Poll

Which launch vehicle design organizations will have at least 10 successful orbital launches from US launch pads in the 5 year period 2025-2029 inclusive?

ABL Space Systems (e.g. RS1)
7 (2.8%)
Aevum (e.g. Ravn X)
0 (0%)
Astra Space, Inc. (e.g. Rocket 4)
1 (0.4%)
Blue Origin (e.g. New Glenn)
31 (12.6%)
Firefly (excludes joint with Northrop Grumman) (e.g. Firefly Alpha)
21 (8.5%)
Firefly & Northrop Grumman (e.g. Antares 300 / Firefly MLV)
27 (11%)
iRocket (e.g. Shockwave)
0 (0%)
Northrop Grumman (excludes SLS and joint with Firefly) (e.g. Pegasus)
3 (1.2%)
Phantom Space (e.g. Daytona, Laguna)
0 (0%)
Relativity Space (e.g. Terran R)
12 (4.9%)
Rocket Lab (e.g. Electron, Neutron)
40 (16.3%)
SpaceX (e.g. Falcon, Starship)
43 (17.5%)
Stoke Space (e.g. Stoke Space Launch Vehicle)
12 (4.9%)
ULA, Boeing, and/or Lockheed Martin (excludes SLS) (e.g. Atlas, Delta, Vulcan)
41 (16.7%)
Vaya Space (e.g. Dauntless)
0 (0%)
Vector Launch (e.g. Vector R)
0 (0%)
US government designed vehicles (e.g. SLS)
1 (0.4%)
0 other organizations (choose only one "_ other organization(s)" option)
2 (0.8%)
1 other organization
4 (1.6%)
2 other organizations
0 (0%)
3-4 other organizations
1 (0.4%)
5+ other organizations
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 43

Voting closed: 10/21/2023 10:11 pm


Author Topic: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029  (Read 3466 times)

Offline deltaV

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These rules are mostly copied from the first post of https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=59568.0 .

== Rules ==

The specific launch vehicles listed after "e.g." in most of the poll options are just FYI and aren't part of the rules.

The 10 successful launches is a total over 5 years, i.e. an average of 2 launches per year. [Edit: added this clarification.]

== Definitions ==

Launch vehicle design organization: a launch only counts for the single organization that is most responsible for the overall design of the rocket, e.g. Vulcan launches count for ULA but NOT for Blue Origin or Aerojet Rocketdyne and SLS launches count for “US Government” but NOT for Northrop Grumman. The customer is irrelevant, e.g. a Vulcan launch carrying a NASA payload counts for ULA but NOT for “US Government”. A launch vehicle that is designed by Firefly and Northrop Grumman counts for the combined "Firefly & Northrop Grumman" option but NOT for Firefly or NG individually. For example if you think that Antares 300 (a Firefly & NG vehicle) will launch 10+ times, Pegasus (a NG vehicle) will launch 10+ times, and Firefly Alpha (a Firefly vehicle) will launch less than 10 times you should vote for "Firefly & Northrop Grumman" and "Northrop Grumman" but NOT for "Firefly".

Successful orbital launch: A launch where a launch vehicle stage and/or payload massing at least 1 gram achieves an altitude of at least 100 km and a semi-major axis at least the (equatorial) radius of the Earth at one instant of time. Success at reuse and at customer objectives are irrelevant to this definition. For example, an abort-once-around trajectory probably barely meets this definition.

US launch pads: this includes launches from pads in any land that is more controlled by the US government than by any other country. This includes the 50 states, US territories, and US overseas military bases. Launches from air or water instead of launch pads will count if the US is the primary regulator of the launch.

5 year period 2025-2029 inclusive: launches are counted if liftoff occurs in the 5 year period between Jan 1 2025 and Dec 31 2029 inclusive Eastern time zone.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2023 02:12 am by deltaV »

Offline ulm_atms

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #1 on: 09/21/2023 10:45 pm »
These rules are copied from the first post of https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=59568.0 .

== Rules and Definitions ==

The specific launch vehicles listed after "e.g." in most of the poll options are just FYI and aren't part of the rules.

Launch vehicle design organization: a launch only counts for the single organization that is most responsible for the overall design of the rocket, e.g. Vulcan launches count for ULA but NOT for Blue Origin or Aerojet Rocketdyne and SLS launches count for “US Government” but NOT for Northrop Grumman. The customer is irrelevant, e.g. a Vulcan launch carrying a NASA payload counts for ULA but NOT for “US Government”. A launch vehicle that is designed by Firefly and Northrop Grumman counts for the combined "Firefly & Northrop Grumman" option but NOT for Firefly or NG individually. For example if you think that Antares 300 (a Firefly & NG vehicle) will launch 10+ times, Pegasus (a NG vehicle) will launch 10+ times, and Firefly Alpha (a Firefly vehicle) will launch less than 10 times you should vote for "Firefly & Northrop Grumman" and "Northrop Grumman" but NOT for "Firefly".

