Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here.  (Read 572396 times)

Offline Archibald

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What Europe really needs is the European version of SpaceX: an upstart with the b*lls and the private funding to take on the established and entrenched European politics and European aerospace giants.

It was killed in favor of Ariane: OTRAG

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The German minister of foreign affairs at that time, Hans Dietrich Genscher, is said to have finally stopped the project under pressure from France and the Soviet Union, and West Germany joined the co-financed "European rocket" Ariane project, which made the OTRAG project unnecessary and eliminated political entanglements of a still divided Germany in the early 1980s.

IMHO the lack of serious new space contenders in Europe is a second round effect of the missed dot.com boom. SpaceX and Blue Origin can directly trace their investment money to Internet startups: Paypal and Amazon.

Additionally, there would probably be the same political headwinds that killed OTRAG. A new space company would start small in a single country. Giving that fledgling company political support would be seen as backstabbing a common European solution.

No it was not killed because of Ariane. Lutz Kayser was a nazi nostalgic that tried to sold OTRAG to both Mobutu and Gaddhaffi, two among the most repugnant "human beings" in recent history. He was lucky enough not to be shot by MOSSAD like the unfortunate Gerald Bull (who tried to sell his giant guns to Saddam Hussein).
« Last Edit: 07/05/2018 03:42 PM by Archibald »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Online Kryten

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I guess you've never heard of the "Buy American" mantra that is now fully embedded in the US spaceflight industry.

Putting extra sarcasm into your words won't convince me that two things are synonymous when I've already stated my reasons for seeing them as different.

I dont think Airbus would like it if there was a "Buy Europe" policy modeled on the American policy.  The policy has basically boiled down to phasing out RD-180 purchases.  The closest European equivalent would be stopping those Soyuz launches and Airbus wants to keep those going.  What the policy hasn't done is prevent the purchase of launches from Europe, just look at the JWST which is the crown jewel of NASA.
JWST is an international project, and the launch is part of the European contribution, it was not bought by NASA.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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I dont think Airbus would like it if there was a "Buy Europe" policy modeled on the American policy.  The policy has basically boiled down to phasing out RD-180 purchases.  The closest European equivalent would be stopping those Soyuz launches and Airbus wants to keep those going.

They do?  Why on earth would they prefer flying Soyuz over an Ariane 6 that they have far more involvement in?

What the policy hasn't done is prevent the purchase of launches from Europe, just look at the JWST which is the crown jewel of NASA.

As above, the JWST launch is paid for by ESA in exchange for access.
« Last Edit: 07/05/2018 10:25 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline johnfwhitesell

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They do?  Why on earth would they prefer flying Soyuz over an Ariane 6.2 that they have far more involvement in?

Yes, they do: http://spacenews.com/oneweb-shifts-first-launch-to-years-end/

I dont know why they prefer the Soyuz in this case.  I would think that this would be something the Ariane 5 would be pretty well suited for.

Maybe the EU should make an agreement that Airbus isn't allowed to build the OneWeb satellites or get paid to launch them unless the rockets are sourced from the EU.  That should be another 10, 12 launches which should solve the concerns about having enough business for Ariane.  And since Airbus is such a fan of "buy European" I'm sure there won't be any objections.

Offline russianhalo117

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They do?  Why on earth would they prefer flying Soyuz over an Ariane 6.2 that they have far more involvement in?

Yes, they do: http://spacenews.com/oneweb-shifts-first-launch-to-years-end/

I dont know why they prefer the Soyuz in this case.  I would think that this would be something the Ariane 5 would be pretty well suited for.

Maybe the EU should make an agreement that Airbus isn't allowed to build the OneWeb satellites or get paid to launch them unless the rockets are sourced from the EU.  That should be another 10, 12 launches which should solve the concerns about having enough business for Ariane.  And since Airbus is such a fan of "buy European" I'm sure there won't be any objections.
only the initial satellites are built in Europe by Airbus. The rest are all built in Florida by OneWeb in exchange for the Florida facility at the end of the manufacturing run.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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They do?  Why on earth would they prefer flying Soyuz over an Ariane 6.2 that they have far more involvement in?

Yes, they do: http://spacenews.com/oneweb-shifts-first-launch-to-years-end/

I dont know why they prefer the Soyuz in this case.  I would think that this would be something the Ariane 5 would be pretty well suited for.

Maybe the EU should make an agreement that Airbus isn't allowed to build the OneWeb satellites or get paid to launch them unless the rockets are sourced from the EU.  That should be another 10, 12 launches which should solve the concerns about having enough business for Ariane.  And since Airbus is such a fan of "buy European" I'm sure there won't be any objections.

That article does not support the assertion that Airbus prefers Soyuz...

For a start OneWeb is not Airbus, Airbus is the satellite manufacturer.  It's not Airbus' sole decision on what vehicle to launch the constellation on.  This is not evidence of what Airbus thinks re: Ariane 6 vs. Soyuz.

