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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Orbital ATK - Antares/Cygnus Mission Section => Topic started by: edkyle99 on 01/05/2009 03:18 PM

Title: Orbital's Antares Development Update Thread
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/05/2009 03:18 PM
Here is a link to Dave Steffy's AIAA 2008 conference paper on Taurus II.

http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

This paper includes a schedule that shows the following significant milestones occurring during 2009.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 01/06/2009 06:03 PM
Thanks for these updates.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 01/07/2009 07:10 PM
Your Internets-fu is strong.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 01/09/2009 03:36 AM
Here is a link to Dave Steffy's AIAA 2008 conference paper on Taurus II.

http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

This paper includes a schedule that shows the following significant milestones occurring during 2009.

...and has a great set of model-making-ready drawings. Thanks Ed!

Simon ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 01/09/2009 03:39 PM
Here is a link to Dave Steffy's AIAA 2008 conference paper on Taurus II.

http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

This paper includes a schedule that shows the following significant milestones occurring during 2009.

...and has a great set of model-making-ready drawings. Thanks Ed!

Simon ;)

Note: the location of the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) has been moved about a mile to the right (North) of the picture in page 9 of the presentation.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/09/2009 04:02 PM
Any chance we'll get to see some videos of those AJ-26 qualification firings? ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/10/2009 03:00 AM
Far it be for me to challenge design and engineering at OSC, this is just my curiosity: why does Taurus II use Castor-30 after all? At best as I can discern by reading the presentation linked in the "news" thread, this is done to leverage heritage hardware with a track record. Is that correct, or there's more to it? It's difficult to imagine that nobody in the industry can build an upper stage engine, so the stage would restart. Moreover, the flight history of Falcon 1 suggests that Kestrel is unproblematic, so perhaps the heritage issues are overblown.
-- Pete

{Edit: as Jose pointed out below, Dr. Elias has outlined the "High Energy Second Stage" at forum previously.}
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 01/10/2009 04:00 AM
Read these:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg309609#msg309609
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg309648#msg309648

And also these:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg309891#msg309891
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg309745#msg309745

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: madscientist197 on 01/10/2009 07:32 AM
In general, solids are cheap and reliable -- I don't think you can get a much better argument for a commercial contractor. I don't think OSC wants to invest any more money than they have to, because it is a particularly risky enterprise after all. It's not like there is a truely viable non-government/commercial market for small launchers.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 01/10/2009 04:54 PM
The presentation mentions performance with a third stage; is that with the Orbit Raising Kit (which is a Cygnus SM, right?) or a Star 48/similar?

Would it make any sense to stack two Castor 30's on top on each other (as a third stage)?

Is the High-Energy Second Stage in the works at all?

Simon ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 01/10/2009 08:11 PM
1.- Yes (Star 48)  The ORK and Cygnus SM have a lot in common (mostly in the propulsion system), but are NOT identical; for starters, the SM has a quad-redundant avionics system - the ORK uses the basic LV avionics.  The SM has solar panels - the ORK only the LV batteries; etc. etc.

2.- Yes

3.- Yes

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 01/12/2009 03:56 AM

Was use of a high energy second stage presented to the CRS SEB?

I'm afraid you would have to ask NASA for any SEB questions...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 01/12/2009 11:51 AM
SEB? Isn't that a Swedish Bank?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/06/2009 06:08 PM
Came across this in my web travels (from a document dated April 16, 2009) - thought it might be of interest.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/06/2009 06:43 PM
Looking to the launch pads yesterday from the Wallops Visitor's Center, though I saw a few buildings near the pad that I did not recognize, is there any way we could get some pictures of any new buidlings (I couldnt take any pictures as I cold only see the pad through high powered binoculars!)

Also I would suggest Orbital ask Wallops to make an observation deck at the visitor's center that extends over the marsh a little bit with a few permanent spyglasses or toll binoculars:

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 05/08/2009 10:03 PM
I haven't seen this elsewhere on these formus, but it seems there's a little new info on the high energy second stage showing up here:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_fact.pdf

Orbital's revised the brochure and is showing a little LOX/LCH4 going on there!

Anyone with any details about WHAT a PWR35M is, though?

  --Nick
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/09/2009 02:07 AM

Wow, first the GX .pdf showing up on the ULA website and now this Orbital .pdf. The Delta II payload class space is getting quite exciting. Some one thinks that that launchers for this class are needed. Good find, and Orbital good luck tonight.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 05/09/2009 02:16 AM
It's going to be a riot of hilarity if the methane stage on Taurus II flies before GX. Japanese are more sensitive to the loss of face than us, too.

Meanwhile though, I'd love Taurus to fly period, even with Castor. Yuzhnoe has some detractors who say that the production is runing on parts made back in the 80s. And coincidentially, there's apparently a difficulty with producing Zenit right now and rumours circulate about Roskosmos may be taking rockets away from SeaLaunch. If Yuzhmash can make a tankage set for Taurus that succesfuly flies without feeding a fistful of "foreign particles" to AJ-26s, it will go a long way to support their credibility.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/09/2009 04:51 AM

Wow, first the GX .pdf showing up on the ULA website and now this Orbital .pdf. The Delta II payload class space is getting quite exciting.

With a LEO payload at 7.6 tonnes, the Taurus II with the "enhanced" 2nd stage would move beyond Delta II class - beyond even the Delta II Heavy class.

My question - what is the payload?  Companies don't build rockets like this unless they're targeting a certain payload category.

 - Ed Kyle

Perhaps COTS-D, GPS backup for EELV, or perhaps working to get in on the polar orbit market by flying a dog-leg out of Wallops?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 05/10/2009 03:48 PM

Anyone with any details about WHAT a PWR35M is, though?


I shouldn't guess which one is right, but if I were going to guess, I would guess 35,000 pounds thrust (15.88 metric tonnes thrust).

I think you're right on that.  A few weeks ago, Google had a cached copy of something called the "TaurusII_Brochure.pdf"  I suspect it was accidentally posted.  Anyhow, I just realized I had the good sense to save a copy locally when I first saw it.  A couple added facts: 147kN thrust for the PWR35M, 1818kg dry weight and aluminum tank structure for the enhanced 2nd stage.  Since 1818 kg is 4000 lbs, I suspect that's an example of false precision caused by units conversion and we are definitely still dealing with round figure estimates.

Cheers,

  --Nick
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 05/10/2009 03:59 PM

Anyone with any details about WHAT a PWR35M is, though?


I shouldn't guess which one is right, but if I were going to guess, I would guess 35,000 pounds thrust (15.88 metric tonnes thrust).

I think you're right on that.  A few weeks ago, Google had a cached copy of something called the "TaurusII_Brochure.pdf"  I suspect it was accidentally posted.  Anyhow, I just realized I had the good sense to save a copy locally when I first saw it.  A couple added facts: 147kN thrust for the PWR35M, 1818kg dry weight and aluminum tank structure for the enhanced 2nd stage.  Since 1818 kg is 4000 lbs, I suspect that's an example of false precision caused by units conversion and we are definitely still dealing with round figure estimates.

Cheers,

  --Nick

Good catch and save!
I just googled that, and there is a reference on the Orbital site, but it's no longer there. You could always post it here  ;) (maybe ask Chris first if you're concerned).

Wouldn't mind seeing it myself!  ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: PDJennings on 05/10/2009 04:02 PM

My question - what is the payload?  Companies don't build rockets like this unless they're targeting a certain payload category.

Well, the funniest thing (to me) about the Taurus II was, it wasn't sized right to launch Orbital's own bread-and-butter Star 2 GSO comsats.  I'm not sure a methane upper stage would get it there, either, but it's an obvious target for them as a turnkey satellite plus launch offering.  Some of the Star 2s are as light as 1900 kg fueled, but most have recently been 2400-2500 kg.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 05/12/2009 12:28 AM
I just want to say that I hope Taurus II is successful.  The use of Soviet NK-33's on a commercial American rocket has got to be one of the greatest rocket engine stories of all time.  Can you imagine the reaction of the NRO/NASA people who had seen the first Corona images of the N-1 if you had told them that those engines would be used on American commercial rockets?

It's a pretty wild world we live in.  From Cold War to globalized rocketry (Yuzhnoe, SNTK Kuznetsov, Aerojet, and OSC all cooperating together).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 05/12/2009 03:50 AM
BTW, I'm wondering if any "synergy" might exist between this PWR engine and the JAXA engine being worked on, for several years now, for the GX project.

Isn't the GX engine pressure fed?  From OSC's brochure, that doesn't look so much like pressure fed to me (shape of tanks, size of pressurant bottles) as pump fed.  What would happen if you took an RL10 and made a minimum change conversion to LCH4?  Because Methane has the right physical characteristics to run an expander cycle, right?

  --Nick
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 05/12/2009 01:33 PM
BTW, I'm wondering if any "synergy" might exist between this PWR engine and the JAXA engine being worked on, for several years now, for the GX project.

Isn't the GX engine pressure fed?  From OSC's brochure, that doesn't look so much like pressure fed to me (shape of tanks, size of pressurant bottles) as pump fed.  What would happen if you took an RL10 and made a minimum change conversion to LCH4?  Because Methane has the right physical characteristics to run an expander cycle, right?

  --Nick

Original plans listed the GX second stage engine as strictly pressure fed, but a 2007 update listed use of a boost pump and showed increased thrust from original plans.

I think that Methane/LOX has been demonstrated in an RL10, but not at anything close to 35 Klbs thrust.  Meanwhile, the GX engine thrust was shown as more than 26 Klbs thrust in the 2007 GX update.

 - Ed Kyle

It was demonstrated, I think during the late 60s.  I read the report twenty years ago but can't recall the thrust level.  I do vaguely recall a bunch of problems were discovered, but that is because they didn't actually totally rebuild an engine to run on methane; they did what I did a few years ago with the HMX/AirLaunch 10 ton lox-propane engine (just make a few tweaks and see what happens).  And the results were similar: it works but it messes up components and such.

There should be no doubt that a proper development will let an "RL-10M" run on methane, however.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 05/12/2009 03:28 PM
Can you imagine the reaction of the NRO/NASA people who had seen the first Corona images of the N-1 if you had told them that those engines would be used on American commercial rockets?

It's a pretty wild world we live in.  From Cold War to globalized rocketry (Yuzhnoe, SNTK Kuznetsov, Aerojet, and OSC all cooperating together).

I was sitting at the main conference room in Yuzhmash (the manufaturing half of the Yuzh twins) last month in Dnepropetrovsk discussing T II stage 1 tanks manufacturing costs, with the Ukranians complaining about the effect of the Ukrainian and global economic slowdown on their production and therefore on their costs (they ARE learning capitalism...)

At one point they lamented that in the 80's they had 75,000 people working at that plant three shifts a day (down to 10,000 on a THREE DAY WORKWEEK today) and producing one Taurus II - size ICBM PER DAY - that was really efficient, they said.

Then they shut up, gloomily.  I said "well, were's that good old Cold War when we need it".  Brief pause while the interpreter translated it to Russian, then they all started howling with laughter!!!

Much Vodka was consumed afterwards.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 06/09/2009 12:09 AM
The T-2 brochure PDF is back on the Orbital site. It's worth looking at.

I can't post the link directly cuz I'm on a mobile device, but it's riight there on the Taurus 2 page at www.orbital.com.

Cheers,

  --Nick
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/09/2009 12:26 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing Taurus II fly next year.  It's a very interesting solution to a unique problem.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 06/09/2009 02:41 AM
The T-2 brochure PDF is back on the Orbital site. It's worth looking at.

I can't post the link directly cuz I'm on a mobile device, but it's riight there on the Taurus 2 page at www.orbital.com.

Cheers,

  --Nick
Alright back home with an actual computer now.  Here's the Taurus II brochure link:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_bro.pdf

  --Nick
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 06/20/2009 05:45 PM
Someone launched a scurrilous rumour (with sources referring to a leak at le Bourget show), that Orbital is seeking to get rid of AJ-26. Not giving any credence to this, I would like to ask, does anyone think it would be feasible to re-engine Taurus II with 6 Merlins, just thinking speculatively.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 06/20/2009 05:53 PM
That would lower performance, Merlins are lower performers and heavier for the same thrust. The real question is why would they want to get rid of such good engines?

Sounds like a very unlikely rumor to me.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NUAETIUS on 06/20/2009 06:15 PM
That would lower performance, Merlins are lower performers and heavier for the same thrust. The real question is why would they want to get rid of such good engines?

Sounds like a very unlikely rumor to me.

Also SpaceX only has 6 Flight Merlin 1C, and have flown 2.  I seriously doubt they would sell you a flight fidelity Merlin 1C any time in the next few years.  They will be going full blast for just their use.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 06/20/2009 06:22 PM
Also SpaceX only has 6 Flight Merlin 1C.

Incorrect. They have 6 Merlins currently qualified for the first flight, 9 other which already fired for a full mission duration and are now sitting around and most likely a few more in production.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NUAETIUS on 06/20/2009 07:01 PM
Incorrect. They have 6 Merlins currently qualified for the first flight, 9 other which already fired for a full mission duration and are now sitting around and most likely a few more in production.

Ok, amateur question here.  I assume that a qualified engine is ready to be attached to the stage.  By pointing out they only had 6 Flight Merlins finished, I meant qualified.

-What is the difference between a finished and qualified engine?

-More to the point, I was saying that SpaceX had none to sell, and would likely have none to sell for years.  IF SpaceX sold a rocket, would they sell it as finished, or qualified?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 06/20/2009 07:06 PM
Finished means manufactured. Qualification is as I understand a short firing to verify the engine is healthy, without defects. In the above case, the 6 engines would be joined by the 9 already fired (and qualified), although those were already "used".

The point about not having any engines to sell could or could not be true, depending on how high SpaceX's own flight rate turns out to be.

If they were to sell engines, I believe the standard procedure would be to do qualification firings before shipment to the customer. IIRC, Energomash does the same for ULA's RD-180s.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 06/20/2009 07:49 PM
Wouldn't the lower ISP of Merlin 1C change the whole setup?
I think the only feasible alternative would be something like RD-180, wouldn't it?
Now THAT would really get them pretty close to Atlas, on the other hand...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2009 07:55 PM
. Not giving any credence to this, I would like to ask, does anyone think it would be feasible to re-engine Taurus II with 6 Merlins, just thinking speculatively.


No,
A.  Spacex isn't going to help a competitor
B.  OSC designed the vehicle around the AJ-26
C.  OSC isn't going to ask help from a competitor
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2009 07:58 PM
Finished means manufactured. Qualification is as I understand a short firing to verify the engine is healthy, without defects. In the above case, the 6 engines would be joined by the 9 already fired (and qualified), although those were already "used".


Qualified engine also includes that the engine design went thru a qualification program.

You can have finished engines that have been test fired but still not be qualified for flight.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 06/20/2009 08:49 PM
Not giving any credence to this, I would like to ask, does anyone think it would be feasible to re-engine Taurus II with 6 Merlins, just thinking speculatively.

No,
A.  Spacex isn't going to help a competitor
B.  OSC designed the vehicle around the AJ-26
C.  OSC isn't going to ask help from a competitor

Thanks, Jim, that settles it. Actually, the rumour-mongers said that Orbital received a report from Aerojet about starting new production of AJ-26 (presumably after the current set of 36 is expended, I think by 2020 or so), and after reviewing that document Orbital entered talks with AMROSS about RD-180. I don't even want to comment on that bogus talk. But it made me thinking, along these lines: Elon Musk said that they are going to make 50 engines per year, and he took pride in characteristics of mass production of these engines. In the same time, Falcon-9 program keeps busting its schedule. This looks like producing surplus engines which he might be happy to sell if the price were right. They are current production engines, even saw a flight on a vehicle (IIRC N-1 only flew with NK-15s, which are a bit different from AJ-26). But if you say no, I defer.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: veryrelaxed on 06/20/2009 09:19 PM
Byuing RD180s (or 170s) or NKs would help SpaceX
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 06/23/2009 07:09 PM
I didn't find anything about it on the ITAR-TASS' own website, but here it is:
 http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lenta/2009/06/23/n_1375153.shtml
 http://news.mail.ru/society/2685664

According to these sources, today the Director-general of TsKB "Progress" Alexander Kirilin promised to restart production of NK-33 in 2014. Series production will take place in Samara at the "Motorostroitel" plant.

Yay, here goes my Merlin idea (well, it was shot down by Jim already).

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 06/23/2009 07:18 PM

According to these sources, today the Director-general of TsKB "Progress" Alexander Kirilin promised to restart production of NK-33 in 2014. Series production will take place in Samara at the "Motorostroitel" plant.

Those aren't AJ-26.  Aerojet is going to take over production
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 06/23/2009 09:38 PM

According to these sources, today the Director-general of TsKB "Progress" Alexander Kirilin promised to restart production of NK-33 in 2014. Series production will take place in Samara at the "Motorostroitel" plant.

Those aren't AJ-26.  Aerojet is going to take over production

Riiiigggght.  And RD-180 is going to be built in the U.S. too.

 - Ed Kyle

The AJ-26 is not a stock NK-33, it is greatly modified.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 06/23/2009 09:44 PM

According to these sources, today the Director-general of TsKB "Progress" Alexander Kirilin promised to restart production of NK-33 in 2014. Series production will take place in Samara at the "Motorostroitel" plant.

Those aren't AJ-26.  Aerojet is going to take over production

Riiiigggght.  And RD-180 is going to be built in the U.S. too.

 - Ed Kyle

The AJ-26 is not a stock NK-33, it is greatly modified.

I agree that Aerojet will have to have its "hands" on the engines, but I'll believe that Aerojet will build them from scratch (and that someone will be able to afford to pay them to do it) only when I see it.


They are significant mods, more than a rebuild.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 06/24/2009 12:41 AM

They are significant mods, more than a rebuild.

Right.  They're currently modifying existing engines (new engine controls, etc., as I understand it.)   What I'm thinking about is the more-distant future, a few years distant, when the original NK supply runs out.  Aerojet has the rights to build new, but can it/will it, really?  That's the part I'll wait to see.  I hope Aerojet gets there, but I suspect it could more likely turn out to be a partnership with NK Engines Company (former Kuznetsov), where Aerojet builds part, NK part, etc.. 

 - Ed Kyle

Compared to the RD-180, the NK-33 will be much easier to build in the U.S.  The 180 has a number of expensive-to-replicate forgings that the NK-33 lacks.  I was given an price to build new NKs by Aerojet about ten years ago, and while I don't wan to quote it here, I can say it was less than the price of a medium EELV launch.  Contrast that with published estimates of $500M to $1B for beginning RD-180 production, and you'll see that the NK option is very commercially viable.  I expect Orbital recognized that early on.

In fact, I have argued it would be cheaper for ULA to convert Atlas 5 to twin NK-33s than to start RD-180 production up in the U.S.  (And before anyone tells me the NK-33 doesn't have enough thrust, in fact it can be run at higher than advertised thrust levels and also is much lighter than the RD-180, as well.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 06/24/2009 12:47 AM

In fact, I have argued it would be cheaper for ULA to convert Atlas 5 to twin NK-33s than to start RD-180 production up in the U.S.  (And before anyone tells me the NK-33 doesn't have enough thrust, in fact it can be run at higher than advertised thrust levels and also is much lighter than the RD-180, as well.)

I believe that was one of the others options along with the Rockledge proposal.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 06/24/2009 01:59 PM
Compared to the RD-180, the NK-33 will be much easier to build in the U.S.  The 180 has a number of expensive-to-replicate forgings that the NK-33 lacks.
Another feature of RD-180 that strikes me is the flexible duct for hot oxygen (unless I confuse something), so that the chambers alone gimball, while the turbomachinery _and_ the preburner remain stationary. Of course I have no idea how expensive that element is, the thought of the gas at higher than chamber pressure being pumped through what amounts to my drier's vent hose scares me.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 06/24/2009 02:17 PM
Compared to the RD-180, the NK-33 will be much easier to build in the U.S.  The 180 has a number of expensive-to-replicate forgings that the NK-33 lacks.
Another feature of RD-180 that strikes me is the flexible duct for hot oxygen (unless I confuse something), so that the chambers alone gimball, while the turbomachinery _and_ the preburner remain stationary. Of course I have no idea how expensive that element is, the thought of the gas at higher than chamber pressure being pumped through what amounts to my drier's vent hose scares me.

Isn't RD-180 even capable of gimballing the nozzles independent of each other for roll control?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 06/24/2009 02:28 PM
the thought of the gas at higher than chamber pressure being pumped through what amounts to my drier's vent hose scares me.

Why?  Engineers can design anything.  The physics are straightforward.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 06/24/2009 03:15 PM
Engineers can design anything.
cough, cough...
Engineers may be able to DESIGN anything. Whether it works is another question.
Could give you a few (un)cool examples.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 06/24/2009 03:44 PM
If it doesn't work, it wasn't designed right.  Bad engineering or bad requirements.  Strawman.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/24/2009 05:21 PM

There is a big difference between designing something and finding the material that can withstand it and knowing the material limits and designing not to exceed those limits. That is the difference between a good senior engineer and a green engineer. It is also the difference between an engineering led design vs. a design dictated by marketing requirements and powerpoint.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: silver t on 06/24/2009 08:41 PM
if you've designed something that cannot be made, then you have not designed a good part
the difference you state is not the difference between a senior and a green engineer its the difference between a good and a bad engineer
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/24/2009 08:58 PM
if you've designed something that cannot be made, then you have not designed a good part
the difference you state is not the difference between a senior and a green engineer its the difference between a good and a bad engineer

No between an an engineer and a marketing guy armed with powerpoint. I have seen several times in my career marketing say it needs to do powerpoint bullet point XYandZ and a good design gets subverted and stupid things get added onto the widget at additional cost/reduced reliability to meet perceived marketing demands that came out of how they felt over in marketing. A good engineer designs for the materials at hand, a bad one finds a material to do what he wants his design to do... cough Ares - I ... cough.

A brave engineer stands up and says marketing is full of it... Taking that tack actually reduces the amount of meetings you get invited/dragged too. So it is a win on all fronts :)

Not to talk up spaceX on an Orbital thread, but if you notice, the Merlin is a good, cheap easy to produce engine that does not push the limits anywhere. Other than the mistake of the albative version, which they have learned from, that mistake was also made on the Delta-IV, so we can not hold spaceX out to dry for trying the same thing. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Cretan126 on 06/24/2009 09:47 PM
if you've designed something that cannot be made, then you have not designed a good part
the difference you state is not the difference between a senior and a green engineer its the difference between a good and a bad engineer

No between an an engineer and a marketing guy armed with powerpoint. I have seen several times in my career marketing say it needs to do powerpoint bullet point XYandZ and a good design gets subverted and stupid things get added onto the widget at additional cost/reduced reliability to meet perceived marketing demands that came out of how they felt over in marketing. A good engineer designs for the materials at hand, a bad one finds a material to do what he wants his design to do... cough Ares - I ... cough.

A brave engineer stands up and says marketing is full of it... Taking that tack actually reduces the amount of meetings you get invited/dragged too. So it is a win on all fronts :)

Not to talk up spaceX on an Orbital thread, but if you notice, the Merlin is a good, cheap easy to produce engine that does not push the limits anywhere. Other than the mistake of the albative version, which they have learned from, that mistake was also made on the Delta-IV, so we can not hold spaceX out to dry for trying the same thing. 

Yes, Merlin is  "good, cheap easy to produce engine"...according to the
SpaceX marketing guys/gals armed with Powerpoint charts - and fancy animations.  And, yes, they do have static fire history but do we really have enough indpendent facts to give credence to the claims you've reiterated?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 06/28/2009 02:53 PM
Yes, Merlin is  "good, cheap easy to produce engine"...according to the
SpaceX marketing guys/gals armed with Powerpoint charts - and fancy animations. 

I might have missed the point when SpaceX themselves claimed it was cheap, can you point me to those powerpoint charts your refer to?
No doubt their planned economies of scale would have to lower the price compared to other, fewer produced engines.

And, yes, they do have static fire history but do we really have enough indpendent facts to give credence to the claims you've reiterated?

If I were to be ironic, I'd say Merlin 1c has more flight history and hard data than AJ-26. Not that it really matters that much, but since you were debating claims and evidence...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/30/2009 03:04 AM
Quote
WALLOPS ISLAND — Maryland and Virginia officials held a groundbreaking at a Monday ceremony marking the start of construction of a new launchpad and other facilities to support Orbital Science Corporation’s Taurus II rocket program.
Advertisement

The rocket will be used to carry cargo to the International Space Station. A demonstration flight is scheduled for late next year, followed by eight resupply missions to the International Space Station between 2011 and 2015.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said the groundbreaking marked “another era of discovery” similar to when Capt. John Smith first set foot on the Eastern Shore four centuries ago.

“Here on the Eastern Shore, people used to earn their living off the land or off the water...Now they are also going to earn their living off of space,” Mikulski said, calling the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops “a global center...an international center for research and discovery.”

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20090629/NEWS01/90629023/1002/WALLOPS--Groundbreaking-held-at-Space-Station-launchpad
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 06/30/2009 03:33 AM
The recent Sea Launch bankruptcy has me wondering about the Taurus II first stage.  SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash is building the stage, but the economics were surely based on an assumption of synergy with Zenit production. 

Do you know what subsystems are shared between the Taurus II first stage and the Zenit first stage?  Orbital's brochure says the engines come from Aerojet, the avionics come from Orbital, and the "core tank assembly" comes from Yuzhmash.  Avionics and engines are traditionally the expensive parts of a stage.

Quote
At the very least, the bankruptcy will reduce the numbers of Zenits built.  At worst, it will shut the program down.  What effect might this have on Taurus II?

Who knows?  It might make the core stages more expensive due to reduced economies of scale.  It might make the core stages cheaper as Yuzhmash is more desperate for work.  It might have no effect, because when Sea Launch stopped paying for rocket parts last year, everyone in the business knew they were doomed, and this already entered into the contract negotiations with Orbital.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NUAETIUS on 06/30/2009 02:45 PM
WALLOPS ISLAND — Maryland and Virginia officials held a groundbreaking at a Monday ceremony marking the start of construction of a new launchpad and other facilities to support Orbital Science Corporation’s Taurus II rocket program.
Advertisement

OK, does anyone have pictures from the ceremony?  That's one thing I wish Oribital did more like SpaceX.  I so wish they had blogs and more pictures.

I have contacted congress and the senate 3 times for SpaceX (I have bugged FAA for Armadillo more than 3 times), but hard to get excited about Orbital without some good new fashioned fake openness.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/30/2009 04:39 PM
WALLOPS ISLAND — Maryland and Virginia officials held a groundbreaking at a Monday ceremony marking the start of construction of a new launchpad and other facilities to support Orbital Science Corporation’s Taurus II rocket program.
Advertisement

OK, does anyone have pictures from the ceremony?  That's one thing I wish Oribital did more like SpaceX.  I so wish they had blogs and more pictures.

I have contacted congress and the senate 3 times for SpaceX (I have bugged FAA for Armadillo more than 3 times), but hard to get excited about Orbital without some good new fashioned fake openness.

Non Government company so they aren't required to release information.  SpaceX is supporting their fan boys and building a following (and it's working). 

Orbital has a history of designing, building and flying hardware.  They don't have to show off everything they do.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 06/30/2009 09:20 PM
does anyone have pictures from the ceremony?
I'm trying to get some.  I was there.  Not much to see - a bunch of talking heads, a couple heavy machinery.  The Senator WAS pretty excited, though... even if she mis-named the spacecraft a couple of times...
Quote
  I so wish they had blogs
I gues you'll have to do with poor little me... :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: veryrelaxed on 06/30/2009 11:27 PM
...
Quote
  I so wish they had blogs
I gues you'll have to do with poor little me... :)

Personally, I'm content with that ;)  Thank you for posting on this site.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 07/01/2009 02:33 PM
Great news about the ground breaking. Can't wait to see a launch.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/02/2009 08:03 PM
OSC has yet to complete a COTS system-level PDR that had been scheduled for April.

Didn't they get paid for that?  I know people from HQ went to a preboard and a final board a few months ago.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/03/2009 02:57 AM

OK, does anyone have pictures from the ceremony?  That's one thing I wish Oribital did more like SpaceX.

Ask and ye shall receive:

First picture: Orbital's luxury corporate jet - not paid by any Obama bailouts!!!

Second picture: J.R., friendly security guy, yours truly in a hideous business suit (God, how I hate suits!), Mike Hamel.  Welcoming committee vehicles in the background.  DWT drove from the Outer Banks where he was on vacation with his family - he left OBX at 5 a.m. to be there in time.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/03/2009 03:02 AM
Next: DWT explains the works to Acting Administrator Scolese ("Chris, there will be a test afterward, so pay attention")

Second picture: the desolate view of the Island looking towards Pad 0B (Pad 0A gave its all in the name of progress a couple of months ago) - I will post a picture taken from the same point a year from now...

By the way, all photos courtesy Capt. Frank Culbertson, USN (Ret.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/03/2009 03:38 AM
Next: the dignitaries laugh, not knowing they will be soon sent to hard labor in the salt mines.  Left to right:  DWT, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Trade and Commerce David Smith, Goddard Space Flight Center Director Rob Strain, NASA Acting Administrator Chris Scolese (partially hidden), Chairwoman Mikulski, NASA Wallops Flight Facility Director John Campbell.

Yours truly is standing behind, not amused (it must be that darn suit...)

Second photo: Secretary Smith, DWT, Chairwoman Mikulski, Acting Administrator Scolese, Virginia Space Flight Authority Chairman Vincent Boles, Goddard Director Rob Strain, Wallops Director John Campbell.  I asked them to stay and dig for a couple more hours - my construction budget is very limited.  Did they do it?  Nooo... too important... too busy to stop and help the little people...

Last picture... Wait!  Is that an MLAS lurking in the background?...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/03/2009 11:27 AM

Now if you had announced this in advance, and posted tickets on NSF I am sure your could have had quite the NSF crowd on hand to witness the events :D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wjbarnett on 07/03/2009 02:11 PM
Ask and ye shall receive:

Thanks so much Antonio. It's great to see your progress! Keep going!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/03/2009 04:42 PM

Now if you had announced this in advance, and posted tickets on NSF I am sure your could have had quite the NSF crowd on hand to witness the events :D

AS A MATTER OF FACT we did round up quite a crowd, as you can tell in the following picture.  The armed guards, after removing their shackles, retreated behind the cameramen (that's why you can't see them)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: veryrelaxed on 07/03/2009 11:11 PM
Thanks for the photos.  Some high profile company you 'rounded up' out there ;)

I'm sure the place will look different in a year...  Best of luck.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Riley1066 on 07/05/2009 09:52 PM
What kind of upmass hit is Orbital taking by building at Wallops vs Kennedy/Canaveral?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Malderi on 07/05/2009 11:07 PM
What kind of upmass hit is Orbital taking by building at Wallops vs Kennedy/Canaveral?

Considering they're launching to ISS, I don't think there's any, since the inclination is still above Wallops. But I may be wrong on that.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/05/2009 11:32 PM
Should still be some unless you launch straight north, although it's not as big as for GSO.
There's still a delta-v in eastern direction.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 07/06/2009 01:11 AM
What kind of upmass hit is Orbital taking by building at Wallops vs Kennedy/Canaveral?

Zero.

The hit is if ORB decides to fly GTO missions with Taurus II, then a change of launch site would probably be in order. Hawaii would be a nice place.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Comga on 07/06/2009 01:56 AM
What kind of upmass hit is Orbital taking by building at Wallops vs Kennedy/Canaveral?

Zero.

Is that answer the result of a calculation or just your intuition?  Pippin's point seems valid, although it would seem any "hit" would be minimal.   As you can see from Slide 8 of the OSC presentation to the Augustine HSF committee and the Taurus II Fact Sheet, there is only a small difference in payload between 29 deg from CCAFS and 52 deg from WFF. 
Can someone verify this conjecture numerically?

PS IMHO using Wallops is a great idea, and one that SpaceX would have done well to make rather than launching from the absolute middle of nowhere or from somewhere with lots of other launch sites like Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/06/2009 02:01 AM
The answer is not as simple as that; in addition to the obvious effect of the Earth's rotation, the location of the stage impact points and resulting probability of hitting somebody on the ground enter into the picture.  For example, for high-acceleration vehicles with stage impact points close to the launch site, there is little practical performance difference to the ISS inclination (51.6 deg) from CCAFS (Florida) and from WFF (VA).  However, you launch NORTH from CCAFS (ascending node) to avoid the islands, and SOUTH from WFF (descending node) to avoid Europe.

With low acceleration vehicles stage impact points move downrange, so a CCAFS launch north to ISS (you still can't launch south, I'm told) might drop a stage on Newfoundland; this may require a payload-reducing dogleg right our of the Cape, making the WFF performance higher even tough, from an Earth rotation standpoint it's an even match (Earth rotation is higher from FL, but the launch azimuth is more easterly from VA).

Oh by the way: the number of stages and the use of strapons makes a difference on this stage impact point analysis, too...

The bottom line is that it is non-intuitive and requires more than a simple calculation - you have to run a complete trajectory analysis.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/06/2009 02:16 AM
Just to add a little more detail, here is an earlier post by Antonioe on the same question with some numbers to put behind what he just posted.


Well, i *JUST* happen to have two Visual Basic macros for Excel that help a bit.  The first one estimates (geometrically) the launch azimuth required to hit a desired inclination from a certain latitude, given the target orbital altitude (it's an estimation - accurate results depend on the particulars of the trajectory, e.g., slow liquid Ariane 5 style vs. fast, solid, taurus style; but, hey, it's a lot better than guessing!)

The second function calculates - also geometrically - the inertial velocity due to earth rotation in the direction of the launch azimuth at a given latitude.  Like the other function, this is an approximation to the performance impact, but, again, it's better than a guess...

And the results are:    
WFF   
CCAFS
Latitude, deg   37.83   28.5
Launch az. For i=51.6º, deg   50.1   42.8
Earth vel. In dir of launch az, m/s   282   278


 

Although these are approximations, I'd say the result is a tie.  Downrange issues (stage imnpacts, overflights, etc) probably have more of an impact, and I can't evaluate them without a more detailed analysis, which we have not done yet.  Even then I expect nearly a wash.

and

Well, from a northern latitude, you shoot closer to East to get to the desired inclination than from a southern latitude, and that helps in getting more of the Eastwards Earth Rotational Velocity (EERV) in the direction of launch, but on the other hand the amount of EERV up north is lower than further south.  I guess one effect cancels the other.

Also note that the launch azimuth numbers I gave in the table are the ascending ones; you get the same results if you mirror image them w.r.t. East, i.e. 129.9 deg from WFF and 137.2 deg from CCAFS (the approximate rotational velocity help being the same for both the ascending and descending cases.)  From CCAFS, range limits may preclude use of the the ascending azimuth (anybody knows for sure?)

BTW, from a latitude of 51.6 deg, my Excel calculations show a launch azimuth of 90 deg (duh...) and a net contribution of rotational velocity in the direction of launch of 289 m/s.  Not a big difference from 278 (CCAFS) or 282 (WFF).  What's at 51.6 deg north latitude?

Link to the earlier discussion : http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11939.msg248933#msg248933

I hope I did not miss quote anyone ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Malderi on 07/06/2009 02:17 AM
The answer is not as simple as that; in addition to the obvious effect of the Earth's rotation, the location of the stage impact points and resulting probability of hitting somebody on the ground enter into the picture.  For example, for high-acceleration vehicles with stage impact points close to the launch site, there is little practical performance difference to the ISS inclination (51.6 deg) from CCAFS (Florida) and from WFF (VA).  However, you launch NORTH from CCAFS (ascending node) to avoid the islands, and SOUTH from WFF (descending node) to avoid Europe.

With low acceleration vehicles stage impact points move downrange, so a CCAFS launch north to ISS (you still can't launch south, I'm told) might drop a stage on Newfoundland; this may require a payload-reducing dogleg right our of the Cape, making the WFF performance higher even tough, from an Earth rotation standpoint it's an even match (Earth rotation is higher from FL, but the launch azimuth is more easterly from VA).

Oh by the way: the number of stages and the use of strapons makes a difference on this stage impact point analysis, too...

The bottom line is that it is non-intuitive and requires more than a simple calculation - you have to run a complete trajectory analysis.


Answer for the rest of us: rocket science is, well, rocket science. :) Thanks for the informative answer.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 07/06/2009 03:18 PM
The answer is not as simple as that; in addition to the obvious effect of the Earth's rotation, the location of the stage impact points and resulting probability of hitting somebody on the ground enter into the picture.  For example, for high-acceleration vehicles with stage impact points close to the launch site, there is little practical performance difference to the ISS inclination (51.6 deg) from CCAFS (Florida) and from WFF (VA).  However, you launch NORTH from CCAFS (ascending node) to avoid the islands, and SOUTH from WFF (descending node) to avoid Europe.

With low acceleration vehicles stage impact points move downrange, so a CCAFS launch north to ISS (you still can't launch south, I'm told) might drop a stage on Newfoundland; this may require a payload-reducing dogleg right our of the Cape, making the WFF performance higher even tough, from an Earth rotation standpoint it's an even match (Earth rotation is higher from FL, but the launch azimuth is more easterly from VA).

Oh by the way: the number of stages and the use of strapons makes a difference on this stage impact point analysis, too...

The bottom line is that it is non-intuitive and requires more than a simple calculation - you have to run a complete trajectory analysis.


Ah, that explains that. Thanks!

Yeah, don't be ticking off the Newfies...they're mad enough at Canada as it is.  :)

Could also hit an oil or gas rig, which would be bad.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 07/06/2009 05:39 PM
So the next question if a Baikal-like booster can compensate for its performance shortfall (due to dead weight of wings, engines, and other useless equipment) by permitting more optimized trajectories. I suspect not, but perhaps it needs to be analyzed before rejection too.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/06/2009 06:17 PM

Oh by the way: the number of stages and the use of strapons makes a difference on this stage impact point analysis, too...


By the way, from this it follows that it is desirable to have a minimum of stages.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/07/2009 03:30 AM

By the way, from this it follows that it is desirable to have a minimum of stages.

Hmmm... not intuitively obvious... two stages dropping in the right places (e.g., before and after Newfoundland) might be better than a single first stage dropping at the wrong downrange distance...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/07/2009 03:43 AM
As you can see from Slide 8 of the OSC presentation to the Augustine HSF committee and the Taurus II Fact Sheet, there is only a small difference in payload between 29 deg from CCAFS and 52 deg from WFF.

Notice to the readers (and I apologize if it's obvious): the graph shows the performance to a 29 degree INCLINATION orbit from CCAFS and a 52 deg INCLINATION orbit from WFF, obviously much bigger than the difference between CCAFS and WFF to the same 52 deg INCLINATION orbit.

Also be aware that what our esteemed Marketing Department (previously employed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation) calls "Three Stage Taurus" in that plot really means the two stage vehicle plus the Orbit Raising Kit, which has a rather small DV (but allows for a Hohmann Transfer, hence its major virtue is to FLATTEN the payload vs. altitude curve, rather than shifting it up considerably).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Comga on 07/07/2009 06:44 AM
Acknowledged.  It is NEVER as simple as that, the two curves had many more significant differences than latitude, but it was *calculated* values, which was better than peoples' guesses, and some place to start.
And thanks for pointing out some of the real issues. Always a pleasure to learn from you.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/07/2009 05:30 PM
to antonioe.

Why in project Taurus II the Centaur-stage has not been provided?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 07/07/2009 06:42 PM
to antonioe.

Why in project Taurus II the Centaur-stage has not been provided?

Because it is a ULA stage.  Taurus II is an OSC product.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/07/2009 07:24 PM

It would be like flying a Centaur on a Titan ;)

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/09/2009 05:30 PM

Because it is a ULA stage.  Taurus II is an OSC product.

OK! But why not to make the own stage with RL-10? In my opinion, it is easier, than methane.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 07/11/2009 02:22 PM
It would be like flying a Centaur on a Titan ;)

Weren't the Vikings launched on Titan III/Centaurs?

Just to get on a soapbox here, whilst I understand the underlying commercial sense of not helping one's competitor (referencing both to Orbital using a Centaur US and earlier discussions about using Merlin-1c for Taurus-II), I have to say that this will not be an attitude that makes long-term sense.  Eventually, there is only going to be room for so many high-energy upper stage engines or launch vehicles full stop.  Whilst I understand the instinct not to "help the competition", ultimately, having other companies use products made by your company (say, engines) is another useful revenue stream.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 07/11/2009 02:38 PM
It would be like flying a Centaur on a Titan ;)

Weren't the Vikings launched on Titan III/Centaurs?

Just to get on a soapbox here, whilst I understand the underlying commercial sense of not helping one's competitor (referencing both to Orbital using a Centaur US and earlier discussions about using Merlin-1c for Taurus-II), I have to say that this will not be an attitude that makes long-term sense.  Eventually, there is only going to be room for so many high-energy upper stage engines or launch vehicles full stop.  Whilst I understand the instinct not to "help the competition", ultimately, having other companies use products made by your company (say, engines) is another useful revenue stream.

It makes very good long term sense.

Ford doesn't make engines for GM.  Honda doesn't make engines for Nissan*

Back in days of old, boosters and upperstages had separate guidance and control systems.  Upperstages are integral to a specific launch vehicles now days.  The avionics for the whole vehicle are contained in the upperstage.

The upperstage also determines how the  fairing interfaces with the vehicle.

* Rocket engines are a different story
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/11/2009 06:05 PM
Ford doesn't make engines for GM.  Honda doesn't make engines for Nissan*
Very bad example for a good point.
Almost everybody is cooperating with everybody else on engine manufacturing in automotive.
I bet there are GM vehicles with Ford engines.

I think the avionics point is more important.
That said: If spaceflight is ever going to be a "real" business there will have to be more specialization (which runs to the very contrary of SpaceX's strategy) and things like avionics will have to become modules purchased from specialized suppliers serving more than one customers.

To go back to your automotive example: Both GM and Ford use pretty much the same suppliers and they purchase most of the critical components of today's cars.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 07/11/2009 06:24 PM
If spaceflight is ever going to be a "real" business there will have to be more specialization (which runs to the very contrary of SpaceX's strategy) and things like avionics will have to become modules purchased from specialized suppliers serving more than one customers.

What makes you think SpaceX doesn't purchase avionics parts like everyone else?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/11/2009 08:08 PM

What makes you think SpaceX doesn't purchase avionics parts like everyone else?
I'm not talking parts. I'm talking systems.
SpaceX made a big fuss about their avionics development (like all their other in-house developments).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 07/11/2009 08:14 PM
I'm not talking parts. I'm talking systems.
SpaceX made a big fuss about their avionics development (like all their other in-house developments).

You said avionics modules, not entire systems. I don't think there's a complete, generic avionics package off the shelf to buy out there. SpaceX buy avionics parts such as IMUs and GPS receivers. I'm sure OSC and ULA don't do those in-house, either. The rest - batteries, computers and their GN&C software are probably proprietary to each company anyway. Which is why it doesn't make sense to try and retrofit a Centaur on a Taurus II.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/11/2009 09:24 PM
You said avionics modules, not entire systems.
No. I said avionics BECOMING modules. What I meant by that is that it becomes a dedicated subsystem that is being sourced from a specialist.
Quote
I don't think there's a complete, generic avionics package off the shelf to buy out there.
That's not the point. There's also no complete, generic engine controller for cars out there.
This is not how things like that work in other industries. How they work is: You have specialized suppliers of systems, say a flight control system, that will supply this as a complete system based on the spec you do. And THEY use common subsystems for several suppliers.

This is what drives cost down and reliability/performance up in other industries throughout the supply chain, yet you don't have the means to do it in spaceflight for several reasons:

1. Low volume. Doesn't justify a lot of specialized developement
2. Small number of vehicles and thus small number os sourcing being done. Little market for specialists
3. ITAR (and similar). It's not possible to do all this cross border in a lot of cases. Which in turn increases issues 1 and 2

This is IMHO one of the important cost drivers in rocketry right now, you just don't get to the same level of organizational professionalism as in other industries due to the small scale.

I'm not 100% convinced an in-sourcing strategy a-la SpaceX is the way around it, yet I understand their point: "If there is no competitive industry out there to supply us with powerful components at low prices we'd better do things ourselves so we can at least try to control the cost". The important aspect being "competitive".

It's very bad for the whole industry that it doesn't yet make sense to fit something like a Centaur on a Taurus II and be able to adapt it to meet whatever avionics spec OSC may have.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 07/11/2009 10:07 PM

It's very bad for the whole industry that it doesn't yet make sense to fit something like a Centaur on a Taurus II and be able to adapt it to meet whatever avionics spec OSC may have.

No, it isn't.   That isn't how the rest of industry works. Airbus avionics don't work in a Boeing plane.  Airbus wings don't work in a Boeing plane An upper stage is an end unit and too high of level for interchangeability.   Taurus II can have a LH2 stage using RL-10 engines and Honeywell gyros.   Just like an Airbus and 747 can use the same GE engines and have some of the same Collins components.



Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/12/2009 01:39 AM
I bet there are GM vehicles with Ford engines.

These are the types of statements I will not abide.  Don't say things you have no basis for.  Besides, there aren't.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: madscientist197 on 07/12/2009 05:03 AM
That it how software development works in an ideal situation (componentisation).

I agree -- that is an end-point which everyone should be aiming for, but it will take a long time to get there.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/12/2009 10:03 AM
I bet there are GM vehicles with Ford engines.

These are the types of statements I will not abide.  Don't say things you have no basis for.  Besides, there aren't.

I said "bet". May be they don't, yet, lots of reports about talks between GM and Ford about cooperation in engine development last year.

Maybe they don't now, but that's a rare example then in the industry and, quite frankly, especially GM is not really among the successful examples right now. Mercedes uses VW engines in it's Transporters, BMW built engines for the Mini together with Chrysler, GM uses a lot of Fiat developed engines in Europe, Ford uses Peugeot's diesels, if I had time to search I could go on with the list for a few pages.

I know my industry.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/12/2009 10:17 AM

It's very bad for the whole industry that it doesn't yet make sense to fit something like a Centaur on a Taurus II and be able to adapt it to meet whatever avionics spec OSC may have.

No, it isn't.   That isn't how the rest of industry works. Airbus avionics don't work in a Boeing plane.  Airbus wings don't work in a Boeing plane.
Look at my post, that wasn't my point. Wings are also a bad example because it's a structure not a subsystem.
Quote
An upper stage is an end unit and too high of level for interchangeability.   Taurus II can have a LH2 stage using RL-10 engines and Honeywell gyros.   Just like an Airbus and 747 can use the same GE engines and have some of the same Collins components.

Err.. Yes. Wasn't that what I said? OK the phrase you quote may have been a bit off that point, wanted to refer to but read the rest of my post.
The auto industry analogy would be: buy the structure, the engine and integrated avionics from three suppliers to your spec and integrate the stuff.
You gain economies of scale if you can distribute development costs across a broader range of uses. I don't know how much dev. cost is in the structure but there must be a lot in avionics and engines and it will be worthwhile to share that. And probably the best way to do that is by having the same supplier delivering that stuff to several applications and not starting each development all over again with each vehicles. There are many more launch vehicles around than it makes sense to have different avionics systems and engines.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 07/12/2009 12:11 PM

It's very bad for the whole industry that it doesn't yet make sense to fit something like a Centaur on a Taurus II and be able to adapt it to meet whatever avionics spec OSC may have.

No, it isn't.   That isn't how the rest of industry works. Airbus avionics don't work in a Boeing plane.  Airbus wings don't work in a Boeing plane.
Look at my post, that wasn't my point. Wings are also a bad example because it's a structure not a subsystem.


So are propellant tanks.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 07/12/2009 12:17 PM

The auto industry analogy would be: buy the structure, the engine and integrated avionics

Those are the root of the disagreement.

A.  The structure is what most manufacturers do inhouse.
2.  No issues with engines, they are from outside.
III.  It can't be obtained "integrated".  It affects the lower stages and there are unique requirements.  Procurement by the component is at the right level
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: agman25 on 07/12/2009 04:32 PM
I bet there are GM vehicles with Ford engines.

These are the types of statements I will not abide.  Don't say things you have no basis for.  Besides, there aren't.

This is not relevant to anything being discussed here but Ford's with GM engines has already happened.
http://www.autocar.co.uk/CarReviews/FirstDrives/Ford-Ka-1.3-TDCi-Zetec/235680/
But since then GM has sold Opel. Auto companies share engines, gearboxes and components all the time. BMW's use GM transmissions and Peugeot engines (for the MINI).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/12/2009 04:52 PM
None in America.  I'll stick with knowing rockets worldwide and leave the cars to others, m'kay.  However, thanks, agman.  You provided evidence on which an "I bet" statement might be proved.  That's all I'm asking.  Tighten up the debate skills.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Verio Fryar on 07/13/2009 09:46 AM
None in America.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons of the sorry state of USA's car manufacturers. ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/13/2009 06:50 PM
Gee... I used to complain that the Elon "Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon" thread had become an all-purpose, multiple-subject flaming thread...

Now I see that the "T II Development" thread is addressing the problems of the U.S. automotive industry... probably a lot more relevant to this country's future than a poor little old MLV, I guess! :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Cretan126 on 07/13/2009 07:12 PM
Gee... I used to complain that the Elon "Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon" thread had become an all-purpose, multiple-subject flaming thread...

Now I see that the "T II Development" thread is addressing the problems of the U.S. automotive industry... probably a lot more relevant to this country's future than a poor little old MLV, I guess! :)

You mean Taurus II isn't the next generation mid-sized Ford?  Our bad.....  ;-)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 07/13/2009 07:13 PM
Gee... I used to complain that the Elon "Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon" thread had become an all-purpose, multiple-subject flaming thread...

Now I see that the "T II Development" thread is addressing the problems of the U.S. automotive industry... probably a lot more relevant to this country's future than a poor little old MLV, I guess! :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world :)  How's the development going?  Was the GAO report too pessimistic?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 07/13/2009 07:40 PM
You mean Taurus II isn't the next generation mid-sized Ford?  Our bad.....  ;-)

Actually... I think that Ford did have a model called 'Taurus' once. :D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/13/2009 07:43 PM
He was referring to the "II"...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/13/2009 07:44 PM
Was the GAO report too pessimistic?

You kidding?  For GAO standards ("Good News is No News") that was an outrageously optimistic report!!! :D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/13/2009 08:33 PM
Will the Taurus II even be street legal? Last thing I wanna do is be cruising down the highway and see it in the mirror coming like a bat out of hell ...

Go Taurus II...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 07/13/2009 08:47 PM
 Ford also had the Falcon.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/14/2009 02:46 AM

We'll have fun, fun, fun until antonioe takes the Taurus II away...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 07/14/2009 07:35 PM
Now if only OSC can get Sir Jackie Stewart to do a Taurus II commercial.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/15/2009 05:01 PM
Hhhmmm... By my calculations, with a cryogenic stage (with two RL-10A3) Taurus II could put into  ISS-orbit more than 9000 kg of a payload...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 07/15/2009 05:05 PM
Ford also had the Falcon.

I think you're onto something. Now, if only Kistler had thought to rechristen K-1 as the Ranger...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/03/2009 02:50 AM
Quote
An academic symposium will be held this fall to explore the potential of what officials are calling "Virginia's Spaceplex" in the Wallops Island area.

Accomack County and state officials met with representatives from several state universities Wednesday in Richmond to hear preliminary proposals for a concept study for the Wallops area, which would emphasize developing a vision for its potential and which eventually would lead to an economic impact analysis and concrete recommendations.

The county last week issued a request for proposals for the study, saying it will aid in marketing efforts for Wallops area enterprises. But by the end of yesterday's meeting at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the group decided to take a broader approach and to concentrate on three different aspects of planning for growth in the area: to plan for immediate needs related Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Taurus II project; to hold a symposium; and to do comprehensive long-range planning.

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20090801/ESN01/908010302
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NUAETIUS on 08/06/2009 02:50 AM
Entirely cool Taurus II / Cygnus

Ok how did Orbital get so much cooler video than SpaceX?  Elon must be chaped

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBya5YAUm5k&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fspaceports.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F08%2Fyoutube-video-above-is-animation-of.html&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 08/06/2009 12:01 PM
Is NASA expected to move Node 3 back to Node 1 nadir so all these simulations will be accurate?
 It's great to have a real competition going. Too bad the Paypal guy doesn't have someone like Antonioe around to pass out a little low spin information.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 08/06/2009 12:20 PM
No offense, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for Antonio and Orbital, but these types of statements are just dissing SpaceX and Elon Musk. In the terms used hereabouts, this video shows a paper rocket launching a paper spacecraft. How is that "cooler" or "low spin information" compared to what SpaceX does? Orbital and SpaceX get to pass exactly the same test. When Falcon 9 and Taurus II launch Dragon and Cygnus respectively to ISS, then they have done what they claim they will do. Videos don't count, much as we enjoy seeing them. Personally, nothing will please me more than to see them both succeed gloriously and usher in a new era of commercial manned spaceflight. CRS and COTS-D could make a big difference for the CxP outcome if, as seems likely, ISS is extended to 2020 or beyond.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: stockman on 08/06/2009 01:09 PM
No offense, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for Antonio and Orbital, but these types of statements are just dissing SpaceX and Elon Musk. In the terms used hereabouts, this video shows a paper rocket launching a paper spacecraft. How is that "cooler" or "low spin information" compared to what SpaceX does? Orbital and SpaceX get to pass exactly the same test. When Falcon 9 and Taurus II launch Dragon and Cygnus respectively to ISS, then they have done what they claim they will do. Videos don't count, much as we enjoy seeing them. Personally, nothing will please me more than to see them both succeed gloriously and usher in a new era of commercial manned spaceflight. CRS and COTS-D could make a big difference for the CxP outcome if, as seems likely, ISS is extended to 2020 or beyond.

Agreed... too much dissing back and forth... personally I hope both succeed wildly...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simon-th on 08/06/2009 01:13 PM
Is NASA expected to move Node 3 back to Node 2 nadir so all these simulations will be accurate?
 It's great to have a real competition going. Too bad the Paypal guy doesn't have someone like Antonioe around to pass out a little low spin information.

