Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle (as announced/built) - General Discussion Thread 3  (Read 21240 times)

Offline john smith 19

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If SpaceX was willing to sell just their engines to other rocket manufacturers, I predict you would see the next generation of launchers operating with Merlin and Raptor engines almost exclusively.  As it is, ULA's strong interest in BE engines illustrate that, even if AJR wins its next couple of rounds of competition with the new space companies, their dinosaur status is becoming more and more obvious to more and more of their potential customers.

All I will say is, dinosaurs consolidate at the risk of hurrying their extinction, all the while shouting, in pain and bewilderment, "What did we do wrong?  We only did what we have always succeeded with!  How could that have failed?".......
Bruno does at least seem to be trying to work toward a solution that keeps ULA as a viable payload launching entity.  I'm not sure the same can be said for AJR's efforts, which basically seem to be "Please give us more money (because we didn't spend a dime on researching anything new)," but perhaps that reading is a little harsh.

But whenever people say things like "They're are dinosaurs," I remember one little fact.

Dinosaurs were the dominant animal type on Earth for 70 000 000 years.

Under the right environmental conditions a species can last a very long time. Something to keep in mind.
"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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Don't think ULA plus AJR is competitive.  Neither has adjusted to the realities of today's and tomorrow's market

No, people are just over hyping the "realities of today's and tomorrow's market".  Most don't know what they are talking about and just repost the same unsupported biased opinions.
« Last Edit: 12/28/2017 04:39 PM by Jim »

Online rockets4life97

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How many more Delta IV single stick rockets does ULA plan to fly before they are retired?

Offline ethan829

How many more Delta IV single stick rockets does ULA plan to fly before they are retired?

Three. NROL-47, GPS-III, and WGS-10. If all fly as currently scheduled, 2018 will be the last year for the single-stick Delta IV.

Offline john smith 19

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How many more Delta IV single stick rockets does ULA plan to fly before they are retired?

Three. NROL-47, GPS-III, and WGS-10. If all fly as currently scheduled, 2018 will be the last year for the single-stick Delta IV.
Is that "Unless someone places another order for one" or they are no longer accepting new orders for them at all?
"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 ZachS09

How many more Delta IV single stick rockets does ULA plan to fly before they are retired?

Three. NROL-47, GPS-III, and WGS-10. If all fly as currently scheduled, 2018 will be the last year for the single-stick Delta IV.
Is that "Unless someone places another order for one" or they are no longer accepting new orders for them at all?

The second option you listed. In other words, ULA wants to retire the single-stick version no matter what happens.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 05:08 PM by ZachS09 »
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Offline russianhalo117

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How many more Delta IV single stick rockets does ULA plan to fly before they are retired?

Three. NROL-47, GPS-III, and WGS-10. If all fly as currently scheduled, 2018 will be the last year for the single-stick Delta IV.
Is that "Unless someone places another order for one" or they are no longer accepting new orders for them at all?
Only orders can be placed for the Atlas V and DIVH. Vulcan orders should begin this year for the opening launches.

Offline john smith 19

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Only orders can be placed for the Atlas V and DIVH. Vulcan orders should begin this year for the opening launches.
That sounds pretty definite.  They are starting to pivot the company.

The joker is if they can design in the hooks for DIVH performance in Vulcan from the beginning, which they seem to be moving toward.
"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 Zed_Noir

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<snip>
Only orders can be placed for the Atlas V and DIVH. Vulcan orders should begin this year for the opening launches.

Seriously,  what is the cut off date for ordering a DIVH?

Like will 2018 be the last year that you can order a DIVH.

Offline woods170

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<snip>
Only orders can be placed for the Atlas V and DIVH. Vulcan orders should begin this year for the opening launches.

Seriously,  what is the cut off date for ordering a DIVH?

Like will 2018 be the last year that you can order a DIVH.


No date given. ULA stated that Delta IVH will be terminated only after it is no longer needed for NSS missions.

Offline john smith 19

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<snip>
Only orders can be placed for the Atlas V and DIVH. Vulcan orders should begin this year for the opening launches.

Seriously,  what is the cut off date for ordering a DIVH?

Like will 2018 be the last year that you can order a DIVH.


No date given. ULA stated that Delta IVH will be terminated only after it is no longer needed for NSS missions.
This is why the announcement that Vulcan with the Centaur 5/V/not ACES/Whatever-it's-called US will have (in principle) DIVH lift capability from first launch is very important.

Provided they can convince the DoD Vulcan is anywhere close to that (ideally even before the first Vulcan launches) they can start in on shutting down the DIVH line as well. I'm guessing by that time Atlas V will be long gone by then as well.
"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 Chasm

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Not really, Vulcan will be produced on modified Delta IV tooling.
The have (had?) a final round of orders for Delta IV Heavy. Those will be (were?) build and stored until use.

The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.

Online yokem55

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Not really, Vulcan will be produced on modified Delta IV tooling.
The have (had?) a final round of orders for Delta IV Heavy. Those will be (were?) build and stored until use.

The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
What about converting some of those DH contracts to Vulcan? Maintaining the pad at Vandenberg isn't cheap. If they can fly those contracts on Vulcan instead, I'm betting they would prefer that.

Offline russianhalo117

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Not really, Vulcan will be produced on modified Delta IV tooling.
The have (had?) a final round of orders for Delta IV Heavy. Those will be (were?) build and stored until use.

The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
What about converting some of those DH contracts to Vulcan? Maintaining the pad at Vandenberg isn't cheap. If they can fly those contracts on Vulcan instead, I'm betting they would prefer that.
NSS contracts don't work that way DIVH will be maintained until the USG certifies Vulcan and executes the transition plan. DIVH is being built and stockpiled so there is bound to be some unflown launchers just like Titan-IVB and Atlas-IIAS and others.

Offline john smith 19

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The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
Going with full capability from first launch, rather than needing a 2nd US design later, just makes a lot more sense. As you say it starts racking up launch reliability data to speed up the retiring of DIVH.

Now if they can just get IVF moving. 
"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 Chasm

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I think they will fly the Delta IV Heavy out.
The required support infrastructure and staff is expensive but that is something the customer pays for. As far as we know NRO is the only final order customer. Launch is supposed to be a rounding error for their major satellite programs. On the plus side they can have high confidence that the launch will work.

Perhaps ULA can even fly the one spare they want to build. I'd certainly try to find a customer to fly ASAP after the last preorder. For cheap, even auction it of. Some restrictions apply, payload has to be at AstroTech checked out and ready for launch when the last campaign is scheduled. Free transfer to a RapidLaunch Vulcan in case the spare is required for the NRO.

If in doubt I'd stick a propellant depot on it and launch that. Got to get experience with them somehow.
But then I also liked the idea to launch a mini ACES on the (non existing) final Delta II spare in order to get some flight time. Testing a least the HIAD part of SMART recovery in the same launch. Must have some payload after all. ;)

Online AncientU

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The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
Going with full capability from first launch, rather than needing a 2nd US design later, just makes a lot more sense. As you say it starts racking up launch reliability data to speed up the retiring of DIVH.

Now if they can just get IVF moving.

But what about all that excess, wasted capacity when launching the predominant 401 payloads?
Building it* but not using it, and then dumping it in the ocean is expensive... 

* Especially if the Centaur V has 3-4 RL-10s on it.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2018 12:33 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Jim

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The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
Going with full capability from first launch, rather than needing a 2nd US design later, just makes a lot more sense. As you say it starts racking up launch reliability data to speed up the retiring of DIVH.

Now if they can just get IVF moving.

But what about all that excess, wasted capacity when launching the predominant 401 payloads?
Building it but not using it, and then dumping it in the ocean is expensive...

No different than using excess performance to return a booster and not reuse it

Online AncientU

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The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
Going with full capability from first launch, rather than needing a 2nd US design later, just makes a lot more sense. As you say it starts racking up launch reliability data to speed up the retiring of DIVH.

Now if they can just get IVF moving.

But what about all that excess, wasted capacity when launching the predominant 401 payloads?
Building it but not using it, and then dumping it in the ocean is expensive...

No different than using excess performance to return a booster and not reuse it

Exactly.
All who are complaining about this should be complaining about Vulcan -- especially since they are definitely dumping it in the ocean.

So Jim, Ed, etc., let's hear why this excess capacity being planned for Vulcan/Centaur V is such a crappy idea.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2018 01:29 PM by AncientU »
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Offline envy887

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The big difference is that there won't be a gap in bidding specific launches for ULA. As I understand they really needed to go into the next EELV selection with the capability to service all launch requirements from day one.
Another thing is that Centaur V will accumulate flight time from the first Vulcan launch. That should make the decision to put the really expensive payloads on it easier.
Going with full capability from first launch, rather than needing a 2nd US design later, just makes a lot more sense. As you say it starts racking up launch reliability data to speed up the retiring of DIVH.

Now if they can just get IVF moving.

But what about all that excess, wasted capacity when launching the predominant 401 payloads?
Building it but not using it, and then dumping it in the ocean is expensive...

No different than using excess performance to return a booster and not reuse it

Exactly.
All who are complaining about this should be complaining about Vulcan -- especially since they are definitely dumping it in the ocean.

So Jim, Ed, etc., let's hear why this excess capacity being planned for Vulcan/Centaur V is such a crappy idea.

It is different though. The potential engineering value of returning a booster for inspection is extremely high, since it can result in fixing a failure mode that saves a future billion dollar payload or prevent a stand-down and RTF costing hundreds of millions.

Excess margin is also valuable in case of an anomaly. A multi-engine upper stage would have engine-out redundancy and extra delta-v to insure against booster shortfalls like the DIVH first flight failure and OA-6 close call. Landing margins for a booster provide the same thing, but is also different because it can also enable reuse (the choice to reuse or not reuse isn't necessarily made before the flight).

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