Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here.  (Read 414144 times)

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8146
  • UK
  • Liked: 1314
  • Likes Given: 168
Well, sure, Ariane 6 will suffer a lot from the comparison with a reusable and optimised Falcon 9 in terms of costs, Falcon Heavy performance-wise. That is almost certain.
But please keep in mind that the communication operators want diversification and reliable options. Ariane 6 might offer them that, moreover in an environment where nothing has changed except SpaceX. In 2020, Proton will presumably continue to fly, Vulcan and H3 won't be ready and Ariane 6 will be really concurrential with those established players. It won't compete against SpaceX, sure. But that's not the point: a solid second place will assure them enough momentum to research and build the next gen, which will be reusable.
Ariane 5 is not economically relevant in front of Falcon 9, yet the european has won a pretty share of commercial contracts this year. SpaceX won't be the only player on the scene, europeans will stay on the market.
ILS, ULA, MHI, even China Great Wall are probably more at risk...

How’d you manage to forget Blue Origin who should start flying the New Glenn by 2020.

You are right I did not mention BO, because it is much so a new player in the field. I'm not saying it's not competitive, it's fresh and sexy but we don't know either prices or performances of the rocket, so it makes it hard to compare. Also I'll beleive in a New Glenn in 2020 when I'll see it, it will most certainly be delayed as this is their first orbital experience (and new pad, and new motor, and new assembly, etc).
To stay on Ariane 6, maybe the launcher will end up being the most efficient and low cost of the non-reusable launchers of the next decade. Depending on how the market orients itself, it might not be such a bad bargain if the europeans are researching better ways to reuse rockets on the background.

When talking of a company like Blue Origin and the backing it has from its founder to speak as if you’ll only believe in New Glenn when you see it does seem a little curious.

Anyway not as curious as Ariane 6 which seems to be a launcher developed in a vacuum as if the launcher market around it isn’t changing rapidly. I suppose that’s why we get this curious talk of literally trying to retrofit reusability to it at a later stage.

Offline tobi453

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 229
  • Liked: 61
  • Likes Given: 13
Ariane 6 doesn't seem to be very competitive for constellation launches. This gets even more funny once you realize that Airbus is the prime contractor for OneWeb.
In case you had not noticed: the deal to launch the OneWeb on Soyuz is in fact an Arianespace deal: https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/07/01/oneweb-launch-deal-called-largest-commercial-rocket-buy-in-history/


I know, but ~90% of that money is going to Russia and not to European industry.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2017 04:37 PM by tobi453 »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7285
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 2935
  • Likes Given: 870
Ariane 6 doesn't seem to be very competitive for constellation launches. This gets even more funny once you realize that Airbus is the prime contractor for OneWeb.
In case you had not noticed: the deal to launch the OneWeb on Soyuz is in fact an Arianespace deal: https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/07/01/oneweb-launch-deal-called-largest-commercial-rocket-buy-in-history/


I know, but ~90% of that money is going to Russia and not to European industry.
Not quite. Arianespace has been extremely smart to broker the deal with Starsem. Very substantially less than 90% of the money is going to Russia. The rest stays with Arianespace (and thus: in Europe).

Online gosnold

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Liked: 101
  • Likes Given: 866
Don't lay all the blame on CNES. The Germans and Italians are just as "guilty". The only difference is that Germany initially wanted to upgrade A5 first (to A5 ME) before switching to an all-new launcher. That scenario would eventually have cost even more money, not less.
The others are not without blame but A5ME - while still overblown at that time IMHO - would have been a much more sensible use of resources. Less work on the core, no new boosters, no new pad, would have saved a lot of money and - more importantly - since it acknowledged it would be just an intermediate step it would have allowed a serious replacement effort for a sensible A6 architecture right now, even partially in parallel with A5 ME.

It was CNES and you know who in particular who could not wait until the foundation was ready for a sensible new development program and pushed for a completely useless one instead.

But I agree, with hindsight even ME was too much to be done then, they should have done whatever was needed to,fix parts obsolescence on A5 and just kept it flying a few more years until you know how reuse works out and you can learn from what SpaceX are doing now.

It's even worse when you realize that the Ariane 6 pad cost more (650M€) than it took SpaceX to develop Falcon 9 (around 400M$)

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7285
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 2935
  • Likes Given: 870
What? You actually think that "pork barrel" is an all-USA invention?
CNES and DLR will never allow the European French/German space industries to go out of business for lack of new work. That's how we got A6. And it is also how we will get Ariane 7. CNES and DLR are already taking the first baby-steps towards A7, as we speak.
You seriously believe they will just get the next 5bn program in 2021?


First: A6 development is not a €5 billion program but a €3 billion program.

Second: IMO the AriaNEXT program will be rougly €2 billion, and start around 2022.
It will replace the entire lower composite of the current A6 config with a completely new one: reusable, with no solids. Despite this being sold as "A6 Evolution" the net result is an almost completely new launcher: A7. My guess is it will enter service around 2025.

