Author Topic: Bigger boosters from OSC?  (Read 17213 times)

Offline CFE

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Bigger boosters from OSC?
« on: 05/12/2007 03:26 AM »
Space News ran a recent story about Orbital Sciences considering the development of a bigger booster in the 4-5mT range.  This is exciting if it plays out, because it means a true replacement for Delta II (albeit on the low side of Delta II's performance envelope.)

I have to ask, if OSC is designing a Delta-class booster, what configuration will emerge.  I suspect it might look like a Taurus, with an extra Castor 120 added under the stack.  I haven't run the numbers on such an ungainly, five-stage vehicle, so I don't know what kind of performance it has to offer.  Another possible configuration would use the first three stages of Peacekeeper with the upper two stages of Pegasus/Minotaur.

Then again, designing rockets isn't as easy as playing Legos, and my wacky configurations might not be feasible.  OSC has learned this lesson the hard way on at least one occasion.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline MKremer

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/2007 08:09 AM »
Maybe we could have a race between OSC's 'idea' and SpaceX...
(be kinda fun to see who 'wins' and how soon)

Offline Jim

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/2007 02:31 PM »
Quote
CFE - 11/5/2007  11:26 PM

1.  Space News ran a recent story about Orbital Sciences considering the development of a bigger booster in the 4-5mT range.  This is exciting if it plays out, because it means a true replacement for Delta II (albeit on the low side of Delta II's performance envelope.)

2. I have to ask, if OSC is designing a Delta-class booster, what configuration will emerge.  I suspect it might look like a Taurus, with an extra Castor 120 added under the stack.  I haven't run the numbers on such an ungainly, five-stage vehicle, so I don't know what kind of performance it has to offer.  Another possible configuration would use the first three stages of Peacekeeper with the upper two stages of Pegasus/Minotaur.


1.  It is not a true replacement for the Delta II, the low side eliminate planetary missions.  This performance is only good for polar missions (there are few due east LEO missions)

2.  Why do you assume solids?  Also your PK variant is already called a Minotaur IV/V

Offline aero313

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/2007 03:04 PM »
Quote
CFE - 11/5/2007  11:26 PM
I have to ask, if OSC is designing a Delta-class booster, what configuration will emerge.  I suspect it might look like a Taurus, with an extra Castor 120 added under the stack.  I haven't run the numbers on such an ungainly, five-stage vehicle, so I don't know what kind of performance it has to offer.  Another possible configuration would use the first three stages of Peacekeeper with the upper two stages of Pegasus/Minotaur.

Then again, designing rockets isn't as easy as playing Legos, and my wacky configurations might not be feasible.  OSC has learned this lesson the hard way on at least one occasion.

The fundamental problem with Taurus as currently configured is the pencil-necked Pegasus upper stages.  These really limit both the overall payload mass and (more importantly) the fairing diameter due to aerodynamic loads.  The 92" fairing was a stretch.   A Delta II class booster needs at least a 10 ft fairing.  Encapsulating these small diameter upper stages inside a larger fairing simply adds weight.

Trivia info:  The Taurus 92" fairing has the largest hammerhead ratio (fairing dia. to body dia.) ever flown at 1.84:1 (92/50).  Titan IV had a 1.6:1 ratio.

Offline CFE

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #4 on: 05/12/2007 09:19 PM »
Quote
Jim - 12/5/2007  8:31 AM
2.  Why do you assume solids?  Also your PK variant is already called a Minotaur IV/V

I assumed solids only because that's where OSC's experience lies.  I suppose nothing is stopping them from going liquid, but the all-solid route (with the possible exception of a HAPS as the final stage) seems like the easiest approach for their company.

My PK variant is not quite a Minotaur-IV/V.  Minotaur IV has an Orion 38 as stage 4, while Minotaur V uses a Star 48 variant for Stage 4 and an Orion 38 or Star 37 variant for Stage 5.  The version I threw out there would use an Orion 50XL for stage 4 and an Orion 38 for stage 5.  

