Author Topic: Orbital's Antares Development Update Thread  (Read 751137 times)

Offline robertross

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #20 on: 05/10/2009 03:59 PM »

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


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

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

Cheers,

  --Nick

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

Wouldn't mind seeing it myself!  ;)
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline PDJennings

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #21 on: 05/10/2009 04:02 PM »

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

Well, the funniest thing (to me) about the Taurus II was, it wasn't sized right to launch Orbital's own bread-and-butter Star 2 GSO comsats.  I'm not sure a methane upper stage would get it there, either, but it's an obvious target for them as a turnkey satellite plus launch offering.  Some of the Star 2s are as light as 1900 kg fueled, but most have recently been 2400-2500 kg.

Offline drbobguy

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #22 on: 05/12/2009 12:28 AM »
I just want to say that I hope Taurus II is successful.  The use of Soviet NK-33's on a commercial American rocket has got to be one of the greatest rocket engine stories of all time.  Can you imagine the reaction of the NRO/NASA people who had seen the first Corona images of the N-1 if you had told them that those engines would be used on American commercial rockets?

It's a pretty wild world we live in.  From Cold War to globalized rocketry (Yuzhnoe, SNTK Kuznetsov, Aerojet, and OSC all cooperating together).
« Last Edit: 05/12/2009 12:29 AM by drbobguy »

Offline just-nick

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #23 on: 05/12/2009 03:50 AM »
BTW, I'm wondering if any "synergy" might exist between this PWR engine and the JAXA engine being worked on, for several years now, for the GX project.

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

  --Nick

Online HMXHMX

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #24 on: 05/12/2009 01:33 PM »
BTW, I'm wondering if any "synergy" might exist between this PWR engine and the JAXA engine being worked on, for several years now, for the GX project.

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

  --Nick

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

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

 - Ed Kyle

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

There should be no doubt that a proper development will let an "RL-10M" run on methane, however.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #25 on: 05/12/2009 03:28 PM »
Can you imagine the reaction of the NRO/NASA people who had seen the first Corona images of the N-1 if you had told them that those engines would be used on American commercial rockets?

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

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

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

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

Much Vodka was consumed afterwards.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2009 03:29 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline just-nick

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #26 on: 06/09/2009 12:09 AM »
The T-2 brochure PDF is back on the Orbital site. It's worth looking at.

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

Cheers,

  --Nick

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #27 on: 06/09/2009 12:26 AM »
I'm looking forward to seeing Taurus II fly next year.  It's a very interesting solution to a unique problem.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline just-nick

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #28 on: 06/09/2009 02:41 AM »
The T-2 brochure PDF is back on the Orbital site. It's worth looking at.

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

Cheers,

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

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

  --Nick

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #29 on: 06/20/2009 05:45 PM »
Someone launched a scurrilous rumour (with sources referring to a leak at le Bourget show), that Orbital is seeking to get rid of AJ-26. Not giving any credence to this, I would like to ask, does anyone think it would be feasible to re-engine Taurus II with 6 Merlins, just thinking speculatively.
-- Pete

Offline ugordan

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #30 on: 06/20/2009 05:53 PM »
That would lower performance, Merlins are lower performers and heavier for the same thrust. The real question is why would they want to get rid of such good engines?

Sounds like a very unlikely rumor to me.
« Last Edit: 06/20/2009 05:54 PM by ugordan »

Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #31 on: 06/20/2009 06:15 PM »
That would lower performance, Merlins are lower performers and heavier for the same thrust. The real question is why would they want to get rid of such good engines?

Sounds like a very unlikely rumor to me.

Also SpaceX only has 6 Flight Merlin 1C, and have flown 2.  I seriously doubt they would sell you a flight fidelity Merlin 1C any time in the next few years.  They will be going full blast for just their use.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #32 on: 06/20/2009 06:22 PM »
Also SpaceX only has 6 Flight Merlin 1C.

Incorrect. They have 6 Merlins currently qualified for the first flight, 9 other which already fired for a full mission duration and are now sitting around and most likely a few more in production.

Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #33 on: 06/20/2009 07:01 PM »
Incorrect. They have 6 Merlins currently qualified for the first flight, 9 other which already fired for a full mission duration and are now sitting around and most likely a few more in production.

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

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

-More to the point, I was saying that SpaceX had none to sell, and would likely have none to sell for years.  IF SpaceX sold a rocket, would they sell it as finished, or qualified?
« Last Edit: 06/20/2009 07:02 PM by NUAETIUS »
“It has long been recognized that the formation of a committee is a powerful technique for avoiding responsibility, deferring difficult decisions and averting blame….while at the same time maintaining a semblance of action.” Augustine's Law - Norm Augustine

Offline ugordan

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #34 on: 06/20/2009 07:06 PM »
Finished means manufactured. Qualification is as I understand a short firing to verify the engine is healthy, without defects. In the above case, the 6 engines would be joined by the 9 already fired (and qualified), although those were already "used".

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

If they were to sell engines, I believe the standard procedure would be to do qualification firings before shipment to the customer. IIRC, Energomash does the same for ULA's RD-180s.
« Last Edit: 06/20/2009 07:09 PM by ugordan »

Online pippin

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #35 on: 06/20/2009 07:49 PM »
Wouldn't the lower ISP of Merlin 1C change the whole setup?
I think the only feasible alternative would be something like RD-180, wouldn't it?
Now THAT would really get them pretty close to Atlas, on the other hand...

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #36 on: 06/20/2009 07:55 PM »
. Not giving any credence to this, I would like to ask, does anyone think it would be feasible to re-engine Taurus II with 6 Merlins, just thinking speculatively.


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

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #37 on: 06/20/2009 07:58 PM »
Finished means manufactured. Qualification is as I understand a short firing to verify the engine is healthy, without defects. In the above case, the 6 engines would be joined by the 9 already fired (and qualified), although those were already "used".


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

You can have finished engines that have been test fired but still not be qualified for flight.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #38 on: 06/20/2009 08:49 PM »
Not giving any credence to this, I would like to ask, does anyone think it would be feasible to re-engine Taurus II with 6 Merlins, just thinking speculatively.

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

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

-- Pete

Offline veryrelaxed

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #39 on: 06/20/2009 09:19 PM »
Byuing RD180s (or 170s) or NKs would help SpaceX

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