Rationale behind this:
- Vega C (and further evolutions) will keep the solids flying and the Italians happy.
- There is nothing really new about the A6 core stage, compared to A5, except in manufacturing. The main investments for A6 are not for the core stage, but for the new launchpad, the new upper stage and the new solids. That makes the core stage the cheapest thing to get rid of for A7. And guess what: the core stage is the primary thing to change for a (partially) reusable A7.
- Fairing recovery & reuse will start on A6 and be transferred (without change) to A7.
- Vinci upper stage is so d*rn efficient it will switch to A7 unaltered.
- That leaves "only" a new core stage for A7 which can easily be "sold" to the ESA ministers for a mere €2 billion.
- The alternative: having to pay that same amount (€2 billion) in subsidies during the (currently) expected 15-year lifespan of A6 - and not having an AriaNEXT - is unacceptable to ESA ministers.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2017 05:45 PM by woods170 »

Online TrevorMonty




Plus: their traditional GEO Comsat business is going away, too. If the big LEO constellations come online there’s little use left for those, too (of course still an „if“, though)
The  GEO market is not dissappearing but is changing. SES a planning to move to smaller (2000kg) and cheaper($50m) satelites.




Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk


Offline pippin

  • Regular
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
  • Liked: 278
  • Likes Given: 39
What? You actually think that "pork barrel" is an all-USA invention?
CNES and DLR will never allow the European French/German space industries to go out of business for lack of new work. That's how we got A6. And it is also how we will get Ariane 7. CNES and DLR are already taking the first baby-steps towards A7, as we speak.
You seriously believe they will just get the next 5bn program in 2021?


First: A6 development is not a €5 billion program but a €3 billion program.

Second: IMO the AriaNEXT program will be rougly €2 billion, and start around 2022.
It will replace the entire lower composite of the current A6 config with a completely new one: reusable, with no solids. Despite this being sold as "A6 Evolution" the net result is an almost completely new launcher: A7. My guess is it will enter service around 2025.

Rationale behind this:
- Vega C (and further evolutions) will keep the solids flying and the Italians happy.
- There is nothing really new about the A6 core stage, compared to A5, except in manufacturing. The main investments for A6 are not for the core stage, but for the new launchpad, the new upper stage and the new solids. That makes the core stage the cheapest thing to get rid of for A7. And guess what: the core stage is the primary thing to change for a (partially) reusable A7.
- Fairing recovery & reuse will start on A6 and be transferred (without change) to A7.
- Vinci upper stage is so d*rn efficient it will switch to A7 unaltered.
- That leaves "only" a new core stage for A7 which can easily be "sold" to the ESA ministers for a mere €2 billion.
- The alternative: having to pay that same amount (€2 billion) in subsidies during the (currently) expected 15-year lifespan of A6 - and not having an AriaNEXT - is unacceptable to ESA ministers.
Well, let’s hope for the best. And that they won’t need yet another new pad for that evolution.
I agree A6 is not as bad as the original proposals were but I still don’t see your evolution flying in 2025.
And if it doesn’t, they’ll have to sink your 2bn of subsidies and we‘ll have to see how the member states‘ appetite for yet another huge program is after the last one was sold on them on the promise of becoming competitive without delivering.

Offline pippin

  • Regular
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
  • Liked: 278
  • Likes Given: 39
Ariane 6 doesn't seem to be very competitive for constellation launches. This gets even more funny once you realize that Airbus is the prime contractor for OneWeb.
In case you had not noticed: the deal to launch the OneWeb on Soyuz is in fact an Arianespace deal: https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/07/01/oneweb-launch-deal-called-largest-commercial-rocket-buy-in-history/


I know, but ~90% of that money is going to Russia and not to European industry.
Not quite. Arianespace has been extremely smart to broker the deal with Starsem. Very substantially less than 90% of the money is going to Russia. The rest stays with Arianespace (and thus: in Europe).
That’s not really relevant here, isn’t it? I mean, A6 was supposed to replace Soyuz and the question is: will it be able to and be cheaper?

Offline pippin

  • Regular
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
  • Liked: 278
  • Likes Given: 39



Plus: their traditional GEO Comsat business is going away, too. If the big LEO constellations come online there’s little use left for those, too (of course still an „if“, though)
The  GEO market is not dissappearing but is changing. SES a planning to move to smaller (2000kg) and cheaper($50m) satelites.

Right now it’s changing. But should these large LEO constellations really go online (still an ‚if‘ because after all it’s not the first time someone tries this. But the chances are much bigger this time) then it will go away because there‘s really very little use left for them.
It simply doesn’t make sense to then carry along an inherently limited additional infrastructure.

Of course current operators don’t want that, it will have them go out of business, after all.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2413
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2290
  • Likes Given: 1664
Moved this from the Prometheus / Callisto thread:

However, the current PHH configuration of Ariane 6 is now well over a year beyond PDR and CDR is looming around the corner. Metal is being bent on the core stage. SRB's are being cast. Vulcain 2.1 has been constructed and the launchpad and HIF are being constructed as we speak. All for the PHH configuration.
Indeed.

