Author Topic: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 EMEA - CC SLC-41 - summer 2023  (Read 19584 times)

Offline gongora

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #20 on: 09/12/2018 07:27 pm »
For a 6-ton electric propulsion sat, the price difference between an Atlas V-541 and AtlasV-551 is probably worth it.  (It's not usual to launch 6-ton electric propulsion sats, and it's not usual for the satellite operator to build their own payload for a GEO commsat, so we're already on the fringes here.)  Whether you think the Atlas V pricing is worth it compared to other providers is another story.  Viasat is willing to pay for reliability and performance.  If they booked a 551 then recoverable F9 was probably not considered, so you're looking at $90M+ from other providers unless you want to take a chance on Proton.

Offline Brovane

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #21 on: 09/12/2018 08:27 pm »
For a 6-ton electric propulsion sat, the price difference between an Atlas V-541 and AtlasV-551 is probably worth it.  (It's not usual to launch 6-ton electric propulsion sats, and it's not usual for the satellite operator to build their own payload for a GEO commsat, so we're already on the fringes here.)  Whether you think the Atlas V pricing is worth it compared to other providers is another story.  Viasat is willing to pay for reliability and performance.  If they booked a 551 then recoverable F9 was probably not considered, so you're looking at $90M+ from other providers unless you want to take a chance on Proton.

Can't a Atlas-V 521 place 6,000+ kg into GTO-1800 out of CCAFS?

"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 russianhalo117

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #22 on: 09/12/2018 08:29 pm »
For a 6-ton electric propulsion sat, the price difference between an Atlas V-541 and AtlasV-551 is probably worth it.  (It's not usual to launch 6-ton electric propulsion sats, and it's not usual for the satellite operator to build their own payload for a GEO commsat, so we're already on the fringes here.)  Whether you think the Atlas V pricing is worth it compared to other providers is another story.  Viasat is willing to pay for reliability and performance.  If they booked a 551 then recoverable F9 was probably not considered, so you're looking at $90M+ from other providers unless you want to take a chance on Proton.
Proton's manifest is in the process of being finalized with all future domestic and ILS orders starting at some point next year being for the Angara family of launchers from then forward.

Offline envy887

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #23 on: 09/12/2018 08:49 pm »
Playing with ULA's rocket builder page, an Atlas 551 with the 5 meter longest fairing can put 8856 kg into a GTO with a 1800 m/s deficit. Assuming that the launch services page on SpaceX is the same 1800 m/s deficit GTO, a $95 million Falcon Heavy can put 8000 kg into the same orbit[1]. This satellite could theoretically be in the 8000 kg - 8856 kg range requiring a launch service greater and more expensive than the $95 million tier. These numbers might have an inflation adjustment as they are a few years old for a 2020 launch. NASA also recently purchased a Atlas V 541 for 2020 at a launch cost of $243 million[2]. Now, SpaceX and presumeably others charge somewhat of a premium for government contracted launches and that number includes some additional things not related to ULA costs or comsat costs like planetary protection and nuclear handling. On the other side, we are talking about adding an additional solid and potentially a longer fairing as well. For the sake of argument, let's say that Viasat was able to secure this launch for a cool $200 million. Now, ULA advertises an average industry launch insurance cost savings of $12 million dollars for an Atlas because of a superior reliability record to Arianespace/SpaceX/ILS and these would be on the more expensive side in terms of launch insurance (each satellite is projected to cost $600 million to build/insure/deploy). So, the difference in cost is likely to be less than $100 million and somewhat less likely to be significantly less than $100 million (say $75 million).

Now each Viasat has about 1 terabit of network capacity. Viasat also has various plans but their basic plan is up to 12 mbps that throttles at 40 GB per month for $50-$70 per month. Assuming some deflation, let's say this service level goes for $30/month during Viasat 3's introductory service period. 1 terabit/s of network capacity translates to a theoretical throughput limit of 324,000,000 GB per month or a theoretical limit of servicing the full non throttled capacity of 8.1 million basic subscribers. If the actual throughput per subscriber is double the throttled-free limit, it would be more like 4 million subscribers. 8.1 million subscribers is $243 million dollars per month in revenue and 4 million subscribers is ~120 million dollars per month in revenue. This probably represents the upper bound in cost/GB as it is the cheapest plan and therefore the upper bound in revenue. Viasat also has a $100-$150 plan for up to 50 mbps. Assuming this goes for $60 in the future and every customer uses all their capacity all the time, you could service 200,000 of these customers or monthly revenue of $12 million(this would be the absolute worst case scenario assuming the cost figure is correct). I think it likely that the additonal launch costs could be justified on the basis of just a few months of earlier service. And that isn't even counting the 1/30 possibility of losing the satellite and 1/3 of the revenue potential in the $2 billion dollar Viasat 3 constellation effort on something like a Falcon Heavy. By the time you could replace it, Viasat 3 might already be going obsolete. Not to mention it could potentially decimate their customer base that may or may not be recoverable.

[1] https://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities
[2] https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-mars-2020-rover-mission

Except ViaSat did book a Falcon Heavy for the Americas ViaSat-3 launch. This appears to be little more than ViaSat hedging their bets and booking around with various providers, and probably has little to do with the cost/benefit of one particular launch.

The real interesting question is "what are they launching that requires the performance of FH and AV551?"

Offline ncb1397

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #24 on: 09/12/2018 09:15 pm »
Playing with ULA's rocket builder page, an Atlas 551 with the 5 meter longest fairing can put 8856 kg into a GTO with a 1800 m/s deficit. Assuming that the launch services page on SpaceX is the same 1800 m/s deficit GTO, a $95 million Falcon Heavy can put 8000 kg into the same orbit[1]. This satellite could theoretically be in the 8000 kg - 8856 kg range requiring a launch service greater and more expensive than the $95 million tier. These numbers might have an inflation adjustment as they are a few years old for a 2020 launch. NASA also recently purchased a Atlas V 541 for 2020 at a launch cost of $243 million[2]. Now, SpaceX and presumeably others charge somewhat of a premium for government contracted launches and that number includes some additional things not related to ULA costs or comsat costs like planetary protection and nuclear handling. On the other side, we are talking about adding an additional solid and potentially a longer fairing as well. For the sake of argument, let's say that Viasat was able to secure this launch for a cool $200 million. Now, ULA advertises an average industry launch insurance cost savings of $12 million dollars for an Atlas because of a superior reliability record to Arianespace/SpaceX/ILS and these would be on the more expensive side in terms of launch insurance (each satellite is projected to cost $600 million to build/insure/deploy). So, the difference in cost is likely to be less than $100 million and somewhat less likely to be significantly less than $100 million (say $75 million).

Now each Viasat has about 1 terabit of network capacity. Viasat also has various plans but their basic plan is up to 12 mbps that throttles at 40 GB per month for $50-$70 per month. Assuming some deflation, let's say this service level goes for $30/month during Viasat 3's introductory service period. 1 terabit/s of network capacity translates to a theoretical throughput limit of 324,000,000 GB per month or a theoretical limit of servicing the full non throttled capacity of 8.1 million basic subscribers. If the actual throughput per subscriber is double the throttled-free limit, it would be more like 4 million subscribers. 8.1 million subscribers is $243 million dollars per month in revenue and 4 million subscribers is ~120 million dollars per month in revenue. This probably represents the upper bound in cost/GB as it is the cheapest plan and therefore the upper bound in revenue. Viasat also has a $100-$150 plan for up to 50 mbps. Assuming this goes for $60 in the future and every customer uses all their capacity all the time, you could service 200,000 of these customers or monthly revenue of $12 million(this would be the absolute worst case scenario assuming the cost figure is correct). I think it likely that the additonal launch costs could be justified on the basis of just a few months of earlier service. And that isn't even counting the 1/30 possibility of losing the satellite and 1/3 of the revenue potential in the $2 billion dollar Viasat 3 constellation effort on something like a Falcon Heavy. By the time you could replace it, Viasat 3 might already be going obsolete. Not to mention it could potentially decimate their customer base that may or may not be recoverable.