Successful orbital launch: a launch where a launch vehicle stage and/or payload massing at least 1 gram achieves an altitude of at least 100 km and a semi-major axis at least the (equatorial) radius of the Earth at one instant of time. Success at reuse and at customer objectives are irrelevant to this definition. For example, an abort-once-around trajectory probably barely meets this definition.

US launch pads: this includes launches from pads in any land that is more controlled by the US government than by any other country. This includes the 50 states, US territories, and US overseas military bases. Launches from air or water instead of launch pads will count if the US is the primary regulator of the launch.

5 year period 2025-2029 inclusive: launches are counted if liftoff occurs in the 5 year period between Jan 1 2025 and Dec 31 2029 inclusive Eastern time zone.
Is that 10 per year or 10 total over 2025-2029?  I read it both ways so wasn't sure.

Offline deltaV

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #2 on: 09/21/2023 10:53 pm »
Is that 10 per year or 10 total over 2025-2029?  I read it both ways so wasn't sure.

10 total. It's a pretty low bar, an average of 2 launches per year.

Offline ulm_atms

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #3 on: 09/21/2023 11:05 pm »
Is that 10 per year or 10 total over 2025-2029?  I read it both ways so wasn't sure.

10 total. It's a pretty low bar, an average of 2 launches per year.
So why did you even put SLS on there?  ;D /joke!

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #4 on: 09/22/2023 02:26 am »
Given that SpaceX has had a stellar launch record every year, it will achieve more than 200 successful launches in 2025-2029.

Offline deltaV

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #5 on: 09/22/2023 11:56 pm »
This message is by me the poll-taker, not me the poll-creator. In summary my "yes" votes are: Blue Origin, Relativity, Rocket Lab, SpaceX, ULA, 1 other organization.

Define "NSSL+ class launch vehicle family" as a launch vehicle family (e.g. Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are one family) that includes launcher(s) big enough to accomplish all NSSL lane 2 missions, i.e. roughly Vulcan size or larger. Those families will address the NSSL and human spaceflight markets and many commercial and NASA missions. I’m guessing that in the long term the US market will have 2-3 successful NSSL+ class families at a time. However it will take a while for the market to shake itself out and I expect about 5 NSSL+ class launch vehicle families to get 10+ poll-eligible launches.  Listed in descending order of my confidence they are: Falcon, Vulcan, Starship, New Glenn, and Terran R.

Long term I expect the US market to have 1-3 successful launch vehicle families smaller than NSSL+ class at a time. There will be adequate competition for smaller payloads even if there’s only 1 smaller launcher since NSSL+ class families will also launch many smaller payloads, similar to how Falcon has successfully competed with much smaller launchers such as Pegasus. I voted "yes" for Rocket Lab since I think their US Electron and Neutron pads will more likely than not get a combined 10+ poll-eligible launches. I voted "no" for Firefly (respectively Firefly and NG) because I guess Firefly Alpha (respectively Antares 330) will most likely not meet the 10+ launch threshold since their lack of reuse will hurt competitiveness. I guess that a few additional organizations will most likely get 10+ poll-eligible launches but I don’t know who among the dozens of possibilities will do so therefore I didn’t vote "yes" for anyone else.

I voted for "1 other organization". I don’t have any specific other organization in mind, I just think something unexpected will more likely than not happen. In theory someone could start a new launch vehicle company now and get 10 successful launches within the 6.3 years from now to the end of 2029 but as far as I can tell no one has ever been that fast so all the vehicles that will get 10+ poll-eligible launches have probably already started development. There are several US launch vehicle companies not included in the poll that might succeed (e.g. UP Aerospace, Interorbital Systems, Generation Orbit Launch Services, BluShift Aerospace), and there may also be someone building a launch vehicle secretly.

Online c4fusion

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #6 on: 09/23/2023 10:26 pm »
Darn it, I messed up, I voted for 3-4 other organizations because I somehow thought it was for the entire world not from US launch pads.

