Author Topic: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares  (Read 77321 times)

Offline zaitcev

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RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« on: 06/14/2013 07:35 PM »
I am a little surprised that I cannot find a thread about this, and I hope I'm not missing some forum rule, but here goes. According to Reuters (at e.g. Yahoo), Orbital wanted RD-180:

Quote
Industry sources said the FTC investigation follows repeated unsuccessful efforts by Orbital to buy the RD-180 engines for its new medium-lift Antares rocket . . . To be a viable competitor in the future, industry sources say Orbital needs access to the RD-180 engine . . .

This is  surprising because in the infamous preso of May 2012, Energomash slated RD-181 for Antares (as was mentioned previously, it's the 2-chamber engine using the core of RD-193 -- a lighter, cheaper engine than RD-191). So, suppose Orbital wanted to put RD-180 on Taurus II back then, fine. But now all that is immaterial already... unless RD-180 still cofers certain advantages over RD-181.

I cannot see what those advantages might be. Of course, strictly speaking, RD-181 is vapour, but the pathfinder of RD-193 was already tested. So it's not like it's a purely paper project.

Is it possible that RD AMROSS has exclusive rights not only for RD-180, but for any kind of Energomash engine in U.S.?

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #1 on: 06/14/2013 07:47 PM »
Sorry to reply to myself, but it occured to me that it's pointless to talk about this without knowing what RD-181 can do.

An article at NK (main site, not forums) claims that RD-193 is 300 kg lighter than RD-191 and 0.76m shorter. I expect similar weight savings for RD-181.

Nobody knows what Isp is.

According to Brugge, dry mass of RD-180 is 5330 kg.

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #2 on: 06/14/2013 09:03 PM »
Sorry to reply to myself, but it occured to me that it's pointless to talk about this without knowing what RD-181 can do.

An article at NK (main site, not forums) claims that RD-193 is 300 kg lighter than RD-191 and 0.76m shorter. I expect similar weight savings for RD-181.

Nobody knows what Isp is.

According to Brugge, dry mass of RD-180 is 5330 kg.
Isn't the RD-193 lighter because it doesn't need the TVC of the RD-191 since it would use the RD-0110R on the Soyuz-2-1v?

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #3 on: 06/15/2013 12:15 AM »
Isn't the RD-193 lighter because it doesn't need the TVC of the RD-191 since it would use the RD-0110R on the Soyuz-2-1v?

Supposedly some Energomash officials insisted that TVC is included and RD-0110R is not longer necessary (with roll control provided by pressurization bleed). I do not have a quote in hand, however.

Offline Antares

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #4 on: 06/15/2013 09:30 PM »
I think you're reading too much into the Reuters story.  They probably don't have the slightest idea there's an RD-181.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #5 on: 06/19/2013 05:05 AM »
Aerojet buys PWR to create a near monopoly U.S. rocket engine company and, as its first order of business, dives in to negotiations to buy more Russian rocket engines.  It is trading Energomash off of the potential NK-33 maker to get a deal.  (Forget about building a U.S. engine.)

Sheesh.

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Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #6 on: 06/19/2013 02:09 PM »
actually, it was GEnCom that bought PWR. And they are in the real estate business. I think Canoga Park is a premium property, right?

Offline fregate

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #7 on: 06/20/2013 04:11 AM »
Not sure about ANTARES LV, but according to NK Magazine news feed (in Russian) - all works on man-rated LRE version of RD-180 (whatever they call it in Glushko "ENERGOMASH") had been stopped due to cancellation of Rus M LV project in end of 2011.
It seems to be that there were at least four modifications of this engine: 
- current RD-180 for unmanned Atlas-V;
- RD-180 modernization for Atlas-V man-rated version (IMHO it had been certified);
- RD-180M man-rated LRE for Rus-M stage I blocks (Internal edition, not for export)   
- version for Antares (no need after of Rocketdyne acquisition by Aerojet).
« Last Edit: 06/20/2013 04:14 AM by fregate »
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Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #8 on: 06/23/2013 01:59 PM »
Aerojet buys PWR to create a near monopoly U.S. rocket engine company and, as its first order of business, dives in to negotiations to buy more Russian rocket engines.  It is trading Energomash off of the potential NK-33 maker to get a deal.  (Forget about building a U.S. engine.)

Sheesh.

 - Ed Kyle


More complex then that Ed.   I cross my fingers that Aerojet hasn't bitten off more then they can handle.
 
The firm now has to handle investment as a whole business unit.
 
 
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Offline spectre9

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #9 on: 06/23/2013 04:10 PM »
So is that to say short term profits are now more important than the U.S. built rocket engine manufacturing industry?

Isn't getting away from paying the Russians royalties a good thing?

Not when they do the work for peanuts I guess.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #10 on: 06/24/2013 07:11 PM »
According to interview of Michael Hamel, "(Orbital's) senior vice president of corporate strategy and development", by Amy Butler of AvWeek my main puzzlement is answered thus:

Quote
Officials are already reviewing alternatives, though the only viable option is currently the RD-180, Hamel says. Orbital has also looked at the RD-181, RD-191 and RD-193. These are either still in development, or not yet approved for export. The RD-191 is the propulsion system being developed for Russia's Angara rocket.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_06_24_2013_p32-590271.xml&p=2

I never doubted that Antonio's colleagues understand the difference between RD-180/RD-191 branch and RD-181/RD-193 branch of RD-170 family tree. But apparently they do not believe Energomash will be ready in time and/or the story with the denial of export of RD-0124 soured them on the perspectives of applying for new export licenses.
« Last Edit: 06/24/2013 07:14 PM by zaitcev »

Offline a_langwich

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #11 on: 06/25/2013 10:05 PM »
According to interview of Michael Hamel, "(Orbital's) senior vice president of corporate strategy and development", by Amy Butler of AvWeek my main puzzlement is answered thus:

Quote
Officials are already reviewing alternatives, though the only viable option is currently the RD-180, Hamel says. Orbital has also looked at the RD-181, RD-191 and RD-193. These are either still in development, or not yet approved for export. The RD-191 is the propulsion system being developed for Russia's Angara rocket.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_06_24_2013_p32-590271.xml&p=2

I never doubted that Antonio's colleagues understand the difference between RD-180/RD-191 branch and RD-181/RD-193 branch of RD-170 family tree. But apparently they do not believe Energomash will be ready in time and/or the story with the denial of export of RD-0124 soured them on the perspectives of applying for new export licenses.

Ah, that's too bad.  I suspect the Energomash solution was a very pragmatic one (just make a slightly different version under a slightly different name, exclusivity problems gone).  As a bonus, it seems Orbital might have gotten a better engine. 

I wonder, too, if the problems with export licenses aren't about the particular engine, but about the general political climate.  A great many business options from the 90's aren't on the table anymore.  Still, putting Russian engines on American LVs seems like good PR for Russia to me.