But CHH is just one letter different. Yes a marginal improvement, but one that does not impact schedules, gives true operational insight return, gradually factors in the "C" while letting the "P" gracefully phase out. All of this is very European.
On the contrary. There have been no INTENTIONAL gradual phase-ins and phase-outs in the Ariane programme:

- The switch from Ariane 2/3 to Ariane 4 had a one-year period with both flying. But that was to fly out the (small) stockpile of A2/A3 vehicles. ESA and Arianespace were lucky to have payloads available for those remaining A2/A3 vehicles.

- The switch from Ariane 4 to Ariane 5 had a six (6) year period of overlap. But that was unintentional. Arianespace was forced to keep flying Ariane 4 while the bugs were being ironed out of Ariane 5. Remember: in it's first 10 missions, Ariane 5 suffered 3 (partial) failures. Had those not happened than Ariane 4 would have stopped flying less than two (2) years after the initial A5 launch. That was the plan back in 1996. But because of A501 one more batch of A4 vehicles had to be ordered to prevent Arianespace from going out of business.

- The growth-path for Ariane 5, as originally intended, had Ariane 5 G, Ariane 5 ECA and Ariane 5 ES. However, courtesy of Ariane 517 (the first ECA launch) ESA and Arianespace ended up with a bunch of ECA hardware but no available core-stage engine. The result was two cludges: Ariane 5 G+ and Ariane 5 GS. Those were unintended and were the result of working around a (big) problem. They also were not gradually phased in, nor gradually phased-out. They were simply fitted into the manifest where the fit was best to get rid of the stockpile.

Are you sure you're not the one doing comedy now?

Look, I know this is a rough board at times. I only needle those who know better, and I don't insult the professionals who do this for a living.

Understand the view of "all operational decisions upfront, ahead of time, then execute agenda". "Gradually phased out" in my OP wasn't meant to mean "uh, we changed our minds, and decided instead to risk flying X a bit more". Meant to upfront adjust the agenda once the issue was known. Meaning that a good, rational, deliberative judgement to confront a reality with execution has been made.

So I wasn't impugning professionalism in the slightest. I could go into the details behind my posts, but no one reads them because they are TL;DR and its best I don't make them.

Quote
This thing is not gonna change course anymore, not even with the recent noise coming from the Prometheus/Callisto teams.
Understood.

It doesn't have to. But there's nothing that keeps it from being enhanced. Like the prior Ariane 4/5.
I don't agree. A growth-path for Ariane 1 was part of the development of vehicle development from day 1. The result was Ariane 2/3. And when Ariane 4 went into development a growth-path for A4 was identified as well. A growth-path for Ariane 5 was part of development from day 1 forward as well.

I'll conveniently omit the past skipped over growth paths, and phase in of certain technologies/propulsion.

Always nice to see how the future was always so cleanly anticipated once it becomes the past.  ::)

Seems to be a universal across the globe.

Quote
Not so for Ariane 6. The launcher is approaching CDR and no clear evolution path has been identified. This is a clear break with Ariane tradition. The reason is that both the original PPH and the current PHH configurations of A6 are dead-ends. Even CNES agrees on this. The future lies not with the current architecture, but with a completely new one.
Duh.

A rather costly and reliable dead-end, that must continue to fly.

Quote
One that sees the vehicle switching from solids-supported, H2-driven main stages to an all-liquids (methane) vehicle. Unfortunately, the A6 architecture does not allow this switch to occur within that architecture.

IMO Ariane 6 will have a short life once the absolute necessity of having a reusable booster stage sinks in hard. That, however, is still some time away.
Perhaps the development coat and the desire to ride out the vehicle life cycle might limit the desire/scope for Anext as well?

Agree that the necessity will/is sinking in slow.
Prometheus/Callisto was officially made part of FFPL-NEO in december 2016. If anything, the scope of AriaNEXT/FLPP efforts has been extended in recent years, not limited.

Once it does sink in however the Ariane 6 basic design will serve, IMO, as the starting point for an AriaNEXT. The result, with reusability capabilities will not be an Ariane 6 re-hash but basically an almost all-new rocket: Ariane 7.
Sorry, too hopeful.

Ariane 6 IS A REHASH of Ariane 5. The internal politics make it far easier to do a rehash.
I disagree. Internal ESA (and EU) politics never prevented the switch from A4 to A5. The latter was an all-new vehicle, with new core-stage propulsion and propellants. Big solids were new for ESA as well (A4 solids were much, much smaller).
They were still solids.

Quote
The switch from the A4 architecture, to the completely different A5 architecture, was driven by the fact that the A4 architecture had become a dead-end and was inable to satify future needs.
IMO the same is happening with A6.
Sounds like you agree with me on net effect, but not on how I say it.

Reminds of when I'm around those from ULA.  ;) "It's not what you say, but how you say it."

Didn't want to bring A4 into it. That was how far one could take such a launcher. Sometimes, yes, you can't phase in change. Reminds more of going between Delta II to Delta IV (omitting III). The wonderful hydrogen future.

But much can be said for the more workman like Atlas II/III/V progression too.

