NASASpaceFlight.com Forum

Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Orbital ATK - Antares/Cygnus Mission Section => Topic started by: rayleighscatter on 04/04/2017 12:12 AM

Title: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: rayleighscatter on 04/04/2017 12:12 AM
With more solid information about the rocket starting to come it was about time the Next Generation Launch (NGL) System had it's own thread as opposed to continuing the past highly speculative thread. (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.0)

500 Series
Stage 1: Castor 600
Stage 2: Castor 300
Stage 3: Cryogenic
Fairing: 5x15m
Payload: 5,500-8,500kg GTO

500XL
Stage 1: Castor 1200
Stage 2: Castor 300
Stage 3: Cryogenic
Fairing: 5x15m or 5x20m
Payload: 5,250- 7,000kg GEO

Here's the information from Orbital ATK's Press Release today:
Quote
Company’s Partnership with U. S. Air Force Focused on New Intermediate- and Large-Class Space Launch Vehicles

New Launchers to Use Company’s Industry-Leading Solid Rocket Propulsion Technology and Other Modular Elements


Dulles, Virginia 3 April 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that it has made important progress over the past 18 months in developing advanced solid rocket propulsion and other technologies to be used in a new generation of intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicles. Through a combination of internal investment and government funding from an Air Force contract awarded in late 2015 by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Systems Directorate, the company’s Flight Systems Group recently completed design reviews, facility upgrades and tooling fabrication, and has now begun early production of development hardware for its Next Generation Launch (NGL) system.
 
The company’s modular NGL rocket family will be capable of launching a wide variety of national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by its current fleet of Pegasus, Minotaur and Antares space launch vehicles.  The NGL vehicles will operate from both east and west coast launch facilities and will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with other company programs, including its smaller space launch vehicles as well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic missile systems.

“The NGL program is a great example of how industry and government can work together to develop an American launch system to support national security space launch requirements,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “Orbital ATK is well-positioned to introduce an intermediate- and large-class family of launch vehicles by leveraging the strengths of the merged company to achieve low-cost assured space access for current and future national security payloads and other satellites.”

Through commonality of hardware and other economies of scale, Orbital ATK’s proposed launch system will also reduce the cost of other U.S. Government rocket and missile programs managed by the Air Force, Navy, NASA and Missile Defense Agency, saving taxpayers up to $600 million on these programs over a ten-year period.

Over the past 18 months, Orbital ATK has successfully completed critical design reviews for major elements of the company’s solid propulsion stages, along with preliminary vehicle-level and launch site infrastructure reviews. The company has also refurbished a 60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors. Recently, the company completed the manufacturing of prototype motor test articles to be used in verification activities this summer.

“The Orbital ATK NGL team, which now numbers several hundred engineers and technicians, has made tremendous progress since late 2015.  Building on this work, we are looking forward to providing the Air Force and other customers with a highly-reliable and cost-effective launch system within the next four years,” said Lehr.

The next phase of the program is expected to commence when the Air Force awards Launch Services Agreements in early 2018, which would entail full vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; and Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

About Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,500 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.

Attached is also OA's NGL fact sheet
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: IanThePineapple on 04/04/2017 12:26 AM
from a distance the bottom pic looks like an Atlas V 521 on 39B
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 04/04/2017 12:33 AM
from a distance the bottom pic looks like an Atlas V 521 on 39B

Yep. I'm curious what Vandenberg pad they are hoping to use, though. There is no Shuttle heritage infrastructure left there.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GWH on 04/04/2017 12:36 AM
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/04/2017 02:59 AM
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
Super 4 Segment Cygnus?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/04/2017 03:15 AM
Even more interesting is ability to deliver payloads direct to GEO, something only ULA have offered and will be with ACES.

This long lived US may also be capable of delivering payloads direct to DSG.

Not stated but US is likely to be BE3U powered with possibility Blue will build complete stage.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/04/2017 04:22 AM
from a distance the bottom pic looks like an Atlas V 521 on 39B

Yep. I'm curious what Vandenberg pad they are hoping to use, though. There is no Shuttle heritage infrastructure left there.
In his story last year, Stephen Clark said that Orbital ATK was looking at rebuilding SLC 2.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Dante80 on 04/04/2017 07:19 AM
Not stated but US is likely to be BE3U powered with possibility Blue will build complete stage.

We do know that BE-3U is definitely the engine. OA is developing an extendable vacuum nozzle for it (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/01/14/orbital-atk-spacex-nab-u-s-air-force-propulsion-contracts/).

Judging from the fact that OA has not dabbled in hydrolox yet, it is very possible indeed that Blue will be the contractor for the US as a whole.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/04/2017 10:04 AM
Blue may not be launching DOD missions but their engines will be, whether it is ULA or OA LV.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GWH on 04/04/2017 03:58 PM
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
Super 4 Segment Cygnus?

HA! Why limit it at 4 segments when they could fit 6  ;)
Was more thinking about potential for heavy lift for the not-yet-existent prop depot market.

Even more interesting is ability to deliver payloads direct to GEO, something only ULA have offered and will be with ACES.

In it's largest configuration 250kg more payload to GEO than Delta-IV Heavy.  If they are competitive on price could be very lucrative contracts.

While my speculation is baseless I wonder if they are looking at direct to GEO capabilities as an extension to their satellite servicing being developed.  A type of rapid response repair service.

This long lived US may also be capable of delivering payloads direct to DSG. 

Less dV required than direct to GEO.  Would be very capable at delivery of Cygnus flown cargo or station modules (see Deep Space Habitat Proposal) to DSG.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: brickmack on 04/04/2017 05:25 PM
Neat, bigger than DIVH then it looks like (for the XL version). Not a big fan of expendable solids, but maybe this could be a good stopgap for the next few years until reuse becomes a requirement for competitiveness

Super 4 Segment Cygnus?

At these sizes, probably makes more sense to design a totally new PCM (ATV/MPLM sized?). More mass efficient per volume, and at a certain point lengthening it more will probably cause SSRMS reach issues since the grapple fixtures are on the SM.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: baldusi on 04/04/2017 05:32 PM
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
It's usually between 2.5X~3X GTO performance. So this should be somewhere between 15 and 25 tonnes. The big uncertainty is due to the GTO undertainty. But yes, a 4.2m diameter evolution of the Cygnus could very well do up to something equivalent to the ATV performance (~20tonnes of cargo).
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GWH on 04/04/2017 05:49 PM
Really curious what the LEO payload would be - not the intended market I know but still.
It's usually between 2.5X~3X GTO performance. So this should be somewhere between 15 and 25 tonnes. The big uncertainty is due to the GTO undertainty. But yes, a 4.2m diameter evolution of the Cygnus could very well do up to something equivalent to the ATV performance (~20tonnes of cargo).

That is for the 500 series though right?

For the 500XL series, comparing the relative performance of Detla IV Heavy to GTO (14,700kg) & GEO performance (6750kg) & a taking WAG from the 7000kg max to GEO to approximate LEO performance would estimate from 35,000 kg to 44,000 kg. 
That's a lot more than the Delta IV heavy, but from my understanding the single RL-10 is really limited for LEO by gravity losses?  The BE-3U with over 4x the trust of an RL-10 should have a lot better performance there.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: kingfisherb90 on 04/04/2017 08:07 PM
I am also highly interested in the LEO and DRO payloads.
I would love to see an set of trades on an OATK Deep Space Gateway.

Course i'd also like to see trades on an "All of the above" Commercial DSG.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: baldusi on 04/04/2017 08:19 PM
I am also highly interested in the LEO and DRO payloads.
I would love to see an set of trades on an OATK Deep Space Gateway.

Course i'd also like to see trades on an "All of the above" Commercial DSG.

AIUI, TLI is less than GEO. For example, DIVH does 6.75 tonnes to GEO but 10.57 to TLI (C3=-2km²/s²). Atlas V 551 does 3.9 and 6.3 respectively. Thus, a 500XL should do anywhere between 8.4 and 10.8 tonnes to TLI. The payload would then need propellant to move from and away from the DRO. So a 500XL could very comfortably enable SuperCygnus cargo to DRO.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 04/04/2017 09:08 PM
Orbital ATK just tweeted a pic with a model of the launcher:

Orbital ATK ‏@OrbitalATK
 Come by and talk with our Orbital ATK space & launch teams at the Space Symposium (booth #750) & check out our NGL launch system #EELV #33SS
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/04/2017 09:48 PM
Bigger version.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: JH on 04/05/2017 06:57 AM
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: arachnitect on 04/05/2017 07:00 AM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 04/05/2017 09:53 AM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.
My thoughts exactly. Given that the capacity of all those new/existing launch systems far exceeds the long-term capacity predictions I don't see NGL progressing significantly beyond the Powerpoint-and-models stage.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/05/2017 10:22 AM
May not be cheaper than F9R but should be competitive with Ariane 6 and Vulcan.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: baldusi on 04/05/2017 11:33 AM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.

