Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 213304 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #20 on: 05/29/2015 12:21 PM »
Let the parent companies kick in the money, they have deep pockets. This is what I call social assistance...
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #21 on: 05/29/2015 01:29 PM »
Assuming the RD-180 ban stays in place ULA will continue on with the Delta unless one of two things happens. The government decides it doesn't need assured access to space via redundant rocket systems. Someone develops and certifies a rocket system which can meet all the EELV requirements. I'm not holding my breath for either. So in the early 2020s we would have a situation where SpaceX was offering a product at a much lower price, the Delta wouldn't really even be in competition. ULA would have to be kept in business though a government subsidy. 

Online Kryten

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #22 on: 05/29/2015 01:41 PM »
Assuming the RD-180 ban stays in place ULA will continue on with the Delta unless one of two things happens. The government decides it doesn't need assured access to space via redundant rocket systems. Someone develops and certifies a rocket system which can meet all the EELV requirements. I'm not holding my breath for either. So in the early 2020s we would have a situation where SpaceX was offering a product at a much lower price, the Delta wouldn't really even be in competition. ULA would have to be kept in business though a government subsidy.
What about Blue's launcher? Do we have a reasonable timeframe for when we can expect it?

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #23 on: 05/29/2015 01:45 PM »

Well Lockheed Martin couldn't bid the Atlas-V and RD-180 on any national security payloads.  For the Delta-IV Boeing would probably ask for subsidies from the US govt to keep the production line open.  Would the DOD give into Boeing's demands? 

There is no LM and Atlas or Boeing and Delta, it is ULA and Atlas and Delta.  The product lines can no longer be separated.

Offline Brovane

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #24 on: 05/29/2015 01:50 PM »

Well Lockheed Martin couldn't bid the Atlas-V and RD-180 on any national security payloads.  For the Delta-IV Boeing would probably ask for subsidies from the US govt to keep the production line open.  Would the DOD give into Boeing's demands? 

There is no LM and Atlas or Boeing and Delta, it is ULA and Atlas and Delta.  The product lines can no longer be separated.

Which means that if ULA goes under then the product lines don't revert back to their parent companies? 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline notsorandom

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #25 on: 05/29/2015 01:50 PM »
Assuming the RD-180 ban stays in place ULA will continue on with the Delta unless one of two things happens. The government decides it doesn't need assured access to space via redundant rocket systems. Someone develops and certifies a rocket system which can meet all the EELV requirements. I'm not holding my breath for either. So in the early 2020s we would have a situation where SpaceX was offering a product at a much lower price, the Delta wouldn't really even be in competition. ULA would have to be kept in business though a government subsidy.
What about Blue's launcher? Do we have a reasonable timeframe for when we can expect it?
I was leaving Blue out of it because their projects are not in competition with Vulcan. We may not know what they are up to but ULA does and they have said that Blue is not in competition with Vulcan and thus not going after the EELV class market.

Offline TrevorMonty

Blue are targeting HSF with reusable BE4 booster. There may be an agreement between them and ULA to not compete for the DOD missions, especially as ULA are helping fund the BE4 development.


Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #27 on: 05/29/2015 05:00 PM »

Which means that if ULA goes under then the product lines don't revert back to their parent companies? 

It doesn't go "under".    ULA only exists to produce and operate Atlas V and Delta IV and their derivatives.  It is no different than USA, which only existed to operate the Shuttle.

Offline Brovane

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #28 on: 05/29/2015 06:27 PM »

Which means that if ULA goes under then the product lines don't revert back to their parent companies? 

It doesn't go "under".    ULA only exists to produce and operate Atlas V and Delta IV and their derivatives.  It is no different than USA, which only existed to operate the Shuttle.

If ULA is not turning a profit on it's launch contracts and runs out of cash then how would they stay in business?  Companies go bankrupt all the time because they failed to respond adequately to changes in the market place.  Or would the US Govt insure that ULA can stay in business through subsidies, loan guarantees etc.?
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #29 on: 05/29/2015 06:32 PM »

If ULA is not turning a profit on it's launch contracts and runs out of cash then how would they stay in business?  Companies go bankrupt all the time because they failed to respond adequately to changes in the market place.  Or would the US Govt insure that ULA can stay in business through subsidies, loan guarantees etc.?

I meant that it ceases to exist vs "going under".   

LM and Boeing (however unlikely) can fund ULA.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2015 06:33 PM by Jim »

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #30 on: 05/29/2015 06:37 PM »
A lot of this hand wringing above is ... silly.

Lets please leave it that there may not be more RD-180s for an extended period and that does not mean EELV's stop launching. No more end of the world nonsense. No need for a "plan B".

Back to Vulcan and its virtues/struggles.

Offline catdlr

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #31 on: 06/02/2015 02:27 AM »
Vulcan...in 134 seconds

Published on Jun 1, 2015
UnitedLaunchAlliance
Innovative next generation launch system will provide country's most reliable, affordable, and accessible launch service.

Tony De La Rosa

Offline TrevorMonty

The ACES and its in orbit refuelling maybe future of ULA.
Two Vulcans (6x SRB) can deliver approx 35t to TLI. One Vulcan launches payload the other is tanker(40t).
A fully fuelled(60t) ACES in LEO could deliver >50t to TLI, >35t to LLO and approx 40t TMI.

Compare this to SLS 1B which can do 39t to TLI (3100ms) and 32t TMI.