The crazy thing, to me, is that all these options seem to poison Orbital's case about ULA monopolizing engine options.  There are tons of options, and Orbital's position seems to be a temporary squeeze of its own making.  And, to some extent, its own unwillingness to pay similar costs to what Lockheed paid back when--costs in both time to get export/import approval and a new engine variant tested, and money to pay for production and joint ventures, etc.

Offline joek

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #12 on: 06/26/2013 01:27 AM »
The crazy thing, to me, is that all these options seem to poison Orbital's case about ULA monopolizing engine options.  There are tons of options, and Orbital's position seems to be a temporary squeeze of its own making.  And, to some extent, its own unwillingness to pay similar costs to what Lockheed paid back when--costs in both time to get export/import approval and a new engine variant tested, and money to pay for production and joint ventures, etc.

OSC's case stems from actions 2009 and prior.  That other options may be available today is irrelevant.  Nor is there any indication that OSC was unwilling to pay the costs, only that RD AMROSS was unwilling to sell.

Offline asmi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #13 on: 06/26/2013 02:18 PM »
I think it's quite possible that this story with OSC and RD-0124 might also be connected to AJ. I remember reading somewhere that there is some sort of agreement (either formal or informal) that Russian engines can only go to US via AJ, so the denial may very well be just a convenient excuse.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #14 on: 06/29/2013 12:11 AM »
Is Northrop Grumman still in the rocket engine business?
They had an engine the TR-107 that was similar in performance to the RD-180 in the early 2000s that got very close to production.

It's a little oversized but still fairly close to what two AJ-26-500s would offer.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2013 12:13 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Excession

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #15 on: 07/02/2013 02:37 AM »
What exactly is the RD-181? I haven't been able to find any information online.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #16 on: 07/02/2013 02:25 PM »
What exactly is the RD-181? I haven't been able to find any information online.

Because it doesn't exist yet...

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/10/25/energomash-test-fires-new-rd-193-engine/

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/rd193.html


Offline a_langwich

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #17 on: 07/09/2013 06:30 AM »

I guess the key questions for RD-181 would be:

1)  is it likely to get export approval in a timely manner?

2)  will development be finished in a timely manner?

3)  what are the costs associated with putting it into production (plus the costs of 1 and 2 especially the "timely" parts)

I suppose if it really is a nice, more produceable, lighter-weight version of the RD-191, ULA ought to consider the cost/benefit of migrating to RD-181/RD-193 for Atlas.  Which makes one wonder how different the two are--did they find weight savings in just a few parts (and thus could transition RD-180 -> RD-181), or if it involves tweaks to many different parts?

It's ironic, one of the drawbacks to ULA's great success and reliability is that they don't have any payloads for which customers have a high tolerance for trying new design wrinkles.

Offline 360-180

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #18 on: 07/09/2013 07:30 AM »

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #19 on: 08/27/2013 06:01 PM »
Oh goodie, the prohibition on the sales of RD-180 was entered into official agenda of Security Council of Russian Federation.

  http://izvestia.ru/news/556096

In effect the space industry is being punished for the Magnitsky law.

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #20 on: 08/27/2013 06:33 PM »
Oh goodie, the prohibition on the sales of RD-180 was entered into official agenda of Security Council of Russian Federation.

  http://izvestia.ru/news/556096

In effect the space industry is being punished for the Magnitsky law.
They have all the necessary information and know-how to make those engine in the USA. Thus, to stop selling this engines would only strengthen the US industrial base and basically kill Energomash, since the RD-191 is outsourced to Polyot. I'm sure that this is pure scare politics. I've always admired the Russian scientists. In fact, the Russian economists have, basically, develop the whole mathematical tools of the science. And they are excellent. I just hope that the level of imbecility is not so high as to make an own goal like this.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #21 on: 08/27/2013 06:53 PM »
Oh goodie, the prohibition on the sales of RD-180 was entered into official agenda of Security Council of Russian Federation.

  http://izvestia.ru/news/556096

In effect the space industry is being punished for the Magnitsky law.
They have all the necessary information and know-how to make those engine in the USA. Thus, to stop selling this engines would only strengthen the US industrial base and basically kill Energomash, since the RD-191 is outsourced to Polyot. I'm sure that this is pure scare politics. I've always admired the Russian scientists. In fact, the Russian economists have, basically, develop the whole mathematical tools of the science. And they are excellent. I just hope that the level of imbecility is not so high as to make an own goal like this.

How much more expensive would it be to manufacture these engines in the US, ignoring the startup costs of course. If Energomash builds them for between 11-13 mil, can Aerojet Rocketdyne build them for less than 20 mil ? Especially if they allow Antares to share the same engine, Rocketdyne could be building almost 20 engines per year.

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #22 on: 08/27/2013 07:09 PM »
I don't know, really. DoD does for sure, or at least has an excellent estimation. But if Russia stops selling them rockets, there's simply no choice. They either invest in an US built RD-180, or they accelerate the AJ-1E6. Either solution would be fine. They have engines for a further 20 or so launches, which is a four year margin. Probably enough to get the production up and ready. And in the worst case, they could move some payloads to Delta IV and extend their margin to six years.
Regarding the price, from a series of articles about how Energomash ended up selling engines under cost, I think that the main culprit was the RD-170 contract for Zenit-2, which ended up being fixed in Ukranian rubles, which had a serious devaluation. The USD also devalued a lot in real term. The Russians probably didn't expected the USD to be such a weak currency when they signed the original contract. And 900M down payment probably made them not to worry about the future that much. In fact, the total contract still has positive present value for Energomash, even selling under cost the next engines.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #23 on: 08/27/2013 07:09 PM »
How much more expensive would it be to manufacture these engines in the US, ignoring the startup costs of course. If Energomash builds them for between 11-13 mil, can Aerojet Rocketdyne build them for less than 20 mil ? Especially if they allow Antares to share the same engine, Rocketdyne could be building almost 20 engines per year.
Or the Pentagon could just buy Delta IV and Falcon 9 instead.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #24 on: 08/27/2013 07:24 PM »
Or the Pentagon could just buy Delta IV and Falcon 9 instead.

That much is obvious, the question for this thread is where it leaves Orbital, who even went to court over RD-180. Perhaps the whole issue wasn't worth suing. Also, their logic was that RD-180 "already had an export license". As it turns out that license wasn't worth much. Of course it's still better than nothing, which is what RD-0124 has.

There was a discussion of Antares engine options in Antares Development thread, where, I think the only two semi-viable options are AJ-500 and RD-809 (I may be mistaken about the designation, basically the Ukrainized RD-120K).

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #25 on: 11/01/2013 04:50 AM »
http://izvestia.ru/news/559923#ixzz2jMKIgJrB

So, the new twist: a source in Ministery of Trade and Industry shares off the record that Security Council decided to consider continuing sales of RD-180 and the restart of NK-33 for export in the same framework. Also, the source of the friction is apparently in Ministery of Foreign Affairs, who is upset that some kind of deal was referred to U.S. State Department and wants to answer in kind. What a facepalm.

Offline Salo

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #26 on: 11/01/2013 05:33 AM »
There was a discussion of Antares engine options in Antares Development thread, where, I think the only two semi-viable options are AJ-500 and RD-809 (I may be mistaken about the designation, basically the Ukrainized RD-120K).
RD-801.

Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #27 on: 11/01/2013 01:33 PM »
http://izvestia.ru/news/559923#ixzz2jMKIgJrB

So, the new twist: a source in Ministery of Trade and Industry shares off the record that Security Council decided to consider continuing sales of RD-180 and the restart of NK-33 for export in the same framework. Also, the source of the friction is apparently in Ministery of Foreign Affairs, who is upset that some kind of deal was referred to U.S. State Department and wants to answer in kind. What a facepalm.

My view is that they are playing a bad game.    One thing both USA political parties agree for the most part is "space" in general. 
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Offline USFdon

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #28 on: 03/21/2014 12:35 AM »
Orbital Drops Antitrust Lawsuit Against ULA

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39926orbital-drops-antitrust-lawsuit-against-ula

Quote
“The parties will now undertake to negotiate a business resolution for Orbital’s access to the RD-180 rocket engine, subject to all necessary approvals from the U.S. and Russian governments,” Orbital said in the filing. “If a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached, Orbital will have the option to refile its lawsuit.”

A domestic RD-180 would be certainly be handy right now for both parties....

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #29 on: 03/21/2014 01:42 AM »
Orbital Drops Antitrust Lawsuit Against ULA

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39926orbital-drops-antitrust-lawsuit-against-ula

Quote
“The parties will now undertake to negotiate a business resolution for Orbital’s access to the RD-180 rocket engine, subject to all necessary approvals from the U.S. and Russian governments,” Orbital said in the filing. “If a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached, Orbital will have the option to refile its lawsuit.”

A domestic RD-180 would be certainly be handy right now for both parties....
Can only wonder about who agreed to what, but it seemed that Orbital had a good case.  I agree that it should be good for both parties in the long run to share the engine, potentially cutting costs to both. 

This is a landmark.  It is likely the end for AJ-26/NK-33.  It may also determine whether Aerojet can finally buy into RD-AMROSS. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/21/2014 01:56 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline USFdon

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #30 on: 03/21/2014 01:49 AM »
Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production by the various parties (ULA, now Orbital, Air Force and maybe Nasa?). This will be an interesting next couple of months for the US propulsion industry.

Offline Jim

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #31 on: 03/21/2014 03:02 AM »
Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production by the various parties (ULA, now Orbital, Air Force and maybe Nasa?). This will be an interesting next couple of months for the US propulsion industry.

It is not the USAF and NASA's job to pay the up front costs.

Offline sdsds

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #32 on: 03/21/2014 03:42 AM »
For the record:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/820736/000082073614000030/litigation8k.htm

Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production

That's fascinating speculation! But wouldn't it be simpler (and thus less costly) to increase production at Energomash to meet Orbital's needs?
-- sdsds --

Offline rusty

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #33 on: 03/21/2014 08:30 AM »
wouldn't it be simpler (and thus less costly) to increase production at Energomash to meet Orbital's needs?
Isn't domestic production a requirement of the Air Force's +1Mlb +300s hydrocarbon engine request?

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #34 on: 03/21/2014 12:52 PM »
Weren't the USAF specs for the next gen engine loosely based on the anticipated performance of the AJ-1E6 ?

Instead of investing half a billion or so in a production line for the RD-180, perhaps that money is better spent on completion of the replacement engine. Use the same engines for the next gen Atlas, Antares, and SLS advanced boosters. Sounds like a win-win.

Offline butters

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #35 on: 03/21/2014 02:52 PM »
It does not seem like a particularly good time for American launch providers to be arguing over access to Russian engines. Orbital and ULA should sit down with Aerojet-Rocketdyne and see about coming up with a common solution, however it's possible that Orbital would be pushed to the side if ULA will bear a higher price and consume more engines.

It's easy to see why an engine supplier might prefer to deal with ULA, which puts Orbital in a tricky position. They could try a considerably more risky and far-sighted approach like reaching out to XCOR, but they also have promising business coming their way courtesy of ULA. They'd probably have to offer Greason an exit with more cash than stock, and then they'd have to wait quite a long while to get up to speed on large booster engines.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2014 02:53 PM by butters »

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #36 on: 03/22/2014 12:36 PM »
For the record:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/820736/000082073614000030/litigation8k.htm

Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production

That's fascinating speculation! But wouldn't it be simpler (and thus less costly) to increase production at Energomash to meet Orbital's needs?

You might be on to something.......maybe its a good idea to place increase the current order and see what Russia does?
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Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #37 on: 03/22/2014 12:41 PM »
Weren't the USAF specs for the next gen engine loosely based on the anticipated performance of the AJ-1E6 ?

Instead of investing half a billion or so in a production line for the RD-180, perhaps that money is better spent on completion of the replacement engine. Use the same engines for the next gen Atlas, Antares, and SLS advanced boosters. Sounds like a win-win.

Or maybe manufacture both the RD-180 and AJ-1E6.    This way we are not locked into one engine.   

Seem to remember Aerojet ( pre Rocketdyne) having an outside agreement with another firm for manufacture  the AJ-1E6
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Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #38 on: 03/22/2014 11:12 PM »
Aerojet had an agreement with Teledyne to design the AJ-1E6's turbopump. And they had to demonstrate a nozzle for the SLS program.

Offline WulfTheSaxon

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #39 on: 03/22/2014 11:20 PM »
Or maybe manufacture both the RD-180 and AJ-1E6.    This way we are not locked into one engine.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just start making the AJ-1E6 ASAP, while there’s still a stockpile of RD-180s to fall back on during a hypothetical anomaly investigation? Manufacturing both domestically seems needlessly expensive.

Offline rusty

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #40 on: 03/23/2014 06:59 AM »
Or maybe manufacture both the RD-180 and AJ-1E6. This way we are not locked into one engine.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to just start making the AJ-1E6 ASAP... Manufacturing both domestically seems needlessly expensive.
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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #41 on: 03/23/2014 11:33 AM »

The truth of Government programs - Why have one when you can have two at twice the price?

Another uninformed characterization.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2014 11:33 AM by Jim »

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #42 on: 03/23/2014 11:53 AM »
Jim, that's just a movie quote. From Contact.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2014 11:56 AM by pippin »

Offline gospacex

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #43 on: 03/23/2014 12:27 PM »

The truth of Government programs - Why have one when you can have two at twice the price?

Another uninformed characterization.

Huh? The history in general, and US history in particular, is full of examples of that happening.

For one, USAF and Navy historically tended to avoid using the same jets. If USAF uses a plane, say, F-15, you bet Navy would not agree to develop and use a navalized variant of one. "Over my dead body".

So here we are, with F-18 designed instead and today its a Navy workhorse. Would USAF adopt it too, I don't know, maybe because sharing costs is a great idea, and the plane proved to be good? Absolutely no chance in hell.

We are going to see this rehashed again with F-22 and F-35.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2014 12:31 PM by gospacex »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #44 on: 03/23/2014 12:36 PM »
Actually, you should look up the history of the F-18. It derives from the Air Forces YF-17 which loss to the YF-16 in the  Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program.

