Author Topic: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares  (Read 76785 times)

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

Offline Jim

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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 »

Online pippin

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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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Offline baldusi

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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

Online 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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Offline Razvan

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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.

Offline Kabloona

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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?

Online abaddon

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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 »

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