Author Topic: Discussion/Comparison of the new generation of American heavy lift launchers  (Read 73992 times)

Offline Paul451

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3568
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2527
  • Likes Given: 2189
TBH is "Omega" any more real that Liberty/NGL?
They are building first stage hardware, so that is pretty real. No so sure on the hydrolox stage.
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point

Looking at its history, (then) ATK has only really offered Liberty/NGL/Omega as a proposal for someone else to fund. I've seen no suggestion that their management wants to develop a launcher out of their own pocket. After NASA rejected Liberty for CRS, eventually they got the USAF to fund this early design work; but given the number of new launchers being worked on, I suspect that was more to do with protecting OATK's solids work than looking for another NS launcher. So I doubt any additional funding will follow. The proposed launch date, therefore, should be read as "if we receive full funding", and no-one is reaching for their wallet.

By contrast, ULA management seems to believe they need to develop Vulcan, and that they need to fund it in-house; their biggest hold-up is that Boeing/LM aren't very enthusiastic.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8873
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 10208
  • Likes Given: 11945
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point

Looking at its history, (then) ATK has only really offered Liberty/NGL/Omega as a proposal for someone else to fund. I've seen no suggestion that their management wants to develop a launcher out of their own pocket. ... The proposed launch date, therefore, should be read as "if we receive full funding", and no-one is reaching for their wallet.

By contrast, ULA management seems to believe they need to develop Vulcan, and that they need to fund it in-house; their biggest hold-up is that Boeing/LM aren't very enthusiastic.

Very important points you highlight:

- ULA is committed to building Vulcan and can't really turn back.

- Orbital ATK is not yet committed to building Omega, and can turn back.
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 john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10357
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2436
  • Likes Given: 13612
TBH is "Omega" any more real that Liberty/NGL?

They are building first stage hardware, so that is pretty real. No so sure on the hydrolox stage.
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point - maybe even more real since Orbital ATK has firmly decided and announced about all of its propulsion options while we're still waiting to hear about BE-4 versus AR-1.  Contract competition will weed out all but two of the three or more competitors in a year or two, but until then it is all real.

 - Ed Kyle
I thought that was decided. ULA are going BE-4? As for "engine selection"  was RL-10 ever in doubt, given they make it?.

ATK's whole history of this concepts "We'll do it if someone else picks up the tab."   :(
TBH in hindsight I'm thinking this might have been a bit of a bargaining chip to force ULA into choosing RL10 for the Vulcan US (what is now known to be Centaur 5).
Basically "If you don't buy any RL10s we might as well build our own ELV and use them on it" or words to that effect.
But we've been here before with Liberty. NASA said no and it was DOA. This time the USAF have coughed up some cash so it's still (just about) on.  I seriously wonder if that would have been the case if the USAF hadn't done so.
It's got the look of another ATK "paper rocket."  :(
Bruno knows if ULA is to remain viable as a commercial entity Vulcan has to happen but OmegA looks like another piece of ATK grant farming to me. 



MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 TBC. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline TrevorMonty

RL10 is built by ARJ not ATK. ATK only do solids.

The OA is definitely investing a lot of money in OMEGA but as pointed out can still pull out.

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15431
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8616
  • Likes Given: 1362
TBH is "Omega" any more real that Liberty/NGL?
They are building first stage hardware, so that is pretty real. No so sure on the hydrolox stage.
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point

Looking at its history, (then) ATK has only really offered Liberty/NGL/Omega as a proposal for someone else to fund. I've seen no suggestion that their management wants to develop a launcher out of their own pocket. ... By contrast, ULA management seems to believe they need to develop Vulcan, and that they need to fund it in-house; their biggest hold-up is that Boeing/LM aren't very enthusiastic.
Let's not kid ourselves.  If Vulcan is not funded by Uncle Sam, it won't be built.  The same is true of Omega.  It might also be true for the future of Falcon Heavy.  United Launch Alliance is not necessarily any more a permanent fixture than was United Space Alliance.  There are multiple places in this country where giant rocket factories once operated.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/02/2018 11:39 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Paul451

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3568
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2527
  • Likes Given: 2189
[...]

