Author Topic: Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine in $5 Billion Merger  (Read 61791 times)

Online jacqmans

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Presentation and webcast:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34580.msg1190227#msg1190227

Eventual article on this:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/04/orbital-atk-form-space-flight-super-group/

Release:

Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine in $5 Billion Merger-of-Equals to Create “Orbital ATK”, a New Global Aerospace and Defense Systems Company
 
-- Customers to Benefit from Broader Range of Technological Innovation and More Affordable Systems and Products in Space, Defense and Aviation Markets --

-- Shareholders to Benefit from Opportunities for Faster Growth and Stronger Earnings of Combined Enterprise With Compelling Operational and Financial Synergies --

-- Employees to Benefit from Greater Long-Term Career Opportunities as Part of a Leading Aerospace and Defense Manufacturer --

-- 9:00 a.m. Conference Call with Financial Analysts and Investors to be Webcast --

DULLES, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 29, 2014-- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK), which will combine Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense (A&D) Groups to create a $4.5 billion (combined calendar year 2013 annual revenue), 13,000-person space, defense and aviation systems developer and manufacturer. The new company, to be called Orbital ATK, Inc., will serve U.S. and international customers with leading positions in the markets for space launch vehicles and propulsion systems, tactical missiles and defense electronics, satellites and space systems, armament systems and ammunition, and commercial and military aircraft structures and related components. As part of the transaction, ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders.

 The tax-free stock-for-stock merger-of-equals transaction, valued at approximately $5.0 billion based on Orbital’s closing stock price yesterday, will combine Orbital’s small- and medium-class satellite and launch vehicle product lines with ATK A&D’s rocket propulsion, composite structures and space power systems to produce even more capable and affordable space and missile defense products. At the same time, it will enhance ATK A&D’s strategic and tactical missile systems and propulsion, precision weapons and military armament, and commercial and military aircraft programs by leveraging Orbital’s systems design, engineering and integration capabilities to provide greater value-added to current and future customers.

Orbital ATK will draw on a talented and experienced group of leaders from both organizations for key governance and management positions. A 16-member Board of Directors will be led by Chairman Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman (U.S. Air Force, ret.) and will include seven directors from ATK’s Board and nine directors from Orbital’s Board.

Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will be President and Chief Executive Officer of the new company; Mr. Blake E. Larson, President of ATK’s Aerospace Group, will serve as its Chief Operating Officer; and Mr. Garrett E. Pierce, Orbital’s Chief Financial Officer, will hold the same position in the new company. Other key management positions will be determined prior to the transaction’s closing, with an equitable and balanced selection of senior executives from each company expected in the new organization.

“This merger-of-equals combination of Orbital and ATK Aerospace and Defense brings together two of the space and defense industry’s most innovative developers and cost-efficient manufacturers who have worked closely together for over 25 years. By building on complementary technologies, products and know-how and highly-compatible cultures, the new Orbital ATK will deliver even more affordable space, defense and aviation systems to our existing customers and be strongly positioned to expand into adjacent areas,” said Mr. Thompson.

“The proposed merger will generate cost and revenue synergies and create a more streamlined and competitive operator,” said Mr. Mark W. DeYoung, ATK’s Chief Executive Officer. “We see opportunities to build on ATK’s success in Aerospace and Defense through a combination with Orbital’s proven track record in creating new launch vehicles, satellites and other advanced space technologies. We are both focused on enhancing the capability of existing customer systems by developing solutions that can be more flexibly deployed to support their mission with enhanced cost-effectiveness. We also see significant opportunities for growth as new programs are initiated or begin to ramp up production.”

Orbital ATK will employ about 13,000 people, including over 4,300 engineers and scientists and 7,400 production and operations specialists, at engineering centers, research laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and test and launch sites in 17 states. Employees will benefit from expanded long-term career opportunities and enhanced job stability by being part of a larger, more diverse and financially stronger enterprise dedicated to technological innovation, fast product cycles and operational efficiency. The combined company will be headquartered at Orbital’s existing Dulles, Virginia campus, with major employee sites in Utah, Missouri, Virginia, Arizona, Maryland, West Virginia, California and Minnesota.

Based on 2013 financial results, the new company would have combined annual revenues of about $4.5 billion, EBITDA over $575 million and total contract backlog more than $11 billion. Net debt of Orbital ATK at closing is expected to be about $1.4 billion, after taking into account combined cash balances of approximately $300 million. Annual revenue and cost synergies of $220-300 million are expected by 2016, consisting of $150-200 million of incremental annual revenue and $70-100 million of annual cost reductions.

In the merger, ATK shareholders will own approximately 53.8% of the equity of the combined company and Orbital shareholders will own approximately 46.2%. The combination, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of both companies, is to be effected in a tax-free “Morris Trust” transaction structure, with a spin-off of ATK’s Sporting Group to its shareholders immediately prior to the merger. The merger is conditioned on approval by the shareholders of both companies, the receipt of regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014.

Citigroup acted as financial advisor to Orbital while Hogan Lovells US LLP acted as Orbital’s legal advisor.

Investor and Analyst Conference Call Details

Orbital and ATK executives will conduct a conference call with financial analysts and investors this morning, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (EDT). The companies welcome members of the investment community to listen to the call live. A copy of management’s presentation will be available in the investor relations section of www.orbital.com.

The call will be hosted by Mr. David Thompson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbital and Mr. Mark DeYoung, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATK. They will be joined by Mr. Garrett Pierce, Orbital Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Neal Cohen, ATK Chief Financial Officer.

The call is being webcast and can be accessed via the investor relations page at www.orbital.com. For those who cannot participate in the live webcast, a telephone recording of the conference call will be available. The telephone number is 719-457-0820 and the confirmation code is 7630707. The recording will be available for one month after the call. Institutional investors can access the call via the password-protected event management site StreetEvents (www.streetevents.com).

About ATK

ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and overseas. ATK’s Aerospace Group is a market leader in solid rocket propulsion systems for space and strategic launch vehicles, satellite structures and power systems, and aerospace composite structures. The company’s Defense Systems Group is a market leader in precision weapons, tactical missiles and related propulsion systems, and armament systems and ammunition products. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk or on Twitter@atk.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at www.orbital.com. Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OrbitalSciencesCorp.

 
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 03:11 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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It doesn't seem like a very good cultural fit to me.  I guess we'll see in a few years how it turns out.

Online Chris Bergin

> ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders. <

Didn't know they had a "sporting group"! Shirt sponsors for Liverpool next year? ;D

Rest of it.....written in shareholder language, gave me a headache.

Anyone want to listen and note key points of the webcasted conference call? I'm busy with day job stuff :(

Online kevin-rf

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Looks like a good fit to me. ATK is a major Orbital vendor, and Orbital's products really complement ATK's portfolio.
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Offline clongton

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Will this be the company that supplies the SRB's for the SLS?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline MP99

Wow.

Anyone wanna bet Orbital's solution to the Ukraine crisis as it affects Antares is somewhere between Stratolaunch (already has ATK stages) and Athena III (replace those AJ-26s & Ukrainian tanks with a solid)? Edit, per Chuck's comment: a solid based on SLS Value Stream Mapping, and maybe Black Knight advanced booster with composite casing.

But, as much as my first thought was "holy moly", I will note that Orbital haven't been shy about using solids in their launchers up to now, eg Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur, and of course Antares upper stage & Stratolaunch.

Does this also explain why Orbital dropped their lawsuit re access to the RD-180 once supplies of AJ-26 dry up?

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 11:57 AM by MP99 »

Online woods170

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Will this be the company that supplies the SRB's for the SLS?
I think we all know the answer to that question.

The aerospace and defense department of ATK is currently under contract to work on the SLS SRB's. Them merging with Orbital is not gonna change that.

On the merger: that's one way of getting the solar arrays for Cygnus "in-house", seeing as the improved Cygnus will sport ATK's Ultraflex arrays. And the Antares upper stage will now become an "in-house" product as well.

I'm glad the newcompany will go by the nomer Oribital ATK and not the other way around. I can only hope that ATK's company culture will not poison that of Orbital with overly patriotic nonsense such as playing the USA national anthem just prior to launching an Antares/Cygnus towards the ISS.  ::)
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 12:03 PM by woods170 »

Offline MP99

Anyone wanna bet Orbital's solution to the Ukraine crisis as it affects Antares is somewhere between Stratolaunch (already has ATK stages) and Athena III (replace those AJ-26s & Ukrainian tanks with a solid)?

Follow-on question. Could a solid first stage launch from Wallops pad 0A?

cheers, Martin

Online MATTBLAK

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Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Online Silmfeanor

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Wow, huge news.

So, the upper stage of Antares is going in-house. ATK's composites are quite widespread throughout the industry.
big, big merger. I wonder how it will look in a few years; I hope orbitals steady pace will continue to exist.

The players in the US launch market are continuing to change and merge.

Also, finally the end for liberty?

I can see Orbital ATK bidding on almost everything in aerospace where there is something to bid. CRS, satellites, launchers, perhaps even crew...

Offline MP99

Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...

You know, that might put Dark Knights in the previously-unlikely position of having commonality with another operational launcher, IE sharing infrastructure (and maybe even development) costs.

Added together with the cost of re-tooling LC-39B for RP1, maybe that increases their chance in the SLS advanced booster competition.

And then you start to wonder about Antares II stacked in the VAB and launched from LC-39B.

Edit: are there any MLPs free if they wanted to do that?

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 12:15 PM by MP99 »

Offline baldusi

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I don't like it. Orbital was free in its decisions upto now. They were a great prime, with no vested interests. I don't think ATK culture is "use in-house only if it makes sense". This probably was driven by the defense line of business.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...
And then you start to wonder about Antares II stacked in the VAB and launched from LC-39B.


The Stick raises from the grave again.

Offline nlec

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Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...

I was thinking the same thing back in June 2013 when first stage engine availability became a concern.  Merger definitely makes this more likely IMHO.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg1068112#msg1068112

Offline john smith 19

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Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine in $5 Billion Merger-of-Equals to Create “Orbital ATK”, a New Global Aerospace and Defense Systems Company
 
What the.... ???

I did not see that one coming.

Did anyone else?
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Online Chris Bergin

Let's keep the silly posts to a minimum/zero.

Presentation:

Online Chris Bergin

Freed some time, so will cover the webcast with key notes. Clearly big news. Chris G will write the article for it tonight.

Webcast link:
http://www.media-server.com/m/p/amqkevpo

Asks you to register, but as soon as I did it went through, so you don't need to wait for an e-mail back.


Online Chris Bergin

Expecting this to shoot up, right? Keep saying per each yearly review that I wish I had money to buy stock in these guys.

Online Chris Bergin

Off we go....

ATK board of directors approve the spin off. Covering the presentation.....

They need approvals, but expect to be ATK Orbital Inc by the end of the year, HQ in Dulles.

Online Chris Bergin

Notes they have already partnered together. Antares upper stages come to mind (potentially our lead image with the ATK on the Castor motor in space).

Online Chris Bergin

Had this already been a done deal, 2013 rev would have been $4.5 billion.

Online Chris Bergin

ATK will continue with munitions. (I think the British Army bought a boat load of ammunition from ATK a while back).

Online Chris Bergin

Dave Thompson - "This is a great day for Orbital and ATK. Will create a major new Space, aviation company. Much larger, more capable - with focus on affordability".

Online Chris Bergin

Growth and lower risk, financial synergies.....investors and shareholders....Waiting for something space related :)

Online Chris Bergin

Noting the breakdown of revenue. A lot is in space related business, such as satellites (which Orbital rule at).

Online Chris Bergin

They have worked together for 25 years. Over 400 rocket motors from ATK on 150 Orbital vehicles.

100 Orbital sats, have used ATK solar arrays, structures, tanks, etc.

Working together on Antares, Stratolaunch etc. Increased ATK involvement with Antares expected. (30XL is immediate future, so something more maybe)

Offline jongoff

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Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...