You mean Node 1 nadir, right?

Well, considering that the PLM isn't anywhere in these animations yet, they aren't entirely correct anyway.

As to the "Paypal guy" not passing out information. That's none of our business. People are free to come here and talk about what they do. If SpaceX engineers have better things to do, good for them. After all, they do have a job to do - a rather challenging job.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NUAETIUS on 08/06/2009 02:08 PM
No offense, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for Antonio and Orbital, but these types of statements are just dissing SpaceX and Elon Musk. In the terms used hereabouts, this video shows a paper rocket launching a paper spacecraft. How is that "cooler" or "low spin information" compared to what SpaceX does? Orbital and SpaceX get to pass exactly the same test. When Falcon 9 and Taurus II launch Dragon and Cygnus respectively to ISS, then they have done what they claim they will do. Videos don't count, much as we enjoy seeing them. Personally, nothing will please me more than to see them both succeed gloriously and usher in a new era of commercial manned spaceflight. CRS and COTS-D could make a big difference for the CxP outcome if, as seems likely, ISS is extended to 2020 or beyond.

I could not agree with your statement more.  The only reason I said this video was cooler (and that Mr. Musk would be chaped), is because the production of this video struck me as better.  Better Music, better camera angles, looked like higher resolution...  but they look to have been made by the same company.

Trust me, most of us here cheer lead all spaceflight, Armadillo to Energia.  Heck I was cheering on North Korea with their "satellite launches".

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Eerie on 08/06/2009 02:17 PM
Seems like both OSC and SpaceX videos were done by the same people.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 08/06/2009 02:23 PM
Seems like both OSC and SpaceX videos were done by the same people.

Yes and if I were to guess, I'd say they were produced by Maas Digital (http://www.maasdigital.com/).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Eerie on 08/06/2009 02:52 PM
Yes and if I were to guess, I'd say they were produced by Maas Digital (http://www.maasdigital.com/).

They ought to do a DIRECT video.  :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 08/06/2009 02:58 PM
They ought to do a DIRECT video.  :)

OT, but I found DIRECT-ly produced CGI of their vehicles to be more impressive than vehicles in these videos, though there's more to a video than the vehicle.

I gotta admit, though, that Cygnus shot of reflective solar panels unfolding is pretty impressive.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: butters on 08/06/2009 03:27 PM
What are the two different spacecraft in the video?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wjbarnett on 08/06/2009 04:08 PM
What are the two different spacecraft in the video?
First is pressurized cargo; 2nd is unpressurized. But I think earlier in this thread Antonio reported that all Taurus II are now pressurized, per NASA COTS contract modification.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 08/06/2009 07:41 PM
What are the two different spacecraft in the video?
First is pressurized cargo; 2nd is unpressurized. But I think earlier in this thread Antonio reported that all Taurus II are now pressurized, per NASA COTS contract modification.

 How would they handle any cargo that was going outside the pressurized station and didn't fit the airlock?

 And don't get me wrong about the Paypal guy. I've never dissed him and would work for him anytime. I just thought everyone here would like having someone of Antoioe's caliber from SpaceX around. That wasn't a comment on SpaceX's business. We'd know a lot less and be doing a lot more guessing about the Taurus if he wasn't here.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 08/06/2009 07:57 PM

 How would they handle any cargo that was going outside the pressurized station and didn't fit the airlock?


There isn't any
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 08/06/2009 08:06 PM

 How would they handle any cargo that was going outside the pressurized station and didn't fit the airlock?


There isn't any

If ISS is extended to 2020+, will there be any chance of provision for outside replacement parts? Let's say they need a new solar array, or some such.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 08/06/2009 08:13 PM

If ISS is extended to 2020+, will there be any chance of provision for outside replacement parts? Let's say they need a new solar array, or some such.

That would be the unpressurized version of Cygnus or the Dragon Trunk.

The point I was making is that there is any unpressurized hardware that will be carry internally that can't fit thru an airlock.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wannamoonbase on 08/07/2009 11:26 AM
If ISS is extended to 2020+, will there be any chance of provision for outside replacement parts? Let's say they need a new solar array, or some such.

If ISS is extended to 2020 it strengthens the case for COTS as it would have a 10 year run and the amount of COTS flights would be higher.  So Orbital and SpaceX have more flights to make back their investment.

Someone should have enough knowledge of the ISS support requirements to come up with a ball park number pretty quick on the number of COTS flights from FY2011 to FY2020.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/23/2009 08:29 PM
Overview video of Wallops facilities:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me9dZA6dO18
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 09/12/2009 08:33 PM
http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=137576 and https://www.fbo.gov/index?&s=opportunity&mode=form&id=10201fe682aad9277bc497139f855700&tab=core&tabmode=list
 
RECOVERY - SPECIAL STUDIES AND ANALYSIS SUPPORT SERVICES - HUMAN RATINGS STUDY
 
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Posted Date: Sep 08, 2009
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Sep 08, 2009
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: Yes
Original Response Date: N/A
Current Response Date: N/A
Classification Code: B -- Special studies and analysis - not R and D
NAICS Code: 541990 - All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services


Contracting Office Address
 
NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BG


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THIS NOTICE IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. COMPETITION FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY IS AVALIABLE ONLY TO CONTRACTORS UNDER FIXED-PRICE COMPETIVELY AWARDED INDEFINITE DELIVERY INDIFINITE QUANTITY (IDIQ) NASA COMMERCIAL RESUPPLY SERVICES (CRS) CONTRACT NUMBERS NNJ09GA02B (ORBITAL SCIENCES CORPORATION) AND NNJ09GA04B (SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES). THIS OPPORUNITY IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009 AND WILL BE TO SUPPORT NASA/JOHNSON SPACE CENTER (JSC) IN ACCOMPLISHING A SPECIAL HUMAN RATINGS STUDY IN SUPPORT OF FUTURE NASA MISSIONS.
JSC intends to issue a Firm Fixed Price Task Order(s), Authorized under the Recovery Act, against the already existing CRS contract(s) to procure special studies and analysis support services for NASA in support of the International Space Station (ISS) Commercial Crew & Cargo Program. The Special Studies and Analysis Support Services - Human Ratings, issued under this task order, include advance planning and feasibility studies in support of future NASA missions.

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This announcement will not result in a Request for Proposal; this announcement is for informational purposes only. All questions and/or concerns must be submitted in writing to points of contacts contained herein.

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Point of Contact
Name: Lauren N. Johnson
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Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 09/13/2009 07:16 PM
Well said, I say!!!  :D :D :D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: agman25 on 09/13/2009 09:30 PM
Sergei Pavlovich would be happy. The engine he chose is finally going to take people into space.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 09/14/2009 11:50 AM

This looks more like a trunk to allow the 2.3 meter to be converted into a full lunar capable service module with a high expansion ratio main engine for lunar insertion/escape maneuvering, launched on the F9H, to mate with a lander/upper stage in LEO.

Unsubstantiated conjecture.  It is just that, a trunk
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lars_J on 09/14/2009 03:51 PM
Are there any preliminary concept images online of how a crewed Cygnus capsule would look like?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/14/2009 04:22 PM
Are there any preliminary concept images online of how a crewed Cygnus capsule would look like?

;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Swatch on 09/14/2009 11:15 PM
hmmm.... does that come with air conditioning?  or is that extra?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 09/15/2009 12:31 AM
Are there any preliminary concept images online of how a crewed Cygnus capsule would look like?

I'm not sure but I'd suspect they'd copy the Dragon shape or use something like this.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/advm1961.htm

The methane lox upper stage equipped Taurus II is supposed to be able to lift 7,600Kg which should allow something bigger then a Gemini like vehicle.
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_bro.pdf
It could put a Soyuz class vehicle into orbit.
Maybe take the existing pressurized cargo Cygnus add a DM between the SM and pressurized cargo carrier and you'll end up reinventing Soyuz.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 09/17/2009 05:02 PM
By the way, is there any requirement by NASA to dock at the USOS, or would it be possible to dock on the Russian segment?  Seems that it would be a good idea to buy a Russian docking system since it exists now and already has an automatic docking ability (if Russia allows that is)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 09/17/2009 06:40 PM
Yes the COTS ICDs that have been in the procurement libraries only cover the USOS. If a company wanted to go to the Russian side, I think they'd have to take it up directly with the Russians.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 10/05/2009 12:54 PM
Once the advanced upper stage is available, is there any possibility of a Cygnus "double-module?" Either 2x pressurized, 2x unpressurized, or one of each?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/05/2009 04:41 PM
Why even bother with the solid upper stage? Just go for the methane/LOX!

BTW, would a methane/LOX upper stage be easier to make reusable than a hydrolox upper stage? (Because of less TPS, less insulation, etc.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/05/2009 05:13 PM
There should be a separate thread for speculation about advanced concepts for Taurus II, separate from the "news" thread.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lars_J on 10/05/2009 05:30 PM
Well there is the "Taurus II and availability of the NK33" thread - perhaps that thread can be generalized.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/05/2009 06:23 PM
Why even bother with the solid upper stage? Just go for the methane/LOX!


The solid upperstage exists now, so it would make sense to use it to lower developmental costs and time (which is the big thing for COTS right now)

Just wondering though, could there be a "stretch" cargo model once the new LOX/H2 upperstage is developed, or would Orbital keep the current solid upperstage/Cygnus model?  My instinct would be to get rid of the solid upperstage once the other is developed to simplify the production line.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 10/06/2009 11:23 PM
If ISS is extended to 2020+, will there be any chance of provision for outside replacement parts? Let's say they need a new solar array, or some such.

If ISS is extended past 2020 (or even really past 2018), you'll need to bring up a giant roll of duck tape to patch the myriad micrometeorite holes in Node 1 and the Russian Segment. It's wishful thinking to imagine ISS can go much beyond 2016 without major repair/replacement work...

Ironically, the best long-term option to have a continued NASA presence in LEO may be to ditch ISS in 2015-2016, switch to HLV, and start from scratch on a better station, using ISS lessons-learned and ~70 tonne modules. But I digress...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 10/07/2009 02:31 PM
On October, 6th during fire tests there was engine NK-33 fire. Failure has occurred on 160 second from the moment of ignition.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 10/07/2009 04:52 PM
Details while are not present. It is known only that explosion was not. At test there were Americans and representatives TsSKB-PROGRESS.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 10/07/2009 05:05 PM
If ISS is extended to 2020+, will there be any chance of provision for outside replacement parts? Let's say they need a new solar array, or some such.

If ISS is extended past 2020 (or even really past 2018), you'll need to bring up a giant roll of duck tape to patch the myriad micrometeorite holes in Node 1 and the Russian Segment. It's wishful thinking to imagine ISS can go much beyond 2016 without major repair/replacement work...

Ironically, the best long-term option to have a continued NASA presence in LEO may be to ditch ISS in 2015-2016, switch to HLV, and start from scratch on a better station, using ISS lessons-learned and ~70 tonne modules. But I digress...

 And when they get that station built, declare it obsolete because they've learned so much while building, it and ditch it too?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 10/07/2009 05:51 PM
Details while are not present. It is known only that explosion was not. At test there were Americans and representatives TsSKB-PROGRESS.
It was also mentioned that it's the same engine that ran 200s previously. The aborted 160s run was subsequent to that. It's probably not that bad a deal, considering. Dunno if Merlin can work that long.

Also, I agree with Dmitry about the fact that explosion didn't happen like on N-1 being another positive.

Since the higher-ups from U.S. side were present, I suspect Dr. Elias himself was there. We may yet hear how it went with the characteristic wit and humor.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 10/07/2009 05:55 PM
Details while are not present. It is known only that explosion was not. At test there were Americans and representatives TsSKB-PROGRESS.
It was also mentioned that it's the same engine that ran 200s previously. The aborted 160s run was subsequent to that. It's probably not that bad a deal, considering. Dunno if Merlin can work that long.

Methinks it wouldn't be atypical to accumulate a couple thousands of seconds of runtime on a single engine during testing.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Gus on 10/08/2009 03:54 AM
The enhanced upper stage is a very intriguing topic.  The options appear to be the LOX/Methane and the LOX/LH2.  Is Orbital developing their own stage?

In a situation similar to the GD engineers unwilling to locate to Denver in the 1994-95 timeframe who eventually helped MAC/DAC develop their own LOX/LH2 upper stage,  there may be an opportunity for Orbital to obtain the ability to build a Centaur-like stage.  The word on the street is that many ULA San Diego folks who know how to build a Centaur did not accept offers to relocate to Decatur. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 10/08/2009 07:58 PM
If ISS is extended to 2020+, will there be any chance of provision for outside replacement parts? Let's say they need a new solar array, or some such.

If ISS is extended past 2020 (or even really past 2018), you'll need to bring up a giant roll of duck tape to patch the myriad micrometeorite holes in Node 1 and the Russian Segment. It's wishful thinking to imagine ISS can go much beyond 2016 without major repair/replacement work...

The pressurized elements (including the micrometeoroid/debris shielding) for ISS is what was designed for Space Station Freedom.  The baseline design was planned for a 30 year lifespan.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Analyst on 10/08/2009 08:21 PM
If ISS is extended past 2020 (or even really past 2018), you'll need to bring up a giant roll of duck tape to patch the myriad micrometeorite holes in Node 1 and the Russian Segment. It's wishful thinking to imagine ISS can go much beyond 2016 without major repair/replacement work...

Totally wrong.  Even the newest module could die by a debris hit, age does not matter. The structures will last much longer than 15 years. Ever heard of margin? Most other components can be replaced. There are vehicles in space many times beyond their design life, still going strong.

I will never understand this age fixation - often releted with fiscal years ends, e.g. Sept. 30th - be it Shuttle or ISS or whatever.

It is wishful thinking of yours ISS will go into the Pacific in 2016 to give funding for a pet dream project, be it lunar or beyond.

Analyst
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wjbarnett on 10/10/2009 06:18 PM
some degree of rapid disassembly.
LOL - I'll have to remember and reuse that euphemism.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yaroslav on 10/11/2009 09:20 AM
Seems that NK-33 engine stoped due to pulsations in "O" line

So NK-33 is ok )
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 10/11/2009 04:52 PM
Ironically, the best long-term option to have a continued NASA presence in LEO may be to ditch ISS in 2015-2016, switch to HLV, and start from scratch on a better station, using ISS lessons-learned and ~70 tonne modules. But I digress...

Eh no. According to Sally Ride's figures HLV will ensure there isn't enough money to continue a presence in LEO. The best way would be an inflatable station launched on EELVs and shared with commercial players. If parts of ISS can be reused, even better. There was talk recently of even NASA considering making certain changes to node 3 to preserve the option of adding a Bigelow module later.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Comga on 10/12/2009 04:14 AM
Ironically, the best long-term option to have a continued NASA presence in LEO may be to ditch ISS in 2015-2016, switch to HLV, and start from scratch on a better station, using ISS lessons-learned and ~70 tonne modules. But I digress...

Eh no. According to Sally Ride's figures HLV will ensure there isn't enough money to continue a presence in LEO. The best way would be an inflatable station launched on EELVs and shared with commercial players. If parts of ISS can be reused, even better. There was talk recently of even NASA considering making certain changes to node 3 to preserve the option of adding a Bigelow module later.

It may be that these comments are appropriate to a different discussion than this one on the Taurus II.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/14/2009 09:27 PM
FWIW, I happened to be in Sacramento back in the early 1990s, I recall dimly that Aerojet claimed at the time to receive over 100 engines from Samara. Where the number 37 came from is a mystery to me. Perhaps there are only 37 assembled engines left after testing.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Endeavour126 on 10/14/2009 11:11 PM
I'm a new member of the forum. May you explain me the major difference between the actual Taurus and the future Taurus 2? Thank you.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 10/14/2009 11:29 PM
Endeavour-

The Taurus rocket is a rocket developed by Orbital Sciences that has been flying since the early 90's.  It utilizes all solid rocket motors, and can put about 1300 kg to LEO.  It was originally designed to make use of leftover peacekeeper motors as a first stage, but the current commercial variant uses a Castor 120 instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_(rocket) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_(rocket))

The Taurus II is a new rocket, set to fly for the first time next year (hopefully).  It is intended to be used to resupply the space station with cargo using the Cygnus capsule (also from OSC), and also available for commercial launches.  It uses a kerosene/LOX first stage, and a Castor 30 solid second stage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_II)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 10/15/2009 03:50 AM
Can we not source amateur web sites when the real thing is out there?

http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Taurus/

http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/TaurusII/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Endeavour126 on 10/15/2009 07:42 AM
From the wikipedia article about Cygnus spacecraft- The equipment section will likely be topped by a smaller development of the MPLM for pressurized cargo, and possibly a derivative of the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier for unpressurized cargo. Initial production of pressurized modules will take place in Italy -

I'm italian and very proud about the manufacturing of MPLMs for NASA. Do you have some more info about the construction of the mini-MPLM for Cygnus spacecraft?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 10/16/2009 05:48 AM
For Endeavor 126:

The Orbital Sciences fact sheet for its Cygnus Advanced Maneuvering Spacecraft can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Cygnus_fact.pdf.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Endeavour126 on 10/16/2009 11:09 AM
Thank you Freddie. The Cygnus and the japanese HTV will be very similar in cargo capabilities. I think.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 10/18/2009 04:16 AM
For Endeavour 126

Concerning a comparision with the Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft of Orbital Sciences Corporation, one can view the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ("JAXA") webpage at http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/htv/index_e.html for more detailed information about its H-II Transfer Vehicle ("HTV").
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 10/27/2009 05:43 PM
Orbital Sciences hosted a teleconference call this morning to discuss its 2009 third quarter financial results and to provide information about potential future business.  Within the 60-minute teleconference call there was considerable discussion presented about the development progress of the Taurus II launch vehicle and the Cygnus spacecraft along with future scheduling and potentials for new business.

One can listen to the teleconference call in its entirety by entering the weblink below in one's browser window.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/finance/confcall/streetevents/SIG=1328ptqi7/*http%3a//web.servicebureau.net/conf/meta?i=1113141153&c=2343&m=was&u=/w_ccbn.xsl&date_ticker=ORB
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 10/28/2009 04:24 AM
One can listen to the teleconference call

A transcript is promised to be available "shortly."

http://www.orbital.com/Investor/Transcript/index.shtml
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 10/28/2009 07:52 PM
The transcript is  now available at http://www.orbital.com/Investor/Transcript/ConfCall.pdf

Here are some highlights concerning Taurus II and Cygus.

EXCERPT 1:

"...significant progress is evident in the Cygnus and Taurus II development programs. The Cygnus design has adequately satisfied the COTS Phase 2 safety review panel, overseeing the international space station planned operations.

During the quarter (2009 third quarter), the pressurized cargo module of the Cygnus spacecraft critical design review was also successfully completed. Construction of the horizontal integration facility at the Wallops Island launch site is now underway.

Construction of the launch pad itself and fueling facility is scheduled to begin within the next month. The engine acceptance test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center should be complete in early December with engine testing scheduled to begin by the fourth quarter (2009) rather than the first quarter of next year.

The static firing of the second stage solid rocket motor is scheduled to be conducted in the altitude facility at the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee in early December of this year. Delivery of the first Taurus II first stage, the Wallops from the Ukraine remains scheduled for the second quarter of 2010."

EXCERPT 2:

"Missions we expect to execute in the current quarter (2009 third quarter) include...a static firing of the Caster 30 solid rocket motor for the Taurus II program..."

EXCERPT 3:

"...we will be entering the final year of Taurus II and Cygnus development, which will also witness the emergence of the Wallops Island launch complex."

EXCERPT 4:

"...I would also like to give you a little more information on our two major product development programs, the Taurus II launch vehicle and the Cygnus maneuvering spacecraft.

As you may recall, we substantially finished the engineering design and procurement phase of the Taurus II rocket program this spring (2009). This phase of development, which began at the program's start in April 2007 culminated when the Rockets critical design review was completed this past April.

We are now about six months into the second and final phase which covers manufacturing, test and launch site construction. This phase is expected to take another 18 months to complete and to lead to the rocket's first launch in March 2011.

As of the end of September (2009), we were about 57% complete, based on cumulative spending as a percentage of our total development budget, with the third quarter representing the peak period of expected research and development spending. Over the next six to eight months, we plan to conduct a series of critical subsystem tests. These will include, as JR indicated, the Stage II rocket motor test firing in December (2009), stage I rocket engine testing to commence in February (2010) and continue through June, and major structural testing slated to start late this year and to continue through the late spring of next year.

We are currently on track to deliver the first vehicle to the Wallops Island launch site in June 2010 to be used for system level testing and Pathfinder rehearsals, and the second vehicle which will be the first one to actually be launched, to be delivered in December 2010 about three months prior to the expected inaugural launch date.

Second on the closely related COTS space station cargo delivery spacecraft that we call Cygnus, several major technical review milestones were completed successfully over the last three months. The program is now on schedule to complete its design and procurement phase, which began in February 2008, and which will be capped by a system-level critical design review in January (2010).

In this case however, the second manufacturing and test phase is already underway with avionics testing and cargo marginal fabrication having started in the late summer. At the end of September, we were approximately 32% complete, based on cumulative costs incurred to date and on track for peak spending on research and development late this quarter or early in the first quarter of 2010.

Over the next six to eight months we plan to freeze the Cygnus design which should happen in December and to begin assembly of the first spacecraft unit here at Dulles, Virginia, in April while also completing and checking out our Mission Operations Center this coming June. At present the Company is on schedule to deliver the first Cygnus flight spacecraft and its cargo module to the Wallops launch site in January 2011 and to conduct the COTS demonstration mission for NASA to the International Space Station several months later -- currently targeted for March 2011.

Despite this generally good progress, there's still a lot of hard work ahead on these development projects. Schedules are tight and most testing still remains to be done."

EXCERPT 5:

"...Taurus II and Cygnus represent challenging development programs with considerable residual risks. As a result schedule delays and cost increases are still possible on either or both of these new products. These risks will continue to be with us over the next 18 months as development and testing are currently expected to be completed in the early months of 2011."

EXCERPT 6 (concerning Orbital's submission last month to NASA of a proposal in the CCDev competition - http://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/ccdev/):

"Orbital submitted a proposal a month or so back to NASA for work -- on very early work on a human rated configuration of our COTS system that would just begin the -- just the preliminary design work over the course of the next year. NASA's intentions are to select probably multiple companies to provide limited funding to late this year to carry out this work between now and about this time next year.

That won't -- if we're one of the winners, that won't have a major impact on next year's financial results. But it could further strengthen our position for what might be a more serious competition some time in 2011, leading to potentially a first launch capability around 2015. So roughly -- following roughly a four-year-long development program ramping up in 2011 just about the time our current development work on Taurus II and COTS is tailing off."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 10/29/2009 12:07 AM
The transcript is  now available at http://www.orbital.com/Investor/Transcript/ConfCall.pdf

Here are some highlights concerning Taurus II and Cygus.


Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 10/29/2009 06:02 AM
Within its corporate website, Orbital has a webpage at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/ that gives progress updates, including photos, on development of Taurus II.

Below is the update Orbital gives as of October 2009.

:October 2009

The pace of activities in the development of Taurus II has quickened as the year has progressed and the system has moved from the design and review stage to initial production. In our first update, we highlighted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wallops Island, Virginia launch facility. Since then Orbital employees have literally circled the globe interacting with suppliers, developing qualification and flight hardware and overseeing construction projects. 

A variety of activities have occurred including:

Wind tunnel testing completed
Manufacturing of the stage one core started
Completion of the stage two static fire motor
Completion of the structures tooling for the launch vehicle's upper stack
Finalization of the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) design where the launch vehicle will be assembled at Wallops Island
Construction of the engine test stand flame duct at the Stennis Space Center where the stage one engines will be tested
Commencement of manufacturing of the Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL) that will transport the launch vehicle from the HIF and erect it on the launch pad
Completion of the launch pad preliminary design, with construction to start in November
Driving of the initial test pilings for the HIF

In addition to the accomplishments above, a number of activities are scheduled through the end of the year. These include:

Start of construction of the Wallops Island HIF
Stage one core flight systems Critical Design Review
Taurus II ground systems Critical Design Review
Commencement of launch pad construction
COTS system Critical Design Review
Stage two motor "hot fire" test
Completion of stage one engine test stand construction at the Stennis Space Center
Delivery of the first cryogenic tank to Wallops Island"
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 11/14/2009 03:14 PM
Exerpts from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emcore-corporation-awarded-solar-panel-manufacturing-contract-from-dutch-space-2009-11-12...

Emcore Corporation has been awarded a contract by Dutch Space of Leiden, The Netherlands to manufacture, test, and deliver the solar panels to power the Cygnus spacecraft being developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation for NASA's Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) project. With all options exercised the total value of the contract would be in excess of $15 million.

The solar panels to be delivered to Dutch Space will use EMCORE's ZTJ solar cells. With a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 30%, the ZTJ solar cell is the highest performance space qualified multi-junction solar cell available in the world today. Production of the solar panels will take place at EMCORE's state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This is a reformation of the Orbital/Dutch Space/Emcore solar cell team that successfully collaborated on NASA's DAWN mission, which is currently powering the spacecraft on its voyage to the Asteroid Belt.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 12/10/2009 02:53 PM
ATK Successfully Ground Tests New CASTOR 30 Upper Stage Solid Rocket Motor

http://atk.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=118&item=989

...at the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) in Tennessee.

...A version of this motor is being used by Orbital Sciences Corporation in its Taurus II
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 12/13/2009 12:48 AM
Is the Taurus II Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL) ground support equipment misnamed?  Pretty clearly it will transport and erect the LV at the pad.  But then won't it back out of harm's way before launch?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/13/2009 01:15 PM
Is the Taurus II Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL) ground support equipment misnamed?  Pretty clearly it will transport and erect the LV at the pad.  But then won't it back out of harm's way before launch?

Will it include the umbilical connections for the T-II? If it is anything like the Zenit T/E that I saw in the recent Intelsat-15 launch, it would remain connected to the vehicle pretty much until core ignition.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 12/13/2009 02:02 PM
Is the Taurus II Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL) ground support equipment misnamed?  Pretty clearly it will transport and erect the LV at the pad.  But then won't it back out of harm's way before launch?

The prime mover doesn't have to stay with the transporter at the pad.  A "transporter" can be a trailer.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 12/14/2009 05:45 AM
An illustration of the transporter (i.e., transporter/launcher/erector) can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/ under the October 2009 written update.

An illustration of the Taurus II launch vehicle sitting atop the launch pad can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_Fact.pdf.  Kindly note the transporter/erector/launcher is no longer present.

Please also note the following excerpt from a news article written by Stephen Clark and published by Spaceflight Now on December 22, 2008 (http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0812/22crspreview/):

     "Work is also underway at the Taurus 2's launch pad at Wallops Island, Va. The seaside launch center is located on the Delmarva Peninsula.

     The rocket will use the northernmost complex owned by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, or MARS. The 0A pad, which was home to the ill-fated Conestoga rocket in the 1990s, was demolished earlier this year.

     'A structure will be built in its place, which elevates the pad itself, and a ramp will be constructed to allow the Taurus 2 transporter-erector to climb up the pad and erect the vehicle in position,' Elias said.

     The pad work is driven by Orbital's technical requirements, but construction is being paid for by public funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia. MARS will own the new launch pad and lease it to Orbital.

     'It's very similar to building an office building where you spec it for your own use and somebody else builds and funds it and you rent it from them,' Elias said."

The report titled "Environmental Assessment for the Expansion of the Wallops Flight Facility Launch Range," dated August 2009 (http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/docs/expansion_ea/EWLR_FEA.pdf), shows the proposed improvements for the launch pad, including the elevated ramp, in a plan view on Page 51 of 226 and depicts a conceptual plan illustration of the same on Page 53 of 226.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 12/14/2009 06:34 AM
An illustration of the Taurus II launch vehicle sitting atop the launch pad can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_Fact.pdf.  Kindly note the transporter/erector/launcher is no longer present.
What do you mean "no longer"? It never was a part of the Fact Sheet. Yes, I kept and checked the old revisions.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Analyst on 12/14/2009 07:10 AM
"No longer" as in is put away before launch/ does not serve any purpose during launch.

Analyst
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/14/2009 09:37 PM
Castor 30 firing image:

Speaking of Taurus, where is antonioe?  Hope the development is not going too hard on him.

http://www.arnold.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123181962
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 12/24/2009 04:40 PM
Sounds a lot like an Orbus 21, so Athena I/II, TOS, IUS?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 12/24/2009 06:19 PM
A hypothetical EELV-light to compete in the Delta Ii replacement market?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 12/25/2009 04:45 PM
Oh, yeah, definitely.  Recall that the RFI (http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=126269) for the step between COTS and CRS contained: "Typical missions could include delivery of approximately 1600 - 3000 Kg payload to a circular sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 675 Kilometers. NASA is also interested in delivery capability that does not specifically match the described mission."  That's certainly not an ISS requirement.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 12/29/2009 12:40 AM
It could be the idea that ATK mentioned a couple of years ago for a smallsat launcher that would have used a Castor 120 topped by a Castor 30  and an "OAM" type third maneuvering stage.  This rocket would be able to lift more than a Falcon 1 or Pegasus. 

Isn't that pretty much a Peacemaker/MX/Minotaur IV?

And yeah Taurus II is pretty much a Delta II drop-in replacement. NASA science missions can only be launched on US vehicles, and without Delta II, they have no current option between a small Pegasus or an expensive Atlas 401...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: docmordrid on 01/01/2010 05:00 PM
http://www.spacenews.com/military/091231-launcher-issues-blamed-sbss-slip.html

Speaking of Minotaur IV, it sounds like troubles with it are delaying the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Space Surveillance satellite for 14 months.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Art LeBrun on 01/01/2010 05:11 PM
ironically Brian Webb's Launch Alert 12-31-2009 has SBSS "scheduled" for April 22, 2010.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/02/2010 12:20 AM
If NASA chose it for COTS and CRS, OSTP had to have ruled that it was a US vehicle.  It doesn't matter what the rest of us think.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/02/2010 02:33 AM
I'm not sure that it is correct to call Taurus 2 a "U.S. vehicle".  Its first stage will be manufactured in Ukraine.  Its first stage engines were developed and built in Russia.  Aerojet representatives are actually watching the engines be tested in Moscow.  Even its payload, the Cygnus, will largely come from Europe.
I thought the NK-33 was tested in Samara, not Moscow, because that's where both SNTK Kuznetsov and the Motorostroitel' Plant are located.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jimvela on 01/02/2010 03:07 AM
http://www.spacenews.com/military/091231-launcher-issues-blamed-sbss-slip.html

Speaking of Minotaur IV, it sounds like troubles with it are delaying the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Space Surveillance satellite for 14 months.

There's no "Sounds like" about it.  SBSS should be in orbit and on station right now...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/02/2010 03:11 AM
1) before the NK33 testing bait and switch occurred, moving it from Mississippi to Russia

2) and before it became apparent that future NK33 production, if any occurs, will almost certainly happen in Russia.

1) Do you have a link for this move?  It's unknown to me.

2) Orbital signed up for 8 flights to Station, right?  Plus the COTS flight.  IIRC, Aerojet has over 30 NKs on hand.  Unless something miraculous occurs with the T-II flight rate, that should be plenty without negating the OSTP ruling (which would have to be revisited in any configuration change).

You're right, though.  How OSTP decides if something is American doesn't seem to be public.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: iamlucky13 on 01/02/2010 07:49 AM

I'm not sure that it is correct to call Taurus 2 a "U.S. vehicle".  Its first stage will be manufactured in Ukraine.  Its first stage engines were developed and built in Russia.  Aerojet representatives are actually watching the engines be tested in [Russia] (corrected).  Major portions of its payload, the Cygnus, will come from Europe and it will be propelled by Japanese engines.

If Taurus 2 is a "U.S. vehicle", than KSLV-1 had to have been a "Korean vehicle".

 - Ed Kyle

Final assembly, payload integration, and launch are handled by a US company in the US.

Is there something I'm missing in the context of this discussion for defining a US launcher other than satisfying ITAR?

Not to mention, at some point, almost anything stops being a product of a single country. The RD-180 on an Atlas V is an obvious example. Carry the concept down to the raw materials used for everything from the structures to the electronics and your head will start spinning pretty fast.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: marsavian on 01/02/2010 11:32 AM
1) before the NK33 testing bait and switch occurred, moving it from Mississippi to Russia

2) and before it became apparent that future NK33 production, if any occurs, will almost certainly happen in Russia.

1) Do you have a link for this move?  It's unknown to me.

2) Orbital signed up for 8 flights to Station, right?  Plus the COTS flight.  IIRC, Aerojet has over 30 NKs on hand.  Unless something miraculous occurs with the T-II flight rate, that should be plenty without negating the OSTP ruling (which would have to be revisited in any configuration change).

You're right, though.  How OSTP decides if something is American doesn't seem to be public.

http://www.spacenews.com/launch/aerojet-looking-restart-production-nk-33-engine.html

This fall, Aerojet is planning a long-duration, high-power test firing of the NK-33 in Samara, Russia. Scheduled for late September or early October, the test could raise confidence in the engine. “A successful demonstration will increase the confidence level and allow us to reduce some of the performance margins we’ll be carrying,” Antonio Elias, vice president and general manager of Orbital’s advanced programs group, said Aug. 28. “By performing this ground test, we’ll be able to fly with smaller reserves.”

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11604.msg468909#msg468909

I can add some insight.

The Stennis tests are short duration single-engine PRE-FLIGHT ACCEPTANCE TESTS for the Sacramento-stored engines.  The test facility is designed for short duration tests using subcooled LOX and chilled RP.

The Samara test will be a 2X duration using the Taurus II thrust profile (perhaps a few percent over) and inlet conditions, using a Samara-stored engine from the same production batch as the Sacramento engines.  Quite a test!!!

While the Russians will be providing the facility and the engine, and will conduct the test, their customer is Aerojet.

Different tests, different purpose, different facilities.


antonioe
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/02/2010 02:48 PM
Purely speculative, but has Orbital mentioned any possibility of a development path for Taurus-II to lead to heavier payload capacities? Perhaps outrigger SRMs or multi-core configurations?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/02/2010 03:04 PM
Thanks for the links.  How is that a "switch"?  Do we know what the previous plans were?  How do we know there was a switch?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 01/02/2010 05:29 PM
Purely speculative, but has Orbital mentioned any possibility of a development path for Taurus-II to lead to heavier payload capacities? Perhaps outrigger SRMs or multi-core configurations?

The only thing they have hinted at to date is to replace the solid upper stage with a liquid upper stage.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/06/2010 02:17 PM
The Taurus II User's manual publicly appeared on-line on or about December 28, 2009.  It can be reviewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf .
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/06/2010 03:01 PM
The Taurus II User's manual publicly appeared on-line on or about December 28, 2009.  It can be reviewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf .

It's interesting to note the User's Guide mentions "payloads weighing up to 6500 kg."  The Orbital website still says, "payloads weighing up to 5750 kg."  Has something allowed Orbital to reduce vehicle margins?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/06/2010 03:54 PM
That's some "interesting" velocity behavior at different milestones in the flight in "Figure 3.2-2. Taurus II Typical 3-Stage Mission Profile to LEO". Jumping up and down until payload separation at 2490 m/s? I should hope not!  ;D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 01/06/2010 04:03 PM
Looking the users guide it seems the Castor 30 is not an issue to making this a crew vehicle.
It's max acceleration is only 3.7g with in the limits of acceptable which I believe is 4 - 4.5g.
Instead the problem is in the first stage acceleration profile with a max acceleration of of 6g well outside NASA limits.
Not fatal but would not pleasant for the crew.
I wonder how difficult this would be to fix and would it impact the payload too badly?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/06/2010 04:09 PM
I wonder how difficult this would be to fix and would it impact the payload too badly?

The AJ26 engines can be throttled down. With which comes a slight decrease in payload performance.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/06/2010 05:19 PM
Looking the users guide it seems the Castor 30 is not an issue to making this a crew vehicle.
It's max acceleration is only 3.7g with in the limits of acceptable which I believe is 4 - 4.5g.
Instead the problem is in the first stage acceleration profile with a max acceleration of of 6g well outside NASA limits.


What NASA limits?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 01/06/2010 05:38 PM
Looking the users guide it seems the Castor 30 is not an issue to making this a crew vehicle.
It's max acceleration is only 3.7g with in the limits of acceptable which I believe is 4 - 4.5g.
Instead the problem is in the first stage acceleration profile with a max acceleration of of 6g well outside NASA limits.


What NASA limits?


The Saturn vehicles limited acceleration to no more then 4g the Shuttle to just above three.
I also remember some OSP stuff I read about changing the flight profiles of the EELVs slightly to get rid of a 5.7g acceleration.
A Boeing representative refereed to it as an easy fix.
It seems NASA does prefer a crew LV to pull no more then 4g under nominal operation.
I figure any new crew transport vehicle must meet the requirements set by the Saturn LV and the Shuttle.
These same rules also apply to amusement park rides so it's a reasonable and logical requirement.
I wouldn't question it if I was an LV manufacture.
Though Virgin believes 6g for a short time during reentry should not be a serious issue for most people who do not have any serious heart trouble so long as they are in a reclined position.
I guess the rules likely are more complex then a simple g limit but also likely include duration.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/06/2010 05:55 PM

I figure any new crew transport vehicle must meet the requirements set by the Saturn LV and the Shuttle.
These same rules also apply to amusement park rides so it's a perfectly reasonable and logical requirement.


There are no requirements that apply to the shuttle, saturn or current vehicles.  Do some research before making such statement.   NASA has no 4 g limit.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/06/2010 06:34 PM
That's some "interesting" velocity behavior at different milestones in the flight in "Figure 3.2-2. Taurus II Typical 3-Stage Mission Profile to LEO". Jumping up and down until payload separation at 2490 m/s? I should hope not!  ;D

Yes, something's definitely fishy there.  At 600x600 km, isn't orbital speed  something like 7500 m/s?  Also in the same table it's "interesting" that payload separation takes place 6 minutes after stage 3 burnout, but they occur at exactly the same latitude and longitude!

I'm even a little concerned about the timeline itself.  Could they really be planning a 59 second coast between stage 1 MECO and stage 2 ignition?  What's that about?

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/06/2010 06:39 PM
I'm even a little concerned about the timeline itself.  Could they really be planning a 59 second coast between stage 1 MECO and stage 2 ignition? 

Note the table above the erroneous one has numbers that appear correct and it says 1st stage burns out at 4600 m/s. The coast costs them "only" 50 m/s.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/06/2010 07:31 PM
I'm even a little concerned about the timeline itself.  Could they really be planning a 59 second coast between stage 1 MECO and stage 2 ignition? 

Note the table above the erroneous one has numbers that appear correct and it says 1st stage burns out at 4600 m/s. The coast costs them "only" 50 m/s.

It seems likely the interval between MECO and S2 ignition is only 3 or 4 seconds, but those are the intervals they show between fairing sep and S2 ignition.  Maybe the formula for the cell showing the S2 ignition time references the cell above, and somehow fairing sep got inserted in between the other two events without reworking the spreadsheet to compensate for that.

If Orbital would just publish the formulas used to generate these values, maybe we could "fix it for them"! <grin>
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/06/2010 07:37 PM
I'm even a little concerned about the timeline itself.  Could they really be planning a 59 second coast between stage 1 MECO and stage 2 ignition? 

Note the table above the erroneous one has numbers that appear correct and it says 1st stage burns out at 4600 m/s. The coast costs them "only" 50 m/s.

It seems likely the interval between MECO and S2 ignition is only 3 or 4 seconds,

Page 19:

Quote
The Taurus II lifts off the pad approximately 2 seconds after Stage 1 ignition. Stage 1 burns for approximately 223 seconds, and separates after a brief post-burn coast. The upper stage stack continues to coast for approximately 50 seconds before the fairing is jettisoned. After fairing jettison, Stage 2 is ignited and boosts the upper stack to an altitude of approximately 153 km x 100 km before Stage 2 burnout and separation occurs, at 427 seconds into the flight.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/06/2010 08:09 PM
Page 19: [...]

Ah yes, thank you.  I really should learn to read the text, rather than just looking at the pictures.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 01/07/2010 12:46 AM
The coast between stage 1 and 2 is almost certainly from limits on maximum burn time of the solid stage.  Pegasus and Taurus do the same thing - you need to let the upper stage coast up high enough so that it burns out at orbital altitude.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Comga on 01/07/2010 03:19 AM
Quote
The Taurus II lifts off the pad approximately 2 seconds after Stage 1 ignition. Stage 1 burns for approximately 223 seconds, and separates after a brief post-burn coast. The upper stage stack continues to coast for approximately 50 seconds before the fairing is jettisoned. After fairing jettison, Stage 2 is ignited and boosts the upper stack to an altitude of approximately 153 km x 100 km before Stage 2 burnout and separation occurs, at 427 seconds into the flight.

I would think that this is the last place they would want to get innovative. Orbital just had a failure to jettison the fairing while under thrust.

Would opening the fairings in free-fall make it harder to move them out of the way or would it be easier without significant forces?

Which other rockets have jettisoned their fairings before second stage ignition?

And what advantage is there for the very long coast?

(SpaceX tried one second, so they have to do the opposite and try one minute? :P)

Quote
The Taurus II ACS provides three-axis attitude control throughout boosted flight and coast phases. The ACS uses the two main engine configuration to provide yaw, pitch and roll control during Stage 1 flight. Stage 2 flight is controlled by the combination of the Stage 2 TVC and the onboard ACS system located on the avionics ring. The Stage 2 ACS employs a cold gas nitrogen system with heritage from all of Orbital’s space launch vehicles.

Does that mean that the second stage, cold gas, ACS has to keep the first stage oriented for the entire 50+ seconds until second stage ignition?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/07/2010 04:14 AM
The remaining stack has a much higher ballistic number than the shed pieces of fairing.  No concern for recontact.

Coast duration: It acts the same as the Pegasus and Taurus stages yinzer mentioned: There's a well-known amount of impulse from the solid stage, so the flight computer would calculate the duration of the coast needed to hit the 2nd stage burnout target.  Rather than tailoring stage burn duration to hit a target orbit, it tailors the coast duration.  Kinda cool, eh?

Other rockets have jettisoned the fairing during first stage burn.  Can't think of, and too lazy to look for, any that have jettisoned during coast, especially a long one.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Art LeBrun on 01/07/2010 04:23 AM
Earlier Atlas-Centaurs jettisoned insulation panels and shroud during first stage burn. Made a spectacular sight on launches just after sunset.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: WHAP on 01/07/2010 05:07 AM
Atlas I's and II's jettisoned their fairings during first stage burn, as do the 5 meter Atlas V's. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Comga on 01/07/2010 05:29 AM
Yes, but those are during the first stage burn, not the free-fall coast.

And yes, Antares, it is clever.  Instead of wasting extra propellant in a liquid fueled second stage, or terminating the first stage burn early, you waste the extra energy in the coast. 

And one can see the simplicity of using the second stage ACS for controlling the first stage during coast, with the main downside being larger N2 tanks on the second stage. 

(Further reading shows that the stage separation is five seconds after MECO, so the second stage probably doesn't control the first stage.  There is also a piece of hardware between the fairing and second stage combination and the first stage. That is one of the costs of this approach.)

I did notice that the fairing is a biconic shape, very reminiscent of that for the SpaceX Falcon 1. (but not the 1e)  Probably not that uncommon.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/07/2010 05:46 AM
Rather than tailoring stage burn duration to hit a target orbit, it tailors the coast duration.  Kinda cool, eh?

More than just kinda cool.  Fascinating!

In the CRS profile it looks like the first stage puts the vehicle onto a sub-orbital trajectory with an exo-atmospheric apogee (~200 km), and then the second stage over-circularizes the orbit to 200x300 km. 

Questions:

1.  Is it thus fair to describe the entire Taurus II second stage as an over-sized apogee kick motor?

2.  Is it right that "gravity drag" only counts against you during a propulsive maneuver and -- so long as you eventually make orbit -- the gravity-induced deceleration during a coast does no harm?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/08/2010 04:21 AM
Orbital will start using the HESS on CRS flight 3 according to this:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361840main_13a%20-%20UPDATED%20Augustine%20CRS%20final.pdf
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/08/2010 04:43 AM
Is there somewhere a ball-park estimate on how much a high energy second stage (HESS?) will improve the payload mass Cygnus can deliver to ISS?

By the way, does the "average mission comparison" chart on page 3 of the above-mentioned document render correctly for anyone?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 01/08/2010 05:31 PM
Orbital will start using the HESS on CRS flight 3 according to this:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361840main_13a%20-%20UPDATED%20Augustine%20CRS%20final.pdf
Well that's exciting.

I'm still completely unable to find anything about this PWR35M engine the HESS would use.  I keep thinking a methanized RL10? 

The greater mass up top would also bring that 6g MECO load down a little bit.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Analyst on 01/08/2010 07:13 PM
I see HESS as a study, everything else being unfunded. Think of WBC. Surprise me otherwise.

Analyst
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 01/08/2010 08:06 PM
I thought HESS was only a study too, but as far as I know the only customer signed up for Taurus II at this point is NASA, and they seem to think they're going to buying HESS flights in the near future.

Now NASA hasn't spent any money on it yet and I'm starting to wonder about the future path of the CRS program, but even so - this feels like a bit more than "just a study."

Oh, I was reading another document about CRS that explicitly listed Delta IV and Atlas V as alternate launch vehicles for the Cygnus spacecraft.  Which would be an interesting development.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/09/2010 04:27 AM
Orbital will start using the HESS on CRS flight 3 according to this:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361840main_13a%20-%20UPDATED%20Augustine%20CRS%20final.pdf
Well that's exciting.

I'm still completely unable to find anything about this PWR35M engine the HESS would use.  I keep thinking a methanized RL10? 

The greater mass up top would also bring that 6g MECO load down a little bit.


Concerning the High Energy Second Stage (HESS), below are message reprints from Pages 1 and 2 of this thread.  Most appreciably, Antonio Elias of Orbital has quite considerately given very freely of his time in providing additional relevant information in the thread titled "OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion" at http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.0.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg352490#msg352490
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg400451#msg400451
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg400610#msg400610
 

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/10/2010 04:56 AM
The January 2010 edition of SatMagazine carries an article by Orbital Sciences Corporation that can be read at http://www.satmagazine.com/cgi-bin/display_article.cgi?number=1069851299.  Within the article it states qualification and hot-fire acceptance tests of the liquid fuel first stage engines are to commence in March 2010 at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/10/2010 05:25 AM
The January 2010 edition of SatMagazine carries an article by Orbital Sciences Corporation that can be read at http://www.satmagazine.com/cgi-bin/display_article.cgi?number=1069851299.  Within the article it states qualification and hot-fire acceptance tests of the liquid fuel first stage engines are to commence in March 2010 at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Is this exactly 1 year behind the schedule as laid out in Steffy's paper? Or are we talking about the whole stage tests?

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/10/2010 06:25 AM
The January 2010 edition of SatMagazine carries an article by Orbital Sciences Corporation that can be read at http://www.satmagazine.com/cgi-bin/display_article.cgi?number=1069851299.  Within the article it states qualification and hot-fire acceptance tests of the liquid fuel first stage engines are to commence in March 2010 at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Is this exactly 1 year behind the schedule as laid out in Steffy's paper? Or are we talking about the whole stage tests?

-- Pete


15 July 2008 - David Steffy of Orbital - AIAA presentation - Page 11 of 15 - Taurus II Program Master Schedule - http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf


15 December 2008 - NASA Stennis Space Center News Release No. HEC-08-212 - NASA's Stennis Space Center to Test Rocket Engine for Taurus II - http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/news/newsreleases/2008/HEC-08-212.html


31 August 2009 - 02:11 AM - NASASpaceFlight.com Forum posting under topic of "Taurus II and availability of the NK33" by Antonio L. Elias of Orbital - http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11604.msg468909#msg468909
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/16/2010 06:49 PM
http://www.spacenews.com/launch/100115-pegasus-fate-decided-next-year.html
Quote
The Taurus 2 would need a higher-energy upper stage to put satellites in geostationary orbit, Thompson said. Options include replacing the Castor 130 with something more powerful or adding a third stage to the rocket, he said. The rocket also would have to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., rather than Wallops, whose latitude is not ideally suited for missions to geostationary orbit, he said.
I dunno, Russians launch from higher lattitude than Wallops, don't they? In fact, not just the big Proton, but even Soyuz when topped with what they call "Acceleration Block" can place useful satellites into GTO.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/20/2010 03:23 AM
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2010/19/c9649.html and http://www.mdacorporation.com/corporate/news/

"MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (http://www.mdacorporation.com) of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, has received a $2.4M (USD) contract from Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide a critical interface that will enable capture and mating of the Cygnus(TM) cargo delivery spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). "
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/20/2010 03:35 AM
The Taurus II User's manual publicly appeared on-line on or about December 28, 2009.  It can be reviewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf .

The Taurus II User's Manual (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf) appears to have been updated with a modified document date of 13 January 2010 now shown.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 01/20/2010 09:31 PM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 01/20/2010 11:07 PM
Quote
The Castor 30 second stage motor is to be replaced with a new high-energy liquid-fueled stage on Orbital's third cargo delivery mission to the space station.

Okay, from wishful thinking by antonioe to critical path, just wow... Now thats what I call a hustle ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/21/2010 03:01 AM
http://www.spacenews.com/launch/100115-pegasus-fate-decided-next-year.html
I dunno, Russians launch from higher lattitude than Wallops, don't they? In fact, not just the big Proton, but even Soyuz when topped with what they call "Acceleration Block" can place useful satellites into GTO.
-- Pete
Yes they can, but they would be able to lift far more to GTO from, say, Kourou, or even from Cape Canaveral.  Look at Zenit 3SL/DMSL.  From the equator it can (or could) lift more than 6 tonnes to GTO.  From Baikonur, it can only lift 3.6 tonnes to an equivalent-energy orbit.
I am sorry, I should have thought this argument through a little better. Although it obviously helps the payload to relocate to the south, the difference between Wallops and Cape should be less than between Equator and Baikonur. This is balanced against strictures of operating from Florida. Right? My poorly expressed point was to challenge the magnitude of the improvement, although I did not bother to look real numbers, tsk tsk.

Still, suppose we get an improvement of, say N% (where N is most likely 30 or less, in Zenit example it's 66%). I distinctly remember that someone from Florida (Space Florida perhaps) approached Orbital about building the initial launch complex for TII at the Cape. Orbital considered those proposals and went ahead with the plan to launch from MARS nonetheless. So, what did happen meanwhile to change the trade-off? Perhaps an extremely lucrative payload appeared that did not exist a year ago that only fits into TII+N% capacity but not into TII capacity?

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/21/2010 03:04 AM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/
So much for PWR35, huh.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/21/2010 04:52 AM

Still, suppose we get an improvement of, say N% (where N is most likely 30 or less, in Zenit example it's 66%). I distinctly remember that someone from Florida (Space Florida perhaps) approached Orbital about building the initial launch complex for TII at the Cape. Orbital considered those proposals and went ahead with the plan to launch from MARS nonetheless.

Because the state of Virginia gave them more money
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: douglas100 on 01/21/2010 08:31 AM
Also, although you lose GTO performance from Wallops compared with the Cape, the payload to an orbit at an inclination greater than launch site's latitude (ie to ISS) shouldn't be much affected. so, like Jim said-money.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 01/21/2010 12:50 PM
I forgot can you do a polar launch from wallops? I mean and have a reasonable payload ...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 01/21/2010 01:09 PM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/

Delays all around. There are starting to become on par with SpaceX.

"We're dealing with challenges in the avionics area, challenges in the launch site and test facility preparation, all of which is not unexpected, but we still have to keep our eye on it very closely," Culbertson said.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/21/2010 01:14 PM
I forgot can you do a polar launch from wallops? I mean and have a reasonable payload ...

Sun Synchronous
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 01/21/2010 01:16 PM
http://www.marsspaceport.com/space_access.php (http://www.marsspaceport.com/space_access.php)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: WHAP on 01/21/2010 02:07 PM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/
So much for PWR35, huh.
-- Pete

Just because they're talking to Aerojet (who happens to be supplying their booster engine) doesn't mean they've stopped talking to Pratt.  "Competitive sourcing" typically requires more than one competitor.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: marsavian on 01/21/2010 07:27 PM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/

Delays all around. There are starting to become on par with SpaceX.

"We're dealing with challenges in the avionics area, challenges in the launch site and test facility preparation, all of which is not unexpected, but we still have to keep our eye on it very closely," Culbertson said.


NASA knew the risk when it went for the shiny new 'cheap' rocket option ... three times ! ;) Bit like a kid in a candy store stuffing his face before he's had a proper meal for that day, great high initially but soon wears off and you end up with a dull headache as your sugar level drops ;). Arctus (rejigged Centaur) would have been launching on a boringly reliable and already available Atlas V around now but that made far too much sense ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lambda-4 on 01/21/2010 08:06 PM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/

Delays all around. There are starting to become on par with SpaceX.

Orbital:
Original Space Act Agreement Target Date for first (and only) COTS Demo flight: Dec 2010 (as of Feb 2008)
Amended in 2009: new target date: Mar 2011
Delay: 3 months (official)
Potential further delay to Q2/Q3 2011 as of today

SpaceX:
Original Space Act Agreement Target Date for first COTS Demo flight: Sept 2008 (as of June 2006)
Amended several times, last official date according to published amendments: June 2009
Potential further delay to Q4 2010/Q1 2011 as of today

That being said, OSC has a long way from being en par with SpaceX when it comes to delays. They would have to target a launch at the end of 2012, beginning of 2013 to be en par with them schedule wise.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/21/2010 08:31 PM

NASA knew the risk when it went for the shiny new 'cheap' rocket option ... three times ! ;) Bit like a kid in a candy store stuffing his face before he's had a proper meal for that day, great high initially but soon wears off and you end up with a dull headache as your sugar level drops ;). Arctus (rejigged Centaur) would have been launching on a boringly reliable and already available Atlas V around now but that made far too much sense ;)

No, Apex or Arctus was not proposed for CRS.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 01/21/2010 09:20 PM
Update on Taurus 2:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1001/20taurus2/

Delays all around. They are starting to become on par with SpaceX.