 
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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #45 on: 03/23/2014 01:24 PM »
May be because Navy actually has different requirements to USAF? For some strange reason, Marines appear to agree with Navy on carrier based airplanes, rather than navalize an USAF one. Look at the problems with the F-35 exactly for having "one" model. I believe they share less than 35% of parts. And you can't blame anybody for requirement and cost bloat exactly for having multiple customers.
And in this case, any solution would mean some sort of adaptation. O/F is different, AJ-26 requires subcooled O2, ECU and TVC are different, etc. But the truly important issue, is that those LV are commercial, and are not even all the available ones in their class. It's a decision among companies to take where Government only can say if they agree or not based on being the main (but not only) customer,

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #46 on: 03/25/2014 10:56 PM »
Jim, that's just a movie quote. From Contact.
Then you should have included that after the quote to begin with. :)

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #47 on: 03/25/2014 10:59 PM »
May be because Navy actually has different requirements to USAF? For some strange reason, Marines appear to agree with Navy on carrier based airplanes, rather than navalize an USAF one. Look at the problems with the F-35 exactly for having "one" model. I believe they share less than 35% of parts. And you can't blame anybody for requirement and cost bloat exactly for having multiple customers.
And in this case, any solution would mean some sort of adaptation. O/F is different, AJ-26 requires subcooled O2, ECU and TVC are different, etc. But the truly important issue, is that those LV are commercial, and are not even all the available ones in their class. It's a decision among companies to take where Government only can say if they agree or not based on being the main (but not only) customer,
Actually there are three variants using the F-35 designation.
F-35A = USAF
F-35B = USMC
F-35C = USN

Offline pippin

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #48 on: 03/25/2014 11:02 PM »

Jim, that's just a movie quote. From Contact.
Then you should have included that after the quote to begin with. :)
???

Offline Stan Black

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #49 on: 11/12/2014 08:55 PM »
NPO Energomash annual report for 2013
Quote
В качестве ближайших перспектив на 2014 год запланированы следующие работы:
2. Выпуск технического отчета по конструкции двигателя РД181 для РН «Антарес»;
http://e-disclosure.ru/portal/files.aspx?id=24614&type=2
« Last Edit: 11/12/2014 08:55 PM by Stan Black »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #50 on: 11/12/2014 10:00 PM »
NPO Energomash annual report for 2013
Quote
В качестве ближайших перспектив на 2014 год запланированы следующие работы:
2. Выпуск технического отчета по конструкции двигателя РД181 для РН «Антарес»;
http://e-disclosure.ru/portal/files.aspx?id=24614&type=2

That translates (usiong Google) to:
Quote
As the immediate prospects for 2014 are scheduled the following work:
2. Issue a technical report on the design of the engine RD181 for RN "Antares" ;

Offline llanitedave

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #51 on: 11/13/2014 02:06 AM »

Jim, that's just a movie quote. From Contact.
Then you should have included that after the quote to begin with. :)
???

That would be like having to attribute all references to African vs European Swallows.  Are we really all that forgetful?
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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #52 on: 12/17/2014 02:09 PM »
http://spacenews.com/orbital-sciences-orders-rd-181-engines-for-antares-rocket/

So, now Antares is going to be powered by RD181.
What is Orbital doing with the 20 engines on contract and the other 20 engines option...

Offline Danderman

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #53 on: 12/17/2014 02:15 PM »
http://spacenews.com/orbital-sciences-orders-rd-181-engines-for-antares-rocket/

So, now Antares is going to be powered by RD181.
What is Orbital doing with the 20 engines on contract and the other 20 engines option...

If Orbital could ever develop a reasonable upper stage for Antares, then with RD-181, this could be a great GEO comsat launcher.......

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #54 on: 12/17/2014 03:28 PM »

http://spacenews.com/orbital-sciences-orders-rd-181-engines-for-antares-rocket/

So, now Antares is going to be powered by RD181.
What is Orbital doing with the 20 engines on contract and the other 20 engines option...

If Orbital could ever develop a reasonable upper stage for Antares, then with RD-181, this could be a great GEO comsat launcher.......
From the Cape. From Wallops I don't think they could get great performance.

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #55 on: 12/17/2014 04:46 PM »
http://spacenews.com/orbital-sciences-orders-rd-181-engines-for-antares-rocket/

So, now Antares is going to be powered by RD181.
What is Orbital doing with the 20 engines on contract and the other 20 engines option...

They're going to exercise whatever escape clauses they have in their contract with Aerojet to minimize their losses and move on.

The real question is, what is Aerojet going to do with the engines?

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #56 on: 12/17/2014 05:33 PM »
If Orbital could ever develop a reasonable upper stage for Antares, then with RD-181, this could be a great GEO comsat launcher.......

There are enough obstacles to this happening that I think we can pretty much write this off for the near future:

- Wallops is a huge negative for GSO
- Orbital must be 100% focused on getting Antares up and running with RD-181 to finish off CRS and win CRS2.  And they are supposed to develop a new liquid-fueled upper stage in parallel?  More likely that can't start until they are up and running again.
- New liquid upper stage requires new infrastructure support which means upgrading Wallops while they are in the middle of CRS/CRS2, or building a new pad in FL, or sharing 37B with SpaceX which would still mean new infrastructure and seems really unlikely.
- It is easier to say "just whip up a new upper stage" than it is to do it.  On the plus side they already get most of the lower stage from Ukraine, and those folks have a lot of expertise in liquid upper stages, so they can take advantage of their experience.  Still, it would have to be qualified and would be a major alteration to the Antares rocket, where this re-engining is not.

So, imagine they do all this.  By the time they have this new rocket ready, SpaceX is much further down the road on F9R and FH, ULA is phasing in their new BO-powered Atlas V, who knows what is going on with Ariane but they aren't sitting pat, etc.  They need to be competitive commercially then, not based on the current landscape, and it is almost certainly going to be more competitive then as opposed to now.

I wouldn't rule out some commercial contracts here and there, but it seems to me that Orbital's bread is going to be largely buttered by CRS well into the future.

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #57 on: 12/17/2014 05:52 PM »
I guess that they expect to get 4 launches per year to ISS for 6 years (that's 48 engines). If they get that, they might perfectly well propose a Castor 30XLB or something like that to add a bit more performance, something like 3.3 tonnes on a Super Cygnus (33m³ of PCM volume). After all, they are going to be OrbitalATK. Since the 200 core is going to be proven under the CRS1 contract, the only risk for CRS2 would be the "safe" improved upper stage. That ATK has proven that they can deliver. With that contract in the bag, they might try to go for further contracts. But I fail to see any real market for Antares 2. They can't really compete on GTO, not from Wallops and not without a high energy upper stage. They can't do polar nor SSO from Wallops, and Kodiak won't subsidize a whole new liquid pad for them. And I don't believe they have enough performance for GPS, either. What is their option save for ISS? I don't see any market unless they can under price a Falcon 9 for escape or LEO fleet.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #58 on: 12/17/2014 06:03 PM »
I'm still flabbergasted by the economics of this engine deal. If they get 20 engines for close to $1 billion, that is close to $50 million per engine. Close to $100 million for each Antares. And that is for the first stage engines only - does not include 1st stage tank, 2nd stage, or avionics.