Honestly, I'd be surprised. The Antares first stage was really high performance--the NK33s have great Isp and really high T/W for liquids. If anything they want to increase the payload of Antares up to the 3.4tonne class that they talked about in the Super Cygnus presentation from a few weeks back (which also happens to be about the payload class that ISS is asking for on CRS-2). I doubt that going to an all-solid Antares would enable that, but who knows, I haven't actually run the numbers. If the first stage is sufficiently larger than the Antares first stage, and if you put a second stage in there (so three-stage solid) it might work.

~Jon

Online Chris Bergin

"This is the kind of merger, often sought, but rarely found." - Dave Thompson.

Online Chris Bergin

Question time. Starting with investor media as opposed to space media right now.

Expecting greater customer demand via lower costs. SpaceX angle?

Online Chris Bergin

Oh! Expect to be able to do some programs they couldn't individually, such as an advanced ICBM and Sat Servicing.

Online Chris Bergin

Need to spend some money over the first few years on transition costs.

Online Chris Bergin

JP Morgan. Royal Bank of Canada.....not your usual bunch of reporters for an event we cover! :)

A&D departments to merge forces as a big plus. Wonder if it means job losses....a lot of "creating efficiencies" which is the same thing sometimes. Hope not.

Online Chris Bergin

Affordability will be a watch word for the next decade in the space industry.....and particularly in the defense industry.

Notes the successful introduction of Antares and medium class satellites.

Offline jongoff

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Oh! Expect to be able to do some programs they couldn't individually, such as an advanced ICBM and Sat Servicing.

Yeah, the ATK group that used to be Swales is just across DC from Dulles. That's where ATK had been working on its ViviSat project. It's also the group doing most of the sat servicing tools for Goddard and that had been pretty heavily involved in DARPA Phoenix as well. While ATK has done a little bit of spacecraft bus work, Orbital has done a ton, so I could see this merger being synergistic for satellite servicing. The two pieces they won't have in-house for sat servicing at that point are the prox-ops systems, and the robotic manipulators.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 01:38 PM by jongoff »

Online Chris Bergin

Both companies have a similar contract mix, per cost+ contracts, etc.

Online Chris Bergin

The merger will improve competitive position and customer demand in space products.

Orbital tried an entry point in some of ATK's business, but didn't work out. This merger solves that.

Online Chris Bergin

Don't expect to sell any businesses to pass reviews. Very little competitive overlap. (Which is good for jobs).

Online Chris Bergin

We're now past the 1000 mark for the mention of the word "synergies".

Last question, they were all from banks etc.

Report notes ATK have seen decreasing defense contract demand.

They see growth in Space market and missiles for ATK. Orbital's commercial satellite business is higher than ATK, but ATK in human space flight are about the same as Orbitals.

Offline MP99

Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...

Honestly, I'd be surprised. The Antares first stage was really high performance--the NK33s have great Isp and really high T/W for liquids. If anything they want to increase the payload of Antares up to the 3.4tonne class that they talked about in the Super Cygnus presentation from a few weeks back (which also happens to be about the payload class that ISS is asking for on CRS-2). I doubt that going to an all-solid Antares would enable that, but who knows, I haven't actually run the numbers. If the first stage is sufficiently larger than the Antares first stage, and if you put a second stage in there (so three-stage solid) it might work.

I suspect they'll ultimately want to use Stratolaunch for that. It more than has the payload:-
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/08/orbital-atk-solid-partnership-stratolaunch-alv/

Edit: and to note the multi-solid design of that LV, much as you describe.

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 01:57 PM by MP99 »

Online Chris Bergin

Oh, one more question, on solids.

Propulsion is a large amount of the cost for a vehicle. Orbital can really benefit with this deal with ATK on that score. It's the best of both worlds.

And that's over.

Offline edkyle99

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"This is the kind of merger, often sought, but rarely found." - Dave Thompson.
ATK is the majority partner, but Dave Thompson seems to be doing most of the talking.  The HQ would move to Orbital's site in Virginia.  Would Mr. Thompson become the new CEO?

Is this Orbital's response to SpaceX - a shift to a more vertically integrated company?

Will there be push back from ATK product buyers ULA (Delta 4 solids and EELV composites) and Lockheed Martin (Athena?), not to mention the big shift in the defense business?

What will Utah do?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 01:57 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline MP99

Will there be push back from ATK product buyers ULA (Delta 4 solids and EELV composites) and Lockheed Martin (Athena?), not to mention the big shift in the defense business?

If it reduces their costs (or even stops them going up), and therefore their prices, why should they?

cheers, Martin

Online Chris Bergin

They are back, but this is about the sporting market.....and it's shooting sports. I think we'll pass on this part.

Chris G will have us an article on the merger tonight.

Offline yg1968

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"This is the kind of merger, often sought, but rarely found." - Dave Thompson.
ATK is the majority partner, but Dave Thompson seems to be doing most of the talking.  The HQ would move to Orbital's site in Virginia.  Would Mr. Thompson become the new CEO?

Is this Orbital's response to SpaceX - a shift to a more vertically integrated company?

Will there be push back from ATK product buyers ULA (Delta 4 solids and EELV composites) and Lockheed Martin (Athena?), not to mention the big shift in the defense business?

 - Ed Kyle

I think that it is more about ATK and Orbital trying to diversify than anything else.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 02:10 PM by yg1968 »

Offline edkyle99

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Will there be push back from ATK product buyers ULA (Delta 4 solids and EELV composites) and Lockheed Martin (Athena?), not to mention the big shift in the defense business?

If it reduces their costs (or even stops them going up), and therefore their prices, why should they?

cheers, Martin
I'm trying to think of the last merger that reduced prices in the space business.  And who will get cheaper prices, Lockheed Martin for its Athena or ATK-Orbital for its Stratolaunch, Antares, Minotaur, etc.?  I'm not sure now that Athena can survive.

Now all eyes turn to Aerojet, the next shoe.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 02:04 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Kabloona

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"This is the kind of merger, often sought, but rarely found." - Dave Thompson.
ATK is the majority partner, but Dave Thompson seems to be doing most of the talking.  The HQ would move to Orbital's site in Virginia.  Would Mr. Thompson become the new CEO?


from SpaceNews article:

"Orbital Chief Executive David W. Thompson will retain his post in the new ensemble, with ATK Aerospace President Blake E. Larson becoming chief operating officer of Orbital ATK. "

Offline edkyle99

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"This is the kind of merger, often sought, but rarely found." - Dave Thompson.
ATK is the majority partner, but Dave Thompson seems to be doing most of the talking.  The HQ would move to Orbital's site in Virginia.  Would Mr. Thompson become the new CEO?


from SpaceNews article:

"Orbital Chief Executive David W. Thompson will retain his post in the new ensemble, with ATK Aerospace President Blake E. Larson becoming chief operating officer of Orbital ATK. "
The name of the new company seems to also be a clue about who will run the show.

 - Ed Kyle

Online woods170

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"This is the kind of merger, often sought, but rarely found." - Dave Thompson.
ATK is the majority partner, but Dave Thompson seems to be doing most of the talking.  The HQ would move to Orbital's site in Virginia.  Would Mr. Thompson become the new CEO?
From the press release: Dave Thompson will be the CEO.

Is this Orbital's response to SpaceX - a shift to a more vertically integrated company?
Not likely a response. SpaceX influence on the market has not been large enough yet. A reason (among all the other reasons) for this merger could be anticipating for a fastly growing influence of SpaceX on the market.

Will there be push back from ATK product buyers ULA (Delta 4 solids and EELV composites) and Lockheed Martin (Athena?), not to mention the big shift in the defense business?
I expect no near-term push back from ULA because the new Orbital/ATK will still not be in the same market segment as ULA is.

What will Utah do?
Likely not a whole lot. Business of ATK barely overlaps that of Orbital. I don't expect much (or any) of the work done by ATK in Utah to be moved to a different state. Much too expensive, regardless of all this management fluff about synergies.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 02:21 PM by woods170 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: The idea of a solid motor replacement for the Antares first stage.  It would definitely take two solid stages to replace the existing NK-33 powered first stage.  Look at Ariane 6 and Stratolaunch for the outline.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline clongton

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I don't like this merger one bit. I have a lot of respect for Orbital and almost none for ATK. I fear ATK will be the blood in the water for this new company and completely ruin a wonderful company with it's "Everything I own is mine and everything you think you own is mine too - you just haven't admitted it yet" attitude. Been there with them. Done that with them. Ran away from them to lick our wounds. ATK is going to totally ruin Orbital's culture imo. It's being touted as a merger of equals. However there's no doubt who will call the shots: Orbital has 46.2% ownership while ATK has 53.8% ownership. The Orbital culture will be submerged.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 03:55 PM by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
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Offline yg1968

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> ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders. <

Didn't know they had a "sporting group"! Shirt sponsors for Liverpool next year? ;D


The Sporting Group sells mostly guns and hunting accessories.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 02:44 PM by yg1968 »

Online kevin-rf

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> ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders. <

Didn't know they had a "sporting group"! Shirt sponsors for Liverpool next year? ;D


The Sporting Group sells mostly guns and hunting accessories.

Brings the game to a whole new level :D
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Online kevin-rf

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Seriously, did they mention how finished goods would be transferred between divisions?

Would it be cost plus 10 (pretty standard) or would it be with standard margins?

What does Orbital do within Orbital now? Anyone know?

The reason I am asking is Orbital uses a fair amount of ATK stuff in it's products and was wondering if it would have a trickle down on the services they provide. Might make them more competitive when competing on future contracts. That whole vertical integration synergy thing.
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Offline Kabloona

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Peter B. de Selding (@pbdes) tweeted at 10:01am - 29 Apr 14:

"Orbital CEO: Our big problem with LVs has been need to outsource propulsion system, which is 25-35% of LV cost. ATK merger solves problem. (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/461143290952564736)

"Orbital CEO's comments on ATK merger suggest co moving to ATK to replace Russian 1st stage propulsion system on Orbital's Antares rocket. (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/461146655036030976)
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 03:02 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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I don't like this merger one bit. I have a lot of respect for Orbital and almost none for ATK.
Similar feelings here. Still this is quite a "wow" situation!

Offline TerryNaylor

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Wow. Still people with dislike for ATK. Get over it, it was a different company and NASA were at fault for Challenger.

Offline Lars_J

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Wow. Still people with dislike for ATK. Get over it, it was a different company and NASA were at fault for Challenger.

The reasons for disliking ATK are a lot more recent than Challenger.

Offline mr. mark

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Wowwwwwwwwwwww!

I would have seen an Orbital / SpaceX merger as a more likely play.  Maybe there will be an Orbital ATK / SpaceX merger someday.  Hmmm hmmm hmmm.

I miss the days of Bob Crippen at the helm of Thiokol Propulsion.  Clearly from the news, ATK over diversified with the sporting (ammo) stuff. 

Thiokol started from making adhesives (aka glue) by someone throwing chemicals down the drain by accident. 

This company can never go down the drain, they were already there.  We're witnessing what backs up out of the drain now...

=D

I'd like to see Antares with landing legs LOL. To be honest they are very different companies with extremely different philosophies. Can't every see it happening.

Offline arachnitect

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So that happened.

I'm going to miss Orbital's red on white logo. I hope the "Orbital ATK" logo in the presentation is just a placeholder.

I wonder what this means for the Athena people at LM? If this turns out to be the last straw for Athena, OrbATK would have a de facto monopoly on the US small launch market. Of course if LM wants to buy motors from them, Orbital would be in a funny position denying them after their recent RD-180 lawsuit.

All solid Antares may have gotten a little more likely... but Orbital did just solicit multiple bids for a liquid propulsion solution. Maybe further out.

Offline Jim

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Of course if LM wants to buy motors from them, Orbital would be in a funny position denying them after their recent RD-180 lawsuit.


LM was not sued.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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In looking at the industry economics of this merger, and that Orbital is the lead name and leadership going forward, this looks like a corporate strategy to propel ATK's assets in a new direction and give Orbital assets and capabilities to compete on a larger scale against rivals, as well as put them into a position where they can  partner and/or compete with new/old dominators in the industry.

Remember that the reasons Orbital has done LV's is to be able to have a "plan B" if they can't ride another LV cost effectively - they don't necessarily need to win but simply to place.