As for the other choices I picked:
* SpaceX - given
* ULA - given
* Rocket Lab - given
* Blue Origin - most likely will happen. It's just 10 and they need to launch Kuiper.
* Firefly + Firefly & Northrop Grumman - Between the 2 definitely but not sure how it shake up
* Relativity - One of my long shot choices, if they have a maiden flight in 2025, sure. Otherwise most likely not happening
* Stoke - In some ways I view their chances higher than Relativity despite starting so much later.  They have a smaller craft and are already doing hop tests but they don't seem to have the funding that Relativity or even other smaller startups.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #7 on: 09/24/2023 12:34 am »
I voted for very few because I think SpaceX will handle all except a few special cases.

SpaceX
Firefly&NG:  Already contracted for CRS-2 to ISS.
Rocketlab: electron will keep flying for at least 10 launches after 2024
ULA and friends: 18 Atlas Vs remain. six of them are for Starliners in 2025-2029, and at least four of the Kuipers will fly after 2024

And that's all. zero others.

Vulcan might fly a few. It's uneconomic but it's covered under  ULA.
New Glenn might fly. it is also uneconomic but it's covered by Jeff Bezos.

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #8 on: 09/24/2023 01:14 am »
I voted for very few because I think SpaceX will handle all except a few special cases.

SpaceX
Firefly&NG:  Already contracted for CRS-2 to ISS.
Rocketlab: electron will keep flying for at least 10 launches after 2024
ULA and friends: 18 Atlas Vs remain. six of them are for Starliners in 2025-2029, and at least four of the Kuipers will fly after 2024

And that's all. zero others.

Vulcan might fly a few. It's uneconomic but it's covered under  ULA.
New Glenn might fly. it is also uneconomic but it's covered by Jeff Bezos.
Although the Vulcan rocket has to fly two missions before being certified for NSSL launches, five additional Dream Chaser launches will be carried out atop the Vulcan rocket, so the Vulcan will almost certainly fly more than 10 launches in the 2025-2029 period.

Offline deltaV

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #9 on: 09/24/2023 03:09 am »
Firefly&NG:  Already contracted for CRS-2 to ISS.

Only 3 Antares CRS-2 flights are currently scheduled but it looks like NASA will extend the contracts to 2030 (https://spacenews.com/nasa-proposes-final-extension-of-iss-cargo-contracts/) (I missed this planned extension when I voted). Cygnus flights have typically been roughly twice a year but there's only one flight scheduled in 2025 so ISS resupply will probably use around 9 Antares flights during the 2025-2029 period. So 10 flights is possible if they end up doing slightly more than 2 per year or win at least 1 non-ISS flight. ISTM voting for Firefly&NG or not is a toss-up.
« Last Edit: 09/24/2023 03:16 am by deltaV »

Offline DeimosDream

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #10 on: 09/27/2023 02:21 pm »
Yes, Obviously: SpaceX, RocketLab, ULA: Each has rocket(s) that will be flying before 2025 starts, a manifest that supports 4+/year, and prior experience flying 4+/year. Even if they suffer a down year following a flight anomaly they'll hit 10+.

Yes, Probably: Blue Origin, Firefly, ABL. They have funding, contracts, and should be flying 2+/year by 2025. However Blue has a history of moving slowly and while I think Alpha/RS1 each have slightly better than 50/50 odds those two are direct competitors in a small market with a risk of down selection.

No, probably not: Relativity, Firefly/Northorp, Stoke: If everything goes according to plan they'll do it, but rocket plans tend to slide right. Antares 330 will probably only fly Cygnus, and 10+ Cygnus will probably require both no down years and a Commerical space station coming online on schedule. With a late 2026 start Relativity will have to set ramp records. Stoke still doesn't have a first stage.

No, just implausible. Nobody else listed has the funding and/or experience.

Other: 1x: Maybe Spinlaunch succeeds as a dark horse, or perhaps someone buys out Astra and finishes Rocket 4 under a new name.

Offline briantipton

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Re: Launch vehicle designers with 10+ US launches 2025-2029
« Reply #11 on: 09/27/2023 03:26 pm »
Like most of the poll, I think SpaceX, Rocketlab and ULA (or whatever it becomes) are very likely.

I think Kuiper tie-in and Jeff's deep pockets will be enough that Blue will also be a yes.

I think the government will send some business Firefly-NG's way to keep diversity in the launch ecosystem, but I don't see them being a major player in the long run. Still, 10 launches in 5 years seems likely.

My less obvious choice is a yes for Stoke. They have chosen a very challenging solution and may fold before they get a reliable rocket, but if they do pull it off I think they may be the most cost competitive choice after SpaceX so they are likely to be flying with some regularity. (and I think they're cool so I couldn't bring myself to vote against them)

I don't see business cases for most of the rest, so even those that make it to orbit will likely fold before they get 10 launches, unfortunately.
« Last Edit: 09/27/2023 03:27 pm by briantipton »

 

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