Nit-picking aside, your point is well-taken, that this isn't very different from the standard Minotaur IV/V.  And there's no way, barring any drastic mods, that Minotaur IV could be Delta II-class.  I'll have to take a WAG at what would happen if the Minotaur IV used two Castor 120's or SR-118's in series, in place of the current first stage (think of Athena II.)  I still don't think it would put 4 mT in LEO, though.

All things considered, it looks like it will be pretty hard to design an all-solid launcher.  Unless the Shuttle ASRM could easily be adapted as the first stage, it doesn't look like there are existing solid motors in an appropriate size for such a rocket.
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/2007 11:15 PM »
This reminds me to E-Prime Aerospace, which is touting unsuccessfully for years a bunch of PK-Stages in different clusters  for higher power vehicles:

http://www.eprimeaerospace.com/vehicles.htm



Offline Analyst

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #6 on: 05/15/2007 08:12 AM »
Why not keep Delta II? Does anyone believe a new vehicle will be cheaper and more reliable? I don't.

Analyst

Offline Skyrocket

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #7 on: 05/15/2007 09:25 AM »
Quote
Analyst - 15/5/2007  10:12 AM

Why not keep Delta II? Does anyone believe a new vehicle will be cheaper and more reliable? I don't.

Analyst

because there are not enough customers: Delta II will be no longer economic, when it is used only for a handful of NASA launches.

Offline Analyst

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #8 on: 05/15/2007 09:34 AM »
Quote
Skyrocket - 15/5/2007  11:25 AM
because there are not enough customers: Delta II will be no longer economic, when it is used only for a handful of NASA launches.

And a replacement will have more customers? I don't buy this logic.

Analyst

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #9 on: 05/15/2007 10:24 AM »
Quote
Analyst - 15/5/2007  11:34 AM

Quote
Skyrocket - 15/5/2007  11:25 AM
because there are not enough customers: Delta II will be no longer economic, when it is used only for a handful of NASA launches.

And a replacement will have more customers? I don't buy this logic.

Analyst

Not necessarily. Only if it is cheaper. But Delta II is too expensive to keep it in (low volume) production, so it will be gone in a few years,  wether there is a replacement in this class or not.

Offline simonbp

RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #10 on: 05/15/2007 11:34 AM »
Quote
Analyst - 15/5/2007  4:34 AM

Quote
Skyrocket - 15/5/2007  11:25 AM
because there are not enough customers: Delta II will be no longer economic, when it is used only for a handful of NASA launches.

And a replacement will have more customers? I don't buy this logic.

Analyst

Or, more specifically, the Department of Defense has stopped using Delta II in favour of the EELVs they spend so much money developing; without DoD buying most of them, Delta II became too much of a profit loss...

If it can only do polar missions, then I'd still question where the non-government customer base will come from.

Simon ;)

Offline Jim

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #11 on: 05/15/2007 11:48 AM »
Quote
Analyst - 15/5/2007  4:12 AM

Why not keep Delta II? Does anyone believe a new vehicle will be cheaper and more reliable? I don't.

Analyst

Cheaper may be possible because Delta II was designed to meet performance goals without caring about operational aspects.  Less components would mean less labor and more reliability (theoretically)

Offline aero313

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #12 on: 05/15/2007 03:17 PM »
Quote
Analyst - 15/5/2007  4:12 AM

Why not keep Delta II? Does anyone believe a new vehicle will be cheaper and more reliable? I don't.

Analyst

Can a new booster be less expensive?  Paper rockets are ALWAYS less expensive than real ones - until they fly.

Since the Air Force has stopped buying Delta IIs in blocks of 24 at a time for GPS, the price has shot from ~$50M apiece to over $80M apiece.  Boeing has threatened to stop production and NASA is worried.  The current Delta II market is really only the occasional NASA science mission.

The most cost effective plan would seem to be for another company to license the Delta II production capability from Boeing and just keep building it.  The problem is part obsolecence.  If NASA is serious about this, they might want to explore this option (or maybe the already are).

Offline Jim

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #13 on: 05/15/2007 03:25 PM »
It is not just parts, it is labor and all the facilities.