You're doing that thing you do, again. There's a huge difference bewteen getting a launch contract and getting your entire development specifically funded. Pretending they are the same makes honest discussion impossible.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8148
  • Liked: 6810
  • Likes Given: 2965
[...]

You're doing that thing you do, again. There's a huge difference bewteen getting a launch contract and getting your entire development specifically funded. Pretending they are the same makes honest discussion impossible.
Vulcan got a very significant amount of direct government funding, mostly for propulsion development.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8148
  • Liked: 6810
  • Likes Given: 2965
Updated with recent events:
1 - Vulcan Centaur will debut in 2020 with a 562 and a 54 t upper stage prop load.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44390.msg1840531#msg1840531
2 - Vulcan Centaur Heavy (Centaur V+ Long) will have ACES prop load but without IVF and notionally debut 2023
https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/evolution/vulcan-centaur-overview-17may2018.pdf
3 - NASA LSP updated Falcon Heavy Block 5 (and possibly Falcon 9) performance numbers. Added 3,440 kg (F9 ASDS), 6,900 kg (FH reusable) and 15,340 kg (FH expendable) to a TLI at C3=-1.1 km2/s2, and 5,565 kg (FH reusable) and 2,535 (F9 ASDS) to a TMI of C3=7.0 km2/s2



==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO-1800   
==============================================================
Falcon Heavy       2018      6,900 kg*    5,565 kg*   8,000 kg
Falcon 9 Block 5   2018      3,440 kg*    2,535 kg*   5,500 kg
Falcon 9 Block 5-X 2018     ~5,500 kg     4,020 kg    8,300 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018     15,340 kg*   16,800 kg   26,700 kg
SLS Blk 1          2020?    25,900 kg    19,500 kg      N/A
Vulcan Centaur 562 2020?   ~10,800 kg   ~8,600  kg   13,300 kg
New Glenn 2 Stg    2021?   ~16,000 kg?  ~13,200 kg? ~21,400 kg?
Omega 5xx          2021?    ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg   10,100 kg
BFR                2021?         0 kg?        0 kg? ~20,000 kg?
BFR-X              2021?   ~55,000 kg?  ~35,000 kg? ~80,000 kg?
Vulcan 56x Heavy   2023?   ~13,500 kg   ~10,000 kg   16,500 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2024?    39,000 kg    32,000 kg      N/A
Omega 5xxXL        2024?   ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg  ~14,700 kg
Vulcan 56x ACES    2024?   ~14,000 kg?  ~10,500 kg? ~17,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?   ~23,000 kg?  ~20,200 kg? ~28,600 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2028?   >45,000 kg   >37,600 kg      N/A
==============================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version

*data from NASA LSP, does not include full vehicle performance

Updated 08-23-18
« Last Edit: 08/23/2018 02:17 pm by envy887 »

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5490
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1811
  • Likes Given: 1302
@envy887

Any performance numbers for Falcon Heavy with center core expended only?

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8148
  • Liked: 6810
  • Likes Given: 2965
@envy887

Any performance numbers for Falcon Heavy with center core expended only?

Roughly 10% less than expended, to some orbit but it's not clear which. The various FH recovery options could take a whole table themselves.

Offline Tibey

Updated with recent events:
1 - Vulcan Centaur will debut in 2020 with a 562 and a 54 t upper stage prop load.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44390.msg1840531#msg1840531
2 - Vulcan Centaur Heavy (Centaur V+ Long) will have ACES prop load but without IVF and notionally debut 2023
https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/evolution/vulcan-centaur-overview-17may2018.pdf
3 - NASA LSP updated Falcon Heavy Block 5 (and possibly Falcon 9) performance numbers. Added 3,440 kg (F9 ASDS), 6,900 kg (FH reusable) and 15,340 kg (FH expendable) to a TLI at C3=-1.1 km2/s2, and 5,565 kg (FH reusable) and 2,535 (F9 ASDS) to a TMI of C3=7.0 km2/s2