ATK has tried to work out of the boxed strategy they've been in to diversify into growth areas independent of main revenue streams, which when they work, have considerable revenue, but the company is too dependent on them. Worse, its corporate management is too "cave man" dominated to ever develop into the necessary way to hold on to these big portions of the company while flexing enough to cope with the new, emerging landscape for aerospace.

add:
This merger adds a missing leg (Orbcomm etc) to the revenue stool with enough strength to take the load if the govt contracts for SRBs become indeterminate - takes away the immense fear of losing segment solid revenue stream from SLS, and long term replacement of strategic weapons boosters. ATK could never diversify enough on its own to do this.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 05:03 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Prober

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This might be in play now if they can launch on Orbital
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27265.0
Composite Crew Module
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Offline arachnitect

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Of course if LM wants to buy motors from them, Orbital would be in a funny position denying them after their recent RD-180 lawsuit.


LM was not sued.

Yes I know. I'm just trying to say that, after arguing about being denied access to an engine they wanted (RD-180), Orbital would look poor in denying another company access to a motor they need (Castor 120).

If Athena is already dead it doesn't matter.

Offline Prober

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Wow.

Anyone wanna bet Orbital's solution to the Ukraine crisis as it affects Antares is somewhere between Stratolaunch (already has ATK stages) and Athena III (replace those AJ-26s & Ukrainian tanks with a solid)?
cheers, Martin

Maybe Orbital is looking at their NASA supply contract.  Sure ATK can make or replace the tanks made in Ukraine.

« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 03:37 AM by Prober »
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Offline Prober

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Of course if LM wants to buy motors from them, Orbital would be in a funny position denying them after their recent RD-180 lawsuit.


LM was not sued.


If Athena is already dead it doesn't matter.

Maybe not?  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34558.0
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Offline john smith 19

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Wowwwwwwwwwwww!

I would have seen an Orbital / SpaceX merger as a more likely play.  Maybe there will be an Orbital ATK / SpaceX merger someday.  Hmmm hmmm hmmm.
Why?

Their corporate cultures have "Government contractor" stamped bone deep, complete with the relevant mindset regarding costs and schedules.

Musk knows big solids are the kiss of death for reusability and crew rating. Antares was never crew rated and never designed to carry a crew capsule.

So what would a merger with either of them give Spacex they actually want?

AFAIK the answer is nothing.

"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline mmeijeri

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I wonder if an Aerojet Rocketdyne / ULA merger is next.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline Lars_J

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This might be in play now if they can launch on Orbital
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27265.0
Composite Crew Module

I don't think that is going to happen. That was just a leftover from an early Orion study contract, then put on display as a new "Liberty" spacecraft. No additional work was done done it, so - No, I doubt it.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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I wonder if an Aerojet Rocketdyne / ULA merger is next.
No - where's the satellite component?

SS/L was sold to MDA. That plus Aerojet plus something like Dynetics might work as well or better. This however isn't so competitive due to lack of large revenue streams.

ULA exists off of Boeing and Lockheed's joint desire to exploit EELV as long as possible. Wrecks financial performance to add a capital sink like low volume engines you only consume and might not sell to others enough. Also, neither Boeing or Lockheed would supply enough capital to spin-off something that could on its own compete against either or both of them.

You need spacecraft, propulsion, and LV all together to play in this league.

SpaceX wants to play the game all up new, doesn't want to factor in legacy anything ever.

add:
However there is a ULA angle present here. ATK has dabbled in competing against ULA for national security launch capability, and with Orbital's skills could pull off serious competition for those EELV launches if the block buy was halted.

Say SpaceX delays the contract for a few years, but doesn't make it to economic reusability in that timeframe. There's enough time for OrbATK (OrAK? OK?) to pivot and offer a competent SRB-X derivative to garner more than half the launches. Maybe grab a hydrolox second stage engine and pull off an Ariane 6 PPH like vehicle?

Both of these approaches are excellent economics for cynical response of "yeah, sure you'll increase launch frequency - not!"
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 05:27 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline mmeijeri

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No - where's the satellite component?

Who says there has to be one?

Quote
ULA exists off of Boeing and Lockheed's joint desire to exploit EELV as long as possible. Wrecks financial performance to add a capital sink like low volume engines you only consume and might not sell to others enough. Also, neither Boeing or Lockheed would supply enough capital to spin-off something that could on its own compete against either or both of them.

It doesn't have to be ULA buying Aerojet. I'd guess the reverse or a true merger is more likely.
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Offline newpylong

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Way too much doom and gloom here.

Offline Jim

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I wonder if an Aerojet Rocketdyne / ULA merger is next.

ULA can't.  ULA only exists for the EELVs (Delta IV and Atlas V).  It is not a generic rocket company. If Delta IV and Atlas V go away, so does ULA.  Aerojet Rocketdyne will still produce engines.

Offline mmeijeri

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ULA can't.  ULA only exists for the EELVs (Delta IV and Atlas V).  It is not a generic rocket company. If Delta IV and Atlas V go away, so does ULA.  Aerojet Rocketdyne will still produce engines.

Couldn't Boeing and LM sell ULA to Aerojet Rocketdyne or agree to its merger with AR? Corporate politics aside, do you think this would be a good move? Are we seeing the beginnings of a trend towards vertical integration?
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Offline edkyle99

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From an ATK perspective, you are now part of a satan sandwich where you have to show your new boss that solids are more competitive than everything.
Orbital management may be becoming the immediate "boss", but I think that ATK shareholders are going to hold the majority of the company.   

 - Ed Kyle

Offline mmeijeri

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There's probably an overlap in the groups of shareholders and the difference in stake is small.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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ULA can't.  ULA only exists for the EELVs (Delta IV and Atlas V).  It is not a generic rocket company. If Delta IV and Atlas V go away, so does ULA.  Aerojet Rocketdyne will still produce engines.

Couldn't Boeing and LM sell ULA to Aerojet Rocketdyne or agree to its merger with AR? Corporate politics aside, do you think this would be a good move? Are we seeing the beginnings of a trend towards vertical integration?

I think it's possible that Boeing and Lockheed Martin would sell ULA once it's no longer the profit machine it is today - and SpaceX being able to compete for USG launches is what opens the door to that.  Likely wouldn't happen for years though...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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No - where's the satellite component?

Who says there has to be one?
I do.

The majority of revenue in this business is in the payload, not the launch services. Thus, what made Orbital grow and be attractive for this merger was to be able to sell either sats plus external launch services, or "full service" sat on orbit.

How do you compete with that otherwise.

Pardon me, but are we arguing aerospace economics, aerospace management, or aerospace strategy? Or your whim for the sake of argument? I'm honestly clueless to your post.


Quote
ULA exists off of Boeing and Lockheed's joint desire to exploit EELV as long as possible. Wrecks financial performance to add a capital sink like low volume engines you only consume and might not sell to others enough. Also, neither Boeing or Lockheed would supply enough capital to spin-off something that could on its own compete against either or both of them.

It doesn't have to be ULA buying Aerojet. I'd guess the reverse or a true merger is more likely.
Then what would be the point of such a merger? Because its cool to you?

Businesses merge when they need to restructure strategically. Clearly here ATK is dead-ended and cannot adapt, it needs to get out of the box. Orbital is under resourced and can do more. So it makes sense. What is your rational for a ULA merger?

Am I asking to much of you to explain your reasoning beyond whim all to present in these threads?

Offline jongoff

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I wonder if an Aerojet Rocketdyne / ULA merger is next.

It would be interesting, especially AJR could peel ULA away from Boeing and LM.

~Jon

Offline Jim

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Despite the fact that both SpaceX and Tesla clearly prove vertically integrated manufacturing works and can realize huge cost savings vs. outsourcing everything,

Tesla is not relevant nor do they prove your point.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Interesting! 

My thinking is that from an Orbital perspective, merging with SpaceX would allow flights to ISS to continue with/without modified NK-33 liquid engines.  I'd bet Musk wants to focus on big battery facilities now, would sell cheap. 

From an ATK perspective, you are now part of a satan sandwich where you have to show your new boss that solids are more competitive than everything.

IMHO Currently ATK solids probably do not not have to be more competitive but sooner than rival designs.

ATK can ask Orbital for a full interface description of the Antares first stage and see how close they can get to meeting that interface.  A few conversion boxes may be needed.

Offline Go4TLI

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ULA can't.  ULA only exists for the EELVs (Delta IV and Atlas V).  It is not a generic rocket company. If Delta IV and Atlas V go away, so does ULA.  Aerojet Rocketdyne will still produce engines.

Couldn't Boeing and LM sell ULA to Aerojet Rocketdyne or agree to its merger with AR? Corporate politics aside, do you think this would be a good move? Are we seeing the beginnings of a trend towards vertical integration?

I think it's possible that Boeing and Lockheed Martin would sell ULA once it's no longer the profit machine it is today - and SpaceX being able to compete for USG launches is what opens the door to that.  Likely wouldn't happen for years though...

So to summarize from this thread and various posts:

1.  ATK is still the root of all evil and Orbital will now be forced to join them as the right hand of the devil
2.  Boeing and LM should for some reason sell off ULA...to Aerojet of all.
3.  Boeing and LM suck because they just want "profit machines". 
4.  SpaceX is once again elevated to god-like status and if it is anyone but SpaceX then that company and it's employees only care about being "government contracts" and nothing about cost and schedule of the project in which they are working. 

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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I wonder if an Aerojet Rocketdyne / ULA merger is next.

It would be interesting, especially AJR could peel ULA away from Boeing and LM.

~Jon
How does this benefit the shareholders of ULA? They'd like to cash out in this case, because they'd compete anew.

Who would supply the funds/cash/equity? Boeing and LockMart want own resources for own business, not to fund others. They also want to compete with each other, and be able to combine own LV skills as component of future non-LV offerings - how does that work?

Why is there no justification to these posts? Other than whim? This is a really hard business, has been so for decades, and its clearly changing rapidly, so attention to detail and why matters most now.

Offline jongoff

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I wonder if an Aerojet Rocketdyne / ULA merger is next.

It would be interesting, especially AJR could peel ULA away from Boeing and LM.

~Jon
How does this benefit the shareholders of ULA? They'd like to cash out in this case, because they'd compete anew.

Who would supply the funds/cash/equity? Boeing and LockMart want own resources for own business, not to fund others. They also want to compete with each other, and be able to combine own LV skills as component of future non-LV offerings - how does that work?

Why is there no justification to these posts? Other than whim? This is a really hard business, has been so for decades, and its clearly changing rapidly, so attention to detail and why matters most now.

Buy definition if Boeing and LM sold ULA to AJR, they would sell for a price that they felt was a fair trade for the net present value of its future revenue streams. I personally doubt that AJR would be willing to buy at that price, but my point was that it would be nice for ULA as a company to be owned by someone who was more directly interested in seeing them be successful and competitive in the long-term. A more competitive ULA would also be better for the space sector in general. But I do agree that neither Boeing or LM would want to have ULA competing against them, so they'd probably charge a dear price to make such a merger happening. That still doesn't mean I can't say it would be nice to see something like that happen even if I think it's pretty unlikely.

~Jon

Online Chris Bergin

Ok, so I'm getting nothing done because my e-mail is going BING. BING. BING every minute with report to mods and random bollocks about "I think that this deal is interesting because..." (post it, I'm not here all day for a bloody tea party) or someone sobbing all over their keyboard because they saw a post they didn't agree with.

So, next person to post something stupid, insulting, confrontation, or basically not adding to a normal conversation gets their arse banned for 24 hours.

Are we clear? Good.

Seriously, the next person. No restrictions, could be Charlie Bolden himself. Next person to post something that causes my e-mail to go nuts gets my size 11 in their backside.

Thanks :)

Offline Jim

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ATK can ask Orbital for a full interface description of the Antares first stage and see how close they can get to meeting that interface.  A few conversion boxes may be needed.

a.  ATK makes motors not stages.  Orbital already puts boxes on ATK motors for Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur. 
b.  Dulles is not going to throw requirements over the fence for Utah to work.  Now they are one team, so ATK is not going to ask Orbital for anything.  If there is going to be a solid first stage for Antares, Orbital ATK will form a design team with people from Utah and Dulles facilities.   