I think this will show the limitations of big solids. Unless they get the SLS Block 2 boostr contract and leverage the government payed infrastructure.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: JPK on 04/05/2017 12:03 PM
possible typothe paylode for the castor 1200 is given as less than the 600. Is this a typo?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/05/2017 01:54 PM
Given that the capacity of all those new/existing launch systems far exceeds the long-term capacity predictions I don't see NGL progressing significantly beyond the Powerpoint-and-models stage.
I would say the same for several of the other proposed launch vehicles.   Much depends on what happens, likely this year, when the button is finally pressed for BE-4 and Falcon Heavy.   Orbital ATK's decision point comes after those events are planned.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: notsorandom on 04/05/2017 03:05 PM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s business case requires five or six launches of the rocket per year for the military, NASA, or commercial customers, he said.

uh. that's worse than I thought.

I figured the selling point for this project was going to be viability at a glacial launch rate. Like 2 or 3 launches per year.

I think this will show the limitations of big solids. Unless they get the SLS Block 2 boostr contract and leverage the government payed infrastructure.
This rocket will already make use of a lot of shared costs. It will share the BE-3 and potentially the upper stage with Blue. It will share the strap on SRMs with ULA. It will use LC-39B and potentially the VAB. The fairing is likely to be built by a company already supplying another launch provider. The government has already paid for the a lot of the development of those big solids.

If they retire Antares and launch Cygnus on this rocket then they only have to get a few extra launches to be viable. It is interesting that they didn't use the liquid core from Antares instead of the big solids as the core of this rocket. I wonder what the cost and performance would have been if they upgraded Antares with the SRMs and the BE-3 upper stage.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: StarryKnight on 04/05/2017 04:26 PM
possible typothe paylode for the castor 1200 is given as less than the 600. Is this a typo?

The payload weights for the two vehicle types reference different types of orbits (GTO vs.  direct to GEO), so not an apples to apples comparison.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 04/05/2017 04:56 PM
Bigger version.

 - Ed Kyle

Does this more detailed model give us more clues about the stages involved in this rocket? It appears at a brief glance be a 2 stage and booster setup, but one single large solid first stage would not seem to have sufficient performance with the small liquid upper stage (in fairing) to match Delta IV Heavy...
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/05/2017 05:03 PM
Bigger version.

 - Ed Kyle

Does this more detailed model give us more clues about the stages involved in this rocket? It appears at a brief glance be a 2 stage and booster setup, but one single large solid first stage would not seem to have sufficient performance with the small liquid upper stage (in fairing) to match Delta IV Heavy...
It seems at first glance consistent with last year's presentation slide, which showed or discussed two in-line solid motors topped by an LH2/LOX third stage.  If you look real close, you'll see a break in the cable conduit on the side of the solids about where the interstage should be located.  I think we're looking at a two-segment first stage topped by a one-segment second stage.  These are likely the new composite common booster segments rather than the SRB segments to which we are accustomed.

(I hope OATK releases a better copy of that slide.)

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 04/05/2017 05:44 PM
From an appearance point of view I personally like it.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Kryten on 04/05/2017 07:22 PM
Attached is an Orbital fact sheet on NGL, with new renders for 500 and 500XL. I'm not sure exactly how old it is, but it's recent.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/05/2017 08:49 PM
May not be cheaper than F9R but should be competitive with Ariane 6 and Vulcan.
It should be.

Earlier concept for Ariane 6 was a PPH like this was to be. However, OA could make it work where Airbus Safran couldn't in part due to more cost sharing ...

It will share the BE-3 and potentially the upper stage with Blue. It will share the strap on SRMs with ULA. It will use LC-39B and potentially the VAB. The fairing is likely to be built by a company already supplying another launch provider. The government has already paid for the a lot of the development of those big solids.
Indeed. As Ed remarked in previous thread. They only need to qualify the Black Knights IIRC.

Quote
If they retire Antares and launch Cygnus on this rocket then they only have to get a few extra launches to be viable.
Not so sure. Depends on the trade-offs for this vehicle.

Remember that configuration for a solids vehicle is quite different than a LRE one.

Quote
It is interesting that they didn't use the liquid core from Antares instead of the big solids as the core of this rocket. I wonder what the cost and performance would have been if they upgraded Antares with the SRMs and the BE-3 upper stage.
Remember where the liquid core originates - from Ukraine. And the engines - Russia.

I think this will show the limitations of big solids. Unless they get the SLS Block 2 booster contract and leverage the government paid infrastructure.
It does.

And the problems with the booster contract is that SLS may be imperiled overall, and that even with the Black Knights you may not be able to make a compelling case for Block 2 as it is too small, given ITS/NA on the horizon.

Musk and Bezos are already having an effect on that front (cf my remarks on AR-1 thread).

If you look real close, you'll see a break in the cable conduit on the side of the solids about where the interstage should be located.  I think we're looking at a two-segment first stage topped by a one-segment second stage.  These are likely the new composite common booster segments rather than the SRB segments to which we are accustomed.
Thank you Ed, that was bothering me, glad you explained it.

That would allow them to field a vehicle sooner and for less upfront costs/risks.

Also might explain aspects of a Vandenberg pad cost/timing that could work on such a schedule.

I'm still reading this as a "SX or BE4 screw-up" opportunity for them. E.g. longshot.

But its a good proposal. Far better than the Liberty nonsense, and much more capable than Athena was.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 04/06/2017 11:26 AM
Wow OATK accually started manufacturing hardware for NGL, that's a big commitment.
In my view a solid rocket consists of five parts. The insuladed casing, the igniter, the fuel grain, the nozzle and the nozzle actuation system. The new part is the insulated casing, all other parts have a STS legacy.

OATK states that they need 5 to 6 launches annually. Assuming this are NGL500 launches, this corresponds with 15 to 24 casing segments, and grains to cast. And 10 to 12 igniters, nozzles and actuation systems. I assume OATK outsources the liquid upper-stage productions (5 to 6).
My guess is that one casing production station can produce up to 12 to 24 segments annually (1 month - 2 weeks production time).

A NGL500 requires three segments for it's two Solid stages,
a NGL 500XL requires 5 segments for it's two Solid stages.
And an SLS launch most likely requires 8 or 10 segments for the two SRB's.
I guess the business case closes with an anual production of 24 casings and grains and 8 igniters, nozzles and actuation systems.

For Ariane 6 it is rumoured that a single P120c (ESR/P142) will cost about 15mln euro.
I guess the Castor 300 will cost about the same in dollars. A Castor600 could cost 25mln and a Castor1200 45mln. So I guss NGL could be really price compatible.

As writen by others, Antares will have to be faced out for the same reason Atlas V has to be replaced by Vulcan. The real rockets that support the ICBM/ BMD production are;
Pegasus, Minotour and Athena. I think LM dropped off the Athena program, and I hope OATK will bring it to market eventually.
 
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GClark on 04/06/2017 12:04 PM
a) I think LM dropped off the Athena program

b) I hope OATK will bring it to market eventually

a) They did.

b) OATK won't.  It directly competes with Pegasus and Taurus err, Minotaur-C.  IMNSHO, of course.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/06/2017 01:41 PM
Some bits of news in today's Defense News article. First, Orbital ATK believes NGL can be profitable on "three to four missions [per] year".  Second, C300 and C600 motors have completed CDR and will be static test fired in 2019.  Third, Orbital ATK will "select its [third stage] engine supplier as early as a month from now".  Finally, the third stage "tank assembly" will be "homegrown" (built by Orbital ATK).

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commonality-key-for-orbital-atks-bid-to-win-air-force-launch-vehicle-program

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 04/06/2017 01:45 PM
Some bits of news in today's Defense News article. First, Orbital ATK believes NGL can be profitable on "three to four missions [per] year".  Second, C300 and C600 motors have completed CDR and will be static test fired in 2019.  Third, Orbital ATK will "select its [third stage] engine supplier as early as a month from now".  Finally, the third stage "tank assembly" will be "homegrown" (built by Orbital ATK).

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commonality-key-for-orbital-atks-bid-to-win-air-force-launch-vehicle-program

 - Ed Kyle

So could it be profitable launching just Cygnus? Or with one other launch a year?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/06/2017 02:00 PM
Some bits of news in today's Defense News article. First, Orbital ATK believes NGL can be profitable on "three to four missions [per] year".  Second, C300 and C600 motors have completed CDR and will be static test fired in 2019.  Third, Orbital ATK will "select its [third stage] engine supplier as early as a month from now".  Finally, the third stage "tank assembly" will be "homegrown" (built by Orbital ATK).

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commonality-key-for-orbital-atks-bid-to-win-air-force-launch-vehicle-program

 - Ed Kyle

So could it be profitable launching just Cygnus? Or with one other launch a year?
It isn't being designed for Cygnus (it is Antares times two capability, roughly speaking).  NGL is vying for EELV work, primarily.  The idea is to win a core number of EELV launches and then augment those with NASA work.  It could presumably orbited an enlarged, much heavier Cygnus.  The XL version might also launch a Cygnus type spacecraft to a lunar outpost, etc. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: AncientU on 04/06/2017 02:46 PM
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Six...

SpaceX, BFR
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/06/2017 06:17 PM
Building 3rd stage inhouse means they are not dependant on Blue, can always switch to RL10s if need be.