[1] https://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities
[2] https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-mars-2020-rover-mission

Except ViaSat did book a Falcon Heavy for the Americas ViaSat-3 launch. This appears to be little more than ViaSat hedging their bets and booking around with various providers, and probably has little to do with the cost/benefit of one particular launch. Currently, there are 2 Viasat-3 satellites and 2 launch contracts for Arianespace and ULA. So, the Americas Viasat, which is the first to go up I think is unlikely to do so on Falcon. Possibly the third one.

The real interesting question is "what are they launching that requires the performance of FH and AV551?"

They never booked a Falcon launch for Viasat-3. They have an old launch contract booked for Viasat-2 that was moved to Ariane 5 and launched in June of last year. Last information is that they are evaluating what to do with the contract. It may be used for Viasat-3, transferred to a third party or cancelled.

Quote
Viasat originally signed a contract with SpaceX to launch its ViaSat 2 satellite into space via SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. But because SpaceX delayed the rocket's launch, Viasat ended up sending the satellite aloft with the help of Arianespace.
Asked about Viasat's contract with SpaceX, Dankberg said "we're still evaluating” it and that the company has not made any decisions about future satellite launches.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/viasat-ceo-talks-satellite-internet-130039242.html

« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 09:23 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #25 on: 09/12/2018 09:20 pm »
Playing with ULA's rocket builder page, an Atlas 551 with the 5 meter longest fairing can put 8856 kg into a GTO with a 1800 m/s deficit. Assuming that the launch services page on SpaceX is the same 1800 m/s deficit GTO, a $95 million Falcon Heavy can put 8000 kg into the same orbit[1]. This satellite could theoretically be in the 8000 kg - 8856 kg range requiring a launch service greater and more expensive than the $95 million tier. These numbers might have an inflation adjustment as they are a few years old for a 2020 launch. NASA also recently purchased a Atlas V 541 for 2020 at a launch cost of $243 million[2]. Now, SpaceX and presumeably others charge somewhat of a premium for government contracted launches and that number includes some additional things not related to ULA costs or comsat costs like planetary protection and nuclear handling. On the other side, we are talking about adding an additional solid and potentially a longer fairing as well. For the sake of argument, let's say that Viasat was able to secure this launch for a cool $200 million. Now, ULA advertises an average industry launch insurance cost savings of $12 million dollars for an Atlas because of a superior reliability record to Arianespace/SpaceX/ILS and these would be on the more expensive side in terms of launch insurance (each satellite is projected to cost $600 million to build/insure/deploy). So, the difference in cost is likely to be less than $100 million and somewhat less likely to be significantly less than $100 million (say $75 million).

Now each Viasat has about 1 terabit of network capacity. Viasat also has various plans but their basic plan is up to 12 mbps that throttles at 40 GB per month for $50-$70 per month. Assuming some deflation, let's say this service level goes for $30/month during Viasat 3's introductory service period. 1 terabit/s of network capacity translates to a theoretical throughput limit of 324,000,000 GB per month or a theoretical limit of servicing the full non throttled capacity of 8.1 million basic subscribers. If the actual throughput per subscriber is double the throttled-free limit, it would be more like 4 million subscribers. 8.1 million subscribers is $243 million dollars per month in revenue and 4 million subscribers is ~120 million dollars per month in revenue. This probably represents the upper bound in cost/GB as it is the cheapest plan and therefore the upper bound in revenue. Viasat also has a $100-$150 plan for up to 50 mbps. Assuming this goes for $60 in the future and every customer uses all their capacity all the time, you could service 200,000 of these customers or monthly revenue of $12 million(this would be the absolute worst case scenario assuming the cost figure is correct). I think it likely that the additonal launch costs could be justified on the basis of just a few months of earlier service. And that isn't even counting the 1/30 possibility of losing the satellite and 1/3 of the revenue potential in the $2 billion dollar Viasat 3 constellation effort on something like a Falcon Heavy. By the time you could replace it, Viasat 3 might already be going obsolete. Not to mention it could potentially decimate their customer base that may or may not be recoverable.