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Buy definition if Boeing and LM sold ULA to AJR, they would sell for a price that they felt was a fair trade for the net present value of its future revenue streams.
Extremely hard to assess at this point, because its hard to tell if future revenue streams are secured by certain assets or encumbered by them. In the past, defense prime's played extremely fast and loose here and often got burned for it.  My hunch is that this issue played heavily  in the OrbATK merger pending. Really hard to see that you could make that decision.

So they can't justify demonstrated value implying future value producing revenue. Large firms have to book huge liabilities in these cases to offset. So you might get your wish here because they can't see clarity on your statement above.

I personally doubt that AJR would be willing to buy at that price, but my point was that it would be nice for ULA as a company to be owned by someone who was more directly interested in seeing them be successful and competitive in the long-term. A more competitive ULA would also be better for the space sector in general.
SpaceX appears to be funded not necessarily for profit, thus its decisions are potentially like " better for the space sector in general". E.g. you'd like a rational like minded rival to them formed out of ULA, to give them a run for their money.

Fair enough. But where's the Elon Musk to fund such? I assume Jeff Bezos?

But I do agree that neither Boeing or LM would want to have ULA competing against them, so they'd probably charge a dear price to make such a merger happening. That still doesn't mean I can't say it would be nice to see something like that happen even if I think it's pretty unlikely.
Yes.

It depends on the salvage value of EELV. And the need to replace EELV ahead of EOL, possibly to compete with anything new cooked up in the next decade. Its dubious that govt would fund an "EEELV" or some such follow on now. Or that these two would want to stomach the risks of such a program - not much upside, lots of downside.

Only alternative is to acquire or cut sweetheart deals with those who do wish to dominate. And then you want more than one because too much would depend on an out of house source.

This is to me the interesting part of all the moves right now.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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I would have seen an Orbital / SpaceX merger as a more likely play.  Maybe there will be an Orbital ATK / SpaceX merger someday.  Hmmm hmmm hmmm.

Only over Elon Musk's cold, dead body.  Musk created SpaceX to be a fundamentally different space company.  He sees it as a radically different corporate culture.  There's no way Musk would have any interest in merging with any other sizeable company.


Offline john smith 19

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Interesting! 

My thinking is that from an Orbital perspective, merging with SpaceX would allow flights to ISS to continue with/without modified NK-33 liquid engines.
Spacex can go on doing that already. That's one of the benefits of swallowing the cost of doing engine development in house.
Quote
  I'd bet Musk wants to focus on big battery facilities now, would sell cheap. 
You seem to either be assuming a)Musk cannot multi task b)He doesn't really want to go to Mars.

I am unaware of any evidence to support either contention.  :(

My usual working rule when dealing with Space is to ask a simple question. "How does this (whatever it is) help Elon get to Mars better, faster or safer?" If than answer is "It does not" then I think it's an odds on bet it won't happen.

Quote
From an ATK perspective, you are now part of a satan sandwich where you have to show your new boss that solids are more competitive than everything.
Not really. Solids have been the preferred options for weapons systems since Robert McNamara cancelled the Titan II upgrades in the early 60's.

The justification for their use on crewed system has very little to do with rationality and much more to do with political connectivity and historical precedent, neither of which have changed.   :(

As the plot for a drama series what you propose would offer much scope for double crossing, back stabbing and other assorted plot twists.

IRL Musk would have to be hit in the head with a baseball bat several times before he was concussed enough to agree with such a notion.  :(
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 08:18 PM by john smith 19 »
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline simonbp

Just throwing this out there: Antares II with ATK composite liquid first stage with one NK-33/AJ-36 and several Delta-heritage SRBs for thrust augmentation. Removes Ukraine from the supply chain, allows them stretch existing NK-33 supplies for longer (until AJR makes new ones), and is is completely vertically integrated except for that engine.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Just throwing this out there: Antares II with ATK composite liquid first stage with one NK-33/AJ-36 and several Delta-heritage SRBs for thrust augmentation. Removes Ukraine from the supply chain, allows them stretch existing NK-33 supplies for longer (until AJR makes new ones), and is is completely vertically integrated except for that engine.
Takes too long, costs too much. Pad mods galore. And you don't buy back enough time or get off the Russian engine. So not enough bang for the development buck.

Best thing would be about this is reuse of existing solids and first stage assets. Likely way would be a second solid above the existing first stage but below the existing solid second stage. It would have trouble with T/W and clearing the pad. But yes you could buy a few years more.

Offline Antares

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T/W trouble with GEM strapons?  You might have pad damage problems, might have first stage acoustic problems.  AJ26 are considered American engines.  Talk to OSTP, not me.  Not sure if RP and LOX composite tanks have been sufficiently demonstrated as flight worthy for a private company to take the development risk.  Only the government is dumb enough to put that in the critical development path.
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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T/W trouble with GEM strapons?  You might have pad damage problems, might have first stage acoustic problems.  AJ26 are considered American engines.  Talk to OSTP, not me.  Not sure if RP and LOX composite tanks have been sufficiently demonstrated as flight worthy for a private company to take the development risk.  Only the government is dumb enough to put that in the critical development path.
Nope, meant inline solid above liquid first stage. Avoids pad issues and acoustics. Need to change load paths but he said "new first stage" with composites able to handle such loads. E.g. a Castor derivative given time constraints. In no way an optimal design.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 09:08 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline rayleighscatter

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There's another way to look at this too. Solids experience isn't just heading to Orbital, liquids experience is heading to ATK.

Offline simonbp

Not sure if RP and LOX composite tanks have been sufficiently demonstrated as flight worthy for a private company to take the development risk.  Only the government is dumb enough to put that in the critical development path.

You mean X-33, right? IIRC the failure its composite LH2 tank (lead contractor, ATK) really tarred the name for many.

I suggested a composite first stage because most of ATK's experience in structures is composites, so it is a plausible path to keep it all in-house. Unlike X-33, the first stage of an Antares successor doesn't have to be super-efficient, so there is plenty of mass margin for a LOX tank with a liner (if needed).

Another wild card in all this is could be XCOR, which have done a lot of contract for ATK in the past and are marketing their "Nonburnite" oxidizer-friendly composite material.

http://xcor.com/composites/

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Whatttt didn't see this coming...
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Offline manboy

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Peter B. de Selding (@pbdes) tweeted at 10:01am - 29 Apr 14:

"Orbital CEO: Our big problem with LVs has been need to outsource propulsion system, which is 25-35% of LV cost. ATK merger solves problem. (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/461143290952564736)

"Orbital CEO's comments on ATK merger suggest co moving to ATK to replace Russian 1st stage propulsion system on Orbital's Antares rocket. (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/461146655036030976)
I usually don't like solids but I'm glad to hear that a greater percentage of Antares 2 will be built in the USA.
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I ask it again. I wonder what model they will use for transferring the solids from what was ATK to the Antares group. It was what ever ATK sold them to Orbital for. Will they continue to use that price when accounting for them, or a more traditional cost plus 10.

Depending how much ATK was marking them up and how much the new "Orbital ATK" is willing to leave on the table when going after new contracts I wonder if we could see a 10% reduction in LV prices.

What percentage of satellite costs are the solar panels? Anyone have a ball park?

Oh to be a fly on the wall when the former Orbital guys find out how much ATK was marking up the solids and solar panels. It is not often you get to see how good a poker player you and your vendor really are.
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Online Chris Bergin

So this is later than I would have wanted it to go on, but my day jobs took up 14 hours of today and I want Chris G to concentrate on an article very much in his field. Not making excuses, but I know a lot of people think I do this as a full time job (I wish!)

At the same time, this is too big a deal to leave the news to the forum, so I wrote an article. I had to cover the announcement, so did that in the opening paras, but we're about the space hardware here, so angled this with the current synergy they have with Antares and Stratolaunch.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/04/orbital-atk-form-space-flight-super-group/

Offline TrevorMonty

Nice article. Keep the good work.

Offline Prober

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Just throwing this out there: Antares II with ATK composite liquid first stage with one NK-33/AJ-36 and several Delta-heritage SRBs for thrust augmentation. Removes Ukraine from the supply chain, allows them stretch existing NK-33 supplies for longer (until AJR makes new ones), and is is completely vertically integrated except for that engine.

My turn to throw something out:   When you listen to the webcast you hear the term "Vertical Integration"  Maybe this new company wishes to manufacture the AJ-26 in-house?   
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Offline Prober

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ATK can ask Orbital for a full interface description of the Antares first stage and see how close they can get to meeting that interface.  A few conversion boxes may be needed.

a.  ATK makes motors not stages.  Orbital already puts boxes on ATK motors for Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur. 
b.  Dulles is not going to throw requirements over the fence for Utah to work.  Now they are one team, so ATK is not going to ask Orbital for anything.  If there is going to be a solid first stage for Antares, Orbital ATK will form a design team with people from Utah and Dulles facilities.

Sounds like you view this merger as a positive Jim?
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Offline jongoff

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ATK can ask Orbital for a full interface description of the Antares first stage and see how close they can get to meeting that interface.  A few conversion boxes may be needed.

a.  ATK makes motors not stages.  Orbital already puts boxes on ATK motors for Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur. 
b.  Dulles is not going to throw requirements over the fence for Utah to work.  Now they are one team, so ATK is not going to ask Orbital for anything.  If there is going to be a solid first stage for Antares, Orbital ATK will form a design team with people from Utah and Dulles facilities.

Sounds like you view this merger as a positive Jim?

I can't speak for Jim, but I think there's a good chance this merger will be good for Orbital, and I agree with GO4TLI that a lot of the anti-ATK hyperbole on this thread is a little overblown. ATK had many good groups working on a wide range of satellite systems, subsystems, and robotic tools, as well as some small liquid propulsion (they worked with XCOR on the LOX/Methane engine they did several years back). Being able to vertically integrate launch and spacecraft is a good benefit for OSC. Is this going to revolutionize the launch industry? Probably not. But that doesn't mean that it isn't a good deal for OSC and ATK.

~Jon

Offline simonbp

Being able to vertically integrate launch and spacecraft is a good benefit for OSC.

It is interesting that when Orbital got the CRS contract, a lot was made about just how horizontally integrated the Taurus II/Cygnus system was, in contrast to the completely vertically integrated SpaceX. It seems that that business model failed for them, and that now they really want to be vertically integrated.

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Being able to vertically integrate launch and spacecraft is a good benefit for OSC.

It is interesting that when Orbital got the CRS contract, a lot was made about just how horizontally integrated the Taurus II/Cygnus system was, in contrast to the completely vertically integrated SpaceX. It seems that that business model failed for them, and that now they really want to be vertically integrated.

Think we missed it;  everyone thinks ATK Solid Rocket motors

But if you look at their web site, ATK is a manufacturer with many years of experience in many areas.  So now its very possible Orbital ATK can one way or another manufacture the AJ-26 or a clone of it.   The combined company could make the tankage, and the Cygnus.  For the CRS contract maybe 90% content.  Going to be very interesting to watch :D
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Offline john smith 19

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Think we missed it;  everyone thinks ATK Solid Rocket motors

But if you look at their web site, ATK is a manufacturer with many years of experience in many areas.  So now its very possible Orbital ATK can one way or another manufacture the AJ-26 or a clone of it.   The combined company could make the tankage, and the Cygnus.  For the CRS contract maybe 90% content.  Going to be very interesting to watch :D
You might like to peruse their catalogue.

http://www.atk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ATK-Motor-Catalog-2012.pdf

All are solid. No liquid capability at all. Orbital's is hypergolic thrusters and whatever they've learned launching Antares.

And since AFAIK the NK33 did not raise near the political stink the RD180 on the Atlas V did I'm not sure Orbital ATK can legally mfg anything, although on the Antares upgrade thread replace or restart NK33 mfg was my #1 pick for an upgrade.  :(
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Offline notsorandom

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Being able to vertically integrate launch and spacecraft is a good benefit for OSC.