Offline Skyrocket

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #14 on: 05/15/2007 03:49 PM »
Quote
aero313 - 15/5/2007  5:17 PM
The most cost effective plan would seem to be for another company to license the Delta II production capability from Boeing and just keep building it.  The problem is part obsolecence.  If NASA is serious about this, they might want to explore this option (or maybe the already are).

I do not see, how another company could build a cheaper Delta II, when there are only low-volume orders.


Offline NotGncDude

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #15 on: 05/15/2007 05:36 PM »
Quote
CFE - 11/5/2007  11:26 PM

Space News ran a recent story about Orbital Sciences considering the development of a bigger booster in the 4-5mT range.  This is exciting if it plays out, because it means a true replacement for Delta II (albeit on the low side of Delta II's performance envelope.)

I have to ask, if OSC is designing a Delta-class booster, what configuration will emerge.  I suspect it might look like a Taurus, with an extra Castor 120 added under the stack.  I haven't run the numbers on such an ungainly, five-stage vehicle, so I don't know what kind of performance it has to offer.  Another possible configuration would use the first three stages of Peacekeeper with the upper two stages of Pegasus/Minotaur.

Then again, designing rockets isn't as easy as playing Legos, and my wacky configurations might not be feasible.  OSC has learned this lesson the hard way on at least one occasion.

OSC's Dr. Antonio Elias described something like this in his Q&A thread, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same rocket:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=3911&start=52

Offline aero313

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #16 on: 05/15/2007 09:36 PM »
Quote
Skyrocket - 15/5/2007  11:49 AM

Quote
aero313 - 15/5/2007  5:17 PM
The most cost effective plan would seem to be for another company to license the Delta II production capability from Boeing and just keep building it.  The problem is part obsolecence.  If NASA is serious about this, they might want to explore this option (or maybe the already are).

I do not see, how another company could build a cheaper Delta II, when there are only low-volume orders.


I didn't say "cheaper", I said "more cost effective".  When you add the nonrecurring development cost of a new rocket, the cost of a couple of failed test flights, the lost opportunities while waiting for the bugs to be worked out of the new vehicle, the new payload analysis and test required for a new (and yet unverified set of launch environments), and the cost of the NASA personnel who now have to get up to speed on a new vehicle, then divide that by the realistic mission model, you probably get a fully amortized per-unit cost that's quite a bit higher that the Delta II.  This assumes, of course, that some dot-com "hundred millionaire" doesn't fund the full development out of his personal checking account...

And as for the ability to build a Delta II for less that Boeing could, have you seen their fully burdened labor rates?

Offline simonbp

Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #17 on: 05/16/2007 01:54 AM »
Considering that SpaceX dropped the Falcon 5 (which would have been a low-cost successor to Delta II) quoting no market, I'd wager that there isn't a lot of hurry at OSC to do something similar...

Simon ;)

Offline Jim

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #18 on: 05/16/2007 02:04 AM »
Quote
simonbp - 15/5/2007  9:54 PM

Considering that SpaceX dropped the Falcon 5 (which would have been a low-cost successor to Delta II) quoting no market, I'd wager that there isn't a lot of hurry at OSC to do something similar...

Simon ;)

 Falcon 5 is a  Falcon 9 with 4 less engines and maybe kestrel instead of a merlin for a second stage engine.  It doesn't matter, they can market the Falcon 9 for Delta II class payloads.  Nothing is wrong with having excess performance, if the cost is comparable

Offline CFE

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #19 on: 05/16/2007 02:31 AM »
Quote
aero313 - 15/5/2007  3:36 PM
When you add the nonrecurring development cost of a new rocket, the cost of a couple of failed test flights, the lost opportunities while waiting for the bugs to be worked out of the new vehicle, the new payload analysis and test required for a new (and yet unverified set of launch environments), and the cost of the NASA personnel who now have to get up to speed on a new vehicle, then divide that by the realistic mission model, you probably get a fully amortized per-unit cost that's quite a bit higher that the Delta II.  This assumes, of course, that some dot-com "hundred millionaire" doesn't fund the full development out of his personal checking account...

