23 AM »
"For CRS-2, however, Orbital ATK said Cygnus flights will be cheaper than both Dragon and a third option, Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser spaceplane. This claim is supported by NASA's CRS-2 selection statement, which said Orbital's proposal "had the lowest mission prices of all the proposals.""

This shouldn't be too surprising. I expect Dragon 2 is significantly more expensive than Cygnus. Dragon 2's down mass capability (and potentially propulsive landing/escape system) comes at a price.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #730 on: 05/22/2017 02:11 PM »
Don't forget that Antares is the last NPO Energomash client on the West, and the same goes for Yuzhnoye. I'm pretty sure they will make a very special price to OA to keep their business. Yuzhnoye might go as far as to give it the RD-871 engines (basically a clone of the RD-120K), to keep it on the "politically correct" supply list.

Do you have any solid information that Yuzhnoye actually is able to build such an engine and it will be functional? They have no "RD-871" on their website. If you meant RD-801 and RD-810, they are listed as "in development".

Read about it on Zak's site. The RD-801 and 810 are the blue prints that are the basis of the YF-100 and the SCE-200. The RD-871 would basically be an unlicensed RD-120K. Yuzhnoye already worked on the RD-120 thrust improvement program, and so they have all the capabilities needed. I understand that RD-120 TCE are still built by NPO Energomash, but I'm not sure.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #731 on: 05/22/2017 03:52 PM »
Don't forget that Antares is the last NPO Energomash client on the West, and the same goes for Yuzhnoye. I'm pretty sure they will make a very special price to OA to keep their business. Yuzhnoye might go as far as to give it the RD-871 engines (basically a clone of the RD-120K), to keep it on the "politically correct" supply list.

Do you have any solid information that Yuzhnoye actually is able to build such an engine and it will be functional? They have no "RD-871" on their website. If you meant RD-801 and RD-810, they are listed as "in development".

Read about it on Zak's site.

Yes, I did:

"Although RD-120 was developed at NPO Energomash in Moscow, it was serially produced in Ukraine, with the exception of its combustion chamber supplied from Russia."

It does not say when last time a RD-120 was built by Yuzhnoye.
Somewhere in 1990s?
Zenit seems to be using Russian version of it?
I'm not trying to denigrate it, I'm seeking objective information.

Quote
Yuzhnoye already worked on the RD-120 thrust improvement program, and so they have all the capabilities needed.

"Working on" something is not equal to "successfully made it".

Offline ZachS09

Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #732 on: 05/25/2017 02:47 AM »
The Launch User's Guide for Antares said that Kodiak is available for polar orbit or high inclination orbits if Antares began launching actual satellites.

Is that still an option, or will Antares only be used for Cygnus?
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #733 on: 05/25/2017 03:52 AM »
The Launch User's Guide for Antares said that Kodiak is available for polar orbit or high inclination orbits if Antares began launching actual satellites.

Is that still an option, or will Antares only be used for Cygnus?
Antares can lift significant payload to sun synchronous orbits from Wallops.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #734 on: 10/20/2017 05:48 PM »
I wonder how competitive nowadays is the Antares against the Atlas V - it seems that for recent NASA missions the "Delta II class" missions are evenly split by Atlas and F9, with Atlas chosen for JPSS-2 and now Landsat 9 in recent months (though the former is marginal for Antares to carry).

Did OATK simply not bid on them?

<off topic> I assume that for Antares to fly to SSO from Wallops, a dogleg would be necessary while flying SSW? </off topic>
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Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #735 on: 10/20/2017 11:22 PM »

<off topic> I assume that for Antares to fly to SSO from Wallops, a dogleg would be necessary while flying SSW? </off topic>
Correct.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #736 on: 10/25/2017 08:06 PM »
Why?  What's going on with Antares?

Is it more cost-effective for OA to supplement Cygnus/Antares launches with Cygnus/Atlas V launches?

Is an outside vendor's "ride" less expensive than purchasing their own rocket?

Quote
Jeff Foust
@jeff_foust
Vern Thorp, ULA: we are in discussions with Orbital ATK about flying more Cygnus missions on Atlas 5. #vonbraun

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923274861954453504
« Last Edit: 10/25/2017 08:11 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #737 on: 10/25/2017 08:19 PM »
I feel sad for Antares. I really love this rocket, but looks like Orbital can't find market for it.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #738 on: 10/25/2017 09:08 PM »
You have to have a cadence of launches to bring down LV costs. Without it, you amortize your out of pocket on a case by case means. Perhaps marginal costs are a factor? Where CRS is significant enough revenue to make it worthy to fly?

It's also costly to have a LOM, new engine, and RTF. Then also, you have to keep up with the competitive landscape, which is changing a lot.

In many ways one could see Antares lives in the shadow of Atlas and Falcon. As those costs come down, the barrier for Antares to break grows.

Antares and Falcon LOM's have been very costly. ULA's cost footprint reduction too.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #739 on: 10/25/2017 09:14 PM »
I knew that Orbital ATK would think about launching more Cygnus spacecrafts atop Atlas V; it was a matter of time.

After OA-7, Antares would have launched seven times plus the Orb-3 failure in 2014. Given that Atlas V has had 73 successes out of its previous 74 flights, I think one of the reasons that the latter would be used for Cygnus is because of the higher success rate (98.64% compared to 85.71%).
« Last Edit: 10/25/2017 09:21 PM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

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