It is interesting that when Orbital got the CRS contract, a lot was made about just how horizontally integrated the Taurus II/Cygnus system was, in contrast to the completely vertically integrated SpaceX. It seems that that business model failed for them, and that now they really want to be vertically integrated.
I don't think the horizontal integration strategy of Antares and Cygnus failed them. The system was has worked as designed and they have said it is profitable at the flight rate they are seeing. Orbital has been posting some good earnings as of late too.

Offline majormajor42

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Re: Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine
« Reply #107 on: 04/30/2014 01:30 PM »
FWIW:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shareholder-alert-brodsky-smith-llc-announces-investigation-of-orbital-sciences-corp-orb-2014-04-29?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Quote
Following the spin-off, Orbital shareholders will receive only 0.449 shares of the remaining assets of ATK for each share of Orbital stock they own. The investigation concerns possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the Board of Directors of Orbital for not acting in the Company's shareholders' best interests in connection with the merger. The transaction may undervalue Orbital as the Company stock have risen over 70% in the last year as a reflection of the Company's success in launching unmanned supply ships to the International Space Station.  In addition, following the merger the co-founder of Orbital will serve as the President and CEO of the merged company.

funny, while ORB is up 75% over 1yr, including yesterday's bump, they fail to mention ATK is up 103%!

I guess the relevant issue is whether this 45% 55% split is judged to be fair. My uneducated opinion is yes. Both companies have value. ATK slightly more. Lawsuits will happen, but I'm not seeing anyone here specifically saying that the weighting of the deal is bad for ORB.
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Offline Jim

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Think we missed it;  everyone thinks ATK Solid Rocket motors

But if you look at their web site, ATK is a manufacturer with many years of experience in many areas.  So now its very possible Orbital ATK can one way or another manufacture the AJ-26 or a clone of it.   The combined company could make the tankage, and the Cygnus.  For the CRS contract maybe 90% content.  Going to be very interesting to watch :D


Because that is true and it is not applicable to rocket engines.  ATK doesn't bring anything to the table when it comes to turbopump engines.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Now all eyes turn to Aerojet, the next shoe.

I'm gonna say bingo.

Also, interesting to note who the majority owner is, but whose name is listed first in the new company logo.

Maybe a poll on whether or not launch prices will fall?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline MP99

FWIW:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shareholder-alert-brodsky-smith-llc-announces-investigation-of-orbital-sciences-corp-orb-2014-04-29?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Quote
Following the spin-off, Orbital shareholders will receive only 0.449 shares of the remaining assets of ATK for each share of Orbital stock they own. The investigation concerns possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the Board of Directors of Orbital for not acting in the Company's shareholders' best interests in connection with the merger. The transaction may undervalue Orbital as the Company stock have risen over 70% in the last year as a reflection of the Company's success in launching unmanned supply ships to the International Space Station.  In addition, following the merger the co-founder of Orbital will serve as the President and CEO of the merged company.

funny, while ORB is up 75% over 1yr, including yesterday's bump, they fail to mention ATK is up 103%!

I guess the relevant issue is whether this 45% 55% split is judged to be fair. My uneducated opinion is yes. Both companies have value. ATK slightly more. Lawsuits will happen, but I'm not seeing anyone here specifically saying that the weighting of the deal is bad for ORB.

Orb shares trading at $30.29 today.
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ORB

Orb shareholders will receive 146.99 * 0.449 = $66.00 per Orb share
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ATK (does not account for sporting goods element to be spun off)

Doesn't that give Orb shareholders twice their current value? BTW, IANA Financaial Advisor!!

cheers, Martin

Edit: rewritten.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 02:15 PM by MP99 »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Wowwwwwwwwwwww!

I would have seen an Orbital / SpaceX merger as a more likely play.  Maybe there will be an Orbital ATK / SpaceX merger someday.  Hmmm hmmm hmmm.
Why?

Their corporate cultures have "Government contractor" stamped bone DNA deep, complete with the relevant mindset regarding costs and schedules.

Musk knows big solids are the kiss of death for reusability and crew rating. Antares was never crew rated and never designed to carry a crew capsule.

So what would a merger with either of them give Spacex they actually want?

AFAIK the answer is nothing.

With one minor tweak, I totally agree.  Why would SpaceX merge with anybody?  (except Design / Program Associates, of course, but hey.)
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Having read Chris' article, I think maybe StratoLaunch could be the main beneficiary of this merger.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline MP99

In the merger, ATK shareholders will own approximately 53.8% of the equity of the combined company and Orbital shareholders will own approximately 46.2%.

Market Cap: 1.85B http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ORB
Market Cap: 4.70B http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ATK (does not account for sporting goods element to be spun off)

Doesn't that mean the market cap should be roughly 1.85B + 4.70B = 6.55B?

ATK (yes, with sporting goods) is ~72% of the combined cap, yet it gets them "53.8% of the equity of the combined company".

"Orbital shareholders will own approximately 46.2%" despite apparently bringing ~28% of the value to the party.

How big is that sporting goods division?

I'm not sure I see why this company is complaining. It's obvious that IANAFA!!

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 02:28 PM by MP99 »

Offline R7

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This definitely solidifies Antares propulsion. Pun intended.
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Online Chris Bergin

Having read Chris' article, I think maybe StratoLaunch could be the main beneficiary of this merger.

Firstly, thanks for reading! :) Secondly, it's certainly very good news for that system. It'll be a lot more than just that, but you've worked out the reason I highlighted that one, along with Antares.

Offline jongoff

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Being able to vertically integrate launch and spacecraft is a good benefit for OSC.

It is interesting that when Orbital got the CRS contract, a lot was made about just how horizontally integrated the Taurus II/Cygnus system was, in contrast to the completely vertically integrated SpaceX. It seems that that business model failed for them, and that now they really want to be vertically integrated.

To me the vertical integration that helps is doing the spacecraft and the rocket. The vertical integration of doing every part of the rocket in-house may be less critical.

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Think we missed it;  everyone thinks ATK Solid Rocket motors

But if you look at their web site, ATK is a manufacturer with many years of experience in many areas.  So now its very possible Orbital ATK can one way or another manufacture the AJ-26 or a clone of it.   The combined company could make the tankage, and the Cygnus.  For the CRS contract maybe 90% content.  Going to be very interesting to watch :D
You might like to peruse their catalogue.

http://www.atk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ATK-Motor-Catalog-2012.pdf

All are solid. No liquid capability at all. Orbital's is hypergolic thrusters and whatever they've learned launching Antares.

And since AFAIK the NK33 did not raise near the political stink the RD180 on the Atlas V did I'm not sure Orbital ATK can legally mfg anything, although on the Antares upgrade thread replace or restart NK33 mfg was my #1 pick for an upgrade.  :(

While I doubt that ATK has enough of the relevant experience to build and qualify a sophisticated large liquid-fueled rocket engine like NK33, they do have a liquid division--or at least they did. XCOR worked with ATK's liquids group (based out of somewhere in upstate NY IIRC) back 5-7yrs ago on the large LOX/Methane engine for NASA.

So while I agree with your overall point (skepticism that ATK is going to all of the sudden start cranking-out NK-33 class staged combustion LOX/Kero engines anytime soon), I think you overstate your case on their lack of liquids capabilities.

~Jon

Offline Coastal Ron

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I can't speak for Jim, but I think there's a good chance this merger will be good for Orbital, and I agree with GO4TLI that a lot of the anti-ATK hyperbole on this thread is a little overblown.

I think a lot of anti-FILL IN THE BLANK type hyperbole is more directed at the management of companies, and not the companies themselves, although that distinction may not be easy to see in the various conversations.  For ATK, they make a lot of great hardware, and must have lots of smart, hard working people.  However their management may sometimes be perceived as being a consummate player of the "how can I squeeze as much money from the U.S. Government as possible" game, which is where negative comments may come from.

As to the merger, I think it makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint, and should make Orbital's launch and space hardware more competitive in the future.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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The vertical integration will certainly help them from a profitability standpoint. A more profitable company is a stronger company.

Or as I look at it, a new space company has gobbled up an old space company :)
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Offline mmeijeri

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To me the vertical integration that helps is doing the spacecraft and the rocket.

It could certainly help by using things like propellant transfer and/or docking to get large satellites to GEO with small launch vehicles. If you build your own satellite and launch vehicle, you have less persuading to do.
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Offline Prober

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Think we missed it;  everyone thinks ATK Solid Rocket motors

But if you look at their web site, ATK is a manufacturer with many years of experience in many areas.  So now its very possible Orbital ATK can one way or another manufacture the AJ-26 or a clone of it.   The combined company could make the tankage, and the Cygnus.  For the CRS contract maybe 90% content.  Going to be very interesting to watch :D

While I doubt that ATK has enough of the relevant experience to build and qualify a sophisticated large liquid-fueled rocket engine like NK33, they do have a liquid division--or at least they did. XCOR worked with ATK's liquids group (based out of somewhere in upstate NY IIRC) back 5-7yrs ago on the large LOX/Methane engine for NASA.

So while I agree with your overall point (skepticism that ATK is going to all of the sudden start cranking-out NK-33 class staged combustion LOX/Kero engines anytime soon), I think you overstate your case on their lack of liquids capabilities.

~Jon

I understand where you're coming from jon....think my point got lost with everyone.  Let me try it again...

ATK = manufacturing & propulsion expertise & CNC machines etc.
Orbital = Electronics etc. real experience launching a 1970's era rocket engine.
Each company has a "cash cow"
That's what comes to the table for this project.

Look at the AJ-26 Status = what's in stock then done.
Management thinking =  Wants to keep the investment in Antares flying....what to do?

Clone the AJ-26.......Understand cloning isn't developing
The old name for "Clone" would be reverse engineering.  Today its very possible to take cast hardware and "clone" a perfect copy.  So any real development work isn't needed the toolsets handle it.

For our interests the company would clone the AJ-26 and test the parts to make sure they are correct. So we are again talking "no development".  The electronics can be purchased from Aerojet, or in house developed making the engine the companies own.

The 70's era castings should be no problem to duplicate. Using the existing CNC equipment ATK has, or even investing in bargain used CNC equipment,  the finished product should be of higher tolerances then the current inventory of AJ-26's.

Finished costs could be very competitive.


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I understand where you're coming from jon....think my point got lost with everyone.  Let me try it again...

ATK = manufacturing & propulsion expertise & CNC machines etc.
Orbital = Electronics etc. real experience launching a 1970's era rocket engine.
Each company has a "cash cow"
That's what comes to the table for this project.

Look at the AJ-26 Status = what's in stock then done.
Management thinking =  Wants to keep the investment in Antares flying....what to do?

Clone the AJ-26.......Understand cloning isn't developing
The old name for "Clone" would be reverse engineering.  Today its very possible to take cast hardware and "clone" a perfect copy.  So any real development work isn't needed the toolsets handle it.

For our interests the company would clone the AJ-26 and test the parts to make sure they are correct. So we are again talking "no development".  The electronics can be purchased from Aerojet, or in house developed making the engine the companies own.

The 70's era castings should be no problem to duplicate. Using the existing CNC equipment ATK has, or even investing in bargain used CNC equipment,  the finished product should be of higher tolerances then the current inventory of AJ-26's.

Finished costs could be very competitive.
Pretty sure this would be thoroughly illegal.

Offline Prober

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I understand where you're coming from jon....think my point got lost with everyone.  Let me try it again...

ATK = manufacturing & propulsion expertise & CNC machines etc.
Orbital = Electronics etc. real experience launching a 1970's era rocket engine.
Each company has a "cash cow"
That's what comes to the table for this project.

Look at the AJ-26 Status = what's in stock then done.
Management thinking =  Wants to keep the investment in Antares flying....what to do?

Clone the AJ-26.......Understand cloning isn't developing
The old name for "Clone" would be reverse engineering.  Today its very possible to take cast hardware and "clone" a perfect copy.  So any real development work isn't needed the toolsets handle it.

For our interests the company would clone the AJ-26 and test the parts to make sure they are correct. So we are again talking "no development".  The electronics can be purchased from Aerojet, or in house developed making the engine the companies own.