If OSC did a Delta II-class booster using existing solid rockets, the development could be accomplished fairly cheaply.  I'd also have a lot of confidence on getting it to work correctly on the first try (as Pegasus, Taurus, and Minotaur did--solids are pretty reliable, after all.)  The infrastructure to support such a vehicle could probably be built pretty cheaply too.

Nevertheless, Aero313, you are right that these costs are non-trivial.  Based on projected flight rates for vehicles in this class, there may not be a justifiable business model for this class of booster now that it's almost exclusively NASA missions.  Low-rate production of Delta II, as costly as it will be, may look cheap in comparison to a new vehicle.  I'm sure that OSC has already run the numbers to see if it's worth it or not.

The smartest way ahead for NASA would probably be paying for the remaining development on the EELV-Small.  Delta IV with Delta II's second stage shouldn't be too hard to do.  I haven't seen any concept art of Atlas V-Agena, though.  Would ULA still have the tooling to produce an updated Agena?
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Offline yinzer

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #20 on: 05/16/2007 03:09 AM »
It didn't make sense to continue to develop the small EELVs when the number of payloads was much higher than it is now.  It probably still doesn't make sense.  The DoD shows no compunction about flying DMSP and GPS satellites on EELVs that have a lot of excess capacity; there's no reason NASA couldn't do the same.  You'd think they'd be able to negotiate lower prices given the large overcapacity.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #21 on: 05/16/2007 03:34 AM »
I think jim hit the nail on the head, if the 'smallest' EELV (Atlas 401, Delta IV Medium) cost less than a low flight rate Delta II there is no reason not to use an EELV. Especilly if the excess doesn't leave spent stages in orbit. We saw what happened to that proton stage a few months back...

I will probally draw several lightening bolts here, but I always thought lockheeds switching everything from the Atlas II/III to the Atlas V was a beter marketing plan than the boeing keep the Delta II and Delta IV. Doing that drove up the price of the Delta II while eating into the Delta IV volume thus driving up the Delta IV price.
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Offline meiza

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #22 on: 05/16/2007 10:21 AM »
Could one try to move to launching multiple small sats at one time with EELV? Or are the orbital parameters too different, or is it too costly, schedule wise? Deep space probes need dedicated launches anyway it seems.

Offline Jim

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #23 on: 05/16/2007 11:46 AM »
Quote
meiza - 16/5/2007  6:21 AM

Could one try to move to launching multiple small sats at one time with EELV?
1. Or are the orbital parameters too different, or  2. is it too costly, schedule wise? 3. Deep space probes need dedicated launches anyway it seems.

That is  can of worms.  
1.  most of the time
2.  it does cost more
3. correct

Offline Jim

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #24 on: 05/16/2007 11:50 AM »
Quote
CFE - 15/5/2007  10:31 PM

The smartest way ahead for NASA would probably be paying for the remaining development on the EELV-Small.  Delta IV with Delta II's second stage shouldn't be too hard to do.  I haven't seen any concept art of Atlas V-Agena, though.  Would ULA still have the tooling to produce an updated Agena?

Not neccessarily true.  The costs of the development with the additional recurring costs  per flight would probably be more than the cost of a Medium vehicle.  Also It would still need a 3rd stage for interplanetaries.

Offline wingod

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #25 on: 05/16/2007 04:26 PM »
Quote
Jim - 15/5/2007  10:25 AM

It is not just parts, it is labor and all the facilities.

Have to agree with Jim on this one.  There is some level of hope that the Falcon 9 can move into that niche.

By the way, the USAF launch on demand contract for GPS was for $38M each according to documents available at the time of the original contract.


Offline publiusr

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #26 on: 05/21/2007 07:28 PM »
Has anyone ever played with the concept of Delta II cores as strap-ons themselves? I think Hujsak once wrote about something similar in one of his books...