OneWeb selected Soyuz launches with Arianespace in mid-2015, before Ariane 6's design was even finalised.

The reason OneWeb selected Soyuz is simple, its business case is reliant on getting the constellation up ASAP.  Many of the launches were planned to occur before Ariane 6 will have been flight qualified.  Soyuz is the only "european" option at present. There are options to launch on Ariane 6 once it has been flight qualified.

(Ariane 5 to my knowledge would not be able to launch as many satellites as OneWeb require from its payload adaptor, and obviously there are no plans to fund development of a new one with Ariane 6 being imminent.)
« Last Edit: 07/05/2018 10:41 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline johnfwhitesell

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That article does not support the assertion that Airbus prefers Soyuz...

Whew, that would have been embarrassing to me if I had said they did.

Good thing I didn't!

Offline floss

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They do?  Why on earth would they prefer flying Soyuz over an Ariane 6.2 that they have far more involvement in?

Yes, they do: http://spacenews.com/oneweb-shifts-first-launch-to-years-end/

I dont know why they prefer the Soyuz in this case.  I would think that this would be something the Ariane 5 would be pretty well suited for.

Maybe the EU should make an agreement that Airbus isn't allowed to build the OneWeb satellites or get paid to launch them unless the rockets are sourced from the EU.  That should be another 10, 12 launches which should solve the concerns about having enough business for Ariane.  And since Airbus is such a fan of "buy European" I'm sure there won't be any objections.

That article does not support the assertion that Airbus prefers Soyuz...

For a start OneWeb is not Airbus, Airbus is the satellite manufacturer.  It's not Airbus' sole decision on what vehicle to launch the constellation on.  This is not evidence of what Airbus thinks re: Ariane 6 vs. Soyuz.

OneWeb selected Soyuz launches with Arianespace in mid-2015, before Ariane 6's design was even finalised.

The reason OneWeb selected Soyuz is simple, its business case is reliant on getting the constellation up ASAP.  Many of the launches were planned to occur before Ariane 6 will have been flight qualified.  Soyuz is the only "european" option at present. There are options to launch on Ariane 6 once it has been flight qualified.

(Ariane 5 to my knowledge would not be able to launch as many satellites as OneWeb require from its payload adaptor, and obviously there are no plans to fund development of a new one with Ariane 6 being imminent.)

Soyuz is a far smother launcher than any other launcher because it is all liquid and has no shaky solids .Can be shut off right up to liftoff and is manrated altogether a whole lot going for it.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Sorry off topic, but I wouldn't call a Soyuz launch even from CSG a "European" launch service. Arianespace only operates range control (what the USAF does in the US). The real launch operation is executed by Russians that ar flown I  from Russia. (Hence the clustering of Soyuz launches from CSG in a short time period.)
Besides the majority of the oneweb launches will launch from Baikonur and/or Vostochny. Afaik; the Oneweb multiple launch contract was the last commercial launch contracy arranged via Starsem. Now Glovcosmos arranges the commercial launches from the russian launch sites, and only the launches from CSG are arranged via Starsem. It was the availability of many launch sites for soyuz and the high reliability (and acceptable cost) that drove Oneweb to Soyuz 2 launches. Starsem now only has one launch site (ELS @CSG).
A new version of Ariane 5 ES would have been required to launch the oneweb constellation. That would have been the 3th A5ES version besides the ATV (21mT to ISS) and Gallileo 3mT to 23.2k km MEO. The A5 ES hasn't launched more than once annually. So not a good option for oneweb / a large satellite constellation (Soyuz launched most  of the MEO / LEO comsat constellations).

I've the impression that many European institutions have a preference to use launch services from European providers. The exceptions are Falcon9, Delta II and Kosmos, reason: no other suitable option.

Back on topic:
Ariane 6 (62 &64) and Vega(-C) are able to launch nearly all satellites developed and build in Europe. With A62 and Vega-C the missions can be launched that now require a Soyuz launch. The heaviest Vega-C launches use timeshare on a Soyuz (CSG; Sentinel 1, etz.). The single Soyuz payloads can be launched with rideshare on A62 (MetOP/MSG; Gallileo 2x {=>4x?}, etz.
Possibly a new launch table can be build for ELA3, to make it suitable for Ariane6. A more extensive option is to convert ELA3 into a comparable launch facility as ELA4. This would provide two launch sites for Ariane6. I think the development of a A6 launch table for ELA3 could be part of a large constellation launch contract  If this ever occurs, I don't expect this to happen before 2021.
I expect A6 launch orders to be announced after the P120c static fireing test from BEAP, that is planned for this month. Data analisis of the test will take several months I guess.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2018 07:33 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Chasm

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Flying A62 from ELA3 should be simple enough. Different launch mount for the solids but mostly switching out electronics and connections.