The 70's era castings should be no problem to duplicate. Using the existing CNC equipment ATK has, or even investing in bargain used CNC equipment,  the finished product should be of higher tolerances then the current inventory of AJ-26's.

Finished costs could be very competitive.
Pretty sure this would be thoroughly illegal.

How so ....explain?
Is the Russian government going to sue?

Would also remind you that China purchase engines from Ukraine and reverse engineered and plan on using them for their advanced rocket in the future.  This is done all the time.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 08:20 PM by Prober »
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Offline notsorandom

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Aerojet Rocketdyne is going to sit by and watch while another company clones their engine?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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The vertical integration will certainly help them from a profitability standpoint. A more profitable company is a stronger company.

Or as I look at it, a new space company has gobbled up an old space company :)
Yes has the potential for improvement.

I've long thought of ATK as a "cave man" company, not due to lack of capability or effectiveness to potentially compete. But because the way that management has chosen to run the business doesn't allow them to apply the potential for a better result. Cave men with stone rockets.

Both Japan and Europe have gotten far more effective in how they deploy SRBs cost effectively than ATK. Shipping solid segments is just plain nuts when you look at the total economics - this is one of hundreds of examples I don't wish to type into a post.

So ORB has a track record of doing things better, if they can make ATK work better and fit in to the competitive landscape, well that will be great. Smart men then with stone rockets.

edit: missed a /
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 08:47 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

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So this is later than I would have wanted it to go on, but my day jobs took up 14 hours of today and I want Chris G to concentrate on an article very much in his field. Not making excuses, but I know a lot of people think I do this as a full time job (I wish!)

At the same time, this is too big a deal to leave the news to the forum, so I wrote an article. I had to cover the announcement, so did that in the opening paras, but we're about the space hardware here, so angled this with the current synergy they have with Antares and Stratolaunch.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/04/orbital-atk-form-space-flight-super-group/

Nice read

I'm hoping it doesn't impact the workers negatively (job losses)

Still not sure how I feel about the merger, but it certainly is a big plus for Stratolaunch, which I like.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline edkyle99

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How so ....explain?
Is the Russian government going to sue?
Russia's Kuznetsov Design Bureau must approve any new manufacturing of these engines.  Kuznetsov would be able to sue, and win, if its design was stolen outright in this fashion.   Aerojet claims that it has "complete design documentation and a manufacturing license for production of new engines in the U.S", but last year Orbital revealed that there are "Russian restrictions" that limit what can actually be done, and that new NK-33 engines would have to be produced in Russia. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 10:19 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline jcm

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I've put together a list of Orbital ATK's ancestor companies  at http://planet4589.org/latest.html

Comments welcome.
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

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With one minor tweak, I totally agree.  Why would SpaceX merge with anybody?  (except Design / Program Associates, of course, but hey.)
In the near term I think Spacex can build any LV they want to and any payload they are currently interested in.

However taking Musk at his word means Spacex getting into long duration deep space journeys well beyond Lunar orbit. Even a Dragon capsule carrying just 2 people is going to be pretty cramped for something like that.

I could see Spacex hooking up with Bigelow eventually but I could just as easily see them happily signing a contract to have Bigelow do the heavy lifting on a habitat and they handling the launching. 53mT packs a lot of habitable volume if it's inflatable.

The only other thing I could see Spacex merging (or given the scale actually buying) would be some business that supplied a phenomenally good way to carry out some highly specialized task they felt was utterly vital to their long term plans.

Viable radiation protective food air and water drug regime? Close to flight ready NTR engine? Reactionless drive based RCS? Who knows. On their track record if it's anything less exotic they'd probably build it themselves.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline AJA

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Maybe a poll on whether or not launch prices will fall?

Here's their own appraisal of the cost savings in numbers...

Annual revenue and cost synergies of $220-300 million are expected by 2016, consisting of $150-200 million of incremental annual revenue and $70-100 million of annual cost reductions.

Citigroup acted as financial advisor...

(Hyperlink mine. Anyone know what Citigroup did for the Shuttle?)

Back on topic, I don't know if they've accounted for the revenues/costs incurred by Orbital and ATK when they did business with each other. That figure isn't mentioned.

Anyway, I don't know the number of launches they have manifested for that period, or for the period that follows soon after... but assuming some kind of a tail-heavy distribution of cost-cuts to launch prices...

What I'm interested in is if this merger changes their position on the international map, as a cheap launch services provider for small/medium international satellites.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 11:25 PM by AJA »

Offline Prober

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Aerojet Rocketdyne is going to sit by and watch while another company clones their engine?

who says they must?

They have the RD-180 plus all the rest of Rocketdyne.   Russia doesn't think there's any future in the NK-33 or they would manufacture it.   They want everything switched over (from what I see) to the RD 191?   The RD-180 is worthless to Russia as that launcher project got killed.

Now put yourself in Orbitals place.   The company invested in a new launcher with the understanding AJ-26's would be available for the future.   
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Offline simonbp

I'm pretty sure Orbital ATK is not going to pirate Aerojet and build knock-off copies of NK-33. That would be dumb.

Offline sdsds

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[ATK] do have a liquid division--or at least they did. XCOR worked with ATK's liquids group (based out of somewhere in upstate NY IIRC) back 5-7yrs ago on the large LOX/Methane engine for NASA.

I believe the only ATK group in NY is in Ronkonkoma: their Missile Products General Applied Science Laboratory (GASL).
https://www.atk.com/locations/missile-products-ronkonkoma-n-y-2/
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Offline Prober

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[ATK] do have a liquid division--or at least they did. XCOR worked with ATK's liquids group (based out of somewhere in upstate NY IIRC) back 5-7yrs ago on the large LOX/Methane engine for NASA.

I believe the only ATK group in NY is in Ronkonkoma: their Missile Products General Applied Science Laboratory (GASL).
https://www.atk.com/locations/missile-products-ronkonkoma-n-y-2/
https://www.atk.com/products-services/manufacturing/     ATK’s Beltsville, Md
take a look at this:  https://www.atk.com/products-services/propellant-tanks/
https://www.atk.com/products-services/space-launch-vehicle-structures/
https://www.atk.com/products-services/space-shuttle-reusable-solid-rocket-motor-rsrm/
https://www.atk.com/products-services/machine-shop/
« Last Edit: 05/01/2014 01:42 AM by Prober »
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Offline jongoff

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[ATK] do have a liquid division--or at least they did. XCOR worked with ATK's liquids group (based out of somewhere in upstate NY IIRC) back 5-7yrs ago on the large LOX/Methane engine for NASA.

I believe the only ATK group in NY is in Ronkonkoma: their Missile Products General Applied Science Laboratory (GASL).
https://www.atk.com/locations/missile-products-ronkonkoma-n-y-2/

That's the one. Couldn't remember the name until jcm posted the list on the previous page.

~Jon

Offline edkyle99

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Aerojet Rocketdyne is going to sit by and watch while another company clones their engine?
They have the RD-180 plus all the rest of Rocketdyne.   Russia doesn't think there's any future in the NK-33 or they would manufacture it.   They want everything switched over (from what I see) to the RD 191?   The RD-180 is worthless to Russia as that launcher project got killed.
United Technologies still holds half ownership in RD-AMROSS, and therefore is still in charge of RD-180 use in the U.S., but of course this engine and its RD-190 series cousins are produced by Energomash in Russia.

Aerojet-Rocketdyne has U.S. rights to NK-33, but Russia's Kuznetzov will do any new production of that engine, if it ever occurs.

When it comes to primary space launch propulsion, Aerojet-Rocketdyne itself currently only manufactures RS-68 and RL-10.  Only five or six of the former fly each year.  New production of the latter hasn't happened in a few years, as I understand things.  Nothing there to inspire the accountants I suspect.

 - Ed Kyle 
« Last Edit: 05/01/2014 02:02 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline john smith 19

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When it comes to primary space launch propulsion, Aerojet-Rocketdyne itself currently only manufactures RS-68 and RL-10.  Only five or six of the former fly each year.  New production of the latter hasn't happened in a few years, as I understand things.  Nothing there to inspire the accountants I suspect.
Probably true.

I keep hoping some of the team would stage an MBO of the RL10 assets. It's got huge pedigree and I suspect it's been a bit of a cash cow. Out on its own I could see a more streamlined production that doesn't take the claimed 70 000 hours to mfg (although I can't believe the stories about hand filed turbine blades or hand brazed combustion chamber tubes can be true). An independent high performance LH2/LO2 engine mfg not captive to an LV mfg could have some interest from global customers.

<sigh>
Although IRL I expect a display team of Chester White's to land at Oshkosh before that happens.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline Jim

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hand brazed combustion chamber tubes can be true).

An independent high performance LH2/LO2 engine mfg not captive to an LV mfg could have some interest from global customers.


it is

and ITAR and other countries' national interest would nix this.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Athena-III to replace Antares as the LV for Cygnus in the event that core and/or NK-33 supply is interrupted?
« Last Edit: 05/01/2014 01:40 PM by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline jongoff

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Athena-III to replace Antares as the LV for Cygnus in the event that core and/or NK-33 supply is interrupted?

Core interruption is more likely than NK-33 interruption. One route I haven't heard anyone mentioning is flying Cygnus on an EELV as a stopgap measure if Antares cores get disrupted. The Cygnus bus is based on a standard spacecraft bus Orbital does, and I wouldn't be surprised if adapting it to fly on an EELV wouldn't be that big of a deal. Even the smallest EELV would be overkill for even a fully-loaded Extended Cygnus, but it could probably be done a lot sooner than an Antares first stage replacement, even if it's only used as a stopgap.

~Jon

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One route I haven't heard anyone mentioning is flying Cygnus on an EELV as a stopgap measure if Antares cores get disrupted.

How would EELV core production lead time play into that? How many delivered Antares cores does OSC have at hand at this point - 2? 3? That's supposed to cover the next year or so. Could the EELV option be ready early enough to prevent any lengthy disruption to the latter Cygnus flights?

I'm thinking work on EELV would need to start *now* for it to be available in time. Someone would need to foot the bill for that work so that's an interesting question as well. Would OSC need to do it given they have the contract or would it be NASA as they want to protect ISS?

Offline Helodriver

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Athena-III to replace Antares as the LV for Cygnus in the event that core and/or NK-33 supply is interrupted?

Core interruption is more likely than NK-33 interruption. One route I haven't heard anyone mentioning is flying Cygnus on an EELV as a stopgap measure if Antares cores get disrupted. The Cygnus bus is based on a standard spacecraft bus Orbital does, and I wouldn't be surprised if adapting it to fly on an EELV wouldn't be that big of a deal. Even the smallest EELV would be overkill for even a fully-loaded Extended Cygnus, but it could probably be done a lot sooner than an Antares first stage replacement, even if it's only used as a stopgap.

~Jon

That might be a good use of those remaining unsold Delta IIs. Has LC-17 been fully demolished yet? Perhaps it could be hosted at Wallops with some infrastructure changes, but at greater cost.

Offline Lars_J

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Athena-III to replace Antares as the LV for Cygnus in the event that core and/or NK-33 supply is interrupted?

Core interruption is more likely than NK-33 interruption. One route I haven't heard anyone mentioning is flying Cygnus on an EELV as a stopgap measure if Antares cores get disrupted. The Cygnus bus is based on a standard spacecraft bus Orbital does, and I wouldn't be surprised if adapting it to fly on an EELV wouldn't be that big of a deal. Even the smallest EELV would be overkill for even a fully-loaded Extended Cygnus, but it could probably be done a lot sooner than an Antares first stage replacement, even if it's only used as a stopgap.

~Jon

That might be a good use of those remaining unsold Delta IIs. Has LC-17 been fully demolished yet? Perhaps it could be hosted at Wallops with some infrastructure changes, but at greater cost.

No, the only remaining Delta II pads are on the west coast. (AFAIK) And it makes no sense to build a new pad at Wallops for a rocket that has only a few left in its inventory.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2014 04:55 PM by Lars_J »

Offline Jim

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That might be a good use of those remaining unsold Delta IIs. Has LC-17 been fully demolished yet? Perhaps it could be hosted at Wallops with some infrastructure changes, but at greater cost.