Avionics can come from Antares.
SRBs lend themselves to robotic assembly, case and fuel loading especially.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/06/2017 08:46 PM
Building 3rd stage inhouse means they are not dependant on Blue, can always switch to RL10s if need be.

Avionics can come from Antares.
SRBs lend themselves to robotic assembly, case and fuel loading especially.
All not true.

Solids have significant handling issues too.

Likely they are caught in a choice between what they should do and what they can do.

Once they know what their opening is viz Vulcan/FH "issues", then they can chose US strategy to match.

The signal about tanks internal is that they'll be responsible for most of the stage for cost reasons.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: JH on 04/07/2017 12:48 AM
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Six...

SpaceX, BFR

Yeah, I had listed ITS but then decided that it was a bit too nebulous at the moment with Musk recently hinting at "refinements" to be revealed in the near future.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: corneliussulla on 05/16/2017 10:20 AM
So there are 5 vehicles with an estimated LEO payload capacity of >30,000 kg actively being developed in the US right now?

SpaceX, Falcon Heavy
ULA, Vulcan/Aces
Blue Origin, New Glenn
Orbital ATK, NGL 500 XL
and, obviously SLS.

Strange times.

Six...

SpaceX, BFR

ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/16/2017 01:51 PM
ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Can't the same be said for some of the others?  Vulcan ACES is as much paper as NGL.  New Glenn is no further along than NGL.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 05/16/2017 04:16 PM
ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Can't the same be said for some of the others?  Vulcan ACES is as much paper as NGL.  New Glenn is no further along than NGL.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

They are all well past the paper stage as they are all building and testing primary propulsion - except NGL, which is still heavily based on built and tested STS/SLS hardware.

I think the point above was more about the money. Of the six US heavy or super-heavy lift vehicles in development, only NGL and SLS are primarily dependent on USG funding for development and missions. Vulcan is at least trying to be commercially viable, and its dev funding is primarily from ULA.

FH, NG, and ITS are almost entirely privately funded through development and don't need USG payloads to make development worthwhile.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/16/2017 05:09 PM
ZWell really this is a paper rocket that will get built if the government gives them the money, why on earth would they do that SX have alternatives and BO is also spending its own money to make something with similar capabilities. Nothing about congress would surprise me but funding development of this thing would seem like madness.
Can't the same be said for some of the others?  Vulcan ACES is as much paper as NGL.  New Glenn is no further along than NGL.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

They are all well past the paper stage as they are all building and testing primary propulsion - except NGL, which is still heavily based on built and tested STS/SLS hardware.
Orbital ATK has fabricated composite Common Booster Segment casings.  ULA has fabricated some Vulcan core test panels.  Orbital ATK has not yet test fired a CBS motor, but then again BE-4 has also not yet been test fired.  NGL's upper stage motor is (most likely) derived from BE-3.  The ACES upper stage motor has not yet been selected, but BE-3 is a candidate.  It seems to me that there are similarities in state-of-progress.
Quote

I think the point above was more about the money. Of the six US heavy or super-heavy lift vehicles in development, only NGL and SLS are primarily dependent on USG funding for development and missions. Vulcan is at least trying to be commercially viable, and its dev funding is primarily from ULA.

FH, NG, and ITS are almost entirely privately funded through development and don't need USG payloads to make development worthwhile.
If the Pentagon passes on Vulcan, ULA will drop it in an instant.  Just like Orbital ATK, ULA is getting some money from the government for this early development work.  Falcon Heavy is being developed to compete for EELV work, and yes, SpaceX is also getting a piece of Pentagon funding help.  (I would be surprised to see FH continue to fly if it were to lose the EELV competition.)  This is all part of the funding allotted after RD-180 became a political football.  There are at least three contenders, but plans call for only two winners in the end.     
http://www.americaspace.com/2016/03/03/air-force-funds-both-ar1-and-be-4-rocket-engine-development-to-replace-ulas-russian-rd-180/
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/as-rd-180-ban-looms-space-companies-make-steady-progress-on-new-launch-technologies

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 05/16/2017 08:30 PM
...  It seems to me that there are similarities in state-of-progress.
That was indeed my point.


Quote
If the Pentagon passes on Vulcan, ULA will drop it in an instant. Just like Orbital ATK, ULA is getting some money from the government for this early development work.  Falcon Heavy is being developed to compete for EELV work, and yes, SpaceX is also getting a piece of Pentagon funding help.  (I would be surprised to see FH continue to fly if it were to lose the EELV competition.)

Vulcan should be at least marginally competitive in the commercial market. It wouldn't be a viable project without USG funding and payloads, but it should be able to win some commercial customers.

NGL doesn't seem to be going anywhere unless the majority of development is USG funded, and several USG payloads per year guaranteed. It doesn't sound like it will be competitive commercially, and even moving Cygnus missions to NGL and canning Antares wouldn't be enough to keep it alive.

SLS is pretty much in the same boat as NGL - a USG built launcher for USG purposes.

FH is commercially viable for large commsats and HSF, and has paying customers for both. Add in SpaceX's internal needs and I'd be highly surprised to see it canceled. They can't even delay it much more, since they have to stop improving F9. I haven't seen any indication that FH is specifically getting USG funding. Raptor is partially funded by the USAF, notionally for F9/FH, but Raptor seems rather unlikely to fly until some version of ITS.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/17/2017 12:15 AM
SLS is pretty much in the same boat as NGL - a USG built launcher for USG purposes.
SLS is a NASA design, with NASA serving as the oversight general contractor in a way.  NGL is an Orbital ATK project and design.  It is not all government funded, so erase that fallacy from your mind.  The current development efforts are proceeding on a cost-sharing basis, just like the comparable ULA and SpaceX efforts.  And don't kid yourself about Vulcan being commercially competitive.  If Vulcan does not win a Pentagon contract, it won't get built, in my opinion.  The same is true of NGL and, I believe, Falcon Heavy.

Falcon Heavy only has two or three commercial contracts, and only a handful of total planned launches at present.  It could very well prosper, but that is not a certainty.  I see NGL as part of an "all hands on deck" effort to replace RD-180.   Multiple efforts are underway.  Not all will succeed.  I'm not willing to bet for or against any of these efforts at this time.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 05/17/2017 01:48 AM
SLS is pretty much in the same boat as NGL - a USG built launcher for USG purposes.
SLS is a NASA design, with NASA serving as the oversight general contractor in a way.  NGL is an Orbital ATK project and design.  It is not all government funded, so erase that fallacy from your mind.  The current development efforts are proceeding on a cost-sharing basis, just like the comparable ULA and SpaceX efforts.  And don't kid yourself about Vulcan being commercially competitive.  If Vulcan does not win a Pentagon contract, it won't get built, in my opinion.  The same is true of NGL and, I believe, Falcon Heavy.

Falcon Heavy only has two or three commercial contracts, and only a handful of total planned launches at present.  It could very well prosper, but that is not a certainty.  I see NGL as part of an "all hands on deck" effort to replace RD-180.   Multiple efforts are underway.  Not all will succeed.  I'm not willing to bet for or against any of these efforts at this time.

 - Ed Kyle

While technically "commercial" I don't think NGL has any commercial launch business case, and it has been primarily funded by the USAF contributing $180M while Orbital chipped in $135M to develop propulsion [1]. The USAF also paid $200M to develop BE-4, but ULA is paying $135M and Blue a "sizable but proprietary" amount [2]. The USAF only paid "up to" $60M to SpaceX for Raptor, contingent on SpaceX contributing twice that amount [3].

I don't doubt ULA will drop Vulcan (and likely close shop) if it doesn't win a EELV spot. But that doesn't mean they won't sell a decent number of commercial launches on teh side if they win. Probably not enough to support the business, but far more than NGL. And Vulcan can also launch Starliner which is technically commercial and potentially rather profitable.

So while SLS is solely funded by NASA for NASA launches, NGL is just mostly funded by the DOD, mostly for DOD launches. Neither is an enviable position from my view.

[1] http://www.space.com/36362-orbital-atk-new-rocket-family.html
[2] http://www.americaspace.com/2016/03/03/air-force-funds-both-ar1-and-be-4-rocket-engine-development-to-replace-ulas-russian-rd-180/
[3] http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/spacex-air-force-funding-infusion-raptor-engine/
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: spacenut on 05/17/2017 02:30 AM
From what I've seen from the last SpaceX launch, it was 6 tons to GTO.  Their website says 5.5 tons.  So, they have improved the F9 to the point it can cut out some FH launches.  IF, big IF, they develop a Raptor based 2nd stage, F9 could very well get 28-30 tons to LEO expendible.  They may not need FH except to compete with SLS or New Glenn with a Raptor based upper stage. 

If Orbital can use existing solid segments to make a 3 stage EELV, that would give some competition to SpaceX and ULA especially for government launches. 

ULA may be hurt if they don't get Vulcan with ACES built, it depends on it's parents.   
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GWH on 05/17/2017 02:34 AM
From what I've seen from the last SpaceX launch, it was 6 tons to GTO.  Their website says 5.5 tons.  So, they have improved the F9 to the point it can cut out some FH launches.