However I strongly suspect they will do the Themis demonstrator and early Ariane Next development on ELA3. Themis was mostly shown as #3 concept with the 5m tank.
Doing it on ELA4 would be irresponsible, if ELA3 has a major Oops expensive but so what.
The Ariane Next concept art is always two and never four boosters. (single stick, 2 small booster, heavy) [For extra fun the small boosters are more often than not solids rather than liquids, count the nozzle(s). ::) ]

Timing also works out. Prometheus flight ready mid 2021, A5 last flight in 2023, Themis demonstrator 2023-25
CSG NG demonstrator (only on 1 slide) 2025-2030. A6 evolution 2025-2030, Ariane Next 2028-30


I guess I have to post my ideas on the presentation thread before this one gets too OT.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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I think a Ariane-Next with solid boosters and heavy configurations with multi-engine core are bad concepts. This core stage can't be recovered. Better use Ariane 6 in this case (aka. a expendable Vulcan 2.? LOx-LH2 GG core.)
I've a preference for Themis concept #1. The single Prometheus configuration, or a 1:10 scale Ariane-next first stage. I think this can use technologies and facilities for Vega-E. And this could become a successor for Vega.
I think the sounding-rocket pads or the former Diamond launch site are the best locations for Calisto and Themis. But ELA3, ELS or ELV are the next best locations.
If launch demand increases enough, possibly Arianespace could offer six different launch vehicles. They currently offer five (Vega, Soyuz ST-A & ST-B, Ariane5 ES & ECA). With Ariane 6 (62 & 64) and Vega C Arianespace is going to have eight launcher options during the 2020-2023 transition period. After A5 phase out, they are back to four to six depending on Soyuz. Vega could be swapped for Vega-L. By mid 202x the launch offering could be : A64, A62 (Soyuz ST) Vega-E, Vega-L.
I also realised/read yesterday that for many years there was a option to increase the booster production facilities to allow 10 Ariane 5 (8x A5 + 8xVega) launches annually, instead of 8 (7×A5 +4×Vega). This option is most likely part of the Ariane6 CSG developments. Besides ELA4 and the new booster assembly, testing and storage facilities.

Offline woods170

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So is there a finally a report saying that the flight meet the destruct criteria?
Or is that still a common sense opinion?

The flight did not meet the destruct-decision criteria that were in effect at that time.
However, thorough review of the incident has led to the destruct-decision criteria having been re-established.

Offline Chasm

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So is there a finally a report saying that the flight meet the destruct criteria?
Or is that still a common sense opinion?

The flight did not meet the destruct-decision criteria that were in effect at that time.
However, thorough review of the incident has led to the destruct-decision criteria having been re-established.

And that happens to be the important point.
Destruct rules for Kourou are ultimately set by the French government. (With input from from a whole lot of agencies and groups.)

There is a major difference between "Turns out the rules were too lax." and "The range safety officer(s?) did not do his/her job.".


The new automated system would not have destructed the rocket either. Esp. since it has reportedly an even wider safe track than the human. (Most likely because it can act faster than a human.)

As far as A6 goes I really hope that they have the alignment problem solved. Preferably with gyros that always get aligned the same way no matter the trajectory.

Online envy887

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Destruct isn't exactly perfectly safe either though, especially with solids (what happens if an SRB doesn't blow up, and is now flying uncontrolled? Thats way worse than an off-nominal but functioning rocket). Whats the debris radius from that sort of explosion anyway? There will be some time where that radius passes over the populated area in question, can the anomaly be detected and an abort triggered before that happens? If so, then abort is the correct decision. If the debris zone is *currently* over people, given a rocket as otherwise reliable as Ariane 5 you're probably better off letting it do its thing. And after the debris zone has passed over (assuming there is only 1 inhabited area being crossed, which IIRC was the case on that mission), theres not really any risk from letting the launch continue anyway

Destruct is safe if the bounds (in terms of azimuth, ascent rate, speed, position) are defined properly and the RSO actually pushes the big red button at once if the vehicle goes out of bounds.

Otherwise, what's the point of the destruct system? To wait until it's pointed at a civilian population, and then your only choices are to kill them with an intact vehicle or a shower of flaming SRB propellant?

Offline woods170

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So is there a finally a report saying that the flight meet the destruct criteria?
Or is that still a common sense opinion?

The flight did not meet the destruct-decision criteria that were in effect at that time.
However, thorough review of the incident has led to the destruct-decision criteria having been re-established.

And that happens to be the important point.
Destruct rules for Kourou are ultimately set by the French government. (With input from from a whole lot of agencies and groups.)

There is a major difference between "Turns out the rules were too lax." and "The range safety officer(s?) did not do his/her job.".

Emphasis mine.
It is beginning to look more-and-more like "the rules were too lax".

Offline floss

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Why are yea discussing launch failures on the Ariane 6 discussion thread?

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