Offline Comga

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #33 on: 06/02/2015 06:04 AM »
Vulcan...in 134 seconds

Published on Jun 1, 2015
UnitedLaunchAlliance
Innovative next generation launch system will provide country's most reliable, affordable, and accessible launch service.

[youtube]SqCTK7BmLHA[/youtube]

"Multiple Planets Populated"?
 ::)
Past tense, even....
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #34 on: 06/02/2015 10:01 AM »
Love that bit about starting at less than $100M per launch at the end of the video. I take that to mean expendable vanilla 501 configuration with the re-work RL-10C Centaur upper stage. Wonder by how many millions less than $100M in that configuration.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #35 on: 06/02/2015 10:06 AM »
"Multiple Planets Populated"? ::) Past tense, even....
You can blame Musk for that line. ;) Marketoids from ULA felt need to outhype SpaceX. Result is obvious and comical.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Offline Misha Vargas

"ACES is the most efficient high energy upper stage ever designed, making it the sports car to the stars."
« Last Edit: 06/02/2015 01:43 PM by Misha Vargas »

Offline Kabloona

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #37 on: 06/02/2015 01:51 PM »
Love that bit about starting at less than $100M per launch at the end of the video. I take that to mean expendable vanilla 501 configuration with the re-work RL-10C Centaur upper stage. Wonder by how many millions less than $100M in that configuration.

Hah, yes, all that plus a free set of steak knives for one low, low price if you order now. Pure fiction. But at least they are finally serious about needing to compete on price.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2015 01:53 PM by Kabloona »

Online AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #38 on: 06/02/2015 02:34 PM »
A mixed fleet of Vulcans and Falcons makes SLS future even more shaky -- if that were possible.

NASA has rejected the distributed launch model (with depots/refueling) for now, but how long can they resist the OBVIOUS potential and cost advantages?
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline notsorandom

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #39 on: 06/02/2015 03:30 PM »
The ACES and its in orbit refuelling maybe future of ULA.
Two Vulcans (6x SRB) can deliver approx 35t to TLI. One Vulcan launches payload the other is tanker(40t).
A fully fuelled(60t) ACES in LEO could deliver >50t to TLI, >35t to LLO and approx 40t TMI.

Compare this to SLS 1B which can do 39t to TLI (3100ms) and 32t TMI.
I'm trying to tease the details of this out a bit more. This has turned out to be a bit of a long read but I wanted to explain my math and reasoning here. Firm figures on what the Vulcan could do in its various configurations and forms is difficult to find. Bruno stated at the April 12th press conference that the fully upgraded Vulcan with 6 boosters and an ACES stage could lift 30% more than the Delta IV Heavy. The difficulty is that the tanker used in the ACES architecture is both the upper stage and the payload. Just adding 30% more to the Delta's payload doesn't give us the amount of propellant that could be delivered.

Going by the ACES numbers in the paper  "A Commercially Based Lunar Architecture"(PDF) we get an upper and lower bound for how much propellant an ACES 71 tanker could deliver to a depot or another ACES stage and payload. It states that such a tanker could deliver 23.5mt (26 tons) with an Atlas with 5 SRMs or 30.8mt (34 tons) with a Delta Heavy. The ACES/ Delta core stages faster than the Atlas and thus requires the ACES to burn less propellant to reach orbit so more is left over.

The mass of propellant Vulcan could deliver is somewhere between those two numbers. Vulcan with a Centaur can lift more than an Atlas V 551 and less than a Delta IV heavy based on what was said at the press conference. That means for the same initial ACES mass the Vulcan core with 6 SRMs imparts more velocity than the Atlas Core with 5SRMs and less of than the 3 Delta cores. While it is unknown where the Vulcan ACES 71 delivered propellant mass is in that range a dual launch architecture can be examined in relation to SLS.

Unfortunately for the dual Vulcan launch architecture the total payload pushed through TLI is limited by lift capacity of one Vulcan. This is 36.8mt (Delta IV Heavy with RS-68A engines + 30%) while SLS is capable of 39mt through TLI. However we can look at if the maximum single payload could be thrown through TLI and if not how much could a dual Vulcan architecture throw.

From the same paper as above we know that the dry mass of the ACES 41 is 4.5 mt (5 tons) that plus the maximum payload gives us a dry mass of 41.3mt which needs 3.2km/s imparted upon it. The clustering of RL-10s is going to reduce the expansion ratio of the engines and thus ISP. ULA estimates this between 2-7 seconds. I'll go with the middle of the range and use a figure of 455s for ISP. A dual launch Vulcan can impart a Delta V of 2.4 km/s at the high end of what the tanker can carry and 2 km/s at the low end.

What about if the rocket carrying the payload carried less of a payload and had propellant left over? There could be enough propellant to push a payload through TLI. The amount the tanker brings will determine the maximum payload up to a point because there needs to be propellant left over in the ACES that orbited the payload to make up a full propellant load. Assuming the tanker brings up 28mt of propellant the system can shoot a payload of 32.5mt thoguh TLI. Using an ACES 71 as the departure stage wouldn’t limit the payload due to propellant capacity. To get 36.8 mt though TLI would take 42.7mt of propellant Which means two tankers are needed. Also it wouldn’t be as much as 36.8mt because the payload would have to be launched on a more massive upper stage. The increase in mass of the upper stage would linearly reduce payload

SLS can lift at least 6.5mt more through TLI. Without assembly of the payload on orbit the most any number of Vulcans can push anywhere will be 36.8mt. These figure show why one can't just take the payload of two rockets and add them together to compare compare one launch system or architecture to another.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2015 08:09 PM by notsorandom »

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