Quote
I absolutely agree with you that A6 is a re-hash of A5. But it is also a technological dead-end. Reusability is happening and eventually ESA and Arianespace will be forced to follow suit. That requires a very different architecture. One that is now being explored by CNES and DLR. It is very different from A6 indeed. Note that most of the projects within the scope of FLPP-NEO do NOT explicitly look at enhancing A6. They are exploring all-new technology because to ESA it is already clear that the distant future of ESA launchers does not lie with A6.
Well there's that at least.

FLPP-NEO can't alone pivot Ariane in one go to the future. Anything it ends up with is "half way" to the future.

It is unclear to me the future of ESA launchers, other than they'll be one.

Please forgive me but it sounds like that by being in denial about how the future will settle out,  there could be N multibillion launcher programs instead of A6/Anext. Not due to poor skills/execution/commitment, but simply a desire to get it all in one go, the perfect launcher ... in a time where the vision is less certain.

Some parts I'll agree are certain - same as the commonalities in NG/BFR/BFS. Big multiengined methane stages with reuse. Booster reuse for granted. But the RTLS and US reuse ... no, that's problematic. And inspace refueling is totally off the table ATM.

Quote
Additionally: A6 being a rehash of A5 is also the result of the economic crisis hitting Europe between 2009 and 2014.
Like that will never happen again. "We've got such great, wonderful, really great world leaders, the best I'm telling ya".

Quote
The only re-use capabilities we will ever see on Ariane 6, IMO, concern re-usable fairings.
And no magic fairy's carrying the used Vulcain back to land? 
I see you have sense of humor.

Really? Thought it was a mere nod to another, announced, possibly overlooked ... "growth path" ... for Ariane 6.

How inconvenient of me? (All of this sounds better in French. In German it's indignant, and in Russian positively insulting. In California the remarks come off somewhat acid, Colorado more sarcastic, and Florida demeaning.)

C'est la vie.

What? You actually think that "pork barrel" is an all-USA invention?
CNES and DLR will never allow the European French/German space industries to go out of business for lack of new work. That's how we got A6. And it is also how we will get Ariane 7. CNES and DLR are already taking the first baby-steps towards A7, as we speak.
You seriously believe they will just get the next 5bn program in 2021?


First: A6 development is not a €5 billion program but a €3 billion program.
Yes it can be a tight program. But they've never kept to budget before, why now?

Quote
Second: IMO the AriaNEXT program will be rougly €2 billion, and start around 2022.
It will replace the entire lower composite of the current A6 config with a completely new one: reusable, with no solids. Despite this being sold as "A6 Evolution" the net result is an almost completely new launcher: A7. My guess is it will enter service around 2025.
::) ::) Right, nothing to do with "enhancing A6". So CH instead of CHH.

Quote
Rationale behind this:
- Vega C (and further evolutions) will keep the solids flying and the Italians happy.
An understandable mistake IMHO. But nothing to do with politics, just relentless engineering perfection.

Perpetuating the solids when they're not a part of the future as you said already is working against the rationale for Anext.

The budget for A6/Vega is simply to keep alive the solids as long as possible. Same thing with the SLS. Does it matter whether its Italy or Utah  ;D

Phasing out ALL the solids with methalox is far more important than the second "H" in CHH as to cost.

Quote
- There is nothing really new about the A6 core stage, compared to A5, except in manufacturing. The main investments for A6 are not for the core stage, but for the new launchpad, the new upper stage and the new solids.
So much for the future. The solids won't go away fast enough. You know this too.

Quote
That makes the core stage the cheapest thing to get rid of for A7. And guess what: the core stage is the primary thing to change for a (partially) reusable A7.
With little guidance on running a reusable methalox booster/recovery.

Quote
- Fairing recovery & reuse will start on A6 and be transferred (without change) to A7.
- Vinci upper stage is so d*rn efficient it will switch to A7 unaltered.
This sounds right.

Quote
- That leaves "only" a new core stage for A7 which can easily be "sold" to the ESA ministers for a mere €2 billion.
Only if they're desperate idiots. More like double. And if they see A6 going over cost/time, how will Anext fair?

Quote
- The alternative: having to pay that same amount (€2 billion) in subsidies during the (currently) expected 15-year lifespan of A6 - and not having an AriaNEXT - is unacceptable to ESA ministers.
They'll be an attempt to combine the two for cost savings. And the solids will eat budget. Because they'll last longer if they stay expensive, keeping methalox from displacing them.

In effect, it's in Italy's interest for Ariane to not "evolve". That is the true problem being avoided. Not cheap or easy.

add:

After thinking about this a bit more, and reviewing how things are panning out with booster reuse ... perhaps this post isn't as much to the point as it should be.

1. Solids on LV have been a two-edged sword. One edge is now cutting into the future. This is the operant point.
2. One can't turn on a dime meaning immediate cessation of solids is not an option.
3. It's not just Ariane but Vega as well. Without both, there's too little flight frequency to justify.
4. Budget and contingencies for keeping missions flying mean you can't wait for an all up reuse strategy.
5. What if scale of LV and/or US reuse enters the picture, altering the global market landscape? One is on the boards.

It's all about political will, not economics of a core stage, nor technical feasibility (modulo below).