[1] https://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities
[2] https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-mars-2020-rover-mission

Except ViaSat did book a Falcon Heavy for the Americas ViaSat-3 launch. This appears to be little more than ViaSat hedging their bets and booking around with various providers, and probably has little to do with the cost/benefit of one particular launch.

The real interesting question is "what are they launching that requires the performance of FH and AV551?"

They never booked a Falcon launch for Viasat-3. They have an old launch contract booked for Viasat-2 that was moved to Ariane 5 and launched in June of last year. Last information is that they are evaluating what to do with the contract. It may be used for Viasat-3, transferred to a third party or cancelled.

Quote
Viasat originally signed a contract with SpaceX to launch its ViaSat 2 satellite into space via SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. But because SpaceX delayed the rocket's launch, Viasat ended up sending the satellite aloft with the help of Arianespace.
Asked about Viasat's contract with SpaceX, Dankberg said "we're still evaluating” it and that the company has not made any decisions about future satellite launches.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/viasat-ceo-talks-satellite-internet-130039242.html


the Original ViaSat -3 launch contracts which were done by EUTELSAT were kept by EUTELSAT upon the split.

Offline GWH

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #26 on: 09/12/2018 10:03 pm »
Regarding launch mass and capabilities an Atlas V 551 can put 6695 to a GTO-1500 m/s, that same launch mass to GTO-1800 would only require a 421 or 531 (source rocketbuilder.com).
Initial Twitter comments suggested the satellite masses 7 tons, FWIW Gunter's space page lists Viasat3 at 6400kg https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/viasat-3.htm
It's worth noting that a few months ago rocket builder was tweaked to highlight early to orbit options.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 10:13 pm by GWH »

Offline ncb1397

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #27 on: 09/12/2018 10:25 pm »
Initial Twitter comments suggested the satellite masses 7 tons, FWIW Gunter's space page lists Viasat3 at 6400kg

Same launch mass as Viasat 2, but 3x the throughput in 3 years. That's impressive. Who said Moore's law was dead? But seriously though, more likely it is just a placeholder derived from Viasat 2.

Quote
"Completing the bus CDR validates that the satellite meets all necessary requirements for production to begin," said
Paul Rusnock, chairman and CEO, Boeing Satellite Systems International. "Viasat-3 is the largest satellite in both size and power that Boeing is building, and one of the largest satellites in the industry. It will be a highly-capable and advanced spacecraft - with greater than 25kW of power at end of life, and an ability to take full advantage of the efficiency of its all-electric propulsion."
https://www.viasat.com/news/viasat-and-boeing-proceeding-full-construction-first-two-viasat-3-satellites

The "one of the largest satellites" comment suggests under 7000 kg.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 10:38 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #28 on: 09/13/2018 02:26 am »
Regarding launch mass and capabilities an Atlas V 551 can put 6695 to a GTO-1500 m/s
Atlas V 551 can do better than that.  It put MUOS-5 at 6740 kg into GEO-1410. 

Offline soltasto

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #29 on: 09/13/2018 10:04 am »
the Original ViaSat -3 launch contracts which were done by EUTELSAT were kept by EUTELSAT upon the split.

Looking at the official SpaceX manifest, they have a Falcon 9 contract for Eutelsat and a Falcon Heavy contract for ViaSat.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2018 12:50 pm by gongora »

Offline GWH

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #30 on: 09/13/2018 12:39 pm »
Atlas V 551 can do better than that.  It put MUOS-5 at 6740 kg into GEO-1410.
Was that the targeted orbit or where it ended up after burning to depletion? Would expect rocketbuilder.com to allow for some margin.

This mission could also benefit from GEM 63's, which have about 10% more propellant and over 10% less dry mass than the AJ-60, although ISP doesn't appear to be published. So performance could be even better.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2018 01:25 pm by GWH »

Offline gongora

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #31 on: 09/13/2018 12:59 pm »
the Original ViaSat -3 launch contracts which were done by EUTELSAT were kept by EUTELSAT upon the split.

Looking at the official SpaceX manifest, they have a Falcon 9 contract for Eutelsat and a Falcon Heavy contract for ViaSat.

Eutelsat and Viasat both originally had launch contracts/options with SpaceX that had nothing to do with Viasat-3.  Viasat's contract with SpaceX may have been switched to a Viasat-3 payload.  I really have no idea what Eutelsat contracts russianhalo117 is talking about.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #32 on: 09/13/2018 01:56 pm »
Atlas V 551 can do better than that.  It put MUOS-5 at 6740 kg into GEO-1410.
Was that the targeted orbit or where it ended up after burning to depletion?

MUOS was not an MRS mission design.  DV to GSO was 1300 m/s.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #33 on: 09/13/2018 05:21 pm »
Atlas V 551 can do better than that.  It put MUOS-5 at 6740 kg into GEO-1410.
Was that the targeted orbit or where it ended up after burning to depletion?

MUOS was not an MRS mission design.  DV to GSO was 1300 m/s.
It was only 1300 m/s since MUOS wanted an inclined orbit, and so did not need to cancel all inclination.  To go from the MUOS GTO to a zero inclination GEO (such as ViaSat will need) is 1410 m/s.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #34 on: 09/13/2018 05:43 pm »
Oops, yep.  My mistake.  1300 m/s to 5 deg inc.

Online jbenton

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #35 on: 09/18/2018 09:08 am »
Yeah, and we will not know what that is. There are too many options, just to speculate about a few: Maybe it does not fit into the F9 fairing and is too large for dual launch in an Ariane. Single launch with Ariane could be too expensive. Or maybe it has vibration requirements that both launchers cannot meet. Or it wants direct GEO insertion which requires expendable core FH or single launch with Ariane. Who knows? The range of possibilities is too large to determine the reason.

How hard is it to design a satellite smaller than a whale?




Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #36 on: 09/26/2018 11:00 am »
Quote
The 551 configuration provides the performance to deliver a ViaSat-3 satellite into a high-energy geostationary transfer orbit where it can begin on-orbit operations faster than with other available launch vehicles.

ViaSat must really want that bird into operation faster considering they are willing to pay the extra money for a 551 configuration.   
The military did this as well.  They used a 551 to put MUOS-5  (a similar size satellite) into a 3790 km x 35706 km x 19.1o GTO, needing only about 1410 m/s to GEO.

Usually the US military is less price sensitive than private commercial companies.

I am not a expert, but is it usual process for Private companies to want to pay extra for super-sync GTO insertions for launches?
When ULA announced the switch to the GEMs back in 2015, they were quoted by Spaceflightnow as stating the GEMs will significantly reduce costs. So with 5 SRBs this could be quite a saving over the AR60-a. It would be nice to know exactly how much it reduces the cost.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #37 on: 10/02/2018 04:57 pm »
Article in Space News explaining why Viasat and ULA say this was a competitive procurement, while Arianespace and SpaceX say they did not bid.  It boils down to Viasat not using a formal RFP process.

https://spacenews.com/viasat-ula-insist-viasat-3-launch-was-competitively-procured/

Offline envy887

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #38 on: 10/03/2018 11:59 am »
Article in Space News explaining why Viasat and ULA say this was a competitive procurement, while Arianespace and SpaceX say they did not bid.  It boils down to Viasat not using a formal RFP process.

https://spacenews.com/viasat-ula-insist-viasat-3-launch-was-competitively-procured/

Talking to three suppliers and then asking only one of them for a bid is not a competitive procurement. It's sole-sourcing a contract.

Offline speedevil

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551 - ViaSat-3 - SLC-41 - NET 2020
« Reply #39 on: 10/03/2018 12:25 pm »
Playing with ULA's rocket builder page, an Atlas 551 with the 5 meter longest fairing can put 8856 kg into a GTO with a 1800 m/s deficit. Assuming that the launch services page on SpaceX is the same 1800 m/s deficit GTO, a $95 million Falcon Heavy can put 8000 kg into the same orbit[1]
A recent slide  at IAC2018 gave FH - all droneship recovered - as 10 tons to GTO. Perhaps they aren't actively selling that service, which is an interesting note for the future, if this was the reason to pick ULA.

 

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