17 is gone and there is only one Delta II left

Offline Jim

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. Would OSC need to do it given they have the contract or would it be NASA as they want to protect ISS?

OSC has the cargo services contract, it is up to them

Offline arachnitect

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For CRS2, would it make sense to replace the Thales Alenia Cygnus PCM with a composite pressure module done by the ATK group?

Offline john smith 19

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For CRS2, would it make sense to replace the Thales Alenia Cygnus PCM with a composite pressure module done by the ATK group?
Only if the NRE costs are small enough and the current price from Thales big enough to justify it.

The design works and the US is not in sanctions with Italy.

All together I'd say no.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline arachnitect

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For CRS2, would it make sense to replace the Thales Alenia Cygnus PCM with a composite pressure module done by the ATK group?
Only if the NRE costs are small enough and the current price from Thales big enough to justify it.

The design works and the US is not in sanctions with Italy.

All together I'd say no.


I don't think there's anything wrong with the current arrangement, rather my angle on this is trying to get another 800-1500kg of payload to ISS for CRS-2... without resorting to liquid hydrogen or a whole new class of solid motors. Every 100kg taken out of Cygnus would help.

I know that the weight savings of composites disappear as the form gets more complicated, but the Cygnus PCM is as simple a shape as it gets.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Athena-III to replace Antares as the LV for Cygnus in the event that core and/or NK-33 supply is interrupted?

Core interruption is more likely than NK-33 interruption. One route I haven't heard anyone mentioning is flying Cygnus on an EELV as a stopgap measure if Antares cores get disrupted. The Cygnus bus is based on a standard spacecraft bus Orbital does, and I wouldn't be surprised if adapting it to fly on an EELV wouldn't be that big of a deal. Even the smallest EELV would be overkill for even a fully-loaded Extended Cygnus, but it could probably be done a lot sooner than an Antares first stage replacement, even if it's only used as a stopgap.

~Jon

It would be cheaper to launch Cygnus on Falcon 9.  And if SpaceX starts recovering stages, they'll have some available. :-)

Offline john smith 19

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I don't think there's anything wrong with the current arrangement, rather my angle on this is trying to get another 800-1500kg of payload to ISS for CRS-2... without resorting to liquid hydrogen or a whole new class of solid motors. Every 100kg taken out of Cygnus would help.

I know that the weight savings of composites disappear as the form gets more complicated, but the Cygnus PCM is as simple a shape as it gets.
Actually with poor enough design the supposed weight savings of composites can disappear easily as well.

Exhibit A. The VAB or instrument unit on the Ariane 5.

Despite A5 being 1/2 the diameter of the Saturn V the VAB weighs the same as that on the Saturn V despite the A5 packing laser gyroscope INS (Versus the 50Kg INS and 50Kg GN2 tank to spin them up) and the S V IU being built in Aluminum honeycomb. The Saturn V IU was also carrying about 100 tonnes of Apollo stack on top and the prime contractor was IBM, not know for their in depth aerospace know how.

TBH the Ariane 5 upgrade programme should have started at the top.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline baldusi

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The Ariane 5 VAB is also the attach point of the solids and handles all thrust transfer between solids, core and upperstage (plus fairing). That's why it is so heavy.

Offline Antares

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You think the ISS Program is going to allow a composite vessel to become part of the inhabited, pressurized volume of the International Space Station?

My head just exploded.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2014 03:02 AM by Antares »
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 arachnitect

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You think the ISS Program is going to allow a composite vessel to become part of the inhabited, pressurized volume of the International Space Station?

My head just exploded.

Someone better tell the Dreamchaser guys.

Offline R7

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My head just exploded.

Oh dear. You should get a composite head.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline john smith 19

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The Ariane 5 VAB is also the attach point of the solids and handles all thrust transfer between solids, core and upperstage (plus fairing). That's why it is so heavy.
Look at a cutaway diagram of the vehicle.

The SRB's attach at the interstage ring, not the VAB, that's at the top of the 2nd stage.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline MP99


ATK can ask Orbital for a full interface description of the Antares first stage and see how close they can get to meeting that interface.  A few conversion boxes may be needed.

a.  ATK makes motors not stages.  Orbital already puts boxes on ATK motors for Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur.

In contrast to Shuttle (SRM only), ATK is prime on the SLS booster I believe (they'll provide the whole SRB)?

cheers, Martin

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Orbital has the Prometheus lifting body design.  Maybe that could replace ATK's all composite capsule in any future crew launching proposals.

Offline john smith 19

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Orbital has the Prometheus lifting body design.  Maybe that could replace ATK's all composite capsule in any future crew launching proposals.
AFAIK Prometheus is a power point.

It's even less developed than their composite capsule.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Online AncientU

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You think the ISS Program is going to allow a composite vessel to become part of the inhabited, pressurized volume of the International Space Station?

My head just exploded.

Someone better tell the Dreamchaser guys.

And Bigelow.  Aluminum cans are great for soft drinks and such, but are likely not going to be the orbital structure standard for ever.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline sdsds

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Writing online for the Washington Business Journal, Senior Staff Reporter Jill R. Aitoro indicates:
Quote
The planned merger of Orbital Sciences Corp. and Alliant Techsystems Inc.’s defense and aerospace business got the attention of the Pentagon, which plans to review the union to ensure it doesn't negatively impact competition.

The full story:
Pentagon to review planned ATK-Orbital merger
May 9, 2014
http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2014/05/pentagon-to-review-planned-atk-orbital-merger.html
-- sdsds --

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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No big surprise; the Pentagon would do this for any merger of big defence contractors.
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Online woods170

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Writing online for the Washington Business Journal, Senior Staff Reporter Jill R. Aitoro indicates:
Quote
The planned merger of Orbital Sciences Corp. and Alliant Techsystems Inc.’s defense and aerospace business got the attention of the Pentagon, which plans to review the union to ensure it doesn't negatively impact competition.

The full story:
Pentagon to review planned ATK-Orbital merger
May 9, 2014
http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2014/05/pentagon-to-review-planned-atk-orbital-merger.html

Emphasis mine:
Considering the non-competed 36 core block-buy deal that was recently closed I find this somewhat ironic.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Considering the non-competed 36 core block-buy deal that was recently closed I find this somewhat ironic.

Well, I suppose it's possible that DoD will adopt a 'once bitten, twice shy' philosophy for the future. It's unlikely, but it is possible.
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Offline sdsds

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A Form 425 regarding Orbital Sciences Corporation has been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
-- sdsds --

Offline rayleighscatter

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ATK and Orbital press release (they were identical) today on the potential merger.
Quote
Companies Announce January 27 as New Date of Special Stockholder Meetings and Anticipated February 2015 Closing in Connection with Previously Announced Transaction to Merge ATK’s A&D Businesses with Orbital

Arlington, Va., Nov. 17, 2014—Alliant Techsystems Inc. (“ATK”) (NYSE: ATK) and Orbital Sciences Corporation (“Orbital”) (NYSE: ORB) announced today that the two companies have set January 27, 2015 as the new date for their separate, special stockholder meetings in connection with the proposed transaction to spin off ATK’s Sporting Group business and immediately thereafter, merge ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups with Orbital. On October 28, 2014, both companies communicated they would hold separate, special stockholder meetings on December 9, 2014 for ATK stockholders to vote on the issuance of shares to stockholders of Orbital and for Orbital stockholders to approve the proposed transaction. Following this announcement on October 28, 2014, a failure occurred during Orbital’s Antares launch. Since the incident, the companies have conducted a thorough review and analysis of the launch failure and Orbital’s proposed recovery plan and long-term competitive position. Following this review, ATK’s board of directors continues to support the strategic merits of the transaction and recommends that ATK stockholders vote to approve the issuance of shares to Orbital stockholders. Orbital’s board of directors also continues to recommend that Orbital stockholders vote to approve the proposed transaction.

“During the course of the last two weeks, both companies have diligently evaluated and analyzed information relating to the Antares incident and Orbital’s go-forward plan,” said Mark DeYoung, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATK. “We believe it was responsible and essential to conduct this special due diligence and as a result of our findings, management and our board of directors continue to endorse the previously announced transaction. The strategy to spin off our sporting business and merge our A&D businesses with Orbital supports long-term value creation, enhances the competitive position of both our sporting and A&D businesses, and makes long-term sense for our shareholders, employees, company, and our very diverse set of customers.”

“Working with NASA, our primary Antares customer, and our industrial suppliers, Orbital has implemented a comprehensive go-forward plan to fulfill the company’s commitment to the space agency’s commercial cargo program and to upgrade the propulsion system on the Antares rocket. As previously announced, Orbital does not believe this plan will cause material adverse financial changes in 2015 or future years,” said David W. Thompson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbital.

As a result of the Antares launch failure and the time required to complete the subsequent review process, the companies have postponed the special stockholder meetings until January 27, 2015, to be held at each company’s respective corporate headquarters. ATK and Orbital stockholders of record as of the close of business on December 16, 2014 will be entitled to vote at their respective special stockholder meetings. The record date for the spinoff will be determined and publicly announced at a later date.

The transaction is expected to close in February 2015, and is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals and the approval of both ATK’s and Orbital’s stockholders. Additional information concerning the special meetings and the transaction will be included in an amendment to the ATK registration statement on Form S-4, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and, once declared effective, the joint proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to ATK and Orbital stockholders who are entitled to vote at the respective special meetings.

Offline rayleighscatter

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And ATK is holding a conference call with investors on the 19th.
Quote
ATK to Hold Conference Call to Update Investors on Previously Announced Transaction with Orbital and on the Sporting Business Market

Nov 17, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliant Techsystems Inc. ("ATK") (NYSE: ATK) announced it will hold an investor conference call and webcast to update investors on the proposed transaction to spin off ATK's Sporting Group business and immediately thereafter, merge ATK's Aerospace and Defense Groups with Orbital Sciences Corporation ("Orbital") (NYSE: ORB). ATK expects to discuss its thorough review and analysis of Orbital's Antares launch failure, proposed recovery plan and long-term competitive position. As previously announced, ATK's board of directors continues to support the strategic merits of the proposed transaction and recommends that ATK stockholders vote to approve the related issuance of shares to Orbital stockholders in connection with the merger. In addition to the proposed transaction, ATK will update investors on the sporting market. ATK may also discuss its outlook and matters of strategy during the call.  Conference call details are as follows:

This call is being webcast and can be accessed at ATK's website http://ir.atk.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=118594&p=irol-audioarchives.  Information about downloading Windows Media Player software, which is required to access the webcast, will be available on the website.

When:
   

4:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014

Who:
   

Mark DeYoung, President and Chief Executive Officer

   

Neal Cohen, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

   

Michael Pici, Director of Investor Relations

Telephone recording: For those who cannot participate in the live webcast, a telephone recording of the conference call will be available. The telephone number is 719-457-0820, and the confirmation code is 3072897. The recording will be available for one month after the call.

Institutional investors can access the call via a password-protected event management site, StreetEvents (www.streetevents.com).

Online Chris Bergin

ATK and Orbital Receive U.S. DOJ Clearance for Proposed Merger

 

Arlington, Va., Dec. 4, 2014—Alliant Techsystems Inc. (“ATK”) (NYSE: ATK) and Orbital Sciences Corporation (“Orbital”) (NYSE: ORB) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has unconditionally cleared the proposed merger of ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups with Orbital. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) informed ATK and Orbital today, December 4, 2014, that the FTC and DOJ terminated the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period effective December 4, 2014. As previously announced, ATK and Orbital have entered into a transaction agreement, whereby ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups will merge with Orbital immediately following the spin-off of ATK’s Sporting Group business to ATK stockholders as a newly formed company called Vista Outdoor Inc. The companies anticipate completing the transaction in February 2015, subject to the satisfaction of remaining closing conditions, including the approval of both ATK’s and Orbital’s stockholders at special meetings scheduled for January 27, 2015.

 

Additional information concerning the special meetings and the transaction is included in ATK’s registration statement on Form S-4, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and, once it is declared effective, the joint proxy statement/prospectus included in the Form S-4 will be mailed to ATK and Orbital stockholders who are entitled to vote at the respective special meetings.

