Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here.  (Read 560341 times)

Offline tobi453

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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

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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).

Offline gosnold

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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

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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.




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Online pippin

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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.

Online pippin

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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?

Online pippin

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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 Rik ISS-fan

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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

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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

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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 tobi453

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

Offline calapine

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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]

Offline calapine

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Can we please keep SpaceX / Falcon 9 out of this thread?

Offline Mike Jones

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Reuse has not yet bring a single additional customer from other launch service providers to SpaceX. They are just launching their own manifest at an increased pace but still each satellite is launched with months or even years of delays (just have a look at the SpaceX threads to see that target date at contract signature are almost systematically missed when launch occurs - very similar to ILS Proton in this regard). 

By the way, SpaceX was supposed to launch 30 times this year to recover from their 2 launch failures in 2015 and 2016 but they will reach 19 if everything goes according to plans in December. Launch rate 30 will not be the case until 2018 at best.

SpaceX did not launch considerably more missions than Arianespace in 2017, as Ariane 5 performed 5 dual launches (i.e 10 comparable missions on Falcon 9). 2 of these satellites (Viasat and Europasat) were transferred from SpaceX to Arianespace to be launched on time. And the Arianespace missions (except on Vega) are generating more revenues than the ones from SpaceX.

So the supposed commercial leadership from SpaceX is still to be demonstrated against the current generation of European launchers, which will be considerably improved with Ariane 6 and Vega-C in the very short term future. Arianespace will also start deploying the largest constellation ever (OneWeb) next year with Soyuz and then probably on Ariane 6. Arianespace is far from being cornered out of the commercial market.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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The purpose of the Ariane and Vega launchers is to garante acces to space for European satellite technologies. Never again does Europe want to have the situation that occurred in the 70's (not sure about the date). Let me recall that the US denied European companies to sell their far superior satellites to customers with a US launch.
The European governments don't want that to happen EVER again.

After the ministerial conference in 2012 European launchers were forced to use current technologies, because the development of a new first stage engine; SCORE-D was stopped. At the 2016 ministerial the politicians decided to develop the Prometheus demonstrator engine. That will be in development at least until 2022. After development has been completed the stage stil has to be developed this takes another couple of years. So going for the full liquid path could at the earliest deliver a new launcher from 2025, but more likely 2030.
Ariane 6 will be operational in 2020 or 2021, the plan is NOT going to change!

I've written that there could be a scenario where the large solids would be phased out. But this will not happen soon. So start a new topic about ArianeNext/ what after Ariane 6 to discuss this, please.
In my opinion Ariane 6 is the best outcome of the situation that was created by "stupid" political decisions in 2012. Instead of two new launcher programs Ariane 5ME and Ariane 6 that both had to use current technologies; Ariane 5 got a small upgrade (A5 ECA+) and Ariane 5 ME became Ariane 6 (62&64) by replacing the EAP's with ESR's and eliminating the common (double) bulkhead. A62 can replace Soyuz, and A64 replaces A5 ECA & ES. And launch cost will reduce by ~40% for A64 compared to A5ECA.
FLPP will develop new technologies that will improve the Ariane and Vega launcher families. 

About the cost for Vince, I've a Snecma presentation from 2006 that states a comparable price with HM-7B and RL-10. They state it would cost 4.5mln, but new technologies could have lowered the price. Prometheus and Merlin most likely cost about 1mln. Vulcain, Raptor and BE-4 are most likely >8mln. I guess BE-3 is more expansive than RL-10, and Vince, but I could be wrong. BE-3 is a unique engine (tap-off cycle)
ESA's FLPP NEO, ETIP demonstrator is  proving improvements for expander cycle engines. (Prometheus is a GG LOxLNG demonstrator.)
I think that Vulcain can also benefit from for example new igniters (making it restart-able) and additive manufacturing (reducing production time, material usage and cost). That's why a Vulcain 2.2 and 2.3 are in planning stage.

When Arianespace stops using large solids: EAP; P80; P120c; ESR, two companies will directly go bankrupt:  Regulus and EuroPropulsion (Both are Joint ventures from ArianeGroup and Avio).
« Last Edit: 11/12/2017 11:34 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

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