Offline Jim

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #27 on: 05/21/2007 07:42 PM »
Quote
publiusr - 21/5/2007  3:28 PM

Has anyone ever played with the concept of Delta II cores as strap-ons themselves? I think Hujsak once wrote about something similar in one of his books...

There was a 7 core concept

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #28 on: 05/21/2007 07:58 PM »
And there was a twin-barrel-Delta concept floating around in the early 90ies with two Delta-core-stages in parallel with solid-strap-ons around. Unfortunately, i do not have an illustration.

Offline josh_simonson

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #29 on: 05/21/2007 09:00 PM »
>I will probally draw several lightening bolts here, but I always thought lockheeds switching everything from the Atlas II/III to the Atlas V was a beter marketing plan than the boeing keep the Delta II and Delta IV. Doing that drove up the price of the Delta II while eating into the Delta IV volume thus driving up the Delta IV price.

The leap from Delta II to Delta IV was much farther than from Atlas 3 to Atlas V.  Until ULA the Delta IV's future hadn't been 100% certain either, whereas the Atlas V has been in better shape, buisnesswise.  If Delta IV had been a dud Boeing would be glad they'd kept Delta II.

Offline Jim

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #30 on: 05/21/2007 10:46 PM »
Quote
josh_simonson - 21/5/2007  5:00 PM

>I will probally draw several lightening bolts here, but I always thought lockheeds switching everything from the Atlas II/III to the Atlas V was a beter marketing plan than the boeing keep the Delta II and Delta IV. Doing that drove up the price of the Delta II while eating into the Delta IV volume thus driving up the Delta IV price.

The leap from Delta II to Delta IV was much farther than from Atlas 3 to Atlas V.  Until ULA the Delta IV's future hadn't been 100% certain either, whereas the Atlas V has been in better shape, buisnesswise.  If Delta IV had been a dud Boeing would be glad they'd kept Delta II.

Atlas II/III & V are almost the same market

Delta II  and  Delta IV are not the same market.  Delta II costs are unrelated to the D-IV program.  Delta II would still be in the same situation as it is now, if there was no D-IV

GPS moving off D-II is what is driving up the costs.

Offline CFE

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #31 on: 05/21/2007 11:23 PM »
Quote
Jim - 21/5/2007  1:42 PM

Quote
publiusr - 21/5/2007  3:28 PM

Has anyone ever played with the concept of Delta II cores as strap-ons themselves? I think Hujsak once wrote about something similar in one of his books...

There was a 7 core concept

Based on what I've read, it was referred to as "Barbarian," and utilized a cluster of seven Delta first stage tanks plus three Shuttle SRB's.  It was projected to launch SDI payloads that were too big for the Titan series.  Barbarian was a sweet-looking concept, but ultimately proved impractical.
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Offline publiusr

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #32 on: 05/22/2007 12:01 AM »
I seem to remember a phto of a four engine Titan Barbarian. No Delta II there at all. This with a photo mock-up from Wade--
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/barianmm.htm

Offline CFE

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #33 on: 05/22/2007 05:06 AM »
Here's Mark Wade's page on the McDD "Barbarian" concept:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/baranmdd.htm

And here's a page of space models, with the McDD "Barbarian" near the bottom of the page.  I believe it was built by the renowned space modeler Mat Irvine, who literally wrote the book on space models:
http://sputnik.freehomepage.com/Models/gallery.html
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Offline publiusr

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #34 on: 06/16/2007 08:40 PM »
That is an odd craft.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #35 on: 06/22/2007 08:20 AM »
Reportedly, Orbital has begun development of a Delta-II-class rocket named Taurus-2

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=4031

Some rumours about a liquid propellant first stage using the NK-33 engine and a solid propellant second stage.




Offline CFE

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #36 on: 06/24/2007 06:33 AM »
Quote
Jim - 21/5/2007  4:46 PM

Atlas II/III & V are almost the same market

Delta II  and  Delta IV are not the same market.  Delta II costs are unrelated to the D-IV program.  Delta II would still be in the same situation as it is now, if there was no D-IV


It should be noted that the standard Delta IV Medium has almost exactly the same performance as the ill-fated Delta III.  Even if the two Delta III failures hadn't scared off potential customers, killing the Delta III made a lot of sense.  Otherwise it would have competed with Delta IV, albeit in a package that was more complex due to the need for multiple solids and two different fuels for the two main stages of Delta III.  

