Author Topic: Orbital's Antares Development Update Thread  (Read 841706 times)

Offline Freddie

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #460 on: 05/29/2010 01:54 AM »
Orbital Sciences has issued its May 2010 progress update report for the Taurus II launch vehicle.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

Offline Freddie

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #461 on: 05/29/2010 05:54 PM »
Orbital is more of a satellite company than a launch vehicle company.

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

Quote
Satellites are more expensive than launch vehicles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You mean, would Orbital benefit if SpaceX manages to sell their launches for what they are advertising without going bankrupt?  Absolutely yes!!!  And if we were certain they would be able to do so, we would not waste our money on Taurus II (with emphasis on the economic, not the technical difficulty).


The Futron Company report titled “How Much of An Impact Do Launch Prices Really Have on the Cost of Satellite Services?” can be read at http://www1.futron.com/pdf/resource_center/articles/gearingfactor.pdf.

Online Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22455
  • Liked: 767
  • Likes Given: 286
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #462 on: 06/05/2010 11:05 PM »
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline Freddie

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #463 on: 06/30/2010 08:28 PM »
Orbital Sciences has issued its June 2010 progress update report for the Taurus II launch vehicle.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/.

Best wishes to all for a most inspiring Independence Day holiday in the USA!

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8646
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1113
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #464 on: 07/01/2010 12:30 PM »
Typo on the update:

Quote
...Meabwhile, a little...

Nice update, can not wait to see the Taurus II go orbital.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2010 12:30 PM by kevin-rf »
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9585
  • Liked: 1339
  • Likes Given: 849
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #465 on: 07/09/2010 09:03 PM »
I just noticed that the CRS contract for Orbital is actually available online (milestones payments are on page 27 of the main contract but have been redacted):
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/news/contracts/NNJ09GA02B/NNJ09GA02B.html

P.S. For other contracts, see here:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/news/contracts/index.html
« Last Edit: 07/09/2010 09:06 PM by yg1968 »

Offline marsavian

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3216
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #466 on: 07/14/2010 10:08 AM »
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/

More Taurus 2 launch sites, including Florida, could also be required if Orbital signs deals to launch a large number of satellite payloads on the Taurus 2, according to Culbertson. Other locations under review include Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Kodiak Island, Alaska, for polar orbit launches.

Culbertson, a former astronaut, said Orbital is still discussing opportunities to launch the Taurus 2 from several facilities at Cape Canaveral.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7116
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 641
  • Likes Given: 751
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #467 on: 07/14/2010 11:08 AM »
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/

Culbertson, a former astronaut, said Orbital is still discussing opportunities to launch the Taurus 2 from several facilities at Cape Canaveral.

SLC-36 or LC-17 (once Delta-II has retired)?
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline GClark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #468 on: 07/14/2010 11:28 AM »
IIRC, LC-36 has space (acreage) issues vis-a-vis the Taurus II.

Just about any pad on ICBM row would work just as well, assuming the AF will let you at one of them.

LC-34, anyone?

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32240
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10894
  • Likes Given: 325
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #469 on: 07/14/2010 11:44 AM »
IIRC, LC-36 has space (acreage) issues vis-a-vis the Taurus II.

Just about any pad on ICBM row would work just as well, assuming the AF will let you at one of them.

LC-34, anyone?

Too close to LC-37.  LC-36 is the choice

Online edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12662
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3551
  • Likes Given: 717
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #470 on: 07/14/2010 06:13 PM »
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/
Includes the quote "Orbital Sciences Corp. could reevaluate moving some of its Taurus 2 rocket missions from Virgina to Florida if the company wins a contract to launch astronauts"

A big "if" indeed!

  Interesting, isn't it, that this story is released just before Sen. Nelson's NASA budget plan vote?

Orbital made its launch site choice several years ago, snubbing Sen. Nelson's state in the process.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Antares

  • ABO^2
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5201
  • Done arguing with amateurs
  • Liked: 368
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #471 on: 07/15/2010 05:23 AM »
Culbertson was doing a lunch talk to some Florida space group that had been planned for months.  No coincidence.

IMO, it's an interesting juxtaposition where Elon has admitted Falcon 9 needs to walk before running versus this line of marketing.  Mr Culbertson seems to be playing to the crowd - nevermind the comparatively small amount of lift of his rocket compared to that of Falcon 9.  F9 may not be able to lift the Shuttle-sized crew in the animations, but T2 would have a real problem with any modern capsule containing crew on the way up.
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.

Online edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12662
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3551
  • Likes Given: 717
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #472 on: 07/15/2010 02:30 PM »
Culbertson was doing a lunch talk to some Florida space group that had been planned for months.  No coincidence.

