Author Topic: Potential sale of ULA  (Read 186565 times)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #720 on: 02/22/2024 01:54 am »
What will Bruno's role be after merger? Maybe good thing if he managed combined operation, knows how to get things done and managed alot of LV/missile projects.

ULA would give Blue expertised launch and product teams. Flight proven avionics, inspace hydrolox fluid management systems, NSSL payload intergration.

Online Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2852
  • Liked: 1092
  • Likes Given: 33
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #721 on: 02/22/2024 01:56 am »
If BOULA is happening, by extension Vulcan has an EoL date stamped on it, so that pretty much guarantees SMART isn't happening.

The next question is where is the end of Vulcan going to happen, since nobody in their right mind would want to operate an expendable rocket when you also have a partially expendable (future fully reusable) rocket. NSSL current contracts seem like the outer limit, as Kuiper launches should be fungible to launch on New Glenn. BO may dangle some incentives to other civil Vulcan launches to switch to New Glenn as well, further shortening the Vulcan pipeline.

Will the SRM supply chain get nervous? In light of a huge spending spree on missile SRM's for munitions currently (so much so that Ursa is getting accepted as a new supplier), probably not but that does put a bit of a slant towards Sentinel ICBM SRM production for big solids, and some risks with knowledge rot since solid kick stage production is already pretty low.

This also has implications on Centaur related work.

But the real deathknell is Starliner, and by extension crewed Dreamchaser. Vulcan being dead on arrival means Boeing has zero incentive to certify Starliner for manned Vulcan flights, and SNC can't ride on the coattails of that, so no one will pay for Vulcan manned certification. Crewed Dreamchaser as we know it today (DC200) becomes a non starter, as certifying for F9 in the face of Starship coming online means F9 also has a shelf life problem. The next choice is New Glenn, but then the vehicle size should change to accommodate New Glen lift capabilities, so it really won't look like DC-200 as it appears now. At least SNC can work with BOULA on manned certification if BO's previous plans of a New Glenn manned capsule aren't entirely vaporware.

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15433
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8618
  • Likes Given: 1362
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #722 on: 02/22/2024 02:24 am »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.  Remember that New Glenn *lost* the NSSL competition to Vulcan (and Falcon).  ULA flew a fully successful Vulcan inaugural to add to all of its other successes over the years.   Blue Origin has zero orbital launches.  Zero.  It will take years.  Nearly 9 years passed from the SpaceX protovehicle rollout at SLC 40 to the time when a first stage was first reused.  More years would pass before the re-flight count grew to meaningful numbers.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/22/2024 02:37 am by edkyle99 »

Offline DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5573
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 4386
  • Likes Given: 1790
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #723 on: 02/22/2024 02:39 am »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.  Remember that New Glenn *lost* the NSSL competition to Vulcan (and Falcon). 

 - Ed Kyle
Is this correct? I thought NSSL was about companies, not rockets. The winners were ULA and SpaceX. BO lost. But presumably BO/ULA will inherit the ULA NSSL award. Yes, they will eventually need to fly two non-NSSL flights on New Glenn before USSF will certify it, but it will just be added as a qualified member of the BO/ULA launch family. BO/ULA will have all the necessary expertise to support NSSL missions, and this is arguably their most valuable asset.  Vulcan is a safe, conservative bridge to eventual use of NG.

Of course, we are still talking about Vulcan, with a total of one launch, and NG, with a total of zero launches. They both have a long way to go. The last Delta IV Heavy launch is in March, and the last Atlas V NSSL launch is in June.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2326
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1962
  • Likes Given: 1153
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #724 on: 02/22/2024 02:45 am »
ULABOULA

Blunited Origin Alliance

How about UBOLA?  It kind of sounds like a deadly disease.
« Last Edit: 02/29/2024 01:14 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Online Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2852
  • Liked: 1092
  • Likes Given: 33
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #725 on: 02/22/2024 04:14 am »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.  Remember that New Glenn *lost* the NSSL competition to Vulcan (and Falcon). 

 - Ed Kyle
Is this correct? I thought NSSL was about companies, not rockets. The winners were ULA and SpaceX. BO lost. But presumably BO/ULA will inherit the ULA NSSL award. Yes, they will eventually need to fly two non-NSSL flights on New Glenn before USSF will certify it, but it will just be added as a qualified member of the BO/ULA launch family. BO/ULA will have all the necessary expertise to support NSSL missions, and this is arguably their most valuable asset.  Vulcan is a safe, conservative bridge to eventual use of NG.

Of course, we are still talking about Vulcan, with a total of one launch, and NG, with a total of zero launches. They both have a long way to go. The last Delta IV Heavy launch is in March, and the last Atlas V NSSL launch is in June.

BOULA has zero obligation to continue beyond current Vulcan NSSL contracts though, which represents a line in the sand. There may even be escape clauses in the NSSL contracts.

Offline ZachF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1623
  • Immensely complex & high risk
  • NH, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 2630
  • Likes Given: 531
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #726 on: 02/22/2024 11:37 am »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.  Remember that New Glenn *lost* the NSSL competition to Vulcan (and Falcon).  ULA flew a fully successful Vulcan inaugural to add to all of its other successes over the years.   Blue Origin has zero orbital launches.  Zero.  It will take years.  Nearly 9 years passed from the SpaceX protovehicle rollout at SLC 40 to the time when a first stage was first reused.  More years would pass before the re-flight count grew to meaningful numbers.

 - Ed Kyle

Vulcan gives NG cover while they develop it. It wont take 9 year like F9 did, but it will take a few. Yes Blue has zero launches, but thats exactly why they are buying ULA for that expertise, as ULAs long list on successes is its most valuable asset.

And a Centaur V 3rd stage New Glenn would handily beat Vulcan to any high energy orbit, especially with ACES.
artist, so take opinions expressed above with a well-rendered grain of salt...
https://www.instagram.com/artzf/

Offline ZachF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1623
  • Immensely complex & high risk
  • NH, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 2630
  • Likes Given: 531
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #727 on: 02/22/2024 11:48 am »
What will Bruno's role be after merger? Maybe good thing if he managed combined operation, knows how to get things done and managed alot of LV/missile projects.

ULA would give Blue expertised launch and product teams. Flight proven avionics, inspace hydrolox fluid management systems, NSSL payload intergration.

If not CEO, hopefully Tory will be COO of launch operations. Hes also 62 years old though, so retirement is likely sometime soon.
artist, so take opinions expressed above with a well-rendered grain of salt...
https://www.instagram.com/artzf/

Offline Brovane

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1286
  • United States
  • Liked: 828
  • Likes Given: 1801
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #728 on: 02/22/2024 12:45 pm »
What will Bruno's role be after merger? Maybe good thing if he managed combined operation, knows how to get things done and managed alot of LV/missile projects.

ULA would give Blue expertised launch and product teams. Flight proven avionics, inspace hydrolox fluid management systems, NSSL payload intergration.

If not CEO, hopefully Tory will be COO of launch operations. Hes also 62 years old though, so retirement is likely sometime soon.

Gerstenmaier over at SpaceX will be 70 this year.  I wouldn't assume 62 means planning on retirement soon. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline dglow

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2067
  • Liked: 2295
  • Likes Given: 4440
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #729 on: 02/22/2024 03:04 pm »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.  Remember that New Glenn *lost* the NSSL competition to Vulcan (and Falcon). 

 - Ed Kyle
Is this correct? I thought NSSL was about companies, not rockets. The winners were ULA and SpaceX. BO lost. But presumably BO/ULA will inherit the ULA NSSL award.

Blue will bid the next NSSL with both Vulcan and New Glenn just as ULA would bid with Atlas and Delta. Presumably the Space Force will specify the LV requirements for individual missions then announce their selections as the missions are awarded.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2024 08:00 pm by dglow »

Offline Emmettvonbrown

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Liked: 143
  • Likes Given: 739
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #730 on: 02/22/2024 07:02 pm »
Quote
How about UBOLA?  It kind of sounds like a deadly disease.

ROTFLMAO

I suggest "BOULA zero" as in (french) "boule zro"
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/avoir-la-boule--zro
(skinhead ?)
Pretty appropriate for Jeff Bezos.
(I'll get my coat)
Boula really sounds ackward in french, but it doesn't really matters, honestly.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2024 07:09 pm by Emmettvonbrown »

Offline deltaV

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
  • Change in velocity
  • Liked: 653
  • Likes Given: 2264
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #731 on: 02/23/2024 04:33 am »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.

I'm not sure it matters but New Glenn plus a Centaur V third stage should have a lot more capability to beyond LEO than Vulcan. New Glenn plus Centaur V should get around 13 tonnes to GEO, versus Vulcan's ~7 tonnes. Vulcan is a three stage vehicle so giving New Glenn a third stage seems fair.

If BOULA decides to use Centaur V long term I wonder if they'll re-engine it using ~4 BE-7 so they can depend on in-house engines.

The Blue Moon "Cislunar Transporter" tug built by Lockheed seems awfully similar to what ULA was planning to do with ACES. In a post-merger world this duplication seems unfortunate but it may be too late to change plans.

I wonder if ULA's SMART reuse tech could be adapted to reuse parts of New Glenn's second stage.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #732 on: 02/23/2024 07:25 am »




I wonder if ULA's SMART reuse tech could be adapted to reuse parts of New Glenn's second stage.

No reason it can't be and maybe worthwhile for high value engine bay.

Offline dglow

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2067
  • Liked: 2295
  • Likes Given: 4440
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #733 on: 02/23/2024 11:36 am »




I wonder if ULA's SMART reuse tech could be adapted to reuse parts of New Glenn's second stage.

No reason it can't be and maybe worthwhile for high value engine bay.

Full reuse or bust. Why mess with SMART when youve already spun-up Jarvis?

Offline DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5573
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 4386
  • Likes Given: 1790
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #734 on: 02/23/2024 03:29 pm »




I wonder if ULA's SMART reuse tech could be adapted to reuse parts of New Glenn's second stage.

No reason it can't be and maybe worthwhile for high value engine bay.

Full reuse or bust. Why mess with SMART when youve already spun-up Jarvis?
Once NG boosters are being routinely recovered, Vulcan cost per launch is irrelevant to BO/ULA: just fly NG because it's cheaper per launch. This does not require a reusable second stage. Vulcan will still fly certain NSSL missions until NG gets certified. There may also be some strange corner cases in the NSSL capabilities matrix that NG will not cover (I don't know). If so, BO/ULA would keep Vulcan on the books in order to stay fully eligible for NSSL lane 2: a company must be able to fly every one of the NSSL lane 2 missions in order to qualify for any lane 2 launches.

Offline dglow

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2067
  • Liked: 2295
  • Likes Given: 4440
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #735 on: 02/23/2024 03:53 pm »




I wonder if ULA's SMART reuse tech could be adapted to reuse parts of New Glenn's second stage.

No reason it can't be and maybe worthwhile for high value engine bay.

Full reuse or bust. Why mess with SMART when youve already spun-up Jarvis?
Once NG boosters are being routinely recovered, Vulcan cost per launch is irrelevant to BO/ULA: just fly NG because it's cheaper per launch. This does not require a reusable second stage. Vulcan will still fly certain NSSL missions until NG gets certified. There may also be some strange corner cases in the NSSL capabilities matrix that NG will not cover (I don't know). If so, BO/ULA would keep Vulcan on the books in order to stay fully eligible for NSSL lane 2: a company must be able to fly every one of the NSSL lane 2 missions in order to qualify for any lane 2 launches.

Fully agree. Note the context is @deltaV's thought experiment of applying SMART to New Glenn's second stage.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8874
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 10217
  • Likes Given: 11950
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #736 on: 02/23/2024 04:08 pm »
Not so sure it is Vulcan that is at risk here.  New Glenn has a long, costly road to completion...

Whoa, let's not forget that ULA just finished a "long, costly road to completion" for Vulcan, so time and money are not really a factor here, not with Blue Origin not really caring about either due to being owned by one of the richest people in the world.

Quote
...and, if successfully developed, will do about the same as Vulcan beyond LEO.

Which is the problem for Vulcan, because New Glenn will eventually cost far less for the same performance. People used to point out how Falcon 9 would have less performance than Atlas V, which was the most popular launcher in the U.S. 10 years ago, but SpaceX won out because Falcon 9 costs far less.

Quote
Remember that New Glenn *lost* the NSSL competition to Vulcan (and Falcon).

Blue Origin did, and it was not surprising because Blue Origin is not yet an orbital launch entity, so they still have a lot to learn. One way to learn quickly though would be to buy an existing orbital launch entity...  ;)

Quote
ULA flew a fully successful Vulcan inaugural to add to all of its other successes over the years.

I don't think people have questioned ULA's ability to build rockets. They question the business side of ULA, and fielding a fully expendable rocket into a market that is dominated by partially reusable rockets is VERY questionable from a business standpoint. Vulcan could end up as the Edsel of the rocket world...

Quote
Blue Origin has zero orbital launches.  Zero.  It will take years.

ULA had ZERO Vulcan launches until last month, and New Glenn may launch in a year. Being one year behind your competitor in the launch market isn't a death sentence

Quote
Nearly 9 years passed from the SpaceX protovehicle rollout at SLC 40 to the time when a first stage was first reused.  More years would pass before the re-flight count grew to meaningful numbers.

Oh Ed, you are so funny sometimes. Weren't you part of the "wisdom of the crowd" that denounced the efforts of SpaceX to reuse the Falcon 9 1st stage?

Well the genie is out of the bottle with reusing 1st stages, and Blue Origin is applying that knowledge to their New Glenn - which in some ways is an evolution of the fully reusable sub-orbital New Shepard, so yes, Blue Origin has reusable launch experience.

The bottom line here though is that this thread is about who will buy ULA, and it is clear that if Blue Origin buys ULA that Vulcan will have a much shorter life span due to the fact that New Glenn should be much more able to compete on the U.S. and global launch market than Vulcan.

In other words, if Blue Origin buys ULA, they won't be buying it for Vulcan, they will be buying ULA for everything else.
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 Emmettvonbrown

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Liked: 143
  • Likes Given: 739
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #737 on: 02/23/2024 04:31 pm »
I can't see why Vulcan and New Glenn could not be team mates. Vulcan is your usual ELV - not reusable, narrow diameter, less than 30 mt to LEO.
New Glenn is something much bigger and partially reusable - 45 mt to orbit, 7 m diameter.

Offline dglow

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2067
  • Liked: 2295
  • Likes Given: 4440
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #738 on: 02/23/2024 04:42 pm »
I can't see why Vulcan and New Glenn could not be team mates. Vulcan is your usual ELV - not reusable, narrow diameter, less than 30 mt to LEO.
New Glenn is something much bigger and partially reusable - 45 mt to orbit, 7 m diameter.

Vulcan was designed with USSF needs firmly in mind and has NSSL payloads waiting for it. Vulcan has flown once, and is expected to ramp its launch cadence faster than New Glenn.

If New Glenn fast-follows Vulcan exceptionally well then it'll absorb some of Vulcan's Kuiper launches. But I predict Vulcan will be launching Space Force payloads well into the 2030s.

Offline DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5573
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 4386
  • Likes Given: 1790
Re: Potential sale of ULA
« Reply #739 on: 02/23/2024 04:46 pm »
I can't see why Vulcan and New Glenn could not be team mates. Vulcan is your usual ELV - not reusable, narrow diameter, less than 30 mt to LEO.
New Glenn is something much bigger and partially reusable - 45 mt to orbit, 7 m diameter.
If a NG launch is lower cost than any Vulcan Centaur launch for all payloads then why would BO/ULA offer the Vulcan Centaur at all? BO?ULA would make more money at the same price by using NG. Only two reasons I can think of:
   -- NG is not yet available
   -- there might be NSSL missions that Vulcan Centaur can fly but NG cannot. (I don't know if these exist).

 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1