Author Topic: Orbital's Antares Development Update Thread  (Read 752085 times)

Offline Longhorn John

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #540 on: 07/28/2010 01:55 AM »
Did you pull over and go up to the truck driver, holding out your Orbital ID badge saying "Antonio Elias, head of all things Rocket Science, Orbital. I ordered that, and I'll take it from here".

Jump in the cab, *honk honk* ;D

Offline Jason Sole

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #541 on: 07/28/2010 01:56 AM »
Great updates!

So is that tank the eqivilant of the big white LOX spheres at the shuttle pads?

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #542 on: 07/28/2010 02:16 AM »
Great updates!

So is that tank the eqivilant of the big white LOX spheres at the shuttle pads?

I suppose that is one way of looking at it, the tank is rendered here under liquid fueling facility
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Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #543 on: 07/28/2010 12:15 PM »
This rocket, powered by two Russian rocket engines with a Ukrainian-built first stage, will be bought, for ISS missions, with U.S. taxpayer funding.  Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability.
Typical argument of jobs program versus space program, how disgusting. That's how we ended with Constellation.

More importantly, what capability exactly are we losing here? There is no American equivalent of RD-0124, so we're losing nothing!

Cancelling Constellation allows to work on basic propulsion so that things like that were not necessary. That is acquiring the capability that we haven't got and thus cannot lose at present.

-- Pete

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #544 on: 07/28/2010 02:03 PM »
...Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability...

... More importantly, what capability exactly are we losing here? There is no American equivalent of RD-0124, so we're losing nothing!..

Yeah, that's the problem: if the choice is between using a Russian engine and not being able to develop a commercially viable liquid second stage, guess which choice produces more US jobs.

If there were two otherwise equivalent engines, one built in the US, another foreign-built, the only difference being cost, the US-built would have a significant (but not infinite!) advantage - that is why we keep buying computers with CPU and memory chips manufactured overseas...

To boot, rocket engines are not commodities (the way memory chips are today).  So, for instance, IF SpaceX would be willing to sell us a Merlin AND the price and reliability were right, there is still the issue of whether its thrust to weight, Isp, thrust level, etc. are a good match.

It just turns out that the RD-0124's thrust, Isp, packaging, T/W and price are a very good match for a Taurus II Upper Stage (we actually evaluated less expensive engines which were not as good a match in terms of the overall result).  And it is already developed and available (pending final Russian government approval).
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 02:05 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Danderman

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #545 on: 07/28/2010 02:08 PM »
I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124, the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Wow.    ???

Is this a direct purchase, or via P&W, and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?

Also, since TII has a greater diameter than Soyuz, any chance that the RD-0124 nozzles will have greater expansion?

« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 02:10 PM by Danderman »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #546 on: 07/28/2010 02:12 PM »
This is a really great thread, fantastic photos Antonio :)

We should keep this as a master thread, but set up some additional threads for specifics to the vehicle, the complex etc. etc. Once we get enough threads, we can set up a specific section on the forum for Orbital, like we did with the SpaceX section.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #547 on: 07/28/2010 02:21 PM »
Is this a direct purchase, or via P&W,
Direct, but PWR has a pretty substantial contract with us to supply engineering, logistics, etc.
Quote
and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?
I don't know, but given the price the Russians are willling to sell it for, I doubt very much that it makes economic sense, given the necessary non-recurring it would take.  And before anbody cries "then we are at the mercy..." let me reply: how much are you willing to pay for independence?
Quote
Also, since TII has a greater diameter than Soyuz, any chance that the RD-0124 nozzles will have greater expansion?
Not a chance.  At those large expansion ratios, the Isp vs. size trade is rather flat.  And the beaury of the RD-0124 is that it comes in a nice little, COMPLETE package.  It would have to undergo a MAJOR redesign to gain a couple of seconds of Isp...
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 02:30 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #548 on: 07/28/2010 02:28 PM »
Once we get enough threads, we can set up a specific section on the forum for Orbital, like we did with the SpaceX section.
Great!  I was having some pangs of forum section envy... ;D
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 02:30 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #549 on: 07/28/2010 03:18 PM »
similar capacity to the LOX tank of a single Taurus II?
How long of a tank is that???

This just in from Tim Fackler (GSE Chief Engineer):
Tank in 125 ft long (vs about 90 ft for Stage 1) weight 210,000 lb empty (wow! vs. about 29,000 lb for the Stage 1 core) and holds about 80,000 gals of LOX (Stage 1 needs about 43,000 gals. - yes, I hate imperial units too.)

