Author Topic: Orbital's Antares Development Update Thread  (Read 835302 times)

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #40 on: 06/23/2009 07:09 PM »
I didn't find anything about it on the ITAR-TASS' own website, but here it is:
 http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lenta/2009/06/23/n_1375153.shtml
 http://news.mail.ru/society/2685664

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

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

-- Pete

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #41 on: 06/23/2009 07:18 PM »

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

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

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #42 on: 06/23/2009 09:38 PM »

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

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

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

 - Ed Kyle

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

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #43 on: 06/23/2009 09:44 PM »

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

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

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

 - Ed Kyle

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

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


They are significant mods, more than a rebuild.

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #44 on: 06/24/2009 12:41 AM »

They are significant mods, more than a rebuild.

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

 - Ed Kyle

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

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

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #45 on: 06/24/2009 12:47 AM »

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

I believe that was one of the others options along with the Rockledge proposal.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #46 on: 06/24/2009 01:59 PM »
Compared to the RD-180, the NK-33 will be much easier to build in the U.S.  The 180 has a number of expensive-to-replicate forgings that the NK-33 lacks.
Another feature of RD-180 that strikes me is the flexible duct for hot oxygen (unless I confuse something), so that the chambers alone gimball, while the turbomachinery _and_ the preburner remain stationary. Of course I have no idea how expensive that element is, the thought of the gas at higher than chamber pressure being pumped through what amounts to my drier's vent hose scares me.

-- Pete

Offline pippin

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #47 on: 06/24/2009 02:17 PM »
Compared to the RD-180, the NK-33 will be much easier to build in the U.S.  The 180 has a number of expensive-to-replicate forgings that the NK-33 lacks.
Another feature of RD-180 that strikes me is the flexible duct for hot oxygen (unless I confuse something), so that the chambers alone gimball, while the turbomachinery _and_ the preburner remain stationary. Of course I have no idea how expensive that element is, the thought of the gas at higher than chamber pressure being pumped through what amounts to my drier's vent hose scares me.

Isn't RD-180 even capable of gimballing the nozzles independent of each other for roll control?

Offline Antares

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #48 on: 06/24/2009 02:28 PM »
the thought of the gas at higher than chamber pressure being pumped through what amounts to my drier's vent hose scares me.

Why?  Engineers can design anything.  The physics are straightforward.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline pippin

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #49 on: 06/24/2009 03:15 PM »
Engineers can design anything.
cough, cough...
Engineers may be able to DESIGN anything. Whether it works is another question.
Could give you a few (un)cool examples.

Offline Antares

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #50 on: 06/24/2009 03:44 PM »
If it doesn't work, it wasn't designed right.  Bad engineering or bad requirements.  Strawman.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #51 on: 06/24/2009 05:21 PM »

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

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Offline silver t

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #52 on: 06/24/2009 08:41 PM »
if you've designed something that cannot be made, then you have not designed a good part
the difference you state is not the difference between a senior and a green engineer its the difference between a good and a bad engineer

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #53 on: 06/24/2009 08:58 PM »
if you've designed something that cannot be made, then you have not designed a good part
the difference you state is not the difference between a senior and a green engineer its the difference between a good and a bad engineer

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

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

Not to talk up spaceX on an Orbital thread, but if you notice, the Merlin is a good, cheap easy to produce engine that does not push the limits anywhere. Other than the mistake of the albative version, which they have learned from, that mistake was also made on the Delta-IV, so we can not hold spaceX out to dry for trying the same thing. 
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Offline Cretan126

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #54 on: 06/24/2009 09:47 PM »
if you've designed something that cannot be made, then you have not designed a good part
the difference you state is not the difference between a senior and a green engineer its the difference between a good and a bad engineer

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

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

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

Yes, Merlin is  "good, cheap easy to produce engine"...according to the
SpaceX marketing guys/gals armed with Powerpoint charts - and fancy animations.  And, yes, they do have static fire history but do we really have enough indpendent facts to give credence to the claims you've reiterated?

Offline ugordan

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #55 on: 06/28/2009 02:53 PM »
Yes, Merlin is  "good, cheap easy to produce engine"...according to the
SpaceX marketing guys/gals armed with Powerpoint charts - and fancy animations. 

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

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

If I were to be ironic, I'd say Merlin 1c has more flight history and hard data than AJ-26. Not that it really matters that much, but since you were debating claims and evidence...

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #56 on: 06/30/2009 03:04 AM »
Quote
WALLOPS ISLAND — Maryland and Virginia officials held a groundbreaking at a Monday ceremony marking the start of construction of a new launchpad and other facilities to support Orbital Science Corporation’s Taurus II rocket program.
Advertisement

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

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

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

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20090629/NEWS01/90629023/1002/WALLOPS--Groundbreaking-held-at-Space-Station-launchpad
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Offline yinzer

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #57 on: 06/30/2009 03:33 AM »
The recent Sea Launch bankruptcy has me wondering about the Taurus II first stage.  SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash is building the stage, but the economics were surely based on an assumption of synergy with Zenit production. 

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

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

Who knows?  It might make the core stages more expensive due to reduced economies of scale.  It might make the core stages cheaper as Yuzhmash is more desperate for work.  It might have no effect, because when Sea Launch stopped paying for rocket parts last year, everyone in the business knew they were doomed, and this already entered into the contract negotiations with Orbital.
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Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #58 on: 06/30/2009 02:45 PM »
WALLOPS ISLAND — Maryland and Virginia officials held a groundbreaking at a Monday ceremony marking the start of construction of a new launchpad and other facilities to support Orbital Science Corporation’s Taurus II rocket program.
Advertisement

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

I have contacted congress and the senate 3 times for SpaceX (I have bugged FAA for Armadillo more than 3 times), but hard to get excited about Orbital without some good new fashioned fake openness.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2009 02:46 PM by NUAETIUS »
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Online wannamoonbase

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #59 on: 06/30/2009 04:39 PM »
WALLOPS ISLAND — Maryland and Virginia officials held a groundbreaking at a Monday ceremony marking the start of construction of a new launchpad and other facilities to support Orbital Science Corporation’s Taurus II rocket program.
Advertisement

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

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

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

Orbital has a history of designing, building and flying hardware.  They don't have to show off everything they do.
SpaceX, just a few things planned for 2018: FH, Starlink Prototypes, Block 5, Dragon 2, Increased launch rate.

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