Orbital:
Original Space Act Agreement Target Date for first (and only) COTS Demo flight: Dec 2010 (as of Feb 2008)
Amended in 2009: new target date: Mar 2011
Delay: 3 months (official)
Potential further delay to Q2/Q3 2011 as of today

SpaceX:
Original Space Act Agreement Target Date for first COTS Demo flight: Sept 2008 (as of June 2006)
Amended several times, last official date according to published amendments: June 2009
Potential further delay to Q4 2010/Q1 2011 as of today

That being said, OSC has a long way from being en par with SpaceX when it comes to delays. They would have to target a launch at the end of 2012, beginning of 2013 to be en par with them schedule wise.

That's right. They are 'starting' NOT 'on' par  ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/22/2010 01:52 PM
Quote
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates has received a $2.4M (USD) contract from Orbital Sciences to provide a critical interface that will enable capture and mating of the Cygnus cargo delivery spacecraft
to the International Space Station (ISS). The contract also contains an option to purchase additional units for follow-on operational missions worth at least $4.0M (USD).

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Robotic_Capture_And_Mating_Of_Orbital_Cygnus_Cargo_Delivery_Spacecraft_To_ISS_999.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Analyst on 01/22/2010 01:56 PM
$2.4 million far a couple of already designed and used SSRMS grapple fixtures. Does put things into perspective for people who quote dream prices for spacecraft and launch vehicles, be it Orion, Ares, Jupiter, Dragon ...

Analyst
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 01/22/2010 02:26 PM
In fairness OSC got started late, after Kistler failed.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 01/22/2010 08:50 PM
$2.4 million far a couple of already designed and used SSRMS grapple fixtures. Does put things into perspective for people who quote dream prices for spacecraft and launch vehicles, be it Orion, Ares, Jupiter, Dragon ...

Analyst

Well, the fixture isn't very useful without software 2.0. (Luckily, Dell and other computers come pre-loaded these days).

What I'm saying is that there may be more to this than simply PDGFs. It could (and probably is) the PDGFs, the software (or at least the protocol), and the engineering requirements behind it.

Yes, it still is a lot of money regardless.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/23/2010 09:27 AM
Orbital has its January 2010 Taurus II progress update posted at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.






Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/29/2010 08:51 PM
Orbital has its February 2010 Taurus II progress update posted at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

Orbital has also made further modifications, dated 28 January 2010, to its Taurus II User's Manual, December 2009, Release 1.2 that can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf.

Construction progress of the horizontal integration facility building being constructed by NASA at its Wallops Flight Facility can be followed at http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/pages/RecipientProjectSummary508.aspx?AwardIdSur=46431&AwardType=Contracts, with the following "Performance Measure Milestones: Milestone 1:Final Project Plan to include actual project milestones and costs based on successful subcontractor construction bid options and schedules - September 30, 2009. Milestone 2: Subcontractor Construction Contract Award - October 7, 2009. Milestone 3: Site Work/Foundation Complete - January 8, 2010. Milestone 4: Structure Enclosed - August 27, 2010. Milestone 5: Beneficial Occupancy - September 15, 2010."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: clb22 on 02/14/2010 08:40 AM
Are there any specific problems with launching potential crewed Taurus II flights (with whatever vehicle on top) from Wallops compared to KSC? After all, OSC will likely bid for a commercial crew contract just as everyone else in the business will.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 02/14/2010 01:34 PM
Are there any specific problems with launching potential crewed Taurus II flights (with whatever vehicle on top) from Wallops compared to KSC? After all, OSC will likely bid for a commercial crew contract just as everyone else in the business will.

A move to KSC would be more likely then.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/14/2010 03:00 PM
After all, OSC will likely bid for a commercial crew contract just as everyone else in the business will.

Disagree.  Their lift is only borderline for small capsules.  They now have experience with LAS from Orion.  If they play, it's likely to be in that area.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: clb22 on 02/14/2010 03:04 PM
After all, OSC will likely bid for a commercial crew contract just as everyone else in the business will.

Disagree.  Their lift is only borderline for small capsules.  They now have experience with LAS from Orion.  If they play, it's likely to be in that area.

There is no harm in bidding both for a commercial crew contract of Taurus II/Cygnus AND as part of a consortium with another vehicle potentially providing the LAS or all or parts of the crewed vehicle (based on Cygnus).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/14/2010 03:11 PM
Sure, there's no harm in it, except the physics say the LV can't lift much more than a Gemini.  Why bid a Gemini when the market sweet spot is bigger than Apollo CM?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 02/14/2010 03:12 PM
Why bid a Gemini when the market sweet spot is bigger than Apollo CM?

How do you know that? Do you mean ISS crew rotation?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/14/2010 03:49 PM
Sure, there's no harm in it, except the physics say the LV can't lift much more than a Gemini.  Why bid a Gemini when the market sweet spot is bigger than Apollo CM?

That is the Block one Taurus with the Solid upper stage. The high energy upper stage (HESS) will be able to lift much more and is already on the timeline for the cargo craft.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: clb22 on 02/14/2010 03:50 PM
Sure, there's no harm in it, except the physics say the LV can't lift much more than a Gemini.  Why bid a Gemini when the market sweet spot is bigger than Apollo CM?

ISS crew rotation (USOS) requires a vehicle capable of getting 3 people (max 4) to the station, serve as a lifeboat and back. Cygnus will likely be able to accommodate 3 people. We are talking about the commercial crew program NASA wants to initiate here, not some potential commercial market outside of NASA that may or may not materialise and that requires much lower prices than 50 million USD per seat.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/14/2010 06:18 PM
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg309609#msg309609

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11939.msg250950#msg250950

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15374.msg347693#msg347693

Whatevs.  My estimation is that T-II is undersized for crew.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 02/14/2010 06:38 PM
Sure, there's no harm in it, except the physics say the LV can't lift much more than a Gemini.  Why bid a Gemini when the market sweet spot is bigger than Apollo CM?

That is the Block one Taurus with the Solid upper stage. The high energy upper stage (HESS) will be able to lift much more and is already on the timeline for the cargo craft.

Gemini also was not the most optimal design there was.
Taurus II can lift this four place capsule no issues.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/cxv.htm

With the PWR35M upper stage it could lift it even with a heavy tractor style LAS.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/15/2010 05:14 PM
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg309609#msg309609

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11939.msg250950#msg250950

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15374.msg347693#msg347693

Whatevs.  My estimation is that T-II is undersized for crew.

Straight from Antonioe:

I agree with the previous statements about launch mass, though; in order to provide three seats to ISS with a Taurus II we need the High Energy Second Stage (HESS) for performance (so it matches, say, a Soyuz LV); we also need a "50% Launch Abort System (i.e., a LAS which weighs about 50% of the capsule it separates), much like Apollo, rather than the "70% LAS" that the Orion/Ares combination requires (also, the lower acceleration, thrust-terminating Taurus II, much like the Saturn, supports the use of a passive LAS architecture...)

A 70% LAS+HESS (or a 50% LAS with the Castor-30) would probably only support two seats.

I also think that if all we wanted to do is carry three people to the ISS, we should be able to do it a bit more efficiently that the Soyuz spacecraft (one cabin body vs. two to begin with)

SO according to him (you know, the person responsible for the design) a Taurus II can lift a three person capsule which is what is needed.  Also I am not sure if this is the old methane or the hydrogen HESS he is talking about, if the former then with the H2 upperstage there is definitely more lift capacity.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/16/2010 01:03 PM
And that information is also 18 months old, aside from other factors.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/16/2010 01:13 PM
I wonder if proton's newly announced dual launch capability will eat into Taurus's commercial prospects. ISS and us government payloads only?

Beyond COTS, wasn't one of Orbitals reasons for Taurus was to tailor a launcher for it's unique commercial launch needs. 

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/12dualproton/

This kinda reminds me of what happed with Boeing, SeaLaunch for commercial and Delta-IV for government. I wonder if we will see a repeat on a smaller scale.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nate_Trost on 02/16/2010 02:32 PM
Amusingly, if you read the link, that capability is apparently specific to a pair of specially built Orbital satellites. I wouldn't be surprised if they offer the same service on Taurus II with the HESS.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/16/2010 02:40 PM

My point of bringing it up.

Are they after having two launchers for Orbital's smaller GEO birds (Proton on Taurus), or are they going to forgo the investment of setting up a Taurus pad at the cape and move that market towards Proton?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 02/16/2010 04:15 PM
Do they probably simply try to get as much business as possible by making launches for their sats cheaper than for the competitions'?
C'mon, keep it simple.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/16/2010 04:24 PM
That's the obvious answer, the cheapest possible launch.

The question is will it cannibalize Taurus sales in the GTO small sat market? Will Orbital still make the investment to enter Taurus into the GTO small sat market, or is Proton a better option for Orbital GTO small sat?

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/18/2010 03:33 AM
Orbital has posted a second Taurus II development update for February 2010.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

The Taurus II User's Manual (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf) appears to have been further updated with a modified document date of 28 January 2010 now shown.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/20/2010 04:50 PM
The following Taurus II update appeared as part of an article dated 18 February 2010 published by Spaceflight Now at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/18orionlas/:

"Orbital's first mission of its Taurus 2 rocket and Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for March 2011.

(Orbital CEO David W.) Thompson said Orbital's schedule for launch early next year is "busy and tight" due to a hectic pace of construction, manufacturing and testing of ground and flight infrastructure. There is essentially no remaining schedule slack, Thompson said.

Thales Alenia Space of Italy has already started constructing Cygnus pressurized cargo modules. Orbital will start manufacturing Cygnus service modules in Dulles, Va., this year.

First stage engine tests are scheduled in Russia next week to probe the propulsion system's abilities by taking the engine well beyond the Taurus 2's expected flight conditions.

"What we're really trying to do here is push the engine well beyond what we would expect it to produce on a regular launch, particularly in terms of its run time," Thompson said.

The Taurus 2 first stage is powered by two AJ26 engines provided by Aerojet. The AJ26 engines are based on the NK-33 power plant developed by Russia in the 1960s for the ill-fated N-1 moon rocket.

An earlier round of Russian engine tests in October was abruptly cut short after an undisclosed issue. Frank Culbertson, an Orbital senior vice president, said during a January interview the problems were in the engine's liquid oxygen turbopump.

Aerojet will deliver the first engines to the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi in April to begin acceptance testing before being shipped to the Taurus 2 launch site at Wallops Island, Va.

"Those tests will take four different engines through that test cycle between the end of April and July or August," Thompson said. "Two of those four engines will then be sent at the end of the summer to the Wallops Island launch site, where they will be used in full Stage 1 system level testing of the Taurus 2 rocket in the fall."

The Taurus 2's first stage tank will begin structural testing in Ukraine in March. Other portions of the booster's internal structure and payload fairing will also be tested this spring.

Orbital expects a ground test unit of the Taurus 2 to arrive at Wallops by the end of this summer for a series of fit checks and pathfinder demos."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/20/2010 04:52 PM
Space News / Springfield, Virginia / 19 February 2010
News article: "NASA Raises Bet on Commercial Cargo"
http://www.spacenews.com/civil/nasa-raises-bet-commercial-cargo.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/25/2010 01:25 AM
Press release, news article, and newscast weblinks on Taurus II Aeroject AJ26 engine testing:

By NASA Stennis - http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/feb/HQ_10-051_Engine_Test_Stennis.html

By Orbital Sciences - http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=721

By Picayune Item newspaper of Picayune, Mississippi -
http://picayuneitem.com/local/x1004926297/Stennis-to-begin-commercial-engine-testing

By WWL-TV, Channel 4, New Orleans, Louisiana -
http://www.wwltv.com/news/Commercial-companies-to-conduct-rocket-engine-testing-at-Stennis-station-85268217.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 03/01/2010 10:38 PM
Anyone heard anything regarding the advanced/high-energy 2nd stage? 

Some of the original files from Orbital showed LOX/Methane, but rumblings of LOX/LH2?  Orbital certainly designed the baseline vehicle to be "bottom heavy" so it'll be interesting to see how far it can stretch in a more balanced configuration (we've some idea obviously from Orbital's marketing stuff) and how what route they choose to take.  It is interesting that later iterations of the T2 brochure have grown increasingly vague on the advanced 2nd stage.

Cheers,

  --Nick
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wannamoonbase on 03/02/2010 11:55 AM
I'm really excited to see the Taurus II and the AJ26 fly.

The poor AJ26 has been worked on forever and never really been used.

After so many false starts the AJ26 looks like it will be part of a successful vehicle.

Go Orbital!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: FinalFrontier on 03/02/2010 04:04 PM
The following Taurus II update appeared as part of an article dated 18 February 2010 published by Spaceflight Now at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/18orionlas/:

"Orbital's first mission of its Taurus 2 rocket and Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for March 2011.

(Orbital CEO David W.) Thompson said Orbital's schedule for launch early next year is "busy and tight" due to a hectic pace of construction, manufacturing and testing of ground and flight infrastructure. There is essentially no remaining schedule slack, Thompson said.

Thales Alenia Space of Italy has already started constructing Cygnus pressurized cargo modules. Orbital will start manufacturing Cygnus service modules in Dulles, Va., this year.

First stage engine tests are scheduled in Russia next week to probe the propulsion system's abilities by taking the engine well beyond the Taurus 2's expected flight conditions.

"What we're really trying to do here is push the engine well beyond what we would expect it to produce on a regular launch, particularly in terms of its run time," Thompson said.

The Taurus 2 first stage is powered by two AJ26 engines provided by Aerojet. The AJ26 engines are based on the NK-33 power plant developed by Russia in the 1960s for the ill-fated N-1 moon rocket.

An earlier round of Russian engine tests in October was abruptly cut short after an undisclosed issue. Frank Culbertson, an Orbital senior vice president, said during a January interview the problems were in the engine's liquid oxygen turbopump.

Aerojet will deliver the first engines to the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi in April to begin acceptance testing before being shipped to the Taurus 2 launch site at Wallops Island, Va.

"Those tests will take four different engines through that test cycle between the end of April and July or August," Thompson said. "Two of those four engines will then be sent at the end of the summer to the Wallops Island launch site, where they will be used in full Stage 1 system level testing of the Taurus 2 rocket in the fall."

The Taurus 2's first stage tank will begin structural testing in Ukraine in March. Other portions of the booster's internal structure and payload fairing will also be tested this spring.

Orbital expects a ground test unit of the Taurus 2 to arrive at Wallops by the end of this summer for a series of fit checks and pathfinder demos."

Huh. I they can keep the costs down. I aj26 a kerolox? or hydrolox? i thought nk33 was staged combustion cycle kerolox. hm.....aj26 could be used on an hlv too..........
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 03/02/2010 05:09 PM
Huh. I they can keep the costs down. I aj26 a kerolox? or hydrolox? i thought nk33 was staged combustion cycle kerolox. hm.....aj26 could be used on an hlv too..........
Staged Combustion Cycle Kerolox, fuel-heavy. 

And I have been calculating, the Taurus II first stage would make an excellent booster design.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: FinalFrontier on 03/03/2010 04:10 PM
Huh. I they can keep the costs down. I aj26 a kerolox? or hydrolox? i thought nk33 was staged combustion cycle kerolox. hm.....aj26 could be used on an hlv too..........
Staged Combustion Cycle Kerolox, fuel-heavy. 

And I have been calculating, the Taurus II first stage would make an excellent booster design.
I meant use the aj 26 as a SECOND stage engine on another hlv you are intametly familiar with.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 03/03/2010 06:52 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation Selects GS Yuasa to Power Cargo Transport Missions to International Space Station
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/orbital-sciences-corporation-selects-gs-yuasa-to-power-cargo-transport-missions-to-international-space-station-86202047.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Kitspacer on 03/05/2010 02:56 PM
The following Taurus II update appeared as part of an article dated 18 February 2010 published by Spaceflight Now at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/18orionlas/:

"Orbital's first mission of its Taurus 2 rocket and Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for March 2011.

(Orbital CEO David W.) Thompson said Orbital's schedule for launch early next year is "busy and tight" due to a hectic pace of construction, manufacturing and testing of ground and flight infrastructure. There is essentially no remaining schedule slack, Thompson said.

Thales Alenia Space of Italy has already started constructing Cygnus pressurized cargo modules. Orbital will start manufacturing Cygnus service modules in Dulles, Va., this year.

First stage engine tests are scheduled in Russia next week to probe the propulsion system's abilities by taking the engine well beyond the Taurus 2's expected flight conditions.

"What we're really trying to do here is push the engine well beyond what we would expect it to produce on a regular launch, particularly in terms of its run time," Thompson said.

The Taurus 2 first stage is powered by two AJ26 engines provided by Aerojet. The AJ26 engines are based on the NK-33 power plant developed by Russia in the 1960s for the ill-fated N-1 moon rocket.

An earlier round of Russian engine tests in October was abruptly cut short after an undisclosed issue. Frank Culbertson, an Orbital senior vice president, said during a January interview the problems were in the engine's liquid oxygen turbopump.

Aerojet will deliver the first engines to the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi in April to begin acceptance testing before being shipped to the Taurus 2 launch site at Wallops Island, Va.

"Those tests will take four different engines through that test cycle between the end of April and July or August," Thompson said. "Two of those four engines will then be sent at the end of the summer to the Wallops Island launch site, where they will be used in full Stage 1 system level testing of the Taurus 2 rocket in the fall."

The Taurus 2's first stage tank will begin structural testing in Ukraine in March. Other portions of the booster's internal structure and payload fairing will also be tested this spring.

Orbital expects a ground test unit of the Taurus 2 to arrive at Wallops by the end of this summer for a series of fit checks and pathfinder demos."


What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant: I've not got the  bumpf handy, but Kistler intended using it on the K-1.  I would have thought that that configuration minus the reusable/flyback gear  would have provided a greater payload than current. Certainly greater capacity for upgrading. The NK-33 was tested out to 450,000lbs st.th and proved capable of adaption to Hydrolox propellents, so the -43 should also: perfect! 8)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 03/05/2010 02:59 PM

aj26 could be used on an hlv too..........

It was. The HLV wasn't exactly a success.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 03/05/2010 03:15 PM

aj26 could be used on an hlv too..........

It was. The HLV wasn't exactly a success.
Not due to any issues with the AJ26 however.  Quality shortfalls in manufacturing can bring down the mightiest craft, as witnessed time and again.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 03/05/2010 03:18 PM
Anyone heard anything regarding the advanced/high-energy 2nd stage? 

Some of the original files from Orbital showed LOX/Methane, but rumblings of LOX/LH2?  Orbital certainly designed the baseline vehicle to be "bottom heavy" so it'll be interesting to see how far it can stretch in a more balanced configuration (we've some idea obviously from Orbital's marketing stuff) and how what route they choose to take.  It is interesting that later iterations of the T2 brochure have grown increasingly vague on the advanced 2nd stage.

Cheers,

  --Nick

With a matched upper stage I'd expect it's performance to revival LVs like F9 and Atlas V.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 03/05/2010 03:25 PM
Anyone heard anything regarding the advanced/high-energy 2nd stage? 

Some of the original files from Orbital showed LOX/Methane, but rumblings of LOX/LH2?  Orbital certainly designed the baseline vehicle to be "bottom heavy" so it'll be interesting to see how far it can stretch in a more balanced configuration (we've some idea obviously from Orbital's marketing stuff) and how what route they choose to take.  It is interesting that later iterations of the T2 brochure have grown increasingly vague on the advanced 2nd stage.

Cheers,

  --Nick

With a matched upper stage I'd expect it's performance to revival LVs like F9 and Atlas V.
Apparently testing of modifying the AJ-26 for LH2 has been tried, so who knows.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 03/05/2010 04:11 PM
The following Taurus II update appeared as part of an article dated 18 February 2010 published by Spaceflight Now at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/18orionlas/:

"Orbital's first mission of its Taurus 2 rocket and Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for March 2011.

(Orbital CEO David W.) Thompson said Orbital's schedule for launch early next year is "busy and tight" due to a hectic pace of construction, manufacturing and testing of ground and flight infrastructure. There is essentially no remaining schedule slack, Thompson said.

Thales Alenia Space of Italy has already started constructing Cygnus pressurized cargo modules. Orbital will start manufacturing Cygnus service modules in Dulles, Va., this year.

First stage engine tests are scheduled in Russia next week to probe the propulsion system's abilities by taking the engine well beyond the Taurus 2's expected flight conditions.

"What we're really trying to do here is push the engine well beyond what we would expect it to produce on a regular launch, particularly in terms of its run time," Thompson said.

The Taurus 2 first stage is powered by two AJ26 engines provided by Aerojet. The AJ26 engines are based on the NK-33 power plant developed by Russia in the 1960s for the ill-fated N-1 moon rocket.

An earlier round of Russian engine tests in October was abruptly cut short after an undisclosed issue. Frank Culbertson, an Orbital senior vice president, said during a January interview the problems were in the engine's liquid oxygen turbopump.

Aerojet will deliver the first engines to the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi in April to begin acceptance testing before being shipped to the Taurus 2 launch site at Wallops Island, Va.

"Those tests will take four different engines through that test cycle between the end of April and July or August," Thompson said. "Two of those four engines will then be sent at the end of the summer to the Wallops Island launch site, where they will be used in full Stage 1 system level testing of the Taurus 2 rocket in the fall."

The Taurus 2's first stage tank will begin structural testing in Ukraine in March. Other portions of the booster's internal structure and payload fairing will also be tested this spring.

Orbital expects a ground test unit of the Taurus 2 to arrive at Wallops by the end of this summer for a series of fit checks and pathfinder demos."


What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant: I've not got the  bumpf handy, but Kistler intended using it on the K-1.  I would have thought that that configuration minus the reusable/flyback gear  would have provided a greater payload than current. Certainly greater capacity for upgrading. The NK-33 was tested out to 450,000lbs st.th and proved capable of adaption to Hydrolox propellents, so the -43 should also: perfect! 8)

Do you have a citation for the thrust level increase?  I have seen 114% power increase over 338K lbf s.l. but nothing higher.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 03/05/2010 04:16 PM
What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant:

The first stage tanks are not made in the U.S. Using a liquid 2nd stage with an airstart AJ-26 would require new tankage. Would Orbital be making it? Do they have much experience with large liquid prop systems? Would it make the vehicle less than 51% "american" if a foreign contractor made it instead? Would it stretch-out the schedule even further?

Questions, questions...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 03/15/2010 04:26 PM
"Orbital and Aerojet Complete Main Engine Lifetime Testing for Taurus II Space Launch Vehicle"

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=724

Any AJ-26 firing videos to be released?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 03/15/2010 05:00 PM
Anyone heard anything regarding the advanced/high-energy 2nd stage?

I read a rumour that Aerojet offered the hypergolic AJ-10.  Given that this worked so well on the Delta-II, it isn't a bad option.  Would an AJ-26/AJ-10 Taurus-II be the first all-Aerojet-powered LV?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 03/15/2010 05:15 PM
Anyone heard anything regarding the advanced/high-energy 2nd stage?

I read a rumour that Aerojet offered the hypergolic AJ-10.  Given that this worked so well on the Delta-II, it isn't a bad option.  Would an AJ-26/AJ-10 Taurus-II be the first all-Aerojet-powered LV?

no, Titan I & II
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Swatch on 03/15/2010 05:48 PM
Yea, and calling AJ-26 an Aerojet engine is stretching it until they start producing them IMHO.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: telomerase99 on 03/16/2010 08:38 AM
Why doesn't orbital have to do several test flights before actually berthing to ISS like Spacex?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Skyrocket on 03/16/2010 08:48 AM
Why doesn't orbital have to do several test flights before actually berthing to ISS like Spacex?

probably because SpaceX has not any experience in building spacecrafts at all.

Orbital on the other hand have build a large number of spacecrafts, among them also satellites, which performed proximity operations like DART and one of the MITEX satellites (hopefully that Cygnus does not bump into it's target as DART did)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 03/16/2010 09:16 AM
Why doesn't orbital have to do several test flights before actually berthing to ISS like Spacex?
Because that's what was agreed upon in their COTS agreements. IIUC, the number of fligths wasn't levied onto the company, but the company itself chose the number it felt was appropriate. Orbital felt they can do it all at once, like Japan with HTV.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 03/16/2010 10:32 AM
Why doesn't orbital have to do several test flights before actually berthing to ISS like Spacex?
Because that's what was agreed upon in their COTS agreements. IIUC, the number of fligths wasn't levied onto the company, but the company itself chose the number it felt was appropriate. Orbital felt they can do it all at once, like Japan with HTV.

Am I correct in understanding it won't quite be as "all up" as HIIB/HTV, but will have a test flight of Taurus II prior to a second Taurus II carrying the first Cygnus to ISS?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 03/16/2010 10:38 AM
Am I correct in understanding it won't quite be as "all up" as HIIB/HTV, but will have a test flight of Taurus II prior to a second Taurus II carrying the first Cygnus to ISS?

Up until a couple of months ago, it would have been even "more" all-up than H-IIB because parts of that vehicle have flown before. As I hear part of the $300 million extra in COTS funding would go into risk reduction, meaning among other things an additional, demonstration flight of the T-II before the COTS flight, as you say.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 03/16/2010 10:46 AM
As a side note: this risk reduction is a wise move given the earlier very unwise move to depend exclusively on unproven launchers built by unproven launch vehicle designers. This term includes MSFC and Ares of course.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Kabloona on 03/18/2010 02:12 AM
What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant:

The first stage tanks are not made in the U.S. Using a liquid 2nd stage with an airstart AJ-26 would require new tankage. Would Orbital be making it? Do they have much experience with large liquid prop systems? Would it make the vehicle less than 51% "american" if a foreign contractor made it instead? Would it stretch-out the schedule even further?

Questions, questions...

If Dave Thompson is calling the schedule "busy and tight" in public, the reality is probably more like "frantic." Using a solid on S2 probably gives them the shortest critical path and the lowest schedule risk, I would guess.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 03/18/2010 02:59 AM
What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant:

The first stage tanks are not made in the U.S. Using a liquid 2nd stage with an airstart AJ-26 would require new tankage. Would Orbital be making it? Do they have much experience with large liquid prop systems? Would it make the vehicle less than 51% "american" if a foreign contractor made it instead? Would it stretch-out the schedule even further?

Questions, questions...

If Dave Thompson is calling the schedule "busy and tight" in public, the reality is probably more like "frantic." Using a solid on S2 probably gives them the shortest critical path and the lowest schedule risk, I would guess.

If I were making decisions at Orbital, I'd be looking to fly initial Cygnus flights on the remaining white-tail Delta IIs.  While expensive, it is the low-risk approach to keeping on track and meeting COTS commitments.  Later, if T-II comes on line, switch, otherwise continue to fly on Atlas 5 401.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 03/18/2010 08:43 AM
What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant:

The first stage tanks are not made in the U.S. Using a liquid 2nd stage with an airstart AJ-26 would require new tankage. Would Orbital be making it? Do they have much experience with large liquid prop systems? Would it make the vehicle less than 51% "american" if a foreign contractor made it instead? Would it stretch-out the schedule even further?

Questions, questions...

If Dave Thompson is calling the schedule "busy and tight" in public, the reality is probably more like "frantic." Using a solid on S2 probably gives them the shortest critical path and the lowest schedule risk, I would guess.

If I were making decisions at Orbital, I'd be looking to fly initial Cygnus flights on the remaining white-tail Delta IIs.  While expensive, it is the low-risk approach to keeping on track and meeting COTS commitments.  Later, if T-II comes on line, switch, otherwise continue to fly on Atlas 5 401.
I'd keep that in the back of the mind, but not commit to it until after the full systems test is performed in the next 4 months.  At this point, the engines are a known quality with hundreds of hours of testing under their belt.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 03/18/2010 02:15 PM
What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant:

The first stage tanks are not made in the U.S. Using a liquid 2nd stage with an airstart AJ-26 would require new tankage. Would Orbital be making it? Do they have much experience with large liquid prop systems? Would it make the vehicle less than 51% "american" if a foreign contractor made it instead? Would it stretch-out the schedule even further?

Questions, questions...

If Dave Thompson is calling the schedule "busy and tight" in public, the reality is probably more like "frantic." Using a solid on S2 probably gives them the shortest critical path and the lowest schedule risk, I would guess.

If I were making decisions at Orbital, I'd be looking to fly initial Cygnus flights on the remaining white-tail Delta IIs.  While expensive, it is the low-risk approach to keeping on track and meeting COTS commitments.  Later, if T-II comes on line, switch, otherwise continue to fly on Atlas 5 401.
I'd keep that in the back of the mind, but not commit to it until after the full systems test is performed in the next 4 months.  At this point, the engines are a known quality with hundreds of hours of testing under their belt.

I'm not concerned about the engines; I think they are fine.  But there is much more to a LV than propulsion alone.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wannamoonbase on 03/18/2010 10:32 PM
I'm not concerned about the engines; I think they are fine.  But there is much more to a LV than propulsion alone.

Perhaps, but Orbital has experience with those systems and the engines are the single hardest component.

They'll be fine.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/19/2010 03:36 PM
I'm not concerned about the engines; I think they are fine.  But there is much more to a LV than propulsion alone.

Perhaps, but Orbital has experience with those systems and the engines are the single hardest component.

They'll be fine.
I agree - I wouldn't say the engines are the hardest component, certainly not these engines - but they are, though, the newest component considering Orbital's previous launch vehicle experience.  They just dissasembled the engine that was test-fired last week at flight thrust levels for two times mission duration+qual test (straight out of the box, after 30+ years in storage!!!) and the bearings and everything else look just fine.

The single hardest component of the whole program, IMHO, is the integration of the entire LV.  There's where previous experience, albeit with solids and smaller vehicles, helps.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/19/2010 03:55 PM
What really surprised me is OSC using a low Isp Solid 2nd Stage. Rather nullifies the efficiency of the 26.  The engine is also available with a high-altitude/vacuo nozzle- the NK-43/??? variant:

The first stage tanks are not made in the U.S. Using a liquid 2nd stage with an airstart AJ-26 would require new tankage. Would Orbital be making it? Do they have much experience with large liquid prop systems? Would it make the vehicle less than 51% "american" if a foreign contractor made it instead? Would it stretch-out the schedule even further?

Questions, questions...

If Dave Thompson is calling the schedule "busy and tight" in public, the reality is probably more like "frantic."
I would not necessarily assume that; DWT has this annoying habit of being uncharacteristically accurate in his public stements, at least uncharacteristically for this industry.  While he is not above spining statements a bit - who isn't -  in 23 years of working with him I still have to catch him making an official statement that after the fact proved to be inaccurate - even many years afterwards!  That is not just "honesty", it's some kind of intuitive gift, and it has served him pretty well.
Quote
Using a solid on S2 probably gives them the shortest critical path and the lowest schedule risk, I would guess.
Right on target.  As for using the NK-43 for the second stage, it's a very good engine with great ISP (346 s) and great T/W (120+).  Unfortunately, it's about 5 times too big (about 400,000 lbf thrust vs. 80,000 lbf for the Castor 30).  There are better Lox-kerosene engines for the Taurus II second stage from the thrust matching standpoint with equal or better Isp and good enough T/W (e.g. RD-0124 at 66,000 lbf thrust, Isp = 359 s, T/W = 63 with TVC and controller)

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 03/19/2010 04:16 PM
I'm not concerned about the engines; I think they are fine.  But there is much more to a LV than propulsion alone.

Perhaps, but Orbital has experience with those systems and the engines are the single hardest component.

They'll be fine.
I agree - I wouldn't say the engines are the hardest component, certainly not these engines - but they are, though, the newest component considering Orbital's previous launch vehicle experience.  They just dissasembled the engine that was test-fired last week at flight thrust levels for two times mission duration+qual test (straight out of the box, after 30+ years in storage!!!) and the bearings and everything else look just fine.

The single hardest component of the whole program, IMHO, is the integration of the entire LV.  There's where previous experience, albeit with solids and smaller vehicles, helps.

Thank you very much for returning to this forum with posts during the past week.  Your wisdom, insight, and humor have been very much missed.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/19/2010 04:25 PM
Thanks; I've been a bit busy lately trying to sell and build a few satellites... you know, those funny little things that people put on top of rockets and that actually pay the bills?... ::)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 03/19/2010 04:26 PM
 Is the PWR35M a distant maybe, not really being considered or a real possibility?
 
 Bout time you showed up Antoine. I wish all the players had someone with your honesty and credibility in their threads.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: nooneofconsequence on 03/19/2010 04:27 PM
.. and always hold up launches ...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/19/2010 04:28 PM
... oh, like the LV has never held up the launch of a perfectly good spacecraft!...

Hey!  I have an idea!  Let's blame the range!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 03/21/2010 07:04 AM
Right on target.  As for using the NK-43 for the second stage, it's a very good engine with great ISP (346 s) and great T/W (120+).  Unfortunately, it's about 5 times too big (about 400,000 lbf thrust vs. 80,000 lbf for the Castor 30).  There are better Lox-kerosene engines for the Taurus II second stage from the thrust matching standpoint with equal or better Isp and good enough T/W (e.g. RD-0124 at 66,000 lbf thrust, Isp = 359 s, T/W = 63 with TVC and controller)

NK-31/39. May be?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 03/21/2010 04:37 PM
Right on target.  As for using the NK-43 for the second stage, it's a very good engine with great ISP (346 s) and great T/W (120+).  Unfortunately, it's about 5 times too big (about 400,000 lbf thrust vs. 80,000 lbf for the Castor 30).  There are better Lox-kerosene engines for the Taurus II second stage from the thrust matching standpoint with equal or better Isp and good enough T/W (e.g. RD-0124 at 66,000 lbf thrust, Isp = 359 s, T/W = 63 with TVC and controller)

NK-31/39. May be?

It is certainly close to the right size.  I know Orbital looked at that engine as a replacement for FASTRAC on X-34, and from what I heard at the time (Antonio can perhaps enlighten us) it was a pretty good choice, but NASA MSFC didn't approve it.  Today, though, I expect Orbital sees an engine such as the RD-0124 as being in production and thus having more test and spares support.  Hard to say.  I think Aerojet still has rights to the 31/39 in the U.S.

Dmitry, since you live in Samara, can you say if you work at the plant?  I've been looking for an answer to how many NK-33 and 43 complete and partial engines are still available there.  I have heard numbers from a "a few" to "dozens".  Care to shed light on the true count?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 03/21/2010 08:51 PM
Dmitry, since you live in Samara, can you say if you work at the plant?  I've been looking for an answer to how many NK-33 and 43 complete and partial engines are still available there.  I have heard numbers from a "a few" to "dozens".  Care to shed light on the true count?

I do not live for a long time already in Samara and did not work in SNTK (I worked in Volga branch RKK "Energia"). But I can tell that now on SNTK 54 engines NK-33 from which 46 engines can be prepared for commodity deliveries remain.
The total of engines NK-33/43/39/31, including engines in Aerojet, does not exceed 150.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 03/21/2010 09:59 PM
Dmitry, since you live in Samara, can you say if you work at the plant?  I've been looking for an answer to how many NK-33 and 43 complete and partial engines are still available there.  I have heard numbers from a "a few" to "dozens".  Care to shed light on the true count?

I do not live for a long time already in Samara and did not work in SNTK (I worked in Volga branch RKK "Energia"). But I can tell that now on SNTK 54 engines NK-33 from which 46 engines can be prepared for commodity deliveries remain.
The total of engines NK-33/43/39/31, including engines in Aerojet, does not exceed 150.


Thanks!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mlorrey on 03/21/2010 11:55 PM
Dmitry, since you live in Samara, can you say if you work at the plant?  I've been looking for an answer to how many NK-33 and 43 complete and partial engines are still available there.  I have heard numbers from a "a few" to "dozens".  Care to shed light on the true count?

I do not live for a long time already in Samara and did not work in SNTK (I worked in Volga branch RKK "Energia"). But I can tell that now on SNTK 54 engines NK-33 from which 46 engines can be prepared for commodity deliveries remain.
The total of engines NK-33/43/39/31, including engines in Aerojet, does not exceed 150.


What are the plans for new production?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 03/22/2010 12:02 PM
Dmitry, since you live in Samara, can you say if you work at the plant?  I've been looking for an answer to how many NK-33 and 43 complete and partial engines are still available there.  I have heard numbers from a "a few" to "dozens".  Care to shed light on the true count?

I do not live for a long time already in Samara and did not work in SNTK (I worked in Volga branch RKK "Energia"). But I can tell that now on SNTK 54 engines NK-33 from which 46 engines can be prepared for commodity deliveries remain.
The total of engines NK-33/43/39/31, including engines in Aerojet, does not exceed 150.


What are the plans for new production?
With the discussion of using them on the Rus-M and Soyuz, I highly suspect that part of what Aerojet and Energia have been doing with the upgrades and tests has been to formulate a plan for production.  With the low cost of the engines, for them to not have done this level of preliminary work would be surprising.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 03/22/2010 02:34 PM
What are the plans for new production?

Last week the TV of Samara has informed that the decision on renewal of manufacture ÍÊ-33 is accepted. But official acknowledgement while are not present. Also it became known that in the project "Sojuz-1" decided to refuse engine NK-33-1. Instead of it it will be applied standard ÍÊ-33 in a combination to control engine RD-0110R.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/28/2010 05:38 AM
Just came back from Wallops - work there is in full swing, and everything should be done by December.  Lots of piling going on... the pilings for the HIF (Horizontal Integration Facility - the BIG building) have all been driven, the new pad 0A pile driving is beginning.  In total, over 5,000 piles! (well, 50-ft pile segments... some of the pilings are 150 ft deep, so they take 3 sections... the total number of pilings is about 3,000).

Here are a few pictures: in the "Pan view of Pad 0A" you can see some the piles for the ramp indicates both the curve and the slope of the ramp.  Notice the height of the sea wall.

In the background, just to the right of the lollipop-shaped water tower is a POINTY (not squat) comm antenna tower.  that's where the HIF is located (the HIF "hugs" that tower, as you will see in the pictures).  That gives you an idea of the separation between the pad and the HIF.

In the view from the North ("k - ramp piles begin added") you can see the (future) transition from the old beach road to the new ramp, as well as pad 0B, which has recently been upgraded for Minotaur IV.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/28/2010 05:50 AM
The first picture shows the HIF construction site - notice one of the two ramps leading up to the HIF floor level, some 11 feet above sea level (10 ft required for the 100-year worse case storm and solar tide flooding plus one for good luck, like at Michoud...).  In the background  ("Looking South at HIF") you can faintly see the pile driver working at the pad, between the lefmost pile driver and the flagpole.

On the second picture, note the pilings along the centerline of the ramp... there are matching pilings along the two sides of the ramps... then hundreds (actually, over 1,000) under the main building pad itself!

I've also included a couple of CAD drawings of the pad complex showing the ramp, the enormous water tank for the deluge systems, the fuel/gas tank farms and the large water, kerosene and LOX holding basins to catch the deluge water as well as any spills... all very, very environmentally-friendly.

It takes more than rocket engines, you know!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/28/2010 05:55 AM
O.K., O.K.,... here's a couple hardware pictures just to keep you quiet... ;)

First, the last of the 2x duration test firings at Samara - start-up, flight throttle level and shutdown.  Pretty amazing that a 40-year old engine is taken out of a container, dusted and checked, and then fired at flight throttle settings for 10 minutes, then dissasembled, and not a scratch!!!

The last two pictures show the first Kerosene tank cylinder section and the first LOX tank at the Yuzhmash factory in Dniepro.  Sorry for the crummy quality of the pictures, but that makes them easier to pass ITAR scrutiny...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 03/28/2010 06:19 AM
Thank you Dr Elias, I would go to Wallops more often, but there is this nagging thing called school that keeps getting in my way.......
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Analyst on 03/28/2010 07:37 AM
... at the Yuzhmash factory in Dniepro.  Sorry for the crummy quality of the pictures, but that makes them easier to pass ITAR scrutiny...

Very nice pictures. Makes me wonder what ITAR would do if the Ukrainians or Russians publish high resolution pictures of the engines they designed, built and tested. This is not directed at you, but it is stupid.

Analyst
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/28/2010 03:40 PM
Mis-spoke about ITAR - Actually, Russia and Ukraine are co-signers (with the U.S.) of the  Missile Technology Control Regime (http://www.mtcr.info/english/partners.html), and they enforce it as vigorously as the US does.  I will not comment on its usefulness or reasonability - it's the law of the land(s) (I'm not shy - just ignorant on the subject.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 03/28/2010 05:28 PM
Great pictures, thanks so much!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 03/29/2010 02:37 AM
I wonder if anyone is having second thoghts about selecting MARS for launch due to the amount of construction. In Florida they have LC-36 (if we assume Athena takes 46).
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/29/2010 03:36 AM
"Second thoughts"?  NOW?  A year before the launch?  Do you think for a minute that "this amount of construction" was a surprise?  Hello?

We walked all over the (remains of) LC-36... not very useful, given the size and geometry of Taurus II.  Then, there is the small question of where to assemble the vehicle.

But, above all, VA had assured bond money from the General Assembly ($26 in MARS's bank account, so far).  Florida Space had "a financial plan" based on commercial Bank loans at a time commercial Banks weren't loaning a penny to Bill Gates himself...

End of story.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 03/29/2010 03:51 PM
"Second thoughts"?  NOW?  A year before the launch?  Do you think for a minute that "this amount of construction" was a surprise?  Hello?

We walked all over the (remains of) LC-36... not very useful, given the size and geometry of Taurus II.  Then, there is the small question of where to assemble the vehicle.

But, above all, VA had assured bond money from the General Assembly ($26 in MARS's bank account, so far).  Florida Space had "a financial plan" based on commercial Bank loans at a time commercial Banks weren't loaning a penny to Bill Gates himself...

End of story.

Speaking of which, Governor McDonnell has been promising more support for development of MARS, is this going to benefit orbital at all?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NotGncDude on 03/29/2010 04:54 PM
First, the last of the 2x duration test firings at Samara - start-up, flight throttle level and shutdown.  Pretty amazing that a 40-year old engine is taken out of a container, dusted and checked, and then fired at flight throttle settings for 10 minutes, then dissasembled, and not a scratch!!!

Do you know which OKB this used to be? (or maybe still is, with a different name)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 03/29/2010 05:47 PM
We walked all over the (remains of) LC-36... not very useful, given the size and geometry of Taurus II.  Then, there is the small question of where to assemble the vehicle.

But, above all, VA had assured bond money from the General Assembly ($26 in MARS's bank account, so far).  Florida Space had "a financial plan" based on commercial Bank loans at a time commercial Banks weren't loaning a penny to Bill Gates himself...

There has to be some advantage to getting out of the hurricane bulls eye as well.  Having a second east coast launch site ads redundancy to US capability.  If the KSC area was ever to take a Katrina level direct hit it is nice to know there may be another site up and running capable of launching cargo (and perhaps people down the line) to the space station.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 03/29/2010 05:56 PM
First, the last of the 2x duration test firings at Samara - start-up, flight throttle level and shutdown.  Pretty amazing that a 40-year old engine is taken out of a container, dusted and checked, and then fired at flight throttle settings for 10 minutes, then dissasembled, and not a scratch!!!

Do you know which OKB this used to be? (or maybe still is, with a different name)
OKB-276

Their website:
http://www.sntk-odk.ru/

with the NK-33/AJ-26 on the front page I may note.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 03/29/2010 06:56 PM

There has to be some advantage to getting out of the hurricane bulls eye as well.  Having a second east coast launch site ads redundancy to US capability.  If the KSC area was ever to take a Katrina level direct hit it is nice to know there may be another site up and running capable of launching cargo (and perhaps people down the line) to the space station.

Yeah, but it would be just our luck that a Cat 5 would wipe out KSC, head back out to sea, regain it's strength, and head up to the coast to have wallops for desert.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 03/29/2010 07:29 PM


Yeah, but it would be just our luck that a Cat 5 would wipe out KSC, head back out to sea, regain it's strength, and head up to the coast to have wallops for desert.

The North Carolina Outer Banks would most likely take the hit, the probability of a single hurricane taking out both spaceports is astronomical.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 03/29/2010 08:12 PM


There has to be some advantage to getting out of the hurricane bulls eye as well.  Having a second east coast launch site ads redundancy to US capability.  If the KSC area was ever to take a Katrina level direct hit it is nice to know there may be another site up and running capable of launching cargo (and perhaps people down the line) to the space station.

ISS support would be the less of our worries.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/30/2010 01:45 AM

OKB-276

Their website:
http://www.sntk-odk.ru/

with the NK-33/AJ-26 on the front page I may note.

Thanks, but к сожалению, я не понимаю по-pусски...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 03/30/2010 01:56 AM

But, above all, VA had assured bond money from the General Assembly ($26 in MARS's bank account, so far)


Ooops.. I meant $26M, of course.

They are now asking Governor McDonnell for additional OPERATING (not construction) money... they have more work than people to handle it and need to hire a couple more employees.  They are responsible, for instance, for the badging of MARS users (even if NASA WFF physically issues the badges, they do it on request from MARS who has to certify the visits, prepare their paperwork, make sure there is insurance coverage, etc. etc.)  During a typical Minotaur launch, they get to "visit control" oh, maybe 20-30 Orbital LSG people and about an equal number of payloaders, plus 5-15 customer types... say 60 to 70 total.  With Taurus II and Cygnus, we plan to have around 250 people badged in during the early launches... and 20 to 30 of them are Ukranian!!!

In rough numbers, 1 Taurus II launch = 4 Minotaur launches.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 03/30/2010 04:21 PM
Thanks for the images. It's great to see things coming together.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/31/2010 02:39 AM
Includes Orbital relevance:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/03/teal-predict-over-2200-payloads-to-be-launched-over-next-20-years/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 03/31/2010 02:34 PM
Thank you, Dr. Elias, for the excellent and much appreciated reports!

To readers, there is a further news article from Russia, titled "Russia may supply Soviet-era engines for U.S. space rockets", that can be viewed at http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100331/158375997.html.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 03/31/2010 02:38 PM
So what impact will opening up the Virginia coast to oil drilling have on Taurus/Wallops operations?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100331/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_drilling
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 03/31/2010 08:34 PM
So what impact will opening up the Virginia coast to oil drilling have on Taurus/Wallops operations?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100331/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_drilling

It is my understanding that it would be the same as any other launch: no personnel downrange of the launch path out to a certain limit. For a drill rig, they would have to move, or have the personnel leave during the period of the launch.

If they end up with a gas platform, that's best since they are usually unmanned. Oil platforms are a different issue, especially gravity structures and the like, but if they go with an FPSO, then they could always disconnect. They wouldn't liek that though, as to production costs, but that's life: don't explore in the 'danger' areas.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 04/01/2010 04:12 AM
Wow.  That's a great question.  NSF pays dividends again.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 04/01/2010 07:06 AM
I read a rumour that Aerojet offered the hypergolic AJ-10.  Given that this worked so well on the Delta-II, it isn't a bad option.

Heck, license the Delta II upper stage plans from ULA/Boeing and slap it on there. It's almost the right size, has almost zero risk, and would be 100% American (keeping the total vehicle >51%)...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/01/2010 12:48 PM
I read a rumour that Aerojet offered the hypergolic AJ-10.  Given that this worked so well on the Delta-II, it isn't a bad option.

Heck, license the Delta II upper stage plans from ULA/Boeing and slap it on there. It's almost the right size, has almost zero risk, and would be 100% American (keeping the total vehicle >51%)...
Could even just buy them right from ULA/Boeing.  An interesting proposal, you must admit.  Same upper stage, but with a lower stage which has 4x the thrust and higher ISP.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/01/2010 12:52 PM
So what impact will opening up the Virginia coast to oil drilling have on Taurus/Wallops operations?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100331/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_drilling

The Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Virginia carried a news article this morning at http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_offshore-drilling_0401apr01,0,2214700.story.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/01/2010 01:31 PM
I congratulate Orbital with April, 1st!
Taurus-III:
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/01/2010 02:34 PM
I congratulate Orbital with April, 1st!
Taurus-III:


The April 1st rumor I heard was they gained so much experience with the NK-33's that the Taurus-III-0 first stage was gonna have 30 NK-33's ;)

They are just waiting for enough stimulus money to relocate the VAB to Wallops.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/01/2010 03:32 PM
I congratulate Orbital with April, 1st!
Taurus-III:


Wow!  I like it!  Seriously!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/01/2010 03:36 PM
I congratulate Orbital with April, 1st!
Taurus-III:


The April 1st rumor I heard was they gained so much experience with the NK-33's that the Taurus-III-0 first stage was gonna have 30 NK-33's ;)

They are just waiting for enough stimulus money to relocate the VAB to Wallops.

Rats!  You found us out!  But the problem is not moving the VAB, it's the Crawler/Transporter's ground pressure load... the ground at Wallops is so soft that the tracks sink 12 ft before the sand compacts enough to hold the weight of the silly thing...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Kim Keller on 04/01/2010 03:51 PM
Heck, license the Delta II upper stage plans from ULA/Boeing and slap it on there. It's almost the right size, has almost zero risk, and would be 100% American (keeping the total vehicle >51%)...

Delta II second stage uses Italian tanks.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/01/2010 05:32 PM

Rats!  You found us out!  But the problem is not moving the VAB, it's the Crawler/Transporter's ground pressure load... the ground at Wallops is so soft that the tracks sink 12 ft before the sand compacts enough to hold the weight of the silly thing...

Antonioe, Every time you mention the Wallops soil I keep thinking about a  mid 80's mag article that had a picture of a pile coming back up in a parking lot right next to the pile driver...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 04/01/2010 05:57 PM
I read a rumour that Aerojet offered the hypergolic AJ-10.  Given that this worked so well on the Delta-II, it isn't a bad option.

Heck, license the Delta II upper stage plans from ULA/Boeing and slap it on there. It's almost the right size, has almost zero risk, and would be 100% American (keeping the total vehicle >51%)...
Could even just buy them right from ULA/Boeing.  An interesting proposal, you must admit.  Same upper stage, but with a lower stage which has 4x the thrust and higher ISP.
I don't think that just popping a Delta-K stage on top of the Taurus II first would actually buy you an increased payload.  More versatility to be sure, with the multiple ignitions, but less impulse.

  --N
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/01/2010 07:43 PM
So what impact will opening up the Virginia coast to oil drilling have on Taurus/Wallops operations?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100331/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_drilling

The Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Virginia carried a news article this morning at http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_offshore-drilling_0401apr01,0,2214700.story.

The bigger issue is the NAvy opposition, the DoD practically fuels the Hampton Roads area so anything that the Navy desires is usually held to.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/02/2010 12:39 AM
A question that is a little of topic, but when you have to evac and oil rig for a launch who pays for it? The oil company or the launch customer? Will VA drilling have an impact on Orbital's launch prices?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 04/02/2010 03:55 AM
A question that is a little of topic, but when you have to evac and oil rig for a launch who pays for it? The oil company or the launch customer? Will VA drilling have an impact on Orbital's launch prices?

Owners of the well. No different than an approaching storm that falls outside their safety limits. Lost production can run from the $100ks into the millions. That's life. Oil/gas isn't going anywhere.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/02/2010 02:02 PM
A question that is a little of topic, but when you have to evac and oil rig for a launch who pays for it? The oil company or the launch customer? Will VA drilling have an impact on Orbital's launch prices?

My understanding (warning: this statement may contains some hearsay) is that the major concern with the oil exploration off WFF is not Minotaur/Taurus II overflight risk/first stage impact (Pc very low given the expected density of populated platforms and first stages impact way beyond the approved exploration zone) but the literally hundreds of smaller suborbital rockets per year that NASA and others launch from WFF that NORMALLY splash down within the oil exploration area.  Pc rises up significantly under these conditions...

Finally, note that manned platforms are usually needed only during the exploraiton phase.  Once properly capped and plumbed, oil production is usually entirely underwater (does it sould like I just finished reading  "The History of Oilfied Diving" (http://www.oceanautpress.com/)?  I'm also a - wanabee - technical diver, and 90% of all major diving breakthroughs were driven by oil exploration).

IMHO environmental concerns are way, way more important than impact to orbital (with a lowercase o) launch from WFF.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/02/2010 02:09 PM
I don't think that just popping a Delta-K stage on top of the Taurus II first would actually buy you an increased payload.  More versatility to be sure, with the multiple ignitions, but less impulse.

  --N

You are correct; to come close to exceeding Castor-30 performance you have to almost double the stage fuel load (it's not just a matter of total impulse - thrust level makes the AJ-10 based stage much less DV-efficient so you actually need MORE total impulse than the Castor 30 to simply match the C-30 performance).

The problem with that is not as much bigger tanks, but that you also double the burn time.  Being ablatively cooled, the AJ-10 would have to be modified and re-certified (with appropriate testing) for the much extended burn time.  But even if the ablative material could be modified to handle this extended burn time, there is no guarantee that the unit itself could take the extended soakback thermal load.  It was never designed for such a long burn duration.

Believe me, we looked into it!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/02/2010 02:14 PM
Antonioe, Every time you mention the Wallops soil I keep thinking about a  mid 80's mag article that had a picture of a pile coming back up in a parking lot right next to the pile driver...

Ooops!... I'd love to get my hands on that picture.

As I may have mentioned early, in some cases they had to go down to 150 feet before they hit suitable load-bearing strata.  The way they do it is they "splice" three 50-foot sections as they drive each section in.  I've been told (but not seen it myself) that in these cases, the first 50 ft section could almost be driven down with your thumb... ::)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 04/02/2010 02:52 PM
I don't think that just popping a Delta-K stage on top of the Taurus II first would actually buy you an increased payload.  More versatility to be sure, with the multiple ignitions, but less impulse.

  --N

You are correct; to come close to exceeding Castor-30 performance you have to almost double the stage fuel load (it's not just a matter of total impulse - thrust level makes the AJ-10 based stage much less DV-efficient so you actually need MORE total impulse than the Castor 30 to simply match the C-30 performance).

The problem with that is not as much bigger tanks, but that you also double the burn time.  Being ablatively cooled, the AJ-10 would have to be modified and re-certified (with appropriate testing) for the much extended burn time.  But even if the ablative material could be modified to handle this extended burn time, there is no guarantee that the unit itself could take the extended soakback thermal load.  It was never designed for such a long burn duration.

Believe me, we looked into it!
Thanks, Antonioe.  That's the nice thing about fast burning motors, I guess: the low gravity losses.

You could go Transtage on this I guess, and double up the AJ10's.

What's the latest word you can share on the enhanced 2nd stage?  Based on this forum, it seems be the iPad of the spaceflight world, at least as far as speculation goes.

  --N
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/02/2010 02:53 PM
All I remember is it was in a civil engineering mag. and the actual work site was somewhere in the Netherlands. Wish I could help you more. If you have access to a good library and lots of time I am sure you could dig it up.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/02/2010 04:01 PM
Antonioe, Every time you mention the Wallops soil I keep thinking about a  mid 80's mag article that had a picture of a pile coming back up in a parking lot right next to the pile driver...

Ooops!... I'd love to get my hands on that picture.

As I may have mentioned early, in some cases they had to go down to 150 feet before they hit suitable load-bearing strata.  The way they do it is they "splice" three 50-foot sections as they drive each section in.  I've been told (but not seen it myself) that in these cases, the first 50 ft section could almost be driven down with your thumb... ::)

I would believe it, even during drought season in Virginia the bottom of my backyard is always muddy (faces a creek)  Pretty much the entire Eastern coast is swampy and drainage ponds are needed for any building.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 04/02/2010 04:09 PM
The problem with that is not as much bigger tanks, but that you also double the burn time.  Being ablatively cooled, the AJ-10 would have to be modified and re-certified (with appropriate testing) for the much extended burn time.

Would it have been possible to use two AJ-10's? I'm sure you picked the right variant, just wondering about the tradeoffs.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/02/2010 04:27 PM

What's the latest word you can share on the enhanced 2nd stage?  Based on this forum, it seems be the iPad of the spaceflight world, at least as far as speculation goes.

  --N

Unfortunately, we're in the "wheeling and dealing" phase with potential suppliers, as we were during the initial phases of the (basic) Taurus II development, so I can't report on how things are going.  Hang on, hang on!...

Because of this, ETA for public data on the Enhanced configuration is probably NET October.

Just one teasing hint: logic always, in the end, prevails...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/02/2010 04:41 PM
Would it have been possible to use two AJ-10's?

We also looked at that.  In addition to the cost (these are not exactly inexpensive engines, especially considering they are pressure-fed), their exit diameter (1.7m) would place them very, very close to each other.  The bells are radiatevely-cooled, and in the Delta K configuration they have 360 degrees of view (radially, and about 150 degrees vertically) to radiate against.

If you place two of them within the 3.7 m internal diameter of Taurus II, a significant part (about 20%) of the each bell's heat radiates towards the other bell.  This may not seem a lot, but over the burn duration it is more than enough for the bell temperature to go way, way beyond the material limit.

Again, this is a big time thermal problem that would require extensive analysis, very probable modifications, and the ensuing verification and test.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 04/02/2010 04:50 PM

Just one teasing hint: logic always, in the end, prevails...

Hmm, the engine choice is logical. Vulcans are logical. Vulcan sounds like Vulcain...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 04/02/2010 05:44 PM

Hmm, the engine choice is logical. Vulcans are logical. Vulcan sounds like Vulcain...


That would be illogical.   RL-10 is logical.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 04/02/2010 07:09 PM

That would be illogical.   RL-10 is logical.

Yeah, but that one doesn't have any easy, geeky Star Trek references. From Antonio's earlier comment, it sounds like an RL-60 would fit the bill nicely with one engine. Not sure if that would be worth Orbital's while to fund it though, since, as you alluded to, 2 RL-10s would work just fine.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 04/02/2010 07:13 PM
So. How much logic would NK-43/AJ-26-60 have?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 04/02/2010 07:15 PM
So. How much logic would NK-43/AJ-26-60 have?

Antonio mentioned this a while back:

As for using the NK-43 for the second stage, it's a very good engine with great ISP (346 s) and great T/W (120+).  Unfortunately, it's about 5 times too big (about 400,000 lbf thrust vs. 80,000 lbf for the Castor 30).  There are better Lox-kerosene engines for the Taurus II second stage from the thrust matching standpoint with equal or better Isp and good enough T/W (e.g. RD-0124 at 66,000 lbf thrust, Isp = 359 s, T/W = 63 with TVC and controller)

Apparently, it would be fairly illogical.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: William Barton on 04/02/2010 07:21 PM
So. How much logic would NK-43/AJ-26-60 have?

Antonio mentioned this a while back:

As for using the NK-43 for the second stage, it's a very good engine with great ISP (346 s) and great T/W (120+).  Unfortunately, it's about 5 times too big (about 400,000 lbf thrust vs. 80,000 lbf for the Castor 30).  There are better Lox-kerosene engines for the Taurus II second stage from the thrust matching standpoint with equal or better Isp and good enough T/W (e.g. RD-0124 at 66,000 lbf thrust, Isp = 359 s, T/W = 63 with TVC and controller)

Apparently, it would be fairly illogical.

Ah. I forgot. Although I do wonder why "5 times too big." Kistler was going to use 3x NK-33 on s1 and 1x NK-43 on S2. Seems like it should only be 2 times too big or something. I suppose it can't be throttled...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 04/02/2010 07:28 PM
The Kistler second stage had a lot of extra weight for reusability.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/02/2010 07:38 PM
NK-43 It is not too optimum for a rocket of type Taurus II.
1) Its application conducts to "ugly" distribution of weights between stages by optimisation of key parametres of a rocket.
2) excessively high T/W negatively affects weight of the payload deduced into orbits in height more of 150 miles.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/02/2010 08:09 PM
NK-43 It is not too optimum for a rocket of type Taurus II.
1) Its application conducts to "ugly" distribution of weights between stages by optimisation of key parametres of a rocket.
2) excessively high T/W negatively affects weight of the payload deduced into orbits in height more of 150 miles.



As mentioned before, NK-43 is too big, but NK-39 would be just right.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 04/02/2010 08:20 PM
May be NK-31 with TVC?
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/nk31.htm
Quote
Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. Thrust(vac): 402.000 kN (90,373 lbf). Isp: 353 sec. Burn time: 1,200 sec. Mass Engine: 722 kg (1,591 lb). Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft). Thrust to Weight Ratio: 56.78


(http://sntk-odk.ru/production/_images/nk31.JPG)
http://sntk-odk.ru/production/zhrd.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Skyrocket on 04/02/2010 08:29 PM
Would it have been possible to use two AJ-10's?
If you place two of them within the 3.7 m internal diameter of Taurus II, a significant part (about 20%) of the each bell's heat radiates towards the other bell.  This may not seem a lot, but over the burn duration it is more than enough for the bell temperature to go way, way beyond the material limit.

Again, this is a big time thermal problem that would require extensive analysis, very probable modifications, and the ensuing verification and test.

Is this really such a problem? The Transtage of Titan III heritage featured two AJ10 side by side on a 3.05 m core
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 04/02/2010 08:48 PM
We also looked at that.  In addition to the cost (these are not exactly inexpensive engines, especially considering they are pressure-fed), their exit diameter (1.7m) would place them very, very close to each other. 

Do you mean that even though you would expect it to be cheap since it is pressure-fed (and hypergolic, ablative/radiative, noncryogenic ...) it is in fact expensive? Any ideas why it is so expensive?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/03/2010 03:18 AM
(warning: contains hearsay): materials and labor, I'm told.  Like the P&W RL-10, the Aerojet AJ-10 was designed during a period of time when labor was cheap and complex machine tools expensive and unreliable (i.e.before digital computers).  In the case of the RL-10, I know that PWR has been desperately trying to get somebody to pay for a major upgrade of the that, among other things, does away with the painstakingly beautiful but high-cost hand-molded and hand-brazen tube-formed nozzle and early bell...

(Before somebody asks the question "why don't they pay for that improvement out of their own - or mother United Technologies' - pocket?" I will answer it :)  Very simple: there is no credible business case for PWR to do so without major customer financial support or committment...)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/03/2010 03:41 AM
Is this really such a problem? The Transtage of Titan III heritage featured two AJ10 side by side on a 3.05 m core

Ah, Gunter!  Your encylopedic mastery strikes again!... ;) O.K., I had to do a little sleuthing here... this is Monday night engineering, but since you've teased me...

The Titan transtage had two -138 version engines.  the -138 had shorter and much thicker bells than the current generation -118K engines.  At 40:1 expansion ratio (vs. 65:1 for the -118K) it is smaller (1.53m diameter vs. 1.70m) and had lower vacuum thrust (35Klbf vs. 43Klbf) and Isp (311s vs. 320 s.) but it was much beefier (110 Kg. vs 98Kg for the larger-nozzleed -118K).  Finally, it ran much more Oxidizer rich (2.0 O/F ratio) than the -118 (1.9).

I guess all of these differences reduced the thermal radiative load of the nozzle enough to allow the side-by-side installation on the transtage (how they got two 1.53m nozzles within a 3.05m OUTSIDE DIAMETER airframe I cannot explain, but the Titan transtage was one bizarre bird, with asymmetrical N2O2 and Fuel tanks...)  Now, I didn't make up the concern about radiational re-heating of the side-by-side -118K nozzles... we actually analyzed it (no hearsay.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/03/2010 03:45 AM
May be NK-31 with TVC?

(*Sniff*...) Brings me back memories of the X-34... :'( (somebody get me a Kleenex, please)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Oberon_Command on 04/03/2010 04:32 AM
(how they got two 1.53m nozzles within a 3.05m OUTSIDE DIAMETER airframe I cannot explain, but the Titan transtage was one bizarre bird, with asymmetrical N2O2 and Fuel tanks...)

Is it possible that they could have gimbaled the engines towards each other in order to fit the two nozzles into that small diameter? Like, if they spaced the engines out enough so that prior to staging, the engines could be gimbaled such that the "inner" edges of the nozzles could be almost touching each other while the "outer" edges of the nozzles were pulled in enough to avoid touching the interstage. What I'm thinking is that if they were to do that, all they'd have to do after staging is move the engines into their correct flight position, which would leave the "outer" edges of the nozzles "outside" the 3.05m diameter of the interstage. I'm not an expert, but it seems like a simple (in concept if not execution!) problem of geometry. Though, I'm looking at this (http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/library/report/1994/cape/cape054f.jpg) photo and I'm not sure if there's enough space (or gimbal range) between the engines to allow them to do something like this.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 04/03/2010 07:05 AM
(warning: contains hearsay): materials and labor, I'm told.  Like the P&W RL-10, the Aerojet AJ-10 was designed during a period of time when labor was cheap and complex machine tools expensive and unreliable (i.e.before digital computers).  In the case of the RL-10, I know that PWR has been desperately trying to get somebody to pay for a major upgrade of the that, among other things, does away with the painstakingly beautiful but high-cost hand-molded and hand-brazen tube-formed nozzle and early bell...

(Before somebody asks the question "why don't they pay for that improvement out of their own - or mother United Technologies' - pocket?" I will answer it :)  Very simple: there is no credible business case for PWR to do so without major customer financial support or committment...)

There's also the OME variant of the AJ-10 used on the shuttle it's regeneratively cooled.
It should be possible to uprate it's thrust if using it as a single use engine.
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/ome.htm

Or resurrect the old Apollo SPS engine another AJ-10 variant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Command/Service_Module

It had 20,000lbs of thrust.
It seems working examples for study do exist.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eecue/444019347/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: GClark on 04/03/2010 07:50 AM
While everybody else is guessing, I might as well try one.

How about the GX engine?  Fairly far along in development last I read (I am willing to be proven embarrassingly wrong).

I am also willing to admit that I don't know about its' dimensions or mass.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/03/2010 08:22 AM
How about the GX engine? 

How about two 11D58M?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 04/03/2010 10:26 AM
May be NK-31 with TVC?

(*Sniff*...) Brings me back memories of the X-34... :'( (somebody get me a Kleenex, please)
Isp 310 s? :-\
http://techtran.msfc.nasa.gov/tech_ops/Fastrac_Engine.pdf
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Skyrocket on 04/03/2010 10:43 AM
I guess all of these differences reduced the thermal radiative load of the nozzle enough to allow the side-by-side installation on the transtage (how they got two 1.53m nozzles within a 3.05m OUTSIDE DIAMETER airframe I cannot explain, but the Titan transtage was one bizarre bird, with asymmetrical N2O2 and Fuel tanks...)  Now, I didn't make up the concern about radiational re-heating of the side-by-side -118K nozzles... we actually analyzed it (no hearsay.)

Probably the reported 1.53m diameter for the -138 nozzle is not correct as the simply do not fit with this diameter.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 04/03/2010 02:07 PM
Just a brief question: Would it be practical to have a three-stage configuration with something similar to the DIIUS mounted on top of the Castor-30? If that would need more power to get off the pad, what sort of level of enhancement are we talking about? Simple SRM strap-ons or a 'heavy' tri-core?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/03/2010 05:36 PM

http://techtran.msfc.nasa.gov/tech_ops/Fastrac_Engine.pdf


O.K., O.K.,... now you really want me to break out sobbing... :(

Although I'm told that some Fastrac elements (turbopump?) are alive and well in the design of the SpaceX Merlin.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kch on 04/03/2010 05:53 PM
I guess all of these differences reduced the thermal radiative load of the nozzle enough to allow the side-by-side installation on the transtage (how they got two 1.53m nozzles within a 3.05m OUTSIDE DIAMETER airframe I cannot explain, but the Titan transtage was one bizarre bird, with asymmetrical N2O2 and Fuel tanks...)  Now, I didn't make up the concern about radiational re-heating of the side-by-side -118K nozzles... we actually analyzed it (no hearsay.)

Probably the reported 1.53m diameter for the -138 nozzle is not correct as the simply do not fit with this diameter.

The "1.53m" and "3.05m" dimensions are, IIRC, two-decimal-place metric approximations of the actual dimensions (5.00 feet and 10.00 feet, respectively, which would be 1.524m and 3.048m).  Still wouldn't quite fit, though.

Two possibilities come to mind:

(1) the interstage might have been just enough larger diameter than the stages to permit the nozzles to fit;

(2) the nozzle exits might have been slightly elliptical, rather than round (the minor axis probably wouldn't have to be much smaller to "make it fit").

All speculation, of course ... ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/03/2010 06:00 PM
Just a brief question: Would it be practical to have a three-stage configuration with something similar to the DIIUS mounted on top of the Castor-30?

Well, it depends on what type of performance increase you are looking for: increasing the payload to LEO ("High-mass, Low-DV") does indeed require significantly higher liftoff thrust, and about the only thing you can do to Taurus II is add solids, which we most definitely don't want to do.  It not only requires "scarring" the first stage to withstand the additional loads, it requires a boatful of additional ground infrastructure that we can hardly afford - eyes on the objective, boys, we haven't flown Taurus II yet!!!

On the other hand, three stages is a good approach to increasing the payload to GTO and/or escape ("Low-mass, High-DV"), and can be achieved without major liftoff thrust increases.  It also does not require major ground infrastructure improvement, unless you go full cryo.

In terms of a particular three-stage configuration, it depends on the $$$-to-performance ratio you want (or need) to achieve, and I don't think we're smart enough today to know what may be required - so, until we see the first mission(s) approaching, go ahead and propose alternatives!  They all are, in one way or another, good! (just keep the DV's as balanced as you can...)

Quote
If that would need more power to get off the pad, what sort of level of enhancement are we talking about? Simple SRM strap-ons or a 'heavy' tri-core?

Either of these would require substantial $$$'s and would put us squarely in the EELV market, which we do not contemplate in the foreseeable future.  We would like to steer the government's interest into more medium-class missions vs. few large-class missions, and not just for Orbital's benefit, but to help the U.S. space industrial base,  spacecraft and launchers alike (including the second-tier suppliers!)

Our devious plan for world domination is, in order of priorities:

1,2,3 - Deliver what we promised on COTS/CRS
4 - Sell Taurus II as an MLV to DoD and NASA (launching as many Orbital-made medium-class spacecraft as possible  ;D )
5 - Sell the first polar mission and enable West Coast (VAFB or Kodiak, whichever is cheaper) launch capability.

In the meanwhile, we are following the current Commercial Crew initiatives at NASA with considerable interest...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/03/2010 06:15 PM

O.K., O.K.,... now you really want me to break out sobbing... :(

Although I'm told that some Fastrac elements (turbopump?) are alive and well in the design of the SpaceX Merlin.

And why then not to use vacuum Merlin? Or you are not ready to co-operate with SpaceX?


Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/03/2010 06:20 PM
Either of these would require substantial $$$'s and would put us squarely in the EELV market, which we do not contemplate in the foreseeable future.  We would like to steer the government's interest into more medium-class missions vs. few large-class missions, and not just for Orbital's benefit, but to help the U.S. space industrial base,  spacecraft and launchers alike (including the second-tier suppliers!)


I seem to be having this reoccurring thought of Cygnus providing cargo launched on a Taurus II, While having an Atlas V lofting a commercial Orion with a stretched Cygnus service module and already proven (by then) Cygnus rendezvous system .... take advantage of the Cygnus work done by OSC and the capsule work done by Lockheed, but perhaps OSC wants a more inhouse design.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/03/2010 06:25 PM

O.K., O.K.,... now you really want me to break out sobbing... :(

Although I'm told that some Fastrac elements (turbopump?) are alive and well in the design of the SpaceX Merlin.

And why then not to use vacuum Merlin? Or you are not ready to co-operate with SpaceX?

Considering they are competing in the same market, I doubt OSC would either ask for or SpaceX would supply the engine, that would be like Toyota asking to buy engines from GM.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/03/2010 08:00 PM
Quote
If that would need more power to get off the pad, what sort of level of enhancement are we talking about? Simple SRM strap-ons or a 'heavy' tri-core?

Either of these would require substantial $$$'s and would put us squarely in the EELV market, which we do not contemplate in the foreseeable future.  We would like to steer the government's interest into more medium-class missions vs. few large-class missions, and not just for Orbital's benefit, but to help the U.S. space industrial base,  spacecraft and launchers alike (including the second-tier suppliers!)

Our devious plan for world domination is, in order of priorities:

1,2,3 - Deliver what we promised on COTS/CRS
4 - Sell Taurus II as an MLV to DoD and NASA (launching as many Orbital-made medium-class spacecraft as possible  ;D )
5 - Sell the first polar mission and enable West Coast (VAFB or Kodiak, whichever is cheaper) launch capability.

In the meanwhile, we are following the current Commercial Crew initiatives at NASA with considerable interest...
Keep your eyes on the prize.  If you guys ever need computer or electronics work, let me know.  8)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: SpacexULA on 04/03/2010 08:43 PM
Considering they are competing in the same market, I doubt OSC would either ask for or SpaceX would supply the engine, that would be like Toyota asking to buy engines from GM.

It's not likely, but possible.  Mazda and Ford share motors, Isuzu and Chevy share almost everything, Hyundai and Mazda share, Porsche and Volkswagen share....

Just because two companies compete in the same market does not mean they will not share resources.  IF both SpaceX and Oribital feel it's to their benefit they will share whatever.

ULA has referenced SpaceX in papers as a launcher of fuel for their depot.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 04/03/2010 10:47 PM
It's not likely, but possible.  Mazda and Ford share motors, Isuzu and Chevy share almost everything, Hyundai and Mazda share, Porsche and Volkswagen share....
Ummm. Mazda is partly owned by Ford, Isuzu and Porsche are fully owned by GM and VW respectively (OK, the VW/Porsche relationship precedes that date but the two companies have the same founder and the CEO of VW was the biggest shareholder of Porsche at the time...)

Bad examples. Although your message was correct, there are LOTS of engines being shared by competitors in the automotive world (know about Mercedes using VW engines and BMW using PSA ones but there'll definitely be more).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 04/04/2010 04:02 AM
It's not likely, but possible.  Mazda and Ford share motors, Isuzu and Chevy share almost everything, Hyundai and Mazda share, Porsche and Volkswagen share....
Ummm. Mazda is partly owned by Ford, Isuzu and Porsche are fully owned by GM and VW respectively (OK, the VW/Porsche relationship precedes that date but the two companies have the same founder and the CEO of VW was the biggest shareholder of Porsche at the time...)

Bad examples. Although your message was correct, there are LOTS of engines being shared by competitors in the automotive world (know about Mercedes using VW engines and BMW using PSA ones but there'll definitely be more).
I think the economics of launch vehicle and motorcar development are very different.  Cars have enormous development costs but huge production runs over which they can be paid off.  There are also lots of non price/performance based things going on (image, style, etc.).

Us space flight amateurs may tend to flip through Jane's Spaceflight Directory like it is the Sears catalog, building up dream boosters ("Hm...I'll strap six Atlas V SRM's around a Zenit core and put a Delta IV-H 2nd stage on it but using a Vinci engine...").  The reality is that negotiating multi-million dollar contracts is a very strange place.  Example: buying lots of hardware (that you have no intention of using) from a vendor offering a better price (but inferior performance) for the sole purpose of spooking your preferred vendor into giving a better response to your next RFP.  More mindgames than the final hand at a WPT tournament...

  --N
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/05/2010 03:00 PM

Us space flight amateurs may tend to flip through Jane's Spaceflight Directory like it is the Sears catalog,


Us professionals flip Gunter's and Mark's web pages... ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/05/2010 04:20 PM

Us space flight amateurs may tend to flip through Jane's Spaceflight Directory like it is the Sears catalog,


Us professionals flip Gunter's and Mark's web pages... ;) ;) ;)
Hey, I read both, what does that make me, a Proteur?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/05/2010 04:40 PM

Us space flight amateurs may tend to flip through Jane's Spaceflight Directory like it is the Sears catalog,


Us professionals flip Gunter's and Mark's web pages... ;) ;) ;)

Ready reference bookmarks for readers:

Gunter's Space Page - http://space.skyrocket.de/

Mark Wade's Encyclopedia of Spaceflight - http://www.astronautix.com/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: heroineworshiper on 04/05/2010 06:00 PM
Quite an achievement for Ukraine to produce not only the Zenit but the Taurus II for the "US" space program.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 04/05/2010 07:02 PM
Quite an achievement for Ukraine to produce not only the Zenit but the Taurus II for the "US" space program.

Zenit is not produced for the "US" space program.  It is produced for a multinational conglomerate that focuses on commercial spacecraft.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/05/2010 08:23 PM
Quite an achievement for Ukraine to produce not only the Zenit but the Taurus II for the "US" space program.

Zenit is not produced for the "US" space program.  It is produced for a multinational conglomerate that focuses on commercial spacecraft.

And with Boeing apparently bowing out of Sea Launch, the international consortium will probably be less, if any, "U.S."-owned.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 04/05/2010 08:38 PM
I guess all of these differences reduced the thermal radiative load of the nozzle enough to allow the side-by-side installation on the transtage (how they got two 1.53m nozzles within a 3.05m OUTSIDE DIAMETER airframe I cannot explain, but the Titan transtage was one bizarre bird, with asymmetrical N2O2 and Fuel tanks...)  Now, I didn't make up the concern about radiational re-heating of the side-by-side -118K nozzles... we actually analyzed it (no hearsay.)

Probably the reported 1.53m diameter for the -138 nozzle is not correct as the simply do not fit with this diameter.

The "1.53m" and "3.05m" dimensions are, IIRC, two-decimal-place metric approximations of the actual dimensions (5.00 feet and 10.00 feet, respectively, which would be 1.524m and 3.048m).  Still wouldn't quite fit, though.

Two possibilities come to mind:

(1) the interstage might have been just enough larger diameter than the stages to permit the nozzles to fit;

(2) the nozzle exits might have been slightly elliptical, rather than round (the minor axis probably wouldn't have to be much smaller to "make it fit").

All speculation, of course ... ;)

More likely that the 5 foot diameter is rounded up.

The picture of the transage here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transtage_rocket_stage.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transtage_rocket_stage.jpg) shows that there is an appreciable gap between the two nozzles of the engines.  While it is a tight fit, keep in mind that the staging system had rails to guide separation and prevent contact.

It also looks like the AJ-10-118K on the Delta gets its increased area ratio via a radiatively cooled skirt.  If the Transtage model had a fully ablative nozzle that would explain both the heavier weight and the lack of thermal problems.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 04/06/2010 12:49 PM
May be third stage Cyclon-4?
http://www.alcantaracyclonespace.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=87&Itemid=152

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 04/06/2010 12:56 PM
Main engine:
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?id=148&path=Aerospace%20Technology/Rocket%20Propulsion/Liquid%20Engines/Sustainers/RD-861K/RD-861K_e&lang=en
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?idD=58&lang=en&id=124&path=News/News_e
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?idD=73&lang=en&id=124&path=News/News_e
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?idD=66&lang=en&id=124&path=News/News_e

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 04/06/2010 01:22 PM
Else:
http://www.mfa.gov.ua/data/upload/publication/mfa/en/12618/m021.jpg
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/06/2010 01:58 PM
Hm-m-m... How about RD-809?
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?id=143&path=Aerospace Technology/Rocket Propulsion/Liquid Engines/Sustainers/RD-809/RD-809_e&lang=en
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/06/2010 02:03 PM
IMHO. Licence acquisition on RD-0110 would be the quite good decision. This engine concerning simple and very reliable.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/06/2010 03:51 PM
Cyclone 3rd stage is too small, although the engine is big enough. Also, the propellants are not the same as Taurus II, which is a disadvantage, plus they are toxic, which is not so good for launching from the USA.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 04/06/2010 06:26 PM
Cyclone 4 third stage contains 9 tones hypergolic propellant and has trust 8 tones. You can compare with Transtage.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 04/06/2010 07:14 PM

Us space flight amateurs may tend to flip through Jane's Spaceflight Directory like it is the Sears catalog,


Us professionals flip Gunter's and Mark's web pages... ;) ;) ;)
I picked up a five year old copy at a local used book store a few years back for forty bucks.  By now it is olde enough that Kistler still has an entry.  But you've gotta' love the nifty rocket engine flow diagrams.

  --N
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: libs0n on 04/07/2010 05:19 AM
How about: Performance increase through a beefed up first stage.  Adding 1 or 2 engines to the first stage and stretching out the tank.  ACES like modularity applied to the first stage.  The Zenit 4 nozzle arrangement should be able to accommodate 2, 3 and 4 engine configurations.  The tanks are made from metal spacers, so just add some more spacers.  They are already procuring first stage engines, so increase the procurement.  Consolidate further acquisition among existing suppliers.  Might likely fit into Taurus 2 infrastructure.

You could always build a liquid upper stage in relation to the crew program when that comes about.

It's nice to think about the Cygnus as a proto inspace crewed spaceship, something that can be evolved toward that.

They have a picture of the tank pieces at the Taurus 2 site:
http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/07/2010 10:29 AM
How about: Performance increase through a beefed up first stage.  Adding 1 or 2 engines to the first stage and stretching out the tank.  ACES like modularity applied to the first stage.  The Zenit 4 nozzle arrangement should be able to accommodate 2, 3 and 4 engine configurations.  The tanks are made from metal spacers, so just add some more spacers.  They are already procuring first stage engines, so increase the procurement.  Consolidate further acquisition among existing suppliers.  Might likely fit into Taurus 2 infrastructure.

You could always build a liquid upper stage in relation to the crew program when that comes about.

It's nice to think about the Cygnus as a proto inspace crewed spaceship, something that can be evolved toward that.

They have a picture of the tank pieces at the Taurus 2 site:
http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/
Right now, Orbital is focused on existing, proven contracts.  Smart strategy.  If and when the "crew module contract" comes along, they can then put in their bid with confidence by having an already existing, proven and reliable system.  This is the sign of a smart and resourceful company, something sorely lacking from some firms in the aerospace industry.  Build-to-need, then when more need comes, expand into that, and do not distract yourself in the interim.  Keep your eyes on the prize at all times.

Which is why I still view orbital as being a far better company in regards to "NewSpace" than both Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.  While most NewSpace firms go for the glitz and glamour, Orbital keeps focused on getting the job done.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/07/2010 04:02 PM
It seems to me that Orbital is going for the gap caused by the retirement of Delta II. Good call.

I won't compare them to SpaceX only to say that Orbital is more of a satellite company than a launch vehicle company. Satellites are more expensive than launch vehicles. They could afford to basically give away launches if they built the payload. If there is significant elasticity of demand in the satellite market when it comes to launch prices, then they may make a lot of money this way, even if SpaceX costs less (heck, maybe even ESPECIALLY if SpaceX is able to lower costs like they claim they can... more money to be spent launching more satellites that Orbital can build!).

That's my take on it, anyway.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/07/2010 04:13 PM
Orbital said that when they launched the Taurus II. They where building the vehicle fill the gap left by the retirement of the Delta II, it left them without a cost effective launcher for payloads they build in the Delta II class. COTS came after they started development work.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/07/2010 05:27 PM
Orbital is more of a satellite company than a launch vehicle company.

Yet, the first two products developed by Orbital were the Transfer Orbit Stage (development started in Dec 1986, first of only two flights 12 Sep 1992) and Pegasus (development started in summer of 1987, first flight April 5, 1990)

Quote
Satellites are more expensive than launch vehicles.

... but a launch vehicle plus a satellite does not a space mission make!  You are missing the satellite's payload (as distinct from the satellite bus) and, in most cases, the ground infrastructure required to use it, which in some cases may include thousands and thousands of user devices (GPS receivers, Iridium handsets, VSat terminals, etc, etc.)

In the National Security world, an approximate "rule of five" applies: 20% for the satellite bus, 20% for the satellite payload, 20% for the launch services, 20% for the ground system(s) and 20% for the Systems Engineering and other "glue" keeping the whole Shabang together (emphasis on the approximate nature of these 20%'s)

Note that Orbital does three out of those five things: buses, launch services (or rockets, for those customers that just buy the rocket) and "glue" (integration).  We do not do payloads or ground systems.

Notice that some of this also applies to, say, ISS cargo resupply: arguably the SM is the bus and the PCM (or other cargo modules) is the "payload" (certainly it is when filled with cargo... :) ).  We also build Taurus II and, last but not least, the ground infrastructure needed to properly store the cargo in the PCM and fly the darn thing to ISS and down to its fiery demise.  Then we do the systems engineering to make the whole thing dance together, such as sizing Taurus II to match the smalles economically efficient spacecraft size

As I think I have said before, people tend to forget you do need tires when you buy a car...

Quote
They could afford to basically give away launches if they built the payload.

Not if it's 20% of the cost!!!

Quote
If there is significant elasticity of demand in the satellite market when it comes to launch prices,

Uhhh... I'm not sure I understand what you mean here, but let me give it a try:

Commercially, there is VERY LITTLE elasticity for space systems in general.  Let me illustrate: the "killer app" in commercial space has always been communications, both phone and, increasingly, direct TV.  Futron Corporation issued a report a few years ago (“How Much of An Impact Do Launch Prices Really Have on the Cost of Satellite Services?”
 November 14th, 2002 - I have a copy  but, sorry, I can't port it) where they showed that the percentage of the cost of VSat services (what say, gas stations use to process credit cards in the middle of nowhere) - due to the cost of launching the satellites that transmit the signal was something like 3%.  So, if launch became free, the gas station's bill would lower by 3%.  How many more subscribers do you think a 3% cost reduction will bring?

In the case of voice (phone) services, the percentage is 0.2%...

Quote
then they may make a lot of money this way, even if SpaceX costs less (heck, maybe even ESPECIALLY if SpaceX is able to lower costs like they claim they can... more money to be spent launching more satellites that Orbital can build!).

You mean, would Orbital benefit if SpaceX manages to sell their launches for what they are advertising without going bankrupt?  Absolutely yes!!!  And if we were certain they would be able to do so, we would not waste our money on Taurus II (with emphasis on the economic, not the technical difficulty).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/07/2010 05:34 PM
Orbital said that when they launched the Taurus II. They where building the vehicle fill the gap left by the retirement of the Delta II, it left them without a cost effective launcher for payloads they build in the Delta II class. COTS came after they started development work.


(See my previous reply) Well, rockteers think all that stuff you put inside a rocket's fairing is "payload"... but only a small piece inside the satellite actually causes $$$ ("pay") to flow...

What we actually said is that we were establishing a significant beachhead in the world of national Security SYSTEMS (we build the bus, buy "payload" and ground systems, find a way to launch it, and glue the whole thing together) that fit the Delta II/MLV class...

No launcher, no system... but there's more to the system than the satellite...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/07/2010 05:44 PM
Thank you for your insightful reply, antonioe!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/07/2010 08:19 PM
Yes antonioe thank you. I always look forward to your posts, now if we could just convince you to post more often.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/08/2010 02:18 AM
now if we could just convince you to post more often.

Simple!  Just come here to Dulles and take up my job!  Oh, and give me enough money to retire... ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/08/2010 02:40 AM
Simple!  Just come here to Dulles and take up my job! 

What? and give up my apple orchard?

Perish the thought, I have grown quite fond of Gravenstien's. Though, looking at my own retirement accounts a couple crates on a street corner with a little sign might be a better retirement option...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: GClark on 04/08/2010 07:59 AM
What is this 'retirement' thing you speak of?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/08/2010 11:00 AM
What is this 'retirement' thing you speak of?
I've heard of this thing, it's when they put you in a box and bury you....
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: libs0n on 04/13/2010 09:05 PM
How about: Performance increase through a beefed up first stage.

Another approach to this might be the use of the RD-180 as main engine for the Taurus 2.  Ed Kyle's EELV lite concept through a roundabout fashion.  Already in exportable production, offers a thrust increase, modest ISP increase.  Do not know whether it offers a sufficient payload increase.  If a larger first stage is a considered path, a factor to consider might be depletion of remaining NK-33 engines and the actual cost of them vs RD-180, whatever that may be.

That NASA domestic RD-180 equivalent proposal might have application across three booster families: the Falcon 9, the Atlas 5, the Taurus 2.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/13/2010 11:35 PM
How about: Performance increase through a beefed up first stage.

Another approach to this might be the use of the RD-180 as main engine for the Taurus 2.  Ed Kyle's EELV lite concept through a roundabout fashion.  Already in exportable production, offers a thrust increase, modest ISP increase.  Do not know whether it offers a sufficient payload increase.  If a larger first stage is a considered path, a factor to consider might be depletion of remaining NK-33 engines and the actual cost of them vs RD-180, whatever that may be.

That NASA domestic RD-180 equivalent proposal might have application across three booster families: the Falcon 9, the Atlas 5, the Taurus 2.

Since Taurus II is plumbed for 2 engines, why not 2 RD-191 engines? No one else is using those, anyway.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/13/2010 11:51 PM
For those speculating on cryogenic upperstages here are some interesting quotes from the past:

Quote
tnphysics - 11/10/2007 4:59 PM Are you considering a cryogenic upper stage for Taurus 2?
I would LOVE to!  A nice, "mini-centaur" based on a single RL-10... yummy! Unfortunately, my peers think it's asking too much for us to go to a large LOX-kerosene CORE AND a cryo US in one step... they are probably right.  So we are currently keeping this idea in the freezer (freezer... cryo.. get it?  get it?) as a "planned (ahem!) product improvement".

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=3911.345

As far as I'm concerned, this is a temporary upper stage until we get the experience, guts, market demand and revenue to buy a decent RL-10 based "mini centaur".  On the other hand, ULA/Boeing/L-M may be interested in sharing a "mini-centaur" with us which we would use as the T 2/Cygnus Stage 2 (no need for a HAPS, then), and they could use as a Stage 3 for EELV high ΔV-low payload mass missions if the ever get one like that... (e.g. another JWST-like thingy or a lunar lander).</p><p>Everybody tells me that working with LH2, once you pay the basic penalties for vacuum-jacketed GSE lines, prechill, recirc, etc. it is actually a breeze.  But that will be a PPI.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/14/2010 12:40 AM
How about: Performance increase through a beefed up first stage.

Another approach to this might be the use of the RD-180 as main engine for the Taurus 2.  Ed Kyle's EELV lite concept through a roundabout fashion.  Already in exportable production, offers a thrust increase, modest ISP increase.  Do not know whether it offers a sufficient payload increase.  If a larger first stage is a considered path, a factor to consider might be depletion of remaining NK-33 engines and the actual cost of them vs RD-180, whatever that may be.

That NASA domestic RD-180 equivalent proposal might have application across three booster families: the Falcon 9, the Atlas 5, the Taurus 2.

Since Taurus II is plumbed for 2 engines, why not 2 RD-191 engines? No one else is using those, anyway.

Based on what I understand, the NK-33 is a superior engine to the RD-191 for this application, and it would be cheaper to put back into production than to change to another engine design.  Add to it that Energia is planning on dusting off the NK-33 for the next generation Soyuz, you have a very interesting situation happening.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/14/2010 02:51 AM
Based on what I understand, the NK-33 is a superior engine to the RD-191 for this application, and it would be cheaper to put back into production than to change to another engine design.  Add to it that Energia is planning on dusting off the NK-33 for the next generation Soyuz, you have a very interesting situation happening.

I was kidding. The NK-33 is a fine engine, and its really, really doubtful that ORB would switch engines at this point, they might was well go with a different rocket if they do that.

As for the upper stage, they need something that can push some 50 tons of prop, metal and payload through the gravity well, if they want to take full advantage of the big first stage. The big mystery to me is why ORB developed a replacement for Delta II that couldn't lift ORB's own comsats to GTO, and if my guess is right, the new upper stage will be able to do precisely that - so we are looking at either a kerosene stage that can also carry a small kick stage for GTO, or else an all hydrogen 2nd stage that can carry ORB's comsats to GTO from Wallops.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 04/14/2010 03:08 AM
They were considering the NK33 on the Soyuz booster for the Kliper program but I'm not sure if that upgrade is stil officially planed.

PPTS is supposed to ride Rus-M vs a upgraded Soyuz like Kliper.

The upgrades for Soyuz were pretty much because of the Kliper program which may or may not still be active.

Since NASA is abandoning constellation and instead is choosing to develop technology for an infrastructure the RSA may switch back to their pre CxP plans.

PPTS was a response to Orion.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/14/2010 12:07 PM
They were considering the NK33 on the Soyuz booster for the Kliper program but I'm not sure if that upgrade is stil officially planed.

PPTS is supposed to ride Rus-M vs a upgraded Soyuz like Kliper.

The upgrades for Soyuz were pretty much because of the Kliper program which may or may not still be active.

Since NASA is abandoning constellation and instead is choosing to develop technology for an infrastructure the RSA may switch back to their pre CxP plans.

PPTS was a response to Orion.
From what I understand, the Soyuz upgrade is still on the table, as a single NK-33 can replace all 20 of the engines currently used in Soyuz first stage + booster.  The idea is also that you can then re-add four more in new boosters for a heavier lift, giving Energia an ability comparable to Proton for a lower price.

This is not the old USSR, they are thinking as capitalists do, how to out-maneuver each other in the launch market.

But this is getting off-track for Taurus II.  I think it is safe to say that if the demand for the NK-33 does indeed pan out, that we shall see efforts to restart production, most likely of the AJ-26 version of the engine.  A hybred, so to say, of US/Russian work. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: libs0n on 04/14/2010 07:56 PM
How about: Performance increase through a beefed up first stage.

Do not know whether it[RD-180] offers a sufficient payload increase. 

Forgot my other idea.  A modular first stage able to accommodate 1 or 2 RD-180s.  Scoop the Atlas Phase 2.  Why this is awesome: first stages are cheap, performance advantages of solid boost with no solids or something.  I have nothing against the AJ-26, I'm just considering different avenues.

edit: Another justification for the performance increase through beefed up first stage option is that Orbital is acquiring expertise in large kerosene first stage system development and integration, and this would be a further extension of that.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/14/2010 08:52 PM
The Taurus II User's Guide has been updated by Orbital Sciences and appears at http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_Guide.pdf as Release 1.3 dated April 2010 (with a .pdf file date of April 6, 2010).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 04/16/2010 05:55 AM
They were considering the NK33 on the Soyuz booster for the Kliper program but I'm not sure if that upgrade is stil officially planed.
From what I understand, the Soyuz upgrade is still on the table, as a single NK-33 can replace all 20 of the engines currently used in Soyuz first stage + booster.  (. . . )
But this is getting off-track for Taurus II.  I think it is safe to say that if the demand for the NK-33 does indeed pan out, that we shall see efforts to restart production, most likely of the AJ-26 version of the engine.
The fate of NK-33 production is very much on-track for Taurus II.

Currently Progress goes full steam ahead with Soyuz-2-1V (renamed from Soyuz-1), e.g. R-7 without the sides. Downix is wrong, one NK-33 cannot replace all of RD-107/108. But it can replace one 108, working as 1-st stage instead of 2-nd stage as in R-7. From what I gather, Soyuz-2-1V project proressed quite a bit, but unfortunately the rocket gets fatter and fatter all the time. The idea to use the old R-7 diameters and fixtures is abandoned long ago; we're talking about using the old launch tables only (and Blok-I and payload fairings, thank god).

As the rocket gets fatter, the thrust of NK-33 gets insufficient. So, the latest decision is to forego development of a gimball and use a modified vernier engine (I forgot its index - RD-0124R ?), which adds some extra thrust as well. Mind, this way the development of the steering is moved in-house from SNTK to Progress. This is not a good signal.

Another bad signal is, there was going to be an auction to sell the land on which SNTK sits, in March. I don't know what came out of it. If that goes ahead, NK-33 cannot be recovered. Some people say that it may be possible to build them on engine-building plants without SNTK per se, others say it's an utter fantasy.

If I were Dave Thompson, I would seriously talk to Aerojet about starting making AJ-26. It seems more realistic than recuscitation of SNTK - even with Soyuz-2-1V flying. That is my IMHO though.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 04/16/2010 02:37 PM
Pete, if I read it correctly the "Currently..." and "As the rocket..." paragraphs are not related to Taurus II.  Is that accurate?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 04/16/2010 03:56 PM
Interesting.  This thread has morphed into "Nifty Things We Could Do With Russian Rocket Engines."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 04/17/2010 12:18 AM
Pete, if I read it correctly the "Currently..." and "As the rocket..." paragraphs are not related to Taurus II.  Is that accurate?
Not accurate. Happenings with Russian users of NK-33 is a predictor for the restoration of production in Russia, albeit a shaky one. Thus a direct import into the future viability of Taurus II.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: tobi453 on 04/17/2010 04:00 PM
Does Taurus II have an onboard camera like Shuttle, Falcon, Atlas and other rockets?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 04/17/2010 04:04 PM
It does if you put one on it, just like those other vehicles.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 04/18/2010 08:08 PM
It'll be a nice test of system integration vs. in-house design. I'm not as confident as you are that the former is superior. Let's wait and see.
For that comparison, remember that Taurus II was started a number of years after F9. For the time from conception to flight to be equal, Orbital would have to fly about 3 years after SpaceX by my count.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/18/2010 11:19 PM
It'll be a nice test of system integration vs. in-house design. I'm not as confident as you are that the former is superior. Let's wait and see.
For that comparison, remember that Taurus II was started a number of years after F9. For the time from conception to flight to be equal, Orbital would have to fly about 3 years after SpaceX by my count.


Well to comment on SpaceX , they started from scratch on Dragon as the company has never built any sort of spacecraft while orbital is using a derivative of a satellite bus for Cygnus.  Also orbital is using the existing NK-33 engine while SpaceX had to develop the Merlin IC (although they used the Falcon 1), and for the upper-stage the Castor 33 is a derivative of the Castor 120, while SpaceX opted for a liquid design and a new engine (Merlin Vacuum)

Orbital will not take as long to develop their rocket as SpaceX as they are utilizing existing components as well as leveraging industrial expertise of other companies. That is not to say orbital has an easier time, simply stating they picked an optimal design for less development time than the in-house SpaceX design. I wonder how long till SpaceX will insist on using in-house experience only.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 04/18/2010 11:58 PM
Well, SpaceX originally bought that Dragon design, too, although that was just a prototype/mockup.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 04/19/2010 05:10 PM
I wonder how long till SpaceX will insist on using in-house experience only.

Probably as long as it makes business sense. Both vehicles are innovative in their own way. OSC obviously has to go through more infrastructure work to get a pad ready, but all the parts are there.

I think both systems will compliment each other. At least for cargo, all eggs will not be in the same basket.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: agman25 on 04/19/2010 05:19 PM
Cygnus on show...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/photos/photopage.jsp?plckPhotoID=c93fcf96-6329-4191-817f-14d86ff1183a&plckGalleryID=23c19083-0daa-4d3c-bcec-b49e8ebecb6b&plckGalleryID=23c19083-0daa-4d3c-bcec-b49e8ebecb6b
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 04/19/2010 05:21 PM
Looks like it has three arms flipping-the-bird to the camera man, up top.

:)

Seriouslly, really cool to see the mockup. Wish I could have seen it in person.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/28/2010 06:14 PM
Aerojet and UEC Take Next Steps in Cooperation on Rocket Engines for Space Launch Market
Russian NK-33 engine and its U.S. Commercial Derivative AJ26 Offer Customers High Performance and Durability at a Competitive Price

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, and its Russian partner United Engine Corporation (UEC), announced today the signing of a cooperation agreement regarding their next steps in the companies' cooperative efforts to provide NK-33 and AJ26 rocket engines to the commercial launch market.

Read more at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aerojet-and-uec-take-next-steps-in-cooperation-on-rocket-engines-for-space-launch-market-92261669.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/30/2010 12:58 PM
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aerojet-and-florida-turbine-technologies-join-in-strategic-partnership-to-develop-nasas-new-rocket-engines-92450414.html

Aerojet and Florida Turbine Technologies Join in Strategic Partnership to Develop NASA's New Rocket Engines

"Aerojet, a GenCorp company, and Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT) announced today that the companies have entered into a strategic partnership to compete for research, development and production on NASA's new hydrocarbon engine and advanced upper stage engine.  This expands the very successful teamwork that Aerojet and FTT have underway on the U.S. Air Force Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator (HBTD) and Upper Stage Engine Technology (USET) programs."

"Aerojet and FTT will provide the innovation to expand this effort into a comprehensive engine development program that provides transformational propulsion capability for NASA, DoD and commercial launch vehicles."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/30/2010 05:20 PM
Orbital Sciences has posted its April 2010 Taurus II progress update at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonth on 04/30/2010 05:28 PM
Orbital Sciences has posted its April 2010 Taurus II progress update at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

Well, the first launch seems to have slipped officially to late Q2 2011. That's still ok of course, considering Orbital might actually use the first COTS Demo as an actual delivery flight to the ISS.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 05/13/2010 06:08 PM
Hey, everyone's favorite Taurus II watcher here...

It looks like the new version of the TII brochure is showing a new version of the Enhanced upper stage.  Twin engines, separated tank structure with lattices.  Sort of Delta IV, sort of Russian.

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_Fact.pdf

And the User's Guide is offline.

Any news brewing?

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 05/14/2010 04:48 PM
Hey, everyone's favorite Taurus II watcher here...

It looks like the new version of the TII brochure is showing a new version of the Enhanced upper stage.  Twin engines, separated tank structure with lattices.  Sort of Delta IV, sort of Russian.

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_Fact.pdf

And the User's Guide is offline.

Any news brewing?



The user's guide, with a posting date of 6 April 2010, is still on-line.
The fact sheet to which Just-Nick referred carries a posting date of 8 April 2010.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/14/2010 04:53 PM
Hey, everyone's favorite Taurus II watcher here...

It looks like the new version of the TII brochure is showing a new version of the Enhanced upper stage.  Twin engines, separated tank structure with lattices.  Sort of Delta IV, sort of Russian.

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/TaurusII_Fact.pdf

And the User's Guide is offline.

Any news brewing?



The user's guide, with a posting date of 6 April 2010, is still on-line.
The fact sheet to which Just-Nick referred carries a posting date of 8 April 2010.

Do you have a link to the UG?  I get "page not found" with http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_UG.pdf

EDIT:  Never mind - found it!
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_II_Guide.pdf

After looking at this, I'm believing that the Enhanced stage does not use RL10 or liquid hydrogen.  The performance described seems to mesh better with an upper stage working at 330-340 sec specific impulse and 10 to 20 tonnes thrust.  Something like half of an RD-0110 (LOX/kerosene), or some type of pump-fed hypergolic engine.  In other words, no existing U.S. engine - though it would make sense for Aerojet to be involved in this somehow.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 05/14/2010 08:15 PM
May be two RD-58M or two 11D33?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/24/2010 04:35 AM
How about AJ-10, it is an engine with substantial flight history and powers the delta II upper stage right now plus it is an artojet engine.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/24/2010 05:04 AM
How about AJ-10, it is an engine with substantial flight history and powers the delta II upper stage right now plus it is an artojet engine.

Always a possibility, but I haven't been able to model a solution to the claimed payload using AJ-10.  AJ-10 is a pressure-fed engine, which means relatively low thrust compared to the needs here and higher dry mass for the stage. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 05/24/2010 05:20 AM
Antonioe discussed the AJ-10 previously in this thread, starting around http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg566992#msg566992
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 05/24/2010 06:26 PM
Here's an idea: LR-91. Sure, it's far-fetched, but... we're already talking about restoring the production of NK-33, which is equally old and dead. At least Aerojet still exists, more so than SNTK. Or even better, re-profile LR-91 to use RP-1 and LOX (if I'm not very confused, they changed LR-87 in the other direction, so it's only the question of money).

This idea occured to me yesterday, when I examined an old and beaten-up Titan II laying in the backyard of a local museum. It's so cute. Also, despite being dragged around the trash piles for decades it looks ready to fly. Wikipedia says that 20 more Titans may be remaining in Arizona somewhere; buy their 2nd stages as surplus and... voila!

Ed Kyle's library says (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/titan2.html) that although the engine with 45tf thrust (and possibly whole stage) is basically a shoe-in for Taurus II, the payload of Titan 23G was only 1800kg. Same place lists LR-91 Isp as 316. Something is amiss, clealy we want more than 2t of payload in Taurus II.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 05/24/2010 09:48 PM
Titan I:
Quote
Motor: 1 x LR91-3. Thrust (vac): 355.863 kN (80,001 lbf). Isp: 308 sec. Burn time: 225 sec.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/titan.htm
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 05/24/2010 10:32 PM
Titan I:
Quote
Motor: 1 x LR91-3. Thrust (vac): 355.863 kN (80,001 lbf). Isp: 308 sec. Burn time: 225 sec.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/titan.htm
What does Titan I have with anything? It's not like any of them are in storage anymore. For Titan II, same source that you quoted agrees with Kyle:
Quote
Motor: 1 x LR91-7. Thrust (vac): 444.819 kN (99,999 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 180 sec.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 05/25/2010 12:19 PM
What does Titan I have with anything?
It's kerolox
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/25/2010 01:03 PM
What does Titan I have with anything?
It's kerolox
I believe there is another NSF thread that pointed out that all* the Titan I's in storage where scrapped at some point in the 70's.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 05/29/2010 01:54 AM
Orbital Sciences has issued its May 2010 progress update report for the Taurus II launch vehicle.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 05/29/2010 05:54 PM
Orbital is more of a satellite company than a launch vehicle company.

Yet, the first two products developed by Orbital were the Transfer Orbit Stage (development started in Dec 1986, first of only two flights 12 Sep 1992) and Pegasus (development started in summer of 1987, first flight April 5, 1990)

Quote
Satellites are more expensive than launch vehicles.

... but a launch vehicle plus a satellite does not a space mission make!  You are missing the satellite's payload (as distinct from the satellite bus) and, in most cases, the ground infrastructure required to use it, which in some cases may include thousands and thousands of user devices (GPS receivers, Iridium handsets, VSat terminals, etc, etc.)

In the National Security world, an approximate "rule of five" applies: 20% for the satellite bus, 20% for the satellite payload, 20% for the launch services, 20% for the ground system(s) and 20% for the Systems Engineering and other "glue" keeping the whole Shabang together (emphasis on the approximate nature of these 20%'s)

Note that Orbital does three out of those five things: buses, launch services (or rockets, for those customers that just buy the rocket) and "glue" (integration).  We do not do payloads or ground systems.

Notice that some of this also applies to, say, ISS cargo resupply: arguably the SM is the bus and the PCM (or other cargo modules) is the "payload" (certainly it is when filled with cargo... :) ).  We also build Taurus II and, last but not least, the ground infrastructure needed to properly store the cargo in the PCM and fly the darn thing to ISS and down to its fiery demise.  Then we do the systems engineering to make the whole thing dance together, such as sizing Taurus II to match the smalles economically efficient spacecraft size

As I think I have said before, people tend to forget you do need tires when you buy a car...

Quote
They could afford to basically give away launches if they built the payload.

Not if it's 20% of the cost!!!

Quote
If there is significant elasticity of demand in the satellite market when it comes to launch prices,

Uhhh... I'm not sure I understand what you mean here, but let me give it a try:

Commercially, there is VERY LITTLE elasticity for space systems in general.  Let me illustrate: the "killer app" in commercial space has always been communications, both phone and, increasingly, direct TV.  Futron Corporation issued a report a few years ago (“How Much of An Impact Do Launch Prices Really Have on the Cost of Satellite Services?”
 November 14th, 2002 - I have a copy  but, sorry, I can't port it) where they showed that the percentage of the cost of VSat services (what say, gas stations use to process credit cards in the middle of nowhere) - due to the cost of launching the satellites that transmit the signal was something like 3%.  So, if launch became free, the gas station's bill would lower by 3%.  How many more subscribers do you think a 3% cost reduction will bring?

In the case of voice (phone) services, the percentage is 0.2%...

Quote
then they may make a lot of money this way, even if SpaceX costs less (heck, maybe even ESPECIALLY if SpaceX is able to lower costs like they claim they can... more money to be spent launching more satellites that Orbital can build!).

You mean, would Orbital benefit if SpaceX manages to sell their launches for what they are advertising without going bankrupt?  Absolutely yes!!!  And if we were certain they would be able to do so, we would not waste our money on Taurus II (with emphasis on the economic, not the technical difficulty).


The Futron Company report titled “How Much of An Impact Do Launch Prices Really Have on the Cost of Satellite Services?” can be read at http://www1.futron.com/pdf/resource_center/articles/gearingfactor.pdf.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/05/2010 11:05 PM
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 06/30/2010 08:28 PM
Orbital Sciences has issued its June 2010 progress update report for the Taurus II launch vehicle.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

Best wishes to all for a most inspiring Independence Day holiday in the USA!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/01/2010 12:30 PM
Typo on the update:

Quote
...Meabwhile, a little...

Nice update, can not wait to see the Taurus II go orbital.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 07/09/2010 09:03 PM
I just noticed that the CRS contract for Orbital is actually available online (milestones payments are on page 27 of the main contract but have been redacted):
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/news/contracts/NNJ09GA02B/NNJ09GA02B.html

P.S. For other contracts, see here:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/news/contracts/index.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: marsavian on 07/14/2010 10:08 AM
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/

More Taurus 2 launch sites, including Florida, could also be required if Orbital signs deals to launch a large number of satellite payloads on the Taurus 2, according to Culbertson. Other locations under review include Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Kodiak Island, Alaska, for polar orbit launches.

Culbertson, a former astronaut, said Orbital is still discussing opportunities to launch the Taurus 2 from several facilities at Cape Canaveral.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 07/14/2010 11:08 AM
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/

Culbertson, a former astronaut, said Orbital is still discussing opportunities to launch the Taurus 2 from several facilities at Cape Canaveral.

SLC-36 or LC-17 (once Delta-II has retired)?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: GClark on 07/14/2010 11:28 AM
IIRC, LC-36 has space (acreage) issues vis-a-vis the Taurus II.

Just about any pad on ICBM row would work just as well, assuming the AF will let you at one of them.

LC-34, anyone?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 07/14/2010 11:44 AM
IIRC, LC-36 has space (acreage) issues vis-a-vis the Taurus II.

Just about any pad on ICBM row would work just as well, assuming the AF will let you at one of them.

LC-34, anyone?

Too close to LC-37.  LC-36 is the choice
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/14/2010 06:13 PM
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/
Includes the quote "Orbital Sciences Corp. could reevaluate moving some of its Taurus 2 rocket missions from Virgina to Florida if the company wins a contract to launch astronauts"

A big "if" indeed!

  Interesting, isn't it, that this story is released just before Sen. Nelson's NASA budget plan vote?

Orbital made its launch site choice several years ago, snubbing Sen. Nelson's state in the process.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/15/2010 05:23 AM
Culbertson was doing a lunch talk to some Florida space group that had been planned for months.  No coincidence.

IMO, it's an interesting juxtaposition where Elon has admitted Falcon 9 needs to walk before running versus this line of marketing.  Mr Culbertson seems to be playing to the crowd - nevermind the comparatively small amount of lift of his rocket compared to that of Falcon 9.  F9 may not be able to lift the Shuttle-sized crew in the animations, but T2 would have a real problem with any modern capsule containing crew on the way up.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/15/2010 02:30 PM
Culbertson was doing a lunch talk to some Florida space group that had been planned for months.  No coincidence.

IMO, it's an interesting juxtaposition where Elon has admitted Falcon 9 needs to walk before running versus this line of marketing.  Mr Culbertson seems to be playing to the crowd - nevermind the comparatively small amount of lift of his rocket compared to that of Falcon 9.  F9 may not be able to lift the Shuttle-sized crew in the animations, but T2 would have a real problem with any modern capsule containing crew on the way up.

Taurus 2 with an enhanced stage could lift 7 tonnes to 200 km LEO (nearly Soyuz-class) - IF it was launched from the Cape.  SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed. 

Clearly both companies would have work to do to provide crewed options.  Even then, the options would be substantially limited, mass-wise, compared to EELV Heavy or Ares I, etc. 

Think about it this way - either option would leave the U.S. with a crew carrying spacecraft that would be less capable than those of Russia and China.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 07/15/2010 05:51 PM
SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort. 

There's engineering effort and then there's the vehicle actually being maxed out at 7 tons. T-II is the latter case while F9 is presumably the former.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 07/15/2010 07:18 PM
Culbertson was doing a lunch talk to some Florida space group that had been planned for months.  No coincidence.

IMO, it's an interesting juxtaposition where Elon has admitted Falcon 9 needs to walk before running versus this line of marketing.  Mr Culbertson seems to be playing to the crowd - nevermind the comparatively small amount of lift of his rocket compared to that of Falcon 9.  F9 may not be able to lift the Shuttle-sized crew in the animations, but T2 would have a real problem with any modern capsule containing crew on the way up.

Taurus 2 with an enhanced stage could lift 7 tonnes to 200 km LEO (nearly Soyuz-class) - IF it was launched from the Cape.  SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed. 

Clearly both companies would have work to do to provide crewed options.  Even then, the options would be substantially limited, mass-wise, compared to EELV Heavy or Ares I, etc. 

Think about it this way - either option would leave the U.S. with a crew carrying spacecraft that would be less capable than those of Russia and China.

 - Ed Kyle

I maintain this is the wrong way to think about the issue.  Few would say a lighter aircraft is less capable than a heavier aircraft, if both performed the same mission, but one used advanced technology (modern avionics, composites) to reduce the weight.  The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be, creating the potential for more frequent launches at lower overall expenditures or higher profits.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/15/2010 07:22 PM
SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed.

Where does that 6.8mT number come from?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: clongton on 07/15/2010 08:29 PM
The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be...

Not necessarily. It depends on why it's lighter. If exotic materials were used or exotic new processes were employed in manufacturing, these could be overall more costly.

My point is that you can't make a blanket statement like that without qualifications.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 07/15/2010 09:26 PM
The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be...

Not necessarily. It depends on why it's lighter. If exotic materials were used or exotic new processes were employed in manufacturing, these could be overall more costly.

My point is that you can't make a blanket statement like that without qualifications.

Everything can be qualified, all the time.  But many analysts have made their livings arguing that the weight of a launch vehicle (and virtually all other aerospace systems) determines final cost.  I can take either side of that argument, depending on who is paying.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/15/2010 11:39 PM
I don't believe the published performance numbers of either F9 or T2.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/16/2010 01:01 AM
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/
Includes the quote "Orbital Sciences Corp. could reevaluate moving some of its Taurus 2 rocket missions from Virgina to Florida if the company wins a contract to launch astronauts"

A big "if" indeed!

  Interesting, isn't it, that this story is released just before Sen. Nelson's NASA budget plan vote?

Orbital made its launch site choice several years ago, snubbing Sen. Nelson's state in the process.

 - Ed Kyle

OSC has previously stated both in presentation to the Augustine Commission and even in person to me that they are just concentrating on cargo right now, so I would not get your hopes up too high.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/16/2010 04:00 AM
SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed.

Where does that 6.8mT number come from?

Section 4.1 of the 2009 Falcon 9 User's Guide.  Full performance was listed at 10.45 tonnes in the same document.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/16/2010 04:04 AM
I maintain this is the wrong way to think about the issue.  Few would say a lighter aircraft is less capable than a heavier aircraft, if both performed the same mission, but one used advanced technology (modern avionics, composites) to reduce the weight.  The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be, creating the potential for more frequent launches at lower overall expenditures or higher profits.

A larger percentage of spacecraft mass is propellant.  More propellant means more delta-v, all other things being equal.  More delta-v means more in-space maneuvering and/or more time on-orbit.  When it comes to human spacecraft, all other things are roughly equal since a big part of the dry mass consists of things like heat shield, oxygen to breath, water to drink, space suits and people and parachutes to return safely, etc.. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/16/2010 05:38 AM
Section 4.1 of the 2009 Falcon 9 User's Guide.  Full performance was listed at 10.45 tonnes in the same document.

Thanks. I don't think they were saying it will require engineering effort, just that customers need to check to be sure. It does not inspire full confidence in their numbers of course.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 07/20/2010 06:25 PM
Orbital has a July 2010 update posting, titled "AJ26 Cold-Flow Test Engine Arrives at Stennis," available for reading at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/24/2010 02:32 AM
Here's a picture taken by Frank Culbertson of the engine to be used in the cold-flow test being mounted on the test stand at Stennis under the watchful eye of good ol' J.R. in his inevitable dark business suit
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/24/2010 02:35 AM
After the last meeting at Wallops (Frank C. and I flew on the 310) Frank took some pictures of the launch pad under construction, with yours truly beaming.  Also, the incredible water tower we put up for the water deluge system.  According to Frank, who has done some research, at 299.5 feet from base to top of tank THIS MAY BE THE TALLEST WATER TANK IN THE WORLD!!!

As you can see, it's still unpainted.  With Bill W.'s permisison, we are running a contest for the best paint scheme.  Any ideas?...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Namechange User on 07/24/2010 02:43 AM
Any ideas?...


You could paint it like the Disney MGM Studios tower.  You may then confuse people enough who ask why you are not launching out of Florida.  ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/24/2010 02:47 AM
After the meeting, we departed WFF VFR and overflew the island:  I flew the plane while Frank C., who is quite a shutterbug, took the pics.  We flew once over the water, with the sun in our face, then circled for a second pass over the sound, with the sun behind our back as it should be.  Unfortunately I did not copy from Frank's camera the latter pictures, so here are a couple with the sun on our (the camera's) face.  I will get the other ones on Monday and perhaps post them.

First, the HIF (Horizontal Integration Facility) with the steelwork completed.  It's hard to gauge the size of that building, but you can fit THREE Taurus II's init...  notice how darn close to the shoreline it is!!!

Next, the Launch Pad complex, showing the ramp almost completed, the flame trench angled towards the sea, and the humongous water tower.

Finally, a view from the south, with the sun now to our left, showing the other pad (0B) where the Minotaurs are launched from, the new pad 0A and, at a distance, the HIF, behind the white water sphere.  Between the white water tank and the HIF, and to the left, is the causeway that leads to the island, and the building next to radar domes is where we meet.  We are turning westbound so the sun angle is improving.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/24/2010 02:56 AM
There are two camera arms two-third of the way up the two legs of the water tower closest to the pad... I wonder if we could install a remote-control camera at the very top of the tower, looking down on the rocket and then panning up during liftoff... that would make for some really spectacular video...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: MP99 on 07/24/2010 09:30 AM
After the last meeting at Wallops (Frank C. and I flew on the 310) Frank took some pictures of the launch pad under construction, with yours truly beaming.  Also, the incredible water tower we put up for the water deluge system.  According to Frank, who has done some research, at 299.5 feet from base to top of tank THIS MAY BE THE TALLEST WATER TANK IN THE WORLD!!!

I bet there's a water tank somewhere near the top of the Empire State building.

Tallest water tower?

Oh, and BTW, what engineer thought "let's make this just slightly under 300ft tall". Really, couldn't have found an excuse to add six inches to the height?  ;D

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: DavisSTS on 07/24/2010 10:18 AM
After the last meeting at Wallops (Frank C. and I flew on the 310) Frank took some pictures of the launch pad under construction, with yours truly beaming.  Also, the incredible water tower we put up for the water deluge system.  According to Frank, who has done some research, at 299.5 feet from base to top of tank THIS MAY BE THE TALLEST WATER TANK IN THE WORLD!!!

As you can see, it's still unpainted.  With Bill W.'s permisison, we are running a contest for the best paint scheme.  Any ideas?...


Awesome photos!

I would say White with a Red tank at the top.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: David AF on 07/24/2010 11:00 AM
Red, White and Blue of course, Antonio! :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mrhuggy on 07/24/2010 12:33 PM
There are two camera arms two-third of the way up the two legs of the water tower closest to the pad... I wonder if we could install a remote-control camera at the very top of the tower, looking down on the rocket and then panning up during liftoff... that would make for some really spectacular video...

That would be a good veiw. I have one question about the water tower, why so tall?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/24/2010 02:58 PM
Gravity head.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 07/24/2010 03:35 PM
Oh, and BTW, what engineer thought "let's make this just slightly under 300ft tall". Really, couldn't have found an excuse to add six inches to the height?  ;D

It probably was 300 ft tall in modelling data. In the real world, things usually don't match the optimistic performance expectations.  ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/25/2010 01:42 AM
Very nice photos. I can guess what colors Antonio would prefer, a certain La Liga team, possibly ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/25/2010 11:08 PM
Oh, and BTW, what engineer thought "let's make this just slightly under 300ft tall". Really, couldn't have found an excuse to add six inches to the height?  ;D

Frank C. already suggested it needs a fifteen or so feet tall lightning rod/aircraft beacon on top...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/25/2010 11:09 PM
Very nice photos. I can guess what colors Antonio would prefer, a certain La Liga team, possibly ;)

Why,  white and red  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletic_Bilbao), of course!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Malderi on 07/26/2010 05:54 PM
Are you concerned at all about hurricane storm surges, being so close to shore? Any sort of steps you're taking to mitigate that, that you can talk about?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 07/26/2010 06:28 PM
Gravity head.

It's also very conservatively designed, according to a friend that's worked on this and LC-39's sound suppression system. Not that conservativism is anything close to a bad thing.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/26/2010 07:05 PM
After the last meeting at Wallops (Frank C. and I flew on the 310) Frank took some pictures of the launch pad under construction, with yours truly beaming.  Also, the incredible water tower we put up for the water deluge system.  According to Frank, who has done some research, at 299.5 feet from base to top of tank THIS MAY BE THE TALLEST WATER TANK IN THE WORLD!!!

As you can see, it's still unpainted.  With Bill W.'s permisison, we are running a contest for the best paint scheme.  Any ideas?...


Practical idea:  Paint it white, then put an OSC Logo and the Cygnus logo on the tank.

Purely fantastical: half the height burnt orange and the other Chicago Maroon instead of the white.  and add a VT logo in there somewhere
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 07/26/2010 07:50 PM
Please paint the Eye of Sauron on it.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bolun on 07/26/2010 08:31 PM
Very nice photos. I can guess what colors Antonio would prefer, a certain La Liga team, possibly ;)

Why,  white and red  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletic_Bilbao), of course!


http://www.athletic-club.net/web/main.asp?a=0&b=0&c=0&d=0&idi=2

Of course!  ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 07/26/2010 09:39 PM
Are you concerned at all about hurricane storm surges, being so close to shore? Any sort of steps you're taking to mitigate that, that you can talk about?

Yes, please review http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/shoreline_eis.html for steps that NASA is taking.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 07/26/2010 09:45 PM
Orbital has further information regarding "Updated Taurus II and COTS/CRS Development & Flight Milestones"  for July 2010 that can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 01:58 AM
... According to Frank, who has done some research, at 299.5 feet from base to top of tank ...
Oh, and BTW, what engineer thought "let's make this just slightly under 300ft tall"....

Stop the presses!!!... Brent Collins reports that the height form the base to the top of the something-or-other (tank dome?  flashing light? dilithium crystal?) is 303 feet!!! ;D

He also reports that it holds some 250,000 gal of water, and I believe we can dump all that water in about 40 seconds...

I will report verified values for all the above numbers as soon as I can get them.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 02:14 AM
Quote from: several posters
...After looking at this, I'm believing that the Enhanced stage does not use RL10 or liquid hydrogen.  The performance described seems to mesh better with an upper stage working at 330-340 sec specific impulse and 10 to 20 tonnes thrust.  Something like half of an RD-0110 (LOX/kerosene), or some type of pump-fed hypergolic engine.  In other words, no existing U.S. engine - though it would make sense for Aerojet to be involved in this somehow...

...May be two RD-58M or two 11D33?...

...How about AJ-10, it is an engine with substantial flight history and powers the delta II upper stage right now plus it is an artojet engine...

...Here's an idea: LR-91...

There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: nooneofconsequence on 07/27/2010 02:52 AM
Not Merlin 1C vacuum?  :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jimvela on 07/27/2010 03:07 AM
Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

Wow that is a very interesting turn of events...

An all liquid launcher, man ratable, GEO capable, from Wallops...

Now, can we please get those next two Minotaur off the ground, please... pretty please...

:-)

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kch on 07/27/2010 03:25 AM
Please paint the Eye of Sauron on it.

You do realize, I hope, that two or more such towers (with said paint-job) would make Wallops a "site for Saur-Eyes" ... ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: MP99 on 07/27/2010 07:56 AM
My first thought had been just the torch...

But with a little more effort...

cheers, Martin

(Wikipedia image. Larger version here (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/StatueofLibertyBlickOst.png)).
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d5/StatueofLibertyBlickOst.png/399px-StatueofLibertyBlickOst.png)

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/27/2010 12:28 PM
He also reports that it holds some 250,000 gal of water, and I believe we can dump all that water in about 40 seconds...


Well, if the Taurus II doesn't work out, you have all the makings for an awesome water park ride ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 07/27/2010 12:40 PM

There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

Cool stuff. Would have preferred the RL-10 too (such a sweet little engine), but it's neat to hear about the progress on the T-IIe. Was it the hassle of working with LH2 that killed it, or were there other concerns above and beyond that?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/27/2010 02:07 PM
There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

This rocket, powered by two Russian rocket engines with a Ukrainian-built first stage, will be bought, for ISS missions, with U.S. taxpayer funding.  Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability. 

Given that Congress is pushing to save U.S. space jobs in the current NASA budget fight, how can this outsourced rocket maintain political support?  Or, perhaps, cuts in commercial crew funding in both bills is a sign that it already has lost the fight?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: pippin on 07/27/2010 02:08 PM
Cool stuff. Would have preferred the RL-10 too (such a sweet little engine), but it's neat to hear about the progress on the T-IIe. Was it the hassle of working with LH2 that killed it, or were there other concerns above and beyond that?
$$$?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 07/27/2010 03:04 PM
There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

This rocket, powered by two Russian rocket engines with a Ukrainian-built first stage, will be bought, for ISS missions, with U.S. taxpayer funding.  Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability. 

Given that Congress is pushing to save U.S. space jobs in the current NASA budget fight, how can this outsourced rocket maintain political support?  Or, perhaps, cuts in commercial crew funding in both bills is a sign that it already has lost the fight?

 - Ed Kyle

My guess is that they have to reduce costs as much as possible in order to be able to compete with SpaceX and ULA/Boeing, etc. in order to obtain some of the reduced commercial crew development funds. Orbital was initially asking $3B to manrate the Taurus II. They are not going to get $3B.  So reducing the cost of the upper stage is a big factor for them.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/27/2010 03:17 PM
Given that Congress is pushing to save U.S. space jobs in the current NASA budget fight, how can this outsourced rocket maintain political support?  Or, perhaps, cuts in commercial crew funding in both bills is a sign that it already has lost the fight?

It seems that the voters and the companies only want to maintain Shuttle jobs.  If they were willing to adapt, they should not have sent signals that they aren't in railing against commercialization.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 07/27/2010 03:20 PM

$$$?

RL-10 is pretty cheap. Maybe the RD0124 is a steal of a deal though.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 07/27/2010 03:45 PM

There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

Cool stuff. Would have preferred the RL-10 too (such a sweet little engine), but it's neat to hear about the progress on the T-IIe. Was it the hassle of working with LH2 that killed it, or were there other concerns above and beyond that?
RL-10 lacks the thrust, simple as that.  The RD-0120 will be a fine engine. Of course you realize that this now means that the Taurus II will run main engines from both russian super heavy lift rockets.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 07/27/2010 03:56 PM

There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

Cool stuff. Would have preferred the RL-10 too (such a sweet little engine), but it's neat to hear about the progress on the T-IIe. Was it the hassle of working with LH2 that killed it, or were there other concerns above and beyond that?
RL-10 lacks the thrust, simple as that.  The RD-0120 will be a fine engine. Of course you realize that this now means that the Taurus II will run main engines from both russian super heavy lift rockets.

0124, not 0120...big difference. ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: strangequark on 07/27/2010 04:02 PM
RL-10 lacks the thrust, simple as that.  The RD-0120 will be a fine engine. Of course you realize that this now means that the Taurus II will run main engines from both russian super heavy lift rockets.

RD-0124 is only a couple of RL-10's of thrust or so.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 07/27/2010 04:05 PM
RL-10 lacks the thrust, simple as that.  The RD-0120 will be a fine engine. Of course you realize that this now means that the Taurus II will run main engines from both russian super heavy lift rockets.

RD-0124 is only a couple of RL-10's of thrust or so.
My goof.  But it is still cheaper to use 1 engine than 4.  If the RL-60 had been completed, it likely would have been at least considered.  But the RD-0124 is not fully cryogenic, and uses the same fuel as the AJ-26, so makes logistics simpler.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 05:18 PM
Orbital was initially asking $3B to manrate the Taurus II.

Uhhh... not quite an accurate quote.  We said (rather, Frank and I have been saying - this is NOT the result of exhaustive planning and analysis) that developing a commercial crew transportation to ISS capability is likely to cost 5 times as much as develping a commercial cargo to ISS capability.  Now, we (Orbital, NASA, Virginia) are spending about $600M in Taurus II, Cygnus, WFF, COTS demo flight etc. etc. so the possible price tag for the equivalent is about $3B, but that includes not only Taurus II mods, but LAS, spacecraft, crew-friendly launch pad and service tower somewhere - Florida? (the WFF Taurus II operations does not use a service structure at all), etc. etc. - see the "oh, so you want tires with that car?" message in another thread.

Taurus II "manrating" ("personrating"?) by itself may be one or two $100's of the $3B, mostly redundant avionics, added instrumentation and added structural design/testing both at Dnipropetrovsk (S1) and Chandler (S2).  I don't think the NK-33's need much additional work, except perhaps added instrumentation.  If you MUST add a dedicated, instrumented flight to acheive this rating, add another $80M - $100M or so.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 06:44 PM
Now, for something completely different...

Yesterday I left the office to go home, turning right out of Steeplechase Drive onto Rt 28 North - my house is in the opposite direction, but they've partially closed down the intersection so now I have to drive north about 0.75 miles to reverse direction at the Nokes Blvd overpass (don't try to find these changes on Google Earth - they are so new the pictures still show the old traffic light intersections).

As I turn North, I see something happening on the right curb, just before the overpass... road construction?... no, it's a large load parked to the side...

As I get closer I realize it's a large tank, white, with lots of shiny hardware sticking out of it... an Oxygen tank?  For a Hospital?  A factory?  No... it's waaay too big...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 07:30 PM
So I get closer... yes, it's an oxygen tank... why, it looks like a LIQUID Oxygen tank... actually, it's a HUMONGOUS liquid oxygen tank.... Jeesh, you could fill a Taurus II from it...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 07:32 PM
I pull over to a side... OMYGOSH!!!! It *IS* our LOX tank!!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 07:35 PM
I pick up the phone - Marcy Taylor is not there.  Kurt Eberly doesn't answer.  Finally I get Brent Collins: "yes, it's our tank, the one MARS bought from down south... it's been on the road for several weeks now... I'm told they are tying to find a way through Maryland... no, it's just pure coincidence that it's stuck less than a mile from Orbital Headquarters... I'll try to find out more about it."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: neilh on 07/27/2010 07:38 PM
Thank you very much for the updates, Antonio! It seems like in the past few years Orbital has been the spaceflight company that we've heard the least about, and it's really great to hear about the progress you all have been making.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/27/2010 07:38 PM
Great pictures! Lots of interesting bits sticking out from the tank, any chance we'll get to see an annotated version?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 07/27/2010 07:39 PM
Orbital was initially asking $3B to manrate the Taurus II.

Uhhh... not quite an accurate quote.  We said (rather, Frank and I have been saying - this is NOT the result of exhaustive planning and analysis) that developing a commercial crew transportation to ISS capability is likely to cost 5 times as much as develping a commercial cargo to ISS capability.  Now, we (Orbital, NASA, Virginia) are spending about $600M in Taurus II, Cygnus, WFF, COTS demo flight etc. etc. so the possible price tag for the equivalent is about $3B, but that includes not only Taurus II mods, but LAS, spacecraft, crew-friendly launch pad and service tower somewhere - Florida? (the WFF Taurus II operations does not use a service structure at all), etc. etc. - see the "oh, so you want tires with that car?" message in another thread.

Taurus II "manrating" ("personrating"?) by itself may be one or two $100's of the $3B, mostly redundant avionics, added instrumentation and added structural design/testing both at Dnipropetrovsk (S1) and Chandler (S2).  I don't think the NK-33's need much additional work, except perhaps added instrumentation.  If you MUST add a dedicated, instrumented flight to acheive this rating, add another $80M - $100M or so.

OK, thanks for the clarification. Very informative. I said "manrate" but I actually meant $3B of funding for commercial crew. But from your comments, I see that you are not asking $3B of funding for commercial crew either.

I suppose that you should take out from your total, the costs of the launch pad and the service tower which could possibly be funded under the NASA launch support and infrastructure modernization program of the Senate bill. In other words, I would imagine that these costs would probably not be part of the commercial crew development funds.   

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 07:43 PM
Then I get this e-mail from Marcy:

"The LO2 tank is currently parked on Rt 28 at the Nokes Blvd exit.  The transporters have a problem with the turn table at the back of the carrier.

The plan is for Digging & Rigging to lift the tank in its current location to allow the pins to be re-welded at the rear of the turn table.  After this is complete, they will move the tank ~10 miles to a less congested location and conduct a more thorough inspection.  If everything is ok, the tank will continue on its way but there is a potential that they will need a replacement turntable (contingency plans are being worked by the transporter).

The goal is to get to WFF by Friday so they can get on the Island - otherwise they will have to stand down until after August 4 due to a launch next week.

Once moving, I understand that the tank will take Rt 7 over to 81N and then head up to Hagerstown.  From there it isn't so clear but we are assuming it will continue on 70E to the Baltimore beltway.  Still waiting for confirmation as to whether it will head to the shore via Delaware or over the Bay Bridge.   Virginia is requiring they move during the day while Maryland is requiring they move at night."

This begs the question: how can they cross the Virginia/Maryland border legally???
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/27/2010 07:51 PM
Additional WFF pictures from the 310 - with the sun on our backs this time:
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: neilh on 07/27/2010 07:52 PM
Not Merlin 1C vacuum?  :)

I've sometimes had the sense that if any company were to be the first external company to utilize SpaceX's engines, it'd probably be Orbital. ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: MP99 on 07/27/2010 07:57 PM
This begs the question: how can they cross the Virginia/Maryland border legally???

That one went right over my head...


actually, it's a HUMONGOUS liquid oxygen tank.... Jeesh, you could fill a Taurus II from it...

Is that to be taken at face value - similar capacity to the LOX tank of a single Taurus II?

How is the Taurus II first stage brought in to MARS?

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 07/27/2010 09:24 PM
This begs the question: how can they cross the Virginia/Maryland border legally???


At dawn or sunset, depending on the direction?

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/27/2010 09:30 PM
Hmm, state laws interfering with Interstate Commerce?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: charlieb on 07/28/2010 01:21 AM
How long of a tank is that???

If you go up to Deleware - that's going to be quite a haul - and then what are the restrictions through Deleware? 

An overnight drive through MD and then park it on the side of the road just south of Pocomoke City and wait for the sun to appear.  My question is how are you going to get it to the beach? - down Rt13 then make the left towards Wallops, or take the back-roads.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 01:27 AM

How is the Taurus II first stage brought in to MARS?


By rail from Dnepro to Oleksandrivka (the big commercial port just south of Odessa) then by ship to Wilmington DE then by road to the HIF.  We've already driven a mock-up first stage from Wilmington to the island using a TWO-turntable trailer.  Quite a show, some of the corners are QUITE tight!...

Trivial pursuit (Taurus II edition) question #17: the S1 passes through Odessa (Ukraine) on its way from Dnipropetrovsk to Oleksandrivka, and also through Odessa (Delaware) on its way from Wilmington to Wallops!

I believe the LOX tank in the picture is bigger and heavier than a Taurus II first stage (actually, what comes from Dnipropetrovsk it is not a complete first stage - just the tanks, so it is somewhat shorter and considerably lighter than the full stage)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 01:30 AM
How long of a tank is that???

how are you going to get it to the beach? - down Rt13 then make the left towards Wallops, or take the back-roads.

Hmmm... I'll ask Marcy if she knows...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/28/2010 01:49 AM

How is the Taurus II first stage brought in to MARS?


By rail from Dnepro to Oleksandrivka (the big commercial port just south of Odessa) then by ship to Wilmington DE then by road to the HIF.  We've already driven a mock-up first stage from Wilmington to the island using a TWO-turntable trailer.  Quite a show, some of the corners are QUITE tight!...

Trivial pursuit (Taurus II edition) question #17: the S1 passes through Odessa (Ukraine) on its way from Dnipropetrovsk to Oleksandrivka, and also through Odessa (Delaware) on its way from Wilmington to Wallops!

I believe the LOX tank in the picture is bigger and heavier than a Taurus II first stage (actually, what comes from Dnipropetrovsk it is not a complete first stage - just the tanks, so it is somewhat shorter and considerably lighter than the full stage)

I thought the stage was going to be shipped to Norfolk, then transferred by barge to WFF.  I understand you could not truck it from Norfolk as the Chesapeak bay-bridge tunnel is probably too narrow (and with a two way/lane tunnel it would be hairy)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Longhorn John on 07/28/2010 01:55 AM
Did you pull over and go up to the truck driver, holding out your Orbital ID badge saying "Antonio Elias, head of all things Rocket Science, Orbital. I ordered that, and I'll take it from here".

Jump in the cab, *honk honk* ;D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason Sole on 07/28/2010 01:56 AM
Great updates!

So is that tank the eqivilant of the big white LOX spheres at the shuttle pads?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/28/2010 02:16 AM
Great updates!

So is that tank the eqivilant of the big white LOX spheres at the shuttle pads?

I suppose that is one way of looking at it, the tank is rendered here under liquid fueling facility
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 07/28/2010 12:15 PM
This rocket, powered by two Russian rocket engines with a Ukrainian-built first stage, will be bought, for ISS missions, with U.S. taxpayer funding.  Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability.
Typical argument of jobs program versus space program, how disgusting. That's how we ended with Constellation.

More importantly, what capability exactly are we losing here? There is no American equivalent of RD-0124, so we're losing nothing!

Cancelling Constellation allows to work on basic propulsion so that things like that were not necessary. That is acquiring the capability that we haven't got and thus cannot lose at present.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 02:03 PM
...Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability...

... More importantly, what capability exactly are we losing here? There is no American equivalent of RD-0124, so we're losing nothing!..

Yeah, that's the problem: if the choice is between using a Russian engine and not being able to develop a commercially viable liquid second stage, guess which choice produces more US jobs.

If there were two otherwise equivalent engines, one built in the US, another foreign-built, the only difference being cost, the US-built would have a significant (but not infinite!) advantage - that is why we keep buying computers with CPU and memory chips manufactured overseas...

To boot, rocket engines are not commodities (the way memory chips are today).  So, for instance, IF SpaceX would be willing to sell us a Merlin AND the price and reliability were right, there is still the issue of whether its thrust to weight, Isp, thrust level, etc. are a good match.

It just turns out that the RD-0124's thrust, Isp, packaging, T/W and price are a very good match for a Taurus II Upper Stage (we actually evaluated less expensive engines which were not as good a match in terms of the overall result).  And it is already developed and available (pending final Russian government approval).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 07/28/2010 02:08 PM
I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Wow.    ???

Is this a direct purchase, or via P&W, and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?

Also, since TII has a greater diameter than Soyuz, any chance that the RD-0124 nozzles will have greater expansion?

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/28/2010 02:12 PM
This is a really great thread, fantastic photos Antonio :)

We should keep this as a master thread, but set up some additional threads for specifics to the vehicle, the complex etc. etc. Once we get enough threads, we can set up a specific section on the forum for Orbital, like we did with the SpaceX section.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 02:21 PM
Is this a direct purchase, or via P&W,
Direct, but PWR has a pretty substantial contract with us to supply engineering, logistics, etc.
Quote
and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?
I don't know, but given the price the Russians are willling to sell it for, I doubt very much that it makes economic sense, given the necessary non-recurring it would take.  And before anbody cries "then we are at the mercy..." let me reply: how much are you willing to pay for independence?
Quote
Also, since TII has a greater diameter than Soyuz, any chance that the RD-0124 nozzles will have greater expansion?
Not a chance.  At those large expansion ratios, the Isp vs. size trade is rather flat.  And the beaury of the RD-0124 is that it comes in a nice little, COMPLETE package.  It would have to undergo a MAJOR redesign to gain a couple of seconds of Isp...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 02:28 PM
Once we get enough threads, we can set up a specific section on the forum for Orbital, like we did with the SpaceX section.
Great!  I was having some pangs of forum section envy... ;D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 03:18 PM
similar capacity to the LOX tank of a single Taurus II?
How long of a tank is that???

This just in from Tim Fackler (GSE Chief Engineer):
Tank in 125 ft long (vs about 90 ft for Stage 1) weight 210,000 lb empty (wow! vs. about 29,000 lb for the Stage 1 core) and holds about 80,000 gals of LOX (Stage 1 needs about 43,000 gals. - yes, I hate imperial units too.)

Quote
... drive through MD and then park it on the side of the road just south of Pocomoke City ...

Did you say Pocomoke City?... what a coincidence!

The first picture shows a demo of a special rig taking a sharp corner somewhere in Ohio.  We like them so much we hired them to move S1 form Wilmigton DE to WFF.

The second picture shows the same rig with a PVC-tube mockup of the outline of the Stage 1 transportation container taking a sharp corner in... POCOMOKE MD!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 07/28/2010 03:24 PM
Quote
and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?
I don't know, but given the price the Russians are willling to sell it for, I doubt very much that it makes economic sense, given the necessary non-recurring it would take.  And before anbody cries "then we are at the mercy..." let me reply: how much are you willing to pay for independence?
I am assuming Orbital is making necessary contingency plans, for example buying an excess amount of engines ahead of time and stockpiling them, and the cost of these measures is reflected in the trade study. Even if Russians aren't malicious, there may be, for instance, a criminal raid on the factory like the one that PAX suffered (makers of Soyuz mobile gantry for Kourou).

-- Pete

P.S. Certain people (e.g. TsSKB Progress) are salivating at the prospect of Orbital paying for the restart capability of RD-0124. It would allow them to give NPO Lavochkin a boot for certain missions of Soyuz. They may be willing to chip in a bit.

P.P.S. AFAIK RD-0124 does not burn RG-1 that NK-33 burns (which itself is not the same as RP-1, although perhaps Aeroject reconditioned AJ-26 for RP-1), and there was some unobvious American substitute (maybe JP-7 ?). I am wondering here how much does the fuel issue adds to the costs and hassle.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 03:32 PM
In the vein of "not all rocket engineering is flyweight stuff" here's a couple of pictures Tim F. gave me of the assembly of the water tower.  If you think the tower is impressive, look at the crane that was used to put it together.  Tim calls it a "500-ton crane" but I doubt it could have that capacity with the boom extender... even so, considering it is a mobile crane, it's a very impressive piece of equipment!!!

(ooops... I just realized that the lower picture must have been taken BEFORE the first one... sorry...)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 07/28/2010 03:38 PM
Quote
and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?
I don't know, but given the price the Russians are willling to sell it for, I doubt very much that it makes economic sense, given the necessary non-recurring it would take.  And before anbody cries "then we are at the mercy..." let me reply: how much are you willing to pay for independence?
I am assuming Orbital is making necessary contingency plans, for example buying an excess amount of engines ahead of time and stockpiling them, and the cost of these measures is reflected in the trade study. Even if Russians aren't malicious, there may be, for instance, a criminal raid on the factory like the one that PAX suffered (makers of Soyuz mobile gantry for Kourou).

-- Pete

P.S. Certain people (e.g. TsSKB Progress) are salivating at the prospect of Orbital paying for the restart capability of RD-0124. It would allow them to give NPO Lavochkin a boot for certain missions of Soyuz. They may be willing to chip in a bit.

P.P.S. AFAIK RD-0124 does not burn RG-1 that NK-33 burns (which itself is not the same as RP-1, although perhaps Aeroject reconditioned AJ-26 for RP-1), and there was some unobvious American substitute (maybe JP-7 ?). I am wondering here how much does the fuel issue adds to the costs and hassle.
The AJ-26 can run on RP-1, all documents I have found points to that.  I even found test runs on the original NK-33 where they tested it with LH2.  It truly is a remarkably versitile engine.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/28/2010 04:19 PM
I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

Wow! April Fools' jokes come true?!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.345
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: charlieb on 07/28/2010 04:55 PM
Tanks!

er - no - I meant THANKS!

The locals down there along Rt13 are going to think someone is getting one heck of a large propane tank for their backyard grill...  ;)


similar capacity to the LOX tank of a single Taurus II?
How long of a tank is that???

This just in from Tim Fackler (GSE Chief Engineer):
Tank in 125 ft long (vs about 90 ft for Stage 1) weight 210,000 lb empty (wow! vs. about 29,000 lb for the Stage 1 core) and holds about 80,000 gals of LOX (Stage 1 needs about 43,000 gals. - yes, I hate imperial units too.)

Quote
... drive through MD and then park it on the side of the road just south of Pocomoke City ...

Did you say Pocomoke City?... what a coincidence!

The first picture shows a demo of a special rig taking a sharp corner somewhere in Ohio.  We like them so much we hired them to move S1 form Wilmigton DE to WFF.

The second picture shows the same rig with a PVC-tube mockup of the outline of the Stage 1 transportation container taking a sharp corner in... POCOMOKE MD!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: charlieb on 07/28/2010 05:33 PM
Dr Elias,

Why is that Stage 1 transporter in the middle of Pocomoke City anyway???  It would seem to me much easier to take 'circle' RT1 from Wilmington to Dover, and then merge with and take Rt 113 from there to Pocomoke, where 113 and RT13 intersect south of Pocomoke. Unless there some height/weight restrictions somewhere along 113 that kill my idea, it'd be much easier IMHO.  113 is a great drive with only 3-4 towns to go through - beats 13 any old day (or night).

CB
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 08:41 PM
Uhhh... don't know... for me, going to Wallops is JYO STILL WOOLY  V44 BAL V93 GRACO SBY WAL (58 minutes at 11,000 ft)

According to Tim, the tightest turn is at the corner between Rt 13 and Rt 175 (see picture) - does that make any sense to you?  I need a guide to go from the Wallops gate to the sandwich shop (what is it called?  Seaside Deli?)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 07/28/2010 08:47 PM
Wow! April Fools' jokes come true?!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.345

Well, I *TOLD* you I liked it a lot!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/28/2010 08:59 PM
This rocket, powered by two Russian rocket engines with a Ukrainian-built first stage, will be bought, for ISS missions, with U.S. taxpayer funding.  Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability.
Typical argument of jobs program versus space program, how disgusting. That's how we ended with Constellation.

More importantly, what capability exactly are we losing here? There is no American equivalent of RD-0124, so we're losing nothing!

Cancelling Constellation allows to work on basic propulsion so that things like that were not necessary. That is acquiring the capability that we haven't got and thus cannot lose at present.

-- Pete
Typical diversionary argument.  Taurus 2 has nothing whatsoever to do with Constellation.  Jobs are only part of the equation.  Capability is the most important part.

Yes, there is no American equivalent of RD-0124.  Why is that?  If staged combustion kerosene is the future, and Orbital says it is with this choice, then unless someone pays to develop a comparable U.S. capability the U.S. will play no part in the future of space flight propulsion. 

But wait, you say, Orbital is a "commercial" company making a sound "commercial" decision to buy an existing engine rather than pay to develop a U.S. alternative.

Right, with the critical note that *U.S. tax funding* is paying for much of the effort.  Public funding sent directly to Russia rather than used to foster U.S. capability.  Meanwhile, Orbital gets to build satellites - for awhile at least.  Using this business model, the company will eventually just end up buying them from India or China, etc..

"Commercial" is the new "NASA" according to the Obama doctrine.  If "commercial" choices like this represent the future of U.S. space capability, then it is no future at all.

As an engineer, I admire this Enhanced Taurus 2 design.  It is a beautifully balanced design that represents a sweet evolutionary advance in space transportation.  I just wish that, since the U.S. is largely paying for it, that it came from the U.S. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 07/29/2010 12:24 AM
Hmmm ... everyone seems to have missed the real significance of the RD-0124, and that is that TII is now capable, to some degree, of putting up comsats, even out of Wallops. Of course, not the largest comsats could be flown, but perhaps some of the Starbus class payloads may be flown on the Enhanced Taurus II.

I wonder if there is a market for a relatively inexpensive all-Orbital comsat/launcher system.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 07/29/2010 12:29 AM
Hmmm ... everyone seems to have missed the real significance of the RD-0124, and that is that TII is now capable, to some degree, of putting up comsats, even out of Wallops. Of course, not the largest comsats could be flown, but perhaps some of the Starbus class payloads may be flown on the Enhanced Taurus II.
I thought it wasn't possible before the multiply restart feature was added.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 07/29/2010 01:28 AM
Dr Elias,

Why is that Stage 1 transporter in the middle of Pocomoke City anyway???  It would seem to me much easier to take 'circle' RT1 from Wilmington to Dover, and then merge with and take Rt 113 from there to Pocomoke, where 113 and RT13 intersect south of Pocomoke. Unless there some height/weight restrictions somewhere along 113 that kill my idea, it'd be much easier IMHO.  113 is a great drive with only 3-4 towns to go through - beats 13 any old day (or night).

CB

As substantiated by newspaper and television reports, the pathfinder conducted by Orbital Sciences and its heavy hauling subcontractor, Diamond Heavy Haul from Ohio, began on Wednesday night and concluded on Thursday afternoon, 8-9 July 2010.

The pathfinder originated at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware and concluded at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility main base.

The general main route of highway travel was (1) Delaware Route 1 to Dover, Delaware, (2) U. S. Route 113 to Pocomoke City, Maryland, (3) U. S. Route 13 to T's Corner, Virginia, and (4) Virginia Route 175 to Wallops.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 07/29/2010 01:32 AM
Uhhh... don't know... for me, going to Wallops is JYO STILL WOOLY  V44 BAL V93 GRACO SBY WAL (58 minutes at 11,000 ft)

According to Tim, the tightest turn is at the corner between Rt 13 and Rt 175 (see picture) - does that make any sense to you?  I need a guide to go from the Wallops gate to the sandwich shop (what is it called?  Seaside Deli?)

Super E is correct in his reporting.  The tightest turn on the pathfinder route taken was at the intersection of U. S. Route 13 and Virginia Route 175 at T's Corner, Virginia.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/29/2010 01:35 AM
Uhhh... don't know... for me, going to Wallops is JYO STILL WOOLY  V44 BAL V93 GRACO SBY WAL (58 minutes at 11,000 ft)

According to Tim, the tightest turn is at the corner between Rt 13 and Rt 175 (see picture) - does that make any sense to you?  I need a guide to go from the Wallops gate to the sandwich shop (what is it called?  Seaside Deli?)

Tell me about it, when I left the open house I tried to get a picture of the pad construction.... first I ended up in a mobile home park on Chincoteague, then I finally got to the beach on Assateague but the beach with the view of the range was closed for bird mating/hatching season, fortunately one of the park guys guided me to the old ferry landing, but the bridge to the range blocked the 0 pads, I tried a little further south but ended up at the gate and had to turn around at the chicken coop (who puts a chicken coop right at the entrance to a spaceport?)

WFF really needs to get a better viewing area for the range since there aren't any tours.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 07/29/2010 02:00 AM
Uhhh... don't know... for me, going to Wallops is JYO STILL WOOLY  V44 BAL V93 GRACO SBY WAL (58 minutes at 11,000 ft)

According to Tim, the tightest turn is at the corner between Rt 13 and Rt 175 (see picture) - does that make any sense to you?  I need a guide to go from the Wallops gate to the sandwich shop (what is it called?  Seaside Deli?)

Tell me about it, when I left the open house I tried to get a picture of the pad construction.... first I ended up in a mobile home park on Chincoteague, then I finally got to the beach on Assateague but the beach with the view of the range was closed for bird mating/hatching season, fortunately one of the park guys guided me to the old ferry landing, but the bridge to the range blocked the 0 pads, I tried a little further south but ended up at the gate and had to turn around at the chicken coop (who puts a chicken coop right at the entrance to a spaceport?)

WFF really needs to get a better viewing area for the range since there aren't any tours.


Directions to the nearest view from the Eastern Shore of Virginia mainland of Pads 0-A and 0-B...

1. When traveling south to the village town of Atlantic on Virginia Route 679, continue through Atlantic and continue going south  (P.S. Please be sure to stop at Wolff's Sandwich Shop on the right when going south through Atlantic to have breakfast or lunch with Accomack County Commissioner Ron Wolff, a former school teacher extraordinaire, who represents the area and is an avid supporter of Wallops.)
2. The next village town is Assawoman where the Virginia Route 679 becomes a "Y"
3. Instead of taking the left "Y" - Wallops Island Road - take the right "Y" and continue south on Virginia Route 679
4. At the first road on the left - Arbuckle Neck Road - turn left and go to the deadend which will be at the water's edge to view directly across to Pads 0-A and 0-B

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: charlieb on 07/29/2010 02:14 AM
That answers my comments/questions quite well.

Dr Elias,

Why is that Stage 1 transporter in the middle of Pocomoke City anyway???  It would seem to me much easier to take 'circle' RT1 from Wilmington to Dover, and then merge with and take Rt 113 from there to Pocomoke, where 113 and RT13 intersect south of Pocomoke. Unless there some height/weight restrictions somewhere along 113 that kill my idea, it'd be much easier IMHO.  113 is a great drive with only 3-4 towns to go through - beats 13 any old day (or night).

CB

As substantiated by newspaper and television reports, the pathfinder conducted by Orbital Sciences and its heavy hauling subcontractor, Diamond Heavy Haul from Ohio, began on Wednesday night and concluded on Thursday afternoon, 8-9 July 2010.

The pathfinder originated at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware and concluded at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility main base.

The general main route of highway travel was (1) Delaware Route 1 to Dover, Delaware, (2) U. S. Route 113 to Pocomoke City, Maryland, (4) U. S. Route 13 to T's Corner, Virginia, and (4) Virginia Route 175 to Wallops.


Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: vt_hokie on 07/29/2010 02:18 AM
I'm told they are tying to find a way through Maryland... no, it's just pure coincidence that it's stuck less than a mile from Orbital Headquarters... I'll try to find out more about it."

Heh, that is some coincidence! 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: David AF on 07/29/2010 03:07 AM
Uhhh... don't know... for me, going to Wallops is JYO STILL WOOLY  V44 BAL V93 GRACO SBY WAL (58 minutes at 11,000 ft)

Very good sir! :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 07/29/2010 03:39 PM
Wow! April Fools' jokes come true?!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.345

Well, I *TOLD* you I liked it a lot!!!

Small wonder, really. Dmitry is a rocket designer by trade, he knows how to calculate optimum stage breakdown and things of such nature. He probably saw an opportunity right away. However, I do suspect that contrary to Dmitry's joke project, actual Blok I is not to be used. For one thing Orbital already has a perfectly good in-house avionics suite. All they need is a way to build upper stage tanks and maybe some trusses.

-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 07/29/2010 05:54 PM
I wonder if there is a market for a relatively inexpensive all-Orbital comsat/launcher system.

Pretty much every industry analyst thought that was the point when Taurus II was announced.  Don't know if Orbital management ever confirmed that.  It also fits the Delta II NASA niche pretty well.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/30/2010 03:33 PM

Well, I *TOLD* you I liked it a lot!!!

O, yea! But all the same, you owe me a beer pint! :-)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 07/30/2010 03:36 PM
Dmitry is a rocket designer by trade, ...

Unfortunately, the FORMER designer of rockets :-(
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 08/03/2010 02:29 PM

Well, I *TOLD* you I liked it a lot!!!

O, yea! But all the same, you owe me a beer pint! :-)
¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ Pint ? ? ? ? ?  Ugh, make it half a LITER!

What is the best beer in Stavropol... I mean, Тольятти?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 08/03/2010 02:31 PM
Flash News - Dulles, August 02.  After days of agonizing wait, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport main LOX tank has resumed its arduous treck towards Wallops Island after workmen welded two broken pieces in the aft turntable.

Film at 11.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 08/03/2010 04:29 PM
Flash News - Dulles, August 02.  After days of agonizing wait, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport main LOX tank has resumed its arduous treck towards Wallops Island after workmen welded two broken pieces in the aft turntable.
Glad to hear that. Too bad I'm not familiar with the area and cannot relate to the scope of the difficulty.
-- P
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: charlieb on 08/03/2010 08:27 PM

B-Roll please!

Flash News - Dulles, August 02.  After days of agonizing wait, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport main LOX tank has resumed its arduous treck towards Wallops Island after workmen welded two broken pieces in the aft turntable.

Film at 11.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/04/2010 01:11 AM
"Ukraine postpones delivery of Taurus-II launch vehicle's first stage to U.S."

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2010-08/04/c_13428726.htm

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 08/04/2010 03:07 PM

Well, I *TOLD* you I liked it a lot!!!

O, yea! But all the same, you owe me a beer pint! :-)
¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ Pint ? ? ? ? ?  Ugh, make it half a LITER!

What is the best beer in Stavropol... I mean, Òîëüÿòòè?

Oh, Antonio, I can easily make it in gallon! As to a question on the best beer in Tolyatti it is very difficult! On the one hand, capitalism in Russia has led to a choice problem. On the other hand, at everyone the taste. Not further, as yesterday, I have tried beer "Dukat". It is  prepared on the Czech technology, and very much it was pleasant to me. In any case, I most of all like rockets! And Taurus II it is pleasant to me more than Falcon. :-)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/05/2010 02:55 AM
"Ukraine postpones delivery of Taurus-II launch vehicle's first stage to U.S."

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2010-08/04/c_13428726.htm

Where do I write a letter to the Chinese state news service?  NASA is not funding Taurus II.  Orbital likes their IP.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/06/2010 02:22 AM
"Ukraine postpones delivery of Taurus-II launch vehicle's first stage to U.S."

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2010-08/04/c_13428726.htm

Where do I write a letter to the Chinese state news service?  NASA is not funding Taurus II.  Orbital likes their IP.

Right.  NASA is not providing any funding to Orbital.
Except for $1.9 billion.  For starters.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2008/12/spacex-and-orbital-win-huge-crs-contract-from-nasa/

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/06/2010 04:30 AM
Sigh.  Read their Space Act Agreement:
page 2, Article 3 A (5) "Invite NASA to participate in Taurus II launch vehicle design reviews, which launch vehicle is being separately developed under ORBITAL IR&D project and other private funding."

page 13, Article 12 G (2)(a) "At the time of execution of this Agreement, the Parties agree that the following Background Data embodies Proprietary Data that will be provided to NASA: (a) Taurus II Design and Development Data"
(No other information is listed as Background Proprietary Data.)

page 15, Article 13 B (1) (a) "For the avoidance of doubt, any inventions made in the development of Taurus II shall not be considered inventions made under this Agreement."

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/214893main_Orbital_COTS_Ph1_Redacted_SAA_2_27_08.pdf

The FAR prevent a Part 12 procurement (the CRS link you provided) from paying for development.

Eventually, Ed, you will learn I don't state facts that are incorrect.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/06/2010 02:41 PM
Eventually, Ed, you will learn I don't state facts that are incorrect.

In this case, the facts don't tell the story.  They describe a method for pushing numbers around.  Sure, Orbital is funding much of the development, but since Orbital is a for-profit outfit, some other entity or entities will ultimately pay for that development by purchasing launch services priced well above cost - unless the program fails utterly and Orbital (and its numerous subcontractors who are actually building the rocket) must take a write-off. 

Never mind that $0.312 billion of NASA funding has recently been proposed for a Taurus 2 "risk reduction flight" in 2011 ($0.312 billion for *one launch* with a dummy payload - which is obviously a government-funded launch vehicle development test).  Never mind that the states of Virginia and Maryland are helping to fund the launch infrastructure (Virginia will actually "own" the launch pad when completed). 

The question to ask is, would Taurus 2 exist if NASA, or some other U.S. Government agency, wasn't buying it?  I believe that history provides a definitive answer.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 08/06/2010 02:59 PM
Never mind that $0.312 billion of NASA funding has recently been proposed for a Taurus 2 "risk reduction flight" in 2011 ($0.312 billion for *one launch* with a dummy payload - which is obviously a government-funded launch vehicle development test).

I'd like to see a reference stating ALL of that $300M would go to Orbital alone and only for the additional flight.

Quote
The question to ask is, would Taurus 2 exist if NASA, or some other U.S. Government agency, wasn't buying it?

Aren't we changing stories now? First you said NASA was paying for T-II development via CRS, now it's "buying" it. NASA also "buys" Atlas regularly yet they have contributed nothing to its development.

If you're going to claim NASA funded Taurus II, at least don't be disingenuous by stating it's done with $1.9B of CRS money. That money is for a cargo service delivery. The vastly lower amount of cca. $150M from COTS is what NASA paid Orbital for development, but then - that doesn't sound equally as impressive, does it?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/06/2010 04:02 PM
Aren't we changing stories now? First you said NASA was paying for T-II development via CRS, now it's "buying" it.
I said that NASA was coughing up $1.9 billion, for starters, to point out that Taurus 2 is, like all other U.S. orbital launchers, essentially a government funded rocket.  It may be "commercial" on paper, but the true source of its existence can be found via the usual method - by following the money!  Tallying it all up when the program ends 5 or 10 or 20 years from now will provide the truth.
Quote
NASA also "buys" Atlas regularly yet they have contributed nothing to its development.
NASA funded and directly managed the difficult development of RL-10 and Centaur during the 1960s, then ran the entire Atlas-Centaur program until the late 1980s.  Atlas V development leveraged that NASA effort.  Meanwhile, the U.S. government pours a billion-ish dollars per year into the EELV program (not counting the launches).

I haven't bothered to mention another part of the equation - that Taurus 2 uses first stage rocket engines and tank tooling whose costly and difficult basic development was also originally funded by a government.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/06/2010 05:43 PM
The question to ask is, would Taurus 2 exist if NASA, or some other U.S. Government agency, wasn't buying it?

No, of course not.  No US (paper) rocket closes its business case without government customers.  I believe only the Falcons, once no longer paper, can close their business case without government customers.

But that's reality.  We can't wish for another circumstance; only prescribing a higher launch rate - with or without payloads to go on top - can decrease average launch costs.  We can foreclose these options, but then the US government would HAVE to buy foreign launchers.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 08/06/2010 10:34 PM
The question to ask is, would Taurus 2 exist if NASA, or some other U.S. Government agency, wasn't buying it?

No, of course not.  No US (paper) rocket closes its business case without government customers.  I believe only the Falcons, once no longer paper, can close their business case without government customers.

But that's reality.  We can't wish for another circumstance; only prescribing a higher launch rate - with or without payloads to go on top - can decrease average launch costs.  We can foreclose these options, but then the US government would HAVE to buy foreign launchers.
The Falcons are being paid government funds the same as Orbital, for the same kinds of flights.  It is the other COTS company, after all.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/07/2010 03:09 PM
Yes, but the Falcons would have been developed, albeit more slowly (and more sustainably?), if COTS would never have come along.  The original plan of Falcon 1 to Falcon 5 to Falcon 9 would have been a natural progression through the industry and one that could have been sustained without government development funds.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/07/2010 10:23 PM
Yes, but the Falcons would have been developed, albeit more slowly (and more sustainably?), if COTS would never have come along.  The original plan of Falcon 1 to Falcon 5 to Falcon 9 would have been a natural progression through the industry and one that could have been sustained without government development funds.

I would like to see a purely commercial launch vehicle program, taken to operational status, sometime, but it has yet to happen - anywhere in the world - to date. 

I wonder what such an effort would actually produce.  SpaceX would seem a good hint at the answer, but even Falcon 1 didn't really get going until DARPA allocated funding.

The true "commercial" market, so far, has been mostly GEO comsats.  Launching 5-6 tonnes to GTO is a tall order.  Even Falcon 9 - a rocket that has taken years to get to flight and which cost who knows how much to develop - can't quote do that job.  Nor can Taurus 2.
 
 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gospacex on 08/07/2010 10:44 PM
Launching 5-6 tonnes to GTO is a tall order.  Even Falcon 9 - a rocket that has taken years to get to flight and which cost who knows how much to develop - can't quote do that job.

Hearing this from a NASA guy is... hilarious? atrocious? I can't choose the right word.

F9 development certainly costs far less than any LV development NASA ever did. Had F9 R&D money been given to NASA, it'd spend all of them just building a launch tower.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/07/2010 11:03 PM
Launching 5-6 tonnes to GTO is a tall order.  Even Falcon 9 - a rocket that has taken years to get to flight and which cost who knows how much to develop - can't quote do that job.
Hearing this from a NASA guy is... hilarious? atrocious? I can't choose the right word.
Who is this "NASA guy" of whom you speak?  What I'm saying there, BTW, is that Falcon 9 can't lift 5-6 tonnes to GTO.  It can only lift 4 tonnes, and probably less.
Quote
F9 development certainly costs far less than any LV development NASA ever did. Had F9 R&D money been given to NASA, it'd spend all of them just building a launch tower.
And who was talking about NASA LV development?  NASA hasn't developed a satellite launch vehicle from scratch since - maybe ever.  (Delta was derived from Thor and Vanguard.  Atlas was an ICBM.  Etc.)  I've been saying during this string of messages that all orbital launch vehicles are largely government funded and would likely not exist otherwise.  As it is for Orbital's Taurus 2, NASA *is* - essentially - paying for Falcon 9.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: alexw on 08/08/2010 01:02 AM
Launching 5-6 tonnes to GTO is a tall order.  Even Falcon 9 - a rocket that has taken years to get to flight and which cost who knows how much to develop - can't quote do that job.
Hearing this from a NASA guy is... hilarious? atrocious? I can't choose the right word.
    I believe that Ed's point is not that SpaceX or Orbital are doing a bad job, nor is he suggesting that NASA in-house development would be more efficient. The point is simply that building a full-size GTO launcher is a big undertaking, with fairly large capitol requirements and carrying high schedule and hence contractual risk. Even for an established company like Orbital.
     No one has yet attempted to develop one from scratch without government contracts. It is possible -- we hope -- that the fiscal case closes purely commercially, but the risk element remains (too?) high for purely commercial capitol. NASA and the taxpayer take on that risk, hoping to benefit from the resulting change in the commercial market.

    Ed, is Falcon 9 Heavy not their real entry for the GTO market? The single-stick appears to have been sized with a fundamentally different role in mind than the EELVs or Ariane V, etc. One is targeted for LEO but less-optimized for GTO, the others for GTO but less-optimized for LEO.
    -Alex
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gospacex on 08/08/2010 03:55 AM
Launching 5-6 tonnes to GTO is a tall order.  Even Falcon 9 - a rocket that has taken years to get to flight and which cost who knows how much to develop - can't quote do that job.
Hearing this from a NASA guy is... hilarious? atrocious? I can't choose the right word.
    I believe that Ed's point is not that SpaceX or Orbital are doing a bad job, nor is he suggesting that NASA in-house development would be more efficient.

Sorry. I had my feathers ruffled by the "F9 ... cost who knows how much to develop". We _do_ know how much F9 R&D required - less than $500m, which is _very small cost_ by aerospace standards.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wjbarnett on 08/09/2010 12:44 AM
I pick up the phone - Marcy Taylor is not there.  Kurt Eberly doesn't answer.  Finally I get Brent Collins: "yes, it's our tank, the one MARS bought from down south... it's been on the road for several weeks now... I'm told they are tying to find a way through Maryland... no, it's just pure coincidence that it's stuck less than a mile from Orbital Headquarters... I'll try to find out more about it."

Today I was driving on I-81 north entering West Virgina and just had to stop at the Welcome Center rest stop. And what to I find...well...almost exactly the same sight as the images that Antonio posted back on July 27th, (but no camera with me). The tank also had the MARS banner and was parked in the truck parking zone, occupying at least 6 spots.  Has Orbital got another tank stuck in transit?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: synchrotron on 08/09/2010 07:56 PM
Launching 5-6 tonnes to GTO is a tall order.  Even Falcon 9 - a rocket that has taken years to get to flight and which cost who knows how much to develop - can't quote do that job.
Hearing this from a NASA guy is... hilarious? atrocious? I can't choose the right word.
    I believe that Ed's point is not that SpaceX or Orbital are doing a bad job, nor is he suggesting that NASA in-house development would be more efficient.

Sorry. I had my feathers ruffled by the "F9 ... cost who knows how much to develop". We _do_ know how much F9 R&D required - less than $500m, which is _very small cost_ by aerospace standards.


Most of SpaceX's focus is on the F9 now. Vertically-integrated infrastructure capital costs aside, SpaceX has over 900 employees. What's the annual payroll and benefits for 900+ highly-skilled employees?
SpaceX is doing some amazing stuff, but what's the prognosis for the bottom-line by the time their launch vehicles go into production runs? Folks are going to want a return on their investment.
I'm equally sure the finance guys at Orbital are keeping a close eye on marching army costs for the Taurus II development too.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/09/2010 09:26 PM
FBOFW, the conventional wisdom on Orbital is that they fight on multiple fronts.  There's not much of a standing army dedicated to one fleet, at least this is how it looks to an observer.  They can move around from Taurus to Taurus II to Pegasus to Minotaur to MDA and some even over to satellites.  This approach has its pros and cons but seems valid, on balance.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gospacex on 08/10/2010 07:22 AM
Most of SpaceX's focus is on the F9 now. Vertically-integrated infrastructure capital costs aside, SpaceX has over 900 employees. What's the annual payroll and benefits for 900+ highly-skilled employees?

I guess no less than $100m.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 08/14/2010 05:37 PM

Today I was driving on I-81 north entering West Virgina and just had to stop at the Welcome Center rest stop. And what to I find...well...almost exactly the same sight as the images that Antonio posted back on July 27th, (but no camera with me). The tank also had the MARS banner and was parked in the truck parking zone, occupying at least 6 spots.  Has Orbital got another tank stuck in transit?

Nope - same tank.  I was told it DID go through West Virginia (!!!) and is now AT Wallops (hurrah!).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 08/15/2010 06:41 PM
Gentlemen, prompt please, mass of usable propellant and burnout (or separate) mass for the first stage of Taurus II?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/15/2010 10:13 PM
Gentlemen, prompt please, mass of usable propellant and burnout (or separate) mass for the first stage of Taurus II?

I'm currently estimating 242.4 tonnes of usable propellant and 18.8 tonnes burnout mass for the first stage.  Those numbers came from a document on NASA's COT/CRS web site, which means they may be dated.  Here's a link:  http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/docs/expansion_ea/Appendix_A_MARS_Final_EA.pdf

Note that these masses require NK-33 (AJ-26) to be at 108% thrust.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 08/16/2010 04:29 PM

I'm currently estimating 242.4 tonnes of usable propellant and 18.8 tonnes burnout mass for the first stage.  Those numbers came from a document on NASA's COT/CRS web site, which means they may be dated.  Here's a link:  http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/docs/expansion_ea/Appendix_A_MARS_Final_EA.pdf

Note that these masses require NK-33 (AJ-26) to be at 108% thrust.

 - Ed Kyle

Thanks!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: borys on 08/18/2010 10:35 AM
Hy, everybody!
I am Borys, it's my first mssg here.
My interest is in a system analysis, physical and cost effectiveness of launch vehicles,
Taurus 2 LV naturally, especially and specifically.
My question is: is it really no around worth-while ideas except for Musk and Soyuz ones?
Soyuz is not pure soluton of the Taurus problem...
Soluton of the problem, I beleive, must be inside Orbital, ATK, Yusmash intustrial group.
I think so.
Is let discuss this issue?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 08/18/2010 01:45 PM
Hy, everybody!
I am Borys, it's my first mssg here.
My interest is in a system analysis, physical and cost effectiveness of launch vehicles,
Taurus 2 LV naturally, especially and specifically.
My question is: is it really no around worth-while ideas except for Musk and Soyuz ones?
Soyuz is not pure soluton of the Taurus problem...
Soluton of the problem, I beleive, must be inside Orbital, ATK, Yusmash intustrial group.
I think so.
Is let discuss this issue?

I don't really understand the question here. Taurus II is not a Soyuz based designed.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 08/18/2010 04:41 PM
I think that he is referring to the fact that Soyuz/R7 and (when it is operational) Dragon/Falcon-9 are the only two contemporary systems where a common launcher/spacecraft can operate both the cargo delivery and crew rotation/lifeboat missions.  I think he wants to know if there are any proposals to use the Cygnus bus as the basis for a crew taxi.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 08/18/2010 06:16 PM
Saw a funny picture without an explanation in NK forum. Rumor mongering at its finest!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/18/2010 07:18 PM
Looks like someone tried to improperly drain a tank. Think they went to the SpaceX scratch and dent lot?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 08/18/2010 09:28 PM
Theoristos from NK forum:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=627466#627466
Quote
It is torn at check of the maximum superfluous inner pressure and then crumpled to place on a platform.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 08/18/2010 11:51 PM
I don't really understand the question here. Taurus II is not a Soyuz based designed.
The Soyuz reference could be due to the RD-0124 upper stage... which still doesn't make it clear what he's asking.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: spacetraveler on 08/20/2010 03:31 AM
Is there still any chance of this going in 2011?

Seems doubtful to me at this point.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Carl G on 08/20/2010 03:37 AM
Is there still any chance of this going in 2011?

Seems doubtful to me at this point.

L2 has NASA notes showing SpaceX and Orbital have slipped, but only slightly. TII is still 2011 ans to assume otherwise would be baseless.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/20/2010 04:56 AM
Whether it's baseless depends on the facts in their head and the experience they have to calibrate their judgment.  Development schedules are in the eye of the beholder.  One can't predict a test is going to be successful until after the test, though one can make a judgment call on the likelihood based on experience and known mitigation efforts.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/21/2010 05:25 PM
Saw a funny picture without an explanation in NK forum. Rumor mongering at its finest!

Theoristos from NK forum:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=627466#627466
Quote
It is torn at check of the maximum superfluous inner pressure and then crumpled to place on a platform.



I have it on good authority via a source that this was a successful static pressure test article of the Taurus II fuel tank. It burst just above the predicted pressure.

The photo was clearly taken without permission.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: marsavian on 08/22/2010 09:20 AM

Today I was driving on I-81 north entering West Virgina and just had to stop at the Welcome Center rest stop. And what to I find...well...almost exactly the same sight as the images that Antonio posted back on July 27th, (but no camera with me). The tank also had the MARS banner and was parked in the truck parking zone, occupying at least 6 spots.  Has Orbital got another tank stuck in transit?

Nope - same tank.  I was told it DID go through West Virginia (!!!) and is now AT Wallops (hurrah!).

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100821/ESN01/8210309
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wjbarnett on 08/22/2010 12:30 PM
"3 months in transit" from Mexico. Wow! I hope Orbital is not paying overtime or excess mileage for all the re-routing.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 08/22/2010 01:06 PM
Saw a funny picture without an explanation in NK forum. Rumor mongering at its finest!

Theoristos from NK forum:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=627466#627466
Quote
It is torn at check of the maximum superfluous inner pressure and then crumpled to place on a platform.



I have it on good authority via a source that this was a successful static pressure test article of the Taurus II fuel tank. It burst just above the predicted pressure.

The photo was clearly taken without permission.

Thanks for that clarification Chris. Athough I have to wonder if that is the correct structural effect of over pressurization. It almost looks like it crumped inwards from low internal pressure. Strange effect, but I'll take your sources word on the cause.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Hauerg on 08/22/2010 01:33 PM
Saw a funny picture without an explanation in NK forum. Rumor mongering at its finest!

Theoristos from NK forum:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=627466#627466
Quote
It is torn at check of the maximum superfluous inner pressure and then crumpled to place on a platform.



I have it on good authority via a source that this was a successful static pressure test article of the Taurus II fuel tank. It burst just above the predicted pressure.

The photo was clearly taken without permission.

Thanks for that clarification Chris. Athough I have to wonder if that is the correct structural effect of over pressurization. It almost looks like it crumped inwards from low internal pressure. Strange effect, but I'll take your sources word on the cause.
To me it also looks IMploded. But perhaps it was under some vertikal load and folded like a crushed softdrink can after EXploding.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: MP99 on 08/22/2010 01:43 PM
To me it also looks IMploded. But perhaps it was under some vertikal load and folded like a crushed softdrink can after EXploding.

The tank would be carrying a load when operating.

Would seem to make sense to carry out the test whilst simulating the correct imposed loads.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 08/22/2010 04:14 PM
If the burst compromised any longitudinal members, it wouldn't surprise me if it crumpled like that.  Most things buildings and consumer objects people encounter on a daily basis have 4x margin of safety.  Aerospace structures that are only 1.25 to 1.5 fail large-scale and violently once the rupture starts - hard to translate to everyday experience.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 08/23/2010 04:23 PM
http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100821/ESN01/8210309

They got "berthing" right! (According to Jorge, things that need help from the robot arm do not "dock", they "berth.")

Quote
During the demonstration mission the Cygnus spacecraft will rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station...

I took their suggestion and found some YouTube videos of the tank:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=PRIMELOX+MARS&aq=f

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 08/24/2010 07:14 AM
http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100821/ESN01/8210309

They got "berthing" right! (According to Jorge, things that need help from the robot arm do not "dock", they "berth.")

Quote
During the demonstration mission the Cygnus spacecraft will rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station...

It's a function of having a CBM as the transfer point rather than an LIDS.  Basically, you can't dock using a CBM.  The spacecraft has to be held in the receiving port until the locking bolts have screwed in.  Basically, it makes Cygnus and Cargo Dragon more like HTV and MPLM - temporary extra modules for the ISS, rather than a docked spacecraft.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: spacetraveler on 08/25/2010 02:23 AM
Is there still any chance of this going in 2011?

Seems doubtful to me at this point.

L2 has NASA notes showing SpaceX and Orbital have slipped, but only slightly. TII is still 2011 ans to assume otherwise would be baseless.

Well I just mean, the current best official estimate is June 2011, and from what we've seen with the schedules of previous first launches, it will probably be pushed back another few months for unforeseen issues that will arise between now and then. So I'd say it's looking like late 2011 at the earliest.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: SpaceX_MS on 09/15/2010 08:28 PM
Saw a funny picture without an explanation in NK forum. Rumor mongering at its finest!

Theoristos from NK forum:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=627466#627466
Quote
It is torn at check of the maximum superfluous inner pressure and then crumpled to place on a platform.



I have it on good authority via a source that this was a successful static pressure test article of the Taurus II fuel tank. It burst just above the predicted pressure.

The photo was clearly taken without permission.

Thanks for that clarification Chris. Athough I have to wonder if that is the correct structural effect of over pressurization. It almost looks like it crumped inwards from low internal pressure. Strange effect, but I'll take your sources word on the cause.
To me it also looks IMploded. But perhaps it was under some vertikal load and folded like a crushed softdrink can after EXploding.

That's why there's testing.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 10/04/2010 10:21 PM
September Taurus II update. (http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 10/04/2010 11:51 PM
September Taurus II update. (http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/)

I love engine pics  :)
Hope we get to see some of the test stand pics.

(thanks for the heads up)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/09/2010 12:54 PM
I apologize for the low-qual pics, but here's the first Taurus II Stage 1 core leaving the Yuzhmash plant in Dniepropetrovsk headed for Wallops via the Port of Wilmington.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/09/2010 03:27 PM
I apologize for the low-qual pics, but here's the first Taurus II Stage 1 core leaving the Yuzhmash plant in Dniepropetrovsk headed for Wallops via the Port of Wilmington.

Since Taurus uses the same diameter tankage as Zenit, I am surprised that the first stage looks so long, almost as if its the same length as the Zenit first stage, despite having less than half the first stage thrust. Does anyone here have the first stage length specs?

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 10/09/2010 03:38 PM
Mr. Kyle's excellent reference site estimates it as 28.3m.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/09/2010 03:43 PM
Mr. Kyle's excellent reference site estimates it as 28.3m.

About 4 meters shorter than a Zenit 3 first stage, guesstimating.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: madscientist197 on 10/10/2010 09:08 AM
The Zenit first stage is vastly overthrusted for it's propellent capacity/upper stage size due to its prior role as booster for Energiya.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gospacex on 10/10/2010 11:06 AM
Despite my nickname, I'm enthusiastically looking forward to see maiden Taurus-II launch as well. It will be IIRC the first time in several decades for NK-33. Formally, they never flew, because N-1 used earlier version, NK-15.

Anyway. Their specs are fantastic. If they succeed on Taurus-II, Aerojet may have many more customers for them, and may try to build them in US.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jester on 10/10/2010 12:58 PM
Mr. Kyle's excellent reference site estimates it as 28.3m.

According to the manual its 27.6 m (90.6 ft) long.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/10/2010 05:53 PM
Mr. Kyle's excellent reference site estimates it as 28.3m.

According to the manual its 27.6 m (90.6 ft) long.

Thanks for that.  I've updated accordingly.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/11/2010 03:25 AM
I apologize for the low-qual pics, but here's the first Taurus II Stage 1 core leaving the Yuzhmash plant in Dniepropetrovsk headed for Wallops via the Port of Wilmington.

If you want a better camera for arrival, let me know as I have a Nikon d3000 and an operator to go along with it......
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 10/11/2010 05:01 AM
Mr. Kyle's excellent reference site estimates it as 28.3m.

About 4 meters shorter than a Zenit 3 first stage, guesstimating.

 - Ed Kyle
The Zenit's engine is almost twice the thrust it needs, due to it's origin as the booster for Energia.  I'd call Taurus II more optimized for the engine capability.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 10/20/2010 03:55 PM
According to rumors on Novosti-Kosmonavtiki forum Taurus II will be use overcooled LOX and kerosene.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/20/2010 11:14 PM
As in densified Lox?Kero? As in the Lox will be below the boiling point and the Kero will be slower than molases in the Siberian winter?

It does explain why Antonio comented that the partners where so superstisous about what color it was painted a while back.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 10/21/2010 04:20 AM
Didn't the NK-33 use subcooled LOX back in the day anyway?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 10/22/2010 08:59 PM
I apologize for the low-qual pics, but here's the first Taurus II Stage 1 core leaving the Yuzhmash plant in Dniepropetrovsk headed for Wallops via the Port of Wilmington.
Taurus II goes to the spaceport in the USA (http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?idD=80&lang=en&id=124&path=News/News_e)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 10/22/2010 11:34 PM
Didn't the NK-33 use subcooled LOX back in the day anyway?

150-167 deg R. I recall.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: madscientist197 on 10/23/2010 10:47 AM
Rankine? Oh man!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 10/24/2010 12:23 AM
Rankine? Oh man!

Slugs and foot-pounds and horsepower, oh my.  Yes, some of use can still manage to figure out English units.  ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 10/24/2010 05:13 PM
http://www.spacenews.com/contracts/102210orbital-warns-investors-prolonged-budget-battle-will-harm-2011-earnings.html
Quote
Fri, 22 October, 2010
Orbital Warns Investors Prolonged U.S. Budget Battle Will Harm 2011 Earnings
By Peter B. de Selding

    PARIS — Satellite and launch-vehicle manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corp. on Oct. 21 reported double-digit increases in revenue, operating income and net profit but said its 2011 financial performance could drop by 6 percent to 8 percent from expected levels if the U.S. government does not conclude a final 2011 budget before spring.

    The Dulles, Va.-based company said its biggest ongoing investment — development of the Taurus 2 medium-lift rocket and the Cygnus cargo vehicle it will launch to the international space station — has encountered more delays. Its inaugural launch from Wallops Island, Va., is now set for between July and September.

    Whether that flight serves only to demonstrate Taurus 2’s abilities or also carries the Cygnus freighter will depend on whether the U.S. Congress appropriates the money for a rocket-only flight when it finally enacts NASA’s budget for 2011. If that money, which would come out of the additional $300 million NASA has requested for its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, is forthcoming, a successful Taurus 2-only demonstration could be followed, about three months later, with a Taurus 2 Cygnus launch to the space station.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 03:26 AM
some of use can still manage to figure out English units.  ;)

Whaddya mean, "English"?  The United Kindom of England, Scotland etc.  is officially a METRIC country... It's down to Liberia, Myanmar and... U.S.... ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 03:29 AM
Frank C., Ron Grabe and I flew to Wallops for an Executive Meeting with our Ukrainian partners at our new Dasha just west of the base.  Just before landing WFF tower cleared us for a low (> 500 ft, please) pass over the island and back before landing in spite of a rather low ceiling (legal VFR at WFF, though...) Frank took some pics of the construction underway while I put the airplane on a slip - compare with the previous ones.

Note the large LOX tank on the first pad picture... that was THE tank of road travel fame...

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 03:41 AM
I have to wonder if that is the correct structural effect of over pressurization. It almost looks like it crumped inwards from low internal pressure. Strange effect, but I'll take your sources word on the cause.

Ahem... well, if you pressure-test a tank to destruction with a gas (say, air) most of the energy that is release when the tank fails is stored in the compressed gas.  When this energy is released, it tends to distort the pieces of the tank outwards, and accelerate them to very large velocities with rather nasty consequences for the immediate surrounding.

That is why people burst-test tanks with rather incompressible WATER.  In that case, most of the energy stored pre-rupture is in the tank material, which is tensed taut like a balloon.  When it fails, the water has little energy stored (it has not compressed a lot, even under high pressure), and the energy stored in the metal tends to drive the metal back to its original position: inwards.  The resulting shape looks as if it "imploded" - but it's the opposite!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 10/25/2010 11:23 AM
Quote
"Deinde Advenimus Pontem Transierimus" - M. Antonius Eliseum

 ;D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gospacex on 10/25/2010 01:09 PM
I have to wonder if that is the correct structural effect of over pressurization. It almost looks like it crumped inwards from low internal pressure. Strange effect, but I'll take your sources word on the cause.

Ahem... well, if you pressure-test a tank to destruction with a gas (say, air) most of the energy that is release when the tank fails is stored in the compressed gas.  When this energy is released, it tends to distort the pieces of the tank outwards, and accelerate them to very large velocities with rather nasty consequences for the immediate surrounding.

That is why people burst-test tanks with rather incompressible WATER.  In that case, most of the energy stored pre-rupture is in the tank material, which is tensed taut like a balloon.  When it fails, the water has little energy stored (it has not compressed a lot, even under high pressure), and the energy stored in the metal tends to drive the metal back to its original position: inwards.  The resulting shape looks as if it "imploded" - but it's the opposite!

There is simpler explanation why the tank looks "imploded" - workers did it to fit ruptured and deformed tank on the transport platform.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 10/25/2010 03:29 PM
I have to wonder if that is the correct structural effect of over pressurization. It almost looks like it crumped inwards from low internal pressure. Strange effect, but I'll take your sources word on the cause.

Ahem... well, if you pressure-test a tank to destruction with a gas (say, air) most of the energy that is release when the tank fails is stored in the compressed gas.  When this energy is released, it tends to distort the pieces of the tank outwards, and accelerate them to very large velocities with rather nasty consequences for the immediate surrounding.

That is why people burst-test tanks with rather incompressible WATER.  In that case, most of the energy stored pre-rupture is in the tank material, which is tensed taut like a balloon.  When it fails, the water has little energy stored (it has not compressed a lot, even under high pressure), and the energy stored in the metal tends to drive the metal back to its original position: inwards.  The resulting shape looks as if it "imploded" - but it's the opposite!

Hmm. We do hydrotesting in our NF office using water, I have just never seen (or witnessed) the effects of a failure (edit to add: knowing you are referring to a burst test) to know what it would look like. Impressive. Thanks for the explanation.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 06:02 PM
There is simpler explanation why the tank looks "imploded" - workers did it to fit ruptured and deformed tank on the transport platform.

Probably both: I have a picture of the burst as it happens - you can see the water gushing out of the lower half of the tank (it was tested in a vertical position) while the top simply implodes.  I can't post that picture, it comes too close for comfort to the ITAR "don't cross" line...

I will try to find a non-ITAR sensitive picture - e.g. a SCUBA tank - to illustrate my (basic physics, O.K.?...) point.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 06:14 PM
you can see the water gushing out of the lower half of the tank (it was tested in a vertical position) while the top simply implodes.

Would sombody care to elaborate why this is also very logical (that the failure starts at the bottom)?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/25/2010 06:42 PM
you can see the water gushing out of the lower half of the tank (it was tested in a vertical position) while the top simply implodes.

Would sombody care to elaborate why this is also very logical (that the failure starts at the bottom)?

Mass of the water in the tank, leading to higher pressures in the bottom of the tank?

What about pictures of the high pressure bursting of a soda can? Doesn't take much to burst them anymore, as one of my wet coworkers can attest.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/25/2010 06:48 PM

Thinking about it, since the pressures in the bottom of the tank (Due to the mass of the fluid above it)  should be made stronger (more material) than the top of the tank. So the Top of the tank was made stronger than it needs to be, thus the top of your tank is mass inefficient. Antonioe, I am not impressed ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 07:29 PM

Thinking about it, since the pressures in the bottom of the tank (Due to the mass of the fluid above it)  should be made stronger (more material) than the top of the tank. So the Top of the tank was made stronger than it needs to be, thus the top of your tank is mass inefficient. Antonioe, I am not impressed ;)

Hah!  But the densities of LOX and kerosene are lower than that of water!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/25/2010 07:33 PM
What about pictures of the high pressure bursting of a soda can? Doesn't take much to burst them anymore, as one of my wet coworkers can attest.
(Shooting from the hip, as usual) in the case of a soda can, most of the energy is in the compressed or dissolved CO2, not in the metal, so it's more like a gas-filled test than a liquid-filled test.

Actually, I don't know if only the Kero part or both were pressurized, so I can't really answer my own question!

As the Italians say, "Se non è vero, è ben trovato" ::)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/25/2010 09:12 PM

Thinking about it, since the pressures in the bottom of the tank (Due to the mass of the fluid above it)  should be made stronger (more material) than the top of the tank. So the Top of the tank was made stronger than it needs to be, thus the top of your tank is mass inefficient. Antonioe, I am not impressed ;)

Hah!  But the densities of LOX and kerosene are lower than that of water!!!
LOx is heavier than water, as are the weighted averages of LOx and Kerosene. Only Kerosene is less dense than water. ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 10/26/2010 03:54 AM
LOx is heavier than water,

Ooops... 1.141 Kg/m3... my bad...

Quote
as are the weighted averages of LOx and Kerosene.

.. right again... I'll guess I'll turn in my Junior Rocket Scientist badge...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Comga on 10/26/2010 04:33 AM
LOx is heavier than water,
Oops... 1.141 Kg/m3... my bad...

Of course you meant
"Liquid oxygen has a density of 1.141 g/cm3, 1.141 kg/L, 1.141 mT/m3"
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 10/26/2010 06:33 AM
Perhaps Antonio can comment on (and hopefully retire) a rumor I heard a few months ago that has recently resurfaced.  The story is there is an issue with the AJ26 (NK33) engine being used for the first time in a gimbaled mode.  (Rocket historians will recall the NK was not moved for TVC in the N1 installation, but differentially throttled.)  Apparently, the motion causes problems with the turbopump, type of problem unspecified but inferred to be binding or rubbing between rotating parts and the case.

Any truth to this, and if so, is there a fix?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/26/2010 03:26 PM
Note that although the NK-33 was never flown in an system that required gimbaling, the earlier NK-19 and NK-15 were used in systems where gimbaling was required for steering (N1 Block G/GR-1). The earlier engines were well tested, and any problems with the basic design stemming from gimbaling requirements would have been discovered in the early 1960s. Whether these lessons learned were transferred to NK-33 design is another question.

As another data point, the Russian Air Launch project uses a gimbaled NK-43 for its first stage. How much technical due diligence was used to develop this design is TBD.

A contradictory indicator is that the Soyuz-1 launch vehicle that uses the NK-33 in the first stage also has a large steering engine (RD-110), with 30 tons of thrust and 4 thrust chambers. What is unknown is whether this added set of verniers exists to make the system compliant with the existing Soyuz LV avionics flight algorithms, as Soyuz today does not utilize gimbaling, and Soyuz-1 has been designed to be as close as possible to current Soyuz LV standards.





Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 10/26/2010 03:32 PM
Perhaps Antonio can comment on (and hopefully retire) a rumor I heard a few months ago that has recently resurfaced.  The story is there is an issue with the AJ26 (NK33) engine being used for the first time in a gimbaled mode.  (Rocket historians will recall the NK was not moved for TVC in the N1 installation, but differentially throttled.)  Apparently, the motion causes problems with the turbopump, type of problem unspecified but inferred to be binding or rubbing between rotating parts and the case.

Any truth to this, and if so, is there a fix?

If that's true, then like a gyroscope, the torques are sufficient to cause warping of the housing at the bearing points, or the bearings can't handle the torque.

Interesting, and obviously problematic.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kollapsderwellenfunktion on 10/27/2010 08:53 AM
it seems to me that first the russians wanted to build the soyuz-1 with a gimbaled nk-33, but than switched to the rd-0110r steering engine. if you look at scale models before 2010 you can't see the steering engine, but suddenly they introduced it.

i don't believe this has anything to do with software - it's much cheaper to change your software than introducing a new engine, i would guess.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/28/2010 01:32 AM
it seems to me that first the russians wanted to build the soyuz-1 with a gimbaled nk-33, but than switched to the rd-0110r steering engine. if you look at scale models before 2010 you can't see the steering engine, but suddenly they introduced it.

i don't believe this has anything to do with software - it's much cheaper to change your software than introducing a new engine, i would guess.

Roll control.  Can't do roll control with a single-chamber engine.  They would had to have added either roll thrusters or, as they apparently decided, stick with the proven steering engine.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/28/2010 01:15 PM
How is the Taurus II doing roll control?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 10/28/2010 01:23 PM
How is the Taurus II doing roll control?

The same way Atlas V does. Individual nozzle gimbaling.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 10/28/2010 04:03 PM
it seems to me that first the russians wanted to build the soyuz-1 with a gimbaled nk-33, but than switched to the rd-0110r steering engine. if you look at scale models before 2010 you can't see the steering engine, but suddenly they introduced it.

i don't believe this has anything to do with software - it's much cheaper to change your software than introducing a new engine, i would guess.

RD-0110R Has appeared because of desire to apply initial ÍÊ-33 with non-gimbaled chamber.
Excuse me for my English...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/28/2010 05:38 PM


RD-0110R Has appeared because of desire to apply initial NK-33 with non-gimbaled chamber.
Excuse me for my English...

Yes, but where did this desire come from? Why does Samara want to use NK-33 without gimbaling?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/28/2010 05:39 PM
Roll control.  Can't do roll control with a single-chamber engine.  They would had to have added either roll thrusters or, as they apparently decided, stick with the proven steering engine.

 - Ed Kyle

OK, I'll bite, how does Falcon 1 do roll control?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 10/28/2010 05:41 PM
OK, I'll bite, how does Falcon 1 do roll control?

Gas generator vectorable exhaust nozzle. Same for single stick Delta IV CBCs.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 10/28/2010 07:15 PM

Yes, but where did this desire come from? Why does Samara want to use NK-33 without gimbaling?


Because it more cheaply and faster
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 10/28/2010 08:14 PM

Yes, but where did this desire come from? Why does Samara want to use NK-33 without gimbaling?


Because it is cheaper and faster
Cleaned up the grammer a bit.

Remember, Soyuz already has those thrusters done, developed, all control technology perfected from decades of flight.  Replacing the main engine but keeping the other systems the same, or at least with as minimal a change as possible, brings the new system online faster, for less R&D cost.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/28/2010 08:23 PM
Replacing the main engine but keeping the other systems the same, or at least with as minimal a change as possible, brings the new system online faster, for less R&D cost.

But increases the per unit expense by keeping extra systems that could have been designed out.

I guess the trade was per unit savings at the current flight rates vs. the extra R&D and time to market costs.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 10/28/2010 08:41 PM
Because it is cheaper and faster
Cleaned up the grammer a bit.

Grammer?  ;D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 10/29/2010 06:52 PM
Replacing the main engine but keeping the other systems the same, or at least with as minimal a change as possible, brings the new system online faster, for less R&D cost.
But increases the per unit expense by keeping extra systems that could have been designed out.
The question is moot. SNTK's director-general claimed in interviews in 2003 that they'll design and build NK-33-1 that included a Cardano joint AND ROLL CONTROL in the same way Merlin does it today. That was the plan. But in the event it turned out that nobody remaining at SNTK can carry out such project. At best you can count on them to break out an engine from storage. The company is basically a zombie. When the facts on the ground percolated to the management of TzSKB, they made a switch to unmodified NK-33 + RD-0110R. Also, free T/W and payload growth thanks to reduced gravity losses, win-win for everyone.

The expense of designing a joint two-engine powerplant is balanced against the expense of designing NK-33-1, so it's a wash. But NK-33-1 is impossible and NK-33+RD-0110R is possible. It would be the choice even if it were more expensive.

-- Pete

P.S. I really, really hope that Aerojet is not a mere shell of former self like SNTK is. But I am not well versed in their remaining capacity to make rocket engines. The trouble at SNTK has a greatest import on long-term viability of Taurus II.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 10/29/2010 08:19 PM
Whaddya mean, "English"?  The United Kindom of England, Scotland etc.  is officially a METRIC country... It's down to Liberia, Myanmar and... U.S engineering.... ;)

Fixed that for you.

I'm nearly finished with an astrophysics PhD, and the last class I took that mentioned such anachronistic units was in high school...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 10/29/2010 10:39 PM
Note that although the NK-33 was never flown in an system that required gimbaling, the earlier NK-19 and NK-15 were used in systems where gimbaling was required for steering (N1 Block G/GR-1). The earlier engines were well tested, and any problems with the basic design stemming from gimbaling requirements would have been discovered in the early 1960s. Whether these lessons learned were transferred to NK-33 design is another question.

The NK-19 was based on the NK-9, not the NK-15.

I'm *pretty* sure the NK-15 was designed to be gimbaled (even though it wasn't gimbaled on the N-1).  Which is slightly weird as AFAIK from the very beginning the only vehicle-level control from the NK-15 would be throttling in clusters for pitch control.  Here are the parts list from the various factories for the NK-15, note factory 24 was to build "bellows" which suggests gimbaling (any experts know if bellows are used anywhere else on a rocket engine?):

Quote

Factory Number 24 - construction of the turbopump, kick pumps, bellows, piping system, main valves, and engine assembly for first, second, and third stages [N-1].

На заводе Но. 24 – изготовление ТНА, преднасосов, сильфонов, турбопроводов системы обвязки, основных клапанов, и сборку двигателей 1й, 2й и 3й ступени.

Factory Number 525 - construction of the combustion chamber; gas generators; pressurization, frame, and Cardan-joints of the gas generator [the turbpump shaft for the NK-15 had a joint]

На заводе Но. 525 – изготовление камер сгорания, газогенераторов, газогенераторов системы наддува, рам и карданов.

Factory 305 - Construction of valves and regulation assembly.

На заводе но. 305 – изготовление клапанов и агрегатов регулироваиня.

Kuibyshev Steel Factory - construction of castings for factories 276, 24, 305.

на сталелитейном заводе Куйбышевского совнархоза – изготовление отливок для заводов 276, 24, 305 с обеспечением поставок в следующие сроки:


EDIT:

Apparently I was wrong.  I looked at the AIAA paper covering development of the NK-33/NK-43 (Link to AIAA website (http://pdf.aiaa.org/getfile.cfm?urlX=85%26%5D0%3BU%2BDN%26S7R%20WOU%24WBQ%3A%2B64%5B8%27%5E%3F%3BJ%0A&urla=%26%2A%22%2C%2E%23P%26J%0A&urlb=%21%2A%20%20%20%0A&urlc=%21%2A0%20%20%0A&urld=%28%2A%22D%23%22%40%3AATA%2C%20%0A&urle=%27%282%28%27%21P%3EBT0%20%20%0A)):

Quote
Gimbal System: The primary Aerojet modification done to support Kistler requirements is the addition of ±6 degree hydraulic gimbal system. This modification requires reconfiguring the existing engine thrust mount,the addition of a gimbal block as well as two hydraulic actuators that use high pressure kerosene tapped off downstream of the turbopump as a working fluid. The engine thrust mount is being developed in cooperation with NK Engines of Samara, Russia. The engine gimbal block is a shortened version of the current SSME gimbal block. lt is important to note that these engine modifications do not alter the design or function of the engine cycle or turbomachinery.   

EDIT 2: And just to put a nail in this coffin for posterity, I found an AIAA paper from 1993 written by the folks in Samara that clearly states:

Quote
Therefore, the engines for all three launch vehicle stages were designed and developed without gimbal.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/30/2010 01:44 AM
How about vibration decoupling. With out a bellows or similar flexure you have ridgid plumbing that transfers vibrations through out the engine, turbo machinery, and mount.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kollapsderwellenfunktion on 10/30/2010 04:07 AM
as far as i understand sntk is in the process of being integrated in a larger structure. they are servicing engines for the strategic bombers, and they get money for restoring production for them.

the nk-33-1 still seems to be an active project even if it's prospects seem to be bleak. but who would have thought in the nineties that a russian space program would still exist today.....so let's wait and see.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 10/30/2010 04:19 AM
as far as i understand sntk is in the process of being integrated in a larger structure. they are servicing engines for the strategic bombers, and they get money for restoring production for them.

the nk-33-1 still seems to be an active project even if it's prospects seem to be bleak. but who would have thought in the nineties that a russian space program would still exist today.....so let's wait and see.

Not only is there a Russian space program but it is arguably the most capable in the world.

Modified NK-12 engines are also used in about 1/3 of Gazprom's natural gas pumping plants.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kollapsderwellenfunktion on 10/30/2010 05:08 AM
i really would like to see the nk-33 back into production, and much seems to depend on on the success of the soyuz-1. it's getting federal funding now - not a bad sign.

but of course - it would be difficult to revive a 40 year old design. but if the soyuz-1 and the taurus II will have some success there will be the need to do so at some point.

in my view it all depends on the russian state - and it's military does not like the angara because it seems to cost more, nor the rockot for some other reasons.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Proponent on 10/30/2010 02:03 PM
Modified NK-12 engines are also used in about 1/3 of Gazprom's natural gas pumping plants.

In what role?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 10/30/2010 03:00 PM
Modified NK-12 engines are also used in about 1/3 of Gazprom's natural gas pumping plants.

Everyone should note that SNTK also designs jet engines, and so these Gazprom NK-12 engines are not rocket engines.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 10/30/2010 06:23 PM
Modified NK-12 engines are also used in about 1/3 of Gazprom's natural gas pumping plants.

In what role?

For natural gas compression.  At the end of their service life on airplanes (Tu-95's?) some of them are converted to work as natural gas compressors for pumping stations.  Since the speeds, temps, and power levels are much lower their service life is extended.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/10/2010 05:57 PM
http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/images/Milestone10-20-2010.pdf

3-rd quarter 2011 - Risk reduction test flight Taurus II;
4-th quarter 2011 - Cygnus Demo;
1-st quarter 2012 - Cygnus CRS1/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2010 09:38 PM
Woot!

RELEASE: 10-296

NASA TEST FIRES NEW ROCKET ENGINE FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE VEHICLE

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in
Mississippi conducted a successful test firing Wednesday of the
liquid-fuel AJ26 engine that will power the first stage of Orbital
Sciences Corp.'s Taurus II space launch vehicle. Orbital and its
engine supplier, Aerojet, test-fired the engine on Stennis' E-1 test
stand. The test directly supports NASA's partnerships to enable
commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station.

The initial test, the first in a series of three firings, lasted 10
seconds and served as a short-duration readiness firing to verify
AJ26 engine start and shutdown sequences, E-1 test stand operations,
and ground-test engine controls.

The test was conducted by a joint operations team comprised of
Orbital, Aerojet and Stennis engineers, with Stennis employees
serving as test conductors. The joint operations team and other NASA
engineers will conduct an in-depth data review of all subsystems in
preparation for a 50-second hot-fire acceptance test scheduled
several weeks from now. A third hot-fire test at Stennis also is
planned to verify tuning of engine control valves.

"Congratulations to Orbital and Aerojet for successfully completing
another major milestone," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator
for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
in Washington. "This brings us one step closer to realizing NASA's
goals for accessing low Earth orbit via commercial spacecraft."

The AJ26 engine is designed to power the Taurus II space vehicle on
flights to low Earth orbit. The NASA-Orbital partnership was formed
under the agency's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services joint
research and development project. The company is under contract with
NASA to provide eight cargo missions to the space station through
2015.

"With this first test, Stennis not only demonstrates its versatility
and status as the nation's premiere rocket engine test facility, it
also opens an exciting new chapter in the nation's space program,"
said Patrick Scheuermann, Stennis' center director. "We're proud to
be partnering with Orbital to enable the wave of the future --
commercial flights to space and eventual resupply of cargo to the
International Space Station."

In addition to the Orbital partnership, Stennis also conducts testing
on Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's RS-68 rocket engine. The AJ26 is the
first new engine in years to be tested at Stennis. Operators spent
more than two years modifying the E-1 test stand in preparation. Work
included construction of a 27-foot-deep flame deflector trench, major
structural modifications and new fluid and gas delivery systems.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 11/10/2010 10:34 PM
Woot!

RELEASE: 10-296

NASA TEST FIRES NEW ROCKET ENGINE FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE VEHICLE

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in
Mississippi conducted a successful test firing Wednesday of the
liquid-fuel AJ26 engine that will power the first stage of Orbital
Sciences Corp.'s Taurus II space launch vehicle. Orbital and its
engine supplier, Aerojet, test-fired the engine on Stennis' E-1 test
stand. The test directly supports NASA's partnerships to enable
commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station.

Fantastic news!!!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 11/11/2010 05:16 AM
Fantastic!

I'm someone who loves underdogs, and the AJ-26 is clearly an underdog engine in todays market.  I still hold out hope to see it fly, and I've already let my wife know, I will be flying to VA to watch the Taurus II launch next year.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 11/11/2010 07:43 AM
Fantastic!

I'm someone who loves underdogs, and the AJ-26 is clearly an underdog engine in todays market.  I still hold out hope to see it fly, and I've already let my wife know, I will be flying to VA to watch the Taurus II launch next year.

++

The story of these engines is just amazing, and I hope there are no mishaps and the Taurus II is successful.  Of course part of success is just luck, but the Orbital team is the best in the business and I'm confident we'll see some great launches in the next few years.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/11/2010 12:36 PM
Congratulations! :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Space Pete on 11/11/2010 10:03 PM
NASA TV Video: Rocket Engine for Commercial Space Vehicle Test Fired at Stennis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpLb-bifrZ8
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: bad_astra on 11/12/2010 02:17 PM
Very important milestone. Congratulations  Orbital!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 11/18/2010 12:03 AM
Someone on another forum was perusing through the Taurus II user's manual and noticed that it says Orbital is using helium for tank pressurization and that this pressurization system is used for propellant flow rate control.  From the manual:

Quote
The pressurization system, with a maximum pressure of 220 atm, operates in a blow down mode and supplies gas through a manifold of valves that are cycled open to control propellant flow rate.

My answer (and his instinct) was that the tank pressurization system for the NK-15/NK-33 was designed for the much lower pressure tanks of the N-1 (which were spherical and not load-bearing, hence very thin).  So the monocoque Taurus II structure needs much higher tank pressurization, which the engines as-is are incapable of providing.  The resulting inlet pressure into the inducer-impeller is much higher than design parameters, so the engine throttling system may work off-design necessitating flow-rate control via means of throttling the independent tank pressurization system.  I assume engine throttling is some kind of hybrid system using both the tank pressurization as well as control valves on the engine.

Anyone know if this is correct? And if so in what regimes the two throttling systems work in (e.g. when and how do they work together?).

I've included a great scan I have of the NK-15 showing the tank pressurization lines in the lower left.  I assume the NK-33 is basically the same.

(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3017621/tem_plan003.jpg)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 11/18/2010 02:30 AM
drbobguy
Don't know the answer to your question, but you can find some more drawings and information for the nk-33 at http://www.lpre.de/sntk/NK-33/index.htm

google translated http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lpre.de%2Fsntk%2FNK-33%2Findex.htm but google seems to have trouble translating the whole page. Using the built in translate feature of chrome worked better for me.

The section on "Turbopump assembly (TNA)" says
Quote
To meet the requirements to ensure the TNA work at low pressures at the pump inlet (in the TOR for NK-15/33 indicated inlet pressure oxidizer pump 1.5 kg/cm2) in the engine used by pumping up (booster) pumps. In this case, instead of individual booster pumps used embedded in the main turbopump prednasosy that simplifies the wiring of components and reduced the size and weight control.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 11/18/2010 05:09 AM
No one throttles an engine with ullage pressure.

A structurally stable tank requires less ullage pressure, not more.  It may not require any depending on what the buckling margins are.

When you're thinking about pressurization on this vehicle, Zenit is a more valid comparison than N-1.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 11/18/2010 09:44 PM
Well the N-1 is somewhat valid since these engines were originally designed for the N-1 (not Zenit).

But I'm still curious as to why helium is being used and not the O2/RP-1 gas lines from the engines.  And I still don't understand this quote, which clearly implies propellant flow rate control is at least partly via tank pressurization:

Quote
The LOX and RP-1 tank bays consist primarily of their corresponding propellant tanks. Both propellant tanks include level sensors used during propellant loading and for measuring propellant levels in flight. This in-flight measurement is used by Stage 1 avionics for calculations to determine engine mixture ratio adjustments for minimizing residuals in the propellant tanks. The RP-1 tank incorporates a tunnel to ac- commodate the LOX feed line through the center of the RP-1 tank instead of routing around it for packag- ing efficiency. The LOX feed line runs down the center of the RP-1 tank to the aft end of the stage where the MES is mounted. Helium is used for pressurizing both the LOX and RP-1 tanks. Helium pressuriza- tion gas bottles are submerged within the LOX tank for gas storage efficiency. The pressurization sys- tem, with a maximum pressure of 220 atm, operates in a blow down mode and supplies gas through a manifold of valves that are cycled open to control propellant flow rate.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 11/19/2010 01:24 PM
Orbital Sciences has a further Taurus II update at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII regarding "Upper Stage Modal Survey Completed."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 11/19/2010 08:07 PM
Is there a source showing an NK-33 with a heat exchanger?  It's not shown on LPRE.de
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 11/20/2010 05:23 AM
Orbital Sciences has a further Taurus II update at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII regarding "Upper Stage Modal Survey Completed."

And a pretty graphic description of the size difference between the Castor 30 and the first stage...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/20/2010 04:20 PM
And a pretty graphic description of the size difference between the Castor 30 and the first stage...

The U.S. contribution to Taurus 2 propulsion.  For awhile.  It clearly has an "interim" look.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 11/22/2010 07:03 PM
First Taurus II Stage 1 core arrived at the Port of Wilmington.  Overland trucking to Wallops delayed until after the Thanksgiving long weekend per the Maryland authorities to avoid the holydays traffic.

Next long-duration (50 seconds) AJ-26 ATP firing (with TVC) scheduled for Dec 15 at Stennis.  Data from the first 10-sec "burp" looking great.

Gobble, gobble!...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 11/23/2010 12:21 AM
TVC = gimbaling, I presume.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 11/23/2010 01:45 AM
TVC = gimbaling, I presume.


TVC = Thrust Vector Control.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 11/23/2010 04:04 AM
TVC = gimbaling, I presume.


TVC = Thrust Vector Control.

OK, I'll bite: for Taurus II, how the thrust vector controlled?

 ???
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 11/23/2010 04:33 AM
6 deg of gimbal according to: http://www.spaceandtech.com/spacedata/engines/nk33_specs.shtml
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 11/23/2010 06:13 AM
IIRC, the NK-33 was not gimbaled for N-1?  Something spinning at several thousand RPM and then tilting leaves me skittish, especially when there's oxidizer involved.  Is there another engine where a turbopump moves with the nozzle?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: STS-200 on 11/23/2010 09:06 AM
IIRC, the NK-33 was not gimbaled for N-1?  Something spinning at several thousand RPM and then tilting leaves me skittish, especially when there's oxidizer involved.  Is there another engine where a turbopump moves with the nozzle?

Most pump fed engines do.

Its much easier to design a low pressure flexible feed line than a high pressure one - for mass, reliability and resonance reasons.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 11/23/2010 03:11 PM
IIRC, the NK-33 was not gimbaled for N-1?  Something spinning at several thousand RPM and then tilting leaves me skittish, especially when there's oxidizer involved.  Is there another engine where a turbopump moves with the nozzle?

Off the top of my head, the only US one that doesn't move the turbopump is the Titan II.

The Russians use fixed turbopumps a lot (RD170 family, including RD180).

But moving rotating machinery rapidly is not that unusual: fighters do it routinely.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 11/23/2010 04:40 PM
Observe two thing:
 - the TVC system for AJ-26 was developed by Aerojet in U.S., although a long time ago
 - A project existed in 2006 to create a similar system at SNTK in Russia, called "NK-33-1", it failed

The reason SNTK failed to replicate what Aerojet have done was the lack of qualified personnel. The company is an empty shell of former self now. When the situation became clear, TsSKB decided to use RD-0110R on what was renamed into Soyuz-2-1v (also, 7 tonne-force of extra thrust, win-win for everyone except SNTK).

So, I wonder if Aerojet would be able to do the same in 2010. If yes, it may be better to bet on them to restart the production by 2016, than on Kuznetsov or whatever government structure (an "FGUP") swallows their remnant by then.

(NK-33-1 was supposed to include roll control too, for use in Soyuz-1, which would make it a bit different from AJ-26, but that's a small detail.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 11/23/2010 04:42 PM
Off the top of my head, the only US one that doesn't move the turbopump is the Titan II.


Atlas MA-5 boosters
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 11/23/2010 06:48 PM
RS-27 and RS-68 only move the chambers.  RL10 moves the whole thing.  SSME moves the high pressures.  But those were designed for it.  The N-1 steered with variable thrust.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 11/23/2010 06:53 PM
RS-27 and RS-68 only move the chambers.  RL10 moves the whole thing.  SSME moves the high pressures.  But those were designed for it.  The N-1 steered with variable thrust.

And on the later flights with vernier thrusters for roll control.  I'm still not clear on this, but the first two flights didn't have those vernier thrusters, so I assume they used attitude control thrusters for roll control.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/23/2010 09:37 PM
Observe two thing:
 - the TVC system for AJ-26 was developed by Aerojet in U.S., although a long time ago
 - A project existed in 2006 to create a similar system at SNTK in Russia, called "NK-33-1", it failed

The reason SNTK failed to replicate what Aerojet have done was the lack of qualified personnel. The company is an empty shell of former self now.
The TVC system for NK-33-1 was developed by Arsenal (Saint Petersburg) (http://www.mzarsenal.spb.ru/69) in USSR for RD-0120, although a long time ago.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/23/2010 10:10 PM
Observe two thing:
 - the TVC system for AJ-26 was developed by Aerojet in U.S., although a long time ago
 - A project existed in 2006 to create a similar system at SNTK in Russia, called "NK-33-1", it failed

The reason SNTK failed to replicate what Aerojet have done was the lack of qualified personnel. The company is an empty shell of former self now. When the situation became clear, TsSKB decided to use RD-0110R on what was renamed into Soyuz-2-1v (also, 7 tonne-force of extra thrust, win-win for everyone except SNTK).

So, I wonder if Aerojet would be able to do the same in 2010. If yes, it may be better to bet on them to restart the production by 2016, than on Kuznetsov or whatever government structure (an "FGUP") swallows their remnant by then.

(NK-33-1 was supposed to include roll control too, for use in Soyuz-1, which would make it a bit different from AJ-26, but that's a small detail.)
The lift-off mass of Soyuz-1 is 158t . SNTK refused to increase the thrust of NK-33 produced 40 years ago from 154 tf to 185-190 tf. 
Then TsSKB decided to use RD-0110R (30tf + TVC) and stationary NK-33 (154 tf + 8% = 166 tf).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 11/23/2010 10:41 PM
The lift-off mass of Soyuz-1 is 158t . SNTK refused to increase the thrust of NK-33 produced 40 years ago from 154 tf to 185-190 tf. 
Then TsSKB decided to use RD-0110R (30tf + TVC) and stationary NK-33 (154 tf + 8% = 166 tf).
Thanks for explaining that. I suppose 30 is nothing to sneeze at.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 11/23/2010 11:33 PM
I'm still not clear on this, but the first two flights didn't have those vernier thrusters, so I assume they used attitude control thrusters for roll control.

