Author Topic: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle  (Read 35070 times)

Offline baldusi

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #40 on: 12/16/2010 11:30 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #41 on: 01/18/2011 04:44 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.
So did South Africa.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #42 on: 01/18/2011 05:46 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.
So did South Africa.

India gave them up in the mid-1970s, although of course it re-acquired them in the 1990s.

Offline alexw

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #43 on: 01/18/2011 10:35 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.
So did South Africa.
India gave them up in the mid-1970s, although of course it re-acquired them in the 1990s.

   AFICT, neither Argentina nor Libya developed nuclear weapons, although they certainly did have programs in that direction (as did a few other countries before either sanity or discreet pressure were applied.) South Africa is the only country known to definitely develop weapons on their own, and then give them up. Both the Ukraine and Kazakhstan inherited weapons from the USSR, which they also voluntarily gave up.
    The Indian and Pakistani situations are more ambiguous I guess. They developed nuclear capability during the 1970s, but whether they had assembled warheads for the next couple of decades before the 1990s revival I don't know. There are many advanced countries that essentially have the ability to rapidly construct a nuclear weapon at will within probably a matter of months -- Japan, probably Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada among others, probably also South Korea. Once a country has the nuclear fuel cycle in hand and availability of either HEU or Pu 239, building a crude fission weapon is quite easy. Nowadays, a few good graduate students in physics and mechanical and electrical engineering could pull it off, in secrecy. (Similarly, there are probably a few folks on this board who could do it.)

   Making a missile-sized miniature weapon is much harder (e.g., aspheric implosion), but to bring this back to space launch, consider which countries on the list above have developed multi-mT-class space launch vehicles; that's enough to build an ICBM with a cruder warhead than would otherwise be used by the nuclear powers. Might need GPS navigation rather than guide-star and INS, which is a vulnerability, but which countries have complete development ability for navigating satellite buses?

    Brazil, to take an example, could probably develop a warhead, and with Tsyklon-4 could launch it (although once Brazil broke IAEA seals, presumably the Ukraine would be inhibited from selling the launcher), but do they have the satellite experience to develop a maneuvering reentry vehicle?

  -Alex

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #44 on: 01/18/2011 05:25 PM »
Interestingly OSC has chosen a space plane type vehicle not sure if this would rule out Taurus II as crewed LV since a high energy upper stage is planned.

Online docmordrid

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #45 on: 01/18/2011 05:27 PM »
The US & USSR developed high precision targeting mainly for military targets; silos, air/sea/army bases, etc. OTOH, if terrorizing your "enemies" civilians, and thereby their leadership, is the point is that level of accuracy really a big issue? Any hit in the general area of a metropolitan area would do. GPS gets you more than close enough for that first strike capability while you work on the rest.
« Last Edit: 01/18/2011 05:28 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #46 on: 01/18/2011 05:32 PM »
Interestingly OSC has chosen a space plane type vehicle not sure if this would rule out Taurus II as crewed LV since a high energy upper stage is planned.
The Taurus II first stage is not an issue for this.  It's the lack of a high-energy upper stage which is.  Not that one cannot be built, Aerojet does supply two such engines, but that the cost is more than Orbital is currently willing to pay for it at the flight rates they are assuming.
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Online Chris Bergin

Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #47 on: 01/18/2011 05:48 PM »
Seems to be back on topic now, but remember to keep it on the topic of the thread guys.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #48 on: 01/19/2011 01:30 AM »
The Taurus II first stage is not an issue for this.  It's the lack of a high-energy upper stage which is.  Not that one cannot be built, Aerojet does supply two such engines, but that the cost is more than Orbital is currently willing to pay for it at the flight rates they are assuming.
Please remind me what Aerojet engines we are talking about here. By my rough estimate, 6 AJ10-118K engines are necessary to replace one RD-0124 on Taurus II. Not impossible, certainly, but not amazingly sensible either.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #49 on: 01/19/2011 01:53 AM »
The Taurus II first stage is not an issue for this.  It's the lack of a high-energy upper stage which is.  Not that one cannot be built, Aerojet does supply two such engines, but that the cost is more than Orbital is currently willing to pay for it at the flight rates they are assuming.
Please remind me what Aerojet engines we are talking about here. By my rough estimate, 6 AJ10-118K engines are necessary to replace one RD-0124 on Taurus II. Not impossible, certainly, but not amazingly sensible either.
The AJ26-59 is the upper-stage version of the AJ-26 first stage engine, based on the NK-43 instead of the NK-33. More thrust, comparable isp to the RD-0124.

Also, there is the AJ10-137, with twice the performance of the 118K.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2011 02:29 AM by Downix »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #50 on: 01/19/2011 02:27 AM »
The whole issue is: is there space for a third launcher in the middle category? We have ULA (I'll treat it as a single offer), and SpaceX is very much there, and most importantly, only playing in the launcher+capsule business. Orbital has the smaller size market, the satellite division and the defense division. So I don't see them interested in that market. I think they got an "offer they couldn't refuse" in the COTS program. Besides, the NK-33 has an amazing T/W, but has less than half the thrust and lower ISP than the RD-180. But the worst part is that Aerojet rebuilds them into the A26. So I doubt it's as cheap as a "pure Russian" engine.
I regret that the Taurus II is going to be a one off vehicle. Unless the Soyuz-2.1v is a total success. In that case the NK-33 might get manufactured again. But even there, is Orbital willing to compete with ULA's corporation and SpaceX energy? Not with their other good businesses.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #51 on: 01/19/2011 08:25 PM »
The whole issue is: is there space for a third launcher in the middle category? We have ULA (I'll treat it as a single offer), and SpaceX is very much there, and most importantly, only playing in the launcher+capsule business. Orbital has the smaller size market, the satellite division and the defense division. So I don't see them interested in that market. I think they got an "offer they couldn't refuse" in the COTS program. Besides, the NK-33 has an amazing T/W, but has less than half the thrust and lower ISP than the RD-180. But the worst part is that Aerojet rebuilds them into the A26. So I doubt it's as cheap as a "pure Russian" engine.
I regret that the Taurus II is going to be a one off vehicle. Unless the Soyuz-2.1v is a total success. In that case the NK-33 might get manufactured again. But even there, is Orbital willing to compete with ULA's corporation and SpaceX energy? Not with their other good businesses.
It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #52 on: 01/19/2011 08:52 PM »
It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.
I don't think any any business men would invest a cent in a bet against the reliability and performance of the Atlas V, arguably, the most reliable LV today. Specially since ULA has the Delta IV as backup. In fact, ULA is already working towards a common US. In fact, the only reason I can think for the Taurus II is the animosity of the previous NASA against EELV.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2011 09:05 PM by baldusi »

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #53 on: 01/19/2011 08:56 PM »

It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.

The fault would be fixed long before the Taurus stage could be adapted.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #54 on: 01/20/2011 09:11 PM »

It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.

The fault would be fixed long before the Taurus stage could be adapted.
I am just saying, in theory.  It is not likely in any case, you know?

Orbital is being quite smart in not developing the high-energy upper stage for now, as it could endanger their standing with ULA.  They have the potential for it, should one be needed, but without it, they remain a Delta II class vehicle.  It's playing smart.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #55 on: 01/20/2011 10:20 PM »

Orbital is being quite smart in not developing the high-energy upper stage for now, as it could endanger their standing with ULA.  They have the potential for it, should one be needed, but without it, they remain a Delta II class vehicle.  It's playing smart.

It already has one in the works and it uses a Russian engine.  The solid is only going to be used a few times.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg622401#msg622401
« Last Edit: 01/20/2011 10:24 PM by Jim »

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #56 on: 01/20/2011 11:24 PM »

Orbital is being quite smart in not developing the high-energy upper stage for now, as it could endanger their standing with ULA.  They have the potential for it, should one be needed, but without it, they remain a Delta II class vehicle.  It's playing smart.

It already has one in the works and it uses a Russian engine.  The solid is only going to be used a few times.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg622401#msg622401
Color me impressed.  The 14D23 is a very solid engine.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #57 on: 01/21/2011 08:26 AM »
Color me impressed.  The 14D23 is a very solid engine.

Yes, Orbital likes to have their propulsion units nice and solid.

I'll go get my coat.

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