==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO-1800   
==============================================================
Falcon Heavy       2018      6,900 kg*    5,565 kg*   8,000 kg
Falcon 9 Block 5   2018      3,440 kg*    2,535 kg*   5,500 kg
Falcon 9 Block 5-X 2018     ~5,500 kg     4,020 kg    8,300 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018     15,340 kg*   16,800 kg   26,700 kg
SLS Blk 1          2020?    25,900 kg    19,500 kg      N/A
Vulcan Centaur 562 2020?   ~10,800 kg   ~8,600  kg   13,300 kg
New Glenn 2 Stg    2021?   ~16,000 kg?  ~13,200 kg? ~21,400 kg?
Omega 5xx          2021?    ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg   10,100 kg
BFR                2021?         0 kg?        0 kg? ~20,000 kg?
BFR-X              2021?   ~55,000 kg?  ~35,000 kg? ~80,000 kg?
Vulcan 56x Heavy   2023?   ~13,500 kg   ~10,000 kg   16,500 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2024?    39,000 kg    32,000 kg      N/A
Omega 5xxXL        2024?   ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg  ~14,700 kg
Vulcan 56x ACES    2024?   ~14,000 kg?  ~10,500 kg? ~17,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?   ~23,000 kg?  ~20,200 kg? ~28,600 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2028?   >45,000 kg   >37,600 kg      N/A
==============================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version

*data from NASA LSP, does not include full vehicle performance

Updated 08-23-18


It seems that for the near and intermediate future, Falcon Heavy has the advantage on the GTO money making loads.


==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO-1800   
==============================================================
Falcon Heavy       2018      6,900 kg*    5,565 kg*   8,000 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018     15,340 kg*   16,800 kg   26,700 kg

==============================================================


"X" Denotes Expendable Version
*data from NASA LSP, does not include full vehicle performance
"I'll be sitting in a crater on Mars looking at the stars"

Offline Hog

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2846
  • Woodstock
  • Liked: 1700
  • Likes Given: 6866
SLS Block-1   25.9 t
SLS Block-1B 39 t
SLS Block-2   45 t

t=tonne or metric ton=1000 kilogram

Is there any conceivable scenario where any entity would require and use SLS to get a payload out of the Earths atmosphere simply due to its lifting capacity?
Paul

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3340
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 2231
  • Likes Given: 1584
SLS Block-1   25.9 t
SLS Block-1B 39 t
SLS Block-2   45 t

t=tonne or metric ton=1000 kilogram

Is there any conceivable scenario where any entity would require and use SLS to get a payload out of the Earths atmosphere simply due to its lifting capacity?

NASA's old Mars crewed exploration plans. SLS is similar to Ares V and the requirements in Zubrin's Mars Direct plans. Since Congress hasn't funded any large payloads, I guess the answer is currently no.

In a world where Blue Origin, SpaceX, and ULA were not working on refueling spacecraft in LEO, SLS would be a great launcher. However, in our world at least one of those companies should succeed.

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5184
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 2589
  • Likes Given: 2898
Could this chart be updated to reflect the new conditions.  Someone said FH expendable can do 20,300 kg to TLI now.  Also, New Glenn, initially is not going to have a 3rd stage.  ULA is not developing ACES, at least for now.  SLS is not developing block 1B and an upper stage is in doubt.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2020 02:32 pm by spacenut »

Offline daedalus1

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 936
  • uk
  • Liked: 484
  • Likes Given: 0
Could this chart be updated to reflect the new conditions.  Someone said FH expendable can do 20,300 kg to TLI now.  Also, New Glenn, initially is not going to have a 3rd stage.  ULA is not developing ACES, at least for now.  SLS is not developing block 1B and an upper stage is in doubt.