IMO, it's an interesting juxtaposition where Elon has admitted Falcon 9 needs to walk before running versus this line of marketing.  Mr Culbertson seems to be playing to the crowd - nevermind the comparatively small amount of lift of his rocket compared to that of Falcon 9.  F9 may not be able to lift the Shuttle-sized crew in the animations, but T2 would have a real problem with any modern capsule containing crew on the way up.

Taurus 2 with an enhanced stage could lift 7 tonnes to 200 km LEO (nearly Soyuz-class) - IF it was launched from the Cape.  SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed. 

Clearly both companies would have work to do to provide crewed options.  Even then, the options would be substantially limited, mass-wise, compared to EELV Heavy or Ares I, etc. 

Think about it this way - either option would leave the U.S. with a crew carrying spacecraft that would be less capable than those of Russia and China.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/15/2010 03:08 PM by edkyle99 »

Online ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7504
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1725
  • Likes Given: 376
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #473 on: 07/15/2010 05:51 PM »
SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort. 

There's engineering effort and then there's the vehicle actually being maxed out at 7 tons. T-II is the latter case while F9 is presumably the former.

Online HMXHMX

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1447
  • Liked: 1095
  • Likes Given: 307
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #474 on: 07/15/2010 07:18 PM »
Culbertson was doing a lunch talk to some Florida space group that had been planned for months.  No coincidence.

IMO, it's an interesting juxtaposition where Elon has admitted Falcon 9 needs to walk before running versus this line of marketing.  Mr Culbertson seems to be playing to the crowd - nevermind the comparatively small amount of lift of his rocket compared to that of Falcon 9.  F9 may not be able to lift the Shuttle-sized crew in the animations, but T2 would have a real problem with any modern capsule containing crew on the way up.

Taurus 2 with an enhanced stage could lift 7 tonnes to 200 km LEO (nearly Soyuz-class) - IF it was launched from the Cape.  SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed. 

Clearly both companies would have work to do to provide crewed options.  Even then, the options would be substantially limited, mass-wise, compared to EELV Heavy or Ares I, etc. 

Think about it this way - either option would leave the U.S. with a crew carrying spacecraft that would be less capable than those of Russia and China.

 - Ed Kyle

I maintain this is the wrong way to think about the issue.  Few would say a lighter aircraft is less capable than a heavier aircraft, if both performed the same mission, but one used advanced technology (modern avionics, composites) to reduce the weight.  The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be, creating the potential for more frequent launches at lower overall expenditures or higher profits.

Offline mmeijeri

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7443
  • Martijn Meijering
  • NL
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 163
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #475 on: 07/15/2010 07:22 PM »
SpaceX says that Falcon 9 can lift 6.8 tonnes and that anything heavier than that will require some type of engineering effort.  This would be for the Block 2 Falcon 9, which has yet to be developed.

Where does that 6.8mT number come from?
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10482
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 2478
  • Likes Given: 883
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #476 on: 07/15/2010 08:29 PM »
The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be...

Not necessarily. It depends on why it's lighter. If exotic materials were used or exotic new processes were employed in manufacturing, these could be overall more costly.

My point is that you can't make a blanket statement like that without qualifications.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Online HMXHMX

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1447
  • Liked: 1095
  • Likes Given: 307
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #477 on: 07/15/2010 09:26 PM »
The lighter the launch vehicle, the lower its cost is likely to be...

Not necessarily. It depends on why it's lighter. If exotic materials were used or exotic new processes were employed in manufacturing, these could be overall more costly.

My point is that you can't make a blanket statement like that without qualifications.

Everything can be qualified, all the time.  But many analysts have made their livings arguing that the weight of a launch vehicle (and virtually all other aerospace systems) determines final cost.  I can take either side of that argument, depending on who is paying.

Offline Antares

  • ABO^2
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5201
  • Done arguing with amateurs
  • Liked: 368
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #478 on: 07/15/2010 11:39 PM »
I don't believe the published performance numbers of either F9 or T2.
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.

Online Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22455
  • Liked: 767
  • Likes Given: 286
Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #479 on: 07/16/2010 01:01 AM »
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/14orbital/
Includes the quote "Orbital Sciences Corp. could reevaluate moving some of its Taurus 2 rocket missions from Virgina to Florida if the company wins a contract to launch astronauts"

A big "if" indeed!

  Interesting, isn't it, that this story is released just before Sen. Nelson's NASA budget plan vote?

Orbital made its launch site choice several years ago, snubbing Sen. Nelson's state in the process.

 - Ed Kyle

OSC has previously stated both in presentation to the Augustine Commission and even in person to me that they are just concentrating on cargo right now, so I would not get your hopes up too high.
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Tags: