Author Topic: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?  (Read 18512 times)

Offline JBF

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #40 on: 05/09/2013 01:28 AM »
Elon makes a much bigger deal about the Merlin's T/W than is justified IMHO. The reporter's mistaken fuel efficiency claim sounds like a distorted version of Merlin's record T/W, so Elon is in part responsible for that mistake.
The only measure of engine efficiency I know of is Isp, and SpaceX's engines suck big time in this. T/W has nothing to do with engine efficiency.

The Merlin 1D is rated at 310, which isn't bad for RP1/LOX. The RD-180 is 338 which is the best RP1/LOX engine that I'm aware of.
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Online Lar

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #41 on: 05/09/2013 01:55 AM »
Elon makes a much bigger deal about the Merlin's T/W than is justified IMHO. The reporter's mistaken fuel efficiency claim sounds like a distorted version of Merlin's record T/W, so Elon is in part responsible for that mistake.
The only measure of engine efficiency I know of is Isp, and SpaceX's engines suck big time in this. T/W has nothing to do with engine efficiency.

What REALLY matters is VEHICLE efficiency. As measured in dollars per pound to destination.

I think both SpaceX and OSC are doing fine at that, so far.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #42 on: 05/09/2013 02:43 AM »
Reliability is up there too.

Offline asmi

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #43 on: 05/09/2013 03:37 AM »
The Merlin 1D is rated at 310, which isn't bad for RP1/LOX. The RD-180 is 338 which is the best RP1/LOX engine that I'm aware of.
We're talking about first-stage engines, so providing vacuum Isp is irrelevant as majority of burn time is inside atmosphere.
You just can't beat staged combustion when it comes to efficiency. I was actually quite puzzled why SpaceX didn't choose SC approach for their engines as they are totally superior to other designs.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2013 03:40 AM by asmi »

Offline asmi

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #44 on: 05/09/2013 03:38 AM »
What REALLY matters is VEHICLE efficiency. As measured in dollars per pound to destination.
The article quotes was talking about "fuel-inefficient engines" which is of course totally wrong.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2013 03:39 AM by asmi »

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #45 on: 05/09/2013 05:12 AM »
I was actually quite puzzled why SpaceX didn't choose SC approach for their engines as they are totally superior to other designs.

I was going to reply, but Lar's pretty much nails it:

What REALLY matters is VEHICLE efficiency. As measured in dollars per pound to destination.

I think both SpaceX and OSC are doing fine at that, so far.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #46 on: 05/09/2013 01:17 PM »
Well, the April 27th dead tree issue of New Scientist refers to the launch as "Launch marks loss of Xclusivity" and then goes one to point how Orbital is a up and coming challenge to that other rocket and company.

So not every journalist is lining up to back hand Orbital.
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Offline jnc

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #47 on: 05/09/2013 01:52 PM »
Orbital is a up and coming challenge to that other rocket and company.

"up and coming"?? Which one has been around longer? Which one has more launches?

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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #48 on: 05/09/2013 02:59 PM »
Hey it's a start ... and it is up and coming to the Falcon 9 and resupply to ISS. Thought Antonio once posted about a Pegasus resupply concept.

But yeah...
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Offline Kabloona

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #49 on: 05/09/2013 03:09 PM »
Well, at least that piece wasn't as bad as the infamous Wall Street Journal "space nuts" article in 1990 that almost sank Orbital's IPO...and which also predicted a "limited future" if Pegasus failed...

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-9378973/low-blow-did-wall.html
« Last Edit: 05/09/2013 03:37 PM by Kabloona »

Offline antonioe

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #50 on: 05/10/2013 04:15 PM »
Ohh, yes... I remember... I was described in that article as "the ebullient son of a Spanish Diplomat"... you could almost see me dressed as a bullfighter... a classical "good news are no news" piece of journalism...
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #51 on: 05/10/2013 04:33 PM »
Sometimes I feel like I'm back in high school with how this is all being framed. Although I suppose everyone loves a good A VS. B narrative, even if not factually correct or besides the point.

I think what OSC has and will continue to accomplish is most excellent. As well as SpaceX and ULA. Having all these capabilities will only be a net positive both today and in the future. I mean really, who cares how much of Antares OSC did or didn't build themselves. I use machines all day long I didn't design or build. But I use them to great effect and I have to integrate them into producing content for my clients.

Others like SpaceX take a different approach. And it works for what they are trying to do. And that's great too. Rockets, like people...it takes all kinds.

I say, the more the merrier!
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Offline Spacefan01

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #52 on: 05/10/2013 11:24 PM »
Sometimes I feel like I'm back in high school with how this is all being framed. Although I suppose everyone loves a good A VS. B narrative, even if not factually correct or besides the point.

I think what OSC has and will continue to accomplish is most excellent. As well as SpaceX and ULA. Having all these capabilities will only be a net positive both today and in the future. I mean really, who cares how much of Antares OSC did or didn't build themselves. I use machines all day long I didn't design or build. But I use them to great effect and I have to integrate them into producing content for my clients.

Others like SpaceX take a different approach. And it works for what they are trying to do. And that's great too. Rockets, like people...it takes all kinds.

I say, the more the merrier!

I agree! Not everyone shares this view, though: see the bottom of page two of the linked interview for an opinion of OSC's approach. 
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/ff-elon-musk-qa/

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #53 on: 05/10/2013 11:26 PM »
The irony is, when the "space nuts" article appeared, Orbital was the new upstart underdog. Now SpaceX is the new kid on the block, with an admittedly great story in Elon himself as a brilliant multi-millionaire-entrepreneur-self-taught-aerospace-chief-designer, and Orbital gets bashed as establishment gray-hairs with a "limited future"...

And the wheel goes 'round and 'round...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares - How much is actually built by Orbital?
« Reply #54 on: 05/11/2013 02:03 AM »
Sometimes I feel like I'm back in high school with how this is all being framed. Although I suppose everyone loves a good A VS. B narrative, even if not factually correct or besides the point.
It reminds me a little bit of the Thor versus Jupiter rivalry of around 1955-1958, although obviously Antares has no equivalent competitor in terms of payload class. 

Thor vs. Jupiter was Air Force versus Army.  West Coast versus Middle America.  Ramo versus von Braun.  Modern systems engineering versus Arsenal System.  Build and fly versus analyze and test.  Heat sink versus ablation.  German guidance versus MIT guidance.  There were advertisement wars in trade journals.  There were spies, but they were spying on their own U.S. competition.  Hundreds of millions of dollars, many thousands of jobs, and careers were all at stake.  There were leaked memos and suggestions of impropriety in high places and at least one infamous court martial that featured testimony by the likes of General Medaris and Wernher von Braun.

The media ate it up back then.  That same media is aching for the same type of story today. 

But here's the thing.  Thor versus Jupiter was the wrong story all along, because big breakthroughs behind the scenes allowed the Navy and Lockheed to develop Polaris, the real winner, with little public attention on a schedule that only trailed the well known IRBMs by a few months. 

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« Last Edit: 05/11/2013 02:11 AM by edkyle99 »

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