I doubt that's true, at least without a high energy upper stage.
Rule of thumb is 1/3 LEO mass for high energy upper stage and 1/4 LEO mass for medium energy e.g. lox/kerosene.
Max LEO mass for Falcon Heavy expendable is 63 tonnes

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8148
  • Liked: 6810
  • Likes Given: 2965
Could this chart be updated to reflect the new conditions.  Someone said FH expendable can do 20,300 kg to TLI now.  Also, New Glenn, initially is not going to have a 3rd stage.  ULA is not developing ACES, at least for now.  SLS is not developing block 1B and an upper stage is in doubt.

I doubt that's true, at least without a high energy upper stage.
Rule of thumb is 1/3 LEO mass for high energy upper stage and 1/4 LEO mass for medium energy e.g. lox/kerosene.
Max LEO mass for Falcon Heavy expendable is 63 tonnes

TLI is about halfway between GTO-1800 and TMI, to which SpaceX says FH can do 16.8 and 26.7 t respectively. That means that 21 t is a good estimate for TLI. However, SpaceX appears to use a different set of ground rules and assumptions than ULA and NASA, so that 21 t not directly comparable to the Vulcan and SLS payloads to TLI.

This table is hardly an exact science and there's no way to to a real apples-to-apples comparison with the limited available data (much of which is conflicting), so take all the numbers with a large grain of salt.

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5184
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 2589
  • Likes Given: 2898
It still looks like distributed launch using the new upcoming launchers and FH can beat SLS block 1.  The new figures, from what I can gather is at least 20 tons for FH expendable vs the 15 tons on the chart. 

So to build a decent upper stage for SLS would require another billion or so dollars.  IF, NASA instead gave SpaceX 1/3 of this money for a 5.2m Metholox upper stage, the same length as the existing stage.  And IF, NASA gave 1/3 of this money to Blue Origin to develop their 3 stage New Glenn.  And IF, NASA gave ULA 1/3 of this money to develop ACES.  This would give 13 to about 30 tons to TLI.  Then Distributed launch would meet and exceed SLS for less $/kg of payload delivered to TLI for sure.  Three good launchers with redundancy.  A lot of launches, more robust cis-lunar program.  All with two of the vehicles having reusable boosters.  This could further cut costs. 

I know this is incremental improvements, but it should be done regardless of SLS or Starship.  It would be nice to have a really robust space economy. 

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39308
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 32881
  • Likes Given: 8385
SLS is not developing block 1B and an upper stage is in doubt.

Boeing is developing Block IB since Congress has appropriated funding specifically for that, despite NASA not requesting that funding.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline GWH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1745
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1931
  • Likes Given: 1278
Updated with recent events:
1 - Vulcan Centaur will debut in 2020 with a 562 and a 54 t upper stage prop load.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44390.msg1840531#msg1840531
2 - Vulcan Centaur Heavy (Centaur V+ Long) will have ACES prop load but without IVF and notionally debut 2023
https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/evolution/vulcan-centaur-overview-17may2018.pdf
The table can be updated formally now. I had asked on Twitter today about Vulcan TLI capacity and ULA pointed me to their rocket rundown published November 2019.
https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlas-v-and-delta-iv-technical-summary.pdf

Their official numbers for TLI are:
Vulcan Centaur - 0 solids: 2,300 kg
Vulcan Centaur - 2 solids: 6,300 kg
Vulcan Centaur - 4 solids: 9,000 kg
Vulcan Centaur - 6 solids: 11,300 kg
Vulcan Centaur Heavy- 6 solids: 12,100 kg

Offline Paul451

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3568
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2527
  • Likes Given: 2189
So to build a decent upper stage for SLS would require another billion or so dollars.  IF, NASA instead gave SpaceX 1/3 of this money for a 5.2m Metholox upper stage, the same length as the existing stage.  And IF, NASA gave 1/3 of this money to Blue Origin to develop their 3 stage New Glenn.  And IF, NASA gave ULA 1/3 of this money to develop ACES.

Then Congress would take it away and give it back to Boeing.

Tags:
 

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