If possible, the best strategy would be a methalox booster sized to replace the single P120, done first as a demonstrator for landings. Then taken to operational on either/both Ariane 6 / Vega M (?)

Assuming also if you could mix/match solids/LRE boosters (thermal?, structural?, staging?), then you could in theory fly out a solids agenda entirely as a financial arrangement for EOL, while gradually phasing in reuse/LRE boost.
That would be Anext as A6 expansion. It would do with what in America cannot be done with SLS for similar politics.

The interesting part of this is that it fairly deals with the problem instead of kicking it down the timeline, and it means you have a short term budget to get A6 flying without overhang, and a follow-on budget premised on keeping it competitive, with a flyout costing that keeps A6 "close enough" on fixed costs over an expected life of Ariane Vega launchers. So it fits economically and within projected scope of global launch.

Then comes what next to do with A7, on an entirely different basis, likely with RTLS and full reuse.

(This all reminds me of having to displace PPH with realism.)

By the way, it is not my interest here to offend. Just to put things on the table where they belong, with an argument to back up the rationale.
« Last Edit: 11/10/2017 06:31 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 671
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 128
  • Likes Given: 30
Lets clear up some misconceptions here.
1) When were the options for Ariane 6 determined?
I would say at the end of 2012 when ESA held it's 2012 ministerial conference. During 2012 in Europe both the Bank crisis and Euro debt crisis were having their effects. So there wasn't a lot to spend on space projects. Germany wanted to develop a new first stage engine (Staged Combustion) and (finally) develop the upper-stage with the restart-able Vince engine for Ariane 5. This was called Ariane 5ME.
France wanted a faster path towards a cheaper launcher, so they wanted to go for Ariane 6.
During the ministerial the compromise was made that the Ariane 5 ME upper-stage (factories Bremen) would be developed. And at the same time studies would be done for configurations for Ariane 6. The new engine development didn't receive funding (test on smaller engines had already taken place, this knowledge is shelved.), so for Ariane 6 only technologies already applied in Ariane 5 or Vega were available.
In the following 1 1/2 years it became clear that:
- Ariane 5 ME would cost more than 1.5 10^9 Euro. The main reason is that the core stage had to be redesigned.
- Ariane 6 would go to the PPH configuration which doesn't had any growth potential and the Vulcain engine wouldn't be used anymore.
- The launch cost for Soyuz from CSG rose from the estimated ~50mln to >75mln.

AFAIK it was ASTRIUM (Airbus) that published the idea for the Ariane 6 PHH, that could replace both Ariane 5 and Soyuz from CSG. I think industry had always planned for the 5.4m diameter stages. But for political reasons first  the 4.6m diameter design was shown. The core stage of Ariane 5 is currently manufactured in vertical position, and it has a double bulkhead (isolated common bulkhead). Astrium wanted to go to vertical manufacturing and apply friction-stirl-welding. But for this a new factory in Les Mureaux, France was required.

2) What work is done for the Ariane 6 and Vega C development programs?
Off coarse they are developing the new stages and are proving them: P120c (As Vega C first stage and as ESR Ariane 6 booster), Z40c, LLPM (Vulcain 2.1), ULPM (Vince). But also the flight versions of Vulcain 2.1 and Vince are being tested and optimized.
The other well known project is the development of the ELA-4 launch site.
But I think most cost are involved with new production facilities in Europe and France Guiana.
I already wrote that a new factories for the upper-stage was build in Bremen, Germany for Ariane 5ME.
And for the LLPM the new factory in Les Mureaux, France.
For the upperstage also a new testbanch P5.2 has been build at DLR Lampoldshausen. Qualification will start next year.
For P120c production A new facility was build by Avio at Colleferro, Italy. During the transition from Ariane 5 to Ariane 6, when demand for P120c casings gets high enough, the MT Aerospace factory for ariane 5 steel booster casings will be converted into a second assembly line for P120c.
But this is far from all construction projects. There are two mayor once at CSG, new solid casting facilities and a horizontal stage stowage and integration building. I'm not even going to try to list the other construction projects.
The new Ruag Fairing factory is a well known one, it is already operational.

3) What will the development of a successor for Ariane 6 cost to ESA member-states / EU citizens?
I don't think ESA or member-states will directly fund the development of ArianeNext. What ESA/ EU/ Member-states do is committing to a number of launches annually.
With the Ariane 6 program production facilities are under construction that can relatively easy be modified to produce other launchers. I think the guaranteed demand for launchers should provide enough security so companies can fund the modifications of the facilities themselves. 
I think that ESA/EU is going to act the same as NASA and USAF are acting on commercial launcher development programs (COTS, CCV, New First stage engine development). CNES/AG and DLR/AG have engine test facilities, ESA/memberstates will fund the operating and development cost of these facilities.
Besides this, ESA is funding technology development programs under the FLPP program, and demonstrator projects: Prometheus, Callisto. (I don't know the % industry have to fund these programs, but it could be 0%, so fully payed, it are fixed scope projects.)
I think the transition to ArianeNext with Prometheus engines and Vega-E with Myra VUS, require only investment in LNG stowage and handeling facilities at CSG. This will be funded by ESA/ member-states. The development of the rocket must be funded by Industry. Thus development of Vega-E of Ariane Next it will be far cheaper than the Ariane 6 development program.

