Author Topic: NASA defends decision to restart RS-25 production, rejects alternatives  (Read 61351 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Something for everyone in this....from massive SLS/RS-25 fans, to those who want to boo the cosy arrangement with SLS contractors :)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-defends-restart-rs-25-production/

Offline baldusi

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Is the justification document available on the Internet or L2?

Offline Heinrich

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Nice article!

I'm wondering though, it is written that 4 engines are used for a fifth engine set, and 2 engines are basically spare. Based on the currently known differences between (formerly) RS-25D and RS-25E, can the two spare engines be a drop-in replacement for the RS-25Ds as well?? Or can they only be spare for the fifth (new) set?


That small company who has not produced/developped engines so far, andy guess who that would be?  BE?

Offline PahTo

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Thanks for the article!
Please clarify:  is the total cost to ramp up production capabilities and fabricate six engines 2.66 $$billion (1.16 $billion ramp up and 1.5 $billion for fabrication), or is it 1.16 $billion plus .34 $billion for a total of 1.5 $$billion for all?

Offline PahTo

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Thanks for the article!
Please clarify:  is the total cost to ramp up production capabilities and fabricate six engines 2.66 $$billion (1.16 $billion ramp up and 1.5 $billion for fabrication), or is it 1.16 $billion plus .34 $billion for a total of 1.5 $$billion for all?

Whups--you answered my question later in the article...sounds like the total is 1.5 $billion:

“A recent, parametric estimate performed by NASA suggests that just the design cost for creating and certifying an RS-25 equivalent engine would be approximately $2.23 billion, which is 40 percent greater than the total estimated cost of this procurement action to acquire six RS-25 flight-ready engines.”

Offline gospacex

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> “It is not a new engine development effort,” the document stressed.

Looking at the price, several companies built entire new LVs (with test facilities, pads, etc) from scratch for less.

Offline Hog

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Is the justification document available on the Internet or L2?
Available on L2 in this L2 thread, post #30.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34671.20
Paul

Offline M_Puckett

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> “It is not a new engine development effort,” the document stressed.

Looking at the price, several companies built entire new LVs (with test facilities, pads, etc) from scratch for less.

I bet SpaceX will build the whole frikkin' BFR for less.

That said, are there going to be any 3D printed parts in these?  Channel-wall nozzles?

Offline TomH

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Thanks for the article!
Please clarify:  is the total cost to ramp up production capabilities and fabricate six engines 2.66 $$billion (1.16 $billion ramp up and 1.5 $billion for fabrication), or is it 1.16 $billion plus .34 $billion for a total of 1.5 $$billion for all?

Whups--you answered my question later in the article...sounds like the total is 1.5 $billion:

“A recent, parametric estimate performed by NASA suggests that just the design cost for creating and certifying an RS-25 equivalent engine would be approximately $2.23 billion, which is 40 percent greater than the total estimated cost of this procurement action to acquire six RS-25 flight-ready engines.”

I interpret it as $2.23B for redesign and certification, then $1.5B more for production of the first 6 engines.

Edit: My confusion came from what equivalent implied. I was inferring that it meant RS-25E in place of RS-25D. Oli is correct below.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2016 06:20 PM by TomH »

Offline Tev

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Quote
The proposed action follows directly in line with the strategy for cost minimization by continuing with the use of the same core-stage engine design, with minimal modifications, and with the restart of a historically proven (though currently dormant) production line
Quote
strategy for cost minimization
Quote
$1.16 billion
Quote
$1.5 billion
Six engines . . .

I don't get it.

Is there no way to get any other engine for cheaper? Is it really necessary to spend over 400M$ per ENGINE? I mean, Delta IV heavy is looking so cheap right now.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2016 05:19 PM by Tev »

Offline gospacex

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Quote
$1.16 billion
Quote
$1.5 billion
Six engines . . .

I don't get it.

Is there no way to get any other engine for cheaper?

Stop your capitalist nonsense right now. ;)

Offline butters

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The large solids + sustainer core configuration pretty much demands a regeneratively-cooled high-pressure staged-combustion hydrolox engine like the RS-25. As seen with the RS-68 powered "Ares VII" debacle, even a relatively small departure from the RS-25 design concept creates serious problems for the launch vehicle.

Congress and NASA have consistently extolled the economic virtues of "Shuttle-derived" technology. Now we just have to live with the consequences.

Offline Oli

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Read the article, how hard can it be?

It's $1.5bn in total, of which $1.16bn for the production restart.

So $340m for 6 engines, or $57m per engine.

Still not exactly cheap.

Offline Dante80

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That would put a price-tag of $228M for the engine set for one mission. The engines also go down the drink in the end.

I really hope that subsequent orders would put that cost down...its pretty big.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2016 05:40 PM by Dante80 »

Offline clongton

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Thanks for the write-up. Nicely done and informative.
I echo the question about 3d-printing. Other companies have demonstrated the viability of the additive manufacturing process. What is Aerojet's capabilities in this regard and do they plan to implement them for the RS-25 effort?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Finn

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Great article!

A small glitch: The "SLS Forum Section" link actually points to the SpaceX forum section.

Offline Lars-J

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Great article!

A small glitch: The "SLS Forum Section" link actually points to the SpaceX forum section.

Maybe he figures that since SpaceX discussions appear everywhere, we might as well move all discussions to the SpaceX forum.  ;D

Offline Hog

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Nice article!

I'm wondering though, it is written that 4 engines are used for a fifth engine set, and 2 engines are basically spare. Based on the currently known differences between (formerly) RS-25D and RS-25E, can the two spare engines be a drop-in replacement for the RS-25Ds as well?? Or can they only be spare for the fifth (new) set?

The two extra engines can be spares for either the newly certified engines and the residual engines.  They will also be used for risk mitigation of the 5th set of RS25 engines.(so long as only 2 RS25's out of the cluster of 4 have issues)

Source is the RS-25 Justification for Other Than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC) document.

« Last Edit: 01/05/2016 06:29 PM by Hog »
Paul

Offline TomH

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$1.5bn in total, of which $1.16bn for the production restart. So $340m for 6 engines, or $57m per engine. Still not exactly cheap.

That would put a price-tag of $228M for the engine set for one mission. The engines also go down the drink in the end.

I really hope that subsequent orders would put that cost down...its pretty big.

Yea, these are the correct numbers.

It will be interesting to see how soon BFR comes on line, what its costs are, and whether Musk offers flight services to NASA for whatever NASA wants to do.

I personally think SLS will be canceled and NASA directed to work collaboratively with SpaceX via Space Act Agreement. It would be silly to continue pursuing this thing if something cheaper and more robust comes on line.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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So we have a $ amount for one portion of the manufacturing cost of SLS per flight $57Mx4= $228M. The original $300M marginal/incremental cost for manufacture of the complete SLS is looking a little low.

The other item is it is going to take 11 years to produce 6 engines. 2016 to 2027. There must be a lot of subcontractor parts suppliers requiring a long time to restart. And some suppliers that went out of business!

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