That is the recoverable capacity...
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: baldusi on 05/17/2017 01:31 PM
SpaceX has just demonstrated Proton-M/Zenith performance with expendable less-than-Block5 Falcon 9. I don't know what's the price point of expendable Falcon 9, but if they can do 6 tonnes and recover the first stage, NGL would need one huge business case to compete. And I'm assuming failure of New Glenn and Vulcan to match that price point.
CRS2 might be it. A CRS-like contract to a future Moon neighborhood station might be it. But without an Advanced SRB contract for SLS, I don't see the minimum scale of economics.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Proponent on 05/19/2017 04:46 PM
So while SLS is solely funded by NASA for NASA launches, NGL is just mostly funded by the DOD, mostly for DOD launches. Neither is an enviable position from my view.

I'll bet that DoD will look favorably on NGL, despite iffy economics, simply because it will keep the US solid-motor industry turning over.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 06/28/2017 01:30 AM
Yet another attempt to restrict Air Force funding to the the development of first-stage rocket engines only:
Quote from: http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-retains-engine-lead-as-house-considers-limitations-on-launch-system-funding/
The “chairman’s mark” version of the [fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)], released by the committee June 26, includes a section restricting Air Force funding of vehicle development under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. Under that provision, the Air Force would be limited to funding new engines, integration of those engines with vehicles, and related capabilities to support national security launches.

The section includes a specific prohibition against funding “the development of new launch vehicles under such program.” It also specifically defines a “rocket propulsion system” that can be funded as a first-stage rocket engine or motor. “The term does not include a launch vehicle, an upper stage, a strap-on motor, or related infrastructure,” it states.

The Defense Department opposes that language in the bill. In a document submitted to the committee and obtained by SpaceNews, it warned that the language would force it to abandon some ongoing vehicle development efforts and rely primarily on ULA’s Delta 4 and SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

[...]“Section 1615 appears to force the Department to end the more than $300 [million] investment in the industry-developed systems and instead use a modernized Delta IV launch vehicle and/or the Falcon 9,” it stated, referring to the section of the NDAA that contains the funding restriction. The Falcon 9, it noted, cannot handle many national security missions, while the Delta 4 is significantly more expensive than alternative existing vehicles.
Edit: cross-posted from ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion as it is also relevant to NGL.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: spacenut on 06/29/2017 01:52 PM
It seems as if the NGL rocket already has the "components" to make one from existing boosters and developments.  How long if they started today, could they have a complete rocket ready to test and launch?  Could it beat Vulcan or New Glenn to the launch pad?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/29/2017 02:21 PM
It seems as if the NGL rocket already has the "components" to make one from existing boosters and developments.  How long if they started today, could they have a complete rocket ready to test and launch?  Could it beat Vulcan or New Glenn to the launch pad?
Vulcan Centaur and 2-Stage New Glenn are both claiming operational dates that precede Orbital ATK's planned NGL-5XX date by a year or two, but I take all of these claims - all of them - with a grain of salt.  Vulcan ACES, 3-Stage New Glenn, and NGL-5XX-XL are all currently aiming for the same year (2023), but, again, salt.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Coastal Ron on 06/29/2017 02:44 PM
It seems as if the NGL rocket already has the "components" to make one from existing boosters and developments.  How long if they started today, could they have a complete rocket ready to test and launch?  Could it beat Vulcan or New Glenn to the launch pad?

Building the 'components" of the NGL are not the hard part, since they have internal experience with that.

Building a team to be responsible for the entire rocket, building the launch infrastructure, building a launch team, and making it all work is going to take time. And they don't have experience being a launch provider.

Plus, I don't see the company funding a full-up launch unless they have a clear path towards at least breaking even on this, which means either a commitment from the U.S. Government or they find private sector customers that want to use them - which I would not believe is possible.

EDIT: Yep, I goofed on that one. Orbital has launch experience with small and medium rockets. I guess I was thinking of just ATK.

Thanks for pointing that out.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: douglas100 on 06/29/2017 02:53 PM

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/29/2017 11:16 PM

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.

But all of them except for Antares are assemble with parts derived from various US solid fueled strategic missiles for small to medium payloads. Even the Antares in both incarnation have a large solid upper stage that restricted beyond LEO performance. I take @Coastal Ron's comment to meant that O-ATK don't have much experience launching medium to large commercial comsats to GEO.

edited to add "derived"

@jim is correct. Only the Minotaur uses ex-USAF missile parts.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 06/29/2017 11:39 PM
No, only Minotaur uses ICBM motors. Taurus and Pegasus use new motors
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/30/2017 12:21 AM
The Be3U powered US would be the most challenging for OA as they don't have LH experience. Nothing poaching engineers from ULA or Blue couldn't fix. Blue may even offer help if it results in BE3 sales.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 06/30/2017 12:27 AM

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.

It all depends on on how silo'd (separated) off the Orbital and ATK parts of the company are. OATK hasn't exactly warmly embraced Antares until perhaps recently. Also, past history of an organization is no guarantee that the current employees have retained that skill-set. There are lots of examples of that.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/30/2017 12:46 AM
It all depends on on how silo'd (separated) off the Orbital and ATK parts of the company are. OATK hasn't exactly warmly embraced Antares until perhaps recently. Also, past history of an organization is no guarantee that the current employees have retained that skill-set. There are lots of examples of that.
David Thompson, Orbital co-founder, is at the helm of this merged company.  He moved Scott Lehr, from the ATK side of the house, into the lead of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, which is developing NGL (and operating Antares, Pegasus, Minotaur, etc.).  It seems to me to have been a purposeful move designed to help tear down the old walls.

No guarantees, but this merger seems to me to have many synergies.  Motor builder joins company that uses motors. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Coastal Ron on 06/30/2017 01:19 AM

... And they don't have experience being a launch provider....

Pegasus. Taurus. Minotaur. Antares.

Thanks for pointing that out, and I've edited my post to correct my oversight. I think I was only thinking of the ATK part of Orbital ATK.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: douglas100 on 06/30/2017 09:49 AM
You're welcome. I don't think there's any doubt they could do NGL technically and operationally. It's the business case that's problematic.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Kabloona on 06/30/2017 10:29 PM
It all depends on on how silo'd (separated) off the Orbital and ATK parts of the company are. OATK hasn't exactly warmly embraced Antares until perhaps recently. Also, past history of an organization is no guarantee that the current employees have retained that skill-set. There are lots of examples of that.
David Thompson, Orbital co-founder, is at the helm of this merged company.  He moved Scott Lehr, from the ATK side of the house, into the lead of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, which is developing NGL (and operating Antares, Pegasus, Minotaur, etc.).  It seems to me to have been a purposeful move designed to help tear down the old walls.

No guarantees, but this merger seems to me to have many synergies.  Motor builder joins company that uses motors. 

 - Ed Kyle

The merger can also be seen as the next logical step after the "joint venture" model that Orbital and Hercules used to develop Pegasus, in which the companies shared development costs/responsibilities and profits, IIRC.

So if Pegasus was the fruit of a liaison between Orbital and Hercules, NGL will/would be the fruit of a real marriage of Orbital and ATK.

I guess Dave Thompson et al figured the Pegasus joint venture experience was positive enough the take the plunge with ATK.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Archibald on 07/01/2017 10:26 AM
I keep reading "LNG rocket" hence a rocket running on liquid natural gas (refueled and launched from a LNG ship ?)  ;D
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 07/03/2017 05:26 AM
I keep reading "LNG rocket" hence a rocket running on liquid natural gas (refueled and launched from a LNG ship ?)  ;D

What do you think about a expendable TSTO with BE-4U engine upper-stage? (Instead of Castor300+BE-3UEN 3th stage)
Could LOx and LNG alu or plastic COPV propallent tanks be produced using the same tooling as for the Castor X00 solid casings?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/04/2017 10:59 AM
The Be3U powered US would be the most challenging for OA as they don't have LH experience. Nothing poaching engineers from ULA or Blue couldn't fix. Blue may even offer help if it results in BE3 sales.

They might not even need to poach guys from ULA, there is a lot of talent being let go in ULA's downsizing efforts that can be scooped up easily (and cheaply).
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/07/2017 07:11 PM
Systems Engineering position (among several) for ULA Vulcan and Orbital ATK Next Generation Launcher (NGL) USAF New Entrant Certification in Los Angeles, CA.  This is likely a job for a contractor working for the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in El Segundo, CA at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/388507126

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/07/2017 11:17 PM
Systems Engineering position (among several) for ULA Vulcan and Orbital ATK Next Generation Launcher (NGL) USAF New Entrant Certification in Los Angeles, CA.  This is likely a job for a contractor working for the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in El Segundo, CA at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/388507126

 - Ed Kyle
My cousin whom works at LAAFB says the position is based out of LAAFB but is a mobile position with varying job sites/locations. My cousin says that security clearance would likely be needed, but to check for the job listing in USAJobs for details (https://dod.usajobs.gov (https://dod.usajobs.gov)/ and http://godefense.cpms.osd.mil/ (http://godefense.cpms.osd.mil/)).
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 07/17/2017 12:45 PM
Dates for static fire testing and operation of the heavy version:

Quote
Orbital ATK plans to compete its proposed NGL intermediate- and heavy-lift rockets in future Air Force competitions. So far, the company has passed crucial design reviews and is working toward a static fire of its four-segment heavy-lift booster in about 2022. The company expects that rocket to be operational in 2024.

Orbital ATK sees NGL as a natural progression from its smaller rockets, such as Pegasus and Antares. Antares currently delivers supplies for NASA to the International Space Station.

“We have made very incremental steps in improving our capability,” said Mark Pieczynski, vice president of business development and strategy for Orbital ATK’s flight systems group. “We’re now ready to move into the intermediate and heavy class.”

Orbital ATK and the Air Force together are investing more than $200 million to develop the launch system.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-heavy-lift-rockets-20170716-htmlstory.html
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 07/17/2017 12:56 PM
I keep reading "LNG rocket" hence a rocket running on liquid natural gas (refueled and launched from a LNG ship ?)  ;D

What do you think about a expendable TSTO with BE-4U engine upper-stage? (Instead of Castor300+BE-3UEN 3th stage)
Could LOx and LNG alu or plastic COPV propallent tanks be produced using the same tooling as for the Castor X00 solid casings?

That would be great for LEO, slightly better than the 3-stage in fact. But the heavy, low impulse upper stage hurts high energy performance. With BE-4 upper the NGL 500 XL would get about 8,000 kg to GTO, while the Castor 300 + BE-3U upper stage pair would get 12,000 kg.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Rebel44 on 07/30/2017 09:45 PM
IMO:

OATKs business plan for NGLV is to hope for competitor(s) to fail - otherwise there wont be enough launches to make money on NGLV.

US DoD wants 2 providers and based on LVs in development (or already operational) we will likely see LVs from:
SpaceX
ULA
OATK
Blue Origin (if they decide to go for for these payloads)

DoD/NRO would have no objections to having more than 2 options, but they wont save 3rd or 4th player if/when they get into trouble, so IMO business plan for NGLV is very weak.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2017 01:43 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 2m2 minutes ago

[Orbital ATK's David] Thompson: expecting joint go/no-go decision with the Air Force late this year or early next year on next phase of Next Generation Launcher.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/893104270689611776 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/893104270689611776)
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 08/03/2017 02:54 PM
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/03/2017 04:31 PM
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 08/03/2017 07:25 PM
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.

The NGL 500 XL has the same size motors as the STS SRBs, which experienced significant thrust oscillation that was largely damped by the stiffness ET thrust beam and the mass of the ET. NGL doesn't have a ET or a thrust beam.

It is also the same size as the Ares 1-X booster, which apparently didn't have any significant problems related to thrust oscillation.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/03/2017 11:18 PM
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.

The NGL 500 XL has the same size motors as the STS SRBs, which experienced significant thrust oscillation that was largely damped by the stiffness ET thrust beam and the mass of the ET. NGL doesn't have a ET or a thrust beam.

It is also the same size as the Ares 1-X booster, which apparently didn't have any significant problems related to thrust oscillation.
Boosters being used have the Lessons learned from Constellation and other changes from SLS booster tests. OA 2016 Motor catalog refers to Castor 300, 600, 900, 1200 as versions available and other documents and presentations reference 3 of the 4 configurations with the programme..
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Sam Ho on 08/04/2017 12:42 AM
From the earnings call today:
Quote
In our flight systems segment, the company and the Air Force are now in the second year of what may well be a thought year, jointly funded program to create a new intermediate and large class launch vehicle.

As I mentioned before, our objective, our joint objective is to develop a family of vehicles capable of launching both defense as well as commercial and scientific satellites that are larger heavier than those that can be accommodated by our current Antares rocket and have those new launchers ready for initial flights in 2020 or 2021.

Our investments last year and this year together with those of the Air Force that covered the preliminary phases of design and facility expansion, we're expecting a joint go no go between the Air Force and Orbital ATK late this year or early next year concerning the next phase to actually move into full-scale development and testing of these vehicles in advance of commencing production and launch operations around the end of the decade.
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4094384-orbital-atks-oa-ceo-dave-thompson-q2-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Mike Jones on 08/11/2017 05:49 PM
Did Orbital-ATK select their cryogenic upper stage supplier ? Blue Origin or aerojet-rocketdyne (+ a partner for the rest of the stage) ?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/29/2017 04:07 PM
"Chief Engineer-NGL Program
8/22/2017
Orbital ATK - PROD Chandler, AZ"
http://www.americasjobexchange.com/job-detail/chief-engineer-ngl-program-chandler-az-579340565

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/07/2017 09:54 PM
Is there a reason the Ares 1 vibration issues won't also be a problem on NGL? The XL version is pretty similar in design.

Different stage lengths for starters.

The NGL 500 XL has the same size motors as the STS SRBs, which experienced significant thrust oscillation that was largely damped by the stiffness ET thrust beam and the mass of the ET. NGL doesn't have a ET or a thrust beam.

It is also the same size as the Ares 1-X booster, which apparently didn't have any significant problems related to thrust oscillation.
Moving this to the discussion thread here.

A few years ago, ATK (it was still just ATK then) said that its proposed Liberty design "reduced thrust oscillation effects at the spacecraft interface to acceptable levels" through use of a "coupled-system design that ensure the vehicle is detuned from the booster pressure oscillations".  It went on to list such things as "LH2 tank aft of LOX tank" and "stiffened structure", etc.  Just designing to detune the overall vehicle from the motor oscillation frequency from the outset makes the issue a non-issue, basically.  Presumably, that is how it was done for other all-solid motor launchers like the Vega flying tonight or the Minotaur-C that flew last week, etc..

 - Ed Kyle

Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: rayleighscatter on 11/07/2017 10:35 PM
And pictures of the segment.

Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/07/2017 10:42 PM
From the new NGL Development milestone (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42661) topic, we can conclude that OATK (NG) is really developing NGL. They have completed a load test and are going to cast and test a inert stage early 2018.

I assume that OATK/NG will use up their supply of Angara tank structures and RS-181 engines, and after that terminate the Antares program. Most likely a version of NGL will take over the role of Antares.
AFAIK NGL 500 is lot heavier rocket than Antares. So to replace Antares a smaller rocket is required.
OATK/NG has multiple solid stage families: Orion50" (32", 38", 48", 75" & 92") GEM40", -48" -60" and -63", Castor 120(XL) 60, -30(B/XL) [92" / 92.1"] and Castor 1200, -600 & -300. With these stages they have developed multiple solid rockets for multiple purposes. Which stages will a NGL replacement for Antares utilize?

I think a Castor 600 + Cryogenic second stage won't work because of to high acceleration forces. 
Possibly a Castor 300 with flat burn profile can work!? (I know: this is a different stage than the Castor 300 second stage!)
A third option is a NGL with Castor 300 2x + Cryogenic 3th stage. NGL 300?
A forth option is a >3 stage full solid rocket. This could be:
- Castor 600 + Castor 300 + Castor 30(XL)
- Castor 300 (s.l. optimized) + Castor 300 + Castor 30(XL)
- Castor 300 + Castor 120 + Castor 30(XL)
Which of the options matches best with the Cygnus ISS resupply missions in your opinion?

OATK/NG also have the Minotaur and Pegasus series of rockets. Earlier I've stated in the Surplus ICBM topic; that I think US small satellite developers and Venture class launch providers could benefit when new upper-stages are developed for the Minotaur rockets. This could be the future for the MARS launch pads, and PSCA)
I'm sorry to point to this, but US small and nano satellite developers can't find US rockets to launch their payloads on. So they rely on PSLV, Soyuz, and Nanoracks deployment form the ISS (only good US launch service).
{off topic} I also criticize Arianespace for their lack of providing a good launch service for small and micro satellites, but they are working on it.{/off topic}
How do you think about using engine developed for Venture class rockets to power liquid upper-stages for NGL and Minotaur rockets?
Which rocket configuration with venture class derived upper-stage could replace Antares?

The CastorX00 family is far beter than the RSRB family in my oppinion. STS and Ariane 4/5 have proven that reusable solids are more expansive than expendable once. Refurbishment of solids is far to dangerous (toxic) and hand labor intensive. The CFRP-casings can be manufactured on automated lines, and all the facilities are already present in Utah.
The 200mln development cost is remarkably low in my opinion. That will have a very good return on investment if the NGL rockets and SLS will use the Castor x00 segments. (makes nearly all missiles cheaper as well)
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/08/2017 03:35 AM
I think a Castor 600 + Cryogenic second stage won't work because of to high acceleration forces. 
Possibly a Castor 300 with flat burn profile can work!? (I know: this is a different stage than the Castor 300 second stage!)
A third option is a NGL with Castor 300 2x + Cryogenic 3th stage. NGL 300?
A forth option is a >3 stage full solid rocket. This could be:
- Castor 600 + Castor 300 + Castor 30(XL)
- Castor 300 (s.l. optimized) + Castor 300 + Castor 30(XL)
- Castor 300 + Castor 60 + Castor 30(XL)
Which of the options matches best with the Cygnus ISS resupply missions in your opinion?
Castor 600 + Castor 300 + Castor 30XL might be one option.  Maybe better than 7.5 tonnes to LEO/ISS.
Castor 300(SL) + Cryo stage might be another, depending on the size of the cryo stage.  BE-3U will make plenty of thrust.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Patchouli on 11/08/2017 06:04 AM
A BE-3 based upper stage with enough propellant may only need the first stage SRB for LEO missions.
A Castor 1200 with a two BE-3U upper stage should be good for around 10,000kg.
 I made a lot of conservative assumptions based on the shuttle RSRM and S-IVB mass fractions and assumed the BE 3-U has an ISP of around 435 though the engine can probably do better than this so in reality it probably would be better.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: hkultala on 11/08/2017 06:17 AM
A BE-3 based upper stage with enough propellant may only need the first stage SRB for LEO missions.
A Castor 1200 with a two BE-3U upper stage should be good for around 10,000kg on the low end I made a lot of conservative assumptions based on the shuttle RSRM and S-IVB mass fractions and assumed the BE 3-U has an ISP of around 435 though the engine can probably do better than this.
Everything sized around the Castor 600 would be about 5tons.

Something being possible and something being economical and smart thing to do are two totally different things.

Your hyphotherical 2*BE-3 upper stage would need huge tanks and would weight a lot. It would be a terrible upper stage for HEO missions due the very high inert mass.

And having two separate liquid-fueled upper stages for different missions would raise costs.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.


What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Patchouli on 11/08/2017 06:55 AM
Though even a single BE-3U is oversized for a small upper stage.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/08/2017 09:30 AM
There have been several DLR studies  (http://www.dlr.de/irs/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11309/)for expendable rockets with a solid first stage and cryogenic upperstage. One of the studies: VENUS (VEga New Upper Stage) studied multiple configurations for future vega rockets. The VEGA-F configuration used a P120-P160 first stage and a Vince powered upperstage. The conclusion with that configuration was that the acceleration levels would be very high, because the 2th stage + payload & fairing are very light (<40mT).
That's why I don't think a configuration with Castor600 or Castor1200 and a cryogenic upper-stage would work.
Because BE-3U (530kN [120k lbf] in vacuum) is roughly 3x as powerful as Vince (180kN [40 470 lbf], the cryogenic upper-stage could be much larger and heavier. Thus I think that a Castor 300 + enlarged Cryostage could work, but the cryo stage wouldn't be the same stage as for the other NGL configurations.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.

What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
I agree with this, with the side note that two different liquid upper-stages; deep cryo (LOX LH2) and soft cryo (LOx RP-1), could also bring benefits. (A LOxLCH4 / LOxLC3H8 cryo stage would be even beter).
I think that two different lengths of cryogenic stages could work economically. But OATK want's to use their solids.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: jacqmans on 11/08/2017 10:07 AM
Orbital ATK Successfully Tests First Motor Case for Next Generation Launch Vehicle

NGL System Achieves Critical Milestone with Completion of Structural Acceptance Test

Dulles, Virginia 7 November 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced it has successfully completed an important milestone in developing advanced solid rocket propulsion and other technologies to be used in a new generation of intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicles. The company is in early production of development hardware for its Next Generation Launch (NGL) system, and on October 27 successfully completed the structural acceptance test on the first motor high-strength composite case for this program.

The applied structural loads during the test demonstrated over 110 percent of maximum expected motor operating pressure and 110 percent of operational/flight and pre-launch compressive/tensile line loads. This full-scale motor case segment will be cast with inert solid rocket propellant in early 2018 and shipped to the launch site for check-out of ground operations.

“NGL is one of Orbital ATK’s top growth initiatives,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “This milestone clearly shows the progress being made by the hundreds of engineers and technicians in Utah and Arizona who are developing the NGL system.”
 
Orbital ATK’s NGL rocket family will be capable of launching the entire spectrum of national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by the company’s current Pegasus®, Minotaur and AntaresTM space launch vehicles. The NGL vehicles will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with other company programs, including smaller space launch vehicles as well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic missile systems.

“By sharing a skilled workforce, facilities and subsystems across multiple programs, we’ve designed NGL to be affordable and reliable,” said Lehr. “For example, NGL uses common avionics that have flown on more than 100 missions with 100 percent success.”

The next phase of the program is expected to begin when the Air Force awards the Launch Services Agreement in mid-2018, which would entail full vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; Kennedy Space Center, Florida; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Patchouli on 11/08/2017 05:12 PM
There have been several DLR studies  (http://www.dlr.de/irs/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11309/)for expendable rockets with a solid first stage and cryogenic upperstage. One of the studies: VENUS (VEga New Upper Stage) studied multiple configurations for future vega rockets. The VEGA-F configuration used a P120-P160 first stage and a Vince powered upperstage. The conclusion with that configuration was that the acceleration levels would be very high, because the 2th stage + payload & fairing are very light (<40mT).
That's why I don't think a configuration with Castor600 or Castor1200 and a cryogenic upper-stage would work.
Because BE-3U (530kN [120k lbf] in vacuum) is roughly 3x as powerful as Vince (180kN [40 470 lbf], the cryogenic upper-stage could be much larger and heavier. Thus I think that a Castor 300 + enlarged Cryostage could work, but the cryo stage wouldn't be the same stage as for the other NGL configurations.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.

What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
I agree with this, with the side note that two different liquid upper-stages; deep cryo (LOX LH2) and soft cryo (LOx RP-1), could also bring benefits. (A LOxLCH4 / LOxLC3H8 cryo stage would be even beter).
I think that two different lengths of cryogenic stages could work economically. But OATK want's to use their solids.

An upper stage properly sized for the BE3-U would be about 60% the size of a S-IVB but it can throttle deeply so in theory could be made to work on a smaller stage but you'd have a high mass penalty of a too large engine.
The RL-10 or Vinci looks like the best option though I wonder could a couple of Rutherfords  work for a third stage?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/14/2017 01:53 AM
Surprising news!

OrbitalATK is considering the AerojetRocketdyne RL10 or ArianeGroup Vinci rocket engine for its Next Generation Launcher upper stage after rejecting Blueorigin's BE-3U. Decision expected in Q1 2018.

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/orbital-atk-pick-upper-stage-engine-ngl
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: AncientU on 12/14/2017 02:22 AM
There have been several DLR studies  (http://www.dlr.de/irs/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11309/)for expendable rockets with a solid first stage and cryogenic upperstage. One of the studies: VENUS (VEga New Upper Stage) studied multiple configurations for future vega rockets. The VEGA-F configuration used a P120-P160 first stage and a Vince powered upperstage. The conclusion with that configuration was that the acceleration levels would be very high, because the 2th stage + payload & fairing are very light (<40mT).
That's why I don't think a configuration with Castor600 or Castor1200 and a cryogenic upper-stage would work.
Because BE-3U (530kN [120k lbf] in vacuum) is roughly 3x as powerful as Vince (180kN [40 470 lbf], the cryogenic upper-stage could be much larger and heavier. Thus I think that a Castor 300 + enlarged Cryostage could work, but the cryo stage wouldn't be the same stage as for the other NGL configurations.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.

What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
I agree with this, with the side note that two different liquid upper-stages; deep cryo (LOX LH2) and soft cryo (LOx RP-1), could also bring benefits. (A LOxLCH4 / LOxLC3H8 cryo stage would be even beter).
I think that two different lengths of cryogenic stages could work economically. But OATK want's to use their solids.

An upper stage properly sized for the BE3-U would be about 60% the size of a S-IVB but it can throttle deeply so in theory could be made to work on a smaller stage but you'd have a high mass penalty of a too large engine.
The RL-10 or Vinci looks like the best option though I wonder could a couple of Rutherfords  work for a third stage?

Nice call.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/14/2017 03:52 AM
The Vinci option maybe there as bargaining chip against AJR. Has good reliability record and built by allies so DoD certification may not be big issue.

The NGLV will be competing with Ariane 6 for commercial launches, not sure how Ariane Aerospace view that.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Chasm on 12/14/2017 04:54 AM
Rutherfords are not exactly Hydrolox engines. At least so far.

An argument for Vinci over RL10 would be to offer a dissimilar engine that is flying a lot (with someone else). Taking the backup launcher idea and running with it.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/14/2017 09:50 AM
The Vinci option maybe there as bargaining chip against AJR. Has good reliability record and built by allies so DoD certification may not be big issue.

The NGLV will be competing with Ariane 6 for commercial launches, not sure how Ariane Aerospace view that.

The fact that Vinci is built by allies of the USA does exactly nothing to aid certification for US NSS use: from a USA point-of-view it is a foreign-designed, -built and -tested engine.
What also won't help is that Vinci is developed exclusively with ESA money. ESA might object to Vinci being used on a US launcher for US NSS purposes.

Quote from: ESA Director General
The ESA itself is not a civilian agency. It is an agency for peaceful purposes and may have programmes with a security component. If and when Europe needs space as an enabling tool for its security and defence policy, ESA will be prepared to develop the required programmes.”

Additionally: NASA was initially interested in using Vinci on the EUS for SLS (2014). But that plan went nowhere when NASA and ESA couldn't agree on the specific terms-of-use and the general certification requirements for Vinci.
So, what makes people think that the certifying agencies for US NSS launches will be able to come to an agreement with ESA?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/14/2017 10:02 AM
Rutherfords are not exactly Hydrolox engines. At least so far.

An argument for Vinci over RL10 would be to offer a dissimilar engine that is flying a lot (with someone else). Taking the backup launcher idea and running with it.

Vinci is still in development and won't start flying until 2020 (on Ariane 6). Also, it won't fly often; just 8 to 12 times per year on A6.
On the other hand: RL10 (derivatives) have been flying for 4+ decades and consistently launch a dozen times per year (or more) on NSS-certified launch vehicles already.
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/14/2017 11:14 AM
Reposted:
Surprising news!

OrbitalATK is considering the AerojetRocketdyne RL10 or ArianeGroup Vinci rocket engine for its Next Generation Launcher upper stage after rejecting Blueorigin's BE-3U. Decision expected in Q1 2018.

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/orbital-atk-pick-upper-stage-engine-ngl

Wonder what Orbital saw in Blue's engine that they didn't like?  Does this reduce Blue's chances on Vulcan, too?
This is like Liberty Launcher Lite?

How real is this thing anyway?

BTW IIRC neither BE-3 or Vince has any flight history.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/14/2017 12:41 PM
The Vinci option maybe there as bargaining chip against AJR. Has good reliability record and built by allies so DoD certification may not be big issue.

The NGLV will be competing with Ariane 6 for commercial launches, not sure how Ariane Aerospace view that.

The fact that Vinci is built by allies of the USA does exactly nothing to aid certification for US NSS use: from a USA point-of-view it is a foreign-designed, -built and -tested engine.
What also won't help is that Vinci is developed exclusively with ESA money. ESA might object to Vinci being used on a US launcher for US NSS purposes.

Quote from: ESA Director General
The ESA itself is not a civilian agency. It is an agency for peaceful purposes and may have programmes with a security component. If and when Europe needs space as an enabling tool for its security and defence policy, ESA will be prepared to develop the required programmes.”

Additionally: NASA was initially interested in using Vinci on the EUS for SLS (2014). But that plan went nowhere when NASA and ESA couldn't agree on the specific terms-of-use and the general certification requirements for Vinci.
So, what makes people think that the certifying agencies for US NSS launches will be able to come to an agreement with ESA?
OA wouldn't even consider Vinci if they didn't think there was good chance both parties would approve it. They went though same process with Liberty before it was shelved.

Still think OA will end up with RL10 same as Vulcan, in both cases it will be a newer lower cost version. The plus side for all three companies is higher production rate should help lower build cost.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: ethan829 on 12/14/2017 12:49 PM
BTW IIRC neither BE-3 or Vince has any flight history.

No flight history, true, but Vinci has gone through extensive test firings and flight-ready engines are in production now.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/14/2017 01:19 PM
So, what makes people think that the certifying agencies for US NSS launches will be able to come to an agreement with ESA?

OA wouldn't even consider Vinci if they didn't think there was good chance both parties would approve it. They went though same process with Liberty before it was shelved.

Not quite. Liberty was about modding the existing and operational Ariane 5 EPC into an upper stage for Liberty.
The main difference here is that Vinci is far from operational with ESA still coughing up money for its development. The latter was not the case when the A5 EPC was considered as US for Liberty.

That is a big difference because ESA right now has a lot to say about Vinci development whereas that is no longer the case for the A5 EPC.

The way ESA and Arianespace operate is that ESA is responsible for space technology during its development. That goes for funding as well as all other aspects of development. This still applies for Vinci given the way it was inherited from the A5 ME program.
Only when development is fully done is ownership and responsibility of a program transferred from ESA to Ariane group. This happened a long time ago for Ariane 5 EPC but is yet to happen for Vinci.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/14/2017 01:45 PM
BTW IIRC neither BE-3 or Vince has any flight history.

No flight history, true, but Vinci has gone through extensive test firings and flight-ready engines are in production now.
That is over-stating it. Production of flight combustion chambers has begun. But production of flight-versions of many other Vinci components is yet to start. For example, the nozzle design is still being worked-on given that it required a near-complete re-design from A5 to A6 (full fixed nozzle in stead of an extendible one).
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: JEF_300 on 12/14/2017 02:23 PM
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".

I would tend to agree. NASA also decided to go for the RL-10 over the Vinci, so I doubt OATK won't as well. The only thing that gives me pause is just how much better the Vinci is. The RL-10 is getting old. Perhaps OATK and ULA will convince AJR to start working on a replacement for next decade.

Anyone want to take a shot at the performance of Vinci and RL-10 NGLs? Oh and if someone would like to try their hand at a Rutherford Version, I'm certainly curious.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/14/2017 02:31 PM
My guess is that the reason for this engine change is the same reason that drove ULA toward Centaur 5.  The NGL design team, preparing to respond to the EELV RFP, found that BE-3U didn't pass muster.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: brickmack on 12/14/2017 03:51 PM
This is like Liberty Launcher Lite?

Liberty Heavy more like. Similar sized first stage, slightly smaller liquid upper stage, but with a solid second stage sandwiched in between, strapon boosters, and composite instead of steel casings. Its a real beast, if only it was developed 20 years ago it might have been a nice system...
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 12/14/2017 03:56 PM
My guess is that the reason for this engine change is the same reason that drove ULA toward Centaur 5.  The NGL design team, preparing to respond to the EELV RFP, found that BE-3U didn't pass muster.

 - Ed Kyle

Has Blue test-fired the vacuum version yet? Seems like that version is behind both the new RL-10 and Vinci in development. That timing could be an issue for NGL.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/14/2017 04:42 PM


My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".


Anyone want to take a shot at the performance of Vinci and RL-10 NGLs? Oh and if someone would like to try their hand at a Rutherford Version, I'm certainly curious.

A Rutherford or electric pump engine wouldn't scale to RL10 class engine. An engine developer on a podcast I listened to said 5klbs is about it.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: JEF_300 on 12/14/2017 05:55 PM
A Rutherford or electric pump engine wouldn't scale to RL10 class engine. An engine developer on a podcast I listened to said 5klbs is about it.

The idea was to use a couple vacuum optimized Rutherford engines bought straight from Rocket Lab for the Upper Stage rather than make a RL-10 scale electric pump engine. It probably wouldn't happen, but it seems at least two of us are mildly curious about what that would look like.

Ignoring money for the moment, the RL-10 is plainly superior to even 3 Rutherfords. 66kn vs 110kn, and Isp of 333s vs 465s.

But with Rocket Lab claiming $5mil per launch, even if the upper stage engine was half the launch cost, 3 would probably still be notably cheaper than a RL-10. It also means OATK can use it's technical expertise with Kerolox. To my knowledge, OATK has never worked with Hydrolox before.

Just a fun idea that will never come to be
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Chasm on 12/14/2017 07:04 PM
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".

Mine btw. too.  8)

I think talking publicly about Vinci is first and foremost a strong message to ARJ that the rejection of BE-3U did not make RL10 the inevitable choice. Certainly not at any cost.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 12/14/2017 08:08 PM
Anyone know if Broadsword was ever seriously considered for NGL?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/15/2017 03:31 AM
This is like Liberty Launcher Lite?

Liberty Heavy more like. Similar sized first stage, slightly smaller liquid upper stage, but with a solid second stage sandwiched in between, strapon boosters, and composite instead of steel casings. Its a real beast, if only it was developed 20 years ago it might have been a nice system...
NGL is "Liberty Not".  They've nothing in common.  The first stage is new.  The second stage is new.  The third stage?  New.

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/15/2017 03:34 AM
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".

Mine btw. too.  8)

I think talking publicly about Vinci is first and foremost a strong message to ARJ that the rejection of BE-3U did not make RL10 the inevitable choice. Certainly not at any cost.
I'm not so sure.  Remember, Orbital ATK is the company flying the least-American orbital rocket currently flying from U.S. soil, with a Ukrainian built first stage powered by Russian engines, boosting a largely Italian-built payload.  Vinci is, or will be, more efficient than RL10.  For all we know it might also cost less.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/15/2017 06:49 AM
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".

Mine btw. too.  8)

I think talking publicly about Vinci is first and foremost a strong message to ARJ that the rejection of BE-3U did not make RL10 the inevitable choice. Certainly not at any cost.
I'm not so sure.  Remember, Orbital ATK is the company flying the least-American orbital rocket currently flying from U.S. soil, with a Ukrainian built first stage powered by Russian engines, boosting a largely Italian-built payload.  Vinci is, or will be, more efficient than RL10.  For all we know it might also cost less.

 - Ed Kyle

On that last phrase I can assure you: it won't.
That is: not until they bring down the parts number significantly and streamline production. Remember, the basic design of Vinci is almost 20 years old, before the time of "econonomic viability" and "additive manufacturing". Plus it is being constructed in Europe where production of aerospace products is almost as expensive as it is in the USA due to the relatively large number of sub-contractors involved.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: JEF_300 on 12/15/2017 02:46 PM
Anyone know if Broadsword was ever seriously considered for NGL?

I do not, but it would make alot of sense. I always forget how good the broadsword looks on paper
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/15/2017 07:48 PM
Vinci is, or will be, more efficient than RL10.  For all we know it might also cost less.

 - Ed Kyle

On that last phrase I can assure you: it won't.
That is: not until they bring down the parts number significantly and streamline production. Remember, the basic design of Vinci is almost 20 years old, before the time of "econonomic viability" and "additive manufacturing". Plus it is being constructed in Europe where production of aerospace products is almost as expensive as it is in the USA due to the relatively large number of sub-contractors involved.
Vinci is a youngster compared to RL10.  RL10 first flew in 1961 and was firing on test stands a year or two earlier, when Eisenhower was U.S. President!  You may be right about the cost comparison, but Aerojet Rocketdyne costs have skyrocketed in recent years, so I'll withhold judgement.  It will be an interesting decision.

 - Ed Kyle   
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Coastal Ron on 12/15/2017 08:07 PM
Vinci is, or will be, more efficient than RL10.  For all we know it might also cost less.

On that last phrase I can assure you: it won't.
That is: not until they bring down the parts number significantly and streamline production. Remember, the basic design of Vinci is almost 20 years old, before the time of "econonomic viability" and "additive manufacturing". Plus it is being constructed in Europe where production of aerospace products is almost as expensive as it is in the USA due to the relatively large number of sub-contractors involved.
Vinci is a youngster compared to RL10.  RL10 first flew in 1961 and was firing on test stands a year or two earlier, when Eisenhower was U.S. President!

It's not the number of years per se, but the engineering & manufacturing generation it was created in.

For instance products created before high volume 3D printing became practical for rocket engine parts may not be able to be redesigned to take advantage of the cost and time savings that 3D printing can provide. Which would put the Vinci engine in the same situation as the RL-10.

Quote
You may be right about the cost comparison, but Aerojet Rocketdyne costs have skyrocketed in recent years, so I'll withhold judgement.  It will be an interesting decision.

AR may not be inexpensive, but where have you heard that their costs have "skyrocketed in recent years"?
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: calapine on 12/15/2017 08:46 PM

It's not the number of years per se, but the engineering & manufacturing generation it was created in.

For instance products created before high volume 3D printing became practical for rocket engine parts may not be able to be redesigned to take advantage of the cost and time savings that 3D printing can provide. Which would put the Vinci engine in the same situation as the RL-10.

Vinci manufacturing processes aren't that old:

Arianegroup:

Quote
The economic challenge is one of our main concerns today. The Vinci engine is purpose-designed to cost requirements. That is why we chose an "Expander" cycle. This technology sidesteps specific gas generators, as opposed to our other engines. We have also packed many technological breakthroughs into this engine, including powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing, to optimize operating cost-efficiency even further.
https://www.safran-group.com/media/20131120_vinci-one-engine-two-ariane-launchers
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GWH on 12/18/2017 07:41 PM
Happening in 20 minutes:

"Join us on Facebook today as we talk with Steven Roebke, an engineer on our Next Generation Launch (NGL) System. Tune in Live at 4 p.m. EST."

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/942848822102974464

https://www.facebook.com/OrbitalATK/
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: GWH on 12/18/2017 08:18 PM
Announcement on the upper stage to come in a few weeks. My question on BE-3U wasn't answered  ;)

Very short Q&A, lots of background noise.

EDIT: The complete video and all comments are now posted on their Facebook page.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/18/2017 08:32 PM
I'm glad they answered my question about customers, but disappointing that it seems like only the Air Force at this time.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/19/2017 07:57 AM
I can see them offering complete build and launch package for their satellites. The women presenter kind of hinted at this when asked about customers. Even if launch is priced at cost OA would still make nice profit from satellite, while keeping they production line ticking over.

They did cover reuseability question, answer it is ELV. No surprises there given it is mostly solids. This may yet be competitive LV especially against Ariane 6 and Vulcan. Unlike these competitors OA are building most of the NGLV inhouse, only US engine will be external. With ULA most components are outsourced, engines, SRBs, fairing. Even more importantly OA only need few (3?) launches a year for it to be viable.





Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/19/2017 09:50 AM

It's not the number of years per se, but the engineering & manufacturing generation it was created in.

For instance products created before high volume 3D printing became practical for rocket engine parts may not be able to be redesigned to take advantage of the cost and time savings that 3D printing can provide. Which would put the Vinci engine in the same situation as the RL-10.

Vinci manufacturing processes aren't that old:

Arianegroup:

Quote
The economic challenge is one of our main concerns today. The Vinci engine is purpose-designed to cost requirements. That is why we chose an "Expander" cycle. This technology sidesteps specific gas generators, as opposed to our other engines. We have also packed many technological breakthroughs into this engine, including powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing, to optimize operating cost-efficiency even further.
https://www.safran-group.com/media/20131120_vinci-one-engine-two-ariane-launchers

Yes, I'm aware of those changes (in bold) and they are limited in nature (injector mostly). You also have to consider the time-frame when to changes were inserted: over 5 years ago. Back then they may have been intended to reduce cost but those cost-savings have been overtaken by reality.

The part about being "purpose-designed to cost requirements" is an empty statement given that those cost-requirements date back to Ariane 5 ME (over a decade ago). A decade ago ESA and Arianespace didn't have to worry about SpaceX disrupting the market.

Calapine, you really have to learn that statements, such as the above one by Safran Group, are purely spin PR. "Cost-effectiveness" in particular is a phrase coined by contractors to hide the fact their products are still horrendously expensive.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/02/2018 05:17 PM
Replying to John Smith 19 here, from the Vulcan thread where we were drifting off-topic.
Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - Business Case/Competition/Alternatives Discussion
« Reply #120 on: Today at 09:27 AM »
Quote
Quote
Quote from: edkyle99 on Today at 08:28 AM
NGL is not going to launch astronauts.
I very strongly doubt it will launch anything ever.

How long did ATK take to get to the Aries 1-x flight from CxP programme start?
ATK's portion of that contract was ready to fly long before Ares I-X rolled out.  The schedule drivers were the NASA parts that simulated the upper stage and Orion, etc.  ATK only had the first stage contract.  Ares 1-X flew about three years after NASA really started the program. 
Quote
Then they promoted Liberty, and said they'd pursue it with company funds even if not selected for COTS. They weren't selected and they didn't pursue it.

So they have a track record of taking
a) A  very long time to deliver incomplete hardware (4 working segments of a 5 segment booster and a completely dummy US and mass simulator after how much money was spent on what was pitched as
basically the upgraded Shuttle SRB's?)
ATK delivered four working segments and a fifth segment simulator as called for in their NASA contract.  The upper stage and Orion mass simulators were provided by NASA.

At any rate, you are talking about a company (ATK) that no longer exists.  It is Orbital ATK now, headed by the former Orbital CEO, but soon even that entity will cease to exists as it is merged into Northrop Grumman.  NGL clearly comes more from the Orbital than the ATK side of the house.  Orbital developed the world's first commercial orbital launch vehicle, and followed up with more launch vehicle developments.  They are clearly devoting serious resources to NGL (just read this thread to see some results).  You may dismiss their proposal out of hand based on your misunderstandings about this company and its program, but I'm certainly not.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 01/02/2018 08:00 PM
Liberty relied on Ariane supplied US, while NGLV US will be built inhouse with engine outsource. Should be lot cheaper to build plus they have access to all of Orbitals avionics and systems.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: jacqmans on 01/05/2018 10:01 AM
Orbital ATK Signs Cooperative Agreement with U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center

Research and Development Agreement Enables Certification of Orbital ATK’s Next Generation Launch System


Dulles, Virginia 04 January 2018 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). The CRADA provides the framework and plan for data exchanges needed to certify Orbital ATK’s Next Generation Launch (NGL) system to carry National Security Space missions.

“Under this CRADA, Orbital ATK is better able to support SMC in being the guardians of assured access to space,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “We look forward to certifying NGL to launch National Security Space Missions.”

Orbital ATK is currently in early production of development hardware for NGL. To date, the company has jointly invested with the Air Force more than $200 million to develop the NGL rocket family.

In addition to launching the entire spectrum of national security payloads, the NGL family of vehicles will be capable of launching science and commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by Orbital ATK’s current Pegasus®, Minotaur and AntaresTM space launch vehicles. The NGL vehicles will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with other company programs, including smaller space launch vehicles as well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic missile systems.

The next phase of the NGL program is expected to begin when the Air Force awards Launch Services Agreements in mid-2018, which would entail full vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Title: Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/06/2018 09:49 AM
Quote
Signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with @AF_SMC enables certification of NGL to carry National Security Space missions bit.ly/2lU1pcw