How do they expect to make money off this?

Offline arachnitect

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #59 on: 12/17/2014 06:09 PM »
I'm still flabbergasted by the economics of this engine deal. If they get 20 engines for close to $1 billion, that is close to $50 million per engine. Close to $100 million for each Antares. And that is for the first stage engines only - does not include 1st stage tank, 2nd stage, or avionics.

How do they expect to make money off this?

In the other thread Baldusi points out that $1B makes more sense for 60 engines (if OSC exercises all options). I think that's more likely.
« Last Edit: 12/17/2014 06:11 PM by arachnitect »

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #60 on: 12/17/2014 06:12 PM »
I'm still flabbergasted by the economics of this engine deal. If they get 20 engines for close to $1 billion, that is close to $50 million per engine. Close to $100 million for each Antares. And that is for the first stage engines only - does not include 1st stage tank, 2nd stage, or avionics.

How do they expect to make money off this?
That's the same reason I'm assuming that the 1B figure is when they include the two extra options, or for 60 engines, which would make each pair about 35M. Add a 15M for the Castor 30XL and that's 50M in propulsion. Orbital already stated that propulsion was 70% of the LV cost, so it would mean a cost of 72M or so per launch. A much more reasonable cost. Of course, still not competitive with the Falcon 9, but good enough for the CRS2 contract.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #61 on: 12/17/2014 06:18 PM »
I'm still flabbergasted by the economics of this engine deal. If they get 20 engines for close to $1 billion, that is close to $50 million per engine. Close to $100 million for each Antares. And that is for the first stage engines only - does not include 1st stage tank, 2nd stage, or avionics.

How do they expect to make money off this?
That's the same reason I'm assuming that the 1B figure is when they include the two extra options, or for 60 engines, which would make each pair about 35M. Add a 15M for the Castor 30XL and that's 50M in propulsion. Orbital already stated that propulsion was 70% of the LV cost, so it would mean a cost of 72M or so per launch. A much more reasonable cost. Of course, still not competitive with the Falcon 9, but good enough for the CRS2 contract.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-sciences-orders-rd-181-engines-for-antares-rocket/

Orbital spokesperson says that the $1B number is more or less nonsense.

Quote
“If all the options under the contract were exercised, the total value would be significantly less than $1 billion,” Beneski added in an email to SpaceNews. “I can’t be more precise than that.”

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #62 on: 12/17/2014 07:21 PM »
ULA are paying approx $20m for RD180, Aerojet quoted $20-25m for pair of AR1. I would expect a price of around $20m a pair for RD181.


Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #63 on: 12/17/2014 08:22 PM »
ULA are paying approx $20m for RD180, Aerojet quoted $20-25m for pair of AR1. I would expect a price of around $20m a pair for RD181.
It depends on what the words "significantly less than $1 billion" mean.  $20 million for a pair totals $600 million for 60 engines, but is 6/10ths of $1 billion "significant" or "nearly half"?  A pair of these engines could total $30 million and the total would still be "significantly less than $1 billion". 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 12/17/2014 08:22 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Razvan

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #64 on: 12/17/2014 08:32 PM »
http://spacenews.com/orbital-sciences-orders-rd-181-engines-for-antares-rocket/

So, now Antares is going to be powered by RD181.
What is Orbital doing with the 20 engines on contract and the other 20 engines option...

They're going to exercise whatever escape clauses they have in their contract with Aerojet to minimize their losses and move on.

The real question is, what is Aerojet going to do with the engines?
That is another pertinent question...
They may have them on their dinner plate for the rest of their natural life.

Offline Razvan

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #65 on: 12/17/2014 08:54 PM »
I'm still flabbergasted by the economics of this engine deal. If they get 20 engines for close to $1 billion, that is close to $50 million per engine. Close to $100 million for each Antares. And that is for the first stage engines only - does not include 1st stage tank, 2nd stage, or avionics.

How do they expect to make money off this?
Your presumption makes sense price-wise, but to buy 60 engines before you are sure you're going to get the contract??? Now, that Boeing is offering its CST100 and surely SpaceX is another bidder. Of the three I'd say Orbital is most likely the third one...
That's the same reason I'm assuming that the 1B figure is when they include the two extra options, or for 60 engines, which would make each pair about 35M. Add a 15M for the Castor 30XL and that's 50M in propulsion. Orbital already stated that propulsion was 70% of the LV cost, so it would mean a cost of 72M or so per launch. A much more reasonable cost. Of course, still not competitive with the Falcon 9, but good enough for the CRS2 contract.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #66 on: 12/20/2014 09:26 PM »

Offline Lar

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #67 on: 12/21/2014 06:48 PM »
When to time announcements for the benefit of investors is off topic. Many posts from those who should know better have been trimmed.

Also, the forum offers an ignore feature for those who wish to ignore certain posters...
« Last Edit: 12/21/2014 06:54 PM by Lar »
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Offline MP99

Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #68 on: 12/24/2014 10:38 AM »
Quote from: Lar
Also, the forum offers an ignore feature for those who wish to ignore certain posters...

... which doesn't work on Tapatalk or Forum Fiend.

Cheers, Martin

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Offline Patchouli

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #69 on: 12/24/2014 06:36 PM »

If Orbital could ever develop a reasonable upper stage for Antares, then with RD-181, this could be a great GEO comsat launcher.......

I think LOX/Methane and an engine from Darma Technology or Xcor would be a good choice for a high energy upper stage.



Offline Jim

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #70 on: 12/24/2014 08:30 PM »

I think LOX/Methane and an engine from Darma Technology or Xcor would be a good choice for a high energy upper stage.


What supports that claim?  What hardware of theirs have flight experience in upper stages?
« Last Edit: 12/24/2014 08:31 PM by Jim »

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #71 on: 12/25/2014 03:03 AM »
I have to ask if RD-181s are being invoked in this contract to somehow differentiate the engines from the RD-180s that some third party controls?

Otherwise, why would Orbital want untested RD-181s when the RD-180 seems to work?

« Last Edit: 12/25/2014 03:04 AM by Danderman »

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #72 on: 12/25/2014 04:10 AM »
I have to ask if RD-181s are being invoked in this contract to somehow differentiate the engines from the RD-180s that some third party controls?

Otherwise, why would Orbital want untested RD-181s when the RD-180 seems to work?

The RD-181s are definitely different from RD-180s. Biggest difference being that each RD-181 is a single-chamber engine with smaller turbopumps (instead of dual-chamber for the RD-180). The thrust chambers for the 181 and 180 may be similar or identical, not sure. But IIRC, the RD-181 is a commercial version of Russia's RD-193 that was designed as a replacement for the NK-33 on Soyuz 2-1v rocket when they run out of their stock of NK-33s. My guess is the fact that it was designed as a replacement for the NK-33 means that some of interfaces may be designed to be compatible, which may have contributed to the choice. An RD-180 would have likely required more modifications to the Antares stage than the -181.