Fat lot of good it did on the third flight, which IIRC spun itself to pieces...  :-\
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/24/2010 05:02 AM
The lift-off mass of Soyuz-1 is 158t . SNTK refused to increase the thrust of NK-33 produced 40 years ago from 154 tf to 185-190 tf. 
Then TsSKB decided to use RD-0110R (30tf + TVC) and stationary NK-33 (154 tf + 8% = 166 tf).
Thanks for explaining that. I suppose 30 is nothing to sneeze at.
Yes, I made a mistake. Sea level trust RD-0110 is near 24tf. But this is not significantly.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/24/2010 05:22 AM
RS-27 and RS-68 only move the chambers.  RL10 moves the whole thing.  SSME moves the high pressures.  But those were designed for it.  The N-1 steered with variable thrust.

And on the later flights with vernier thrusters for roll control.  I'm still not clear on this, but the first two flights didn't have those vernier thrusters, so I assume they used attitude control thrusters for roll control.
Hot gaz from gaz-generator discharged through the steering nozzles used for roll control on N-1. There were six steering nozzles on the first stage N-1. Hot gaz also used for fuel tank pressurization.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 11/24/2010 05:31 AM
Hot gaz from gaz-generator discharged through the steering nozzles used for roll control on N-1. There were six steering nozzles on the first stage N-1. Hot gaz also used for fuel tank pressurization.

Interesting!

So the gas used in the vernier steering nozzles came from the heat exchanger also used in tank pressurization?

So the question remains, if there were only six nozzles on the first stage (and those are very small!), which engines were connected to the six nozzles? Or were there tap-offs on each engine for the vernier nozzles?

Спасибо вам огромное за информацию.  Я читал оригналние документы о НК-33 в архиве в самаре, но этот вопрос останился.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 11/24/2010 05:37 AM
Hot gaz from gaz-generator discharged through the steering nozzles used for roll control on N-1. There were six steering nozzles on the first stage N-1. Hot gaz also used for fuel tank pressurization.

Interesting!

So the gas used in the vernier steering nozzles came from the heat exchanger also used in tank pressurization?

So the question remains, if there were only six nozzles on the first stage (and those are very small!), which engines were connected to the six nozzles? Or were there tap-offs on each engine for the vernier nozzles?

Спасибо вам огромное за информацию.  Я читал оригналние документы о НК-33 в архиве в самаре, но этот вопрос останился.
It is also telling of the changes which were done on the N1 from the NK-15 to the NK-33.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/24/2010 09:05 AM
Interesting!Спасибо вам огромное за информацию.  Я читал оригналние документы о НК-33 в архиве в самаре, но этот вопрос останился.
Antipov Vladimir Nikolaevich (nick Vovan) posted this infomation on NK forum. (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=184695#184695)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 11/24/2010 09:48 AM
Interesting!

So the gas used in the vernier steering nozzles came from the heat exchanger also used in tank pressurization?

So the question remains, if there were only six nozzles on the first stage (and those are very small!), which engines were connected to the six nozzles? Or were there tap-offs on each engine for the vernier nozzles?я.
I don't know.
But I think the hot gas discharged in six nozzles from six engines gas-generators trap without heat exchanger. Gas-generator traps with heat exchangers from other 24 engines used for tank pressurisation.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 12/02/2010 02:02 PM
AntonioE generously continues teaching to advance aerospace - this time with the news media!  Good work and thank you!

Rocket Science 101
Sponsored By
The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority & Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport,
The Virginia Press Association and
The Virginia Association of Broadcasters

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) & Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in cooperation with the Virginia Press Association and Virginia Association of Broadcasters are sponsoring “Rocket Science 101” an educational seminar on April 21, 2011 at the VPA headquarters in Glen Allen, VA.

The purpose of the workshop is to educate print, electronic, broadcast and cable media, about Virginia’s newest business, commercial space launches to the International Space Station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Orbital Sciences Corp’s., new Taurus II rocket. MARS first launch to the moon in 2012 will also be discussed. Business, policy, science/technology and general interest journalists, reporters, publishers and writers are encouraged to attend.

Topics covered will include the business aspects of rocket design and rocket launching; the Taurus II rocket design and technology, the business of launching rockets and the role of MARS,  a commercial spaceport located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, safety and range control center operations and responsibilities, commercial space, NASA’s COTS/CRS programs . 

Following this workshop, the VCSFA/MARS will be offering tours of the MARS Spaceport, May 2, 3 or 4th from  10:30 am to 3:30 pm.  The Spaceport is located on Wallops Island, on the Eastern Shore. NASA Security procedures require each participant to provide first, middle and last names, title, company/organization, phone and e mail address, and confirmation of U.S. Citizenship.  Tour participants must also bring a photo ID the day of their tour.

This program will be presented by Dr. Antonio Elias,  Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Executive Vice President  & General Manager for Advanced Programs,  Billie M. Reed, Executive Director of the VCSFA & MARS;  Thomas “Jay” Pittman, Chief,  Range and Mission Management at NASA Wallops. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/02/2010 02:57 PM
How do I forge a press credential again? Drool, Drool...

Edit: Does occasionally posting to NSF count as having a blog, and there fore count as being part of the press?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 12/03/2010 01:59 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has a new update posting with photos of the Taurus II first stage core being unloaded at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware.  The posting can be read at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 12/03/2010 04:01 PM
The first stage core is supposed to arrive at Wallops in the next few hours.  They'll be driving it right next to the sounding rocket building, so I'll try and get outside to grab a few pictures to post.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 12/03/2010 04:03 PM
I just got this one:
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 12/03/2010 04:06 PM
I just go this one:

Good luck trying to pawn that monster   :D
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lee Jay on 12/03/2010 04:07 PM
Amazing what you can pick up at a pawn shop these days.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 12/03/2010 04:14 PM
You don't understand - we stopped at the Pawn shop to get some Ground Support Equipment items, not to pawn the stage!...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lee Jay on 12/03/2010 04:26 PM
You don't understand - we stopped at the Pawn shop to get some Ground Support Equipment items, not to pawn the stage!...

Let me guess.  An old-west Colt .45 for security, a silver-plated lighter with extension to light the stage and a case of Billy Beer for the crew?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 12/03/2010 04:31 PM
Amazing what you can pick up at a pawn shop these days.

I couldn't help myself  ;D
(http://imgur.com/RtIhz.jpg)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 12/03/2010 05:06 PM
You don't understand - we stopped at the Pawn shop to get some Ground Support Equipment items, not to pawn the stage!...
I thought you'd be picking up the NK-33s there ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 12/03/2010 05:15 PM
She just pulled through the main gate about 5 minutes ago.  Driving around the main base now.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 12/03/2010 05:21 PM
"She" ? ? ? ! ! !   How nautical!...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 12/03/2010 05:26 PM
Let me guess.  An old-west Colt .45 for security, a silver-plated lighter with extension to light the stage and a case of Billy Beer for the crew?

Well, the stage came with some surplus Soviet-era AK47's, and we picked up the beer (120 minute IPA) in Milton on the way from Wilmington, but you're right about the lighter...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 12/03/2010 07:48 PM
Here is an album I threw together of some pictures that a co-worker took.  There's some background on what you're seeing in the image captions.

http://imgur.com/a/omx1C/tP4mM (http://imgur.com/a/omx1C/tP4mM)

Enjoy!

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 12/03/2010 07:59 PM
...we picked up the beer (120 minute IPA) in Milton...
Dogfish Head, nice choice.  Strong stuff, but appropriate!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 12/03/2010 10:39 PM
(120 minute IPA)

Antonio's stock just went up.  Good taste.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/03/2010 11:54 PM
Here is an album I threw together of some pictures that a co-worker took.  There's some background on what you're seeing in the image captions.

http://imgur.com/a/omx1C/tP4mM (http://imgur.com/a/omx1C/tP4mM)

Enjoy!

I believe this is right near the parking spots where I parked for the open house this summer, the building to the left at the turn is where the sounding rockets are constructed right?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lee Jay on 12/04/2010 12:09 AM
Let me guess.  An old-west Colt .45 for security, a silver-plated lighter with extension to light the stage and a case of Billy Beer for the crew?

Well, the stage came with some surplus Soviet-era AK47's, and we picked up the beer (120 minute IPA) in Milton on the way from Wilmington, but you're right about the lighter...

Well, 1-for-3.  I'll take it.

Don't forget to pick yourself up a nice grad student to run that lighter for you.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 12/04/2010 01:10 AM
...we picked up the beer (120 minute IPA) in Milton...
Dogfish Head, nice choice.  Strong stuff, but appropriate!

Dear GOD! I never knew they made such a brew!

(laughed my butt off on the pawn shop comments...it was my first thought as well).

Nice to see things coming together.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 12/04/2010 03:13 AM
Here is an album I threw together of some pictures that a co-worker took. 
Outstanding pics!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ineedalife999 on 12/05/2010 01:45 AM
Here is an album I threw together of some pictures that a co-worker took.  There's some background on what you're seeing in the image captions.

http://imgur.com/a/omx1C/tP4mM (http://imgur.com/a/omx1C/tP4mM)

Enjoy!

I believe this is right near the parking spots where I parked for the open house this summer, the building to the left at the turn is where the sounding rockets are constructed right?

Yup, that's the spot!  Good ol' F-10 (sounding rockets), home sweet home.


Here is an album I threw together of some pictures that a co-worker took. 
Outstanding pics!

I'll pass that on to her.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 12/07/2010 02:24 PM
Let me guess.  An old-west Colt .45 for security, a silver-plated lighter with extension to light the stage and a case of Billy Beer for the crew?

Well, the stage came with some surplus Soviet-era AK47's, and we picked up the beer (120 minute IPA) in Milton on the way from Wilmington, but you're right about the lighter...

Antonio, if you would like Dogfish can craft and bottle a special Taurus II beer.  Just let me know.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 12/07/2010 02:26 PM
A news article was published today in The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland telling of the arrival of the Taurus II first stage core at Wallops.  The article can be read at http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20101207/NEWS01/12070380/Stage-1-of-rocket-arrives-at-Wallops.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Space Pete on 12/07/2010 09:19 PM
Stage One Core Arrives at Wallops, Launch Site Development Update.

The core structure of the Taurus II first stage arrived at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Eastern Virginia on Dec 3, 2010. The core structure was manufactured in Ukraine by Orbital's subcontractor Yuzhmash. After arrival by a transoceanic cargo ship at the Port of Wilmington, DE, it was transported by overland to the NASA Wallops launch site and was off-loaded into Building H-100 where it will undergo checkout and integration testing. The initial stage 1 core structure is scheduled to be used for a series of tests at the launch pad, including propellant flow operations to demonstrate the filling of the vehicle’s tanks, for ground tests that simulate the in-flight propellant flow to the dual AJ-26 engines that provide the propulsion for Stage 1, and for a hot-fire demonstration during the final lead up to the first launch scheduled in the third quarter of 2011.

In addition to the progress being made on the Taurus II rocket, construction continues at a brisk pace at the Wallops Island launch site. Installation of interior infrastructure at the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF), where Taurus II will be assembled and tested, nears completion with occupancy of the facility slated for January 2011. At the launch pad, the majority of the concrete has been poured and installation of fuel storage tanks and feed lines continues. Prominent features visible in the photos below include the flame deflector, the launch mount and two of the pad's four lightning towers.

Photos: www.orbital.com/TaurusII
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 12/08/2010 11:28 PM
The HIF looks at least 4 times larger than SpaceX' assembly hangar (2 bays and each twice as tall). I am wondering if Orbital can sustain more launches per a period of time. Also, can't wait to see the transporter-erector-launcher.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 12/09/2010 07:04 PM
Taurus II:
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 12/10/2010 07:22 PM
Taurus II:

Nice, thanks!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/10/2010 08:56 PM
Taurus II:

Nice, thanks!
Agreed! Also seems to show how much performance growth this launcher has if it uses a bigger upper stage.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 12/10/2010 09:16 PM
Taurus II:

Nice, thanks!
Agreed! Also seems to show how much performance growth this launcher has if it uses a bigger upper stage.
By my estimate, with an ACES upper stage it could equal Atlas V with the same.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/14/2010 05:50 AM
The HIF looks at least 4 times larger than SpaceX' assembly hangar (2 bays and each twice as tall). I am wondering if Orbital can sustain more launches per a period of time. Also, can't wait to see the transporter-erector-launcher.
If they plan to, I have a related question (for someone more knowledgable than I). Do you think Orbital will face a greater challenge in system integration because their parts are coming from so many vendors (vs spacex who is making almost all the parts themselves)?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 12/14/2010 06:55 AM
will [Orbital] face a greater challenge in system integration because their parts are coming from so many vendors

This concern is valid, but systems integration is one of Orbital's core competencies.  There may be no other U.S. aerospace company that manages external dependencies better than they do.

As I see it, NASA is counting on Orbital to be planful and methodical (and thus successful), while NASA is counting on SpaceX to be reactive and agile (and thus successful).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: notsorandom on 12/14/2010 07:24 AM
That cut away drawing really shows the size difference between the first and second stage. Does anyone know about what velocity is the Taurus II going when the first stage separates? Seems like the first stage should provide quite a kick!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 12/14/2010 08:06 AM
Sample burnout velocities are included in the User Guide AFAIK.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: just-nick on 12/14/2010 06:55 PM
The HIF looks at least 4 times larger than SpaceX' assembly hangar (2 bays and each twice as tall). I am wondering if Orbital can sustain more launches per a period of time. Also, can't wait to see the transporter-erector-launcher.
If they plan to, I have a related question (for someone more knowledgable than I). Do you think Orbital will face a greater challenge in system integration because their parts are coming from so many vendors (vs spacex who is making almost all the parts themselves)?
In house vs. integrated pose different challenges --

Every time I've been on a project where we did everything ourselves, the conversations over beer focused on how we should have bought and integrated off the shelf solutions.  Every time I've been on a project where we tried to integrate off the shelf solutions, the conversations over beer focused on how we should have done everything ourselves.
 
  --N
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lars_J on 12/14/2010 07:57 PM
Every time I've been on a project where we did everything ourselves, the conversations over beer focused on how we should have bought and integrated off the shelf solutions.  Every time I've been on a project where we tried to integrate off the shelf solutions, the conversations over beer focused on how we should have done everything ourselves.

It is certainly an interesting study to see two competing companies pursuing such completely opposite approaches to accomplish the same thing. Orbital sub-contracts out major (and minor) parts where they can. SpaceX builds everything in-house where they can.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: alexw on 12/14/2010 09:30 PM
Does Orbital's new lifting-body proposal, atop Atlas V, mean that Orbital is less bullish on antonioe's plans for a follow-on RD-0124-based upper stage? Or that new-build, possibly domestic NK-33 looks less feasible?

Or does it just reflect the bandwagon -- that Orbital will have plenty to do bringing Taurus II/Cygnus online, and that since manned-Atlas V 402 seems likely to go forward for any of several commercial customers, it's just a better business decision to submit a higher-confidence crew-vehicle proposal for contract now and leave any follow-on launch vehicle for a later day?
 
-Alex
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 12/15/2010 01:18 AM
Does Orbital's new lifting-body proposal, atop Atlas V, mean that Orbital is less bullish on antonioe's plans for a follow-on RD-0124-based upper stage? Or that new-build, possibly domestic NK-33 looks less feasible?

I suspect it's a sober assessement how long it is going to take to bring a high-energy upper stage online. Also, spaceships are typically more profitable than launchers. It makes a good business sense to off-load launch to some hapless ULA that is barred from building satellites by its agreement with FTC. Heck I even suspect Taurus II largely came about because under Griffin regime any talk about launching on Atlas was grounds for severe repressions. Orbital would not be given any chance at COTS if they proposed Cygnus on top of Atlas. The t/Space proposal floundered upon it among other things. Things are different now, so everyone is turning towards Atlas again.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2010 02:24 AM

. It makes a good business sense to off-load launch to some hapless ULA that is barred from building satellites by its agreement with FTC.

Hapless?   ULA is not an aerospace company, it is a launch vehicle company
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 12/15/2010 06:44 AM
Does Orbital's new lifting-body proposal, atop Atlas V, mean that Orbital is less bullish on antonioe's plans for a follow-on RD-0124-based upper stage? Or that new-build, possibly domestic NK-33 looks less feasible?
Enhanced Taurus II will have a payload only 7 ton.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/15/2010 12:55 PM
Heck I even suspect Taurus II largely came about because under Griffin regime any talk about launching on Atlas was grounds for severe repressions.

Huh? Beside's the NOAA payloads how many NASA ELV contracts have gone to Delta IV?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 12/15/2010 01:06 PM
Heck I even suspect Taurus II largely came about because under Griffin regime any talk about launching on Atlas was grounds for severe repressions.

Huh? Beside's the NOAA payloads how many NASA ELV contracts have gone to Delta IV?

He's not talking about NASA launch services for unmanned probes. He's talking about the danger of Atlas/Delta being perceived as competition to Ares I if they were used for station resupply (and conceivably later, also crews).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/15/2010 01:17 PM
And Taurus II wasn't a threat? Or was because it would be a "Delta II" replacement?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 12/15/2010 01:30 PM
And Taurus II wasn't a threat? Or was because it would be a "Delta II" replacement?

I don't think Griffin really expected either F9 or T-II would fly before Ares I and he could always claim they were unproven vehicles anyway. Contrast that to EELVs which debuted in 2001 IIRC and would have accumulated a good flight history by the time Ares I ever left the ground. So no, COTS vehicles were not seen as much of a competition to Ares I as EELV, from both safety and performance standpoints.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/15/2010 04:17 PM
will [Orbital] face a greater challenge in system integration because their parts are coming from so many vendors

That is the nature of manufacturing today.  Most (good) car  companies no longer really even make cars, they buy parts from other vendors and then integrate it.  It is called Toyotaism, and it is practically the world standard today. Boeing uses it to make airplanes, and Dell uses it to make computers.  This reduces things like hierarchy costs as you dont have to have a huge number of skilled managers overseeing every production aspect.  It does suffer in the ability to introduce risk, but if you follow the total quality management philosophy you can use a skilled production line to exponentially increase quality control (Toyota used to do this, but apparently cut corners causing the recent recalls)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/15/2010 04:30 PM
That is the nature of manufacturing today.  Most (good) car  companies no longer really even make cars, they buy parts from other vendors and then integrate it.  It is called Toyotaism, and it is practically the world standard today. Boeing uses it to make airplanes ....

I'm afraid that Boeing is a Bad Example of this process, given the serious, almost stupid (parts not fitting together for crying out loud, fasteners failing, parts not strong enough, fire on test flight, overweight, under-range, and so on) engineering and manufacturing issues - and more than three year delay (so far) - with 787.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/16/2010 12:46 AM
No ITAR stuff on this site. Regardless if it's on a Russian site.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/16/2010 04:16 AM
No ITAR stuff on this site. Regardless if it's on a Russian site.
I don't see how this applies here.  ITAR relates to U.S. persons providing foreign (non-U.S.) persons with access to ITAR protected information.  ITAR itself only protects U.S. materials on the export side.  The structure of the Taurus 2 first stage is not made or designed in the U.S..  It was imported. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/16/2010 04:26 AM
No ITAR stuff on this site. Regardless if it's on a Russian site.
I don't see how this applies here.  ITAR relates to U.S. persons providing foreign (non-U.S.) persons with access to ITAR protected information.  ITAR itself only protects U.S. materials on the export side.  The structure of the Taurus 2 first stage is not made or designed in the U.S..  It was imported. 

 - Ed Kyle

Just so everyone knows, when I said "ITAR shmITAR," I was joking.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 12/16/2010 05:13 PM
ITAR relates to U.S. persons providing foreign (non-U.S.) persons with access to ITAR protected information.  ITAR itself only protects U.S. materials on the export side.  The structure of the Taurus 2 first stage is not made or designed in the U.S..  It was imported. 

 - Ed Kyle

I don't think this is correct; according to the training I got, ITAR does not distinguish between information related to or generated by U.S. companies or devices.  If I give a "non-US person" information on the Yuzhnoye Stage 1 without a written, USG-approved agreement, I am in violation of ITAR.

Other countries, Ukraine and Russia included, have their own versions as part of the same agreement that the U.S. is a signatory of, which generates the U.S. regs.

Having said that, I doubt very much the eliminated drawing would have been considered as containing restricted information, but I think Chris is doing the right thing by playing it safe.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mmeijeri on 12/16/2010 05:16 PM
Just so everyone knows, when I said "ITAR shmITAR," I was joking.

Tell it to the judge. ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 12/16/2010 05:51 PM
ITAR prohibits the export of any unapproved data, regardless of the national origin of the data.   
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/16/2010 06:29 PM
Just so everyone knows, when I said "ITAR shmITAR," I was joking.

Tell it to the judge. ;)
I only said that in response to the "offending" post. I didn't post anything besides "ITAR, SHMITAR ;)."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/16/2010 06:31 PM
ITAR prohibits the export of any unapproved data, regardless of the national origin of the data.   
I still don't think ITAR applies to this kind of data which is apparently (legitimately) in the public domain:
"ITAR does not apply to information related to general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles that is commonly taught in schools and colleges or information that is (legitimately) in the public domain. Nor does it apply to general marketing information or basic system descriptions."

EDIT: Although I seriously understand the need to control anything that might even be ITAR-related on NSF (especially things for which the legitimacy of the "public-domainness" may be in question), because NSF doesn't exactly have a large legal budget! I'd much rather NSF be a little on the stricter side than for the US government to challenge NSF in court and to see NSF shut down because of legal fees, even assuming NSF wins.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Space Pete on 12/17/2010 11:12 PM
NASA Moves Forward In Commercial Rocket Engine Testing.

NASA conducted a test fire Friday of the liquid-fuel AJ26 engine that will power the first stage of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Taurus II space launch vehicle. The test at the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi supports NASA's Commercial Transportation Services partnerships to enable commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station.

Orbital's Taurus II uses a pair AJ26 rocket engines built by Aerojet to provide first stage propulsion. Friday's test on the Stennis' E-1 test stand involved a team of Orbital, Aerojet, and Stennis engineers, with Stennis employees serving as test conductors.

"Once again, the Orbital and Aerojet team have achieved a major milestone with the AJ26 engine," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This success moves Orbital closer to its goal of providing NASA with commercial space transportation services to the space station."

The 55-second firing was the second in a series of verification tests being conducted at the south Mississippi facility. A third hot-fire test also is planned to verify tuning of engine control valves.

"This second test of the AJ26 engine not only moves Orbital's commercial space transport plans a step ahead, but also demonstrates again the quality and versatility of Stennis facilities and the expertise of our test and support team," Stennis Director Patrick Scheuermann said.

The AJ26 engine is designed to power the Taurus II space vehicle on flights to low Earth orbit. NASA's partnership with Orbital was formed under the agency's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services joint research and development project. The company is under contract with NASA to provide eight cargo missions to the space station through 2015.

For more information about NASA exploration, visit:
www.nasa.gov/exploration

For information about Stennis, visit:
www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis


www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/dec/HQ_10-341_Orbital_Test.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 12/18/2010 03:17 PM
Heck I even suspect Taurus II largely came about because under Griffin regime any talk about launching on Atlas was grounds for severe repressions. Orbital would not be given any chance at COTS if they proposed Cygnus on top of Atlas.

This is a very interesting point that escaped my thinking in the last 3 years.  There are a few other circumstantial things one can surmise, but there's no proof.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Space Pete on 12/18/2010 08:14 PM
A NASA video of the AJ26 test fire.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=39975741
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 12/18/2010 09:53 PM
Heck I even suspect Taurus II largely came about because under Griffin regime any talk about launching on Atlas was grounds for severe repressions. Orbital would not be given any chance at COTS if they proposed Cygnus on top of Atlas.

I don't know; Boeing scored almost as high as Orbital on Round-2 COTS, loosing out mainly because of the technical complexity of their design (which was crew-capable and launched on a EELV). Orbital, on the other hand, had a low-complexly, high heritage spacecraft, and a much more risky launcher. So, if Taurus II failed, they'd still likely have Cygnus to be launched on a different rocket. Whereas the Boeing proposal was dependent on a high-risk capsule, and would have nothing to show if that capsule failed. Given the risk-averse thinking after the Kistler debacle, Orbital did seem the objectively better choice.

As to Taurus II over Atlas, the potential of a cost/performance drop-in replacement for Delta II was pretty temping, and something that SMD may have really been pushing on them for...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 12/18/2010 09:54 PM

"Once again, the Orbital and Aerojet team have achieved a major milestone with the AJ26 engine," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This success moves Orbital closer to its goal of providing NASA with commercial space transportation services to the space station."

Awesome. We're getting close now.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 12/19/2010 03:13 PM
As to Taurus II over Atlas, the potential of a cost/performance drop-in replacement for Delta II was pretty temping, and something that SMD may have really been pushing on them for...

Makes me wonder what the talk in the selection room was like, that didn't make it into the selection statement.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jacqmans on 12/20/2010 04:51 PM
For Immediate Release
                               
ORBITAL SUCCESSFULLY TEST FIRES FIRST STAGE ENGINE FOR TAURUS II ROCKET

-- Data from Latest Test of AJ26 Engine Confirms High-Thrust Performance,
Thrust Vector Control System Functioning, and Test Facility Operations --

(Dulles, VA 20 December 2010) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB),
one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that
it successfully carried out a long-duration test firing of the
liquid-fueled AJ26 rocket engine that will power the first stage of the
company’s Taurus® II space launch vehicle.  In a test conducted on Friday,
December 17 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Orbital and its
engine supplier Aerojet, a unit of GenCorp (NYSE: GY), oversaw a test of
the AJ26 engine at the recently refurbished E-1 test stand.

The AJ26 engine test ran for 55 seconds, during which the engine was
purposely stressed to 109% (or about 370,000 lbs) of its baseline thrust
level.  The test of the engine’s primary control functions accomplished all
primary objectives, including engine startup, propellant valve commanding,
thrust vector control functioning and shutdown sequencing.  Preliminary
review of the test data indicated that all test objectives were met. The
data collected from Friday’s test will be used to fine-tune the AJ26 engine
system and prepare it for a third and final firing in mid-January, which
will verify tuning of engine control valves.

The first stage of the Taurus II launch vehicle is powered by two liquid
oxygen/kerosene AJ26 engines, which together generate nearly 740,000 lbs.
of liftoff thrust and accelerate the vehicle to a speed of 10,700 miles per
hour in the first 235 seconds of flight. As the Taurus II program enters
its initial launch phase in 2011, each AJ26 engine will be subjected to
rigorous acceptance testing at Stennis prior to being shipped to the Taurus
II integration site at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Eastern Virginia.
Three more AJ26’s are scheduled for testing over the next five months.

About Taurus II

Orbital is developing the Taurus II medium-class space launch vehicle to
boost payloads into a variety of low Earth and geosynchronous transfer
orbits and Earth escape trajectories.  Taurus II incorporates proven
technologies from the company’s Pegasus®, Taurus and Minotaur rockets, and
is supported by a “best-in-class” network of suppliers from the U.S. and
around the world.

The Taurus II program currently has a backlog of nine launches, beginning
with the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) project, a joint
research and development effort with NASA to develop a space transportation
system capable of safely and reliably supplying the International Space
Station (ISS) with essential cargo.  Orbital is also under contract with
NASA for the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program with an
eight-mission, $1.9 billion agreement to deliver cargo to the ISS from 2011
through 2015.

In addition to its work with NASA on the COTS and CRS programs, Orbital is
also offering the Taurus II rocket to U.S. civil government, military and
commercial customers for dedicated launch services for medium-class
satellites.  From its Wallops Island, Virginia launch site, Taurus II will
be capable of supporting mid-inclination and polar orbiting spacecraft
weighing approximately 10,500 lbs. and 5,500 lbs, respectively.
Development of a West Coast launch capability is planned for the future to
optimize performance to high-inclination orbits.


More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com

# # #

Note to Editors: Photos of the AJ26 test can be found at:
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SpaceLaunch/index.shtml

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 01/05/2011 06:20 PM
I have got the magazine issue with the prohibited pictures delivered to me from Russia. It's a real Aviation Leak, only in Russian.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Alpha Control on 01/06/2011 07:41 PM
NASA has announced the target launch date of Dec. 14 for the first OCS COTS demo flight:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/01/06/01.xml&headline=Launch%20Date%20Set%20For%20First%20Orbital%20COTS%20Demo&channel=space

There will be a token load of cargo aboard the Cygnus on this first flight. 17 of 21 milestones have been completed to date, according to the article.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lars_J on 01/06/2011 08:16 PM
Will that also be the inaugural flight of the Taurus II, or is a test flight planned? The article is a bit ambiguous about that. Or perhaps I'm just misreading it. ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/06/2011 08:18 PM
Misreading it.

"It is expected to be preceded by a Taurus II “risk-reduction” mission, which is still awaiting funding approval from Congress."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: stockman on 01/06/2011 11:24 PM
Misreading it.

"It is expected to be preceded by a Taurus II “risk-reduction” mission, which is still awaiting funding approval from Congress."

I have to admit to being a bit confused here as well. The way its written it seems to imply the First ISS flight is set for Dec. and a Precursor mission MAY be done if funding comes through. So what happens if funding is NOT available - does that mean they will just push straight to ISS with No test flight?

OR does it push everything into a long delay until the test is paid for and done??

OR does it mean they are simply waiting for expected milestone payments to cover the test flight and its just a clerical issue and there will definitely be a test?? 


clear as mud??
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/06/2011 11:30 PM
clear as mud??

Yes, sort of.  It's a COTS program.  Orbital gets paid for reaching milestones, not for the specifics of how they reach those milestones.  In your hypothetical case where there is no funding from NASA for a risk reduction mission, it is then largely Orbital's choice what steps they take to reach the next milestone.

I see little that would motivate Orbital to pre-disclose how they would react if NASA fails to fund the risk reduction mission.  Do you?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/06/2011 11:32 PM
The way I understood is the additional flight before COTS would be a risk reduction flight with no impact to COTS schedule (unless obviously a major anomaly with TII was uncovered). That implies they'd fly the COTS flight at the given Dec 2011 timeframe either way. Without the additional flight it would be riskier as the LV would be unproven. Riskier for OSC, riskier for NASA and ultimately for station resupply. Which is why NASA is looking into this in the first place.

I guess we're kind of converging toward a situation where SpaceX believe they were too conservative with 3 demo flights and OSC (or NASA, don't know who it was that proposed this) were too 'optimistic' with just 1 flight.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/07/2011 01:47 AM
Has there been any discussion that I missed on how this is fair or even legal?

How does Orbital get all of this Congressional plus up and SpaceX doesn't get any?  Or even the CCDev contractors?

How does this work outside of normal procurement rules, even under the bizarre Space Act authorities?

This isn't as smelly as, say, all of Constellation, but it doesn't fit any paradigm I know of.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/07/2011 02:03 AM
This isn't as smelly as, say, all of Constellation, but it doesn't fit any paradigm I know of.

I think you're on to something.  I'm catching a whiff all the way from Chicago.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/07/2011 02:44 AM
This isn't as smelly as, say, all of Constellation, but it doesn't fit any paradigm I know of.

I think you're on to something.  I'm catching a whiff all the way from Chicago.

 - Ed Kyle

I think you are sniffing too much.  OSC originally only had one COTS flight, while SpaceX had three.  Now SpaceX may only go to two flights, which would mean even with this risk reduction flight OSC will have two flights, the exact same amount.  So what is so fishy?

Also any flight for OSC to improve Taurus II wont effect the CCDev contract, since their proposal uses Atlas V.

Also if it seems unfair consider that SpaceX was awarded $278 million in seed money, while OSC only got $174.7 million due to RpK.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/bidding101907.xml&headline=NASA%20Reopens%20COTS%20Bidding&channel=space
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kkattula on 01/07/2011 03:52 AM
One could look at it this way:

NASA is paying two companies to develop a capacityto re-supply the ISS. OSC's winning re-bid had only one Demo flight. Probably due to the reduced pool of money remaining after RPK.

Without waiting for COTS to complete, NASA has entered into CRS contracts with the two companies, and is now depending on their success, with minmal delay.

Less than a year away from that OSC demo, NASA is a little uncomfortable with the demo flight also being the first flight of Taurus II.  A problem with the LV could delay the first CRS flight.

So NASA has asked Congress to fork over some extra cash for a Taurus II test, to make NASA feel better.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jongoff on 01/07/2011 04:38 AM
This isn't as smelly as, say, all of Constellation, but it doesn't fit any paradigm I know of.

I think you're on to something.  I'm catching a whiff all the way from Chicago.

 - Ed Kyle

Thirded.  If they were going to throw more money at COTS cargo stuff, I would've rather seen that additional money openly competed.  This time without the Griffin "thou shalt not use EELVs" thumb on the scale...

~Jon
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/07/2011 07:56 AM
When the $300M extra or so was first mentioned, noone said it would all go to OSC. For them the extra T-II flight was proposed, while SpaceX I think mentioned something about vacuum-testing Dragon solar panels and the Merlin 1d upgrade was mentioned, though I'm not sure how the latter reduces risk.

As for how exactly that money should be distributed in the first place and if CRS partners alone should get all of it, I agree that is questionable.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: MP99 on 01/07/2011 02:16 PM
Has there been any discussion that I missed on how this is fair or even legal?

How does Orbital get all of this Congressional plus up and SpaceX doesn't get any?  Or even the CCDev contractors?

How does this work outside of normal procurement rules, even under the bizarre Space Act authorities?

This isn't as smelly as, say, all of Constellation, but it doesn't fit any paradigm I know of.

This seems to be as funded by S.3279 (the PL number of which I forget), so is it that smelly? How else would these funds be used to reduce the risks on commercial cargo?:-

Quote
1 TITLE IV—DEVELOPMENT AND
2 USE OF COMMERCIAL CREW
3 AND CARGO TRANSPOR
4 TATION CAPABILITIES
5 SEC. 401. COMMERCIAL CARGO DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
6 The Administrator shall continue to support the ex
7 isting Commercial Orbital Transportation Services pro
8 gram, aimed at enabling the commercial space industry
9 in support of NASA to develop reliable means of launching
10 cargo and supplies to the ISS throughout the duration of
11 the facility’s operation. The Administrator may apply
12 funds towards the reduction of risk to the timely start of
13 these services, specifically—
14 (1) efforts to conduct a flight test;
15 (2) accelerate development; and
16 (3) develop the ground infrastructure needed
17 for commercial cargo capability.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 01/07/2011 02:37 PM

Also if it seems unfair consider that SpaceX was awarded $278 million in seed money, while OSC only got $174.7 million due to RpK.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/bidding101907.xml&headline=NASA%20Reopens%20COTS%20Bidding&channel=space

 Seeing how Spacex is getting about $130 million per resupply mission, and Orbital is getting around $230 million with no return capability, I don't know if there's much of a case there.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 01/07/2011 03:07 PM
That's simple, SpaceX low balled it, and Orbital bid what they felt would give them a good return on investment.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Hauerg on 01/07/2011 03:16 PM

Also if it seems unfair consider that SpaceX was awarded $278 million in seed money, while OSC only got $174.7 million due to RpK.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/bidding101907.xml&headline=NASA%20Reopens%20COTS%20Bidding&channel=space

 Seeing how Spacex is getting about $130 million per resupply mission, and Orbital is getting around $230 million with no return capability, I don't know if there's much of a case there.
Which also means that the prices per flight will have to change in the future or Orbital HAS to lose all business after the first phase of contract due to this being commercial?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 01/07/2011 03:47 PM
Which also means that the prices per flight will have to change in the future or Orbital HAS to lose all business after the first phase of contract due to this being commercial?

Your assuming three things.

1. SpaceX will not raise it's prices (which there are numerous threads about them going up).

2. NASA will sole source the contract, putting them at risk of no access if SpaceX has a hick-up. Very risky, for NASA regardless of who they sole source.

3. Orbital will be more expensive than other competitors that may enter the market, such as ULA.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/07/2011 08:27 PM
The suspicion has nothing to do with fairness or comparing the number of proposed Demo missions or mission costs.

It's 100% "how can this money be spent without following procurement law?"  Are the authorization and appropriation acts of Congress sufficient to effectively waive what is usually followed to a T lest there be a protest?  That's a serious question for one of our congressional contributors to answer.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/07/2011 10:36 PM
Directly related to this discussion is this article:

NASA Has Boosted COTS Funding by Additional $40 Million Since October

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110107-nasa-boosted-cots-funding.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 01/07/2011 10:42 PM
That's simple, SpaceX low balled it, and Orbital bid what they felt would give them a good return on investment.

 Do you have a reason for implying that Spacex didn't bid what they felt would give them a good return on their investment?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jongoff on 01/07/2011 11:03 PM
Directly related to this discussion is this article:

NASA Has Boosted COTS Funding by Additional $40 Million Since October

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110107-nasa-boosted-cots-funding.html

Wow.  That still bugs me that they're able to just add tens of millions of dollars to the existing contracts without having to recompete them.  $300M would've been enough to totally fund at least one EELV-launched option like ARCTUS or HMX's proposal.

~Jon
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: nooneofconsequence on 01/07/2011 11:33 PM
Are the authorization and appropriation acts of Congress sufficient to effectively waive what is usually followed to a T lest there be a protest?
In other words - do they have the "consent of Congress" for authorization(yes) and appropriation(maybe - in kind yes,  as specific item - depends). Issue is about nature of specific items and how they matched "congressional understanding" last December's CR. Don't you love lawyers ...

That's simple, SpaceX low balled it, and Orbital bid what they felt would give them a good return on investment.

 Do you have a reason for implying that Spacex didn't bid what they felt would give them a good return on their investment?
Different. Orbital is trading on its experience/flight history. SpaceX is in the process of  building it.

Now ... consider that Shuttle is concluding, and that downmass options are down to Soyuz and Dragon. How much is the capability to return downmass going to go up in value? Don't think prices will always drop - they are as low as they will ever be.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 01/08/2011 12:16 AM
The suspicion has nothing to do with fairness or comparing the number of proposed Demo missions or mission costs.

It's 100% "how can this money be spent without following procurement law?"  Are the authorization and appropriation acts of Congress sufficient to effectively waive what is usually followed to a T lest there be a protest?  That's a serious question for one of our congressional contributors to answer.

As I understand OTAs (or Space Act Agreements, the NASA version), they are very flexible and you can add funds pretty much as you wish.

They are not protestable in the normal FAR sense.  Or at least, so counsel has advised me in the past, including a former OTA lawyer for DARPA.  But in the end, I think the contracting agency can do pretty much whatever they want, since it is rare for a contractor to speak up.

Personally, I am disappointed by this behavior on both NASA and the contractor's parts, since it undermines a key tenet of my original "pre-COTS" plan, i.e., live within your promised budget and don't go back asking for more.  I don't mind it if circumstances change due to honest factors outside the contractors control (for example, NASA changes the requirements) but not simply because it took longer and cost more than you bid.  Otherwise you end up cheating any other competitors who made honest bids.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 01/08/2011 03:59 AM
That's simple, SpaceX low balled it, and Orbital bid what they felt would give them a good return on investment.

 Do you have a reason for implying that Spacex didn't bid what they felt would give them a good return on their investment?

Spacex get's their orbital vehicle back after a COTS mission so they can use it again for another customer.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/08/2011 02:15 PM
Personally, I am disappointed by this behavior on both NASA and the contractor's parts, since it undermines a key tenet of my original "pre-COTS" plan, i.e., live within your promised budget and don't go back asking for more.  I don't mind it if circumstances change due to honest factors outside the contractors control (for example, NASA changes the requirements) but not simply because it took longer and cost more than you bid.  Otherwise you end up cheating any other competitors who made honest bids.

To be fair to the contractors, the impression I got is it's not them who went back asking for more money. It appears to me both OSC and SpaceX would just continue working with what they've got toward meeting their milestones. This very much looks to me like NASA changed (or, rather, added) the requirements as you say, by wanting to further reduce risk and doing that by introducing new tests that weren't part of the original agreements. A vehicle shakedown flight for OSC and more ground testing for SpaceX.

This form of requirements creep is likely driven by the uncertainty over what happens to ISS when Shuttle ends so NASA wants to cover its back better. Maybe also one of the reasons why that money wasn't competitively bid instead to allow a 3rd partner or similar as they deemed that option would be too late to the party (for cargo delivery at least).

In any case, it doesn't strike me as likely that all $300M of the proposed extra will go to these two COTS partners.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nate_Trost on 01/08/2011 02:24 PM
If the budget process drags out long enough, I wonder if the "risk reduction flight" ends up being the first flight with the liquid second stage.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 01/08/2011 02:37 PM
Is that stage slated to fly before 2012 at all?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 01/08/2011 03:34 PM
The suspicion has nothing to do with fairness or comparing the number of proposed Demo missions or mission costs.

It's 100% "how can this money be spent without following procurement law?"  Are the authorization and appropriation acts of Congress sufficient to effectively waive what is usually followed to a T lest there be a protest?  That's a serious question for one of our congressional contributors to answer.

As I understand OTAs (or Space Act Agreements, the NASA version), they are very flexible and you can add funds pretty much as you wish.

They are not protestable in the normal FAR sense.  Or at least, so counsel has advised me in the past, including a former OTA lawyer for DARPA.  But in the end, I think the contracting agency can do pretty much whatever they want, since it is rare for a contractor to speak up.

Personally, I am disappointed by this behavior on both NASA and the contractor's parts, since it undermines a key tenet of my original "pre-COTS" plan, i.e., live within your promised budget and don't go back asking for more.  I don't mind it if circumstances change due to honest factors outside the contractors control (for example, NASA changes the requirements) but not simply because it took longer and cost more than you bid.  Otherwise you end up cheating any other competitors who made honest bids.

In my opinion, one of the mistakes of COTS is not to pay the full price for test missions. The prices of a test mission and of a real mission are essentially the same but NASA is only paying $10 million for the COTS test mission. The additionnal COTS funding helps in that respect.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/08/2011 10:29 PM
That's simple, SpaceX low balled it, and Orbital bid what they felt would give them a good return on investment.

 Do you have a reason for implying that Spacex didn't bid what they felt would give them a good return on their investment?

Spacex get's their orbital vehicle back after a COTS mission so they can use it again for another customer.

that is not factor.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yinzer on 01/08/2011 10:54 PM
Personally, I am disappointed by this behavior on both NASA and the contractor's parts, since it undermines a key tenet of my original "pre-COTS" plan, i.e., live within your promised budget and don't go back asking for more.  I don't mind it if circumstances change due to honest factors outside the contractors control (for example, NASA changes the requirements) but not simply because it took longer and cost more than you bid.  Otherwise you end up cheating any other competitors who made honest bids.

What if it just takes longer and costs more than you thought it would?

Like they say, if you owe the bank $1,000 and can't pay then you have a problem, if you owe the bank $1,000,000,000 and can't pay then the bank has a problem.  If NASA needs ISS resupply and the vendors it hired to do it can't provide the service at the contracted price, NASA's options are really limited.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/09/2011 01:27 AM
In my opinion, one of the mistakes of COTS is not to pay the full price for test missions. The prices of a test mission and of a real mission are esentially the same but NASA is only paying $10 million for the COTS test mission. The additionnal COTS funding helps in that respect.

The milestones were proposed by SpaceX (and Orbital) and agreed to by NASA. They were front-loaded so there was very little money riding on the success of the Demo flights.  I'm not sure who you mean to pin the mistake on.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 01/09/2011 03:39 AM
In my opinion, one of the mistakes of COTS is not to pay the full price for test missions. The prices of a test mission and of a real mission are essentially the same but NASA is only paying $10 million for the COTS test mission. The additionnal COTS funding helps in that respect.

The milestones were proposed by SpaceX (and Orbital) and agreed to by NASA. They were front-loaded so there was very little money riding on the success of the Demo flights.  I'm not sure who you mean to pin the mistake on.

I understand how it worked but COTS was still underfunded overall (especially if you compare it to the proposed funding of commercial crew) which forced SpaceX and Orbital to make up a large part of the difference. Both companies are willing to do it since the CRS contract will eventually allow them to get some of this investment back.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/09/2011 12:47 PM
Both companies are willing to do it since the CRS contract will eventually allow them to get some of this investment back.

They were not guaranteed CRS contracts
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 01/09/2011 11:11 PM
Both companies are willing to do it since the CRS contract will eventually allow them to get some of this investment back.

They were not guaranteed CRS contracts

Yes I know but had one of the company not gotten a CRS contract in 2008, I am not sure that they would have continued COTS past that time. There would be no point in losing money on test flights if there wasn't a CRS contract.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nomadd on 01/10/2011 12:19 AM
Both companies are willing to do it since the CRS contract will eventually allow them to get some of this investment back.

They were not guaranteed CRS contracts

Yes I know but had one of the company not gotten a CRS contract in 2008, I am not sure that they would have continued COTS past that time. There would be no point in losing money on test flights if there wasn't a CRS contract.
They would have needed test flights with ot without CRS. Why wouldn't they take COTS money for flights they would have needed anyhow. Spacex is a lot like the Shuttle program. Most of the money gets spent whether you fly or not.
 They'll still need to test the bus and the fairing for their commercial customers, but succesful F9 flights under their belt are sure the heck not pointless.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: yg1968 on 01/10/2011 04:20 AM
Both companies are willing to do it since the CRS contract will eventually allow them to get some of this investment back.

They were not guaranteed CRS contracts

Yes I know but had one of the company not gotten a CRS contract in 2008, I am not sure that they would have continued COTS past that time. There would be no point in losing money on test flights if there wasn't a CRS contract.
They would have needed test flights with ot without CRS. Why wouldn't they take COTS money for flights they would have needed anyhow. Spacex is a lot like the Shuttle program. Most of the money gets spent whether you fly or not.
 They'll still need to test the bus and the fairing for their commercial customers, but succesful F9 flights under their belt are sure the heck not pointless.

I didn't say test flights were pointless but I am not sure that SpaceX would have done 4 test flights without a CRS contract and I am also not sure that SpaceX would have continued operations without a CRS contract. Elon Musk mentionned that SpaceX was close to folding in 2008 after the Falcon 1 failures. Not obtaining the CRS contract in late 2008 would have killed them in my opinion. Orbital's situation is different because they have other revenues but I am not sure if they would have continued the Taurus II or not if they had lost the CRS contract.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/12/2011 03:48 AM
Hmm, View of the first stage at wallops:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/01/09/spacex-orbital-sciences-increase-nasa-cots-funding/comment-page-1/#comment-29051
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: SpacexULA on 01/12/2011 03:50 AM
Hmm, View of the first stage at wallops:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/01/09/spacex-orbital-sciences-increase-nasa-cots-funding/comment-page-1/#comment-29051

My god I can not wait to see that thing fly :)  I live in NC and have never seen a rocket launch with my own eyes, I will be there for that one though.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: spacetraveler on 01/13/2011 03:01 AM
Why wouldn't they take COTS money for flights they would have needed anyhow.

The COTS payments for those flights are a small fraction of the cost of the flights. Taking just the COTS money for the COTS flights would be a losing proposition.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 01/20/2011 07:34 PM
It seems that nobody noticed this Yuzhnoye's release, dealing with the departure of the first stage from Ukraine :

http://www.yuzhnoye.com/?idD=80&id=124&path=News/News
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Shams on 01/22/2011 02:22 PM
Here is a link to Dave Steffy's AIAA 2008 conference paper on Taurus II.

http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

This paper includes a schedule that shows the following significant milestones occurring during 2009.


Thanks for your information regarding the Taurus II Vehicle

Keep in touch
Shams
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Hauerg on 01/22/2011 02:37 PM
Guess what, Orbital seems to have a time stretch factor similar to spaceX according to http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/22/2011 09:09 PM
Guess what, Orbital seems to have a time stretch factor similar to spaceX according to http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

;)

Funny - this paper has the  first stage diagram in it that was "outed" from this forum a few weeks ago when some one mentioned the acronym "ITAR"! :)

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 01/25/2011 04:38 PM
Interview of the Head of the National Space Agency of Ukraine Mr. Yuriy Alekseyev for the "Kiev Telegraph" Issue 52 (554), Dec. 24-30, 2010. (http://www.nkau.gov.ua/nsau/newsnsau.nsf/mainsubjectsE/3AAD716B8F2FAD8DC2257803005011C2?openDocument&Lang=E)
Quote
Also this year Americans increased the order in Ukraine in the framework of Taurus-II LV manufacture. First it was about Ukrainian companies to only design and produce the fuel compartment of the first stage. Now, Ukraine is working on a propulsion system for the 2-nd stage.

It is an interesting project because the customer - American corporation "Orbital Sciences”, as is known, won the tender for delivery of cargoes to the ISS after 2010, when flying the space shuttle must be ended.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/26/2011 01:30 AM
Guess what, Orbital seems to have a time stretch factor similar to spaceX according to http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/conferences/Steffy_NRO-AIAA_Conference_Paper--Steffy.pdf

;)

Funny - this paper has the  first stage diagram in it that was "outed" from this forum a few weeks ago when some one mentioned the acronym "ITAR"! :)

 - Ed Kyle
Sorry, that was me (I was joking). I think "eye-tar" is a better term. :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/26/2011 04:00 AM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has a new update entitled "Upper Stack Pathfinder and Stage One Thrust Frame Testing Wrap Up at Chandler, AZ Facility," dated January 2011, appearing at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 01/26/2011 08:14 PM
Love the pink foam boxes held together with the Handyman's Secret Weapon; that's real test engineering right there... :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/28/2011 07:33 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/AJ26_20110128.html

NASA Testing of Commercial Engine Flies High
01.28.2011

You see a lot of smiles around the E-1 Test Stand at John C. Stennis Space Center these days. Engineers involved in testing Aerojet's AJ26 rocket engine for Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II space launch vehicle have good reason to smile.

In fact, they have several good reasons given that the partnership between NASA, Orbital and Aerojet is off to such an impressive start. Two successful tests of an AJ26 engine that will power the first stage of Orbital's Taurus II rocket recently wrapped up at Stennis. The two tests were so successful that Orbital engineers decided a planned third test was unnecessary. The AJ26 engine used in the testing was removed from the E-1 stand on Jan. 24, and will be returned to Aerojet in Sacramento, Calif. to be refurbished and used on an upcoming Taurus II mission.

The same day the engine was removed, the first flight engine was installed to begin regularly planned "acceptance testing" at Stennis. The AJ26 flight unit will be tested in February, and then delivered to Orbital at the Wallops Flight Facility launch site in Virginia for integration with the rocket's first stage core.

Orbital's Taurus II rocket will first be used to carry out commercial cargo supply mission to the International Space Station. Orbital is developing the cargo logistics system under the joint Commercial Orbital Transportation Services research and development project with NASA, and is scheduled to carry out the first of eight cargo missions under the Commercial Resupply Services contract beginning in early 2012
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 01/28/2011 08:31 PM
The two tests were so successful that Orbital engineers decided a planned third test was unnecessary.

Kool-aid alert.  It's all about the Benjamins.  Thousands of Benjamins.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 01/28/2011 09:03 PM
Franklin.  Yes, it does look that way.  Would someone care to comment on how it could be that the third test was "unnecessary?"  Wasn't it to be a full duration burn performed after the standard acceptance test burn?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 01/28/2011 10:00 PM
Would someone care to comment on how it could be that the third test was "unnecessary?"

Nothing broke on the first two runs, so it's not worth the money to do more.

It's not so much Kool-Aid as cost-benefit analysis...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NotGncDude on 01/31/2011 06:05 AM
The two tests were so successful that Orbital engineers decided a planned third test was unnecessary.

Kool-aid alert.  It's all about the Benjamins.  Thousands of Benjamins.

My first thought as well. I'd say a combination of both, but yeah the spin is obvious.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/31/2011 11:29 AM
The two tests were so successful that Orbital engineers decided a planned third test was unnecessary.

Kool-aid alert.  It's all about the Benjamins.  Thousands of Benjamins.

That is NASA saying it and not OSC
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 01/31/2011 11:32 AM
Franklin.  Yes, it does look that way.  Would someone care to comment on how it could be that the third test was "unnecessary?"  Wasn't it to be a full duration burn performed after the standard acceptance test burn?

The other two tests met the objectives of the third test.    It is not like these were the "only" tests, Aerojet tested many of these engines, many times for the K-1.  Also, these development tests, the flight engines still have to go through acceptance testing.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 01/31/2011 08:55 PM
Franklin.  Yes, it does look that way.  Would someone care to comment on how it could be that the third test was "unnecessary?"  Wasn't it to be a full duration burn performed after the standard acceptance test burn?

With regard to the third test, please see the NASA Stennis news release dated 12 November 2010 -  http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/news/newsreleases/2010/CLT-10-246.html  - which states in part:

"The initial test, the first in a series of three firings, lasted 10 seconds and served as a short-duration readiness firing to verify AJ26 engine start and shutdown sequences, E-1 test stand operations, and ground-test engine controls."

"The test was conducted by a joint operations team comprised of Orbital, Aerojet and Stennis engineers, with Stennis employees serving as test conductors. The joint operations team and other NASA engineers will conduct an in-depth data review of all subsystems in preparation for a 50-second hot-fire acceptance test scheduled several weeks from now. A third hot-fire test at Stennis also is planned to verify tuning of engine control valves."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 01/31/2011 09:34 PM
Would someone care to comment on how it could be that the third test was "unnecessary?"
Plan enough tests so you can find something wrong, make adjustments, and re-test. If the initial tests go perfectly, you drop the last one. This is a pretty common (and common sense) pattern in all sorts of development.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 02/01/2011 12:15 AM
With regard to the third test, please see the NASA Stennis news release dated 12 November 2010 -  http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/news/newsreleases/2010/CLT-10-246.html  - which states in part:
[...]
A third hot-fire test at Stennis also is planned to verify tuning of engine control valves."