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

Certain statements in this communication regarding the proposed transaction between ATK and Orbital, pursuant to which the newly formed sporting company, Vista Outdoor Inc. (“Vista Outdoor”), will be distributed to ATK’s stockholders and Orbital will merge with a subsidiary of ATK with Orbital surviving the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ATK (the “Transaction”), the expected timetable for completing the Transaction, benefits and synergies of the Transaction and the expected tax treatment for the Transaction, future opportunities for Vista Outdoor and the ATK/Orbital combined company (the “Combined Company”) and products and any other statements regarding Vista Outdoor’s, ATK’s, Orbital’s, and the Combined Company’s future expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, financial conditions, assumptions or future events or performance that are not historical facts are “forward-looking” statements made within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expected,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “project,” or “continue,” and similar expressions. All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in the statements. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are the following: the parties’ ability to consummate the Transaction; the conditions to the completion of the Transaction, including the receipt of approval of both ATK’s stockholders and Orbital’s stockholders; the regulatory approvals required for the Transaction not being obtained on the terms expected or on the anticipated schedule; the parties’ ability to meet expectations regarding the timing, completion and accounting and tax treatments of the Transaction; the possibility that the parties may be unable to achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies in connection with the Transaction within the expected time-frames or at all and to successfully integrate Orbital’s operations with those of the ATK Aerospace & Defense (“ATK A&D”); the integration of Orbital’s operations with those of ATK A&D being more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected; the impact of the Antares launch failure on Orbital and its business; operating costs, customer loss and business disruption (including, without limitation, difficulties in maintaining relationships with employees, customers, clients or suppliers) being greater than expected following the Transaction; the retention of certain key employees being difficult; Vista Outdoor’s ability to operate successfully as a standalone business; Vista Outdoor’s, ATK’s and Orbital’s ability to adapt its services to changes in technology or the marketplace; Vista Outdoor’s, ATK’s and Orbital’s ability to maintain and grow its relationship with its customers; reductions or changes in NASA or U.S. Government military spending, timing of payments and budgetary policies, including impacts of sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011, and sourcing strategies; intense competition; increases in costs, which the business may not be able to react to due to the nature of U.S. Government contracts; changes in cost and revenue estimates and/or timing of programs; the potential termination of U.S. Government contracts and the potential inability to recover termination costs; reduction or change in demand for commercial ammunition, firearms or accessories, including the risk that placed orders exceed actual customer requirements; risks associated with expansion into commercial markets; actual pension and other postretirement plan asset returns and assumptions regarding future returns, discount rates, service costs, mortality rates, and health care cost trend rates; greater risk associated with international business, including foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations in those rates; other risks associated with U.S. Government contracts that might expose Vista Outdoor, ATK or Orbital to adverse consequences; costs of servicing debt, including cash requirements and interest rate fluctuations; security threats, including cybersecurity and other industrial and physical security threats, and other disruptions; supply, availability, and costs of raw materials and components, including commodity price fluctuations; government laws and other rules and regulations applicable to Vista Outdoor, ATK and Orbital, such as procurement and import-export control, and federal and state firearms and ammunition regulations; the novation of U.S. Government contracts; performance of subcontractors; development of key technologies and retention of a qualified workforce; fires or explosions at any of Vista Outdoor’s, ATK’s or Orbital’s facilities; environmental laws that govern past practices and rules and regulations, noncompliance with which may expose Vista Outdoor, ATK or Orbital to adverse consequences; impacts of financial market disruptions or volatility to customers and vendors; results of acquisitions or other transactions, including the ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses and realize anticipated synergies, cost savings and other benefits, and costs incurred for pursuits and proposed acquisitions that have not yet or may not close; unanticipated changes in the tax provision or exposure to additional tax liabilities; and the costs and ultimate outcome of litigation matters and other legal proceedings. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Vista Outdoor, ATK and Orbital’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including ATK and Orbital’s most recent Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, ATK’s registration statement on Form S-4 (which registration statement has not yet been declared effective) and Vista Outdoor’s registration statement on Form 10 (which registration statement has not yet been declared effective). Vista Outdoor, ATK and Orbital assume no obligation to update or revise publicly the information in this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof.

 

Additional Information and Where to Find It

 

In connection with the proposed transaction between ATK and Orbital, ATK and Orbital intend to file relevant materials with the SEC.  ATK has filed a registration statement on Form S-4 that includes a joint proxy statement of ATK and Orbital that also constitutes a prospectus of ATK (which registration statement has not yet been declared effective). In addition, Vista Outdoor filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form 10 (which registration statement has not yet been declared effective). INVESTORS AND SECURITYHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT, FORM 10, REGISTRATION STATEMENTS/PROSPECTUSES AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED OR TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ATK, ORBITAL, VISTA OUTDOOR AND THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. The joint proxy statement, Form 10, registration statements/prospectuses and other documents relating to the proposed transaction can be obtained free of charge from the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. These documents can also be obtained free of charge from ATK upon written request to ATK by emailing investor.relations@atk.com or by calling Michael Pici at 703-412-3216 or from Orbital upon written request to Orbital at investor.relations@orbital.com or by calling Barron Beneski at 703-406-5528.

 

Participants in Solicitation

 

This communication is not a solicitation of a proxy from any investor or securityholder. ATK, Orbital and certain of their respective directors and executive officers, however, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction under the rules of the SEC. Information regarding ATK directors and executive officers may be found in its Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2014 on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on May 23, 2014 and the definitive proxy statement relating to its 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders filed with the SEC on June 13, 2014. Information regarding Orbital's directors and executive officers may be found in its Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2013 on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 25, 2014 and the definitive proxy statement relating to its 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders filed with the SEC on March 11, 2014. These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above. Additional information regarding the interests of these participants is also included in the joint proxy statement/prospectus.

 

Non-Solicitation

 

This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

About ATK

 

ATK is an aerospace, defense and outdoor sports and recreation company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk or on Twitter @ATK.

 

About Orbital

 

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides research rocket and satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com. Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.

 

Online Galactic Penguin SST

And the deal has been closed.  ;)

Orbital Stockholders Approve Merger with ATK's Aerospace and Defense Groups

-- Merger Expected to Close February 9; New Company to Begin Operations February 10 --

(Dulles, VA 27 January 2015) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) today announced that at a special meeting held this morning, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK), pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99% of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor of the adoption of the transaction agreement, which represented approximately 85% of the total number of outstanding shares of Orbital common stock as of the December 16, 2014 record date for the special meeting.

“Today, Orbital’s stockholders endorsed the proposed merger with ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups by voting strongly in favor of the transaction, as did ATK shareholders at a separate special meeting also held earlier today,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are now on a clear path to completing the merger and beginning operations of Orbital ATK two weeks from today.”

Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the remaining conditions to closing, the merger is expected to close on Monday, February 9, 2015. Assuming completion of the merger, shares of Orbital common stock are expected to be delisted after the close of trading on February 9. As a result of the merger, each share of Orbital common stock will be converted into the right to receive 0.449 shares of common stock of ATK, with cash paid in lieu of fractional shares. At closing of the merger, ATK will be renamed Orbital ATK, Inc. and shares of Orbital ATK common stock will trade under the new ticker symbol “OA” on the New York Stock Exchange beginning February 10.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides research rocket and satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com. Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.

“Safe Harbor” Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Certain statements in this press release may be forward-looking in nature or “forward-looking” statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expected,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “project,” or “continue,” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the proposed merger transaction between Orbital and ATK. All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in the statements. Information concerning these factors can be found in Orbital’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that the proposed merger transaction will be consummated. As a result, these statements speak only as of the date that they were made and Orbital assumes no obligation to update or revise publicly the information in this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill


Online Chris Bergin

New sign for the Super Group! :) (Sent to me just now)

Online woods170

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New sign for the Super Group! :) (Sent to me just now)
For a super group they sure have done a poor job in cleaning that wall (for getting rid of the dirt-covered outline of the previous sign) and plugging the holes from the previous sign.
« Last Edit: 02/06/2015 01:18 PM by woods170 »

Offline arachnitect

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New sign for the Super Group! :) (Sent to me just now)
For a super group they sure have done a poor job in cleaning that wall (for getting rid of the dirt-covered outline of the previous sign) and plugging the holes from the previous sign.

I wonder if they're going to do a comprehensive "rebranding" soon. I hope so. I don't understand why the switch to blue? It's a step up from what they had in the shareholder proposals, but not much.

Orbital's red and white scheme was classy (Stargazer looks great!). The ATK black and white looked edgier and more befitting a company that specialized in munitions and composites.

Blue text with ellipses logo just looks like they stole the most boring elements of the other aerospace giants' branding.

Not that it really matters, but why be mediocre? Good design is cheap.

Offline mmeijeri

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No - where's the satellite component?

Who says there has to be one?
I do.

The majority of revenue in this business is in the payload, not the launch services. Thus, what made Orbital grow and be attractive for this merger was to be able to sell either sats plus external launch services, or "full service" sat on orbit.

How do you compete with that otherwise.

Pardon me, but are we arguing aerospace economics, aerospace management, or aerospace strategy? Or your whim for the sake of argument? I'm honestly clueless to your post.


Quote
ULA exists off of Boeing and Lockheed's joint desire to exploit EELV as long as possible. Wrecks financial performance to add a capital sink like low volume engines you only consume and might not sell to others enough. Also, neither Boeing or Lockheed would supply enough capital to spin-off something that could on its own compete against either or both of them.

It doesn't have to be ULA buying Aerojet. I'd guess the reverse or a true merger is more likely.
Then what would be the point of such a merger? Because its cool to you?

Businesses merge when they need to restructure strategically. Clearly here ATK is dead-ended and cannot adapt, it needs to get out of the box. Orbital is under resourced and can do more. So it makes sense. What is your rational for a ULA merger?

Am I asking to much of you to explain your reasoning beyond whim all to present in these threads?

Bump.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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No - where's the satellite component?

Who says there has to be one?
I do.

The majority of revenue in this business is in the payload, not the launch services. Thus, what made Orbital grow and be attractive for this merger was to be able to sell either sats plus external launch services, or "full service" sat on orbit.

How do you compete with that otherwise.

Pardon me, but are we arguing aerospace economics, aerospace management, or aerospace strategy? Or your whim for the sake of argument? I'm honestly clueless to your post.


Quote
ULA exists off of Boeing and Lockheed's joint desire to exploit EELV as long as possible. Wrecks financial performance to add a capital sink like low volume engines you only consume and might not sell to others enough. Also, neither Boeing or Lockheed would supply enough capital to spin-off something that could on its own compete against either or both of them.

It doesn't have to be ULA buying Aerojet. I'd guess the reverse or a true merger is more likely.
Then what would be the point of such a merger? Because its cool to you?

Businesses merge when they need to restructure strategically. Clearly here ATK is dead-ended and cannot adapt, it needs to get out of the box. Orbital is under resourced and can do more. So it makes sense. What is your rational for a ULA merger?

Am I asking to much of you to explain your reasoning beyond whim all to present in these threads?

Bump.

Alright, you win! You get a "gold star" for predicting 1.5 years ahead of time this. Take a bow!

ULA is dead ended by lack of Russian engines, "parents" not risking billions on new LV/engines, and a industry wide contraction due to changing competitive landscape and reduced future govt defense spending.

That about cover it?
« Last Edit: 09/09/2015 09:11 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline mmeijeri

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Nope, I did not predict this, I was just annoyed at the brusque and condescending way you declared it a silly thought.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2015 09:25 PM by mmeijeri »
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Nope, I did not predict this, I was just annoyed at the brusque and condescending way you declared it a silly thought.

My apologies. Not my intent in the slightest to be either, to you or anyone.

Offline catdlr

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Orbital ATK: One Year, One Company

Published on Feb 10, 2016
Orbital ATK celebrates its first year as a company after the merger between Orbital Sciences Corporation and Alliant Techsystems, Inc. in February 2015. The merger brought into existence a new $4.5 billion space, defense and aviation systems manufacturer that employs approximately 12,000 people in 18 states across the United States.

Tony De La Rosa

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