Edit: (I knew I forgot one)
4) Which European countries want to preserve solids?
Of coarse Italy, but I think France even more. And also Germany, but less then Italy.

I'm very skeptical that Arianespace will ever operate a reusable orbital launcher. I think suborbital is far more likely, but that is subject for another topic. 
« Last Edit: 11/09/2017 08:00 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Notaris

  • Member
  • Posts: 55
  • Europe
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 0
Lets clear up some misconceptions here.
1) When were the options for Ariane 6 determined?
I would say at the end of 2012 when ESA held it's 2012 ministerial conference. During 2012 in Europe both the Bank crisis and Euro debt crisis were having their effects. So there wasn't a lot to spend on space projects. Germany wanted to develop a new first stage engine (Staged Combustion) and (finally) develop the upper-stage with the restart-able Vince engine for Ariane 5. This was called Ariane 5ME.

Score-D was a staged combustion demonstrator in FLPP. Though a staged combustion first stage engine was never a baseline for A5ME and thus not part of the programme back in 2012!

France wanted a faster path towards a cheaper launcher, so they wanted to go for Ariane 6.
During the ministerial the compromise was made that the Ariane 5 ME upper-stage (factories Bremen) would be developed. And at the same time studies would be done for configurations for Ariane 6. The new engine development didn't receive funding (test on smaller engines had already taken place, this knowledge is shelved.), so for Ariane 6 only technologies already applied in Ariane 5 or Vega were available.
In the following 1 1/2 years it became clear that:
- Ariane 5 ME would cost more than 1.5 10^9 Euro. The main reason is that the core stage had to be redesigned.
- Ariane 6 would go to the PPH configuration which doesn't had any growth potential and the Vulcain engine wouldn't be used anymore.

The so-called A6 PPH configuration was already selected at Council at Ministerial Level (C-Min) in 2012 at the programme inception. Industry "only" worked on the maturation of the concept, but had not freedom for other set-ups (e.g. such as the PHH configuration which was retained before/at C-Min 2014)


- The launch cost for Soyuz from CSG rose from the estimated ~50mln to >75mln.

AFAIK it was ASTRIUM (Airbus) that published the idea for the Ariane 6 PHH, that could replace both Ariane 5 and Soyuz from CSG. I think industry had always planned for the 5.4m diameter stages. But for political reasons first  the 4.6m diameter design was shown. The core stage of Ariane 5 is currently manufactured in vertical position, and it has a double bulkhead (isolated common bulkhead). Astrium wanted to go to vertical manufacturing and apply friction-stirl-welding. But for this a new factory in Les Mureaux, France was required.

Tank welding of A5 main stage tanks is performed horizontally! "Only" the stage integration is done in vertical. Though it is correct that a fully horizontal approach is baseline for A6.



Offline floss

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 110
Re use of a low cost core stage is not going to save a lot of money reusing the incredible high cost Vinci would be far more valuable especially if they can increase its restart capability. 

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2413
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2290
  • Likes Given: 1664
Re use of a low cost core stage is not going to save a lot of money reusing the incredible high cost Vinci would be far more valuable especially if they can increase its restart capability.
It phases out the entire expense of the solids program and phases in reuse where there was none before. As with the F9 booster. Where all the excess cost currently is.

That is exactly the necessary trade right now to forestall cost growth in A6. You're then left with the core and US, where the US is already optimal and unlikely to change for quite awhile. And your dev costs are successive and spread over an operating LV.

Now, how to deal with phasing out the Vulcain. One way would be to add two more boosters  and stretch the US tanks. Then you're back to CH.

Or you reintegrate the six boosters as a single stage and reprove landing, possibly while the prior is still launching.

Note the way you can handle the program successively in smaller dev cost increments, working down the cost structures. While not at pretty as an all up, all at once LV, its far more financially secure.

Of course, one could just drop A6 entirely and go for a methalox two stage from the bottom up, and hold one's breath/launches for a half decade or so.

But any way you cut it, Vulcain is a dead end. Why reuse a dead thing?

You tell me what's best. I just work numbers.

add:

And as to Vinci, it is highly optimized for what it does as expendable. You're not likely to engineer either a reusable US (too low energy density) or something like ACES / distributed launch on the available budget, nor is it a low cost hydrolox like BE-3U purports to be. When Ariane needs a reusable US architecture, Vinci might not be the choice either.

Afraid that where things are headed, much of whats current needs to go away.

The big question is how you keep things operating while you change everything. Hint - aggressively develop/deploy what you'll need for the longest, and take the hit as soon as possible on cutting that which you'll never use again. Don't hide/enshrine that which holds you back, just financially structure the phase out as that's all it ever really was.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2017 02:12 AM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline tobi453

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 229
  • Liked: 61
  • Likes Given: 13
In the PPH concept there was not enough work for liquid propulsion thats why it failed in the end. It didn't fail because the people thought it was a bad idea. For the same reason a reusable concept will fail, because there is not enough work for solid propulsion.