It would appear that the only reason for Delta III's existence was to reduce the risk for Delta IV's upper stage.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Online mike robel

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #37 on: 06/24/2007 12:53 PM »
Here is a photo from astronautix.com of a Titan Barbaria 1st stage with 4 engines.  

http://astronautix.com/lvs/barianmm.htm

And here is a concep Titan 3L4 with 4 7 segment SRBs and a similar core to the Barbarian.

http://astronautix.com/lvs/titan3l4.htm

And here is my Titan IV version of it with an Apollo Capsule on top.  In the background, a Saturn 1B with 4 7 segment strap ons
, A Saturn VB with 4 SRB strap ons, to the far right, a Saturn C-8.  I like modeling conjectural boosters.

Offline publiusr

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #38 on: 07/02/2007 08:08 PM »
Great model work!

Offline antonioe

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #39 on: 07/27/2007 08:29 PM »
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Analyst - 15/5/2007 4:34 AM

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Skyrocket - 15/5/2007 11:25 AM
because there are not enough customers: Delta II will be no longer economic, when it is used only for a handful of NASA launches.

And a replacement will have more customers? I don't buy this logic.

Analyst

You are quite right: a Delta II replacement probably won't have any more customers than Delta II has today. The trick is to create an affordable medium launch vehicle that can be financially self-sustaining (including recovery of the development costs, recurring costs, fixed costs, etc.) at a rate of 2-3/year. There is no single solution to this problem - you have to do several different things simultaneously.

By the way, the reason we're doing this is the same reason we did Pegasus in 1987: our satellite projects needed such a launch vehicle.  Believe me, developing a successful new launch vehicle is a lot less fun than it looks!...
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline yinzer

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #40 on: 08/04/2007 07:16 PM »
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antonioe - 27/7/2007  1:29 PM

Quote
Analyst - 15/5/2007 4:34 AM

Quote
Skyrocket - 15/5/2007 11:25 AM
because there are not enough customers: Delta II will be no longer economic, when it is used only for a handful of NASA launches.

And a replacement will have more customers? I don't buy this logic.

Analyst

You are quite right: a Delta II replacement probably won't have any more customers than Delta II has today. The trick is to create an affordable medium launch vehicle that can be financially self-sustaining (including recovery of the development costs, recurring costs, fixed costs, etc.) at a rate of 2-3/year. There is no single solution to this problem - you have to do several different things simultaneously.

By the way, the reason we're doing this is the same reason we did Pegasus in 1987: our satellite projects needed such a launch vehicle.  Believe me, developing a successful new launch vehicle is a lot less fun than it looks!...

Are dual-manifested EELV medium flights and Soyuz out of Kourou sufficiently unattractive that you  think there's room for another similarly sized launch vehicle?
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Offline Skyrocket

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RE: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #41 on: 08/04/2007 07:22 PM »
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yinzer - 4/8/2007  9:16 PM
Are dual-manifested EELV medium flights and Soyuz out of Kourou sufficiently unattractive that you  think there's room for another similarly sized launch vehicle?

Dual manifested missions are often unattractive for science missions, as most missions require their own particular orbits. Sharing the vehicle to a shared orbit leads therefor to compromises in the scientific return. Shared launches are even less attractive for interplanetary missions.

Soyuz (and other non US launch vehicle) can not be procured by NASA and other US gov agencies. The only exceptation is, when a foreign partner provides the launch vehicle (e.g. GRACE, JWST). But generally a US launch vehicle is required for gov missions.


Offline yinzer

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Re: Bigger boosters from OSC?
« Reply #42 on: 08/04/2007 07:37 PM »
Both of those are true, but I wouldn't have expected Orbital's internal satellite projects to be either one-off science missions or interplanetary probes.  ORBCOMM certainly wasn't.
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

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