Ah, thank you for correcting my misconception!  I see now there was never a full duration burn planned for Stennis.  Congratulations to all involved with this engine on the completion of testing!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/04/2011 08:01 PM
Media Invited to Engine Test and Meeting with NASA Administrator
PR Newswire

Feb. 4

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- Members of the news media are invited to visit NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center on Monday, Feb. 7, to view a flight acceptance test of Aerojet's AJ26 rocket engine for the Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Taurus II space launch vehicle.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and executives from Orbital and Aerojet will be at Stennis to witness the test, which is targeted for 4 p.m. CST. Following the test, reporters will have an opportunity to ask questions of Bolden and the Orbital and Aerojet executives.

When flight acceptance testing on the AJ26 engine is complete, it will be delivered to Orbital at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility launch site in Virginia for integration with the rocket's first stage. NASA has contracted with Orbital to provide eight cargo missions to the International Space Station. The first is scheduled for early 2012. NASA is investing with private industry to develop safe, reliable, cost-effective space transportation capabilities that will spur the development of new spacecraft and launch vehicles that will stimulate the commercial sector and reduce dependence on foreign providers.

To attend the event, news media must contact Paul Foerman at 228-688-1880 or [email protected] by 9 a.m. on Feb. 7. Reporters must arrive no later than 3 p.m. on Feb. 7 to allow time for clearance and escort to the test site. For information about Stennis Space Center, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/stennis

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason1701 on 02/04/2011 11:41 PM
Did they ever dedicate the HIF, or is that still postponed?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 02/05/2011 04:21 AM
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and executives from Orbital and Aerojet will be at Stennis to witness the test

Hmm.  When was the last time a NASA Administrator attended an engine test firing?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/08/2011 12:40 AM
News update with video from WDSU-TV, New Orleans, LA can be viewed at http://www.wdsu.com/r/26781326/detail.html

New Rocket Engine Tested At Stennis
Engine To Power Cargo Trip To Space Station
February 7, 2011

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA put a new rocket engine to the test Monday at the John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi.

After a short delay, the rocket engine test was 53 seconds of raw power.

It was very loud and powerful, generating huge plumes of flames and smoke. NASA said the testing of the Aerojet AJ26 engine went off without a hitch.

The AJ26 will power the Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II rocket. The Taurus II, under construction right now in Virginia, will be used to provide cargo and essentials to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said by having commercial companies supply the space station, NASA can focus on going deeper into space.

The International Space Station is 250 miles above the Earth, which is a low Earth orbit. That's as far as the space shuttle was designed to go, and now that the shuttle program is retiring, NASA hopes to eventually send humans to Mars.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason1701 on 02/08/2011 12:53 AM
Great video! Two of those engines firing at once will be mighty impressive.


Does anyone know the answer?
Did they ever dedicate the HIF, or is that still postponed?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 02/08/2011 01:07 AM
News update with video from WDSU-TV, New Orleans, LA can be viewed at http://www.wdsu.com/r/26781326/detail.html

New Rocket Engine Tested At Stennis
Engine To Power Cargo Trip To Space Station
February 7, 2011

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA put a new rocket engine to the test Monday at the John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi.

After a short delay, the rocket engine test was 53 seconds of raw power.

It was very loud and powerful, generating huge plumes of flames and smoke. NASA said the testing of the Aerojet AJ26 engine went off without a hitch.

The AJ26 will power the Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II rocket. The Taurus II, under construction right now in Virginia, will be used to provide cargo and essentials to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said by having commercial companies supply the space station, NASA can focus on going deeper into space.

The International Space Station is 250 miles above the Earth, which is a low Earth orbit. That's as far as the space shuttle was designed to go, and now that the shuttle program is retiring, NASA hopes to eventually send humans to Mars.

Thanks for the link. Pretty good video. Rather picturesque area.

Congrats to Orbital & Stennis on a job well done.

I have to wonder though, it seemed to dampen down a bit half way. DId they do some throttling (despite the 'raw power' note)?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Shams on 02/08/2011 03:16 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/about/stennis/index.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/08/2011 11:57 PM
News update with video from WDSU-TV, New Orleans, LA can be viewed at http://www.wdsu.com/r/26781326/detail.html

New Rocket Engine Tested At Stennis
Engine To Power Cargo Trip To Space Station
February 7, 2011

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA put a new rocket engine to the test Monday at the John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi.

After a short delay, the rocket engine test was 53 seconds of raw power.

It was very loud and powerful, generating huge plumes of flames and smoke. NASA said the testing of the Aerojet AJ26 engine went off without a hitch.

The AJ26 will power the Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II rocket. The Taurus II, under construction right now in Virginia, will be used to provide cargo and essentials to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said by having commercial companies supply the space station, NASA can focus on going deeper into space.

The International Space Station is 250 miles above the Earth, which is a low Earth orbit. That's as far as the space shuttle was designed to go, and now that the shuttle program is retiring, NASA hopes to eventually send humans to Mars.

Video weblink of test fire and comments by NASA Administrator Bolden - http://www.wlox.com/global/category.asp?c=194069&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5544502&flvUri=&partnerclipid=
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 02/09/2011 12:01 AM
Video weblink of test fire and comments by NASA Administrator Bolden - http://www.wlox.com/global/category.asp?c=194069&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5544502&flvUri=&partnerclipid=
Wait, "New Engine?" "First Test Fire?"
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Shams on 02/09/2011 03:18 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/about/stennis/index.html


Does anyone know how many parameters have been monitored during the Engine Test?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gladiator1332 on 02/10/2011 03:37 PM
Impressive video! Congrats to Orbital!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 02/12/2011 12:03 AM
Stephen Clark is reporting at Spaceflight Now that, "NASA hopes to find money for Taurus 2 test flight."

Quote
February 11, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Bound by restrictions set in a temporary budget resolution, NASA has not yet committed full funding of a risk reduction test flight of the Taurus 2 rocket, one of the launch vehicles the agency hopes will be ready to resupply the International Space Station by the end of this year.

NASA and industry officials said Thursday the demonstration launch is a top priority, but the space agency is struggling to find money to pay for the flight.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1102/11taurus2/

Alan Lindenmoyer (the manager of NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office) is quoted as saying, "I believe this is a high priority for NASA and there's a good chance we'll see additional money for the augmentation effort."
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/12/2011 11:13 AM
"Officials previously said the Taurus 2 test launch will cost NASA between $100 million and $200 million."

That sounds like a good deal of money for a test launch of a Delta II class vehicle. Would this be because of extra instrumentation work on the vehicle or is it indicative of the actual cost of T-II?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/12/2011 02:59 PM
I think it's more about bridging the development cost gap for T-II than the actual cost of the launch.  It's hard to quantify the marginal cost of a launch when development is still going on.  If that were the real cost of a launch, Orbital would not still be pursuing the program because it would not be competitive in the light GTO market.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 02/13/2011 03:50 PM
"Officials previously said the Taurus 2 test launch will cost NASA between $100 million and $200 million."

That sounds like a good deal of money for a test launch of a Delta II class vehicle. Would this be because of extra instrumentation work on the vehicle or is it indicative of the actual cost of T-II?

Well, inflation-adjusted to 2010, the cost of a production-line Delta II was about $70 million. Additional costs beyond that are likely due to getting everything ready earlier than had been planned (thus the factor of two uncertainty).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason1701 on 02/14/2011 11:49 PM
Update! Acceptance testing successful, engine is shipping to Wallops.

http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Halidon on 02/15/2011 01:30 AM
No clustered test fire?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason1701 on 02/15/2011 01:41 AM
No clustered test fire?

No, test stand isn't equipped. They're doing a static fire on the pad this summer. ("Summer" is as specific as I've heard.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Halidon on 02/15/2011 08:22 AM
Somewhat surprised they didn't rent time on a bigger stand to do a clustered test, or even a full static test of the core.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/15/2011 03:44 PM
If I may quote myself:
It's all about the Benjamins.  Thousands of Benjamins.

Besides that, name a bigger stand capable of that much thrust with RP-1 that wouldn't require tons of non-recurring.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lars_J on 02/15/2011 03:48 PM
Well there is such a stand at McGregor, TX - but that may not be practical to use for many reasons.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 02/15/2011 04:52 PM
IIRC, the NK-33 was not gimbaled for N-1?  Something spinning at several thousand RPM and then tilting leaves me skittish, especially when there's oxidizer involved.  Is there another engine where a turbopump moves with the nozzle?

From the latest update:

Quote
The engine firing included Pitch and Yaw excursions to 4 degrees amplitude using the hydraulic Thrust Vector Control (TVC) system. A preliminary analysis of the engine and TVC data shows that all test objectives were met.


Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/16/2011 10:41 PM
Somewhat surprised they didn't rent time on a bigger stand to do a clustered test, or even a full static test of the core.

It has been previously reported that the full static test fire at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops will be with the first stage core and occur on Launch Pad 0-A.  The Orbital news update for February 2011 states that test fire will occur in the summer of 2011.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/17/2011 03:21 AM
When was the last time there was a long duration hot fire on a launch pad?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/17/2011 08:31 AM
On a U.S. vehicle? Don't know. The Japanese did do a long duration H-2B firing on the pad before the first flight, although that's obviously at relatively lower thrust levels given it was core engines only (T/W << 1).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbzbZSdKHRE
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: madscientist197 on 02/17/2011 08:55 AM
Generally, I wouldn't expect the water tanks to be big enough.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 02/17/2011 11:04 AM
When was the last time there was a long duration hot fire on a launch pad?

Delta IV and Shuttle before that
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/17/2011 11:29 AM
Delta IV didn't exactly do a *long* hotfire.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/17/2011 01:38 PM
Somewhat surprised they didn't rent time on a bigger stand to do a clustered test, or even a full static test of the core.

It has been previously reported that the full static test fire at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops will be with the first stage core and occur on Launch Pad 0-A.  The Orbital news update for February 2011 states that test fire will occur in the summer of 2011.

Orbital Sciences announced today in its 2010 4th quarter earnings webcast that a 20-sec test firing will take place at the MARS 0-A launch pad in July 2011.

NASA approved the risk reduction COTS flight at a contract value of $120 million with the flight anticipated to occur in August 2011.

The second COTS flight is anticipated for mid-November 2011.

Currently there are 5 Taurus II rockets in production.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/17/2011 03:09 PM
Guess it is going to be a photo finish on who gets to ISS first ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: gladiator1332 on 02/17/2011 05:33 PM
Somewhat surprised they didn't rent time on a bigger stand to do a clustered test, or even a full static test of the core.

It has been previously reported that the full static test fire at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops will be with the first stage core and occur on Launch Pad 0-A.  The Orbital news update for February 2011 states that test fire will occur in the summer of 2011.

Orbital Sciences announced today in its 2010 4th quarter earnings webcast that a 20-sec test firing will take place at the MARS 0-A launch pad in July 2011.

NASA approved the risk reduction COTS flight at a contract value of $120 million with the flight anticipated to occur in August 2011.

The second COTS flight is anticipated for mid-November 2011.

Currently there are 5 Taurus II rockets in production.

Looks like the rest of 2011 is going to be busy for Orbital!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/17/2011 06:54 PM
Guess it is going to be a photo finish on who gets to ISS first ;)

Couldn't disagree more.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/17/2011 07:09 PM
Ya think Taurus II will win by a mile, don't ya ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/17/2011 07:18 PM
Gee, I do hope Taurus II doesn't ever get to ISS.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 02/17/2011 08:41 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: robertross on 02/17/2011 10:32 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Well, good for them!

Business is business after all.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 02/17/2011 10:50 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)

That puts a new light on how much NASA contribution has been made to SpaceX overall...a subject for further discussion in the SpaceX forum, I expect.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 02/17/2011 11:02 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)


I would believe it is more since they are based on milestone payments and Spacex has more missions further in the integration cycle.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 02/18/2011 01:27 AM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

I guess that is the "skin in the game".
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 02/18/2011 10:11 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has updated its schedule and milestones for the Taurus II launch vehicle and the Cygnus spacecraft.  The new information can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/18/2011 10:15 PM
Why does the T-II risk reduction flight in that diagram cross the Cygnus section if Cygnus would not fly on it (based on that Cygnus PCM #1 delivery to Wallops would be *after* that flight)?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lars_J on 02/18/2011 10:50 PM
Perhaps they'll fly some sort of Cygnus engineering test article on the risk reduction flight?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason1701 on 02/18/2011 11:03 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has updated its schedule and milestones for the Taurus II launch vehicle and the Cygnus spacecraft.  The new information can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.


Let's see what changed.

-engines and fairing tests extended through Q1 2011
-vehicle 1 testing extended through Q2
-static fire moved to late Q2
-Cygnus testing through Q3
-risk reduction flight moved very slightly to mid-Q3
-COTS flight moved slightly to late-Q4
-CRS flight 1 moved to late Q1 2012

So there hasn't been much slippage of the flight dates.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 02/18/2011 11:49 PM
Perhaps they'll fly some sort of Cygnus engineering test article on the risk reduction flight?

Yes.  From the July 2010 update (still available on the main Taurus II web page): "For the risk reduction test flight, Taurus II would not carry a full-fidelity Cygnus spacecraft – instead, a payload simulator would be launched to verify the design and flight performance characteristics of Orbital's new medium class launcher."

It would be interesting to know if the payload simulator would be launched into the same orbit as an ISS-bound Cygnus.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/19/2011 10:01 AM
It would be interesting to know if the payload simulator would be launched into the same orbit as an ISS-bound Cygnus.

Why bother?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kkattula on 02/19/2011 10:42 AM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)

That puts a new light on how much NASA contribution has been made to SpaceX overall...a subject for further discussion in the SpaceX forum, I expect.

Then again, given the history of recent NASA programs, would you do any work for them without getting regular payments as you prepare?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 02/19/2011 04:38 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)

That puts a new light on how much NASA contribution has been made to SpaceX overall...a subject for further discussion in the SpaceX forum, I expect.

Then again, given the history of recent NASA programs, would you do any work for them without getting regular payments as you prepare?

No, I wouldn't, and never have.

There is a reason why I proposed the use of fixed-price hardware milestones funded by an "other transactions" authority (also known as a "Space Act" Agreement) in 2004, as t/Space's contribution to the CE&R contracts.  Our proposal created the momentum for what became COTS, and provided the opportunity for SpaceX and Orbital to develop their respective launchers.  The history of this effort is not well known.

Unfortunately, COTS failed to follow a number of key provisions of our proposal, leading directly to some of the problems we are currently seeing, but that discussion is off topic for this thread.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jongoff on 02/19/2011 04:47 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)

That puts a new light on how much NASA contribution has been made to SpaceX overall...a subject for further discussion in the SpaceX forum, I expect.

Then again, given the history of recent NASA programs, would you do any work for them without getting regular payments as you prepare?

No, I wouldn't, and never have.

There is a reason why I proposed the use of fixed-price hardware milestones funded by an "other transactions" authority (also known as a "Space Act" Agreement) in 2004, as t/Space's contribution to the CE&R contracts.  Our proposal created the momentum for what became COTS, and provided the opportunity for SpaceX and Orbital to develop their respective launchers.  The history of this effort is not well known.

Unfortunately, COTS failed to follow a number of key provisions of our proposal, leading directly to some of the problems we are currently seeing, but that discussion is off topic for this thread.

Then start a new thread!  :-)

I think I've heard bits of the story from time to time in our discussions over the years, but it would be great to have them in one place.  If you don't want to do it here, I'd love to do it as a guestpost on SB. 

~Jon
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: HMXHMX on 02/19/2011 05:18 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)

That puts a new light on how much NASA contribution has been made to SpaceX overall...a subject for further discussion in the SpaceX forum, I expect.

Then again, given the history of recent NASA programs, would you do any work for them without getting regular payments as you prepare?

No, I wouldn't, and never have.

There is a reason why I proposed the use of fixed-price hardware milestones funded by an "other transactions" authority (also known as a "Space Act" Agreement) in 2004, as t/Space's contribution to the CE&R contracts.  Our proposal created the momentum for what became COTS, and provided the opportunity for SpaceX and Orbital to develop their respective launchers.  The history of this effort is not well known.

Unfortunately, COTS failed to follow a number of key provisions of our proposal, leading directly to some of the problems we are currently seeing, but that discussion is off topic for this thread.

Then start a new thread!  :-)

I think I've heard bits of the story from time to time in our discussions over the years, but it would be great to have them in one place.  If you don't want to do it here, I'd love to do it as a guestpost on SB. 

~Jon

Maybe after my Space Access 2011 talk in April, which will recount the history.  It's all water under the bridge these days, in any case.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: AlexCam on 02/19/2011 08:52 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)


I would believe it is more since they are based on milestone payments and Spacex has more missions further in the integration cycle.

However the per flight contract value for Orbital under CRS is much higher,
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/19/2011 09:49 PM

Maybe after my Space Access 2011 talk in April, which will recount the history.  It's all water under the bridge these days, in any case.

The CCDev2 money is awaiting allocation at the moment.
There are rumours of a CCDev3, consequently its milestones have not been bid yet.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/19/2011 09:49 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)


I would believe it is more since they are based on milestone payments and Spacex has more missions further in the integration cycle.

However the per flight contract value for Orbital under CRS is much higher,

Cygnus can deliver more pressurized volume, so it receives more money.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 02/19/2011 10:10 PM
Wow.  I'm listening to the ORB earnings web cast.  I think I heard them say they made $278M on the CRS contract in CY10.

Which suggests that SpaceX should have received about $240M (in proportion to awarded amount). ($1.9B/1.6B)


I would believe it is more since they are based on milestone payments and Spacex has more missions further in the integration cycle.

However the per flight contract value for Orbital under CRS is much higher,

Cygnus can deliver more pressurized volume, so it receives more money.

It receives more money because OSC put in a higher cost bid to NASA. Even after you correct for the fact OSC needs fewer flights to reach the 20 ton minimum requirement.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 02/19/2011 10:36 PM
The CCDev2 money is awaiting allocation at the moment.
There are rumours of a CCDev3, consequently its milestones have not been bid yet.

More than rumors:
[...] In
spring FY 2012, the CCDev Round 2 awards will be completed and NASA plans to further expand
commercial crew systems under CCDev Round 3 awards. Round 3 awards will support
development, testing, and demonstrations of multiple commercial crew systems for U.S. crew
access to LEO and the ISS.
That's from the 2012 Budget Estimate document (p. 396 of the pdf, labeled ESMD-3).
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/516675main_NASA_FY12_Budget_Estimates.pdf

From the same document:
Budget Authority, $ in millions
                FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016
Commercial Crew $850.0 $850.0 $850.0 $850.0 $850.0
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: spacetraveler on 02/21/2011 08:18 PM
That's from the 2012 Budget Estimate document (p. 396 of the pdf, labeled ESMD-3).
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/516675main_NASA_FY12_Budget_Estimates.pdf

From the same document:
Budget Authority, $ in millions
                FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016
Commercial Crew $850.0 $850.0 $850.0 $850.0 $850.0


Those amounts don't mean all that much though given that some key NASA players in Congress have already rejected the President's NASA 2012 budget.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: wannamoonbase on 02/25/2011 11:17 AM
That's from the 2012 Budget Estimate document (p. 396 of the pdf, labeled ESMD-3).
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/516675main_NASA_FY12_Budget_Estimates.pdf

From the same document:
Budget Authority, $ in millions
                FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016
Commercial Crew $850.0 $850.0 $850.0 $850.0 $850.0


Those amounts don't mean all that much though given that some key NASA players in Congress have already rejected the President's NASA 2012 budget.

Let us also consider what pressures will be felt once the last shuttle flies.  The urgency to get American's flying on American rockets will increase after the last shuttle flight.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jason1701 on 03/23/2011 12:51 AM
Another test firing. Sounds like it's for the second Taurus II.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/AJ26_20110319.html
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 03/23/2011 08:21 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has posted an update, dated March 2011, at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 03/23/2011 08:26 PM
Looks like you could fit an entire Pegasus in that faring, including the wings... :)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/28/2011 10:55 PM
Looks like you could fit an entire Pegasus in that faring, including the wings... :)
Looks like it's composite, too! (EDIT:actually, I'm not sure about that, now...) What's it's mass (and what would a typical aluminum fairing of the same size weight)?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lurker Steve on 03/29/2011 03:10 AM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has posted an update, dated March 2011, at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

I'm suprized how long it is taking to complete the new facility. The update says the concrete is finally complete, and they are working on the fuel farm.

Is the pad going to be ready if NASA / Congress pays for the risk-reduction flight this summer ?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Salo on 03/29/2011 04:16 PM
aviationweek: Orbital Sees First Taurus II Flight In Sept. (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/03/28/11.xml&headline=Orbital%20Sees%20First%20Taurus%20II%20Flight%20In%20Sept.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: hop on 03/29/2011 09:05 PM
I'm suprized how long it is taking to complete the new facility. The update says the concrete is finally complete, and they are working on the fuel farm.
Really ? SpaceX broke ground for the F9 site in Nov '07 (http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=31) and flew in June '10. It's not clear to me when the pad facilities were ready to support a launch, but it couldn't be before the first on pad test in early '09.

Orbital broke ground for the Taurus II site on June '09, but they started with less than SpaceX did at SLC40. If they fly in September, they will be slightly ahead of the SpaceX timeline.

You could also compare with the Soyuz pad at Kourou...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: sdsds on 03/29/2011 10:57 PM
aviationweek: Orbital Sees First Taurus II Flight In Sept. (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/03/28/11.xml&headline=Orbital%20Sees%20First%20Taurus%20II%20Flight%20In%20Sept.)

Wow, the spin on this is carefully polished!

Quote
“Since this is one of the first brand-new launch pads to be developed in quite a number of years, we wanted to be sure that we were benefitting from the experience that existed in NASA with respect to the whole ground-processing and pre-launch flow and the necessary equipment at the pad,” [Orbital's] Thompson says.

“It’s a first time for them, so we’re sending in people who’ve done this time and time again,” [NASA's] Bolden says. “I think we’re going to be okay.”

I think we're going to be okay.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: jiggawo on 03/30/2011 01:28 AM
aviationweek: Orbital Sees First Taurus II Flight In Sept. (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/03/28/11.xml&headline=Orbital%20Sees%20First%20Taurus%20II%20Flight%20In%20Sept.)

Wow, the spin on this is carefully polished!

Quote
“Since this is one of the first brand-new launch pads to be developed in quite a number of years, we wanted to be sure that we were benefitting from the experience that existed in NASA with respect to the whole ground-processing and pre-launch flow and the necessary equipment at the pad,” [Orbital's] Thompson says.

“It’s a first time for them, so we’re sending in people who’ve done this time and time again,” [NASA's] Bolden says. “I think we’re going to be okay.”

I think we're going to be okay.

I believe this is secret code for "we didn't completely understand the scope of what we were doing, and didn't budget it for it, so we're getting NASA to pony up free labor"
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 03/30/2011 01:33 AM
Still based on SpaceX's know slip rate, will it fly before SpaceX's next flight? That would be an interesting wager. Who flies next.

My money is on the original new space startup...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Lurker Steve on 03/30/2011 02:01 AM
Still based on SpaceX's know slip rate, will it fly before SpaceX's next flight? That would be an interesting wager. Who flies next.

My money is on the original new space startup...

Are the CRS flights in the ISS schedule yet ? If SpaceX doesn't get to combine it's remaining COTS flights, then it will be even more interesting to see who gets into production first.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 03/30/2011 04:44 AM
You could also compare with the Soyuz pad at Kourou...
Oh LOL that hurts. You can also compare it with the Angara pad at Plesetsk.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/30/2011 05:16 PM
aviationweek: Orbital Sees First Taurus II Flight In Sept. (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/03/28/11.xml&headline=Orbital%20Sees%20First%20Taurus%20II%20Flight%20In%20Sept.)

Fifty Ukrainian technicians working in the HIF. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: mr. mark on 03/30/2011 05:26 PM
It's not about which company goes to the ISS first, either Spacex or Orbital. It's about both being successful. As long as only one is successful there will always be a question as to new space's abilities. Having both Orbital and Spacex successful in doing cargo operations goes a long way toward proving new space.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 03/31/2011 02:50 AM
Depends on what metric one uses to define new space.  By revenue source, I know of no orbital-class launcher or spacecraft I would consider new space since none would exist without government funding.  By who owns the launcher or by contract type, there are already several.  If one goes back into the 1990s, one could go by who owns the spacecraft being launched and include those same companies.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Freddie on 04/05/2011 06:41 AM
The charter for the U. S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Science hearing held on 30 March 2011 included in its Appendix 3 on Page 13 of 13 an updated COTS milestone project schedule for Orbital Sciences.  The 13-page hearing charter can be viewed at http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/033011_charter_0.pdf.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: antonioe on 04/05/2011 07:45 PM
There are interesting items in that charter:

1.- Jim Maser is identified as a professional association (AIAA) executive, not as president of P&WR.

2.- The entire document is a defense of Constellation/Orion and an attack on COTS (Appendix 1 is a long list of Constellation/Orion acheivements, while Appendix 2 contains only graphical Schedules for SpaceX and Orbital highlighting the COTS program schedule delays.)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: alexw on 04/06/2011 05:48 AM
There are interesting items in that charter:
1.- Jim Maser is identified as a professional association (AIAA) executive, not as president of P&WR.
2.- The entire document is a defense of Constellation/Orion and an attack on COTS (Appendix 1 is a long list of Constellation/Orion acheivements, while Appendix 2 contains only graphical Schedules for SpaceX and Orbital highlighting the COTS program schedule delays.)

    Dr. Elias returns!
 
    I'd be wondering what thinking is going on at Orbital in light of today. For a while, it looked like Taurus II(e) meant that SpaceX and Orbital were playing approximately in the same ballgame -- and that Orbital had gotten pulled, by necessity (by NASA's begging?) into the medium launcher business. But recently we've seen the vision of Prometheus flying on Atlas V, not TII (for good reasons), and if Falcon can achieve anything like it's economic goals and gain the lead on obtaining NASA certification via flight history, TII might be destined for a short life as a pure-CRS launcher.

   But Orbital must have lots of ideas for interesting mission hardware they'd like to compete for and fly, if NASA or other commercial customers were willing to try some new concepts. Space hardware much more interesting than launchers. ?

     -Alex
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/06/2011 05:15 PM
There are interesting items in that charter:
1.- Jim Maser is identified as a professional association (AIAA) executive, not as president of P&WR.
2.- The entire document is a defense of Constellation/Orion and an attack on COTS (Appendix 1 is a long list of Constellation/Orion acheivements, while Appendix 2 contains only graphical Schedules for SpaceX and Orbital highlighting the COTS program schedule delays.)

    Dr. Elias returns!
 
    I'd be wondering what thinking is going on at Orbital in light of today. For a while, it looked like Taurus II(e) meant that SpaceX and Orbital were playing approximately in the same ballgame -- and that Orbital had gotten pulled, by necessity (by NASA's begging?) into the medium launcher business. But recently we've seen the vision of Prometheus flying on Atlas V, not TII (for good reasons), and if Falcon can achieve anything like it's economic goals and gain the lead on obtaining NASA certification via flight history, TII might be destined for a short life as a pure-CRS launcher.

   But Orbital must have lots of ideas for interesting mission hardware they'd like to compete for and fly, if NASA or other commercial customers were willing to try some new concepts. Space hardware much more interesting than launchers. ?

     -Alex
SpaceX's per-launch costs aren't necessarily going to be lower than Orbital's. I've noticed that SpaceX has, in the past, compensated for cost increases by increasing the payload capacity so the cost-per-kg stayed around the same.

But Orbital needs a Delta II replacement (not an EELV replacement), and Taurus II fits pretty darned well with that. Not to mention Orbital has far, far more experience with this than SpaceX. Orbital has launched over 50 times, including 8 successful orbital launches in one single year. SpaceX did at most 2 in a single year, 2010.

Taurus II is still just as important to Orbital and NASA. And I am very excited to see what else Orbital has in store for us!
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/06/2011 08:18 PM
But recently we've seen the vision of Prometheus flying on Atlas V, not TII (for good reasons), and if Falcon can achieve anything like it's economic goals and gain the lead on obtaining NASA certification via flight history, TII might be destined for a short life as a pure-CRS launcher.

Pretty sure that as long as Cynus flies CRS flights Taurus 2 will be around.

Also orbital designed Taurus II to replace Delta II class LV's to ensure that their real bread and butter, spacecraft, can still get to orbit and Falcon 9 had not flown yet (and therefore still a big gamble) Atlas V is a much heavier lifter, so why reinvent the wheel (ie just buy flights)?  Dont forget the EELV class field is already overcapacity in the commercial market, and with two govt sponsored lv's probably not a market case.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/06/2011 09:11 PM
But recently we've seen the vision of Prometheus flying on Atlas V, not TII (for good reasons), and if Falcon can achieve anything like it's economic goals and gain the lead on obtaining NASA certification via flight history, TII might be destined for a short life as a pure-CRS launcher.

Pretty sure that as long as Cynus flies CRS flights Taurus 2 will be around.

Also orbital designed Taurus II to replace Delta II class LV's to ensure that their real bread and butter, spacecraft, can still get to orbit and Falcon 9 had not flown yet (and therefore still a big gamble) Atlas V is a much heavier lifter, so why reinvent the wheel (ie just buy flights)?  Dont forget the EELV class field is already overcapacity in the commercial market, and with two govt sponsored lv's probably not a market case.
Agreed.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Bernie Roehl on 04/06/2011 09:37 PM
SpaceX's per-launch costs aren't necessarily going to be lower than Orbital's.

SpaceX has a bit of a cost advantage, since they build their own engines.  OSC has to purchase their first (and second?) stage engines, and they subcontract the entire first stage.

Quote
Taurus II is still just as important to Orbital and NASA. And I am very excited to see what else Orbital has in store for us!

Agreed!

I'm hoping they'll both be successful.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/06/2011 10:16 PM
SpaceX's per-launch costs aren't necessarily going to be lower than Orbital's.

SpaceX has a bit of a cost advantage, since they build their own engines.  OSC has to purchase their first (and second?) stage engines, and they subcontract the entire first stage.
...
...from Eastern Europe. Sometimes, subcontracting stuff makes a lot of sense, especially since the first stage is made by someone who does more things than just Taurus II first stages (I believe they make Zenit). This has real opportunities for cost reduction through taking advantage of capital investments (machine tools, etc) that have other customers (Zenit). Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply. They are incredibly high-performance (Isp and thrust/weight).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 04/06/2011 10:20 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/06/2011 10:29 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
When Atlas ordered the RD-180, the plan was to produce them domestically.  Also, Atlas was the only customer.  Now, the capability of Atlas has Rus-M under heavy development.  If you look at it closely, you realize Rus-M is pretty much a Russian clone of Atlas.  Same diameter, fuel tank size, engine, even the upper stage is close to what Common Centaur would be.  This means less access to the engines.

AJ-26, however, has only one potential other client, the Soyuz-2-1V.  And Aerojet is making noises that they can produce it if demand is there, and I believe them.  PWR could produce the RD-180 as well, but it needs more demand than the AJ-26 due to the AJ-26's smaller nature.  More AJ-26 are needed per-job, which means better production volume, hence, demand grows faster.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/06/2011 10:33 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
There are something like 70 NK-33s available. Should be good for a decade's worth of launches. It would be really interesting if Aerojet actually decides to produce them.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/06/2011 10:35 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
There are something like 70 NK-33s available. Should be good for a decade's worth of launches. It would be really interesting if Aerojet actually decides to produce them.
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/06/2011 10:59 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
There are something like 70 NK-33s available. Should be good for a decade's worth of launches. It would be really interesting if Aerojet actually decides to produce them.
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
Really? I thought Aerojet only had 37 of them in the US, with control over a bunch more in Russia.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/06/2011 11:04 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
There are something like 70 NK-33s available. Should be good for a decade's worth of launches. It would be really interesting if Aerojet actually decides to produce them.
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
Really? I thought Aerojet only had 37 of them in the US, with control over a bunch more in Russia.
There are 37 in the US, but they purchased over 100 of them.  Why move them until it is time to?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/06/2011 11:13 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
There are something like 70 NK-33s available. Should be good for a decade's worth of launches. It would be really interesting if Aerojet actually decides to produce them.
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
Really? I thought Aerojet only had 37 of them in the US, with control over a bunch more in Russia.
There are 37 in the US, but they purchased over 100 of them.  Why move them until it is time to?
I agree with that, but there are really 400 of them? If so, as long as that new Soyuz doesn't use them, there should be plenty for Taurus II.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/06/2011 11:31 PM
Also, there's a whole bunch of NK-33s that are available comparatively cheaply.

I'm tempted to say the same was true for RD-180. Now apparently less so.
There are something like 70 NK-33s available. Should be good for a decade's worth of launches. It would be really interesting if Aerojet actually decides to produce them.
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
Really? I thought Aerojet only had 37 of them in the US, with control over a bunch more in Russia.
There are 37 in the US, but they purchased over 100 of them.  Why move them until it is time to?
I agree with that, but there are really 400 of them? If so, as long as that new Soyuz doesn't use them, there should be plenty for Taurus II.
Last I knew there were about that many, yes.  I know there were over 100 in one warehouse alone, and there were several others.  In addition, this does not count the NK-43's or NK-19's either.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 04/07/2011 04:10 AM
When Atlas ordered the RD-180, the plan was to produce them domestically.  Also, Atlas was the only customer.  Now, the capability of Atlas has Rus-M under heavy development.  If you look at it closely, you realize Rus-M is pretty much a Russian clone of Atlas.  Same diameter, fuel tank size, engine, even the upper stage is close to what Common Centaur would be.  This means less access to the engines.
You forgot to mention RD-0146 that started as a technology transfer from P&W. It is an improved RL-10, only they did not have to pay anything for it.

Rus-M has one big difference from Atlas though: the 3-core design. There is no signle-core version (the Rus-MS is being bandied about, but does not seem to be going anywhere).

I don't know if Rus-M means less access to the engines though. On the contrary, it may save Atlas. IMHO the biggest threat for RD-180 is Energiya gutting Energomash, because they are only interested in RD-171M for their Zenit+. But SKPG program presumes a transfer of RD-180 production line to a series plant. That may rescue it for Atlas too.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: zaitcev on 04/07/2011 04:11 AM
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
This sounds completely bogus to me. All I heard was roughly 70, with Aerojet having about half of those.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/07/2011 04:17 AM
Try over 400 NK-33's.  Aerojet has bought over 100 of them.
This sounds completely bogus to me. All I heard was roughly 70, with Aerojet having about half of those.
I went and double checked.  One of the warehouses has over 150 engines on it's own.  However, the total 400 included more than just the NK-33, also including NK-43 and NK-19's as well.  So, error on my part.  Total of 400 engines, but some of them are not NK-33's.

I did find out that Aerojet bought over 100 engines, the majority were NK-33's, but a few NK-43's as well.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/07/2011 04:35 PM
Also orbital designed Taurus II to replace Delta II class LV's to ensure that their real bread and butter, spacecraft, can still get to orbit and Falcon 9 had not flown yet (and therefore still a big gamble) Atlas V is a much heavier lifter, so why reinvent the wheel (ie just buy flights)?  Dont forget the EELV class field is already overcapacity in the commercial market, and with two govt sponsored lv's probably not a market case.

Which begs the question as to which Orbital satellite buses can fly on Taurus II.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 04/07/2011 08:35 PM
Sometimes, subcontracting stuff makes a lot of sense...

It's actually a fascinating business comparison: SpaceX is almost entirely vertically integrated, and Orbital almost entirely horizontally integrated. It's rare that you see such textbook contrast...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: baldusi on 04/07/2011 09:49 PM
Orbital is a player that has many years and has made a niche in filling niche markets and doing one offs from satellites to LV. That might favor a "virtual" fully outsourced company. SpaceX is a new attempt to really revolutionize one and one market alone, heavy LV. That might favor full integration.
The rest are on cost+ contracts and so it's more reasonable to keep something inhouse (the "unique" capabilities), while outsourcing everything else, since it's paid by anyway. It's interesting to see the ULA case, which has some parts of cost plus and some of commercial. Why haven't been able to be competitive in the international market? My take is that it has three customers that require a boutique treatment (DOD, NROL and NASA), only catered to this most select clientele.
How will Taurus II fit in all this? Well, a nice chunk of Taurus cost should be attributed to two suppliers: Yuzhnoye and AeroJet.
In Yuzhnoye case, they are the most likely victim (i.e. Zenit) if SpaceX is successful. And their Cyclone 4 doesn't seems to be going forward anytime soon. So they would be a nice candidate to squeeze for margins.
AeroJet is more difficult, specially since they have huge corporate structure that requires certain returns. On the other hand, they don't seem to have many other clients, and if Taurus is out of market, then they might get flexible. But clearly the engine is the most difficult part of making the LV cheaper.
The natural niche would be to fill Delta II space. But they lack a high energy US. So I'm not sure they can do that work. And multi launch technology might evolve. In fact, it might allow SpaceX to corner the small payload market if they have enough launch rates that they can offer almost any orbit in a four year period (for secondary payloads). So I'm not sure T2 has a future out of the ISS contract without a new US. And a price at least 30% under Falcon 9.
They might also have a plan of making it easy to close down the program, but grab anything under 6tn in case SpaceX goes under. It's not a bad business plan. I'm sure they are getting their fair share of profits on the ISS program, and if the F9 doesn't work they get a nice niche of the market.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/08/2011 12:41 AM
Orbital is a player that has many years and has made a niche in filling niche markets and doing one offs from satellites to LV.
the same could be said for SpaceX right now.
Quote
In Yuzhnoye case, they are the most likely victim (i.e. Zenit) if SpaceX is successful. And their Cyclone 4 doesn't seems to be going forward anytime soon. So they would be a nice candidate to squeeze for margins.

Zenit is an established LV and extremely cheap for tis performance, whihc is essentially why Oribital picked them for a somewhat smaller version of Zenit for the second stage.  SpaceX is not going to knock them (Yuzhnoye/Zenit) out of the business.

Quote
AeroJet is more difficult, specially since they have huge corporate structure that requires certain returns. On the other hand, they don't seem to have many other clients, and if Taurus is out of market, then they might get flexible.

Aerojet provides engines to EELV, HTV, aTV, and Orion.  Plus the TII engines have already been purchased, so no reason for supplier difficulties as they are already built and paid for.

Quote
The natural niche would be to fill Delta II space. But they lack a high energy US.

OSC has already committed to a high energy upper stage and is planning to use it on the third flight and a stretched Cygnus.  Also, Falcon 9 has an undersized upperstage as well.

Aerojet owns enough engines for a decade of Taurus flights, and with CRS contracts Orbital has enough to continue production.  Remember, NASA wants two suppliers for cargo and Taurus II is cheap enough to be included with the spacecraft costs.  As for additional flights, SpaceX has not achieved a true production line Falcon 9, so the prices could go up.  Remember, it is not a race to the finish line but a long distance marathon.

Which begs the question as to which Orbital satellite buses can fly on Taurus II.


Well we do know that the STAR bus is a fit ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: baldusi on 04/08/2011 01:54 AM
My point was not about the "problem" of supply. But the problem of squeezing margins. And SpaceX is a threat to Zenit because both are positioned as the "cheap" alternative. I guess China and ILS are in the middle, with Arianespace and ULA as the "quality leaders". Zenit doesn't has a good reliability record, which SpaceX might develop. Zenit has a relatively low launch rate. The Russian govt wil probalby replace it with Angara (by 201/6). And let's not mention the problem between Sea Launch and Land Launch. SpaceX has it's ISS contract.
I'm not stating that SpaceX will put Zenit out of the international business. But it's a big threat.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/08/2011 02:29 AM
My point was not about the "problem" of supply. But the problem of squeezing margins. And SpaceX is a threat to Zenit because both are positioned as the "cheap" alternative. I guess China and ILS are in the middle, with Arianespace and ULA as the "quality leaders". Zenit doesn't has a good reliability record, which SpaceX might develop. Zenit has a relatively low launch rate. The Russian govt wil probalby replace it with Angara (by 201/6). And let's not mention the problem between Sea Launch and Land Launch. SpaceX has it's ISS contract.
I'm not stating that SpaceX will put Zenit out of the international business. But it's a big threat.

Zenit has under a lot of threats.  Their engine supplier is in a country which has poor relations with theirs.  I've pondered why they sought out the Orbital partnership, and it struck me that should their supply prove too difficult, they now have a version of their first stage which now uses another engine with easier access.  I know if I was in Yuzhnoye's shoes, I'd be keeping a close eye on it.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/08/2011 05:50 PM
My point was not about the "problem" of supply. But the problem of squeezing margins. And SpaceX is a threat to Zenit because both are positioned as the "cheap" alternative. I guess China and ILS are in the middle, with Arianespace and ULA as the "quality leaders". Zenit doesn't has a good reliability record, which SpaceX might develop. Zenit has a relatively low launch rate. The Russian govt wil probalby replace it with Angara (by 201/6). And let's not mention the problem between Sea Launch and Land Launch. SpaceX has it's ISS contract.
I'm not stating that SpaceX will put Zenit out of the international business. But it's a big threat.

Zenit has under a lot of threats.  Their engine supplier is in a country which has poor relations with theirs.  I've pondered why they sought out the Orbital partnership, and it struck me that should their supply prove too difficult, they now have a version of their first stage which now uses another engine with easier access.  I know if I was in Yuzhnoye's shoes, I'd be keeping a close eye on it.

Hmmm ... I wonder if we would see a merger of Yuhznoye and Orbital's efforts as a Taurus III with 4 NK engines in a Zenit.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/08/2011 07:33 PM
My point was not about the "problem" of supply. But the problem of squeezing margins. And SpaceX is a threat to Zenit because both are positioned as the "cheap" alternative. I guess China and ILS are in the middle, with Arianespace and ULA as the "quality leaders". Zenit doesn't has a good reliability record, which SpaceX might develop. Zenit has a relatively low launch rate. The Russian govt wil probalby replace it with Angara (by 201/6). And let's not mention the problem between Sea Launch and Land Launch. SpaceX has it's ISS contract.
I'm not stating that SpaceX will put Zenit out of the international business. But it's a big threat.

Zenit has under a lot of threats.  Their engine supplier is in a country which has poor relations with theirs.  I've pondered why they sought out the Orbital partnership, and it struck me that should their supply prove too difficult, they now have a version of their first stage which now uses another engine with easier access.  I know if I was in Yuzhnoye's shoes, I'd be keeping a close eye on it.

Hmmm ... I wonder if we would see a merger of Yuhznoye and Orbital's efforts as a Taurus III with 4 NK engines in a Zenit.
Never know.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 04/09/2011 01:11 AM
My point was not about the "problem" of supply. But the problem of squeezing margins. And SpaceX is a threat to Zenit because both are positioned as the "cheap" alternative. I guess China and ILS are in the middle, with Arianespace and ULA as the "quality leaders". Zenit doesn't has a good reliability record, which SpaceX might develop. Zenit has a relatively low launch rate. The Russian govt wil probalby replace it with Angara (by 201/6). And let's not mention the problem between Sea Launch and Land Launch. SpaceX has it's ISS contract.
I'm not stating that SpaceX will put Zenit out of the international business. But it's a big threat.

Zenit has under a lot of threats.  Their engine supplier is in a country which has poor relations with theirs.  I've pondered why they sought out the Orbital partnership, and it struck me that should their supply prove too difficult, they now have a version of their first stage which now uses another engine with easier access.  I know if I was in Yuzhnoye's shoes, I'd be keeping a close eye on it.

Hmmm ... I wonder if we would see a merger of Yuhznoye and Orbital's efforts as a Taurus III with 4 NK engines in a Zenit.

Could happen if they ever decided to compete directly with Spacex in the space tourism market and decide to use their own in house LV.

A derivative of the high energy methane stage from Taurus II probably could even be used on Zenit.

More near term I wonder if Taurus II could be used for Discovery class missions and could it reduce their cost since it's to be a cheaper LV then the Delta II was.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/09/2011 01:28 AM
More near term I wonder if Taurus II could be used for Discovery class missions and could it reduce their cost since it's to be a cheaper LV then the Delta II was.

I would imagine that one of the design requirements for T2 was to duplicate Delta II functionality for one dollar less than the price of an EELV.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 04/09/2011 04:08 PM
Delta IIs were ~10% cheaper than EELV (before the recent NTE price spike) but lift half as much.  T2 would have to be somewhere south of that if its lift is D2 class.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: baldusi on 04/09/2011 09:43 PM
Wouldn't it require a high energy US? I see that the Delta II US was around 300s. If I'm not mistaken methane is isp is in the ~360s (RD-171M modified) in the best case. so they should need a new US, but anything liquid should suffice.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/09/2011 09:48 PM
Wouldn't it require a high energy US? I see that the Delta II US was around 300s. If I'm not mistaken methane is isp is in the ~360s (RD-171M modified) in the best case. so they should need a new US, but anything liquid should suffice.
They have a high energy core option, classified as the Enhanced Stage 2. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: baldusi on 04/09/2011 09:58 PM
I've read, but I've seen so little information on it that it seems to be a long term plan. Yet someone mentioned it was to be available on the third flight?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: simonbp on 04/11/2011 01:32 AM
Delta IIs were ~10% cheaper than EELV (before the recent NTE price spike) but lift half as much.  T2 would have to be somewhere south of that if its lift is D2 class.

Taurus II has Delta II performance with a cheap solid upper stage, while Atlas V has a very expensive common-bulkhead, RL-10 powered upper stage. So, even if the two first stages had the same cost (unlikely given that Atlas is bigger and only partially built with Eastern European labor), one would still expect Taurus to be much cheaper. In reality, Taurus II will at least as good price/performance as Atlas, if not better.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Antares on 04/11/2011 03:59 AM
How much is Orbital getting for the test flight?

Does it make 7920 performance?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/11/2011 04:58 AM
How much is Orbital getting for the test flight?

Does it make 7920 performance?
I do not know the profit for the test flight at this moment, but it does roughly match the 7920 for performance based on the charts I've seen.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 04/11/2011 09:21 AM
Profit? Are they *supposed* to profit on a risk-reduction test flight?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/11/2011 01:05 PM
Profit? Are they *supposed* to profit on a risk-reduction test flight?

I suspect he ment profile...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 04/11/2011 01:22 PM
Ahh, makes sense.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/11/2011 05:38 PM
Profit? Are they *supposed* to profit on a risk-reduction test flight?

I suspect he ment profile...
Was on my phone and the auto-correct grabbed the wrong word, sorry about that.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/11/2011 05:58 PM
Was on my phone and the auto-correct grabbed the wrong word, sorry about that.

Please tell us you where not also driving at the same time ;)
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/11/2011 06:12 PM
Was on my phone and the auto-correct grabbed the wrong word, sorry about that.

Please tell us you where not also driving at the same time ;)

Nah, was in bed and was too lazy to walk into the living room to grab my laptop.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 04/13/2011 07:02 PM
I found this engine posted in the Falcon heavy thread of all places.
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/04/12/darma-initiative-affordable-upper-stage-rocket-engine/

I think it might be perfect for use in Taurus II's high energy upper stage.

Other options I think might work would be the RD-58S and RD-8 though Chase-10 is supposed to be built in the US.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 04/13/2011 07:04 PM
Taurus has already picked an engine for the high energy upperstage
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 04/13/2011 07:08 PM
Taurus has already picked an engine for the high energy upperstage

What engine is it and what propellants are used?
I figured the high energy stage was still at a very early stage in development.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/13/2011 07:19 PM
Taurus has already picked an engine for the high energy upperstage

What engine is it and what propellants are used?
I figured the high energy stage was still at a very early stage in development.
RD-0124, kerolox.

And from what I understand the solid US will only be used a few times before the high energy comes online.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: PahTo on 04/13/2011 07:41 PM

Will this engine be manufactured by Aerojet, or imported?  I was under the impression the increase in demand for Soyuz was already stressing production capabilities (or perhaps that's just for RD-118/117)...


RD-0124, kerolox.

And from what I understand the solid US will only be used a few times before the high energy comes online.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/13/2011 07:46 PM

Will this engine be manufactured by Aerojet, or imported?  I was under the impression the increase in demand for Soyuz was already stressing production capabilities (or perhaps that's just for RD-118/117)...


RD-0124, kerolox.

And from what I understand the solid US will only be used a few times before the high energy comes online.
The RD-118/117 is where the stress issue can be found, which is why they are preparing to replace them with the AJ-26/NK-33 for the Soyuz-2-1v.  The RD-0124 is not in that situation, as there are several Soyuz upper stage options, not all of which use the RD-0124. 
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: baldusi on 04/13/2011 08:05 PM
The RD-118/117 is where the stress issue can be found, which is why they are preparing to replace them with the AJ-26/NK-33 for the Soyuz-2-1v.  The RD-0124 is not in that situation, as there are several Soyuz upper stage options, not all of which use the RD-0124. 
I'm surprised the Russian didn't made an offer to Orbital to chip in the development of the KVRB. Or is the rd-0124 manufactured in Ukraine?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/13/2011 08:19 PM
The RD-118/117 is where the stress issue can be found, which is why they are preparing to replace them with the AJ-26/NK-33 for the Soyuz-2-1v.  The RD-0124 is not in that situation, as there are several Soyuz upper stage options, not all of which use the RD-0124. 
I'm surprised the Russian didn't made an offer to Orbital to chip in the development of the KVRB. Or is the rd-0124 manufactured in Ukraine?
I am uncertain where it is Manufactured, but the company which produces it has facilities in the Ukraine.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Patchouli on 04/13/2011 08:34 PM
Taurus has already picked an engine for the high energy upperstage

What engine is it and what propellants are used?
I figured the high energy stage was still at a very early stage in development.
RD-0124, kerolox.

And from what I understand the solid US will only be used a few times before the high energy comes online.
I didn't know the high energy upper stage was that far along as I have not seen any mock ups or test articles yet unless that tank crush test was the US.

I take it the RD-0124 was chosen because it burned the same fuel as the first stage engines thus simplifying pad operations.
So I wonder will the high energy upper stage be derived from the Zenit or Soyuz upper stage.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/13/2011 08:38 PM
Taurus has already picked an engine for the high energy upperstage

What engine is it and what propellants are used?
I figured the high energy stage was still at a very early stage in development.
RD-0124, kerolox.

And from what I understand the solid US will only be used a few times before the high energy comes online.
I didn't know the high energy upper stage was that far along as I have not seen any mock ups etc yet.

I take it the RD-0124 was chosen because it burned the same fuel as the first stage engines thus simplifying pad operations.
So I wonder will the high energy upper stage be derived from the Zenit or Soyuz upper stage.

Based on the source of the first stage, I'd wager Zenit.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jim on 04/13/2011 08:39 PM

I take it the RD-0124 was chosen because it burned the same fuel as the first stage engines thus simplifying pad operations.
So I wonder will the high energy upper stage be derived from the Zenit or Soyuz upper stage.


Neither
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: tobi453 on 04/13/2011 09:26 PM
RL10?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 04/13/2011 09:53 PM
Dr Elias wanted the RL-10, but they've chosen the RD-0124. Really:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg622401#msg622401


Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/13/2011 10:00 PM
Not a bad choice. RL-10 has gotten more expensive since then (correct me if I'm wrong).
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: ugordan on 04/13/2011 10:03 PM
RL-10 has gotten more expensive since then (correct me if I'm wrong).

I certainly didn't see those reports denied so...
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/13/2011 11:20 PM
There have been some rather confused and misleading posts here about Russian engines in the last few days.

The RD-0124 is the new Taurus II high energy stage engine. It is designed by KBKhA, located in Voronezh, but where it is made is a bit of a mystery. Wikipedia claims that the Progress plant makes it for Soyuz under license.

Anyway, RD-0124 is pretty much the same engine as used by Soyuz-2.1b and by some Angara variants, which means that it doesn't fly a lot.

As for there being "stress" on production of RD-117/118, that's news to me.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Downix on 04/13/2011 11:29 PM
There have been some rather confused and misleading posts here about Russian engines in the last few days.

The RD-0124 is the new Taurus II high energy stage engine. It is designed by KBKhA, located in Voronezh, but where it is made is a bit of a mystery. Wikipedia claims that the Progress plant makes it for Soyuz under license.


Anyway, RD-0124 is pretty much the same engine as used by Soyuz-2.1b and by some Angara variants, which means that it doesn't fly a lot.

As for there being "stress" on production of RD-117/118, that's news to me.

If it is built at Progress, that means it is built in Samara, Russia.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Halidon on 04/14/2011 12:55 AM
Is this a similar arrangement to the first stage, with the stage being constructed abroad and stacked by OSC?
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: drbobguy on 04/14/2011 04:43 AM
Progress doesn't build engines, the Soyuz engines are built at OAO Motorstroitel, which is also in Samara.  I'm not sure about the RD-0124 though.
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Danderman on 04/14/2011 03:42 PM
Progress doesn't build engines, the Soyuz engines are built at OAO Motorstroitel, which is also in Samara.  I'm not sure about the RD-0124 though.

Hey, I said it was a claim by Wikipedia, not actual true facts.

Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/14/2011 05:16 PM
In my opinion, the stage with two single-chamber engines RD-809 will be good approach to an ideal.
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/?id=143&path=Aerospace Technology/Rocket Propulsion/Liquid Engines/Sustainers/RD-809/RD-809
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 04/14/2011 05:22 PM
There have been some rather confused and misleading posts here about Russian engines in the last few days.

The RD-0124 is the new Taurus II high energy stage engine. It is designed by KBKhA, located in Voronezh, but where it is made is a bit of a mystery.

Engine RD-0124 is made now in KBKhA. Further it is planned to transfer manufacture to the Voronezh Mechanical factory.


Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: Jose on 04/14/2011 06:07 PM
In my opinion, the stage with two single-chamber engines RD-809 will be good approach to an ideal.
http://www.yuzhnoye.com/?id=143&path=Aerospace Technology/Rocket Propulsion/Liquid Engines/Sustainers/RD-809/RD-809


Here's Dmitriy's link in English, for those of us that are language-challenged:

http://www.yuzhnoye.com/index.php?lang=en&id=143&path=Aerospace%20Technology/Rocket%20Propulsion/Liquid%20Engines/Sustainers/RD-809/RD-809_e


Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/14/2011 07:59 PM
Taurus 2, once fitted with this new upper stage, will be a Ukranio-Russian rocket.  Someone will have to ask if this is where NASA's U.S. taxpayer money should be going.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Taurus II Development News
Post by: NotGncDude on 04/14/2011 08:09 PM