In Europe we can only do PHH and nothing else. Too much has been invested in both liquid and solid propulsion to simply give it up. Even if some awesome new propulsion physics are discovered, ESA will still continue to do PHH for decades to keep jobs and know how.


Offline Mike Jones

  • Member
  • Posts: 88
  • Latvia
  • Liked: 24
  • Likes Given: 2
Vega is a PPPS so no Europe is not obliged to keep only a PHH configuration for its launchers.
Prometheus and Mira (both LOx-CH4) engines are also in development for the next generations after Ariane 6 and Vega-C.

Offline floss

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 110
Re use of a low cost core stage is not going to save a lot of money reusing the incredible high cost Vinci would be far more valuable especially if they can increase its restart capability.
It phases out the entire expense of the solids program and phases in reuse where there was none before. As with the F9 booster. Where all the excess cost currently is.

That is exactly the necessary trade right now to forestall cost growth in A6. You're then left with the core and US, where the US is already optimal and unlikely to change for quite awhile. And your dev costs are successive and spread over an operating LV.

Now, how to deal with phasing out the Vulcain. One way would be to add two more boosters  and stretch the US tanks. Then you're back to CH.

Or you reintegrate the six boosters as a single stage and reprove landing, possibly while the prior is still launching.

Note the way you can handle the program successively in smaller dev cost increments, working down the cost structures. While not at pretty as an all up, all at once LV, its far more financially secure.

Of course, one could just drop A6 entirely and go for a methalox two stage from the bottom up, and hold one's breath/launches for a half decade or so.

But any way you cut it, Vulcain is a dead end. Why reuse a dead thing?

You tell me what's best. I just work numbers.

add:

And as to Vinci, it is highly optimized for what it does as expendable. You're not likely to engineer either a reusable US (too low energy density) or something like ACES / distributed launch on the available budget, nor is it a low cost hydrolox like BE-3U purports to be. When Ariane needs a reusable US architecture, Vinci might not be the choice either.

Afraid that where things are headed, much of whats current needs to go away.

The big question is how you keep things operating while you change everything. Hint - aggressively develop/deploy what you'll need for the longest, and take the hit as soon as possible on cutting that which you'll never use again. Don't hide/enshrine that which holds you back, just financially structure the phase out as that's all it ever really was.


That is the problem esa had for ages they need two launchers a manrated  reuseable/cheap 10 ton Leo and a heavy for manned work  exactly the same as NASA have always wanted .
At present ESA are getting real close which is a great thing .

Offline tobi453

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 229
  • Liked: 61
  • Likes Given: 13
Vega is a PPPS so no Europe is not obliged to keep only a PHH configuration for its launchers.
Prometheus and Mira (both LOx-CH4) engines are also in development for the next generations after Ariane 6 and Vega-C.

Vega is a separate rocket from Ariane and with big support from Italy.

Prometheus und Mira are just prototypes. That doesn't mean anything. SCORE-D was a prototype for staged combustion planned for Ariane 6 and it was canceled at the ministerial council 2012.

Also any new liquid propulsion is dangerous to the solid industry not only because of reusability potential but also because of thrust. Imagine a hypothetical Vulcain 3 with more thrust and Ariane 60 being a configuration with no solids. Then all the constellation and government launches would launch without solids and no money would go to those industries from government launches.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 671
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 128
  • Likes Given: 30
Ariane 6 will start launching from 2020 or 2021. The first static firing test of the full Prometheus (FLPP demonstrator ) engine will also take place in 2020 if everything goes right.
The development of Vince started in June 1998, the ECA was a interim solution that used the HM7B engine from Ariane 4 until the ECB would become operational, this was planned for 2012. Then in the Early 2000's the internet bubble burst, reducing the demand for launches. Thus the ECB and Vince development were put on hold. The FLPP program continued development of Vince at a much lower phase, because it had less funding.

For Ariane 6 development, huge amounts of engine test have to take place, DLR has to at least double their employment at Lampoldshausen to be able to operate multiple test stands at the same time. (From 2018 - 2020 they have to qualify the flight versions of Vulcan 2.1, Vince ?, P5.2 test stand/ULPM. At the same time the FLPP engine projects: storable and Expander cycle upperstage also continue.)
In France qualification of Vulcain 2 and HM7B engines for Ariane 5 continue. In Italy the Z40c and Avum+ have to be qualified. And at CSG the P120c in two versions (the production facilities) and ELA-4 have to be qualified.
So there isn't funding nor manpower for another project.
To give you a indication of timeline for ArianeNext; Vega-E launcher development with the VUS upper-stage will start at the earliest in 2019, and it will not be operational before 2025. {I don't get the reasoning behind the choice to use the Myra engine, instead of a engine derived from the Expander demonstrator (LOxLH2 or LOxLCH4)}
Prometheus will test fire NET 2020, ArianeNext or a stage using it can't be operational before 2025.