Quote
... drive through MD and then park it on the side of the road just south of Pocomoke City ...

Did you say Pocomoke City?... what a coincidence!

The first picture shows a demo of a special rig taking a sharp corner somewhere in Ohio.  We like them so much we hired them to move S1 form Wilmigton DE to WFF.

The second picture shows the same rig with a PVC-tube mockup of the outline of the Stage 1 transportation container taking a sharp corner in... POCOMOKE MD!!!
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 03:20 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #550 on: 07/28/2010 03:24 PM »
Quote
and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?
I don't know, but given the price the Russians are willling to sell it for, I doubt very much that it makes economic sense, given the necessary non-recurring it would take.  And before anbody cries "then we are at the mercy..." let me reply: how much are you willing to pay for independence?
I am assuming Orbital is making necessary contingency plans, for example buying an excess amount of engines ahead of time and stockpiling them, and the cost of these measures is reflected in the trade study. Even if Russians aren't malicious, there may be, for instance, a criminal raid on the factory like the one that PAX suffered (makers of Soyuz mobile gantry for Kourou).

-- Pete

P.S. Certain people (e.g. TsSKB Progress) are salivating at the prospect of Orbital paying for the restart capability of RD-0124. It would allow them to give NPO Lavochkin a boot for certain missions of Soyuz. They may be willing to chip in a bit.

P.P.S. AFAIK RD-0124 does not burn RG-1 that NK-33 burns (which itself is not the same as RP-1, although perhaps Aeroject reconditioned AJ-26 for RP-1), and there was some unobvious American substitute (maybe JP-7 ?). I am wondering here how much does the fuel issue adds to the costs and hassle.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #551 on: 07/28/2010 03:32 PM »
In the vein of "not all rocket engineering is flyweight stuff" here's a couple of pictures Tim F. gave me of the assembly of the water tower.  If you think the tower is impressive, look at the crane that was used to put it together.  Tim calls it a "500-ton crane" but I doubt it could have that capacity with the boom extender... even so, considering it is a mobile crane, it's a very impressive piece of equipment!!!

(ooops... I just realized that the lower picture must have been taken BEFORE the first one... sorry...)
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 03:33 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #552 on: 07/28/2010 03:38 PM »
Quote
and is there any chance of manufacture in the USA?
I don't know, but given the price the Russians are willling to sell it for, I doubt very much that it makes economic sense, given the necessary non-recurring it would take.  And before anbody cries "then we are at the mercy..." let me reply: how much are you willing to pay for independence?
I am assuming Orbital is making necessary contingency plans, for example buying an excess amount of engines ahead of time and stockpiling them, and the cost of these measures is reflected in the trade study. Even if Russians aren't malicious, there may be, for instance, a criminal raid on the factory like the one that PAX suffered (makers of Soyuz mobile gantry for Kourou).

-- Pete

P.S. Certain people (e.g. TsSKB Progress) are salivating at the prospect of Orbital paying for the restart capability of RD-0124. It would allow them to give NPO Lavochkin a boot for certain missions of Soyuz. They may be willing to chip in a bit.

P.P.S. AFAIK RD-0124 does not burn RG-1 that NK-33 burns (which itself is not the same as RP-1, although perhaps Aeroject reconditioned AJ-26 for RP-1), and there was some unobvious American substitute (maybe JP-7 ?). I am wondering here how much does the fuel issue adds to the costs and hassle.
The AJ-26 can run on RP-1, all documents I have found points to that.  I even found test runs on the original NK-33 where they tested it with LH2.  It truly is a remarkably versitile engine.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline Dmitry_V_home

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #553 on: 07/28/2010 04:19 PM »
I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124, the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.  The bad news is that it is yet another non-U.S. engine (the rest of the stage, however, is U.S. manufacture, with final assembly in Chandler).  The good news is that it has the perfect packaging aspect ratio for Taurus II, and it's performance kicks a$$!!!

Initially it will not have restart capability, so it's definitely ISS-oriented.  With restart capability (to be developed later) it has some serious mid-class GTO capability.

Now Taurus II ("II E"?) has an easy time lifting a three-person capsule!

Wow! April Fools' jokes come true?!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.345

Offline charlieb

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #554 on: 07/28/2010 04:55 PM »
Tanks!

er - no - I meant THANKS!

The locals down there along Rt13 are going to think someone is getting one heck of a large propane tank for their backyard grill...  ;)


similar capacity to the LOX tank of a single Taurus II?
How long of a tank is that???

This just in from Tim Fackler (GSE Chief Engineer):
Tank in 125 ft long (vs about 90 ft for Stage 1) weight 210,000 lb empty (wow! vs. about 29,000 lb for the Stage 1 core) and holds about 80,000 gals of LOX (Stage 1 needs about 43,000 gals. - yes, I hate imperial units too.)

Quote
... drive through MD and then park it on the side of the road just south of Pocomoke City ...

Did you say Pocomoke City?... what a coincidence!

The first picture shows a demo of a special rig taking a sharp corner somewhere in Ohio.  We like them so much we hired them to move S1 form Wilmigton DE to WFF.

The second picture shows the same rig with a PVC-tube mockup of the outline of the Stage 1 transportation container taking a sharp corner in... POCOMOKE MD!!!
Former Shuttle Mission Ops Eng  (In them days DF24 - INCO GROUP/COMMS, Now DS231-AVIONICS BRANCH).

Offline charlieb

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #555 on: 07/28/2010 05:33 PM »
Dr Elias,

Why is that Stage 1 transporter in the middle of Pocomoke City anyway???  It would seem to me much easier to take 'circle' RT1 from Wilmington to Dover, and then merge with and take Rt 113 from there to Pocomoke, where 113 and RT13 intersect south of Pocomoke. Unless there some height/weight restrictions somewhere along 113 that kill my idea, it'd be much easier IMHO.  113 is a great drive with only 3-4 towns to go through - beats 13 any old day (or night).

CB
Former Shuttle Mission Ops Eng  (In them days DF24 - INCO GROUP/COMMS, Now DS231-AVIONICS BRANCH).

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #556 on: 07/28/2010 08:41 PM »
Uhhh... don't know... for me, going to Wallops is JYO STILL WOOLY  V44 BAL V93 GRACO SBY WAL (58 minutes at 11,000 ft)

According to Tim, the tightest turn is at the corner between Rt 13 and Rt 175 (see picture) - does that make any sense to you?  I need a guide to go from the Wallops gate to the sandwich shop (what is it called?  Seaside Deli?)
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 08:57 PM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #557 on: 07/28/2010 08:47 PM »
Wow! April Fools' jokes come true?!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.345

Well, I *TOLD* you I liked it a lot!!!
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #558 on: 07/28/2010 08:59 PM »
This rocket, powered by two Russian rocket engines with a Ukrainian-built first stage, will be bought, for ISS missions, with U.S. taxpayer funding.  Hardware built overseas represents lost U.S. jobs and lost U.S. capability.
Typical argument of jobs program versus space program, how disgusting. That's how we ended with Constellation.

More importantly, what capability exactly are we losing here? There is no American equivalent of RD-0124, so we're losing nothing!

Cancelling Constellation allows to work on basic propulsion so that things like that were not necessary. That is acquiring the capability that we haven't got and thus cannot lose at present.

-- Pete
Typical diversionary argument.  Taurus 2 has nothing whatsoever to do with Constellation.  Jobs are only part of the equation.  Capability is the most important part.

Yes, there is no American equivalent of RD-0124.  Why is that?  If staged combustion kerosene is the future, and Orbital says it is with this choice, then unless someone pays to develop a comparable U.S. capability the U.S. will play no part in the future of space flight propulsion. 

But wait, you say, Orbital is a "commercial" company making a sound "commercial" decision to buy an existing engine rather than pay to develop a U.S. alternative.

Right, with the critical note that *U.S. tax funding* is paying for much of the effort.  Public funding sent directly to Russia rather than used to foster U.S. capability.  Meanwhile, Orbital gets to build satellites - for awhile at least.  Using this business model, the company will eventually just end up buying them from India or China, etc..

"Commercial" is the new "NASA" according to the Obama doctrine.  If "commercial" choices like this represent the future of U.S. space capability, then it is no future at all.

As an engineer, I admire this Enhanced Taurus 2 design.  It is a beautifully balanced design that represents a sweet evolutionary advance in space transportation.  I just wish that, since the U.S. is largely paying for it, that it came from the U.S. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 09:21 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Taurus II Development News
« Reply #559 on: 07/29/2010 12:24 AM »
Hmmm ... everyone seems to have missed the real significance of the RD-0124, and that is that TII is now capable, to some degree, of putting up comsats, even out of Wallops. Of course, not the largest comsats could be flown, but perhaps some of the Starbus class payloads may be flown on the Enhanced Taurus II.

I wonder if there is a market for a relatively inexpensive all-Orbital comsat/launcher system.


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