And as you mention, they also get the benefit of buying it without a middle-man.

~Jon

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #73 on: 12/25/2014 07:55 AM »
I have to ask if RD-181s are being invoked in this contract to somehow differentiate the engines from the RD-180s that some third party controls?

Otherwise, why would Orbital want untested RD-181s when the RD-180 seems to work?
The RD180 was Orbitals first choice but ULA stopped them buying RD180.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #74 on: 12/26/2014 02:45 PM »
The RD180 was Orbitals first choice but ULA stopped them buying RD180.
Then Orbital sued and, after a number of months during which the case seemed to be going Orbital's way, Orbital and ULA seemed to have reached some agreement because Orbital withdrew the suit.   

RD-181 is going to essentially be a substantially throttled-back RD-191 (proven on Angara), which means that the engine likely won't be pushed toward any red line limits. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #75 on: 12/26/2014 03:47 PM »

The RD180 was Orbitals first choice but ULA stopped them buying RD180.
Then Orbital sued and, after a number of months during which the case seemed to be going Orbital's way, Orbital and ULA seemed to have reached some agreement because Orbital withdrew the suit.   

RD-181 is going to essentially be a substantially throttled-back RD-191 (proven on Angara), which means that the engine likely won't be pushed toward any red line limits. 

 - Ed Kyle
Do you know it's going to be throttle back in general or you mean before they strengthen the thrust structure.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #76 on: 12/26/2014 07:54 PM »

The RD180 was Orbitals first choice but ULA stopped them buying RD180.
Then Orbital sued and, after a number of months during which the case seemed to be going Orbital's way, Orbital and ULA seemed to have reached some agreement because Orbital withdrew the suit.   

RD-181 is going to essentially be a substantially throttled-back RD-191 (proven on Angara), which means that the engine likely won't be pushed toward any red line limits. 

 - Ed Kyle
Do you know it's going to be throttle back in general or you mean before they strengthen the thrust structure.
It is going to be throttled to match AJ26 performance for the stages already completed.  I suppose that some structural changes could allow slightly higher thrust, but there is little reason to increase the thrust to its maximum capability unless the stage is stretched and loaded with more propellant.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline guckyfan

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #77 on: 12/26/2014 08:02 PM »
It is going to be throttled to match AJ26 performance for the stages already completed.  I suppose that some structural changes could allow slightly higher thrust, but there is little reason to increase the thrust to its maximum capability unless the stage is stretched and loaded with more propellant.

 - Ed Kyle

Or to lift a heavier second stage that takes on more of the total delta-v.

Offline Targeteer

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #78 on: 12/26/2014 10:18 PM »
Are the fuel/oxidizer tanks on the existing stages sized correctly for the -181 fuel mixture ratio?
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Offline Danderman

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #79 on: 12/26/2014 10:32 PM »

It is going to be throttled to match AJ26 performance for the stages already completed.  I suppose that some structural changes could allow slightly higher thrust, but there is little reason to increase the thrust to its maximum capability unless the stage is stretched and loaded with more propellant.



Are the fuel/oxidizer tanks on the existing stages sized correctly for the -181 fuel mixture ratio?

Changing the length of tanks is not that big a deal for the rocket manufacturer, but the impact on ground ops may be significant. All this means that the Antares 200 first stage may not be identical to the old version, but can't really stray too far, due to pad or transport constraints.

Offline nimbostratus

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #80 on: 12/27/2014 01:13 AM »
Are the fuel/oxidizer tanks on the existing stages sized correctly for the -181 fuel mixture ratio?

Not a big deal.
The difference in mixture ratios is small if any, and the performance gain will make up for the loss of propellant.
Also, mixture ratio may be changeable in a small range.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #81 on: 12/27/2014 02:32 AM »
They were going to upgrade the TEL anyhow

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Offline a_langwich

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #82 on: 12/27/2014 09:48 AM »

Changing the length of tanks is not that big a deal for the rocket manufacturer, but the impact on ground ops may be significant. All this means that the Antares 200 first stage may not be identical to the old version, but can't really stray too far, due to pad or transport constraints.


Perhaps it's fortunate that the pad is going to have significant refurbishment work underway (complete with two scoops of money from Congress), and they already were planning to make changes to the TEL, based on the lawsuits linked above.

They may have the opportunity to take care of some of those restraints.

[Edit:]
Also, do we know how many first stages were already built?  I would think two or less, based on their launch schedule.  If it's just one, maybe it would be more worthwhile to scrap that or send it back for rework, and just go with your modified design.

« Last Edit: 12/27/2014 09:53 AM by a_langwich »

Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #83 on: 12/27/2014 03:26 PM »

The RD180 was Orbitals first choice but ULA stopped them buying RD180.
Then Orbital sued and, after a number of months during which the case seemed to be going Orbital's way, Orbital and ULA seemed to have reached some agreement because Orbital withdrew the suit.   

RD-181 is going to essentially be a substantially throttled-back RD-191 (proven on Angara), which means that the engine likely won't be pushed toward any red line limits. 

 - Ed Kyle
Do you know it's going to be throttle back in general or you mean before they strengthen the thrust structure.
It is going to be throttled to match AJ26 performance for the stages already completed.  I suppose that some structural changes could allow slightly higher thrust, but there is little reason to increase the thrust to its maximum capability unless the stage is stretched and loaded with more propellant.

 - Ed Kyle

square peg into a round hole or is this a lego rocket?

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to order up the new tank design?

Hope I'm wrong about this:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36387.msg1307263#msg1307263
« Last Edit: 12/27/2014 03:27 PM by Prober »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #84 on: 12/27/2014 03:28 PM »
Please remember that the NK-33 used subcooled LOX. So if you just did away with that, you'd end up with a slightly different O/F ration and less mass. I believe that they'll retrofit the existing stages with no changes, since the improved performance of the RD-181 will already give some advantage. But for the operative 200 cores I wouldn't discard an enlargement. 2MN are not that different from the already over throttled AJ-26, and the stock 130 already had poor T/W, particularly for LEO. Small stretches to the core, when you already have to rebuild the TEL and have ample HIF shouldn't be that difficult. And is not like Yhuzoe don't know how to design and manufacture a bigger tank.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #85 on: 12/31/2014 08:22 PM »
Compare the 100 and 200 series
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline newpylong

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #86 on: 01/09/2015 12:52 PM »

The RD180 was Orbitals first choice but ULA stopped them buying RD180.
Then Orbital sued and, after a number of months during which the case seemed to be going Orbital's way, Orbital and ULA seemed to have reached some agreement because Orbital withdrew the suit.   

RD-181 is going to essentially be a substantially throttled-back RD-191 (proven on Angara), which means that the engine likely won't be pushed toward any red line limits. 

 - Ed Kyle
Do you know it's going to be throttle back in general or you mean before they strengthen the thrust structure.
It is going to be throttled to match AJ26 performance for the stages already completed.  I suppose that some structural changes could allow slightly higher thrust, but there is little reason to increase the thrust to its maximum capability unless the stage is stretched and loaded with more propellant.

 - Ed Kyle

square peg into a round hole or is this a lego rocket?

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to order up the new tank design?

Hope I'm wrong about this:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36387.msg1307263#msg1307263

No - Lego Rocket. Near drop in replacement, minor core redesign.

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Offline arachnitect

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #88 on: 01/16/2015 04:18 PM »
http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/771489

-Engine receives export certification for non-military payloads1

-20 engines, with 2 optional orders of 20 (up to 60 engines)

-worth up to $1bn (Orbital denied this the last time it came up).

-First pair coming next June.

1. I'm curious exactly how restrictive this really is. Would GPS, for example be prohibited? SBIRS? Or all USAF/NRO launches? There are supposedly restrictions on RD-180 use but they're obviously meaningless.


Offline russianhalo117

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #89 on: 01/17/2015 07:05 PM »
http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/771489

-Engine receives export certification for non-military payloads1

-20 engines, with 2 optional orders of 20 (up to 60 engines)

-worth up to $1bn (Orbital denied this the last time it came up).

-First pair coming next June.

1. I'm curious exactly how restrictive this really is. Would GPS, for example be prohibited? SBIRS? Or all USAF/NRO launches? There are supposedly restrictions on RD-180 use but they're obviously meaningless.


It's a different class of rocket andAFAIK those payloads are not capable of flying on Antares, thus engine was allowed for export. Orbitals militaryish payloads currently flying on Minotaur series would be banned by the Russian Governments terms. That is unless it's depends on the type of payload.

Online jacqmans

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #90 on: 01/19/2015 03:55 PM »
RSC Energia: the contract with Orbital Sciences Corporation is signed
January 16, 2015
 The President of RSC ENERGIA (which is a part of the United Rocket and Space Corporation) Vladimir SOLNTSEV and General Durector of Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) David THOMPSON have signed a direct contract for the delivery to the US of engines made by NPO ENERGOMASH (a subsidiary of RSC Energia). 

The contract value is approximately US$1 billion (the exact figure is a commercial secret). Altogether, Russia is to deliver to the US 60 RD-181 engines - the customer is going to receive the first two engines as early as June 2015. The contract was concluded directly with the Orbital Sciences Corporation.

The engine RD-181 was developed specifically for use on the ANTARES launch vehicle, its use will make it possible to deliver significantly bigger payloads to the ISS and low-Earth orbits. Used in the production of RD-181 are state-of-the-art materials, innovative engineering and design solutions, which made it possible to improve the engine performance (the thrust is 186 tons). RD-181 was derived from the engine RD-191, which enabled the successful flight of ANGARA launch vehicle in the summer of 2014, and which was also installed on ANGARA launch vehicle which flew in December of 2014 from Plesetsk launch site.

The contract and addendums to it were concluded for engine deliveries and engineering support of the project - firing tests, engine installation, pre-flight processing, etc., which provides NPO ENERGOMASH with an opportunity to develop further, to upgrade its equipment, and stimulate its employees to develop and implement new advanced projects.

Vladimir SOLNTSEV, the President of RSC ENERGIA says: "We produce a whole family of engines built around a common manufacturing concept, which means that we can support virtually any kind of launch vehicles: from super-light to super-heavy. The statistics is unequivocal: our liquid rocket engines are 100% reliable; and, by the way, almost a half of all the space launches in world in the last year were made using NPO ENERGOMASH engines. We had been working on this contract for 3 years, and we are glad that our US colleagues share our principles: the foremost factor in today's world, along with the product quality and competitive pricing, is the reliability of the supplier himself".

 

Joint Stock Company RSC Energia is the leader in the rocket and space industry, and the prime contractor for manned space systems. It conducts work on the development of unmanned space and rocket systems (launch vehicles and orbital transfer vehicles), and high-technology systems for various non-space applications. Since August 2014, the Corporation is headed by V.L. Solntsev.

JSC V.P. Glushko NPO Energomash is a Russian company which is a leader in the development and manufacturing of liquid propellant engines. It was founded in 1929. Its principal products are engines for lower rocket stages.

Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) is a US company specializing in manufacturing of spacecraft and launch vehicles; and is an active provider of international launch services. OSC has built more than 560 launch vehicles and 174 satellites. OSC has a 40 % share of the interceptor missile market, 55 % share of small communications satellite market and 60 % share of small launch vehicles market. A new phase in the company's evolution became the development of unmanned Cygnus spacecraft - one of the two private re-supply spacecraft under the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, the objective of which is to deliver cargoes to the ISS after Space Shuttle retirement. Cygnus will be launched on ANTARES launch vehicle.

http://www.energia.ru/en/news/news-2015/news_01-16.html

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #91 on: 01/19/2015 05:59 PM »
The 186 tonnes of thrust mentioned in the press release - does anyone know if that is sea level or vacuum thrust?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #92 on: 01/19/2015 06:47 PM »
The 186 tonnes of thrust mentioned in the press release - does anyone know if that is sea level or vacuum thrust?

 - Ed Kyle
Russians traditionally quote sea level performance for first stage engines (the RD-170 was a 740tnf engine and the RD-0120 a 170tnf). Which would imply roughly a 202tnf vac. I wouldn't be surprise if 2MN vac was the spec, though.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2015 06:50 PM by baldusi »

Offline Lobo

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #93 on: 01/26/2015 11:24 PM »

Vladimir SOLNTSEV, the President of RSC ENERGIA says: "We produce a whole family of engines built around a common manufacturing concept, which means that we can support virtually any kind of launch vehicles: from super-light to super-heavy. The statistics is unequivocal: our liquid rocket engines are 100% reliable; and, by the way, almost a half of all the space launches in world in the last year were made using NPO ENERGOMASH engines. We had been working on this contract for 3 years, and we are glad that our US colleagues share our principles: the foremost factor in today's world, along with the product quality and competitive pricing, is the reliability of the supplier himself".


"and, by the way, almost a half of all the space launches in world in the last year were made using NPO ENERGOMASH engines."

I know this speaks well of the Russian rocket engine industry in general, and I'm sure this will be a fine engine for Antares.  But this is kind of sad too, that the US rocket engine industry is nowhere close to what the Russian one is.  Two of the US's launch system's are using Russian engines (Antares & Atlas).
We can't control what the ESA or rest of the world uses, but just seems like US LV's should be using US engines.
Antares may have went with a US made engine instead of RD-181...if there was something comparable available.  The closest thing would be AR-1 and that would need a whole development program before it could be used, leaving Atares without an engine for several years.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #94 on: 01/27/2015 01:19 AM »

Vladimir SOLNTSEV, the President of RSC ENERGIA says: "We produce a whole family of engines built around a common manufacturing concept, which means that we can support virtually any kind of launch vehicles: from super-light to super-heavy. The statistics is unequivocal: our liquid rocket engines are 100% reliable; and, by the way, almost a half of all the space launches in world in the last year were made using NPO ENERGOMASH engines. We had been working on this contract for 3 years, and we are glad that our US colleagues share our principles: the foremost factor in today's world, along with the product quality and competitive pricing, is the reliability of the supplier himself".


"and, by the way, almost a half of all the space launches in world in the last year were made using NPO ENERGOMASH engines."

I know this speaks well of the Russian rocket engine industry in general, and I'm sure this will be a fine engine for Antares.  But this is kind of sad too, that the US rocket engine industry is nowhere close to what the Russian one is.  Two of the US's launch system's are using Russian engines (Antares & Atlas).
We can't control what the ESA or rest of the world uses, but just seems like US LV's should be using US engines.
Antares may have went with a US made engine instead of RD-181...if there was something comparable available.  The closest thing would be AR-1 and that would need a whole development program before it could be used, leaving Atares without an engine for several years.

It is sad, but the situation is improving. The U.S. propulsion industry is in a much better state than it was just a few years ago. And it will get even better - in a couple of years RD-180 will be phased out for a domestic engine (BE-4). And then the only Russian engine importer that remains is (ATK)Orbital, and I don't see Antares taking a large pie out of the domestic launches.
« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 01:20 AM by Lars-J »

Offline Lobo

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #95 on: 01/28/2015 08:07 PM »
It is sad, but the situation is improving. The U.S. propulsion industry is in a much better state than it was just a few years ago. And it will get even better - in a couple of years RD-180 will be phased out for a domestic engine (BE-4). And then the only Russian engine importer that remains is (ATK)Orbital, and I don't see Antares taking a large pie out of the domestic launches.

Yea, good point.  Just sad IMO to be here to begin with.  And completely avoidable.  Lots of good US engine concepts in the late 90's and early 2000's that could have been finished and produced if desired by USAF/ DoD and NASA. 
TR-107 and RS-84 for two.  RL-60 or MB-60 for more. 

Instead we had USAF/DoD opting for a Russian engine on Atlas, Orbital and Aerojet opting for an old Russian engine for Antares, And NASA opting for new bigger solid motors, an very expensive reusable RS-25 sustainer engine (for an expendable LV) and a brand new (and unnecessary) J2X upper stage engine where a cluster of RL-60's or MB-60's could have worked.

All of these engines would have been very useful throughout the 2000's and into the 2010's.
Atlas V could have used a single TR-107.  Antares could have too later if it was available.
TR-107 and RL-60 give a lot of much more economic possibilities for a different CxP program for NASA.

And Russia would have much less of the total world annual launch pie.


Offline Stan Black

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #96 on: 02/02/2015 07:01 PM »
Just as they solve the issue of engines, obtaining 1st stage tankage could be the next?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36698.0

Offline Antares

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #97 on: 02/05/2015 07:15 PM »
You can't talk American engines vs foreign engines without considering domestic labor rates.  Who are you going to pass the cost along to?  Would you have been willing to tax your fellow Americans more to build all of those paper engines?  One can't make wishful comments without considering the full ramifications of those wishes.  Call it systems political engineering.  NASA developments have never seriously considered cost.  If they had, they would never have been ATP'd.  They've always been jobs programs and revenue programs for the cost-plus contractors.  All of the risk is on the taxpayers.
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #98 on: 02/05/2015 07:43 PM »
Tory Bruno brought up Antares and separately spoke of walking away from Russian engines due to long term "chilling" of relations. Couldn't help but think of Antares re-engining and outsourced stage construction. He also went on at length about "in sourcing" considerable components and additive manufacturing to control costs.

Perhaps the tide may be turning away from "horizontal" to "vertical" cost/manufacturing as a necessity to competing with any LV? If so, and Antares return to flight with RD-181 succeeds, might it in turn be short lived?

What if labor rate difference issues are minimized by automation and productivity improvement such that it doesn't matter as much? And perhaps what pays for this is not necessarily the traditional ROI recovery cycle but instead the need to address opportunity cost in a fast changing and unpredictable low volume market with specialized services? As with "new business models" for launch services e.g. fine grained "made to order".


Offline Lobo

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #99 on: 02/06/2015 05:15 PM »
You can't talk American engines vs foreign engines without considering domestic labor rates.  Who are you going to pass the cost along to?  Would you have been willing to tax your fellow Americans more to build all of those paper engines?  One can't make wishful comments without considering the full ramifications of those wishes.  Call it systems political engineering.  NASA developments have never seriously considered cost.  If they had, they would never have been ATP'd.  They've always been jobs programs and revenue programs for the cost-plus contractors.  All of the risk is on the taxpayers.

I don't discount that.  I'm just said it's kinda sad that the situation is what it is...in overall general terms.  That we charge so much to build engines, we don't build engines anymore.  Yea, that seems like the way to go.

However, what of Merlin engines?  SpaceX seems to be able to not only make US made engines, but put them on an LV which is cometative or cheaper than the standard US LV that uses those foreign engines.


Offline Antares

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #100 on: 02/08/2015 05:18 AM »
My opinion is that Canoga, West Palm and to a lesser extent Sacramento are to blame for the cost of American rocketry.  However, one could argue that NASA's welfare to Canoga and West Palm via the cost-plus SSME contract (and thereby subsidizing other PW and RDYN engines) was even more at the root.  No one forced the American heritage engine producers to innovate until Elon paid a bunch of fresh outs and Marshall interns, mentored by a TRW visionary and brave defectors from CP and HB, to make an engine whose economy of scale could counter-intuitively bring reliability as well.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #101 on: 02/08/2015 03:16 PM »
  I'm just said it's kinda sad that the situation is what it is...in overall general terms.  That we charge so much to build engines, we don't build engines anymore.  Yea, that seems like the way to go.

However, what of Merlin engines?  SpaceX seems to be able to not only make US made engines, but put them on an LV which is cometative or cheaper than the standard US LV that uses those foreign engines.

OTOH you could simply say that the sad past led to a brighter future...SpaceX manufacturing hundreds of advanced Merlins per year, with a new Raptor engine on the drawing boards, and Blue Origin halfway through development of the BE-4. The old guard is dying, but the future is bright. No reason for lament.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2015 03:17 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Lobo

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #102 on: 02/09/2015 07:05 PM »
  I'm just said it's kinda sad that the situation is what it is...in overall general terms.  That we charge so much to build engines, we don't build engines anymore.  Yea, that seems like the way to go.

However, what of Merlin engines?  SpaceX seems to be able to not only make US made engines, but put them on an LV which is cometative or cheaper than the standard US LV that uses those foreign engines.

OTOH you could simply say that the sad past led to a brighter future...SpaceX manufacturing hundreds of advanced Merlins per year, with a new Raptor engine on the drawing boards, and Blue Origin halfway through development of the BE-4. The old guard is dying, but the future is bright. No reason for lament.

That's a good point.  You're a glass is half full kinda guy.  :-)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #103 on: 02/10/2015 01:23 AM »
If AR-1 does get developed with Government money it will give Antares the domestic engine it needs for DoD missions.

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