Space Ghost 1962 you make the assumption that re-usability works economically, that has not been proven jet.
Production of Falcon 9 costs a lot more because it is reusable. It required ablative heat shielding, double the amount of IMU's and flight computers, it has to be larger, etz. I think this could easily add 20% to production cost. But this is assumed to be divided over multiple launches. (single use ~120%; 2x use = 60%; 3x use = 40%, etz. [only first stage cost])
But additional cost have to be made. Equipment and man-hours are required to recover and refurbish the stages.

I've stated before, that I think reusability can work at very low launch rate and at high launch rate. So from <8 & >20 annually. At the low rate serial production of stages isn't affordable in any case, so a batch of reusable first stages are build and annually some replacement and upper-stages are produced in batches. The factory has to be used for other purposes at the same time to make economics work. The other side where reusability works is when the launch rate is so high, multiple serial fabrication lines are required to keep up with production. Blue Origin and PLD space are now aiming for the low rate reusable case, SpaceX is aiming for high rate reusability.
I'm sorry, but I don't see Arianespace reach a launch rate above 16x annually for both Ariane 6 and Vega's.
European institutions have difficulty committing to five payloads for Ariane 6 and two for Vega annually (the later is not really the problem). 

AFAIK there is a lot of improvement possible to lower production cost for Vulcain 2 and Vince. The Vulcain 2.1 and Vince ? have been designed with higher priority for cheap and efficient production. ESA/ European industry are very conservative concerning new production methods, they first want to have a demonstrator firing successfully before they try to apply in to a operational rocket. The new nozzle for Vulcain 2.1 SWAN already had a TRL maturation test in Dec. 2009!   
I totally disagree that solids and Vulcain have to go away. Vulcain is comparable with the J-2X, (the later is more optimized as upper-stage engine). But for some reason Vulcain can be produced affordably and J-2X can't.
Solids are very affordable at the launch rate ArianeGroup is planning.
The demanded reduction in use of hydrazine by EU REACH regulations will most likely make hydrazine more expansive in Europe. This is good for green storable propallents because their cost comes closer to hydrazine systems. But a lot of development work has still to be done on green storable propallent engines.
I think AP-composite solids will remain in use until EU REACH also requires reduction in it's use. Alternatives have been developed by EU Horizon 2020 projects but those aren't market ready and price competitive jet.

That is the problem esa had for ages they need two launchers a manrated  reuseable/cheap 10 ton Leo and a heavy for manned work  exactly the same as NASA have always wanted .
At present ESA are getting real close which is a great thing .
Floss can you show documents proving this statement.

In all launcher documents I've read from ESA, CNES or DLR they have multiple launcher requirements, but non manrated, jet. The payloads are:
Small LEO ~1000kg to SSO, VEGA and Rockot were for this. This are Earth observation or techdomo sat's.
Small/medium LEO <2200kg SSO, radar satellites/Pride, Dnepr, Delta II and Vega-C (Vega-E?) are/were used for this.
Medium ~4.5mt to SSO, polar weather satellites. Soyuz now and Ariane 6 in the future.
Heavy LEO 20mT for ATV isn't required anymore
GTO: 3mt; 5mT; 7mT.  Soyuz can do <3mT GTO, A5 & A64 can do two satellites to GTO. (A5 <9.8mT)
MEO Galileo Satellites: dual = ~2.2mT; quad = ~4.5mT
Escape, moon, mars, Earth-Sun L1/L2: ? <5mT

In the future Vega and Vega C do the small(/medium) LEO satellites, Ariane 6 will do the rest.
Possibly constelations of small satellites in LEO will add demand for Heavy LEO, but I doubt this will succed. I think Pseudo-satellites are beter then giant LEO constellations. (This would mean trouble for SpX and BO).
Manned spaceflight is a very small market, where only Russia and China are capable of at this moment!
Possibly the US will regain this human launch capability in 2019/2020. But I don't expect another provider before 2030. (ArianeNext and a further evolution of Pride could leed to manned ESA launch capability, but) It's very likely ESA remains contributing astronauts to other nations space stations, instead of developing their own capability.

I agree with the first two point of Tobi453; not so much with the last one. An A60 configuration should at least have a sealevel thrust of 2400kN (considering a GLOW of 200mT & 1.2 T/W). That's more than 2x vulcain 2. That won't happen. An ArianeNext first stage with 7xPrometheus could replace the solids and LLPM and orbit >5mT SSO. AFAIK, this ArianeNext 1th stage has a performance like EAP (A5 SRB's) or a two segment solid from P120c size segments. The development of this two segment P120c solid is much cheaper than development of a reusable first stage.
If a smaller Vega remains used at low launch rate (<8/year) I think solid industry is fine. (except for the facilities at CSG, those will close.) Solids are cheap to develop, but more expansive to produce. It all depends on how launcher work-share is divided, if the pollution from solids remains accepted, and how the launcher market evolves. 
 
« Last Edit: 11/11/2017 02:25 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Online calapine

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 143
  • Linz, Austria
  • Liked: 91
  • Likes Given: 70
Re use of a low cost core stage is not going to save a lot of money reusing the incredible high cost Vinci

I think this is a case of [citation needed]

Tags: