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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Other US Launchers => Topic started by: Burninate on 06/11/2014 04:23 pm

Title: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Burninate on 06/11/2014 04:23 pm
Quote
Aerojet Rocketdyne is targeting a cost of $20-25 million for each pair of new AR-1 engines as the company continues to lobby the government to fund an all-new, U.S.-sourced rocket propulsion system, says Scott Seymour, president and CEO of the company’s parent, GenCorp.

Including legacy systems and various risk-reduction projects, Aerojet Rocketdyne has spent roughly $300 million working on technologies that will feed into the AR-1, Seymour said during a June 3 roundtable with Aviation Week editors. The effort to build a new, 500,000-lb. thrust liquid oxygen/kerosene propulsion system would take about four years from contract award and cost roughly $800 million to $1 billion.

Such an engine is eyed for United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V rocket as well as Orbital’s Antares and, possibly, Space Exploration Technology’s Falcon 9 v1.1.
http://aviationweek.com/defense/aerojet-rocketdyne-targets-25-million-pair-ar-1-engines

Edit: The AR-1 is actually a new name for a 500klbf rocket engine AR has been pitching for an SLS liquid booster - the AJ-1E6, so this is partially a continuation of threads like this (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32622.0).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Profwoot on 06/11/2014 05:05 pm
Why would SpaceX want to use these on Falcon 9? Is that author just making stuff up?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Burninate on 06/11/2014 05:37 pm
I believe Aerojet Rocketdyne is just making stuff up.  The author expresses skepticism later down the page:
Quote
SpaceX’s Falcon 9v1.1 is powered by the company’s own Merlin 1D engine, but Seymour says he hopes the AR-1 is competitive enough in pricing to earn a place even on this platform. SpaceX founder Elon Musk has focused his company on vertical integration to support quick development timelines.

Aside from the fact that they are capable of and proud of Merlin 1D, SpaceX remain fond of the reliability margins on 9-engine configurations.  9 of these engines would cost $112.5M and push half the mass of the presumptive BFR core on 1M lbf Raptors.

The only place I might be able to imagine a 500klbf engine there, in light of their present lineup & plans, would be to replace the Merlin Vacuum for large payloads on a heavier upper stage for the Falcon Heavy or (my pet notion) Falcon Superheavy.  I'd still put odds on such an engine being internal rather than outsourced, though, or more likely, being a multi-core Merlin 1D configuration.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: InfraNut2 on 06/11/2014 05:50 pm
Why would SpaceX want to use these on Falcon 9? Is that author just making stuff up?

The author hedged with "possibly". He probably just made a guess without taking the time to do any checking.

If he had looked more closely into things, AR-1 is more expensive for F9 than Merlin and of course completely untested. So there is not even the beginning of a reason for SpaceX to consider changing engines to AR-1.

BTW: I would also be VERY surprised if Aerojet managed to match this initial cost estimate, and besides: cost is not the same as price...

edit: added:

I believe Aerojet Rocketdyne is just making stuff up.  The author expresses skepticism later down the page:
Quote
SpaceX’s Falcon 9v1.1 is powered by the company’s own Merlin 1D engine, but Seymour says he hopes the AR-1 is competitive enough in pricing to earn a place even on this platform. SpaceX founder Elon Musk has focused his company on vertical integration to support quick development timelines.

Aside from the fact that they are capable of and proud of Merlin 1D, SpaceX remain fond of the reliability margins on 9-engine configurations.  9 of these engines would cost $112.5M and push half the mass of the presumptive BFR core on 1M lbf Raptors.

The only place I might be able to imagine a 500klbf engine there, in light of their present lineup & plans, would be to replace the Merlin Vacuum for large payloads on a heavier upper stage for the Falcon Heavy or (my pet notion) Falcon Superheavy.  I'd still put odds on such an engine being internal rather than outsourced, though, or more likely, being a multi-core Merlin 1D configuration.

I unintentionally overlapped this answer a bit. We wrote concurrently.

Also. AR-1 is too big for the FH upper stage and I doubt Aerojet would make a Vacuum version without charging SpaceX for development. Also the unit price would have been too expensive.

For the BFR superheavy, AR-1 uses the wrong fuel (SpaceX wants methane) and the planned Raptor is a already a better match performance-wise.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Burninate on 06/11/2014 06:26 pm
Sorry, lack of clarity - Falcon SuperHeavy is my pet notion for a launch vehicle with 5 to 7 Falcon 9 cores, which seems like a fairly natural extension of their product line five years or so of payload planning in the future.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: woods170 on 06/12/2014 07:50 am
I believe Aerojet Rocketdyne is just making stuff up. 
Bingo. Have Aerojet develop that engine first and get it firing. Then they can start thinking about whose platform they wish to stick it on.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Jim on 06/12/2014 02:49 pm
Sorry, lack of clarity - Falcon SuperHeavy is my pet notion for a launch vehicle with 5 to 7 Falcon 9 cores, which seems like a fairly natural extension of their product line five years or so of payload planning in the future.

No, it would not be a "fairly natural extension", since its operations would be complex and not horizontal.   They would go to a wider core before making a kludge of more cores than 3
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: mikes on 06/12/2014 03:06 pm
Perhaps Burninate means a linear cluster of cores, which could still be integrated horizontally.
I imagine control of such a beast in flight would be rather "dynamic".
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Burninate on 06/12/2014 03:18 pm
Sorry, lack of clarity - Falcon SuperHeavy is my pet notion for a launch vehicle with 5 to 7 Falcon 9 cores, which seems like a fairly natural extension of their product line five years or so of payload planning in the future.

No, it would not be a "fairly natural extension", since its operations would be complex and not horizontal.   They would go to a wider core before making a kludge of more cores than 3

Yes, it would require a substantially different mode of launchpad assembly.  The hypothesis is that this may end up being easier than building an entirely new design with larger cores that are not road-transportable... and that vertical assembly, while they have taken pains to avoid it so far, is not necessarily something they can avoid in the long term for payloads.

Crossfeed on such arrangements can potentially be a very powerful value add.

Perhaps Burninate means a linear cluster of cores, which could still be integrated horizontally.
I imagine control of such a beast in flight would be rather "dynamic".
No, a linear cluster seems likely to have an ugly tendency to bend.

This is all a bit off-topic for this thread, I shouldn't have brought it up.
Title: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: baldusi on 06/12/2014 03:59 pm
Errr. You might want to explain to the Russians how their Energyia/Buran required vertical integration?
And before anyone talks about pad interfaces, please look up "Y-Blok".
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/12/2014 04:28 pm
June article on AR1 from spacenews.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40767aerojet-rocketdyne-exec-pitches-long-brewing-concept-as-rd-180

Forbes article from April shows that AR1 as a designator has been around for a few months at least.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2014/04/07/new-rocket-engine-needed-to-rescue-americas-faltering-role-in-space/

In February 2013, Aerojet won an SLS development contract that was to deliver a 550 Klbf main injector and thrust chamber for an ORSC LOX/RP engine, which seems to line up with the AR1 concept.
http://satellite.tmcnet.com/topics/satellite/articles/2013/02/15/327065-aerojet-gets-final-nasa-sls-booster-development-contract.htm

Here's a paper on AFRL's hydrocarbon  boost project, and a page from Aerojet about its involvement.
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a556159.pdf
http://www.rocket.com/hydrocarbon-boost-hcb

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: simonbp on 06/13/2014 09:38 pm
Calling the SLS version of RS-25 "existing" is a bit of a stretch. The physical hardware exists, but the application is completely different.

A large reason for not using RD-180 for CaLV/Ares/SLS was that it is Russian. If AR-1 meets their cost goals, it could be well-placed to be used on a future large NASA rocket, depending on how things change after the next presidential election.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/13/2014 11:09 pm
If this comes to fruition, and SLS sticks around, might be a good replacement for when the RS25D's run out even though they would need to switch fuels... I would think using an existing engine vs developing an expendable RS-25 might make up for the switch.
This would not work, for a number of reasons.  SLS is designed around a high-ISP sustainer core that burns nearly all the way to orbit, like STS.  A core of that size filled with RP/LOX would weigh massively more than a core filled with LH2/LOX, so an entirely new stage would need to be designed.  Five segment booster would not match well, if at all, with an RP core.  The upper stage would need to do more delta-v work, which would require it to be heavier, which would require J-2X rather than RL10.  And so on. 

On an HLLV, high thrust RP would serve best on a Saturn V type serial stager (which isn't happening) or on boosters for an LH2 core (which also apparently is not going to happen).  Otherwise, this is an engine that might serve Atlas 5 and/or Antares.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: newpylong on 06/16/2014 01:20 pm
Makes sense, thank you.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/18/2014 01:29 am
Since the ULA engine contract thread has been locked, I thought place my posting here.

The question is what size engine to develop.
1mlbf RD 180 replacement
500klbf and use 2
250klbf and use 4

I'm no expert on rocket design but I'm guessing a smaller engine will be cheaper to develop. The manufacturing and R&D costs of smaller engine may make cost per mlbf cheaper than larger engines.

A new engine will most like result in a new LV ( 1st stage anyway). This will be expensive but ULA will get the LV they want.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: baldusi on 06/18/2014 04:20 am
Both Antares and Atlas V use two roughly 440klbf nozzles. So the decision the only discussion for minimum impact is on turbopump or two turbopumps. They need the two nozzles for compatibility. So it's either a single engine with two 500klbf nozzles or two engines with a single 500klbf each. My guess is that dual engine would impact Atlas V more than Antares, and single engine more Antares rather than atlas V. Given the relative maturity and strategic importance, a single engine with two nozzles would seem the optimal technical development. Optimum economic would depend on Atlas V re-certification cost, probably.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: MP99 on 06/18/2014 07:54 am


Both Antares and Atlas V use two roughly 200klbf nozzles. So the decision the only discussion for minimum impact is on turbopump or two turbopumps. They need the two nozzles for compatibility. So it's either a single engine with two 500klbf nozzles or two engines with a single 500klbf each. My guess is that dual engine would impact Atlas V more than Antares, and single engine more Antares rather than atlas V. Given the relative maturity and strategic importance, a single engine with two nozzles would seem the optimal technical development. Optimum economic would depend on Atlas V re-certification cost, probably.

RD-180 is two roughly 425 klbf nozzles.

Antares is also well over 400 klbf across its two engines.

Methinks your first sentence is kgf rather than klbf?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Jim on 06/18/2014 01:37 pm
What recert costs?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/18/2014 01:44 pm
Both Antares and Atlas V use two roughly 200klbf nozzles.
RD-180 produces 860,235 lbf thrust at sea level, so about 430,117 lbf per chamber.

Each NK-33 makes 366,600 lbf thrust at sea level at its 108% setting.  Two together make 733,400 lbf.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: baldusi on 06/18/2014 01:51 pm
Methinks your first sentence is kgf rather than klbf?
Yep, is no use trying to use Imperial measures, I should stick to metric and stay there. Number's corrected on previous, thanks.

Each NK-33 makes 366,600 lbf thrust at sea level at its 108% setting.  Two together make 733,400 lbf.
The 2013 Antares User Guide notes that the propulsion module provides typically 3,630kN (816klbf) in vacuum. It also states typical isp of 301.6s/331.2s. This would translate to 3,305kN (743klbf) at sea level. Thus, it would seem that the AJ-26 is run at 109.5% or so.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Prober on 06/18/2014 01:55 pm
If this comes to fruition, and SLS sticks around, might be a good replacement for when the RS25D's run out even though they would need to switch fuels... I would think using an existing engine vs developing an expendable RS-25 might make up for the switch.
This would not work, for a number of reasons.  SLS is designed around a high-ISP sustainer core that burns nearly all the way to orbit, like STS.  A core of that size filled with RP/LOX would weigh massively more than a core filled with LH2/LOX, so an entirely new stage would need to be designed.  Five segment booster would not match well, if at all, with an RP core.  The upper stage would need to do more delta-v work, which would require it to be heavier, which would require J-2X rather than RL10.  And so on. 

On an HLLV, high thrust RP would serve best on a Saturn V type serial stager (which isn't happening) or on boosters for an LH2 core (which also apparently is not going to happen).  Otherwise, this is an engine that might serve Atlas 5 and/or Antares.

 - Ed Kyle

Ed SLS in its current design is a dead end.  The RS25D no longer works for the design IMHO.   The killer is the cost to convert the RS25D to expendable.   I no longer have faith Rocketdyne can do this on the cheap.  Its the same mistake we made with the J2-X, and we find we are off and designing a new engine.

Factor in a new booster engine for SLS that makes 2 new engines.  Then add in an RD-180 replacement if Aero Rocketdyne gets the contract.  That would make 3 new engine designs or redesigns.

When you look at the big picture things look a lot different.

You might want to move this to a new thread.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/18/2014 02:04 pm
Factor in a new booster engine for SLS that makes 2 new engines.  Then add in an RD-180 replacement if Aero Rocketdyne gets the contract.  That would make 3 new engine designs or redesigns.
Forget the idea of AR-1 being used for an SLS booster.  Even Aerojet Rocketdyne did not mention SLS as a possible user of the proposed engine (there's a reason).  This engine is squarely aimed at Atlas 5 and maybe Antares.  Other SLS discussion belongs on the SLS Discussion thread.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/18/2014 06:12 pm
From other thread ...

Hmmm...

Quote
GenCorp’s New-Rocket Plan Raises Questions
http://aviationweek.com/space/opinion-gencorp-s-new-rocket-plan-raises-questions

Related?

For those of us not keeping notes, GenCorp currently owns Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
This was about Aerojet-Rocketdyne's AR-1 proposal, which was in the news a couple weeks ago.  Clearly this company will be proposing something for Atlas 5 - something that it has been working on for awhile now.

Northrop Grumman is another name mentioned as a potential bidder.  And why not United Technologies, which still owns its share of RD-AMROSS/RD-180?  SpaceX maybe, but it has its own conflict of interest and is just getting started in staged combustion R&D.  Can non-U.S. companies be ruled out?

 - Ed Kyle

 
Good article that frames the issue as investing in launch services verses in engines as a part of launch services.

When I talk to others in the area I get two opinions - one based on resultant service used, and the other on continuity of status quo.

Another issue I hear frequently mentioned is that hydrocarbon boost experience depends not just on corporate history but actual production. And the issue of justifying volume of consumption that triggered the RD-180 purchase in the first place, where there were current and future vehicles using the engine family.

Drawing a similarity from another area, Boeing and SpaceX compete on capsules right now. Boeing has greater history and capacity as a huge prime, while SpaceX has more immediate flight history and more "skin in the game" according to NASA.

Similarly, the only hydrocarbon experience non-Russian is SpaceX, since RS-27 has been forgone, and the huge amount of hydrolox work, underwritten by RS-25/J2X contracts is unsuitable for a low cost hydrocarbon engine. Also, expectation of use here might include OrbATK, but conceivably they could go another way as well (solids or other liquid propulsion), as opposed to  the 70 or so engines consumed so far by SpaceX.

As pointed out by the article, the significance of re-usability cannot be ignored given the legacies of two prior programs that were not followed through on. The writer comes up to the edge of implying (but not saying) that follow on didn't happen because of industry influence against RLV, possibly protectionist. Given Senator Shelby's blatant protectionist stand already under the watchful eye of a federal judge with more than good reason, this is no mere minor issue.

Should SpaceX re-usability bear economic fruit, history would record an engine award to a non practising engine company as b latent protectionism and potential corrupt practice,  irrespective of the facts of the matter. Such is the eye of history in such matters. It would be devastating for the industry and another arms scandal in the making. So the optics of what is going on here is extremely important, which is why AeroJet Rocketdyne (AR) did such a careful PR release.

Yet note:
Quote
... one of Seymour’s executives thought I was criticizing SpaceX when I called the Merlin “the world’s best-built V-2 engine,” but I wasn’t. The KISS principle (“keep it simple, stupid”) is most applicable to space launch.
AR clearly misunderstands the situation. Given Sowers own comments regarding SpaceX to,  it would seem they are blind to the peril of overcommitting to the wrong issue here. Clearly AR and ULA only think speaking to those of the " continuity of status quo" opinion I mentioned earlier are the ones that matter. This is a mistake.

And:
Quote
If big U.S. government money is going to be spent on space launch, and if SpaceX can provide an “assured access” backup, why not spend it on reusability—the only strategy that promises dramatically lower costs. The X-33 did not fail, and the shuttle did not miss its economic goals by a parsec or two, because reusability is a bad idea: Lousy requirements did it for them both. A modern, intelligently sized two-stage reusable system is like G.K. Chesterton’s view of Christianity:  It “has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” It’s time to change that.
The writer clearly agrees that the blindness here is an issue. And that those of the "resultant service used" opinion matter more, as it relates to a national imperative of decades ago.

I predict that a long, disingenuous RD-180 program that indirectly costs government a fraction of a billion dollars and slips long term might be unwise, with the unstated "failover" back to Russian sourcing as an option through RD AMROSS. As we'd pay for AR/other to "relearn" kerolox, much like paying MSFC to "relearn" LV construction like starting with Ares IX.

A bridge too far?

Is there a better alternative here?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/18/2014 11:31 pm
I predict that a long, disingenuous RD-180 program that indirectly costs government a fraction of a billion dollars and slips long term might be unwise, with the unstated "failover" back to Russian sourcing as an option through RD AMROSS. As we'd pay for AR/other to "relearn" kerolox, much like paying MSFC to "relearn" LV construction like starting with Ares IX.

A bridge too far?

Is there a better alternative here?
You are forgetting that Aerojet Rocketdyne is Aerojet AND Rocketdyne (and Pratt & Whitney rocket engines).  Rocketdyne delivered its last RS-27A several years ago, but Aerojet has been wrestling daily with NK-33 to AJ-26 conversion and testing for a few years now.  I don't think that you burn and blow up these rocket engines (both have now happened at Stennis) without learning something.  In addition, both companies were (and Aerojet Rocketdyne still is) involved in the USAF Hydrocarbon Boost R&D effort, which includes building and testing technology demonstrator staged combustion elements at Edwards.  http://www.rocket.com/hydrocarbon-boost-hcb

Nor is there is a guarantee that Aerojet Rocketdyne would win an RD-180 replacement competition.  There are other companies in the U.S., including SpaceX, who can develop turbomachinery, etc..

Given the political threats and the now-obvious end of the Post-Cold-War honeymoon, I suspect that Russia is now very much dead to the Pentagon as a long-term engine source.  And, let's face it, there were voices inside Russia that weren't happy with RD-180 boosting U.S. defense satellites.  Replacing RD-180 eliminates the type of uncertainty that the Pentagon won't allow long-term.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/20/2014 12:07 am
I predict that a long, disingenuous RD-180 program that indirectly costs government a fraction of a billion dollars and slips long term might be unwise, with the unstated "failover" back to Russian sourcing as an option through RD AMROSS. As we'd pay for AR/other to "relearn" kerolox, much like paying MSFC to "relearn" LV construction like starting with Ares IX.

A bridge too far?

Is there a better alternative here?
You are forgetting that Aerojet Rocketdyne is Aerojet AND Rocketdyne (and Pratt & Whitney rocket engines).
Hardly. ORSC with high chamber pressure is a whole higher level above. RS-27 et al were incremental improvements.

Rocketdyne delivered its last RS-27A several years ago, but Aerojet has been wrestling daily with NK-33 to AJ-26 conversion and testing for a few years now.  I don't think that you burn and blow up these rocket engines (both have now happened at Stennis) without learning something. 
Not my point.

You can't learn except by building, testing, revising, and testing again. You constantly do this, even when pushing out engines for launch. If you don't have multiple consumers for engines, you don't have enough flight/test history to accurately assess engine performance and quality.

You got that with the Russians, which is why there is a RD-180 on Atlas in the first place.

I suppose you might get that out of a SpaceX with Merlin/Raptor.

Theoretically you maybe get that out of AR-1 used by OrbATK and ULA. Barely with volume.

We don't trust "maybe's" with launch vehicles like Atlas.

Give me solid options for a solid need.
In addition, both companies were (and Aerojet Rocketdyne still is) involved in the USAF Hydrocarbon Boost R&D effort, which includes building and testing technology demonstrator staged combustion elements at Edwards.  http://www.rocket.com/hydrocarbon-boost-hcb
Great so they play around with vaguely funded research projects, which often devolve to paper studies. Really loove those paper engines... C'mon, these mean little to actual engines you made yourself chuffing on the test stand and you're sweating out the "why" so you can tweak things to meet deadline for an actual vehicle.

Nor is there is a guarantee that Aerojet Rocketdyne would win an RD-180 replacement competition.  There are other companies in the U.S., including SpaceX, who can develop turbomachinery, etc..
Sure. But that might be hard for proud engineer executives at ULA to do. I have seen avoidance of this kind before. My principle fear is the "head fake" decision that's not a real decision, but a diversion to buy time.

Given the political threats and the now-obvious end of the Post-Cold-War honeymoon, I suspect that Russia is now very much dead to the Pentagon as a long-term engine source.  And, let's face it, there were voices inside Russia that weren't happy with RD-180 boosting U.S. defense satellites.  Replacing RD-180 eliminates the type of uncertainty that the Pentagon won't allow long-term.
I've heard from Russian's that weren't happy with any US launched sats period - they wanted the launch services contracts themselves :)

There never was a honeymoon. America always gets the Russian's wrong. They see it as occasional alliances. When it suits.

This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few. Entirely predictable. Still is. Why imagine anything else.

Never push a too good deal too far. It'll bite you. Bit.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: EE Scott on 06/20/2014 12:33 am
…snip...

Given the political threats and the now-obvious end of the Post-Cold-War honeymoon, I suspect that Russia is now very much dead to the Pentagon as a long-term engine source.  And, let's face it, there were voices inside Russia that weren't happy with RD-180 boosting U.S. defense satellites.  Replacing RD-180 eliminates the type of uncertainty that the Pentagon won't allow long-term.

 - Ed Kyle

Agreed.  This is relatively exciting time, with lots of question marks about how this could play out. It appears that either ULA LV could be in play from a sustainability standpoint, and it gives a chance for companies such as Aerojet to seize the opportunity to make their pitch for a new engine. I'm a big fan of the RD-180, but sadly its time could be over soon.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Antares on 06/20/2014 06:04 am
This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few.

Not even.  It's called risk management.  Stockpile engines over here, with a supply long enough to get a domestic one developed.  The same amount of money would be spent on development then or now.  Keeping them built in Russia minimized cost and kept Russian aerospace workers occupied launching stuff for us rather than the Iranians or NorKs.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: AncientU on 06/20/2014 03:11 pm
This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few.

Not even.  It's called risk management.  Stockpile engines over here, with a supply long enough to get a domestic one developed.  The same amount of money would be spent on development then or now.  Keeping them built in Russia minimized cost and kept Russian aerospace workers occupied launching stuff for us rather than the Iranians or NorKs.

But nobody did that. Risk management this is not... it's whistling past the graveyard.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2014 03:38 pm


But nobody did that. Risk management this is not... it's whistling past the graveyard.

What are the 15 or so on US soil?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/20/2014 04:24 pm

What are the 15 or so on US soil?

Paper weights until flown ;)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: baldusi on 06/20/2014 05:49 pm


But nobody did that. Risk management this is not... it's whistling past the graveyard.

What are the 15 or so on US soil?
They have been systematically buying less than using per year, and not invested on an US replacement. They had enough to do a comfortable transition and now it would generate some clear inconvenience. Now, tell me they have ordered a DIV M(4,4), (5,6) and (5,8) and they might have a reasonable transition strategy, but still less than comfortable given the lead times. Or really surprise me and tell me they have a lot of confidence on the Falcon Heavy :-p
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/20/2014 06:55 pm
This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few.

Not even.  It's called risk management.
Yes and no.

In evolving Atlas, yes it was a good decision. A state of the art engine to continue a kerolox booster vehicle refining the state of the art. I'll even go further and say that continuing through to Atlas V development and qualification it may have even been brilliant given the time and its issues. One was able to shed a lot of the bad of the past, and focus on the best state of the art then.

Even good when Atlas initially lost the EELV competition to Boeing, because LockMart didn't need to go out of pocket for something that they were rightfully wary about. I'll even grant a few years following the reversal of the award of launches to Delta IV, and the onramping of Atlas V. But that's as far as I'll go.

  Stockpile engines over here, with a supply long enough to get a domestic one developed.  The same amount of money would be spent on development then or now.
If true the stockpile would have needed to address about 5 years of lag to phase in a new engine. Also, where was the second consumer of the same engine? I suppose one could sell them back to the Russians, if they'd buy such ...

Never was the stockpile that high. The original idea was NK-33's/AJ-26's and likely the same situation faced by OrbATK right now ... what to do when the stockpile ran out.

For a solid strategy one needs to build and test engines. You may still do this over many years, possibly a decade, but you don't sit on your hands and stare at test/performance results and go, "gee, what makes this one spike at this point, and this other one fall off in chamber pressure at this point". It's impossible to practice your profession as a passive observer, still less become a world leader in propulsion necessary to catch up with 20 years of change.

  Keeping them built in Russia minimized cost ...
This worked too good. My issue is complacency. And allowing yourself to get "owned".

... kept Russian aerospace workers occupied launching stuff for us rather than the Iranians or NorKs.
Oversold at best. What was to keep them from doing both?

Also, the first rocket technology always has been hypers for the third world. And solids in other cases. China is only now getting to kerolox. India had its first hydrolox indigenous this year, with tons of help from Russia with KVD.

Horse hockey.

I might also go on that I believe Energomash got/gets a lot out of having the US as a customer beyond just cash. They get more flight experience applicable to those engine families, and in an environment they otherwise would never have access to. As a result they build much better engines.

The real sticking point has always been the low launch rate in the US, and the lack of strategy that allows for enough engine consumption. There's never been an answer to this. Delta IV/RS-68 was done in the economic shadow of Shuttle, riding the hydrolox future that never developed.

When it became clear that Delta IV pad processing improvements weren't worth doing, Delta IV "assurance" became a joke that kept increasing, massively so post Shuttle. One needed to deal with the issue then. And not minimax pseudo risk strategies that subsequently cause the potential for cost escalation - see example with RS-68/SSME codependance.

The rose colored glasses are about the bigger picture of managing the entire national launch policy. Sliced and diceable many different ways. I'm not saying anything you haven't heard already a dozen times or so.

Are we going to deal with it now, or play another series of "fan dances"? When I read the above mentioned articles, I don't get a solid solution spoken of with words ringing out.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Sean Lynch on 06/21/2014 05:35 am
From Marcia Smith;
(I like the way Martia explains space policy).

House Approves RD-180 Replacement Appropriation As U.S. Readies More Russia Sanctions (http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/house-approves-rd-180-replacement-appropriation-as-u-s-readies-more-sanctions)

Quote from: Spacepolicyonline
The House passed the FY2015 defense appropriations bill today (June 20) with the $220 million added to begin building a replacement for Russia's RD-180 rocket engines intact.  Also today, the Obama Administration imposed sanctions against seven Ukrainians and, along with Europe, is readying other sanctions aimed at specific Russian economic sectors including defense.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Lobo on 06/23/2014 05:30 pm
From Marcia Smith;
(I like the way Martia explains space policy).

House Approves RD-180 Replacement Appropriation As U.S. Readies More Russia Sanctions (http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/house-approves-rd-180-replacement-appropriation-as-u-s-readies-more-sanctions)

Quote from: Spacepolicyonline
The House passed the FY2015 defense appropriations bill today (June 20) with the $220 million added to begin building a replacement for Russia's RD-180 rocket engines intact.  Also today, the Obama Administration imposed sanctions against seven Ukrainians and, along with Europe, is readying other sanctions aimed at specific Russian economic sectors including defense.

Sounds like this will be in the works then.  It also says ULA insists that it is "business as usual" with Energomash.  So a question.  If there never actaully is a cut off of Russian engines to the US, and AJR goes ahead and develops a US version of it, will ULA be compelled to switch to it by USAF?  Or can they keep using Russian engines if they want?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/23/2014 07:11 pm
If the Senate Bill prohibiting engines eventually goes through then you'd think they would have to.

But could this just be a study? Or feasibility? Test program alone would consume a fair fraction of this?

And legislation this early is no sure thing. Biggist issue is volume - where's a confirm of a second LV using same engine?

Seems too vapid at the moment. Perhaps intentionally so for diplomatic optics?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Sean Lynch on 06/23/2014 10:09 pm
ULA is pursuing internal development by approaching non-disclosed engine developers.
There is a clever reason for not disclosing potential developers and making confidential agreements.
If public funding for engine development ever makes it through the political process ULA would take a real PR hit if seen reaching for those funds.
But a small firm, say in Milwaukee, reaching for the funds - no prob, just a fortunate coincidence.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Sean Lynch on 06/24/2014 01:18 am
Don't know how I missed this:

Quote from: http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=5fa66fd1-312a-4fbd-ba0a-b0d3e02e5314
June 20, 2014
The Honorable Frank Kendall
Under Secretary of Defense
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
3010 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-3010

 

Dear Under Secretary Kendall:

I write to you in furtherance of my continuing oversight interest in the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program and concern about that program’s reliance on Russian sources of supply for the RD-180 engine and to follow-up on the June 10, 2014, letter I received from Secretary of the Air Force James on that issue.

Today, I inquire about the circumstances under which the Air Force has acquired, and may continue to acquire, the RD-180.  Also, given the possibility that the Air Force is paying for these engines at highly inflated prices, I am inquiring whether the actual costs associated with their manufacture, which may be baked into those prices, are fair and reasonable—despite that the Air Force is buying them on a firm fixed-price basis.

I am, in particular, interested in learning more about a company called RD Amross, the company from which United Launch Alliance (ULA) actually buys the RD-180 for use in EELV missions.  It appears that RD Amross is a joint venture between P&W Power Generation Inc. and International Space Engines, Inc., a Delaware-registered subsidiary of the engine’s Russian manufacturer NPO Energomash.

Very little information is publically available on the actual costs to build the Russian RD-180 engine compared to what ULA pays for them.  But, I am aware of claims that the engines have been sold by NPO Energomash to RD Amross at a much lower price than RD Amross charges ULA for them.

Such information is particularly troubling given that, by reputation and recent examination by, among others, the World Bank and the Center for International Private Enterprise, the Russian procurement process is rife with inefficiency and corruption that benefits insiders while boosting retail prices.

Given the foregoing and the opacity of costs associated with the procurement of the RD-180, it is important for the Air Force to establish affirmatively the fairness and reasonableness of how much it (and therefore the U.S. taxpayer) is paying for the RD-180—despite the fact that it procures the RD-180 under a firm fixed-price contract line item.   

As you know, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed, as part of the Fiscal Year 15 National Defense Authorization Act, measures that would (1) prohibit the Department of Defense from entering into a new contract or renewing a current contract for space launch supplies, including rocket engines, if they would be provided by Russian suppliers, and (2) provide $100 million in funding transfer authority for the development of a domestically produced rocket for the EELV program. However, Congress ultimately needs to know more about circumstances under which the Air Force has acquired, and may continue to acquire, the RD-180 to make related policy decisions on a fully informed basis.

In order to address this important issue, please provide responses to the following questions:

1.         Please explain in detail how the RD-180 is procured in support of the EELV program—with references to NPO Energomash and RD Amross as relevant.

2.         Please describe to the best of your knowledge the business organizational structure of RD Amross, including identifying all nominal and beneficial owners of that company, as well as the owners (nominal and beneficial) of International Space Engines, Inc.

3.         Given that RD Amross does not directly produce the RD-180 engines ultimately used by ULA, what do you understand RD Amross’s business purpose to be and what value, if any, does it provide in connection with the manufacture of the RD-180?

4.         Please explain the extent to which the Air Force, i.e., the U.S. taxpayer, pays for any service or product supplied by RD Amross—independent of NPO Energomash—in connection with the Air Force’s purchase of rocket cores, which includes the RD-180, from ULA?

5.         For how much does NPO Energomash sell the RD-180 to RD Amross?  For how much does RD Amross subsequently sell the RD-180 to ULA?  For how much does ULA sell the RD-180 to the Air Force?

6.         On information and belief, ULA—and ultimately the Air Force—buys the RD-180 for a price that is significantly more than how much NPO Energomash sells that same engine to RD Amross, resulting in the U.S. taxpayer essentially giving a Russian company a profit by perhaps more than 200 percent.  Is this allegation accurate?  Please explain your answer and, if the claim I cite is accurate, tell me if this is (a) a reasonable rate of return and (b) in line with what may be payable under applicable DOD procurement rules and regulations for procurement contracts of this type.

7.         Of the cost that ULA pays RD Amross for the RD-180, how much is paid to P&W Power Generation Inc. and NPO Energomash’s subsidiary International Space Engines Inc. in their capacities as co-owners of RD Amross?  In other words, for whom do the profits (the difference between RD Amross’ costs and its sales price to ULA) accrue—P&W Power Generation Inc., International Space Engines, Inc., or others?

8.         On June 16, 2014, ULA announced its interest in producing a domestically-produced version the RD-180 or an entirely new launch system.  According to its press release, ULA signed contracts with multiple domestic companies to “conduct technical feasibility analysis, develop high fidelity [sic] plans, identify schedule, cost and technical risks, as well as cost estimates to meet aggressive recurring cost targets” for the next generation first stage rocket replacement to support a first launch by 2019.  What identified, approved and validated operational requirements, if any, support the development of an entirely new engine for the EELV program?

9.         RD Amross CEO Bill Parsons stated in a November 18, 2013, interview with Space News that a domestically-produced RD-180 “would definitely increase the price significantly”.  What is the Department of Defense’s current preliminary estimate of how much it would cost to develop a domestically-produced RD-180 and, separately, an entirely new engine for the EELV program?   


Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  If you have any questions or concerns, please have your staff contact Jack Thorlin, Counsel to the Minority, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, at (202) 224-2224.

Sincerely,
John McCain
Ranking Minority Member
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/24/2014 10:21 pm
E.g. a paper study. Just what we need. So thrilling ...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: quanthasaquality on 06/27/2014 05:25 am
For an SLS booster, the Merlin 1D will win on cost, and it is shared with an existing, low cost rocket. For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas. The Delta IV is proven, why bother with a new and untested rocket?

I would like to see America figure out how to develop a hydrocarbon (not methane), staged combustion engine. I don't think such an engine would be useful now, but the knowledge gained might be useful in the future.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MP99 on 06/27/2014 06:01 am
For an SLS booster, the Merlin 1D will win on cost, and it is shared with an existing, low cost rocket. For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas. The Delta IV is proven, why bother with a new and untested rocket?

I would like to see America figure out how to develop a hydrocarbon (not methane), staged combustion engine. I don't think such an engine would be useful now, but the knowledge gained might be useful in the future.
See the HCB programme.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 06/27/2014 01:29 pm
For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas.

Not necessarily true
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Sean Lynch on 06/27/2014 01:54 pm
For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas.

Not necessarily true
ULA is currently seeking designs. (So, we can't assume AR-1 is given.)
It would seem logical to me that if I were going to go to the trouble of designing a new engine to replace a current design I'd be shooting for a bolt in replacement for my proven work horse -as much as possible.
Atlas V is a fine bird, and well understood. Jim may have said something like this if he had time...and I'd agree with him! :)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/27/2014 01:55 pm
For an SLS booster, the Merlin 1D will win on cost ....
Impractical, and probably not less costly.  SLS would need 30 Merlin 1D engines (15 per booster) at least.  How many scrubs per launch?

Even SpaceX is working on a higher thrust engine.

Quote
The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas. The Delta IV is proven, why bother with a new and untested rocket?
First, Centaur.  Second, if the new engine is properly specified, the Atlas design won't change substantially.  Third, Delta 4 is the world's most expensive rocket.  Fourth, Delta 4 doesn't cover the entire EELV payload range as well as Atlas 5, which can lift heavier "Medium" payloads with a single core.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lobo on 06/27/2014 06:16 pm
For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas.

Not necessarily true
ULA is currently seeking designs. (So, we can't assume AR-1 is given.)
It would seem logical to me that if I were going to go to the trouble of designing a new engine to replace a current design I'd be shooting for a bolt in replacement for my proven work horse -as much as possible.
Atlas V is a fine bird, and well understood. Jim may have said something like this if he had time...and I'd agree with him! :)

@this.  AJR already has specifcations on the RD-180, so they'd know exactly all of it's mounting points of contact with the Atlas MPS.  And they'd just design AR-1 to interface with that.  Or I imagine they could essentially design an adaptor that the two AR-1's woudl mount to, that woudl adapt them to the Atlas MPS, including spliting what I imagine are just one LOX line and one RP-1 line into two lines to feed the two AR-1 turbo pumps.   In fact such an adaptor would make more sense, because AJR could design the AR-1 to be a drop in fit for the AJ26's on Antares (which is what they'll basically be anyway) and they could be used on Antares too. 
With an adaptor that AJR develops, that means Atlas itself won't have to change much, if at all. 

AJR also could make two different versions of hte AR-1.  They'd essentially be the same engine, just one tailored to interface with the Atlas boat tail and one tailored to intereface with the Antares boat tail.


Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: baldusi on 06/27/2014 08:55 pm
AJAtlas V already have such abstraction on its Propulsion Module. And Antares also has a propulasion module adapter thaat mounts and handles the two AJ-26 as a single unit. Main issue would probably be fluids and start up GSE.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: HarryM on 06/27/2014 09:33 pm
What's trickier, getting the replacement to fit, or getting it to have the same mixture ratio (so as not to have to resize tanks)?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/06/2014 11:38 pm
Has anybody read this Aviation Week article? I don't have subscription.

What interested me was ULA's take on reusability are they allowing for recovery of booster as part of a new engine development.

 http://m.aviationweek.com/awin-only/ula-looking-reusability-3d-printing-rd-180-replacement

There is alot of criticism of ULA lack of innovation. From what I've read they would like to do more but are limited by their charter and parent companies. Plus there is their reliability record "If it's ain't broke don't fix it."

With SpaceX threatening their market share hopefully they will be given more freedom to innovate.


Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/07/2014 01:27 am
Try here:
http://ula.lonebuffalo.com/story.cfm?story_id=7426059

As for recovery:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Evolution/EELVPartialReusable2010.pdf
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/07/2014 02:37 am
Thanks Space Ghost for the links.

I doubt RD 180 recovery method would be economical. To be competitive ULA will need to recover the complete booster.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/07/2014 03:48 am
Thanks Space Ghost for the links.
I doubt RD 180 recovery method would be economical. To be competitive ULA will need to recover the complete booster.
Not just recovery itself, but also affordable refurbishment/checkout/turnaround while ensuring the current high rate of success.

As for the competition (which actually doesn't have enough rocket to handle all Atlas 5 missions yet), it has been having a long spring and summer trying to launch one brand new rocket.  Imagine if it were trying to launch a previously flown, reentered rocket.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/07/2014 04:06 am
If ULA do decide to do a reusable booster they should benefit from DARPA XS1 program. ULA a willing to buy external expertise.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 07/07/2014 12:58 pm
Try here:
http://ula.lonebuffalo.com/story.cfm?story_id=7426059

As for recovery:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Evolution/EELVPartialReusable2010.pdf

Gass says innovations maturing now make a new propulsion system more realistic than even a couple of years ago. "We view the reach and the cost to be not as great as it was a couple of years ago," Gass said told reporters during a June 18 roundtable. "It is not only … fuel sources [or] reusability, but I would also [like] to emphasize taking advantage of today’s manufacturing techniques" such as 3D printing.

this could be a very exciting time for engine manufacturing and development.   

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: simonbp on 07/11/2014 04:40 pm
As for the competition (which actually doesn't have enough rocket to handle all Atlas 5 missions yet), it has been having a long spring and summer trying to launch one brand new rocket.  Imagine if it were trying to launch a previously flown, reentered rocket.

Very true right now. But probably not still going to be true five years from now, or whenever an AR-1 Atlas flies for the first time.

ULA is in a really bad position right now. They could just keep flying Atlas as-is, but even if the RD-180s keep flowing, that risks incurring the wrath of politicians. To design an entirely new vehicle would take a huge amount of effort, and would undercut their main selling point of flight experience. Putting a new US engine on Atlas is the least risky strategy, but still risks being overtaken by events if it takes >5 years to get flightworthy.

A mitigation strategy might be to make some other modifications to the Atlas production line in parallel to the new engine/thrust structure that would allow ULA to have an optional path to a recoverable first stage. Much like how the first few F9 v1.1 flights had the structural hardpoints for legs, but no actual legs. That would allow ULA to compete with SpaceX on their own terms, without a massive redesign or abandoning "heritage".
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: USFdon on 07/16/2014 03:55 am
What I'm assuming is a recent update to Aerojet Rocketdyne's website.

Quote
AR1 Booster Engine
Leveraging more than $300 million invested in rocket engine development over the last two decades, the Aerojet Rocketdyne AR1 incorporates the latest advances in rocket engine technology, materials science and modern manufacturing techniques to deliver an affordable and reliable booster engine to meet current and future U.S. space launch needs.

Having an American-designed and built booster engine in production would enable the U.S. to end its current dependence on foreign engine suppliers to launch some of its most important national security, civil and NASA payloads to orbit.

Using an advanced oxidizer-rich staged combustion engine cycle, the liquid oxygen/kerosene AR1 will generate 500,000 lbf of thrust at sea level. The thrust class enables the engine to be easily configured for use on multiple launch vehicles, including the Atlas V and the Advanced Boosters being considered for NASA’s Space Launch System.

The AR1 also will be an affordable propulsion solution, enabling U.S. launch vehicle providers to be more competitive in the world marketplace. Low production costs will be realized by incorporating the latest manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing (3D printing), white light inspection and low-cost brazing and forming – all of which have recently been proven on other Aerojet Rocketdyne rocket engine programs.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is the industry leader in building liquid-propellant rocket engines and is well positioned to bring this engine to market quickly and affordably. With more than 60 years of experience in the space launch industry, Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and launched thousands of rocket engines with unparalleled reliability. This remarkable track record, along with our outstanding engineering workforce, gives the nation confidence that a flight-ready AR1 rocket engine can be qualified approximately four years after program inception.

AR1 at a Glance

All-American design and production
Advanced oxygen-rich staged combustion kerosene technology
500,000 lbf thrust (sea level)
Propellants: Liquid-oxygen (Lox)/Kerosene (RP-1)
Configured to accommodate multiple applications
Fast-paced and affordable development
Advanced low-cost manufacturing techniques

http://www.rocket.com/ar1-booster-engine (http://www.rocket.com/ar1-booster-engine)

It's nice to see pictures of the proposed engine(s). Let's hope that there is some movement on this in the next couple of months.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: simonbp on 07/24/2014 03:30 pm
Well, that looks familiar. Though, I'm sure they have a really good marketing reason for not calling it LR87-AR-1.

No word on Isp, though.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lobo on 07/24/2014 11:19 pm
Interesting.

The double configuration is obviously a good move, as there's not really a potential customer for just one engine.  I wonder if it would have a common turbo pump making it a single, dual-chamber engine?  Or still two individual engines, just in a duplex mount?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/25/2014 01:38 am
Interesting.

The double configuration is obviously a good move, as there's not really a potential customer for just one engine.  I wonder if it would have a common turbo pump making it a single, dual-chamber engine?  Or still two individual engines, just in a duplex mount?
in the graphic there appear to be two turbo pumps (Black cylinder-like components) shown on each engine, 1 for RP-1 and 1 for LO2, so there are two separate AR-1 LREs mounted in a dual engine frame.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: sdsds on 07/25/2014 04:48 am
In this context it seems fair to also post the alternate version of the image, even though it adds no technical content.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: anonymous on 07/25/2014 10:20 pm
Quote
AR1 at a Glance

All-American design and production
Advanced oxygen-rich staged combustion kerosene technology
500,000 lbf thrust (sea level)
Propellants: Liquid-oxygen (Lox)/Kerosene (RP-1)
Configured to accommodate multiple applications
Fast-paced and affordable development
Advanced low-cost manufacturing techniques

I love the description of the AR1 as an "All-American design". It's an All-American design about the same way "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" is an All-American patriotic song. Still, the Russians copied the Space Shuttle and Concorde during the Cold War, so perhaps it's karma.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/26/2014 06:41 am
Here's a presentation from July 2013 showing how the dual chamber AJ1E6 would have look like on Atlas.

"Common engine solution for SLS, Atlas V, & Antares"

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20140002714.pdf
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/26/2014 08:46 pm
Here's a presentation from July 2013 showing how the dual chamber AJ1E6 would have look like on Atlas.

"Common engine solution for SLS, Atlas V, & Antares"

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20140002714.pdf
Using the official AR-1 pics and comparing the NTRS pic of AJ1E6, they don't quite look the same. So that makes me wonder are these indeed the same engine as believed to be, if yes did its design get an update post merger?? or is the AR-1 design taken from the project PWR was already working on before the split and merger with AJ and has merrily been renamed.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 07/26/2014 09:30 pm
They need to get building that thing, pronto!! :)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars_J on 07/28/2014 03:21 am

They need to get building that thing, pronto!! :)

Oh they will, as soon as they get a juicy multi $billion contract signed.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Damon Hill on 09/13/2014 06:15 am
Bump:

http://aviationweek.com/space/engine-makers-pushing-am-other-technologies-rd-180-replacement

Additive manufacturing reducing time and cost in prototyping, Mondaloy, titanium, copper and other materials being qualified.  Could see prototype AR-1 firing in 2.5 years.  Lots of challenges yet to be hurdled.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 09/13/2014 06:14 pm
Bump:

http://aviationweek.com/space/engine-makers-pushing-am-other-technologies-rd-180-replacement

Additive manufacturing reducing time and cost in prototyping, Mondaloy, titanium, copper and other materials being qualified.  Could see prototype AR-1 firing in 2.5 years.  Lots of challenges yet to be hurdled.

excellent direction they are taking with this program and a good article ;)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: PahTo on 09/14/2014 09:16 pm

I believe if the AR-1 becomes the engine of choice, and a reality, it will be the end of the Atlas V (unless they continue to fly those with the RD-180).  As many have noted often, rockets (and their key components) are not legos...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: BrightLight on 09/14/2014 09:21 pm

I believe if the AR-1 becomes the engine of choice, and a reality, it will be the end of the Atlas V (unless they continue to fly those with the RD-180).  As many have noted often, rockets (and their key components) are not legos...
I agree that the AR-1 and derivatives would most likely be the end of the Atlas V but would it be the beginning of the Atlas VI?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: PahTo on 09/14/2014 09:27 pm

I believe if the AR-1 becomes the engine of choice, and a reality, it will be the end of the Atlas V (unless they continue to fly those with the RD-180).  As many have noted often, rockets (and their key components) are not legos...
I agree that the AR-1 and derivatives would most likely be the end of the Atlas V but would it be the beginning of the Atlas VI?

I believe that is correct.  Of course, I'm not the world's best business man, nor corporate lawyer, so I can't even begin to speak to the ULA business model, and what the companies (or other fabricators) would bring to the table in terms of LV development.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/15/2014 02:41 am
I agree that the AR-1 and derivatives would most likely be the end of the Atlas V but would it be the beginning of the Atlas VI?
A re-engined Atlas 5 would just be an Atlas with a modified model number.  It could be Atlas 6.  It could be Atlas 5b.  It might be something else, like Atlas 5000, who knows?.  The original (Thor)-Delta rocket series went through at least six different solid booster types, five main and five second stage engine types, and seven upper stage combinations, along with stretches and redesigns of all of the liquid stages, but was always called "Delta"-something.  There were Deltas with alpha letter variations followed by Deltas with three and four letter model numbers.  Atlas Centaur and Titan both had something similar.

 - Ed Kyle

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ArbitraryConstant on 09/15/2014 06:07 am
Do we know what AR-1 even looks like, performance wise? If it hews pretty close to the NK-33 lineage as is reasonable to suspect, that probably means there's a significant loss of ISP. More thrust means the GLOW can be greater, but that would mean enlarging the first stage to hold more propellant. I don't even know where that nets out performance wise, say it's similar, that still sounds like a lot more than a drop in replacement.

This means an Atlas V v1.1, essentially.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 09/15/2014 07:36 am
Do we know what AR-1 even looks like, performance wise? If it hews pretty close to the NK-33 lineage as is reasonable to suspect, that probably means there's a significant loss of ISP. More thrust means the GLOW can be greater, but that would mean enlarging the first stage to hold more propellant. I don't even know where that nets out performance wise, say it's similar, that still sounds like a lot more than a drop in replacement.

This means an Atlas V v1.1, essentially.

No, I don't think anyone including AR knows what performance would look like.  I think they are confident they could get pretty similar performance levels.  If 338 Isp vac (RD-180) vs. 331 Isp vac (NK-33) is a "significant loss," then yes, I think it's a foregone conclusion there will be a few Isp difference, up or down.

I don't think it would hew too terribly close to NK-33 though--the Av Week quote is talking about using AM manufacturing and new materials like Mondalloy, along with an injector design and turbopump design during a risk reduction phase.  No doubt they are keeping the overall cycle diagram similar, but it sounds like the designs of all the pieces are very much in play.

Right now. 

But the design proposal itself is probably very much in play right now, too, depending on budgets available (for both development and production), timelines, whether the dev is funded separately or expected to be recovered through sales, etc.

I wonder if ULA would consider offering an RD-180-engined Atlas V at a cheaper price (assuming it is cheaper), and then a more expensive AR-1-engined Atlas "Z" for some government-mandated number of (government) launches.  Probably all comes down to prices, international pressures, politics, and market forces, all of which will change extensively and often between now and 2019.

Still, it sound like a fantastic opportunity if Aerojet Rocketdyne gets any contract.  There's no doubt in my mind that work done here--as long as that work reaches the test-stand hardware stage--will have a lasting impact on any future engine modifications they make, whether that be RS-25Es for SLS, or RL-10s for EELVs, RS-68s for Delta, whatever engine is used in various SLS upper stages, and potentially any liquid booster engines (maybe the AR-1 itself).  I don't know why NASA was trying to discourage the work--they should be eager and excited, as long as they could subtly make sure the budget was drawn from USAF/DOD rather than them. 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: J-V on 09/15/2014 07:44 am
Might be OT but... Would it make sense to develop not only common engines for Atlas Z and SLS LRBs, but also use the same first stage? I.E. that the first stage of Atlas Z would be the SLS LRB. Or would the requirements be so different, that it is cheaper to develop, build and operate two different desings?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/15/2014 07:50 am
Might be OT but... Would it make sense to develop not only common engines for Atlas Z and SLS LRBs, but also use the same first stage? I.E. that the first stage of Atlas Z would be the SLS LRB. Or would the requirements be so different, that it is cheaper to develop, build and operate two different desings?

The LRB need to be around 3Mlb while Atlas would be 1Mlb.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: sdsds on 09/15/2014 07:57 am
Would it make sense to develop not only common engines for Atlas Z and SLS LRBs, but also use the same first stage?

Seeking commonality between two applications is always worth considering. In this case, the pair of SLS boosters need to generate between them about six times the thrust of an Atlas first stage. So they couldn't just strap two Atlas first stages onto an SLS core and have any hope of meeting the requirement.

It's fascinating to ask, though: what if they strapped six Atlas boosters around the SLS core? That concept has been previously explored under the name "AJAX." The short answer is, "That would work great!" The question, "Why wasn't that approach adopted for SLS?" would require a rather more lengthy answer.... ;)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Proponent on 09/15/2014 08:23 am
A re-engined Atlas 5 would just be an Atlas with a modified model number.  It could be Atlas 6.  It could be Atlas 5b.  It might be something else, like Atlas 5000, who knows?.  The original (Thor)-Delta rocket series went through at least six different solid booster types, five main and five second stage engine types, and seven upper stage combinations, along with stretches and redesigns of all of the liquid stages, but was always called "Delta"-something.  There were Deltas with alpha letter variations followed by Deltas with three and four letter model numbers.  Atlas Centaur and Titan both had something similar.

I suspect it's a question of marketing.  After all, why is the current Atlas known as the Atlas 5 when there never was an Atlas 4?  A name like Atlas 6 would emphasize newness, whereas Atlas 5B would emphasize continuity.  Which would be more valuable?

Lately ULA's main talking point about Atlas 5 has been its proven reliabilty.  By the time a re-engined Atlas V got off the pad, though, SpaceX would likely have a long track record too, so that talking point wouldn't work anymore.  My money would therefore be on a name more like Atlas 6.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 09/15/2014 10:45 am

I believe if the AR-1 becomes the engine of choice, and a reality, it will be the end of the Atlas V (unless they continue to fly those with the RD-180).  As many have noted often, rockets (and their key components) are not legos...
I agree that the AR-1 and derivatives would most likely be the end of the Atlas V but would it be the beginning of the Atlas VI?

Purely FWIW, my mental designation of that hypothetical model has always been 'Atlas-VA'. I could see Lockheed-Martin trying to retain as much as the previous model as possible (although probably little more than the tanks and barrel diameter would remain) just to reduce retooling costs. It would, in many ways, be the Falcon 9 v.1.1 to Atlas-V's Falcon 9 v.1.0.

I'm sure that the fiction that it was 'just a re-engined Atlas-V' would be useful in the eternal battle with SpaceX for preferential access to USG contracts too.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 09/15/2014 12:13 pm
Do we know what AR-1 even looks like, performance wise? If it hews pretty close to the NK-33 lineage as is reasonable to suspect, that probably means there's a significant loss of ISP. More thrust means the GLOW can be greater, but that would mean enlarging the first stage to hold more propellant. I don't even know where that nets out performance wise, say it's similar, that still sounds like a lot more than a drop in replacement.

This means an Atlas V v1.1, essentially.

No, I don't think anyone including AR knows what performance would look like.  I think they are confident they could get pretty similar performance levels.  If 338 Isp vac (RD-180) vs. 331 Isp vac (NK-33) is a "significant loss," then yes, I think it's a foregone conclusion there will be a few Isp difference, up or down.


believe saw the new engine would be lighter so basically a wash in numbers.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/15/2014 12:47 pm
It's very possible that an AR-1 could have multiple internal names before a final name is selected. The design study might start with one name, then when designed and built switched to a different name, and when rolled out given a new name. They could even go the Orbital route and change the name after announcing Taurus II.

The only thing I would be willing to bet, it will most likely have Atlas somewhere in the name. That is due to the brand value of "Atlas".

Now if they really want to down select to one vehicle using all four pads, to get the max brand value they may make a titanic branding shift  and use "Delta Atlas".
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MP99 on 09/15/2014 05:12 pm
Would it make sense to develop not only common engines for Atlas Z and SLS LRBs, but also use the same first stage?

Seeking commonality between two applications is always worth considering. In this case, the pair of SLS boosters need to generate between them about six times the thrust of an Atlas first stage. So they couldn't just strap two Atlas first stages onto an SLS core and have any hope of meeting the requirement.

It's fascinating to ask, though: what if they strapped six Atlas boosters around the SLS core? That concept has been previously explored under the name "AJAX." The short answer is, "That would work great!" The question, "Why wasn't that approach adopted for SLS?" would require a rather more lengthy answer.... ;)

ISTR that concept included a cut-down core?

It also needs six boosters to thrust into the thrust beam, which ISTR involved what was basically an exoskeleton.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: sdsds on 09/15/2014 07:37 pm
It's fascinating to ask, though: what if they strapped six [AR-1 engined] Atlas boosters around the SLS core? That concept has been previously explored under the name "AJAX." The short answer is, "That would work great!"

ISTR that concept included a cut-down core?

Yes I think so too. But if a "tank stretch" is considered an easy modification, how much easier must it be to do the reverse? Conceivably many of the current SLS barrel sections could be reused without modification whatsoever.

Quote
It also needs six boosters to thrust into the thrust beam, which ISTR involved what was basically an exoskeleton.

Yes, because AJAX didn't want to "mess with" STS ET production techniques, and because the mass penalty for that was not prohibitive. Another approach would modify the core to take thrust from elsewhere, which is admittedly a "total" redesign but conceivably within what the new SLS core tooling could do.

The thrust beam in the STS external tank was a marvel of cleverness. (It dealt not only with the static load challenges, but with the vibration loads coming from the huge solids as well). In the same way, Ariane uses a thrust ring at the core stage forward skirt called "JAVE".

In principle (i.e. with enough hand-waving) one can imagine a JAVE-like thrust ring integrated into the SLS core barrels just at the height where an Atlas CCB powered by an AR-1 would want to transfer the thrust, i.e. near the nose of the CCB. The SLS core barrels are now all just milled aluminium, after all! ;)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ArbitraryConstant on 09/15/2014 07:51 pm
If 338 Isp vac (RD-180) vs. 331 Isp vac (NK-33) is a "significant loss," then yes, I think it's a foregone conclusion there will be a few Isp difference, up or down.
That's bad, but it's much worse at sea level (297 vs 311) due to the exceptionally high chamber pressure of RD-181. It's impossible to understate how outstanding these engines are. Related engines (RD-170 and now RD-191) have been flying nearly 30 years and IMO have yet to be equalled.

I don't think it would hew too terribly close to NK-33 though--the Av Week quote is talking about using AM manufacturing and new materials like Mondalloy, along with an injector design and turbopump design during a risk reduction phase.  No doubt they are keeping the overall cycle diagram similar, but it sounds like the designs of all the pieces are very much in play.
This news is encouraging as an updated manufacturing process will do a lot to cut costs and keep production sustainable, but without a very aggressive performance program, meaning higher pressures, the comparable ISP isn't going to happen.

Still, it sound like a fantastic opportunity if Aerojet Rocketdyne gets any contract.  There's no doubt in my mind that work done here--as long as that work reaches the test-stand hardware stage--will have a lasting impact on any future engine modifications they make, whether that be RS-25Es for SLS, or RL-10s for EELVs, RS-68s for Delta, whatever engine is used in various SLS upper stages, and potentially any liquid booster engines (maybe the AR-1 itself).
It would definitely be huge for US rocketry. The US never really perfected hydrocarbon engines, and I'm convinced this has held the country back in a lot of ways. AR-1 would be one of the most important engines the US had ever built, so I'm all in favor of it.

I don't mean to be overly critical of NK-33 and AR-1, it may be the case that RD-181 is simply too good and not economical to reproduce, I think AR-1 could be a solid building block in any space program worth having. Slightly increased prop volume is not a big deal except in the specific case of it being a non-trivial change to an existing rocket.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MP99 on 09/15/2014 08:23 pm


It's fascinating to ask, though: what if they strapped six [AR-1 engined] Atlas boosters around the SLS core? That concept has been previously explored under the name "AJAX." The short answer is, "That would work great!"

ISTR that concept included a cut-down core?

Yes I think so too. But if a "tank stretch" is considered an easy modification, how much easier must it be to do the reverse? Conceivably many of the current SLS barrel sections could be reused without modification whatsoever.

Quote
It also needs six boosters to thrust into the thrust beam, which ISTR involved what was basically an exoskeleton.

Yes, because AJAX didn't want to "mess with" STS ET production techniques, and because the mass penalty for that was not prohibitive. Another approach would modify the core to take thrust from elsewhere, which is admittedly a "total" redesign but conceivably within what the new SLS core tooling could do.

The thrust beam in the STS external tank was a marvel of cleverness. (It dealt not only with the static load challenges, but with the vibration loads coming from the huge solids as well). In the same way, Ariane uses a thrust ring at the core stage forward skirt called "JAVE".

In principle (i.e. with enough hand-waving) one can imagine a JAVE-like thrust ring integrated into the SLS core barrels just at the height where an Atlas CCB powered by an AR-1 would want to transfer the thrust, i.e. near the nose of the CCB. The SLS core barrels are now all just milled aluminium, after all! ;)

OK, that's fine. But, maybe don't call the derived vehicle SLS. How about Ares III? Ares VI? Atlas Extremely Heavy?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: notsorandom on 09/15/2014 08:27 pm
A re-engined Atlas 5 would just be an Atlas with a modified model number.  It could be Atlas 6.  It could be Atlas 5b.  It might be something else, like Atlas 5000, who knows?.  The original (Thor)-Delta rocket series went through at least six different solid booster types, five main and five second stage engine types, and seven upper stage combinations, along with stretches and redesigns of all of the liquid stages, but was always called "Delta"-something.  There were Deltas with alpha letter variations followed by Deltas with three and four letter model numbers.  Atlas Centaur and Titan both had something similar.

I suspect it's a question of marketing.  After all, why is the current Atlas known as the Atlas 5 when there never was an Atlas 4?  A name like Atlas 6 would emphasize newness, whereas Atlas 5B would emphasize continuity.  Which would be more valuable?

Lately ULA's main talking point about Atlas 5 has been its proven reliabilty.  By the time a re-engined Atlas V got off the pad, though, SpaceX would likely have a long track record too, so that talking point wouldn't work anymore.  My money would therefore be on a name more like Atlas 6.
Atlas V has a significant Titan IV heritage to it so they went with V instead of IV.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 09/30/2014 10:25 am
Hmm, "all we like sheep have gone astray."  An Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-1 is not going to be called "Atlas" of any number or letter.  It's an engine, not an LV.  It's not going to be a booster for SLS, that's a stage, not an engine.  That covers the previous 20 posts or so...    ::)

For news about the engine, and about Aerojet Rocketdyne's strategy to maintain a future with ULA, check out this press release:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/aerojet-rocketdyne-supports-united-launch-175247992.html

Note they also are touting a signed contract with ULA investment, and mention of RL-10, RS-68, AR-1, and solids production.

Competition is great.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/01/2014 01:49 pm
Story says that "(i)n a September 29 announcement, Aerojet Rocketdyne declared a joint venture with the United Launch Alliance to continue work on the AR-1 rocket booster engine". 
http://www.waaytv.com/space_alabama/aerojet-rockedyne-building-booster-engine-in-the-rocket-city/article_c2c5f850-48eb-11e4-baca-0017a43b2370.html

Space News confirms ULA continued funding of AR-1 "studies".
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42045ula-to-help-fund-aerojet-rocketdyne-engine-studies

Here is the Aerojet Rocketdyne press release.
http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-supports-united-launch-alliance-establish-near-term-competitive-product

Images of AR-1 were apparently re-released as part of the announcement.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/01/2014 04:25 pm
So ULA are still considering the AR1 as well as using BE4. I can't see the economics in developing 2 new LVs.

The long term future of RL10 is also in doubt with ULA now having option of Be3  and the Xcor engine they are developing.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: PahTo on 10/01/2014 04:56 pm
So ULA are still considering the AR1 as well as using BE4. I can't see the economics in developing 2 new LVs.

The long term future of RL10 is also in doubt with ULA now having option of Be3  and the Xcor engine they are developing.

I think it prudent to keep options open, which is what ULA is doing.

As for the RL-10:  I think "doubt" is too strong a word.  A 5m upper stage with 1x RL-10C(2), or 2x RL-10C(1) (or 4x) is a very capable vehicle (and with engine out capability).  Human rating the A4 provides a future path, and with all of this competition and move to the "C" engines (and apparent affordability), don't write RL-10 off just yet...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/01/2014 05:05 pm
A 5m upper stage with 1x RL-10C(2), or 2x RL-10C(1) (or 4x) is a very capable vehicle (and with engine out capability). 

When will engine out save mission? If you are going to HEO/GTO mass is the enemy, you would only use one RL-10. More will reduce the payload to HEO. If you need more thrust than a single RL-10, it means you are flying a profile where you are time limited on the burn. Those would be LEO profiles. A loss of thrust would mean the wrong orbit, if you make orbit at all. There is no engine out for the missions ULA fly's.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/01/2014 06:59 pm


So ULA are still considering the AR1 as well as using BE4. I can't see the economics in developing 2 new LVs.

The long term future of RL10 is also in doubt with ULA now having option of Be3  and the Xcor engine they are developing.

I think it prudent to keep options open, which is what ULA is doing.

As for the RL-10:  I think "doubt" is too strong a word.  A 5m upper stage with 1x RL-10C(2), or 2x RL-10C(1) (or 4x) is a very capable vehicle (and with engine out capability).  Human rating the A4 provides a future path, and with all of this competition and move to the "C" engines (and apparent affordability), don't write RL-10 off just yet...

A new upper stage is not planned until end of decade according to Dr Sower. This gives Aerojet enough time to develop a more affordable RL10 using modern manufacturing technology eg 3D printing.

http://
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 09/16/2015 03:20 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne says new AR-1 engine timetable could slip

http://news.yahoo.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-says-ar-1-engine-timetable-could-005605288--finance.html

"Van Kleeck said the company was testing hardware for the engine, which is being designed with 3D-printed parts to fit into both ULA's Atlas 5 rocket, now powered by the RD-180 engine, and the new Vulcan rocket that ULA is developing at a cost of about $1 billion."

"Van Kleeck said Aerojet planned to begin testing full scale engines in 2017, followed by certification in 2019, but the date could slip if the company did not receive enough funding from the Air Force in contract awards expected late in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

She said the company was eager to see how the Air Force split funding of about $160 million among rival bidders. She said Aerojet was also exploring other private funding options for the engine but gave no details."
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/16/2015 04:50 pm
IMO ARJ should be throwing their money and effort at a low cost RL10. At least it has existing customers who would most likely keep buying it if price was right. ARJ may even find new customers especially as it is best engine in its class.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 09/16/2015 05:24 pm
"Van Kleeck said Aerojet planned to begin testing full scale engines in 2017, followed by certification in 2019, but the date could slip if the company did not receive enough funding from the Air Force in contract awards expected late in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

She said the company was eager to see how the Air Force split funding of about $160 million among rival bidders. She said Aerojet was also exploring other private funding options for the engine but gave no details."

Is Aerojet Rocketdyne too dumb to survive? For decades that have received GENEROUS government contracts, and they are unable to divert a relatively small part of their profits into an engine development that could save the company?

I'm not usually a guy that thinks that government contracts ruins businesses, but Aerojet Rocketdyne are doing their best to convince me. They are the corporate equivalent of Panda bears... Endangered, but they can't seem to bother to even TRY to reproduce on their own, so why should we help them?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 09/16/2015 05:31 pm
"Van Kleeck said Aerojet planned to begin testing full scale engines in 2017, followed by certification in 2019, but the date could slip if the company did not receive enough funding from the Air Force in contract awards expected late in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

She said the company was eager to see how the Air Force split funding of about $160 million among rival bidders. She said Aerojet was also exploring other private funding options for the engine but gave no details."

Is Aerojet Rocketdyne too dumb to survive? For decades that have received GENEROUS government contracts, and they are unable to divert a relatively small part of their profits into an engine development that could save the company?


Someone mis-calculated when it comes to "future business" during the merger.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: HarryM on 09/16/2015 06:05 pm
Aeroject-Rocketdyne, please use some of that 2 billion that was offered to purchase ULA to develop AR-1. You're welcome.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: nadreck on 09/16/2015 06:16 pm
Aeroject-Rocketdyne, please use some of that 2 billion that was offered to purchase ULA to develop AR-1. You're welcome.

They have a negative book value, a much larger negative tangible book value. Their cash and receivables is less than their short term liabilities, they have half a years revenue in long term debt.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=AJRD (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=AJRD)

They did not have the $2B to bid, someone was backing them or it was not a sincere bid.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Burninate on 09/16/2015 06:33 pm
A 5m upper stage with 1x RL-10C(2), or 2x RL-10C(1) (or 4x) is a very capable vehicle (and with engine out capability). 

When will engine out save mission? If you are going to HEO/GTO mass is the enemy, you would only use one RL-10. More will reduce the payload to HEO. If you need more thrust than a single RL-10, it means you are flying a profile where you are time limited on the burn. Those would be LEO profiles. A loss of thrust would mean the wrong orbit, if you make orbit at all. There is no engine out for the missions ULA fly's.
Each RL-10C weighs 191kg.  Even for missions all the way to GSO, this much mass isn't a big deal.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Dante80 on 09/20/2015 06:26 pm
Each RL-10C weighs 191kg.

I may be wrong but I was under the impression the weight was about 700lb (300+kg).
Moreover, whatever the weight delta, it makes no sense to develop an upper stage with RL-10s sporting an engine out capability.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: kch on 09/20/2015 07:29 pm
Each RL-10C weighs 191kg.

I may be wrong but I was under the impression the weight was about 700lb (300+kg).

If this chart ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RL10#Variants (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RL10#Variants)

... is accurate, then the current RL10A-4-2 has a mass of 167 kg, the RL10B-2 has a mass of 277 kg, and the RL10C-1 has a mass of 191 kg.

:)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Damon Hill on 09/22/2015 08:47 am
IMO ARJ should be throwing their money and effort at a low cost RL10. At least it has existing customers who would most likely keep buying it if price was right. ARJ may even find new customers especially as it is best engine in its class.

Not so many years ago, Pratt & Whitney was developing the RL60.  They got as far as testing a prototype using more modern production methods (which would further benefit from 3D printing), but shelved it before a flight weight engine was started.  I think a perceived lack of demand for a 65,000 lb/thrust engine was a reason, but a lower thrust engine could have just as easily been built.  Mitsubishi/Rocketdyne also developed and tested a similar engine, and shelved it.

Things are changing, though; new players are in the game now.

--Damon
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/27/2015 08:17 pm
Aerojet confident in long-shot contest against Bezos’s space company (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/aerojet-confident-in-long-shot-contest-against-bezoss-space-company/2015/10/26/7224ea30-7c13-11e5-b575-d8dcfedb4ea1_story.html)

Not very inspired story mostly rehashing what we know. Shades of Andy Pasztor, just not as blatent. And from Bezo's WashPo!

Tidbits:

Quote from: Christian Davenport
Van Kleeck said that Aerojet has been working on its engine for years and would hit the 2019 target that ULA has said is its goal. She also said that the AR-1 is more versatile than Blue’s engine, the BE-4, because it would work in the Atlas V as well as the Vulcan, the rocket ULA is developing.

Translation - Vulcan won't be remotely ready for an engine, stretch Atlas and fly that with AR-1 sooner. The pitch that explains AR's position to Congress as "new engine for existing LV".

Quote from: Christian Davenport
In his statement, Meyerson said that the BE-4 would be qualified for flight by 2017, in time for the first Vulcan launch in 2019.

“The BE-4 is the fastest path to a domestic alternative to the Russian RD-180 and, uniquely, it is not dependent on U.S. government funding but is fully funded by the private sector,” he said.

Both say they'll make the 2019 deadline. BO claims in addition a flight qualified engine by 2017.

The implication is that 2019 Atlas V derived AR1 powered LV flies vs a 2019 Vulcan BE4 powered are the competitors.

(Have my doubts of either of these unfunded options, which would be challenging even if well funded.)

Quote from: Christian Davenport
Aerojet said it is bidding on an Air Force contract that could provide government funding for a new, American-made engine.

Despite being a backup plan, Van Kleeck said she thinks the company can eventually supplant Blue Origin.

To compete with BO given loading, Aerojet needs considerable funding to give this a chance of happening. Congress isn't very forthcoming at the moment, although the SLS budgets aren't under much pressure so might be seen the same.

Have no idea about BO's "budgetless" appeal. Will it be considered any differently than SX is in this arena?

Quote from: Christian Davenport
When ULA initially chose Blue, it was “based on economic reasons,” she said. “We think assured access [to space] is the real key issue, rather than economics. And as they look at the urgency of that, the AR-1 is becoming more and more the direction.”

"Assured access"? Thinking of raiding a certain "cookie jar"?  The only way they can escalate this is to make it a strategic need, which likely would lock out BO's private efforts. Note also the implicit "it doesn't have to be economic" i.e. ULA doesn't need to compete cost wise with SX!!

Quote from: Christian Davenport
That remains to be seen. In a call with reporters earlier this month, Bruno reiterated his commitment to the Blue Origin engine, saying the company was 16 months ahead in its development.

If, mind you, "if" ... 16 months advantage on a 4-5 yr program means quarter to a third advantage! Now, its easy enough to have a 1-2year stretch with an engine program of this scale, so what this really means is that BO claims to have a schedule "mulligan" over Aerojet in time (we'll ignore the fact of no domestic history of large methalox schedules here). To my knowledge, no domestic kerolox has ever met its full specs on time as Aerojet would then have to do.

How conservative are AF engine development profiles considered these days? Neither of these would make me comfortable at the moment, especially given transparency.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: rcoppola on 10/27/2015 09:26 pm
With all due respect to Ms. Van Kleek, she doesn't seem to understand that this is absolutely about economics. With the oncoming competitive EELV procurement model, ULA must become more Commercially competitive to make up for the fewer Civil launches. And everything about Vulcan, BE-4, reduced pad count, sub-contractor partnerships, amended labor contracts, etc..is about this new world of economics.

When I read articles like this or listen to their Congressional testimony, I start to think, "What decade do they think this is?" Is it arrogance, entitlement, denial?  I honestly don't know.

Edit: And what I find most annoying is that Boeing and LM are diverting profit into Vulcan, BO is privately funded and SpaceX will develop, build, test and launch the FH on their own as well. If AR believes so strongly that AR-1 is the superior product, then take on the risk, invest fully and compete it.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: sdsds on 10/28/2015 05:44 am
Assume ULA retains control of the launch sites currently used for Atlas V, and converts them to Vulcan. What would it cost AR to develop new launch sites for an AR-1 based vehicle? More than the cost of bringing AR-1 to production?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Dante80 on 11/02/2015 04:03 pm
Assume ULA retains control of the launch sites currently used for Atlas V, and converts them to Vulcan. What would it cost AR to develop new launch sites for an AR-1 based vehicle? More than the cost of bringing AR-1 to production?

Yes. But they would also need an AR-1 based vehicle in the first place. There is no plausible scenario for this ever happening.

If AR believes so strongly that AR-1 is the superior product, then take on the risk, invest fully and compete it.

I understand what you are trying to say. But judging from what we know now about the ULA/BO partnership and the way the market is evolving - if you were theoretically in charge of AR - would you take the risk at this point? Even if your product is superior (but 18mo late)?

ARJ lost this 3++ years ago.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 11/20/2015 03:27 pm
Moved this thought from this thread...

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38557.msg1447733#msg1447733


I'd much rather see the ban lifted than see the government subsidizing a domestic engine. One is allowing a company to buy stuff, the other is picking winners. Lift obstacles on both sides and let SpaceX and ULA compete. I think ULA is more than capable of staying in the race if allowed to buy RD-180s while BE-4 is being completed.

~Jon
=====================================
On top of the Shelby letter was other news that might be of interest to NSF readers.

Key lawmaker aims to delay phaseout of Russian rocket engine
aka Shelby Strikes Back (think star wars)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/11/19/key-lawmaker-aims-delay-phase-out-russian-rocket-engine/76049868/?ref=yfp

"Shelby agrees the Russian engines should be phased out eventually, his spokeswoman said. And he helped add $143.6 million to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill to develop the domestic alternative engine — in addition to the $220 million already provided in fiscal 2015."


Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/20/2015 09:54 pm
I'd much rather see the ban lifted than see the government subsidizing a domestic engine. One is allowing a company to buy stuff, the other is picking winners.
The government has always picked winners.  That's why Convair built Atlas, McDonnell built Mercury and Gemini, why Rocketdyne built F-1 and H-1, and so on.  Even if it is a contractor doing the choosing, it is still government money being served up.  RD-180 wasn't allowed to happen originally until government decision makers gave their OK.  I have always believed that since the government is spending taxpayer money on these defense-critical choices, the winners ought to be U.S. companies. 

Let's not kid ourselves.  If not for the political situation ULA would buy Energomash engines forever.  BE-4 is only happening because the government changed its mind about RD-180 and forced a change.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: jongoff on 11/20/2015 10:56 pm
The government has also always picked losers. That list is far longer.

My point was that in a situation where lifting the ban, getting out of the way, and letting SpaceX and ULA compete is an option, I'd rather see them focus on that, rather than throwing government money at RD-180 replacement engines (with the intention of wiring as much as possible to politically-connected contractors like AJR).

~Jon
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 11/20/2015 11:57 pm
The government has also always picked losers. That list is far longer.

My point was that in a situation where lifting the ban, getting out of the way, and letting SpaceX and ULA compete is an option, I'd rather see them focus on that, rather than throwing government money at RD-180 replacement engines (with the intention of wiring as much as possible to politically-connected contractors like AJR).

~Jon

believe Shelby is trying to do that with a deal.   He is dealing with the AJR-SX letter from CA Senators by throwing them a bone (an expensive one).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: jongoff on 11/21/2015 02:47 am
The government has also always picked losers. That list is far longer.

My point was that in a situation where lifting the ban, getting out of the way, and letting SpaceX and ULA compete is an option, I'd rather see them focus on that, rather than throwing government money at RD-180 replacement engines (with the intention of wiring as much as possible to politically-connected contractors like AJR).

~Jon

believe Shelby is trying to do that with a deal.   He is dealing with the AJR-SX letter from CA Senators by throwing them a bone (an expensive one).


That's an angle I hadn't thought of before. I'm not exactly a member of the Richard Shelby fan club, but if buying off AJR is the price of getting some sanity for ULA during the transition to Vulcan, maybe it won't be the end of the world.

~Jon
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: jongoff on 11/21/2015 02:52 am
Or are we so cynical that we have ton's of money for things going nowhere, and not a penny for stuff we need to get done?

We do live in a world with SLS but no money for depots...

~Jon
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/21/2015 05:13 am
I'm in favor of Congress channeling that money to Aerojet Rocketdyne for AR-1. 

There's no American engine like it available.  Merlins are smaller and less efficient and require 9+ for an EELV launcher and aren't commercially available right now AFAICT and even then would require depending on a competitor for your engine.  BE-4 is a methalox.  RS-68 is a hydrolox.

There's no American company more experienced at bringing different liquid rocket engines of that size range to completion.  Or as experienced at providing liquid engines to a wide variety of customers.

It's not a sure thing.  AJR has its work cut out for it.  What DOES seem like a sure thing to me is that money will do better than break even as an investment for the government.  Aerojet Rocketdyne will use the production techniques it develops for AR-1 for many future engines it will build for government contracts, saving the government money and making AJR more competitive and making better engines.  Some of those savings will accrue to MDA, some may accrue to NASA and SLS, and some may accrue to ULA and Boeing and LM.

If the AR-1 program does produce an RD-180-class engine that still manages to be cost-competitive, and the program is allowed to persist up through a full test program, I don't believe the engine could fail to find a customer.  Even if ULA stuck with BE-4 for Vulcan, or AR-1 was a bit late for Vulcan.  Kerolox engines of that efficiency and thrust range are too useful for commercial and EELV payloads, and will continue to be useful for decades to come. 

How many times has NASA talked about trying to revive the F-1 engine, because it had no other big kerolox?  How many variants have been made of the RD-170/171 engines in the past 4 decades?  Two or three companies jumped on the NK-33/AJ-26 engines in this performance range, even given the questions surrounding 40 years of storage.  Two companies have fought over getting the RD-180.  It's not hard to think ULA might find it useful to have an AR-1-engined Atlas V available as a backup to Vulcan.  It's not hard to imagine Orbital-ATK using an AR-1 to do an EELV-certified Antares.  It's not hard to imagine a liquid booster proposal for SLS using AR-1s.  If Dynetics was so ambitious to build a Atlas V clone, they might revisit that idea with an AR-1.  And so on.

I don't think Congress should cave on the RD-180 ban, and if my understanding of Shelby's formulation is correct (no RD-180 ban until Atlas V successor is certified), the most likely result would be Atlas V kept and no successor finished and therefore continued use of RD-180s.  But it will be fascinating to see if Shelby can muster more votes than McCain, or if they can compromise on something less punitive than McCain's position seems to be, but more certain of an ultimate end to RD-180 use in national security payloads than Shelby's position.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Hauerg on 11/21/2015 05:46 am
Moved this thought from this thread...

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38557.msg1447733#msg1447733


I'd much rather see the ban lifted than see the government subsidizing a domestic engine. One is allowing a company to buy stuff, the other is picking winners. Lift obstacles on both sides and let SpaceX and ULA compete. I think ULA is more than capable of staying in the race if allowed to buy RD-180s while BE-4 is being completed.

~Jon
=====================================
On top of the Shelby letter was other news that might be of interest to NSF readers.

Key lawmaker aims to delay phaseout of Russian rocket engine
aka Shelby Strikes Back (think star wars)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/11/19/key-lawmaker-aims-delay-phase-out-russian-rocket-engine/76049868/?ref=yfp

"Shelby agrees the Russian engines should be phased out eventually, his spokeswoman said. And he helped add $143.6 million to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill to develop the domestic alternative engine — in addition to the $220 million already provided in fiscal 2015."

Another 360 Mio out of the window.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 11/21/2015 06:32 am
I'm in favor of Congress channeling that money to Aerojet Rocketdyne for AR-1. 

There's no American engine like it available.  Merlins are smaller and less efficient and require 9+ for an EELV launcher and aren't commercially available right now AFAICT and even then would require depending on a competitor for your engine.  BE-4 is a methalox.  RS-68 is a hydrolox.

There's no American company more experienced at bringing different liquid rocket engines of that size range to completion.  Or as experienced at providing liquid engines to a wide variety of customers.

It's not a sure thing.  AJR has its work cut out for it.  What DOES seem like a sure thing to me is that money will do better than break even as an investment for the government.  Aerojet Rocketdyne will use the production techniques it develops for AR-1 for many future engines it will build for government contracts, saving the government money and making AJR more competitive and making better engines.  Some of those savings will accrue to MDA, some may accrue to NASA and SLS, and some may accrue to ULA and Boeing and LM.

If the AR-1 program does produce an RD-180-class engine that still manages to be cost-competitive, and the program is allowed to persist up through a full test program, I don't believe the engine could fail to find a customer.  Even if ULA stuck with BE-4 for Vulcan, or AR-1 was a bit late for Vulcan.  Kerolox engines of that efficiency and thrust range are too useful for commercial and EELV payloads, and will continue to be useful for decades to come. 

How many times has NASA talked about trying to revive the F-1 engine, because it had no other big kerolox?  How many variants have been made of the RD-170/171 engines in the past 4 decades?  Two or three companies jumped on the NK-33/AJ-26 engines in this performance range, even given the questions surrounding 40 years of storage.  Two companies have fought over getting the RD-180.  It's not hard to think ULA might find it useful to have an AR-1-engined Atlas V available as a backup to Vulcan.  It's not hard to imagine Orbital-ATK using an AR-1 to do an EELV-certified Antares.  It's not hard to imagine a liquid booster proposal for SLS using AR-1s.  If Dynetics was so ambitious to build a Atlas V clone, they might revisit that idea with an AR-1.  And so on.

I don't think Congress should cave on the RD-180 ban, and if my understanding of Shelby's formulation is correct (no RD-180 ban until Atlas V successor is certified), the most likely result would be Atlas V kept and no successor finished and therefore continued use of RD-180s.  But it will be fascinating to see if Shelby can muster more votes than McCain, or if they can compromise on something less punitive than McCain's position seems to be, but more certain of an ultimate end to RD-180 use in national security payloads than Shelby's position.



Not in favor of govt. picking winners or losers.  If Aerojet has a business case for the engine then go develop it on your own dime.  Why should the american people be paying for it?  Why not pay for SpaceX's Raptor or BE engine? 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/21/2015 08:09 am
I very much doubt OA will use AR1. When you are one of best SRB manufacturers in world, it makes finance sense to develop a LV thats primary propulsion is solids.

I'm guessing the Liberty reborn or maybe Ariane 5 configuration using BE3 for 1st stage. I've heard OA a couple times praising Blue Origins engines.
.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 11/21/2015 11:35 am
Has there even been one hint that AR-1 is being designed for reusability?

Both BE-1 and Raptor are... maybe there is zero chance of building an expendible LV around a one-shot engine that won't be low cost and won't be available until reusability is a fact of life. Even Vulcan is assuming multiple use from their BE-1s down the road.

No, Congress should not throw money at AJ any more. It is sink or swim time folks.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 11/21/2015 03:32 pm
The government has also always picked losers. That list is far longer.

My point was that in a situation where lifting the ban, getting out of the way, and letting SpaceX and ULA compete is an option, I'd rather see them focus on that, rather than throwing government money at RD-180 replacement engines (with the intention of wiring as much as possible to politically-connected contractors like AJR).

~Jon

believe Shelby is trying to do that with a deal.   He is dealing with the AJR-SX letter from CA Senators by throwing them a bone (an expensive one).


That's an angle I hadn't thought of before. I'm not exactly a member of the Richard Shelby fan club, but if buying off AJR is the price of getting some sanity for ULA during the transition to Vulcan, maybe it won't be the end of the world.

~Jon

Many are not fans of Shelby, I submit he will be missed as he is old school and tries balance everyone's interest.  Not that I agree spending the money is a good thing. 

Another thought to ponder, don't be so sure AJR will get those funds.
===========================================
 
Have you read this? 
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2015/11/cabanas-role-in.html

Edit: clean up
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/21/2015 06:57 pm

Not in favor of govt. picking winners or losers.  If Aerojet has a business case for the engine then go develop it on your own dime.  Why should the american people be paying for it?  Why not pay for SpaceX's Raptor or BE engine? 

What does that even mean to you, "govt. picking winners or losers"?  Isn't the govt. picking winners or losers in every contract put out to bid?  Are you not in favor of competitively bid contracts?  What about when the government justifies a sole-source contract because only one company can provide an item?  You don't believe sole-source contracts are ever justified?  What about when USAF paid SpaceX to launch a payload before they had ever demonstrated an ability to reach orbit?  Was that picking a winner to use your term?  How is giving a company a chance to try to compete for an engine bid "picking a winner"?  Can you explain how that phrase isn't a nonsensical sound-bite?

Aerojet doesn't have a direct business case for the engine, nor are they in a position to borrow more money, despite their rather desperate offers to attempt a bid for ULA, nor do they have billionaires handy to throw cash at them, as people naively seem to expect everybody to have access to these days.

But, as I outlined in my post above, the US government has a good business case for investing in AR-1 development.  The US government is still spending the lion's share of the money in the US on launches and launch vehicles, and it could easily see a return on that investment in many ways, including in cases where the AR-1 program was not able to achieve the primary objective of beating out the BE-4 engine for use in ULA's primary LV.

Why not put money in Raptor instead?  1)  Raptor is not an engine in the performance range the government needs or uses, nor are there any existing LVs that could use such an engine.   More specifically, this engine develop money is for replacing the RD-180 for national security launches, and Raptor is not a replacement for the RD-180 nor intended for use in national security launches.  2)  SpaceX isn't asking for money for Raptor development.  3)  SpaceX has billionaire investors who can and do supply its funding.

Why not put money in the BE-4 engine?  1)  The BE-4 engine is fully funded.  It doesn't need money, Bezos isn't interested in taking government money, and in fact it is proceeding right now without any meddling by the government.  2)  What BE-4 might, conceivably, need is a backup in case teething problems are encountered by a promising but still a bit inexperienced development team.  That's AR-1! 

The government, in essence, needs an Assured Engine capability for replacing the RD-180.  BE-4 would be one leg, and AR-1 would be the other.  If BE-4 is successful and reasonably close to schedule, then it seems likely Vulcan will become the primary ULA launcher according to plan.  But, if BE-4 is delayed or Vulcan itself has problems, AR-1 can reduce the pressure on BE-4 and Vulcan to "hammer to fit, paint to match" and instead spend the time to get it done right.

The government gets more confidence it won't get stuck having only SpaceX as a supplier, or having to pay for increasingly uneconomic Delta IVs, or having to depend on Russian engines for national security launches.



There, I've laid out a case for government investment in AR-1, without even mentioning until now the other half of the ways the government stands to gain, which is where I expect your "picking winners" hackles get raised.  SpaceX isn't providing engines to anybody other than SpaceX, and Blue Origin isn't providing engines to anyone other than Blue and the Vulcan project.  Aerojet Rocketdyne, on the other hand, has a liquid rocket engine catalog that is used by a wide variety of companies, and provides engines like the Boeing CST-100 abort engines, and missile defense motors, and SLS' RS-25s for NASA, and of course RL-10s for ULA and NASA. 

I realize you probably don't care about some of these programs, and may be one of the lemmings mindlessly parroting the "vertical integration is all there is" line currently in vogue, but the money is being spent by the government, and by investing in a flagship engine development program at Aerojet Rocketdyne, the government is helping a key parts supplier who has been depleted by multiple owners strengthen its use of cutting-edge manufacturing and design techniques.  Because of the nature of the RD-180 replacement, the AR-1 money will be focused on performance, price-competitiveness, and timeliness, which are qualities the government needs but typically fouls up when it tries to directly address them.  (USAF may still find a way to FUBAR this...it's trying.)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 11/21/2015 07:50 pm
I very much doubt OA will use AR1. When you are one of best SRB manufacturers in world, it makes finance sense to develop a LV thats primary propulsion is solids.

I'm guessing the Liberty reborn or maybe Ariane 5 configuration using BE3 for 1st stage. I've heard OA a couple times praising Blue Origins engines.
.

Ariane 5 is nog gonna use an American engine ever. Remember, the Ariane programme is there to support the European aerospace industry. Ariane therefore will always fly with European designed and manufactured engines. Chances of any future Ariane vehicle using a non-European engine is exactly zero.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: butters on 11/21/2015 08:05 pm
AR-1 would look good displayed next to J-2X in some sort of museum of cautionary tales. I'm trying to look on the bright side.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 11/21/2015 08:27 pm
...Raptor is not a replacement for the RD-180 nor intended for use in national security launches.

Jeff Thornburg, SpaceX Senior Director, Propulsion Engineering, thinks otherwise.

Quote from: Jeff Thornburg
Raptor could have significant applications for national security space launch, all while significantly advancing U.S. industrial capability and technology with respect to liquid rocket engines. With a highly scalable engine cycle, Raptor's "light and tight" design is built for operational functionality, cost efficiency and long life in high production volume, which makes it ideal for NSS needs.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=47400
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/21/2015 08:41 pm
I very much doubt OA will use AR1. When you are one of best SRB manufacturers in world, it makes finance sense to develop a LV thats primary propulsion is solids.

I'm guessing the Liberty reborn or maybe Ariane 5 configuration using BE3 for 1st stage. I've heard OA a couple times praising Blue Origins engines.
.

Ariane 5 is nog gonna use an American engine ever. Remember, the Ariane programme is there to support the European aerospace industry. Ariane therefore will always fly with European designed and manufactured engines. Chances of any future Ariane vehicle using a non-European engine is exactly zero.
A LV with Ariane 5 CONFIGURATION (LH core with large SRBs) not Ariane 5.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deltaV on 11/22/2015 07:21 am
What does that even mean to you, "govt. picking winners or losers"?  Isn't the govt. picking winners or losers in every contract put out to bid?

To me, the government "picks winners" when it makes specific investments (or asks a contractor to) instead of just purchasing goods and services it needs and letting the private sector choose what investments are appropriate to efficiently meet the government demand. The investment in this case is designing a new engine and the service in question is satellite launch. Picking winners isn't always bad, but is a great source of pork so one should be skeptical. When the government picks winners it should prefer to have the contractor invest a lot of the capital too, which helps align the incentives.

The government, in essence, needs an Assured Engine capability for replacing the RD-180.  BE-4 would be one leg, and AR-1 would be the other.

The government doesn't need a backup for BE-4; all they need is assured access to space. If Vulcan is delayed they have three fallbacks: Atlas, Delta, or Falcon. A SpaceX monopoly would be undesirable but not catastrophic, especially if it's temporary. Even if somehow all four launch vehicles become unavailable the DOD could fall back on Antares, SLS, Ariane, or Japan's H-IIB. Of course these vehicles have serious drawbacks but they probably wouldn't be needed and spending a few billion dollars on an unneeded engine and launch vehicle has serious drawbacks too!

Quote
But, if BE-4 is delayed or Vulcan itself has problems, AR-1 can reduce the pressure on BE-4 and Vulcan to "hammer to fit, paint to match" and instead spend the time to get it done right.

AR-1 wouldn't take the pressure off BE-4 because one can't easily swap one engine for the other. You'd have to design a new launch vehicle for AR-1 and that takes time and money.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Burninate on 11/22/2015 12:26 pm
He is making the case that the government should not be paying firms for the development of engines, but should instead pay so much for the engines that firms are willing to fund development independently and speculatively.  It is a position with a long history in pro-business ideology and also in responses to cost overruns, and it makes a certain amount of sense.

The problem with this position is twofold:  First, the existing engine does not have experimental work to do, so it will usually win bids;  This is a recipe for never moving forward technologically.  Second, cost overruns do not magically go away when they're not explicit parts of a contract.  So long as the government is the sole monopsonist buyer, firms will factor in the odds of cost overrun and loss before bidding, and if their bid turns out to be over-optimistic, may elect to shut down development anyway until they get the chance to submit a higher bid in the next competition.

A healthy market requires multiple surviving sellers, multiple surviving buyers, low barriers to entry & lack of lock-in, and a functional way to predict and compare options.  You cannot create a healthy market simply by shifting development costs to the private sector.

It may be that one way or the other is a better option, but it's clearly not a *lot* better option, because it doesn't have healthy amounts of market competition.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: beb on 11/22/2015 02:55 pm
A healthy market ....

There's your problem right there. Considering the number of launches the US does each year it's hard to think of launch services as a "market."
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/23/2015 08:28 am

Aerojet has a stake in staying in business with something other than political manipulations. Like perhaps arriving at a competitive business that doesn't function like outmoded past models. Clearly ULA is being unsubtley shoved in that direction, why not AJ?

AJR is certainly under a lot of pressure to be more competitive.  Funding development of AR-1 doesn't reduce this pressure.  If they don't hit a home run with AR-1, they will be in as bad a situation as they are now.  Funding AR-1 is like giving a Kirk Gibson a chance at bat, both legs injured, down by one in the bottom of the ninth with two out in the World Series.  The situation may be too far gone, Aerojet Rocketdyne may not be able to deliver, but they are the most experienced leader in the liquid rocket engine business, and if the government wants the best possible engine, it's worth seeing what they can do.

You have stated you don't trust Blue Origin to successfully execute BE-4.  Why don't you think it's a good idea for the government to make sure there's a backup?


They can find a billionaire to do deals with, as easy as they mess with Congress. Same kind of deal. No difference between a TRW rocket engineer finding a Musk, or an government launch service provider working with a billionaire's hobby for a decade.

Why would a billionaire pour money into an engine maker, instead of simply hiring away one or two engineers?  The difference between the government and some hypothetical billionaire is that the government has billions of dollars already invested in projects that would stand to gain or at least stay level if it manages its supplier network intelligently.  The government has national security payloads that potentially would need much higher cost options if AR-1 is not developed.  The government is paying and will continue to pay for large numbers of launches, over which an engine development program could easily pay for itself if it turns out well.  Do you think these apply to a private investor? 


One thing will happen differently - the billionaire won't be as stupid as USG and be roodled to pay for nothing,
so they'll have to change the way they do business.

Paying for AR-1 development is not paying for nothing.  In fact, the government can pay by milestones. 


They don't want to change the way they do business.
That is the issue, not the billionaire. Many ways to fix this.

Can you cite a reference for them not wanting to change the way they do business?  There are dozens of links possible to their efforts to streamline factories and employees, embrace 3D printing and rapid manufacturing, patent new materials and processes, all the while seeking to transfer skills from one generation of employees to the next.  Even their wacky schemes to force-license Atlas or buy ULA speak to their desperation for changing the way they do business.

If you really knew many ways to fix this, you'd be out there making seven figures and not posting here.  I suspect your fixes are like my opinions, of the $0.02 variety.


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But, as I outlined in my post above, the US government has a good business case for investing in AR-1 development.

There is no business case outlined. Nor can a "good" one close in any way you describe.  Do you know how to do a business case,  what it takes to close one?

Wait, you are questioning my business sense just a few sentences after you suggested AJR could wave its hands and summon a billionaire if it wanted?  Hmm. 

Musk and Bezos are pursuing almost a religious conviction, not a business case, and both have acknowledged they are seeking NO near-term return (and good for them, most of us are happy with what they are doing).  The opportunity to hook up with people like that is available only to startups, only to complete launch vehicle solutions, and only to manned exploration companies with an eye toward Mars.  How are you going to find somebody to do that for a rocket parts company?  Do you know how to make an investment pitch, and if so, have you thought about what it would take to make an investment pitch for a company like Aerojet Rocketdyne?  No.   The rest of your post makes it clear you think Aerojet Rocketdyne should disappear.  If that position is logical, and you believe large-scale investors are somewhat logical, then you cannot logically believe Aerojet Rocketdyne could easily get large-scale investors.

Perhaps you would prefer the term "economic analysis" instead of a business case for the government, since a business case often ignores secondary costs where convenient, whereas for the government follow-on effects and secondary costs can dominate. 


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The US government is still spending the lion's share of the money in the US on launches and launch vehicles, and it could easily see a return on that investment in many ways, including in cases where the AR-1 program was not able to achieve the primary objective of beating out the BE-4 engine for use in ULA's primary LV.

How?

Since the 1980s, there have been at least a half dozen projects that indicated the desirability of a high performance kerolox and regretted the lack of such an engine in the American market.  The liquid flyback booster trades for the shuttle, and ESAS trades for Constellation, for example.  The multiple times where people seriously considered resurrecting the F-1 engine.  McDonnell Douglas looked for one to use with Atlas, and had to use a Russian supplier.  Kistler looked for one, found none in the US, and chose a Russian engine.  Orbital looked for such an engine, twice, and both times settled for a Russian engine.  In ALL these cases, the time and cost of the development program was a large barrier.  If an engine like AR-1 had been available, those situations represent at least a half-dozen times where prior investment would have presented better options and potentially saved money.

From the government's point of view, a production-ready, large (but still EELV-sized), American-made kerolox is extremely likely to be used in launch vehicles it purchases, if AR-1 proves to be competitive with the RD-180 and BE-4.  From Aerojet Rocketdyne's point of view, though, the business case requires a contract in hand for such a large, bet-the-farm development program.


Why not pay people to make engines that are desired for performance and cost benefits above what they can get right now, irrespective of country or sourcing? I doubt the issue of fronting development costs given the return of an effectively better product might not be as difficult a fight otherwise. What would that mean:

  * A plug compatible to RD-180 - whoops, can't get that with AR1

Why do you think AR-1 cannot produce that?  Or, if you think no rocket engine could be exactly identical, how is that not an unreasonable and impossible expectation, in which case you didn't need to ask "why not" because you've predetermined it cannot be done.  I think AR-1 could be as close as the RD-181 was to the AJ-26 for Antares, which is probably close enough.


  * A performance same or better with an unmodified Atlas (e.g. tankage) - whoops, can't get that with AR1

Why do you think AR-1 cannot produce that?  I'm not sure that's really all that desirable, since I think ULA wants to roll in manufacturing improvements to save on some costs.  I would expect given some interaction, ULA would prefer a limited evolution over precise duplication.


  * Time to test stand, manufacture, qualify - sorry, no can do, the nube manufacturers beat you cold.

I'm guessing you bought your last car based on how quickly it progressed from concept to production, how quickly it was manufactured, and how long it took to pass the relevent safety tests.   ::)   
How exactly is it fair to expect Aerojet Rocketdyne to beat a company that started years before, with essentially unlimited funding, for an unrelated purpose, that now can re-use that design?  Even so, if USAF had set up the AR-1 program when Congress appropriated the money, Aerojet Rocketdyne might well have caught up in the manufacture and qualify stages.  We have yet to see how gradually Blue Origin and ULA proceed through those stages. 

I don't think it's all that critical that it catch up, though to work as a backup for BE-4 it needs to be started as soon as possible.

Of course Aerojet Rocketdyne would be in great shape if they had a crystal ball that predicted the future, a billionaire allowing them to spend money however they wished, the ability to always instantly have the very latest manufacturing equipment and techniques and employees fully trained on them without regard for throwing out all the old equipment, and whatever other flying unicorn and magic pony requirements you choose to make up.  We'd all be capable of doing fantastic things if money were no object and the future were known and we could go back in time and fix mistakes.  It's quite reasonable you expect this of others.   ::)


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The government, in essence, needs an Assured Engine capability for replacing the RD-180.  BE-4 would be one leg, and AR-1 would be the other.  If BE-4 is successful and reasonably close to schedule, then it seems likely Vulcan will become the primary ULA launcher according to plan.  But, if BE-4 is delayed or Vulcan itself has problems, AR-1 can reduce the pressure on BE-4 and Vulcan to "hammer to fit, paint to match" and instead spend the time to get it done right.

The government gets more confidence it won't get stuck having only SpaceX as a supplier, or having to pay for increasingly uneconomic Delta IVs, or having to depend on Russian engines for national security launches.

FUD. Is not a business model.

That's funny, because you have moaned and groaned about the uncertainty of BE-4 development. 

[And actually the term FUD means discouraging customers from switching to a competitor's new product by over-exaggerating fear/uncertainty/doubt about performance.  That's not what I'm doing.  Nothing I have said discourages the use of BE-4.  I hope it completes on time, and if it works out so, I'll be pleased to see it fly in Vulcan.  I don't pick teams, or engage in false good guy vs bad guy situations:  just because I am arguing in favor of funding Aerojet Rocketdyne's engine doesn't mean I consider Blue Origin to be "the bad guys" or dislike their innovative and bold approach.  But there's a sizable uncertainty about the conditions of the launch business over the next forty or fifty years, and adding an oft-requested engine option, especially one that would be available to any launch vehicle company, seems like a wise move. ]

It's also funny, because you are snarking about my business case sketch, while demanding Aerojet Rocketdyne somehow magically convince investors to fund an engine for the government's benefit, and magically go back in time to start an engine program, and magically look forward in time to bet the company on a large engine, and now you are dismissing the wisdom of hedging a huge risky bet.  My doubts about your grip on what's reasonable are at least as great as your doubts about my business savvy.


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There, I've laid out a case for government investment in AR-1, without even mentioning until now the other half of the ways the government stands to gain, which is where I expect your "picking winners" hackles get raised.

Nope. What that is, is "pay us so your political butt is covered" for contingency ("no one gets fired/not elected for using AJ as a backup vendor?"). Buying "blame" insurance.

This is manifestly stupid.  Congress will face ZERO political consequences, ZERO blame, for this whatever way they choose.  Even in a disastrous case scenario, where BE-4 development got set back years, SpaceX suffered launch failures, Delta IVM line was discontinued, Russia refused to sell more RD-180s, and critically needed national security assets sat on the ground:  there's no chance on earth it would affect the re-election prospects of a member of Congress.  USAF would face blame, but they aren't the ones pushing for this, and in fact they are dragging their heels and doing their best to prevent it from happening.  If the ones who would get blamed aren't interested in butt-covering, and the ones who have nothing to fear are pushing this program, it's clear your description does not apply.


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  SpaceX isn't providing engines to anybody other than SpaceX, and Blue Origin isn't providing engines to anyone other than Blue and the Vulcan project.  Aerojet Rocketdyne, on the other hand, has a liquid rocket engine catalog that is used by a wide variety of companies, and provides engines like the Boeing CST-100 abort engines, and missile defense motors, and SLS' RS-25s for NASA, and of course RL-10s for ULA and NASA.

Perhaps buying past developed engines from AJ in small volumes isn't a bad idea. Fits SLS sporadic use.

Perhaps buying propulsion services from other providers that exceed volume/price constraints of AJ is a prudent decision, where the primary difference is that considerable annual use is the primary guarantor of engine reliability?

In which case, assurance is through multiple launch service providers. None of which need the heritage AJ claims to provide.


Perhaps the increased cost of those past developed engines, without any other large engine sales, without the opportunity to push through new manufacturing techniques, might offset part of the development cost of AR-1.

Perhaps no other vendor exceeds the volume/price constraints of AJR, hence the reason they won those design bids.  Perhaps in many cases there aren't many other options, and the government gets much poorer options or higher prices or both.  In which case the savings by not pursuing a second engine option is offset by these higher costs.

Who are these multiple launch providers you speak of?  I get SpaceX, for the lower end of the EELV range with F9.  Maybe, in 2-3 years, FH for the upper end.  Delta 4M/4H, but its extra cost might pay for an AR-1 program in a few years' time.  Atlas V, but its use has been sharply curtailed.  Vulcan, in four to six years assuming everything goes completely according to plan.

If Vulcan gets delayed, there will be only SpaceX and Delta.  But the use of Delta past 2018 likely means slowing the phase-in of Vulcan.  And the use of Delta makes an easy-to-close business case for AR-1.

Best also to not be one of the lemmings who think that blindly following the past business model means we'll even get half as good as the RS68, on a fraction of the funds that took, in a fraction of the time it took, with materials/performance challenges that Rocketdyne then said "was impossible"?

The AR-1 program would not follow the same business model as RS-68 development.  It's absolutely possible Aerojet Rocketdyne could strike out on AR-1.  If so, they would be back where they are now, slowly becoming less and less economical, and with less and less money to change their circumstances.

But there are good reasons to think they might do better.  They've gotten extensive looks and information (including production information) on two engines that meet their performance requirements, for one.  The state of the art has advanced, in materials and analysis and production.  This has enabled SpaceX and Blue Origin, and it can benefit AJR too.


How does this even strengthen that vendor, forcing them to over extend to accomplish a difficult program in an area they've not maintained (with recent product) in three decades, needed quickly with reliability, with too little for the ways they work?

It strengthens them by funding metal to be bent for the bright ideas they've had over at least the last decade, but for which there was no customer.  It's very similar to the way ULA developing Vulcan strengthens its engineering program, by finally funding to production things like IVF, ACES, SMART, and Distributed Lift.  It's risky, but necessary for bigger jumps in innovation. 


More likely we get "half a loaf", or nothing with things like this. Not to mention that a challenged firm might put at risk other critical programs that should not be destabilized. I'd be worried of over commitment if an AJ customer of an existing propulsion system for such reasons. Perhaps this does concern AF/NASA/Congress, they just haven't yet gotten the scope of the problems here?

If it fails, it's no loaf.  The only consolation would be that failed engineering projects have in the past driven some subset of team members to great inspiration for simpler follow-ons.  Multics producing Unix, Grand Tour driving Voyager, perhaps even TRW's engine development driving Tom Mueller toward Merlin.  But I think Aerojet Rocketdyne can do better.

Even if AR-1 had development problems, it's not likely to affect existing customers, because the engineering team for one product doesn't cause the production team for another to fall on its face.  What's more likely to affect existing customers is the current status quo, where they are shrinking and laying off teams and having to live off smaller programs from quarter to quarter.


Perhaps AF is wary and skeptical ... because something (like AJ-26) has a hidden "FUBAR" in it? You know they do have more than a little experience with LRE ...

I'd wager the person who has been placed in charge of the RD-180 replacement funds is not so experienced with LRE development programs.  There certainly are fantastically competent people in the AF, but people get moved around a lot, and for every competent one there is at least one other who is in over his head and trying to fake it.


add:
The more I think about it, the greater the aversion to obsolete LRE,  the better. This sequence of posts illustrates exactly what should not happen for fiscally competent NSS - there should be a "zero tolerance" policy with regards to heritage space propulsion. Must be all up new. Not a penny for these dinosaurs.

Obsolete LRE?  AR-1 is a new design.  Nor is there anything obsolete about the RD170 family of engines, they continue to be among the most useful and desired in the launch industry.
No heritage space propulsion?  All up new?  Do you have some laser beam propelled space elevator in mind?  Only EM Drive based launch vehicles?  Most of the best designs have roots at least thirty (Merlin), forty (RD170 family),  or fifty years old (RL-10 family).  You think it's fiscally competent to ditch all those proven designs?  I think that's nuts.  I think a lot of those designs, appropriately modified by current analysis/materials/production techniques, can still outperform.


If Congress wants more assurance than SX and ULA+BE4, they should encourage OA to do a new solid first stage first stage EELV class booster with either BE3 or XCOR engined US - even if they have to co fund it.

You think an EELV-sized solid is a good idea, huh?  Hahaha.  Are you thinking single stick, or multiple pods like Ariane 6 Original?  With side sub-solids to cover the payload range?  What are the vibratory loads at the payload on an EELV-sized solid?  Perhaps it's manageable if you make it four or five stages?  And this is going to be vertically integrated and fly from what pad?  Now I can calibrate your comment about "fiscally competent NSS" as coming from someone with badly cracked and clouded glasses.

Orbital didn't think an EELV-sized solid was a good idea, despite having developed Minotaurs from Minuteman and Peacekeeper motors, and using ATK extensively in its launch vehicles.  Why do you suppose that was?

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/23/2015 09:02 am
...Raptor is not a replacement for the RD-180 nor intended for use in national security launches.

Jeff Thornburg, SpaceX Senior Director, Propulsion Engineering, thinks otherwise.

Quote from: Jeff Thornburg
Raptor could have significant applications for national security space launch, all while significantly advancing U.S. industrial capability and technology with respect to liquid rocket engines. With a highly scalable engine cycle, Raptor's "light and tight" design is built for operational functionality, cost efficiency and long life in high production volume, which makes it ideal for NSS needs.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=47400

Fair enough for the second part, use in national security launches.  But useless in this context.  There's no RD-180 replacement for Raptor without an ALL new launch vehicle.  No such vehicle is under development right now, so this pushes the earliest usefulness of this investment out into the 2020s. (AR-1, in contrast, could presumably use a lightly modified Atlas.  Judging by Orbital-ATK's Antares II mods, it could be done in a year or two.)

How does another SpaceX product help in competition?  Presumably their Falcon series will compete just fine.  By all indications, they will be extremely competitive, perhaps overwhelmingly so.  If USAF spends a lot of money helping them improve their competitive position, that actually harms competition.  I suppose it would fit assured access the way ULA does now, with Atlas and Delta from the same factory and company but different production lines.  It just swaps one monopoly for another.

I find it odd, as well, that SpaceX is so eager to sponge up USAF engine development money for Raptor.  I wonder if they have encountered some tough problems with the injector design for Raptor?  The Merlins all have pintle injectors, right?  So Raptor is stepping into new territory.  And it does seem like they've been fiddling with a vast array of thrust ranges and testing small pieces for a while now.  Diverging or converging?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/23/2015 10:18 am
What does that even mean to you, "govt. picking winners or losers"?  Isn't the govt. picking winners or losers in every contract put out to bid?

To me, the government "picks winners" when it makes specific investments (or asks a contractor to) instead of just purchasing goods and services it needs and letting the private sector choose what investments are appropriate to efficiently meet the government demand. The investment in this case is designing a new engine and the service in question is satellite launch. Picking winners isn't always bad, but is a great source of pork so one should be skeptical. When the government picks winners it should prefer to have the contractor invest a lot of the capital too, which helps align the incentives.

Ok, I see where you are coming from.  The phrase "picking winners" didn't cast much light on it.

I agree in principle that merely purchasing goods and services would be the better option in most situations.  But I don't believe space launch is amenable to such a fine principle just yet.  EELV, Commercial Cargo, Commercial Crew (which have operated closest to this principle; of course SLS, shuttle, and all the prior ELVs were quite far from it) all required investments in development.  Which required picking one or two companies and pumping money into them. 

You know what else distorts markets and drives otherwise well-run companies out of business?  Charity.  Well-meaning disaster relief can decimate local food, clothing, and supply businesses.  And well-meaning billionaires who pump money into their vanity space program company without a thought of interest payments or returns on the investment inside a decade or more horizon can drive out of business even very soberly managed space companies.  And the peanut gallery seems to think billionaire vanity investment is the new normal.  Hmm, maybe it is.  Maybe instead of space tourism, the new space industry is about convincing the ultra rich that owning their own space company is the new yacht, the new status symbol. 

The government, in essence, needs an Assured Engine capability for replacing the RD-180.  BE-4 would be one leg, and AR-1 would be the other.

The government doesn't need a backup for BE-4; all they need is assured access to space. If Vulcan is delayed they have three fallbacks: Atlas, Delta, or Falcon. A SpaceX monopoly would be undesirable but not catastrophic, especially if it's temporary.

Not Atlas; there aren't enough engines even if Vulcan isn't delayed.  Falcon is one part of assured access, but if it's the only part, there's no assured access.  If Delta is the other part, then Vulcan gets pushed back further:  Vulcan's production line and the Delta 4M production line will likely share the same floor space and/or workers in the factory (hence the phasing out of Delta as Vulcan approaches production).  And the more times Delta is used, the more money you might have saved by having an AR-1.


Even if somehow all four launch vehicles become unavailable the DOD could fall back on Antares, SLS, Ariane, or Japan's H-IIB. Of course these vehicles have serious drawbacks but they probably wouldn't be needed and spending a few billion dollars on an unneeded engine and launch vehicle has serious drawbacks too!

No, they can't fall back on these.  And all it takes is another SpaceX launch mishap. 

Spending one billion dollars on an engine of the size and class is not a serious drawback.  A half dozen or more development programs have indicated a large kerolox as the most useful to their purpose while bemoaning the lack of such an option in the US.  It's an opportunity to close a gap.  Atlas V needed an engine like that.  Rocketplane Kistler wanted an engine like that for its K1.  Orbital wanted an engine like that for Antares. 


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But, if BE-4 is delayed or Vulcan itself has problems, AR-1 can reduce the pressure on BE-4 and Vulcan to "hammer to fit, paint to match" and instead spend the time to get it done right.

AR-1 wouldn't take the pressure off BE-4 because one can't easily swap one engine for the other. You'd have to design a new launch vehicle for AR-1 and that takes time and money.


Not swapping AR-1 for BE-4.  AR-1 would go in a slightly modified Atlas.  That's what is meant by "RD-180 replacement."  At least until the Air Force got a hold of it; they'll probably fund pieces/parts development like the decades of kerolox dabbling that piddled away billions without producing a single complete engine. 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/23/2015 11:26 am
Build it and they'll come/use it. Except engines are crafted to specific vehicles, at least the ones that do well. This is more dominate and growing.

Like the Minotaur motors were crafted for them?  Like RL-10 was crafted to a specific vehicle or stage?  Like the RD-170 was crafted for Atlas, or Zenit, or Antares, or Naro, or Angara, or Soyuz 2-1v?  Like the RS-25s were crafted for SLS? 



Only if no one will otherwise design engines.

I used to think "bootstrap". Suggest that all this promotes is non-ideal engines and mediocre businesses. We don't need more of them. We only need the best, and the best closely match the vehicle/need.

The only two businesses designing their own engines were essentially handed large amounts of cash with no need to pay interest and no request for repayment over the next decade.  I think that's unsustainable.  If your market requires that, you'd better hope Bezos and Musk send missionaries from their quasi-religion to proselytize other billionaires, not to their companies but to start independent ones of their own.

Suggest definition of "best" that excludes the engine family with the most design wins (RD-170 family) is a poor definition.



It props up dying businesses at the cost of more optimal ones. Reminds me of keeping alive  state-run "businesses" in former communist countries.

This, I think, is the crux of the most reasonable argument against funding the AR-1, that it props up Aerojet Rocketdyne when it should be left to die. 

But it's not costing Blue Origin (assuming they correspond to your "more optimal ones") anything.  If Blue Origin executes well, it has two design wins, one for ULA's Vulcan and one for its own vehicle.  Hmm, I think this violates your definition of "best" above.

Nor does it really prop up Aerojet Rocketdyne, other than a one-time development contract.  It extends to them the one-time opportunity to show what they can do with funding.  To see any benefit from the development, they have to produce a great new engine.  Is that any different than when the Air Force gave SpaceX a contract to launch a payload when SpaceX hadn't reached orbit yet?

Or the way all other rocket engine suppliers around the world get specified?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 11/23/2015 01:59 pm
Fair enough for the second part, use in national security launches.  But useless in this context.  There's no RD-180 replacement for Raptor without an ALL new launch vehicle.  No such vehicle is under development right now, so this pushes the earliest usefulness of this investment out into the 2020s.

According to ULA, an AR-1-engined Atlas is in the 2020s too.

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How does another SpaceX product help in competition?

It looks like the marketplace is indicating that an AR-1 is not a competitive solution.  Even if it existed, it would not help in the competition.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deltaV on 11/23/2015 02:25 pm
First, the existing engine does not have experimental work to do, so it will usually win bids;  This is a recipe for never moving forward technologically.

That concern is logical but isn't supported by history.

Governments have used government-led launch vehicles R&D for decades, which produced good results through Apollo but with relatively little progress since then. Engine technology has developed so slowly that decades-old designs such as the F-1, SSME, and NK-33 are still useful. The high inflation rate in NASA's "new start index" is also evidence of slow technological progress; if the space sector was innovating at the same rate as other sectors it would have a more normal inflation rate.

The companies that have goals other than being a federal contractor are innovating by trying prove the common wisdom wrong about what the right way to build a launcher is. SpaceX and Blue Origin are using methane. Virgin Galactic is using hybrids. Stratolaunch and Virgin Galactic are using air launch. Virgin Galactic and XCOR are making reusable sub-orbital rocket airplanes. SpaceX is using redundant commodity computers instead of expensive space-hardened ones. SpaceX is trying to reuse a liquid first stage. SpaceX has a launch vehicle with more engines that usual (27). Of course most of these technologies were proven possible decades before during government programs, but making them practical is important innovation too. The majority of these projects will fail, but that's inherent with innovation.

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Second, cost overruns do not magically go away when they're not explicit parts of a contract.  So long as the government is the sole monopsonist buyer, firms will factor in the odds of cost overrun and loss before bidding, and if their bid turns out to be over-optimistic, may elect to shut down development anyway until they get the chance to submit a higher bid in the next competition.

That's what contract cancellation penalties are for.

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A healthy market requires multiple surviving sellers, multiple surviving buyers, low barriers to entry & lack of lock-in, and a functional way to predict and compare options.  You cannot create a healthy market simply by shifting development costs to the private sector.

If the DOD were the only purchaser of launches then the market would be very unhealthy and shifting development costs would indeed be questionable. However that's not the case; there's a broader market in launch services open to US firms, which has many buyers (e.g. DOD, NASA, telecommunications companies, and countries without their own launchers) and many sellers (e.g. SpaceX, ULA, Orbital, Stratolaunch). Low barriers to entry are helpful but not essential; for example airplane manufacturing has barriers to entry similar to rocket launch and is pretty healthy. Rocket launch need not have excessive vendor lock-in if competition is continuous instead of limited to the PowerPoint stage of the project.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 11/23/2015 06:13 pm
...Raptor is not a replacement for the RD-180 nor intended for use in national security launches.

Jeff Thornburg, SpaceX Senior Director, Propulsion Engineering, thinks otherwise.

Quote from: Jeff Thornburg
Raptor could have significant applications for national security space launch, all while significantly advancing U.S. industrial capability and technology with respect to liquid rocket engines. With a highly scalable engine cycle, Raptor's "light and tight" design is built for operational functionality, cost efficiency and long life in high production volume, which makes it ideal for NSS needs.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=47400

Fair enough for the second part, use in national security launches.  But useless in this context.  There's no RD-180 replacement for Raptor without an ALL new launch vehicle.  No such vehicle is under development right now, so this pushes the earliest usefulness of this investment out into the 2020s. (AR-1, in contrast, could presumably use a lightly modified Atlas.  Judging by Orbital-ATK's Antares II mods, it could be done in a year or two.)

How does another SpaceX product help in competition?  Presumably their Falcon series will compete just fine.  By all indications, they will be extremely competitive, perhaps overwhelmingly so.  If USAF spends a lot of money helping them improve their competitive position, that actually harms competition.  I suppose it would fit assured access the way ULA does now, with Atlas and Delta from the same factory and company but different production lines.  It just swaps one monopoly for another.

I find it odd, as well, that SpaceX is so eager to sponge up USAF engine development money for Raptor.  I wonder if they have encountered some tough problems with the injector design for Raptor?  The Merlins all have pintle injectors, right?  So Raptor is stepping into new territory.  And it does seem like they've been fiddling with a vast array of thrust ranges and testing small pieces for a while now.  Diverging or converging?

The purpose of competition is to lower the cost to the taxpayers.  If SpaceX has two systems that each beat whomever is the next best cost competitor, then redundancy is assured without paying the high price of keeping a non-cost competitive vehicle in the mix.  An example is FH plus Raptor based heavy allowing retirement of the Delta IV Heavy (which will be costing a $Billion a pop -- for 'redundancy').

Also, if SpaceX is so eager to sponge up USG funds, why did they choose to non-bid this program?

Reference, please, for your innuendo that they are having 'tough problems' with Raptor and 'diverging-converging' question.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 11/23/2015 09:12 pm

The purpose of competition is to lower the cost to the taxpayers.  If SpaceX has two systems that each beat whomever is the next best cost competitor, then redundancy is assured without paying the high price of keeping a non-cost competitive vehicle in the mix.  An example is FH plus Raptor based heavy allowing retirement of the Delta IV Heavy (which will be costing a $Billion a pop -- for 'redundancy').


Wrong, that is not redundancy and it is far from assured.  Both would have the same avionics and using the same manufacturing and engineering processes.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 11/23/2015 09:58 pm
...Raptor is not a replacement for the RD-180 nor intended for use in national security launches.

Jeff Thornburg, SpaceX Senior Director, Propulsion Engineering, thinks otherwise.

Quote from: Jeff Thornburg
Raptor could have significant applications for national security space launch, all while significantly advancing U.S. industrial capability and technology with respect to liquid rocket engines. With a highly scalable engine cycle, Raptor's "light and tight" design is built for operational functionality, cost efficiency and long life in high production volume, which makes it ideal for NSS needs.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=47400

Fair enough for the second part, use in national security launches.  But useless in this context.  There's no RD-180 replacement for Raptor without an ALL new launch vehicle.  No such vehicle is under development right now, so this pushes the earliest usefulness of this investment out into the 2020s. (AR-1, in contrast, could presumably use a lightly modified Atlas.  Judging by Orbital-ATK's Antares II mods, it could be done in a year or two.)

How does another SpaceX product help in competition?  Presumably their Falcon series will compete just fine.  By all indications, they will be extremely competitive, perhaps overwhelmingly so.  If USAF spends a lot of money helping them improve their competitive position, that actually harms competition.  I suppose it would fit assured access the way ULA does now, with Atlas and Delta from the same factory and company but different production lines.  It just swaps one monopoly for another.

I find it odd, as well, that SpaceX is so eager to sponge up USAF engine development money for Raptor.  I wonder if they have encountered some tough problems with the injector design for Raptor?  The Merlins all have pintle injectors, right?  So Raptor is stepping into new territory.  And it does seem like they've been fiddling with a vast array of thrust ranges and testing small pieces for a while now.  Diverging or converging?

The purpose of competition is to lower the cost to the taxpayers.  If SpaceX has two systems that each beat whomever is the next best cost competitor, then redundancy is assured without paying the high price of keeping a non-cost competitive vehicle in the mix.  An example is FH plus Raptor based heavy allowing retirement of the Delta IV Heavy (which will be costing a $Billion a pop -- for 'redundancy').

Also, if SpaceX is so eager to sponge up USG funds, why did they choose to non-bid this program?

Reference, please, for your innuendo that they are having 'tough problems' with Raptor and 'diverging-converging' question.

your also missing the big point that of selling the engines to others.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Kansan52 on 11/23/2015 10:49 pm
According to ULA, an AR-1-engined Atlas is in the 2020s too.

What does AJR say when Atlas/AR-1 could fly? The reason for the question, PR quotes are often worst case or fabricated numbers to support a company's position.

I don't believe anyone will give AJR any money for the AR-1. But if we are going down the SF/what-if road, we know AJR has done some of the preliminary work. Congress gives them the money and no major problems, when can they be ready?

Now, a caveat, I think it is more likely that Congress lifts the RD-180 ban then give AJR money for the AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/23/2015 11:21 pm
Fair enough for the second part, use in national security launches.  But useless in this context.  There's no RD-180 replacement for Raptor without an ALL new launch vehicle.  No such vehicle is under development right now, so this pushes the earliest usefulness of this investment out into the 2020s.

According to ULA, an AR-1-engined Atlas is in the 2020s too.

Do you have a citation for that?  ULA may assume a late date for AR-1 availability, and may also be referring to an EELV-certification date after completing several successful launches.

At any rate, STILL USELESS to talk about Raptor in this context.  It props up the other leg of assured access, which wasn't in question.  It is a methalox, so it requires a completely new launch vehicle.  It IS an extremely flexible design, with thrust specs all over the map.  Paper rocket engines have that capability, but real rocket engines have to be specific.  I don't see any indication SpaceX is offering Raptor for sale to other launch vehicle companies, so it doesn't contribute to competition.


Quote
How does another SpaceX product help in competition?

It looks like the marketplace is indicating that an AR-1 is not a competitive solution.  Even if it existed, it would not help in the competition.

No, the only criteria ULA is evaluating is the availability date (because that's really the most concrete number available).  And balking at the cost and time of a kerolox development program.  That is the same short-term thinking that led the half-dozen or more other programs to other expedient solutions.  How many times do we have to revisit this and say, it looks like the kerolox was the best trade, sure do wish we had an American kerolox engine we could buy, look at how that one Russian kerolox family has been useful enough for at least seven design wins (really many more I think), sure would be nice to have a commercially available kerolox? 

I'm not knocking ULA here; their decision makes sense given the pressure they are under.  I'm knocking the US government, whose various agencies have stubbed their toes on this issue so many times over the decades, but which still can't work itself up to address the problem. 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 11/24/2015 12:08 am
AJR just got their contract with NASA

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31740.msg1448620#msg1448620

the more shocking is this poor article

NASA paying $1.16 billion so Aerojet Rocketdyne can start making engines for Mars
http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/23/9788808/nasa-aerojet-rocketdyne-mars-engines-contract-awarded
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: joek on 11/24/2015 12:39 am
According to ULA, an AR-1-engined Atlas is in the 2020s too.
Do you have a citation for that?  ULA may assume a late date for AR-1 availability, and may also be referring to an EELV-certification date after completing several successful launches.

In April AJR said AR-1 available in 2018 was "within the realm of reason"".  Bruno called that "ridiculous".  The USAF had reportedly been told 2019. cite (http://aviationweek.com/defense/ula-ceo-calls-2018-availability-date-ar-1-engine-ridiculous)  In September AJR said 2019, but that the date could slip if it does not receive enough U.S. government funding. cite (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/16/us-aerojetrocketdyne-engine-idUSKCN0RG03C20150916)

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No, the only criteria ULA is evaluating is the availability date (because that's really the most concrete number available).  And balking at the cost and time of a kerolox development program.  That is the same short-term thinking that led the half-dozen or more other programs to other expedient solutions.

ULA is undoubtedly also considering the future market for their engine choice.  Ending up as a sole user is unlikely to engender comfort or confidence, especially when that future means competition, not simply passing supplier costs on to the customer, knowing that the customer will buy at whatever cost.  If there is a credible market for AR-1 beyond ULA, what is it?  And if it exists, why isn't AJR willing to make the investment?

Quote
I'm not knocking ULA here; their decision makes sense given the pressure they are under.  I'm knocking the US government, whose various agencies have stubbed their toes on this issue so many times over the decades, but which still can't work itself up to address the problem.

That's a bit premature.  Bruno has stated that they will make a decision next year.  Bruno stated BE-4 is Plan A as it is farther ahead (and has funding); AR-1 is Plan B as it is behind and appears to be dependent on USG funding, which has not been sufficient.

If USG funding comes through and allows AJR to deliver AR-1 in a timely manner, ULA is certain to consider it.  I'm also certain ULA has told AJR: you want to provide a solution, then by all means--but don't look to us to help fund it.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/24/2015 01:20 am
If I was somehow in charge of sending money to AJR for assured access, preserving the industrial base, etc., at this point I'd direct them to build a BE-4 replacement.

This would serve as backup to BE-4, which has a development team that has not done an engine of this size.  Also, it might offer higher performance, since IIRC, the BE-4 is pretty conservative, performance-wise.  And when you are done you have two commercially available, same fuel, engines of the same size.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/24/2015 03:15 am

If I was somehow in charge of sending money to AJR for assured access, preserving the industrial base, etc., at this point I'd direct them to build a BE-4 replacement.

This would serve as backup to BE-4, which has a development team that has not done an engine of this size.  Also, it might offer higher performance, since IIRC, the BE-4 is pretty conservative, performance-wise.  And when you are done you have two commercially available, same fuel, engines of the same size.

Sounds pretty reasonable.  It has the advantage that Vulcan's design can be adjusted to slight changes in performance specs more easily than Atlas.  And, as you say, hitting BE-4's target is much easier than RD-180's, and maybe the relaxed performance requirement is critical to lowering cost and meeting re-use criteria.

My only reservation (a very small one) is whether methalox is equally as competitive as kerolox.  The two companies pushing methalox designs toward production are driven by their billionaires' Mars ambitions and ISRU possibilities, yada yada.  But it's not clear that logic train really applies to a commercial vehicle's first stage which does not even make it to LEO.

To illustrate this point, I don't think a backup project to Rocketdyne's RS-68 would have fared much better.  I think the concept of "low cost hydrolox" simply isn't cost-competitive in a first stage with kerolox alternatives.  (Not just the engine cost, of course, the total system cost of hydrogen.) 

Methane doesn't have that problem, but I don't have a feel for what its foibles are, and what designing for it requires, and how that stacks up in system cost.

Is BE-4 commercially available?  It's going to be co-produced by ULA and Blue; would they sell to anyone else?  I suppose Boeing and LM might get access.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: joek on 11/24/2015 04:29 am
Is BE-4 commercially available?  It's going to be co-produced by ULA and Blue; would they sell to anyone else?  I suppose Boeing and LM might get access.

In 2014 Bezos stated that BE-4 will be commercially available "to other companies" (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2605/1), although there are no recent statements to that effect.  Why would Boeing or LM need or want access to BE-4?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: a_langwich on 11/24/2015 04:40 am
Is BE-4 commercially available?  It's going to be co-produced by ULA and Blue; would they sell to anyone else?  I suppose Boeing and LM might get access.

In 2014 Bezos stated that BE-4 will be commercially available "to other companies" (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2605/1), although there are no recent statements to that effect.  Why would Boeing or LM need or want access to BE-4?

For a liquid booster design for SLS, perhaps.

2014?  That was before he signed the agreement to co-produce it with ULA?  Maybe ULA was the "other companies" he had in mind.  :)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: joek on 11/24/2015 04:57 am
2014?  That was before he signed the agreement to co-produce it with ULA?  Maybe ULA was the "other companies" he had in mind.  :)

No.  It was at the BO-ULA joint announcement in September 2014.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 11/24/2015 09:56 pm

The purpose of competition is to lower the cost to the taxpayers.  If SpaceX has two systems that each beat whomever is the next best cost competitor, then redundancy is assured without paying the high price of keeping a non-cost competitive vehicle in the mix.  An example is FH plus Raptor based heavy allowing retirement of the Delta IV Heavy (which will be costing a $Billion a pop -- for 'redundancy').


Wrong, that is not redundancy and it is far from assured.  Both would have the same avionics and using the same manufacturing and engineering processes.

You mean like the common avionics and all that drum beating you've been doing for years for ULA?  'Cost reduction' I think it was... Haven't heard much of that boom, boom, boom, business as usual drumbeat lately...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 11/24/2015 11:39 pm
You mean like the common avionics and all that drum beating you've been doing for years for ULA?  'Cost reduction' I think it was... Haven't heard much of that boom, boom, boom, business as usual drumbeat lately...

Don't need to.  It is in place and working (costs coming down).  But again, you have drawn another wrong conclusion.  The advent of Falcon 9 eliminated the need for Atlas and Delta to have dissimilar systems.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deltaV on 11/25/2015 04:19 am
This, I think, is the crux of the most reasonable argument against funding the AR-1, that it props up Aerojet Rocketdyne when it should be left to die. 

But it's not costing Blue Origin (assuming they correspond to your "more optimal ones") anything.

There is an opportunity cost, i.e. the money spent on AJR could be spent instead in ways that help Blue. Or it could be spent to reduce taxes on everybody, or a thousand other things. Money isn't free just because it's federal.

Quote
Nor does it really prop up Aerojet Rocketdyne, other than a one-time development contract.  It extends to them the one-time opportunity to show what they can do with funding.  To see any benefit from the development, they have to produce a great new engine.

AJR has had plenty of opportunities over the past few decades to develop new launch vehicle engines, e.g. SSME, RS-68 and J-2X. None were cost effective. Of course those were all hydrogen engines so maybe AJR could develop a cost-effective kerosene engine, but I doubt it. My hunch isn't worth much but many knowledgeable companies have recently chosen an inexperienced engine supplier or vertical integration over AJR, including SpaceX, ULA, XCOR, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic.

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Is that any different than when the Air Force gave SpaceX a contract to launch a payload when SpaceX hadn't reached orbit yet?

The difference is that the early SpaceX contracts were quite small. SpaceX only got contracts measured in billions once they'd demonstrated proficiency in cost-effective development. AJR has demonstrated the opposite of proficiency in cost-effective development.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/25/2015 07:27 am
I found it very telling that when ULA were looking for a company to do a new engine for the Centaur (or it's successor) and Rocketdyne was owned by Boeing they decided to not use them despite all their LH2 and engine build experience and being part of the same corporation.

Personally I'm sure that over the years AJH has worked out lots of ways to lower the cost of an RL10, and at some level people realize it's got to get cheaper, but they just can't seem to get over the desire to demand every single cent up front before doing so.

Instead ULA went with XCOR, who (AFAIK) had no LH2 experience at that time but were committed

Now it looks like ULA will have 3 options for it's Vulcan upper stage and I don't think the RL10 is quite the dead certainty it was.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 11/25/2015 07:35 am
The advent of Falcon 9 eliminated the need for Atlas and Delta to have dissimilar systems.

Gosh Jim... You almost make it sound like the advent of Falcon 9 is directly responsible for the common avionics and common upper stage efforts at ULA.
It isn't. Common avionics was in works at ULA long before Falcon 9 performed it's first launch. The same applies to the common upper stage. And I don't need to point out that before Falcon 9 nobody at ULA took SpaceX seriously. Let alone that two moderately successfull launches of Falcon 1 spurred the 'common' activities at ULA.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 11/25/2015 01:49 pm
I found it very telling that when ULA were looking for a company to do a new engine for the Centaur (or it's successor) and Rocketdyne was owned by Boeing they decided to not use them despite all their LH2 and engine build experience and being part of the same corporation.


Incorrect.  Boeing sold Rocketdyne (2005) before ULA (2006) was formed.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deltaV on 11/25/2015 02:56 pm
I found it very telling that when ULA were looking for a company to do a new engine for the Centaur (or it's successor) and Rocketdyne was owned by Boeing they decided to not use them despite all their LH2 and engine build experience and being part of the same corporation.

I actually find that the least telling of the various cases when people recently chose non-AJR engines. It's natural for ULA to put a little money into exploring alternatives even if they think AJR is most likely the best choice. Even if they're almost certain they'll go with AJR it may make sense to pretend otherwise so they can drive a harder bargain with AJR. It's only telling IMHO when there's an unambiguous front-runner that isn't AJR. That has happened already for ULA's next booster engine but not yet for their upper stage.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 11/25/2015 04:37 pm
I found it very telling that when ULA were looking for a company to do a new engine for the Centaur (or it's successor) and Rocketdyne was owned by Boeing they decided to not use them despite all their LH2 and engine build experience and being part of the same corporation.

I actually find that the least telling of the various cases when people recently chose non-AJR engines. It's natural for ULA to put a little money into exploring alternatives even if they think AJR is most likely the best choice. Even if they're almost certain they'll go with AJR it may make sense to pretend otherwise so they can drive a harder bargain with AJR. It's only telling IMHO when there's an unambiguous front-runner that isn't AJR. That has happened already for ULA's next booster engine but not yet for their upper stage.

Maybe this new technology for which they're getting paid $1.16B will boost their competitiveness:

NASA Awards Contract to Restart Development of Engines to Power Agency’s Journey to Mars
Release C15-049 - November 23, 2015 - Sarah Ramsey

NASA selected Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, and deliver a certified engine.
<snip>
Under the $1.16 billion contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will modernize the space shuttle heritage engine to make it more affordable and expendable for SLS. The contract runs November 2015 and continues through Sept. 30, 2024.
<snip>

 :(
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deltaV on 11/26/2015 06:55 pm
To me, the government "picks winners" when it makes specific investments (or asks a contractor to) instead of just purchasing goods and services it needs and letting the private sector choose what investments are appropriate to efficiently meet the government demand.

Ok, I see where you are coming from.  The phrase "picking winners" didn't cast much light on it.

I agree the terminology is bad, but then again terminology usually is.

Quote
I agree in principle that merely purchasing goods and services would be the better option in most situations.  But I don't believe space launch is amenable to such a fine principle just yet.  EELV, Commercial Cargo, Commercial Crew (which have operated closest to this principle; of course SLS, shuttle, and all the prior ELVs were quite far from it) all required investments in development.  Which required picking one or two companies and pumping money into them. 

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Spending one billion dollars on an engine of the size and class is not a serious drawback.  A half dozen or more development programs have indicated a large kerolox as the most useful to their purpose while bemoaning the lack of such an option in the US.  It's an opportunity to close a gap.  Atlas V needed an engine like that.  Rocketplane Kistler wanted an engine like that for its K1.  Orbital wanted an engine like that for Antares. 

Pumping development money into a few companies is reasonable if the needed services would not be available absent government intervention. That was the case for the programs you listed but is not the case for AR-1 development because we already have two hydrocarbon engine development projects, namely SpaceX's Raptor and Blue Origin/ULA's BE4. AFAICT the difference between methane and kerosene is insufficient to justify the expense of designing a new kerosene engine. The paper http://www.dlr.de/Portaldata/55/Resources/dokumente/sart/0095-0212prop.pdf gives designs for a flyback booster using methane or kerosene and the methane configuration has a roughly 10% higher dry mass than a kerosene one for the same payload. In the conclusions the authors say they expect similar results for other configurations such as expendable boosters. Therefore for an expendable booster kerosene is expected to have a small cost edge from the reduced dry mass, but for reusables it's less clear because methane has less coking and sooting problems. SpaceX and Blue Origin have presumably done the trades and concluded that either the coking advantages make up for the higher dry mass or it's about the same and methane is preferred for Mars ISRU reasons. In any event it seems that kerosene's advantages, if any, are fairly small, even for expendables.

Also optimum reusable engine design presumably differs somewhat from optimum expendable engine design and the difference is likely to grow once there's enough demand for reusable engines to justify serious reusable engine R&D. If SpaceX or Blue Origin succeed at reducing costs using reusability then first-stage engines not designed for reusability are likely to become obsolete. After Vulcan, BFR and SLS come online circa 2020 there may not be any new US large launch vehicle designs for decades, so there's a big chance that AJ-1 would be obsolete before it's ever used.

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You know what else distorts markets and drives otherwise well-run companies out of business?  Charity.  Well-meaning disaster relief can decimate local food, clothing, and supply businesses.  And well-meaning billionaires who pump money into their vanity space program company without a thought of interest payments or returns on the investment inside a decade or more horizon can drive out of business even very soberly managed space companies.  And the peanut gallery seems to think billionaire vanity investment is the new normal.  Hmm, maybe it is.  Maybe instead of space tourism, the new space industry is about convincing the ultra rich that owning their own space company is the new yacht, the new status symbol.

Interesting point but I don't think the analogy is valid. Traditional food charity is problematic because the charities eventually switch to aiding another country, leaving the previous recipients without any source of food since the local businesses were driven out of business by the charity. When the billionaires lose interest in spaceflight (or die) the space businesses they started won't disappear or move to another country. They'll just have to raise prices a bit. This would leave us no worse off then if the billionaires never got interested in space in the first place.

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Not swapping AR-1 for BE-4.  AR-1 would go in a slightly modified Atlas.

If it was that easy ULA would presumably have baselined AR-1 instead of BE-4 to save the costs of developing a new launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: rcoppola on 12/08/2015 06:28 pm
So...is this another J2x project? What happens when 2019 rolls around and nobody needs this engine? I suppose you can make the argument that the USAF is just making sure they have a back-up plan...or not...

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-aerojetrocketdyne-engine-idUSKBN0TR01Q20151208
 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ethan829 on 12/08/2015 08:08 pm
So...is this another J2x project? What happens when 2019 rolls around and nobody needs this engine? I suppose you can make the argument that the USAF is just making sure they have a back-up plan...or not...

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-aerojetrocketdyne-engine-idUSKBN0TR01Q20151208 (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-aerojetrocketdyne-engine-idUSKBN0TR01Q20151208)


AJRD is certainly trying as hard as they can to prevent that:


http://launchar1.com/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 12/09/2015 08:41 am
I'm not really informed, but my opinion iss that AR should focus on making the RS-68B(delta IV engine) affordable instead of developing a new LOx-RP-1 engine (AR-1). If I'm not mistaken, the RS-68 engines are what makes the Delta IV(H) so expensive. If AR would push ULA to ditch the Atlas5, and go only with delta IV (with the Centaur and later ACES second stage) they could make a solid business case for producing the RS-68 affordable.

A lot of new production technologies have been developed the last decade, I would not be surprised it these technologies together with higher production rates could half the  engine production cost. By making the DeltaIV-M affordable, the Delta IVH would also become cheaper (3x a cheaper engine). This small investment on RS-68 could even destroy the business case for the Vulcan rocket.
Do I overlook something with makes the Delta IV always expensive (launch infrastructure would become less of a burdain with a higher launch rate), or is there another reason why Atlas V (it's successor) is favored over Delta IV?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 12/09/2015 12:51 pm

Do I overlook something with makes the Delta IV always expensive (launch infrastructure would become less of a burdain with a higher launch rate), or is there another reason why Atlas V (it's successor) is favored over Delta IV?

Larger vehicle, LH2 infrastructure and easier operations.   Also, Atlas is just a better vehicle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 12/09/2015 01:21 pm

Larger vehicle, LH2 infrastructure and easier operations.   Also, Atlas is just a better vehicle
Larger Vehicle
Vulcan is going to use the Delta IV tooling right so 5,1m; 16.4ft diameter, length of delta IV is longer than Vulcan because LH2 has a low density thus it needs a large volume, LCH4/LNG is denser and RP-1 even more resulting in shorter stages. So only larger by length right?

LH2 Infrastructure
All the planned upper-stages (DCSS, Centaur and ACES [RL-10; BE-3]) use LOx and LH2. So LH2 needs to be handled anyway. Isn't it easier and cheaper to handle two instead of three propellant types? Also when LH2 is more expensive than RP-1 or LNG.

Easier operations
Is this because the Atlas V ground facilities are more flexible/ easier to operate than Delta IV's facilities? What would happen if Delta IV is processed on Atlas V facilities (about the same modification as for Vulcan). Is it than still more difficult ore would it be the same?

Can you explain why Atlas V is 'just a better vehicle' than Delta IV?
Can ULA launch better with Atlas V because they have more experience. Or is it vehicle related, i.a. trust range, maneuverability, better architecture (how the solids are integrated), better upper-stage, I don't know?
What is different about Vulcan that makes it better than Delta IV, an can these improvement be implemented on Delta IV?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 12/09/2015 01:39 pm
1.  Was only talking about Atlas vs Delta.  Vulcan is a different matter.

2.  Atlas LH2 infrastructure is much smaller. 

3. Vulcan is going to use all the Atlas infrastructure.  So that is a clue.   Delta still has the drawbacks of a large LH2 vehicle (insulation, haz gas, etc)

4.  The Atlas core doesn't need reconfiguring for solids.   It has better infrastructure (see #3).   The improvements to Delta IV to make better actually make it into Vulcan.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 12/09/2015 02:57 pm
I'm not really informed, but my opinion iss that AR should focus on making the RS-68B(delta IV engine) affordable instead of developing a new LOx-RP-1 engine (AR-1). If I'm not mistaken, the RS-68 engines are what makes the Delta IV(H) so expensive. If AR would push ULA to ditch the Atlas5, and go only with delta IV (with the Centaur and later ACES second stage) they could make a solid business case for producing the RS-68 affordable.

A lot of new production technologies have been developed the last decade, I would not be surprised it these technologies together with higher production rates could half the  engine production cost. By making the DeltaIV-M affordable, the Delta IVH would also become cheaper (3x a cheaper engine). This small investment on RS-68 could even destroy the business case for the Vulcan rocket.
Do I overlook something with makes the Delta IV always expensive (launch infrastructure would become less of a burdain with a higher launch rate), or is there another reason why Atlas V (it's successor) is favored over Delta IV?

This is a water over the bridge type of conversation.  Yes AJR could have done this about a year ago when ULA was going into a new direction.  Internally, there is nothing "inside" AJR preventing them from investing their own money into cost reducing the RS-68.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: WindnWar on 12/09/2015 09:54 pm
I think AJR was hoping that when the RS-68 was being considered for SLS that they would be able to get any upgrades for it paid for via the requirements NASA would have, mainly that they would likely need a regen nozzle to survive the base heating as well as to improve performance. Once things switched to RS-25 instead, any hopes of funds to pay for that went away and they haven't seemed very interested in spending their own money on engine programs.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Prober on 12/18/2015 03:16 am
This just hit the news

Is this even possible?

US alternative to banned Russian rocket engine passes critical review
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/us-alternative-banned-russian-rocket-220557287.html

"Engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne announced today that its AR1 engine, which its building for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) — the military’s primary launch provider — has passed a major critical design review. "

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/18/2015 03:34 am
Is this even possible?

US alternative to banned Russian rocket engine passes critical review
Sure.  ULA has been funding part of this effort for awhile, along with BE-4. 
http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-successfully-completes-major-design-milestone-ar1-engine-meet-2019

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Dante80 on 12/18/2015 04:03 am
I think they are posturing to take some money from the USAF contract (now that the new bill shows a lot more money embedded to it).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: sdsds on 12/18/2015 04:12 am
Wait. There are some engine pieces missing in the new image. Where did that big thing that looked like the pre-combustor go? Or was that turbopumps that are now turned sideways, and the pre-combustion chambers are the things with two black top hats?

For comparison, here is an image from Sep 30, 2014:
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: okan170 on 12/18/2015 04:48 am
Quote from: Yahoo News Headline
"Engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne announced today that its AR1 engine, which its building for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) — the military’s primary launch provider — has passed a major critical design review. "

I wonder if thats a wording error on Yahoo's part, the SpaceNews article states that it has passed what would be similar to a Preliminary Design Review.

http://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-finishes-design-review-on-proposed-rd-180-replacement/

Nice to see AR-1 progressing well!
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Kabloona on 12/18/2015 04:40 pm
Is this even possible?

US alternative to banned Russian rocket engine passes critical review
Sure.  ULA has been funding part of this effort for awhile, along with BE-4. 
http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-successfully-completes-major-design-milestone-ar1-engine-meet-2019

 - Ed Kyle

I believe Prober's incredulity comes from the word "critical". But it's not a "critical design review" (CDR). It's at best a "preliminary design review." (PDR).

So, to answer the real question, no, it's not possible that AR1 has completed CDR.

Unfortunately some "content provider" seem to have thrown the word "critical" into the soup without understanding what a "critical design review" actually is.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: jongoff on 12/18/2015 09:30 pm
Is this even possible?

US alternative to banned Russian rocket engine passes critical review
Sure.  ULA has been funding part of this effort for awhile, along with BE-4. 
http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-successfully-completes-major-design-milestone-ar1-engine-meet-2019

 - Ed Kyle

I believe Prober's incredulity comes from the word "critical". But it's not a "critical design review" (CDR). It's at best a "preliminary design review." (PDR).

So, to answer the real question, no, it's not possible that AR1 has completed CDR.

Unfortunately some "content provider" seem to have thrown the word "critical" into the soup without understanding what a "critical design review" actually is.

Yeah, the fact that they made it very unclear which design review it was is probably a sign that it's not as impressive as their PR was trying to make it sound.

~Jon
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/02/2016 11:03 pm
The USAF has awarded funding to AJR for AR-1 development for Vulcan, and also to ULA for Vulcan BE-4 and ACES development.

Contract announcement:
http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/682238

SpaceNews coverage:
http://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-ula-win-air-force-propulsion-contracts/

For those who don't want to scroll through all the Navy contracts at the top of the page :)

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, California, has been awarded a $115,312,613 other transaction agreement for the development of the AR1 rocket propulsion system prototype for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. This agreement implements Section 1604 of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the development of a next-generation rocket propulsion system that will transition away from the use of the Russian supplied RD-180 engine to a domestic alternative for National Security Space launches. An other transaction agreement was used in lieu of a standard procurement contract in order to leverage ongoing investment by industry in rocket propulsion systems. This other transaction agreement requires shared cost investment with Aerojet Rocketdyne for the development of a prototype of the AR1 engine, a booster stage engine intended for use on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle. The locations of performance are Canoga Park, California; Sacramento, California; Centennial, Colorado; Huntsville, Alabama; Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. The work is expected to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2019. Air Force fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $52,200,000; and Air Force fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $63,112,613 are being obligated at the time of award.  Aerojet Rocketdyne is contributing $57,656,307 at the time of award. The total potential government investment, including all options, is $536,029,652. The total potential investment by Aerojet Rocketdyne, including all options, is $268,014,826. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with multiple offers received. The Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity (FA8811-16-9-0003).

AJR told SpaceNews that two other unnamed providers are interested in AR-1, and that USAF could fund the out-years of the AR-1 contract even if ULA selects BE4 for Vulcan.  (Of course, USAF is also free to not fund the out-years.)

http://spacenews.com/air-force-could-fund-aerojet-rocketdyne-engine-even-if-ula-doesnt-use-it/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/08/2016 02:46 pm
Looks like the lion's share of AR1 development will be funded by government.


http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/03/07/ulas-candidates-to-replace-rd-180-engine-win-air-force-funding/


Pending reviews and a government decision to continue support for the AR1 engine program, the agreement announced Feb. 29 has a maximum value of $804 million — with $536 million from the Air Force and $236 million from Aerojet Rocketdyne and ULA, the statement said.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/08/2016 04:38 pm
Looks like the lion's share of AR1 development will be funded by government.


http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/03/07/ulas-candidates-to-replace-rd-180-engine-win-air-force-funding/


Pending reviews and a government decision to continue support for the AR1 engine program, the agreement announced Feb. 29 has a maximum value of $804 million — with $536 million from the Air Force and $236 million from Aerojet Rocketdyne and ULA, the statement said.

SFN is a little confused in that quote.  The maximum AJR investment, from the reply directly above, is $268M, not $236M. 

Both the obligated funds for FY15/16 and the option years are at a 2:1 USAF:AJR ratio.  (The ULA contract awarded the same day for BE4 and ACES is at a slightly lower ratio, about 60:40.)

The source for that SFN article appears to be the following press release:
Aerojet Rocketdyne, ULA Announce Public-Private Partnership With USAF to Develop RD-180 Replacement Engine

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Air Force selected Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to share in a public-private partnership to develop jointly the AR1 engine - an American-made rocket propulsion system.

http://rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-ula-announce-public-private-partnership-usaf-develop-rd-180-replacement
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/08/2016 07:18 pm
Between government and ULA fund it may only cost Aerojet a $200-300M. Of course they still need to find it a LV.
 
The development of AR1 also helps Aerojet maintain its skilled work force. There have be a few losses to New Space companies.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 04/13/2016 07:08 am
Another sales pitch...

http://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-pitches-ar1-as-the-only-direct-replacement-for-rd-180/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: .gif on 04/14/2016 04:47 am
Another sales pitch...

http://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-pitches-ar1-as-the-only-direct-replacement-for-rd-180/
Unless it is an identical clone of the RD-180, it is not a direct replacement.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 04/14/2016 08:56 am
Another sales pitch...

http://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-pitches-ar1-as-the-only-direct-replacement-for-rd-180/ (http://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-pitches-ar1-as-the-only-direct-replacement-for-rd-180/)
Unless it is an identical clone of the RD-180, it is not a direct replacement.
Exactly. That's why I stated it was a sales pitch. IMO Aerojet-Rocketdyne d*mn well knows that AR-1 is not a drop-in replacement for RD-180. But IMO that's how they need to 'sell' it to even remotely stand the chance of getting the folks in US Congress to adopt AR-1, in stead of Vulcan/BE-4.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: .gif on 04/14/2016 05:21 pm
I think the sales pitch has worked with Mike Rogers.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/30/2017 08:40 pm
BUMP and Discuss the following:

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings
Jan 30, 2017

Aerojet Rocketdyne Continues Southeast Expansion - AR1 Engine Production to Add 100 New Jobs in Huntsville

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), announced it is moving forward with plans to produce America's newest advanced rocket engine, the AR1, in Huntsville, Alabama, resulting in the creation of 100 new jobs. AR1 is the latest engine in development by Aerojet Rocketdyne, America's premier large liquid rocket engine manufacturer.

"Our world-class workforce is very excited to rapidly bring the AR1 engine into production - it will support the Trump administration's efforts to make our military strong again," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. "The AR1 rocket engine is crucial to ensuring America's assured access to space and making U.S. launch vehicles competitive across the globe."

The AR1 is being developed to provide the United States with a new, world-competitive, state-of-the-art engine for launch vehicles and will end American dependency on Russian engines for national security and civil space launches. The company is currently developing and testing AR1 engine systems and is on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 to meet the congressionally-mandated deadline to end U.S. dependence on foreign engine suppliers.

"Given the top-tier talent at the University of Alabama in Huntsville's Propulsion Research Center, the exceptional level of rocket engine expertise at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and at our teammate, Dynetics, and in the local community, Huntsville is the logical choice to locate the new production work on the AR1 engine," added Drake.

Aerojet Rocketdyne's latest Southeast expansion is the third such announcement within the last year. Recently, the company announced the establishment of its Defense Business Unit headquarters and the relocation of its Rocket Shop℠ Defense Advanced Programs division to the "Rocket City." Additionally, the company is expanding its presence at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to accommodate final assembly and hot fire testing of AR1 as well as assembly and hot fire testing of the RS-25 rocket engine that will power NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) beginning in 2018. The RS-25 is a highly reliable engine that produces more than 500,000 pounds of thrust and can be used to power single or multiple missions.

"AR1 capitalizes on proven technology, propellants and an engine cycle that are compatible with existing and future launch systems. In addition, the AR1 rocket engine incorporates the latest innovations, like advanced 3-D printing of rocket engine components, to answer the urgent needs of America's national security in a very affordable way," said Drake.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is the only company in the United States that has developed and produced large liquid-fueled rocket engines that have powered the launches of America's most critical missions, including every launch for the United States Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program and every astronaut launched from U.S. soil.

In addition to the RS-25 and AR1 rocket engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne's flight-proven RS-68 is America's most powerful liquid rocket engine currently in production, providing more than 700,000 pounds of thrust to launch national security missions on the Delta IV launch vehicle. Additionally, the company's RL10 rocket engine has powered every upper stage on the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles - more than 100 consecutive successful launches. The RL10 has also been selected by NASA to power the SLS's new Exploration Upper Stage that will send a new generation of American space vehicles to explore deep space and "unlock the mysteries of space" as President Trump stated in his inaugural address.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.

Contact: Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202-302-9941

[email protected]

Mary Engola, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 571-289-1371

[email protected]

Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.
News Provided by Acquire Media
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/31/2017 05:49 am
Sounds like they have an urgent need for "attention". Usually one announces developments and progress.

Which are ... exactly what ... here? I'm listening ..

Likely AJR is uncomfortable with first SX successfully testing Raptor and Blue on the verge of same with a full scale BE-4.

Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand? Likely a year plus after #2? With a new guy at the top who only believes in #1/winner? And who regularly chats with ... #1?

Ah, but they can kiss up and twist Shelby's arm to put in a good word. Yeah, that'll do wonders ...now does anyone have a picture of a AR-1 powerhead somewhere ...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 01/31/2017 09:42 am
now does anyone have a picture of a AR-1 powerhead somewhere ...
Unlikely to exist at this time. They are currently in early testing at the components level.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 01/31/2017 11:10 am
Sounds like they have an urgent need for "attention". Usually one announces developments and progress.

Which are ... exactly what ... here? I'm listening ..

Likely AJR is uncomfortable with first SX successfully testing Raptor and Blue on the verge of same with a full scale BE-4.

Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand? Likely a year plus after #2? With a new guy at the top who only believes in #1/winner? And who regularly chats with ... #1?

Ah, but they can kiss up and twist Shelby's arm to put in a good word. Yeah, that'll do wonders ...now does anyone have a picture of a AR-1 powerhead somewhere ...

Sure, they are the industry leader...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: baldusi on 01/31/2017 12:37 pm
Sounds like they have an urgent need for "attention". Usually one announces developments and progress.

Which are ... exactly what ... here? I'm listening ..

Likely AJR is uncomfortable with first SX successfully testing Raptor and Blue on the verge of same with a full scale BE-4.

Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand? Likely a year plus after #2? With a new guy at the top who only believes in #1/winner? And who regularly chats with ... #1?

Ah, but they can kiss up and twist Shelby's arm to put in a good word. Yeah, that'll do wonders ...now does anyone have a picture of a AR-1 powerhead somewhere ...

Sure, they are the industry leader...
He probably meant the race to bench test a full new high thrust hydrocarbon engine. It's a three way race and they are quite behind the other two.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 01/31/2017 01:12 pm
Sounds like they have an urgent need for "attention". Usually one announces developments and progress.

Which are ... exactly what ... here? I'm listening ..

Likely AJR is uncomfortable with first SX successfully testing Raptor and Blue on the verge of same with a full scale BE-4.

Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand? Likely a year plus after #2? With a new guy at the top who only believes in #1/winner? And who regularly chats with ... #1?

Ah, but they can kiss up and twist Shelby's arm to put in a good word. Yeah, that'll do wonders ...now does anyone have a picture of a AR-1 powerhead somewhere ...

Sure, they are the industry leader...
He probably meant the race to bench test a full new high thrust hydrocarbon engine. It's a three way race and they are quite behind the other two.
Exactlty. The other two did not bother to wait for government funding before starting development.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/31/2017 01:52 pm
Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand?
I wouldn't count them out.  Rocketdyne was behind the curve on the SSME competition once upon a time, written off by all of the space experts of the time.  They caught up fast and won. 

It might happen again.  I believe that AR-1 versus BE-4 is not as cut and dried as everyone currently believes.  There are still very good engineering reasons to stick with RP/LOX.  I think that a slim staged-combustion kerosene fueled stage might beat a bloated CH4 stage on cost. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/31/2017 07:00 pm
Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand?
I wouldn't count them out.
This PR fluff does not exactly fill one with confidence to that end. How's the crystal ball working out for you Ed?


Quote
Rocketdyne was behind the curve on the SSME competition once upon a time, written off by all of the space experts of the time.  They caught up fast and won.
Just barely. The first spaceplane engine. Pity they couldn't of gone further. That energy density thing didn't help either.

An argument can be made that Raptor (and BFR/BFS) is the second, and follows/exceeds in Max Faget's vision for Shuttle ... 

Quote
It might happen again.
With enough thrust, pigs indeed can fly, with a slightly better than ballistic effect.

Do you think Dynetics can rescue them in time? Did like their working up to a F1-B powerpack test ... but the OA's solids seem to have won out there too.

Quote
I believe that AR-1 versus BE-4 is not as cut and dried as everyone currently believes.  There are still very good engineering reasons to stick with RP/LOX.  I think that a slim staged-combustion kerosene fueled stage might beat a bloated CH4 stage on cost. 
Well, humble kerolox gas generators on a extreme fineness LV do seem to be giving ULA quite a run for the money already, so yeah might sorta work out ...

But even getting to Atlas V performance and reliability levels is an area that Rocketdyne, Pratt, and AeroJet never got to. And to be competitive, ULA wants at least Atlas Phase III performance levels on the table, which you're not going to get with AR-1 out the door.

Look at the BE-4 CFD again and tell me you don't think the slow start on AR-1 means they are more like 2 years behind.

Lets also look back on the AF Awards to advance propulsion that got us here. OA - paper NGLS, SX - Raptor firing on test stand, BO - BE-4 pending test stand, AJR - not even initial powerpack.

Reminds of Monty Python's Black Knight sketch: "The Black Knight always wins"
(http://31.media.tumblr.com/095b9ecbe89c4d9c44b3dec5e264e752/tumblr_n0lfsxSzs01to8b7io1_500.gif)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/31/2017 07:10 pm
Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand?
I wouldn't count them out.  Rocketdyne was behind the curve on the SSME competition once upon a time, written off by all of the space experts of the time.  They caught up fast and won. 

Possibly, but the AR of today is not the Rocketdyne of 46 (!!!) years ago.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: baldusi on 01/31/2017 07:47 pm
Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand?
I wouldn't count them out.  Rocketdyne was behind the curve on the SSME competition once upon a time, written off by all of the space experts of the time.  They caught up fast and won. 

It might happen again.  I believe that AR-1 versus BE-4 is not as cut and dried as everyone currently believes.  There are still very good engineering reasons to stick with RP/LOX.  I think that a slim staged-combustion kerosene fueled stage might beat a bloated CH4 stage on cost. 

 - Ed Kyle
They will never match the RD-180 performance. But that's beside the point. Which of the three developers is asking the money up front and which will go on anyways because it will be used internally by them?
This is an economic argument. Either of the other two will bear some of the cost themselves. Aerojet is waiting for a big fat contract. At this time, I very seriously doubt that they will get anything else than pork. The real estate background of GenCorp might have left them with connections to high ranking US officials, and the Aerojet and Rocketdyne has them all over Congress. But for actual use economics rule.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/31/2017 09:00 pm
Look at the BE-4 CFD again and tell me you don't think the slow start on AR-1 means they are more like 2 years behind.

Lets also look back on the AF Awards to advance propulsion that got us here. OA - paper NGLS, SX - Raptor firing on test stand, BO - BE-4 pending test stand, AJR - not even initial powerpack.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said just yesterday that it is "on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 ... ".  Meanwhile Blue's web site says that BE-4 "will be flight qualified by 2017".  It is already 2017, I believe.  I haven't seen a flight qualified BE-4 just yet. 

Hyperbole from all sides, perhaps.  But what matters isn't which is "certified" first.  What matters is which is best for the application in the long run.  What matters are specifications, cost (not just of the engine but of the entire system), and, especially and ultimately of most importance, reliability.

If AR-1 meets the bar, it will, I believe, find a home.  I expect it might give the bloated methane burners a serious run for their money.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/31/2017 09:42 pm
Look at the BE-4 CFD again and tell me you don't think the slow start on AR-1 means they are more like 2 years behind.

Lets also look back on the AF Awards to advance propulsion that got us here. OA - paper NGLS, SX - Raptor firing on test stand, BO - BE-4 pending test stand, AJR - not even initial powerpack.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said just yesterday that it is "on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 ... ".  Meanwhile Blue's web site says that BE-4 "will be flight qualified by 2017".  It is already 2017, I believe.  I haven't seen a flight qualified BE-4 just yet.

You do know that there is 11 months remaining in 2017, right?

If AR-1 meets the bar, it will, I believe, find a home.  I expect it might give the bloated methane burners a serious run for their money.

 - Ed Kyle

It's always good to know that a discussion is being had between people with no axe to grind.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 01/31/2017 09:56 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne said just yesterday that it is "on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 ... ".

Which is at least 23 months away.

Quote
Meanwhile Blue's web site says that BE-4 "will be flight qualified by 2017".  It is already 2017, I believe.  I haven't seen a flight qualified BE-4 just yet.

You do remember that 2017 contains 365 days?   ;)

Also let's remember that Blue Origin is not as chatty as SpaceX, nor are their facilities as easy to monitor as the SpaceX McGregor engine testing facility, so a lack of information does not mean there is no progress going on.

If we get to December 1, 2017 without any updates, THEN would be the time to start betting against them...

Quote
Hyperbole from all sides, perhaps.

As a scheduling professional I call it "their indication of future intent".  It may change, but they have put a public stake in the ground for all to see.

Quote
But what matters isn't which is "certified" first.  What matters is which is best for the application in the long run.  What matters are specifications, cost (not just of the engine but of the entire system), and, especially and ultimately of most importance, reliability.

I disagree.  What matters is what the customer needs, and so far the only customer for both of those engines is United Launch Alliance.  Because the engine is just part of the overall cost for the new Vulcan, but because the two engines are not compatible the decision as to which ULA will use has a lot of financial implications.

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If AR-1 meets the bar, it will, I believe, find a home.

I for one have never doubted that Aerojet Rocketdyne could build exactly what they said they could build.  And I don't think ULA doubts it either.  So I think ULA is looking to other attributes for basing their final decision.

Quote
I expect it might give the bloated methane burners a serious run for their money.

Methane-powered rockets are a definite change to the status quo fuels...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: baldusi on 01/31/2017 10:52 pm
(...)
Hyperbole from all sides, perhaps.  But what matters isn't which is "certified" first.  What matters is which is best for the application in the long run.  What matters are specifications, cost (not just of the engine but of the entire system), and, especially and ultimately of most importance, reliability.

If AR-1 meets the bar, it will, I believe, find a home.  I expect it might give the bloated methane burners a serious run for their money.
Actual reliability will be impossible to measure ex ante. And once Vulcan starts flying, it will be too late to redesign it. The cost issue is even more important, since Blue will be able to commit to a price much earlier than AJR, if they flight qualify it this years (still 11 months left), they will have a lot of confidence on their price structure. AJR won't know their true cost until 2019, and they don't have another customer to share its cost.
I really don't understand how can you call the BE-4 a "bloated" engine. It has exactly the same cycle as the AJ, but it is a bit simpler engine due to the thermal characteristics of methane. And if you know anything about rocket engine design, Raptor is the most minimalistically integrated rocket engine ever developed for the complexity involved. The way they integrated the O Preburner output into the Oxidizer head is the most innovative and simplifying design decision on a rocket engine that I can remember. They both engines are anything but "bloated".
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: jbenton on 01/31/2017 11:28 pm
(...)
Hyperbole from all sides, perhaps.  But what matters isn't which is "certified" first.  What matters is which is best for the application in the long run.  What matters are specifications, cost (not just of the engine but of the entire system), and, especially and ultimately of most importance, reliability.

If AR-1 meets the bar, it will, I believe, find a home.  I expect it might give the bloated methane burners a serious run for their money.
Actual reliability will be impossible to measure ex ante. And once Vulcan starts flying, it will be too late to redesign it. The cost issue is even more important, since Blue will be able to commit to a price much earlier than AJR, if they flight qualify it this years (still 11 months left), they will have a lot of confidence on their price structure. AJR won't know their true cost until 2019, and they don't have another customer to share its cost.
I really don't understand how can you call the BE-4 a "bloated" engine. It has exactly the same cycle as the AJ, but it is a bit simpler engine due to the thermal characteristics of methane. And if you know anything about rocket engine design, Raptor is the most minimalistically integrated rocket engine ever developed for the complexity involved. The way they integrated the O Preburner output into the Oxidizer head is the most innovative and simplifying design decision on a rocket engine that I can remember. They both engines are anything but "bloated".

Aren't the tanks that a methane-powered rocket would use "bloated"? IIRC, I read somewhere that the Vulcan is planned to be 5.4m just like the Delta IV if it uses the BE-4, but it would have the same 3.81m diameter of the Atlas V if it were to use the AR-1  because methane/LNG is less dense than kerosene.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 02/01/2017 05:19 am
Skeptical of AR-1 no matter what they claim as on schedule because don't see progress. Likely others see same.

Given shown progress BE-4 might make it to test stand and convince ULA, but no, not a flight qualified engine this year.

SX is already on the test stand and fired. Fact. Not hyperbole.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MP99 on 02/01/2017 07:13 am


Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand?
I wouldn't count them out.  Rocketdyne was behind the curve on the SSME competition once upon a time, written off by all of the space experts of the time.  They caught up fast and won. 

It might happen again.  I believe that AR-1 versus BE-4 is not as cut and dried as everyone currently believes.  There are still very good engineering reasons to stick with RP/LOX.  I think that a slim staged-combustion kerosene fueled stage might beat a bloated CH4 stage on cost. 

 - Ed Kyle

What home do you expect them to find?

ISTM Antares is about the only option likely to be open to them? Do you expect a new player in the market?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/01/2017 07:40 am
If OA do anything with Antares it will be to replace it with their SRB based NGLV. Why buy booster engines and stages when they can build a SRB version internally.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 02/01/2017 02:14 pm
Aren't the tanks that a methane-powered rocket would use "bloated"? IIRC, I read somewhere that the Vulcan is planned to be 5.4m just like the Delta IV if it uses the BE-4, but it would have the same 3.81m diameter of the Atlas V if it were to use the AR-1  because methane/LNG is less dense than kerosene.

Methalox is only a little less dense than kerolox. Methane itself is way lighter, but burns with more oxygen, so the overall density is reasonably close. BE-4-Vulcan will use wider tanks because its got the thrust to do so, and it gives a sizable performance boost (the goal isn't just to match Atlas Vs performance, but to go well beyond that into the medium-heavy market). Plus it allows more SRBs to be used. 2 AR-1s produce only a little more thrust than 1 RD-180, so they can't enlarge the rocket a huge amount compared to Atlas V. A 3-5 engine kerolox Vulcan with 5.4 meter tanks might be technically feasible (like the 5 meter evolved Atlas option, with 2 RD-180s), but would be too expensive.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 02/01/2017 02:17 pm
Can they stand to be #3 to getting on a test stand?
I wouldn't count them out.   
...
 - Ed Kyle

Even if they win AR-1 business for Vulcan (which they can only do by offering a competitive price), that will account for 10-ish booster engine sales per year.  RL-10's use is also being competed for that vehicle -- mainly due to price as I understand it.  Cost competition plus low flight rates of their market vehicles (only Vulcan/SLS, after DeltaIV/Atlas V retire) may knock them out of the (non-DoD) market entirely.  And it is not a given that the vehicles they are supporting remain viable.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/01/2017 04:44 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne said just yesterday that it is "on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 ... ".  Meanwhile Blue's web site says that BE-4 "will be flight qualified by 2017".  It is already 2017, I believe.  I haven't seen a flight qualified BE-4 just yet.

You do know that there is 11 months remaining in 2017, right?
To me, the wording "by 2017" implies "before the end of December 31, 2016".

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/01/2017 04:52 pm
Aren't the tanks that a methane-powered rocket would use "bloated"?
Yes, I'm talking about the tanks, the actual size of the overall stage.  With BE-4, it has to be fatter to achieve the same result.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: meberbs on 02/01/2017 05:00 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne said just yesterday that it is "on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 ... ".  Meanwhile Blue's web site says that BE-4 "will be flight qualified by 2017".  It is already 2017, I believe.  I haven't seen a flight qualified BE-4 just yet.

You do know that there is 11 months remaining in 2017, right?
To me, the wording "by 2017" implies "before the end of December 31, 2016".

 - Ed Kyle
Turns out that the English language isn't very precise and people often use a phrase such as "by 2017" to mean "by <the end of> 2017"

If you were actually looking at everything Blue Origin has released, you would realize sometime in 2017 has been the plan for a while now. Besides, schedules always slip, so even if at some point they had said 2016 (they probably did at some point), a slip to 2017 isn't surprising. When they want to be launching the vehicle in 2019, just finishing the engine in 2019 might cause some problems.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: LouScheffer on 02/01/2017 05:34 pm
Aren't the tanks that a methane-powered rocket would use "bloated"?
Yes, I'm talking about the tanks, the actual size of the overall stage.  With BE-4, it has to be fatter to achieve the same result.
On the other hand, the paper Comparative Study of Kerosene and Methane Propellant Engines for Reusable Liquid Booster Stages (http://www.dlr.de/Portaldata/55/Resources/dokumente/sart/0095-0212prop.pdf) concluded that for the same mass to orbit, and same rocket height, the diameter increase needed for methane was quite small (3.94m for methane vs 3.80m for kerosene)

I think the big difference in the picture is not due to the properties of methane, but to the existence of tooling of different sizes.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/01/2017 06:26 pm
Aren't the tanks that a methane-powered rocket would use "bloated"?
Yes, I'm talking about the tanks, the actual size of the overall stage.  With BE-4, it has to be fatter to achieve the same result.
On the other hand, the paper Comparative Study of Kerosene and Methane Propellant Engines for Reusable Liquid Booster Stages (http://www.dlr.de/Portaldata/55/Resources/dokumente/sart/0095-0212prop.pdf) concluded that for the same mass to orbit, and same rocket height, the diameter increase needed for methane was quite small (3.94m for methane vs 3.80m for kerosene)
That paper assumes substantially higher ISP for the methane engine.  As I understand it, BE-4 will actually have lower, or at best roughly similar ISP when compared with RD-180.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/01/2017 07:30 pm
You do know that there is 11 months remaining in 2017, right?
To me, the wording "by 2017" implies "before the end of December 31, 2016".

The statement "before 2017" means "before the end of December 31, 2016".  No need to change the definition of words.

The statement "by 2017" includes up to, and during, 2017.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 02/01/2017 07:39 pm
Perhaps this engine could end up being touted as part of a kerolox booster for a future version of SLS. Kerolox boosters for SLS have been proposed before but with a modernized F1 engine.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/01/2017 07:49 pm
Perhaps this engine could end up being touted as part of a kerolox booster for a future version of SLS. Kerolox boosters for SLS have been proposed before but with a modernized F1 engine.
This has always been one possibility for the AR-1 even before the new booster project was announced for ULA.

But as far a schedules the usual timeline is first launch of a new booster not less than 2 years after the qualification of a new engine. So if the AR-1 is qualified in 2019 that would move the first flight of Vulcan into 2021 vs the 2 years from a BE-4 qual testing in 2017 putting a first flight in 2019.

So unless the BE-4 has something that delays being able to qualify it for use by 2 years and knowing that this year, the pick will be BE-4 and not AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 02/01/2017 07:58 pm
^ I'd be greatly surprised if AR1 was picked for Vulcan. It appears that BE4 is practically in the bag in regards to that. If they can't sell AR1 to ULA, they will have to sell to someone else or at least use their political influence to direct government funds towards a program that could incorporate such a kerolox engine.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/02/2017 12:14 am
^ I'd be greatly surprised if AR1 was picked for Vulcan. It appears that BE4 is practically in the bag in regards to that. If they can't sell AR1 to ULA, they will have to sell to someone else or at least use their political influence to direct government funds towards a program that could incorporate such a kerolox engine.
Or to have the government to fully pay for an engine that will never be used.

Considering the new administration on doing stuff that is unlikely to ever be used, the funding come 2018 is likely to disappear. Rocketdyne Aerojet is unlikely to self fund an engine development effort to unlikely to return revenue in sales of engines. So the prediction is that by Oct 2017 the AR-1 project will be dead due to lack of funding.

All the new engines other than the AR-1 will be by then (Oct 2017) will be close to fully developed and under test.

The only reason it is still alive is that until the BE-4 exists there is still a possibility that the AR-1 could be used.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Patchouli on 02/02/2017 12:59 am
^ I'd be greatly surprised if AR1 was picked for Vulcan. It appears that BE4 is practically in the bag in regards to that. If they can't sell AR1 to ULA, they will have to sell to someone else or at least use their political influence to direct government funds towards a program that could incorporate such a kerolox engine.


The AR-1 would be useful if they decide to keep Atlas alongside Vulcan until the new LV has an established flight history.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/02/2017 01:24 am
^ I'd be greatly surprised if AR1 was picked for Vulcan. It appears that BE4 is practically in the bag in regards to that. If they can't sell AR1 to ULA, they will have to sell to someone else or at least use their political influence to direct government funds towards a program that could incorporate such a kerolox engine.


The AR-1 would be useful if they decide to keep Atlas alongside Vulcan until the new LV has an established flight history.
An Atlas V with AR-1 engines and 5x of the new GEM-63XL solids would be a formidable booster in it's own right - about 3 million pounds thrust at liftoff. With a dual-engined Centaur upper stage, I wonder what it could orbit to LEO or throw on Earth escape?! Or with the older Aerojet solids; still pretty good...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: spacenut on 02/02/2017 01:50 am
Would an Atlas V require two AR-1's?  If so that would be more thrust and consume more fuel than an RD-180.  Might require a stretch or a larger diameter.  I think the AR-1 would be less efficient than the RD-180?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ZachS09 on 02/02/2017 02:13 am
Would an Atlas V require two AR-1's?  If so that would be more thrust and consume more fuel than an RD-180.  Might require a stretch or a larger diameter.  I think the AR-1 would be less efficient than the RD-180?

Yes. Since the AR-1 has only one thrust chamber while the RD-180 had two, the Atlas V would have to utilize two AR-1s to give the engine compartment a familiar appearance.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/02/2017 03:29 am
Would an Atlas V require two AR-1's?  If so that would be more thrust and consume more fuel than an RD-180.  Might require a stretch or a larger diameter.  I think the AR-1 would be less efficient than the RD-180?

Yes. Since the AR-1 has only one thrust chamber while the RD-180 had two, the Atlas V would have to utilize two AR-1s to give the engine compartment a familiar appearance.
ULA has already made it clear in pressers and published papers that regardless of engine selected for each stage, all stages and hardware will be 5.5m diameter and use modified DIV tooling with ACES using modified DIV tooling to support Centaur style assembly and manufacturing and the booster using modified DIV tooling to support Atlas CCB style assembly and manufacturing, whilst using modernized manufacturing techniques and processes.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/02/2017 06:39 am
Methalox is only a little less dense than kerolox.

Subcooled kerolox at 2.54:1 is 1.0941 kg/L. Subcooled methalox at 3.5:1 is 0.8868 kg/L. Thus, for the same volume kerolox can contain 23% more propellant than methalox. That's a significant increase. Going to subcooled propellants on Falcon 9 only increased density by 8%.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/02/2017 06:46 am
Perhaps this engine could end up being touted as part of a kerolox booster for a future version of SLS. Kerolox boosters for SLS have been proposed before but with a modernized F1 engine.

Three dual nozzle staged combustion engines have also been proposed for each booster. Using six or seven AR-1's for each booster could also do the job.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/02/2017 07:04 am
Hey, Steven - how many AR-1s would fit on boosters 5 meters in diameter as has been proposed for the F-1B proposal?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/02/2017 08:23 am
Hey, Steven - how many AR-1s would fit on boosters 5 meters in diameter as has been proposed for the F-1B proposal?

Don't have the full specs of the AR-1, but the AJ1E6 had a nozzle diameter of 1.834 m and a sea level thrust of 2446.5 kN per nozzle. The AR-1 has a thrust of 2224.1 kN. Assuming thrust scales with nozzle exit area, we get a diameter of D = sqrt(2224.1/2446.5)*1.834 = 1.749 m. Assuming L = 0.2 m beween the nozzles, and W = n*D + (n-1)*L, where W is the diameter of all the nozzles, n the number of linear nozzles and N the total number of nozzles, we get

   N         n    W
-----------------------
2 or 4       2  3.697 m
3, 5, or 7   3  5.646 m


So, you could have up to seven engines, but you'll need a skirt. Attached is how three dual nozzle AJ1E6 engines looked like.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 02/02/2017 08:36 am
So, you could have up to seven engines, but you'll need a skirt. Attached is how three dual nozzle AJ1E6 engines looked like.

Seven engines, longened fuel tanks for some extra fuel and landing legs, please ;)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: vapour_nudge on 02/02/2017 09:26 am
Steven, I wonder if someone has patented the name "Septoweb"
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/02/2017 09:47 am
Based on the illustration above, wouldn't 6x engines be enough? 7 would be quite a squeeze by the look of things. And I imagine that the fueled mass of the kerolox boosters would be far less than that of the Dark Knights solids which should compensate somewhat for the lower thrust in comparison.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ethan829 on 02/02/2017 01:57 pm
Would an Atlas V require two AR-1's?  If so that would be more thrust and consume more fuel than an RD-180.  Might require a stretch or a larger diameter.  I think the AR-1 would be less efficient than the RD-180?

Yes. Since the AR-1 has only one thrust chamber while the RD-180 had two, the Atlas V would have to utilize two AR-1s to give the engine compartment a familiar appearance.
ULA has already made it clear in pressers and published papers that regardless of engine selected for each stage, all stages and hardware will be 5.5m diameter and use modified DIV tooling with ACES using modified DIV tooling to support Centaur style assembly and manufacturing and the booster using modified DIV tooling to support Atlas CCB style assembly and manufacturing, whilst using modernized manufacturing techniques and processes.


Everything I've read suggests that an AR1-powered Vulcan would essentially use a stretched Atlas V core (3.81-meter diameter), while a BE-4 version would have 5.4-meter diameter tanks.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: GWH on 02/03/2017 02:31 am
So, you could have up to seven engines, but you'll need a skirt. Attached is how three dual nozzle AJ1E6 engines looked like.

Seven engines, longened fuel tanks for some extra fuel and landing legs, please ;)

So dual New Glenn boosters as advanced SLS boosters?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/03/2017 05:38 am


So, you could have up to seven engines, but you'll need a skirt. Attached is how three dual nozzle AJ1E6 engines looked like.

Seven engines, longened fuel tanks for some extra fuel and landing legs, please ;)

So dual New Glenn boosters as advanced SLS boosters?

The idea has merit, but I suspect New Armstrong will make SLS obsolete.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/03/2017 06:24 am
Steven, I wonder if someone has patented the name "Septoweb"

That would mean "American entanglement" here in Australia!

Based on the illustration above, wouldn't 6x engines be enough? 7 would be quite a squeeze by the look of things.

Its look busy in the middle since that is where all the turbo pumps are placed. Rotate all the engines by 180 degrees and that should leave enough room in the middle for a seventh engine. That could then allow the boosters to be recovered, SpaceX style.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 02/28/2017 06:53 pm
I didn't see this mentioned elsewhere on this forum: http://ir.aerojetrocketdyne.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1013863

Quote
Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR1 Engine Sets U.S. Record

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Feb. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), recently demonstrated the highest chamber pressure of any United States produced liquid oxygen and kerosene main combustion system. This milestone occurred during a series of successful test firings of the AR1's staged combustion system at NASA's Stennis Space Center.

...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/12/2017 07:02 am
It might happen again.  I believe that AR-1 versus BE-4 is not as cut and dried as everyone currently believes.  There are still very good engineering reasons to stick with RP/LOX.  I think that a slim staged-combustion kerosene fueled stage might beat a bloated CH4 stage on cost. 

agreed.

I think the Atlas 5 is great the way it currently is, and the rd-180 is the best engine for it. But Russia can get fussy. So, an inferior ar-1 is being readied.

I wonder if the Congressmen (Mike Rogers, Thornberry) are really trying to keep the kerolox Atlas V around, instead of job protection against the be-4.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: guckyfan on 03/12/2017 12:40 pm
I think the Atlas 5 is great the way it currently is, and the rd-180 is the best engine for it. But Russia can get fussy. So, an inferior ar-1 is being readied.

I wonder if the Congressmen (Mike Rogers, Thornberry) are really trying to keep the kerolox Atlas V around, instead of job protection against the be-4.

I watched a Congress Hearing a while back. The AR representative testified that AR-1 is a drop in replacement for the RD-180. The reperesentatives of ULA, the Airforce, the DOD and SpaceX testified it does not work that way and a new rocket needs to be developed, no matter the new engine is AR-1 or BE-4.

Maybe the AR-1 could be a drop in replacement. But the lift capacity of the Atlas V would be significantly smaller.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/12/2017 02:28 pm
I think the Atlas 5 is great the way it currently is, and the rd-180 is the best engine for it. But Russia can get fussy. So, an inferior ar-1 is being readied.

I wonder if the Congressmen (Mike Rogers, Thornberry) are really trying to keep the kerolox Atlas V around, instead of job protection against the be-4.

I watched a Congress Hearing a while back. The AR representative testified that AR-1 is a drop in replacement for the RD-180. The reperesentatives of ULA, the Airforce, the DOD and SpaceX testified it does not work that way and a new rocket needs to be developed, no matter the new engine is AR-1 or BE-4.

Maybe the AR-1 could be a drop in replacement. But the lift capacity of the Atlas V would be significantly smaller.

It's an elaborate arrangement of half truths. Or should I say "alternative facts"?

The "simple" - a domestic sourced engine from one of the biggest pork consumers in aerospace that could fit into the place of the foreign one, looks the part - just add more pork. After all look at what you see in DC - doesn't matter what reality is or consequences, just matters what someone says it is.

The "complex" - it will take many costly flights to get the combined vehicle/engine to the point where it might resemble the old vehicle engine. In response to Ed,  Aerojet Rocketdyne is no NPO/Energomash here. Especially on cost/quality/reliability. And such an "Atlas VI" wouldn't end up like the Atlas V he knows.

ULA has other needs, among them a future, payload growth, ACES/other, restructuring, control of engine cost/development/reliability/reuse. Even if AR-1 did work in 4 years, which I doubt, it would lock ULA into a cost spiral with fewer and fewer launches. Which those Congressmen and Senators wouldn't mind, because they'll just adjust launch prices and DoD legislation to match. But it would kill ULA becoming a powerful competitor as a launch provider, which is the manner of survival that Bruno (and I) want for them.

Yes, in theory you could build a "good enough" kerolox engine. In theory AR could produce it. In practice its not gonna happen. And, at the moment, what Ed won't concede ... is that "good enough" is no longer "good enough".

This will endure long after BE-4 has a full scale, full burn on a test stand. Perhaps even after Vulcan selects it and even flies at performance, as designed. That's ULA's true burden/enemy, not other providers.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: envy887 on 03/12/2017 07:57 pm
If this comes to fruition, and SLS sticks around, might be a good replacement for when the RS25D's run out even though they would need to switch fuels... I would think using an existing engine vs developing an expendable RS-25 might make up for the switch.
This would not work, for a number of reasons.  SLS is designed around a high-ISP sustainer core that burns nearly all the way to orbit, like STS.  A core of that size filled with RP/LOX would weigh massively more than a core filled with LH2/LOX, so an entirely new stage would need to be designed.  Five segment booster would not match well, if at all, with an RP core.  The upper stage would need to do more delta-v work, which would require it to be heavier, which would require J-2X rather than RL10.  And so on. 

On an HLLV, high thrust RP would serve best on a Saturn V type serial stager (which isn't happening) or on boosters for an LH2 core (which also apparently is not going to happen).  Otherwise, this is an engine that might serve Atlas 5 and/or Antares.

 - Ed Kyle

I know this is an old post, but I've been wondering about re-engining SLS and haven't​ seen it come up recently...

This could work better if the SLS LH2 tank were turned into a kerolox stage by adding a bulkhead. The SRB thrust beam would run right over the new LOX tank at the same height, so the 5 segment boosters would still work. Two J-2X would go in the intertank turned interstage. The current core LOX tank and EUS would become a large upper stage.

Because only the LH2 volume is filled with kerolox, the core would be light enough for 4 AR-1 to lift, and with the boosters they would easily get the whole stack of the pad.

This would easily beat SLS Block 2 to both LEO and high energy orbits, while using more Shuttle and CxP heritage parts.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/12/2017 10:49 pm
I think the Atlas 5 is great the way it currently is, and the rd-180 is the best engine for it. But Russia can get fussy. So, an inferior ar-1 is being readied.

I wonder if the Congressmen (Mike Rogers, Thornberry) are really trying to keep the kerolox Atlas V around, instead of job protection against the be-4.

I watched a Congress Hearing a while back. The AR representative testified that AR-1 is a drop in replacement for the RD-180. The reperesentatives of ULA, the Airforce, the DOD and SpaceX testified it does not work that way and a new rocket needs to be developed, no matter the new engine is AR-1 or BE-4.

Maybe the AR-1 could be a drop in replacement. But the lift capacity of the Atlas V would be significantly smaller.

It's an elaborate arrangement of half truths. Or should I say "alternative facts"?

The "simple" - a domestic sourced engine from one of the biggest pork consumers in aerospace that could fit into the place of the foreign one, looks the part - just add more pork. After all look at what you see in DC - doesn't matter what reality is or consequences, just matters what someone says it is.

The "complex" - it will take many costly flights to get the combined vehicle/engine to the point where it might resemble the old vehicle engine. In response to Ed,  Aerojet Rocketdyne is no NPO/Energomash here. Especially on cost/quality/reliability. And such an "Atlas VI" wouldn't end up like the Atlas V he knows.

ULA has other needs, among them a future, payload growth, ACES/other, restructuring, control of engine cost/development/reliability/reuse. Even if AR-1 did work in 4 years, which I doubt, it would lock ULA into a cost spiral with fewer and fewer launches. Which those Congressmen and Senators wouldn't mind, because they'll just adjust launch prices and DoD legislation to match. But it would kill ULA becoming a powerful competitor as a launch provider, which is the manner of survival that Bruno (and I) want for them.

Yes, in theory you could build a "good enough" kerolox engine. In theory AR could produce it. In practice its not gonna happen. And, at the moment, what Ed won't concede ... is that "good enough" is no longer "good enough".

This will endure long after BE-4 has a full scale, full burn on a test stand. Perhaps even after Vulcan selects it and even flies at performance, as designed. That's ULA's true burden/enemy, not other providers.

I don't want ULA to become a powerful competitor. I want ULA to continue to launch highly reliable rockets, which can meet USA national security needs. Congress is willing to pay extra for that sort of stuff. Frankly, if America was a more socialist nation, I'd nationalize ULA and the Atlas 5.

I would also have them launch astronauts in the future. I want rd-180s to continue to be used by the Atlas 5. I don't want an ar-1 rocket engine factory to be built. I want ten? ar-1 rocket engines to be designed and built. I want a couple of atlas 5 ar-1 rockets to be designed and launched. I want the ar-1 manufacturing knowledge to be in the brains of younger, loyal Americans.

I don't think the Atlas 5 will provide sufficient market size for a good ar-1 rocket factory. Russia has been making kerolox staged combustion engines for decades, they use more engines, and Russia has lower wages. I think a lower performance rocket should be developed to take payloads away from the Atlas 401. Orbital ATK seems to be working on that.

Now, if the skill of Marshall Space Center was to design 8.4 meter liquid rocket stages, I could see a 8.4 meter, 2,000 ton kerolox staged combustion rocket stage with 2 5-seg srbs, and a 100 to 250 ton hydrogen upper stage. That was one of the listed rockets in the RAC study. Of course, the specific Russia-Ukraine problem was not anticipated by NASA in 2011.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/12/2017 10:54 pm
I guess this is a good place to ask: did the ar-1 originally start out as a knock off of the nk-33 engine?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/13/2017 02:02 am
If this comes to fruition, and SLS sticks around, might be a good replacement for when the RS25D's run out even though they would need to switch fuels... I would think using an existing engine vs developing an expendable RS-25 might make up for the switch.
This would not work, for a number of reasons.  SLS is designed around a high-ISP sustainer core that burns nearly all the way to orbit, like STS.  A core of that size filled with RP/LOX would weigh massively more than a core filled with LH2/LOX, so an entirely new stage would need to be designed.  Five segment booster would not match well, if at all, with an RP core.  The upper stage would need to do more delta-v work, which would require it to be heavier, which would require J-2X rather than RL10.  And so on. 

On an HLLV, high thrust RP would serve best on a Saturn V type serial stager (which isn't happening) or on boosters for an LH2 core (which also apparently is not going to happen).  Otherwise, this is an engine that might serve Atlas 5 and/or Antares.

 - Ed Kyle

I know this is an old post, but I've been wondering about re-engining SLS and haven't​ seen it come up recently...

This could work better if the SLS LH2 tank were turned into a kerolox stage by adding a bulkhead. The SRB thrust beam would run right over the new LOX tank at the same height, so the 5 segment boosters would still work. Two J-2X would go in the intertank turned interstage. The current core LOX tank and EUS would become a large upper stage.

Because only the LH2 volume is filled with kerolox, the core would be light enough for 4 AR-1 to lift, and with the boosters they would easily get the whole stack of the pad.

This would easily beat SLS Block 2 to both LEO and high energy orbits, while using more Shuttle and CxP heritage parts.

Easier to redo SLS for methalox with two choices of engine. Either would do better, you could lose the solids, and perhaps do a triple core. Even with a EUS/ACES second stage, you might be exceeding 230T stack to TLI. Lower cost too.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 03/13/2017 02:34 am
Redesign RS-25 for Methalox? Or adapt the corestages for 4 or 5 other types of engines? I seem to remember a Delta IV based concept that would go to the 8.4 meter tooling, but use 4x RS-68 Regenerative upgraded engines per stage. Gang three of these as Delta IV-H and it would have useful performance. More than 8 million pounds thrust at lift off, with about 365 seconds Isp at sea level and about 430 seconds in vacuum. Having an upper stage powered by one or more J-2X's would also be pretty good.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: envy887 on 03/13/2017 04:02 pm
This could work better if the SLS LH2 tank were turned into a kerolox stage by adding a bulkhead. The SRB thrust beam would run right over the new LOX tank at the same height, so the 5 segment boosters would still work. Two J-2X would go in the intertank turned interstage. The current core LOX tank and EUS would become a large upper stage.

Because only the LH2 volume is filled with kerolox, the core would be light enough for 4 AR-1 to lift, and with the boosters they would easily get the whole stack of the pad.

This would easily beat SLS Block 2 to both LEO and high energy orbits, while using more Shuttle and CxP heritage parts.

Easier to redo SLS for methalox with two choices of engine. Either would do better, you could lose the solids, and perhaps do a triple core. Even with a EUS/ACES second stage, you might be exceeding 230T stack to TLI. Lower cost too.

The whole point is to NOT lose the solids, for political reasons. Methalox could work just as well, but this is the AR1 thread. Even with AR1 and J-2X it could save $150M per flight just in propulsion by losing RS-25 and RL10.

Attached is a markup showing my proposed re-engineing with AR1:
(hacked onto Ed's sketch of SLS from http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls0.html)

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/13/2017 08:12 pm
This could work better if the SLS LH2 tank were turned into a kerolox stage by adding a bulkhead. The SRB thrust beam would run right over the new LOX tank at the same height, so the 5 segment boosters would still work. Two J-2X would go in the intertank turned interstage. The current core LOX tank and EUS would become a large upper stage.

Because only the LH2 volume is filled with kerolox, the core would be light enough for 4 AR-1 to lift, and with the boosters they would easily get the whole stack of the pad.

This would easily beat SLS Block 2 to both LEO and high energy orbits, while using more Shuttle and CxP heritage parts.

Easier to redo SLS for methalox with two choices of engine. Either would do better, you could lose the solids, and perhaps do a triple core. Even with a EUS/ACES second stage, you might be exceeding 230T stack to TLI. Lower cost too.

The whole point is to NOT lose the solids, for political reasons. Methalox could work just as well, but this is the AR1 thread. Even with AR1 and J-2X it could save $150M per flight just in propulsion by losing RS-25 and RL10.

Attached is Ed's sketch of SLS from http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls0.html with a markup showing my proposed reengineing with AR1:

Yeah, understand that the point here is that we have certain realities. The politics here is a peculiar one, but also we have the peculiarity of a govt vehicle stuck in an ineffective role due to lack of lift-off thrust and density of propellant. At some point the political expediency (as well as what you can carry on Florida swamp soil with a crawler) limits things in your vehicles "growth curve".

Am sorry but kerolox and solids fill much the same niche. And in the arena of hydrocarbon boost, methalox is a better choice intermediate in shaving the difference between the two.

So yes I get that you can reshuffle the core to use kerolox in place of adding more solids that you need but can't have. This at the price of a J-2X EDS stage, which itself is more desirable as an exploration vehicle, neglecting the fact that the J-2X are a) heavy/costly and b) unflown, although because one won't be sharing much more with RS 25/68 for long, a restartable high thrust hydrolox engine does have some benefits.

You'll note that with NGL OA is asking the AF to pay for 2/3rds of it. Clearly the "big solids" are of limited economic benefit - at what point do they hinder than help? That brings us back to the decision regarding hydrocarbon boost as an alternative to  the solids, where those AR1's simply replace the solids, and for one engine/motor change you have the same benefit (or more) as your two benefit? Not to mention, AR claims to still be in the running for a lower cost RL10 that would support multiple vehicles, at least as far as ULA says.

And then you get back to the third option I supplied, of a common methalox core entirely.

These would all have to be reconciled with ways to make a govt launch vehicle cost effective. Perhaps with the challenge by political forces over the Vulcan/BE-4 choice, it works both ways, and they have opened up a can of worms for SLS that doesn't make for an easy choice of what to do next with SLS?

So SLS as an option for AR1 "application" isn't so cut and dried.

Which is why many years back I'd considerable doubt about Aerojet going this path, as well as similar concern for OA and the congressional decisions post Constellation that got us into SLS in this fashion. Just reread RAC 1-3 and read it in light of the current set of things, and you'll see what I mean.

And I haven't even touched on the bigger SX/BO plans at all. What a mess.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
Post by: envy887 on 03/14/2017 02:39 pm
Yeah, understand that the point here is that we have certain realities. The politics here is a peculiar one, but also we have the peculiarity of a govt vehicle stuck in an ineffective role due to lack of lift-off thrust and density of propellant. At some point the political expediency (as well as what you can carry on Florida swamp soil with a crawler) limits things in your vehicles "growth curve".
The crawlerway can handle 2x 5-seg SRBs. I'm not proposing anything heavier.

Quote
Am sorry but kerolox and solids fill much the same niche. And in the arena of hydrocarbon boost, methalox is a better choice intermediate in shaving the difference between the two.

So yes I get that you can reshuffle the core to use kerolox in place of adding more solids that you need but can't have. This at the price of a J-2X EDS stage, which itself is more desirable as an exploration vehicle, neglecting the fact that the J-2X are a) heavy/costly and b) unflown, although because one won't be sharing much more with RS 25/68 for long, a restartable high thrust hydrolox engine does have some benefits.
There are several reasons for the kerolox stage:
1) to replace $200M worth of propulsion with something costing half as much
2) to shorten the main stage. A large hydrolox J-2X upper stage on the current core is too tall for the VAB. The problem is getting a large upper stage to get serious BLEO payloads (e.g. Block 2 or better).

The big solids are actually pretty cheap. From a cost and performance they really aren't a liability to SLS. Using kerolox boosters gets really expensive if you aren't recovering them... need 3x or even 3.5x AR1 on each booster to get to Block 2 payloads. The kerolox main stage easily beats Block 2 with much cheaper propulsion.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/14/2017 07:52 pm
My point is that the solids ARE the obstacle that likely gets SLS cancelled. Because the big rocket can't be made big enough, and cheap enough, and able to be flown frequently enough - all three things together.

1. You need more than the current solids as boost. Yet you can't have more.
2. Solids as already developed, expendable thrust ... are only cheap because of the past, used as in the past.
3. Used as in the past, you only get so much, again, because of weight. No 3 or 4, just ... 2!
4. A large hydrolox stage, preferably airstart, still works well. Agreed on this in above concept.
5. ... but the kerolox below it doesn't increase the payload size enough for the degree of LV growth desired.
6. Agreed the VAB is only so big. And you can assemble only so fast. So ...
7. What volume/GTOW do you change??

To me the only answers are a) hydrocarbon boosters (RLV/ELV) to existing core, or b) common hydrocarbon core with hydrolox stage. So the hydrolox stage is fine, the issue is how you get more thrust than 2xRSRB-V's can give?

In that case, one of your trades is AR-1 powered boosters, or AR-1 powered common core. Are we communicating?

And in this post its not dissing solids or political reality, its that you need more of them but can't get more of them. And Black Knights aren't an option here.

I think OA is aware of this too.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 03/15/2017 01:22 am
Why does SLS need more thrust than the solids provide? What performance targets do you have in mind? I'm just after Ares V class payloads for less than SLS Block 1 costs, to enable a lunar landing.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/15/2017 02:04 am
Why does SLS need more thrust than the solids provide? What performance targets do you have in mind? I'm just after Ares V class payloads for less than SLS Block 1 costs, to enable a lunar landing.

So am I. Perhaps they are a bit more than Ares V budgeted for ... when the presumption for indefinite development allowed for eventually achieving "aggressive" mass targets.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 03/15/2017 04:38 pm
7x AR1 on the same core would be near Block 2 (even without solids, just a regular 2-stage rocket)  getting ~138t to LEO, ~43t to TLI.

Throw the solids back on and it's closer to ~181t to LEO, ~61t to TLI.

Make it a triple core (21x AR1 :D ) and we're talking ~309t to LEO, ~111t to TLI.

Going all out for with five 8.4m boosters (35x AR1  ::) ) and it's ~434t to LEO and ~155t to TLI.

Seems to scale pretty well :)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/15/2017 04:59 pm
7x AR1 on the same core would be near Block 2 (even without solids, just a regular 2-stage rocket)  getting ~138t to LEO, ~43t to TLI.

Throw the solids back on and it's closer to ~181t to LEO, ~61t to TLI.

Make it a triple core (21x AR1 :D ) and we're talking ~309t to LEO, ~111t to TLI.

Going all out for with five 8.4m boosters (35x AR1  ::) ) and it's ~434t to LEO and ~155t to TLI.

Seems to scale pretty well :)
only the first two are possible with the present nasa facilities at LC-39 Area (includes VAB, Pads, Crawlerway, and surrounding facilities).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/16/2017 02:48 am
You can get 220-250t through TLI with an AR1 based core/boosters, all existing 39B / crawlers / MLP / VAB. Either with J2X or three other US engines ... but you can't have the RSRB-V's ...

You'll need major mods (GSE, kero, ...).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/16/2017 02:56 am
You can get 220-250t through TLI with an AR1 based core/boosters, all existing 39B / crawlers / MLP / VAB. Either with J2X or three other US engines ... but you can't have the RSRB-V's ...

You'll need major mods (GSE, kero, ...).
not 3-5 8.4m boosters around an 8.4m core stage which is what i think they are proposing.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/16/2017 04:55 pm
You can get 220-250t through TLI with an AR1 based core/boosters, all existing 39B / crawlers / MLP / VAB. Either with J2X or three other US engines ... but you can't have the RSRB-V's ...

You'll need major mods (GSE, kero, ...).
not 3-5 8.4m boosters around an 8.4m core stage which is what i think they are proposing.

Three 8.4m cores. Variations on FLO (http://www.nss.org/settlement/moon/FLO.html)'s Comet. (http://www.nss.org/settlement/moon/images/flo_vab1.jpg)

Which is why you can't use the solids.

add:

Someone had asked me to do multiple exploration architectures derived from SLS (and CC/CRS). One was based on a modern version of FLO. And I started with AR-1 with a three core kerolox (later BE-4/Raptor methalox, even did one with yuge solids that you needed to cast in place/nearby - that was a nightmare - doesn't really work but they asked for a solids option and did my best). Made it to simulation.

None of the SLS derived were smaller than 210t TLI. Some with fewer engines than FH.


The ones with SLS, core simply was lightened (no SRB thrust beam/reinforcements), the four SSME's replaced by J-2X, and it becomes the US. The boosters were crossfed.  And ... you could fly a smaller version without the side cores ... which lifted more than Block II ... might.

add:

One benefit of AR1 in this SLS redux above the methalox/solids alternatives was that its energy density really mattered in meeting the requirements of VAB/other with the 8.4m unsurprisingly.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 03/17/2017 09:33 pm
If horizontal integration  is used. Maybe @envy887's 8.4 meter diameter core with the 7 AR-1 without solid boosters could be launched at the LC-39A pad. Of course you will need a much bigger HIF and a new transporter-erector.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: spacenut on 03/17/2017 10:24 pm
What about an 8.4m core with 7 AR-1's, then add two 5.5m 4 AR-1's each where the solids go.   Then have a 2-3 J-2X engine upper stage.   This would meet or exceed Saturn V.  The sides could drop off and the core could continue a little while longer.  This could use Delta IV tooling for the side boosters.  More lift than solids due to less weight. 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/04/2017 07:03 pm
Quote
Successful Testing of Full-Scale Preburner Keeps AR1 Engine on Schedule for 2019

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., May 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), recently conducted hot-fire tests to validate the design of the preburner for the AR1 rocket engine, which represents the nation's lowest-risk, lowest-cost-to-the-taxpayer and fastest path to replacing the Russian-built RD-180 engine currently used to launch most U.S. national security payloads into space.

"This important milestone keeps AR1 squarely on track for flight readiness in 2019," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. "Our proven design process and demonstrated manufacturing approaches are key contributors to Aerojet Rocketdyne's unmatched record of mission success. When replacing the Russian-made engines on current launch vehicles, mission success has to be the country's number one priority."

The preburner, a critical component that drives the engine's turbomachinery, was built using state-of-the-art techniques, including 3-D printing which features Aerojet Rocketdyne's proprietary Mondaloy™ high-strength, burn resistant nickel-based super alloy. With the design now confirmed, Aerojet Rocket has cleared one of the major technological hurdles to fulfill the congressional mandate to end U.S. dependence on Russian engine technology for military launches.

"Due to the hot, oxygen-rich environment inside a staged combustion engine like the AR1, burn resistant materials are necessary to ensure safe operation of the engine under all conditions," said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Advanced Space and Launch Programs and Strategy. "Mondaloy 200™ alloy is the perfect material to use in the AR1, particularly when combined with 3-D printing, because it eliminates the need for exotic metal coatings currently used in the Russian-made RD-180 engine that the AR1 is designed to replace."

The AR1 engine development is using the same rigorous methodology the company has used for its previous successful engine development programs, such as the RS-68, J-2X, RL10, and RS-25. Prior to full engine testing, the company is testing critical components and systems to validate the flight designs, ensuring that they are each robust prior to completing the flight engine design. Hundreds of component and subsystem tests along with manufacturing demonstrations have already occurred on the AR1 engine in advance of full engine testing. This approach minimizes changes once engine-level testing begins. The engine design team has now successfully completed a series of 22 component Critical Design Reviews leading up to an engine system Critical Design Review to support engine qualification and certification in 2019.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.

http://www.rocket.com/article/successful-testing-full-scale-preburner-keeps-ar1-engine-schedule-2019 (http://www.rocket.com/article/successful-testing-full-scale-preburner-keeps-ar1-engine-schedule-2019)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/04/2017 07:31 pm
Interesting. They are showing a very lean preburner test, and it does look like a full scale test article.

Compare it to last years BE4 test, which is far more rich.

And yes Mondaloy would be an explanation as to why it could endure such. Although we don't know how long the burn is for (e.g. burp test, or sustained burn).

They are further along than I'd have guessed. Perhaps they don't want to get "skunked" by having a Vulcan/BE4 on the pad ready for flight test before they make a full scale engine on a test stand?

Could see them releasing info like this if BE4 is having "teething pains" on the test stand.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/04/2017 11:46 pm
They are further along than I'd have guessed. Perhaps they don't want to get "skunked" by having a Vulcan/BE4 on the pad ready for flight test before they make a full scale engine on a test stand?

Could see them releasing info like this if BE4 is having "teething pains" on the test stand.
True, although how would they know?

Part of why RD180 can run so lean seems to be that the turbine blades have a thermal barrier coating (SOP in commercial turbofan engines but apparently unheard of in Western rocket engines, which seems to shun any kind of blade cooling as well). This seems to have been an area AR were having trouble duplicating.

Not needing such an issue could give them an edge given ULA say they are planning engine reuse further down the line. OTOH if BO doesn't need a coating either to achieve their performance neither has an advantage.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 05/04/2017 11:47 pm
Hm. A week ago there were rumors about AR laying off the AR-1 contractors in the wake of BE-4 tests. [via reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/683sj3/rumor_mill_ar1_layoffs/)]
Telephone game with a heavy dose of Kremlinology for good measure...

Good to see that AR can indeed develop rocket engines when they have to. I guess we'll find out sooner or later. My bet is on another shelved rocket engine.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/05/2017 06:11 am
Hm. A week ago there were rumors about AR laying off the AR-1 contractors in the wake of BE-4 tests. [via reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/683sj3/rumor_mill_ar1_layoffs/)]
Telephone game with a heavy dose of Kremlinology for good measure...

Good to see that AR can indeed develop rocket engines when they have to. I guess we'll find out sooner or later. My bet is on another shelved rocket engine.
Well Aerojet have pushed highly Ox rich SC for decades. It seems it's their default "advanced" engine design when that comes up in a bid check list. It'll be good to see them finally develop one.

But outside the RL10 what other liquid rocket engines do AR make? Centaur is a steady sale whatever it launches on but I think ACES will happen and while they do have the home team advantage I don't think it's guaranteed ULA will choose RL10 for it.

How much of AR's operating costs are being carried by every RL10 sale?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/05/2017 06:59 am
But outside the RL10 what other liquid rocket engines do AR make? Centaur is a steady sale whatever it launches on but I think ACES will happen and while they do have the home team advantage I don't think it's guaranteed ULA will choose RL10 for it.

Did you forget about RS-68? But your point does remain. RS-68 will be phased out of use in the next couple of years, and RL-10's future is far from certain. If I was AR I would be getting desperate...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/05/2017 07:41 am
There's also RS-25E for SLS.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/05/2017 09:50 am
Plus a lot of smaller satellite engines and thrusters,  ion drives.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Nomic on 05/05/2017 10:03 am
Wouldn't read to much into that photo, looks like a lot of other preburner tests (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=rocket+engine+preburner+test&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiD5NCwtNjTAhWsA8AKHWzpAO8Q_AUIDCgD&biw=1135&bih=177).

AJR have been doing sub scale tests of this sort for over a decade, so quick progress to this point isn't to surprising.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/05/2017 04:05 pm
Plus a lot of smaller satellite engines and thrusters,  ion drives.
But nothing on the scale of the RS68, RS25E or RL10?

I think it's those big engines that take up the big wads of development money and keep a big chunk of their staff employed.

Without them AR becomes a much smaller operation.

There's also RS-25E for SLS.
Good point. I forget how many RS25's from the Shuttle Boeing are going to use. Aren't the first 2 SLS flights covered by those?
Did you forget about RS-68? But your point does remain. RS-68 will be phased out of use in the next couple of years, and RL-10's future is far from certain. If I was AR I would be getting desperate...
I was thinking longer term. ULA definitely want Delta IV to go and once DIVH is gone what's left as a big money generator for AR?

Without that steady supply of RS68 all they seem to have left in terms of big(ish) liquid rocket engines are the RL10 and the RS25E, still in planning AFAIK.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: mme on 05/05/2017 04:36 pm
...
There's also RS-25E for SLS.
Good point. I forget how many RS25's from the Shuttle Boeing are going to use. Aren't the first 2 SLS flights covered by those?
...
There were 15 existing RS25Ds and they build a 16th from spare parts.  They've ordered 6 new engines.  I think that's for 5 flights with 2 spare engines.

See: NASA defends decision to restart RS-25 production, rejects alternatives (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-defends-restart-rs-25-production)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/05/2017 04:54 pm
...
There's also RS-25E for SLS.
Good point. I forget how many RS25's from the Shuttle Boeing are going to use. Aren't the first 2 SLS flights covered by those?
...
There were 15 existing RS25Ds and they build a 16th from spare parts.  They've ordered 6 new engines.  I think that's for 5 flights with 2 spare engines.

See: NASA defends decision to restart RS-25 production, rejects alternatives (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-defends-restart-rs-25-production)

And even though AR aren't building new RS-25's yet (as far as I know), they still are involved in the work to adapt those engines to SLS. Presumably a juicy contract. But... SLS does not have a certain future.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/06/2017 06:12 pm
There were 15 existing RS25Ds and they build a 16th from spare parts.  They've ordered 6 new engines.  I think that's for 5 flights with 2 spare engines.

See: NASA defends decision to restart RS-25 production, rejects alternatives (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-defends-restart-rs-25-production)
Sounds about right.  First test flight, Apollo 8 redux, Europa probe launch and 2 others TBD?

Still doesn't sound like much of a long term future to me.  :(
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 05/06/2017 07:25 pm
They last two news items before the test were about reducing staff and switching production locations.
If the downward trend continues I can see someone buying them. Much will depend on politics though.

Perhaps one of those group buy deals were the buy if followed by a split between partners, keeping a shared patent pool.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/06/2017 10:05 pm
If the downward trend continues I can see someone buying them.
There is no one left to buy them - Aerojet and Rocketdyne were the last two engine manufacturers.

Quote
Much will depend on politics though.
The politics depended on high labor costs for a beyond commercial "rational" LV to be built by govt fiat.

Both SX/BO have outsized commercial LV's in NA/ITS. There is no place for govt "bigger LV" to go, sort of like the problem with the SSC decades back, too big to be funded.

Quote
Perhaps one of those group buy deals were the buy if followed by a split between partners, keeping a shared patent pool.
AJR doesn't function that way.

You could have it build its own LV for the engine (they attempted to acquire Atlas V this way), or merge it with a firm with an LRE LV (they already burned bridges with AJ26 and Orbital).

Patents are a "big guy game". It's meant to lock out another "big guy" while you exploit market share. To do so you need to be selling/serving. How do they do that?

They still have RL10. But low cost RL10 is a mixed blessing - is there enough volume?

And ... is it still competitive enough against others?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: WulfTheSaxon on 05/06/2017 11:51 pm
If the downward trend continues I can see someone buying them.
There is no one left to buy them - Aerojet and Rocketdyne were the last two engine manufacturers.

Northrop Grumman?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 05/07/2017 12:27 am
There were 15 existing RS25Ds and they build a 16th from spare parts.  They've ordered 6 new engines.  I think that's for 5 flights with 2 spare engines.

See: NASA defends decision to restart RS-25 production, rejects alternatives (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-defends-restart-rs-25-production)
Sounds about right.  First test flight, Apollo 8 redux, Europa probe launch and 2 others TBD?

Still doesn't sound like much of a long term future to me.  :(

Need for RS-25s might not last long enough to use restarted production line -- certainly not long enough to salvage the business.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/07/2017 12:34 am
If the downward trend continues I can see someone buying them.
There is no one left to buy them - Aerojet and Rocketdyne were the last two engine manufacturers.

Maybe an eccentric billionaire will funded it as a hobby after acquiring AJR.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/07/2017 08:14 am
Maybe an eccentric billionaire will funded it as a hobby after acquiring AJR.
There's "eccentric" and there's barking mad.  :)

I'm not sure the group of people who have the money to buy such a company outright has anyone in it who would want to.
Need for RS-25s might not last long enough to use restarted production line -- certainly not long enough to salvage the business.
I'm sure AJR have been and will have many conversations with Congress about how they are vital to the National Interest, preservation of capabilities, maintaining STEM etc etc.

But what would happen if AJR shut down?

It's assets (including it's extensive technical library) would be sold off at auction. It's staff would find other jobs or leave the industry and do something else. XCOR and Blue would continue to sell and/or develop rocket engines to people if they were asked to.

No company has an inherent right to exist.

For the AR-1 to find a market one of 2 things has to happen.

1)BO's relationship with ULA has to fail catastrophically, including their ability to deliver the Vulcan engine.

2) A new US LV company wants to enter the market with a large LV and wants to save time and resources by buying its (very large) main engines off the shelf.

I'll leave others with better awareness of the US environment (or sources) to say how plausible either of those has any chance of happening.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/08/2017 06:00 pm
Quote
LOS ANGELES, May 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) for AR1, a 500,000 lbf thrust-class, liquid-fueled rocket engine.

The milestone keeps the AR1 on track for certification for flight in 2019 as a replacement for the Russian RD-180 engine that is used today to launch most U.S. national security payloads. The U.S. Congress has mandated that the Defense Department discontinue using Russian engines to launch its satellites into space. AR1 is the lowest-risk, lowest-cost-to-the-taxpayer and fastest path to eliminating U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers.

“This important milestone keeps AR1 squarely on track for flight readiness in 2019,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “AR1 ends foreign dependence, fits on existing launch vehicles with the least amount of changes to the system or on new launch vehicles in development, and is compatible with current ground and launch infrastructure.”

The CDR not only focused on the AR1’s detailed design to ensure that it meets the rigorous performance requirements of a booster engine prior to full-scale manufacturing, it also validated the production processes that will be used to produce the flight engines. The comprehensive review was attended by government and industry experts who are independent of the program. These experts viewed and assessed the program’s readiness and confirmed the technical effort is on track.

“Completing the CDR is a significant milestone for the AR1 program. It means that we have finalized our design and confirmed that it meets the diverse set of operational requirements necessary for national security missions,” added Drake. “Leading up to CDR, we manufactured major components at subscale and full-scale dimensions and completed hundreds of tests to confirm that we are ready to build our first engine for qualification and certification.”

The system-level CDR is the culmination of 22 incremental CDRs and critical subsystem testing, such as full-scale performance testing of the preburner and staged combustion system. Additionally, more than 200 engine system-level design requirements have now been established and verifications are in place.

“Using our proven development methodology that has been honed during decades of designing booster engines such as the RS-68 and RS-25, Aerojet Rocketdyne will have an engine certified and ready for production in 2019,” said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Advanced Space and Launch Programs and Strategy. “Aerojet Rocketdyne understands the exacting engine development and launch vehicle integration processes required for National Security Space missions. We have the resources and capabilities in-place to support national security launches using the AR1 as the booster engine starting in 2020.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/05/08/980271/0/en/Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Completes-Critical-Design-Review-for-AR1-Engine.html (https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/05/08/980271/0/en/Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Completes-Critical-Design-Review-for-AR1-Engine.html)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: rockets4life97 on 05/08/2017 06:04 pm
So, how far does this put Aerojet Rocketdyne behind Blue Origin?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/08/2017 06:17 pm
So, how far does this put Aerojet Rocketdyne behind Blue Origin?

Blue Origin has their first BE-4 built and on the test stand. Test fires due to start anytime from now (4 weeks ago Blue said 3 to 8 weeks from testing).

So the answer depends on both how long it takes to build an AR-1 and the relative lengths of the BE-4 and AR-1 test programmes. My guess, between 6 months and a year?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Kryten on 05/08/2017 08:07 pm
BE-4 CDR was in October 2015; https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/659884423425318912?lang=en
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/08/2017 08:54 pm
So, how far does this put Aerojet Rocketdyne behind Blue Origin?
BE-4 CDR was in October 2015; https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/659884423425318912?lang=en

Well on that basis about 17 months.

Of course now the CDR is complete AJR could throw staff at it to accelerate the mfg process.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 05/11/2017 04:40 am
Nice to see the CDR, there is a method to the news releases.

Some thoughts before whatever comes out of the United Launch Alliance Joint-Venture Agreement expiration makes them obsolete.

AR can and will play the heritage card on the RL10 and they will play it hard.
And yes, Jeff Bezos would be stark raving mad to just buy AR.

A quick look says AJRD has ~$1.6B stock value. What current products beyond RS-25, RS-68 & RL10 do they have? With just those three the value seems mighty high.

Looking through their site it is hard to distinguish active from historical products...
I see MMRGT, all kinds of RCS and maneuvering engines (from cube sat to normal sats to Orion, chemical and electric), alloys & 3D printing, defense industry - Looking through wiki there are/were heaps of contaminated sites too. (Another reason not to buy them outright.)

My take on the political angle was more on keeping all those lovely shelved and 98% developed engines like the J-2X viable just a bit longer until the next round of Rocket Lego starts in DC. ;) Some things from their portfolio like MMRGT will be kept alive no matter what.



It will depends on how this plays out. Do they sell off specific technologies piecemeal? Do they try to sell of whole branches? Will one day the stock price just drop through the floor?
Does someone want a technology they have bad enough to just spend the money?


Blue has money. Are there some choice pieces of of liquid or alloy tech they still need? RCS and maneuvering engines of all sizes should be interesting for their future projects, but not at the price of buying all of the rest too. Another angel is that at the point where AR folds Blue should be the remaining big company selling domestic engines to others on the US market. I would not rule out politicians trying their hand at another ULA. - Or perhaps Jeff really wants a full set of his Saturn engine collection.  ;D (Buying specific things because he can, not because he or Blue needs to.) I really doubt that they want to do technology life support.

I don't know about the beef with Orbital ATK. ATK already has all kinds of assorted space, rocket, missile and defense technology. Does AR still have some solid fuel tech that has to be kept viable? Orbital ATK may or may not be interested large liquids for their own use even if they don't fit Antares. The sat and cube sat thrusters should be more there style. - If there is actually something they don't already have. Looking at their other low volume products and concepts I'd suppose they could be convinced to deliver additional technology life support, as long as politics makes it worth their while.

I don't see ULA buying RL10. Even if they get forced into it for political reasons they can just pass on the cost increase and offer another engine to customers.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/21/2017 04:36 pm
Let's say SLS is terminated. ULA chooses BE-4. But there is investment money out there wanting a bigger rocket than Vulcan or even NG and FH. This investment new startup buys up the surplussed SLS manufacturing tooling. They then design a LOX/RP1 first stage at 8.4m diameter with 9 AR-1 engines and then purcahse tech and some hardware from ULA to then also build a 8.4m diameter (non-stainless steel) US ACES like stage using a pair of BE-3's. Such that the intent of the design is to reach a approximate BEO capability to the SLS 1B. It's LEO capability would be slightly less than a SLS 1B. But the major part of the design is that it is for cargo, large 10's of metric tons of BEO payload for cis-Lunar and Planetary orbits. The use of the ACES hardware set for long duration coast allows for use of the US as a full function tug that can place the large payloads into their final orbit.

Lets say they could build and launch such a vehicle for $200-300M twice or maybe 3 times a year. And that they could recover the first stage (VTVL).

Would there be any customers?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/21/2017 04:46 pm
Let's say SLS is terminated. ULA chooses BE-4. But there is investment money out there wanting a bigger rocket than Vulcan or even NG and FH. This investment new startup buys up the surplussed SLS manufacturing tooling. They then design a LOX/RP1 first stage at 8.4m diameter with 9 AR-1 engines and then purcahse tech and some hardware from ULA to then also build a 8.4m diameter (non-stainless steel) US ACES like stage using a pair of BE-3's. Such that the intent of the design is to reach a approximate BEO capability to the SLS 1B. It's LEO capability would be slightly less than a SLS 1B. But the major part of the design is that it is for cargo, large 10's of metric tons of BEO payload for cis-Lunar and Planetary orbits. The use of the ACES hardware set for long duration coast allows for use of the US as a full function tug that can place the large payloads into their final orbit.

Lets say they could build and launch such a vehicle for $200-300M twice or maybe 3 times a year. And that they could recover the first stage (VTVL).

Would there be any customers?

No.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/21/2017 04:54 pm
Let's say SLS is terminated. ULA chooses BE-4. But there is investment money out there wanting a bigger rocket than Vulcan or even NG and FH. This investment new startup buys up the surplussed SLS manufacturing tooling. They then design a LOX/RP1 first stage at 8.4m diameter with 9 AR-1 engines and then purcahse tech and some hardware from ULA to then also build a 8.4m diameter (non-stainless steel) US ACES like stage using a pair of BE-3's. Such that the intent of the design is to reach a approximate BEO capability to the SLS 1B. It's LEO capability would be slightly less than a SLS 1B. But the major part of the design is that it is for cargo, large 10's of metric tons of BEO payload for cis-Lunar and Planetary orbits. The use of the ACES hardware set for long duration coast allows for use of the US as a full function tug that can place the large payloads into their final orbit.

Lets say they could build and launch such a vehicle for $200-300M twice or maybe 3 times a year. And that they could recover the first stage (VTVL).

Would there be any customers?

No.
So your implication is that unless the AR-1 is chosen by ULA for use on national security type payloads, that no one else would want it because of it's cost even if it was able to be used 5-10 times?

That this is because all other engines currently being developed are for even higher reuse numbers and have lower unit costs?

That the AR-1 is an obsolete engine before it is even developed?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FishInferno on 05/21/2017 05:05 pm
Let's say SLS is terminated. ULA chooses BE-4. But there is investment money out there wanting a bigger rocket than Vulcan or even NG and FH. This investment new startup buys up the surplussed SLS manufacturing tooling. They then design a LOX/RP1 first stage at 8.4m diameter with 9 AR-1 engines and then purcahse tech and some hardware from ULA to then also build a 8.4m diameter (non-stainless steel) US ACES like stage using a pair of BE-3's. Such that the intent of the design is to reach a approximate BEO capability to the SLS 1B. It's LEO capability would be slightly less than a SLS 1B. But the major part of the design is that it is for cargo, large 10's of metric tons of BEO payload for cis-Lunar and Planetary orbits. The use of the ACES hardware set for long duration coast allows for use of the US as a full function tug that can place the large payloads into their final orbit.

Lets say they could build and launch such a vehicle for $200-300M twice or maybe 3 times a year. And that they could recover the first stage (VTVL).

Would there be any customers?

No.
So your implication is that unless the AR-1 is chosen by ULA for use on national security type payloads, that no one else would want it because of it's cost even if it was able to be used 5-10 times?

That this is because all other engines currently being developed are for even higher reuse numbers and have lower unit costs?

That the AR-1 is an obsolete engine before it is even developed?

AR-1 is a perfectly fine engine in and of itself, but just having the engine is not a good reason to build a new launcher if there is no need.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 05/21/2017 07:27 pm
...

AR-1 is a perfectly fine engine1 in and of itself, but just having the engine2 is not a good reason to build a new launcher if there is no need.

1. It isn't.
2. We don't.

Careful of present tense...
AR-1 has been a fine engine 'design' for over a decade...

The OP got it right...'proposed RD-180 replacement'
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/21/2017 11:45 pm
So, how far does this put Aerojet Rocketdyne behind Blue Origin?
BE-4 CDR was in October 2015; https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/659884423425318912?lang=en

Well on that basis about 17 months.

Of course now the CDR is complete AJR could throw staff at it to accelerate the mfg process.
Rocketdyne trailed Pratt & Whitney by many months during the SSME competition and were all but written off by the aerospace media of the time.  I'm not saying that history will repeat itself, but history is worth remembering.

As for me, I see a world where launch service companies own their own primary propulsion.  SpaceX and Blue Origin started the trend.  Orbital Sciences merged ATK to continue the trend.  That leaves PWR and ULA, hung out to dry unless ...

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: savuporo on 05/22/2017 01:13 am
..A quick look says AJRD has ~$1.6B stock value. What current products beyond RS-25, RS-68 & RL10 do they have? With just those three the value seems mighty high.
Only a good chunk of solid rockets, missiles and boosters made in US, and pretty much majority of in-space propulsion elements made in US.


Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/22/2017 05:36 am
Let's say SLS is terminated. ULA chooses BE-4. But there is investment money out there wanting a bigger rocket than Vulcan or even NG and FH. This investment new startup buys up the surplussed SLS manufacturing tooling. They then design a LOX/RP1 first stage at 8.4m diameter with 9 AR-1 engines and then purcahse tech and some hardware from ULA to then also build a 8.4m diameter (non-stainless steel) US ACES like stage using a pair of BE-3's. Such that the intent of the design is to reach a approximate BEO capability to the SLS 1B. It's LEO capability would be slightly less than a SLS 1B. But the major part of the design is that it is for cargo, large 10's of metric tons of BEO payload for cis-Lunar and Planetary orbits. The use of the ACES hardware set for long duration coast allows for use of the US as a full function tug that can place the large payloads into their final orbit.

Lets say they could build and launch such a vehicle for $200-300M twice or maybe 3 times a year. And that they could recover the first stage (VTVL).

Would there be any customers?

No.
So your implication is that unless the AR-1 is chosen by ULA for use on national security type payloads, that no one else would want it because of it's cost even if it was able to be used 5-10 times?

That this is because all other engines currently being developed are for even higher reuse numbers and have lower unit costs?

That the AR-1 is an obsolete engine before it is even developed?

The question you asked is would there be any customers for a particular launch vehicle.  I said no to that.  It's not an answer specifically about an engine.  It's an answer about a partuclar launch vehicle you proposed.

You proposed a launch vehicle to launch large payloads beyond Earth orbit.  There aren't any such payloads today.  There's no evidence there will be such payloads in the foreseeable future.  If there were a market for such launches, ULA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin would likely be building vehicles to address that market.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 05/22/2017 12:05 pm
So, how far does this put Aerojet Rocketdyne behind Blue Origin?
BE-4 CDR was in October 2015; https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/659884423425318912?lang=en

Well on that basis about 17 months.

Of course now the CDR is complete AJR could throw staff at it to accelerate the mfg process.
Rocketdyne trailed Pratt & Whitney by many months during the SSME competition and were all but written off by the aerospace media of the time.  I'm not saying that history will repeat itself, but history is worth remembering.
Indeed. Just make sure you remember all of it. Rocketdyne may have been behind many months but they ultimately won because Rocketdyne, unlike Pratt & Whitney, spent its own money to build a full-scale test version of the SSME. This prototype SSME thrust chamber (partial engine) was fired successfully at the company’s Nevada Field Laboratory near Reno during late 1970 and early 1971. As noted by Frank Stewart, a former deputy in NASA's Engine Project Office, this "probably gave them the leg up" toward award of the later engine manufacturing contract.

What is different this time is that the party leading the race (Blue Origin) is actually the one spending it's own money to build a prototype engine (multiple ones in fact) while the trailing party (Aerojet) didn't start development until the government gave them money to do so. That is in fact why Aerojet is behind.
The only reason why Aerojet could potentially still win this race is Blue Origin running into serious trouble using methane as the fuel in stead of using "known-and-understood" RP-1.

But frankly I reckon a 17-month lead will be enough for Blue Origin to iron-out the Methane unknowns and still have a comfortable lead on Aerojet.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/22/2017 02:08 pm
What is different this time is that the party leading the race (Blue Origin) is actually the one spending it's own money to build a prototype engine (multiple ones in fact) while the trailing party (Aerojet) didn't start development until the government gave them money to do so. That is in fact why Aerojet is behind.
Both companies (Aerojet Rocketdyne and Blue Origin) are getting some USAF funding.  Clearly, Aerojet Rocketdyne started later than Blue Origin.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/03/07/ulas-candidates-to-replace-rd-180-engine-win-air-force-funding/

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/22/2017 04:18 pm
Blue as access to unlimited funding if required to overcome any technical hurdle. Aerojet would be on lot tighter budget.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 05/22/2017 08:50 pm
What is different this time is that the party leading the race (Blue Origin) is actually the one spending it's own money to build a prototype engine (multiple ones in fact) while the trailing party (Aerojet) didn't start development until the government gave them money to do so. That is in fact why Aerojet is behind.
Both companies (Aerojet Rocketdyne and Blue Origin) are getting some USAF funding.  Clearly, Aerojet Rocketdyne started later than Blue Origin.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/03/07/ulas-candidates-to-replace-rd-180-engine-win-air-force-funding/

 - Ed Kyle
Correct, but Blue did not receive government funding until they were well into developing the engine with their own money. That's why they are in the lead and that is why, IMO, they will stay in the lead.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Patchouli on 06/07/2017 05:50 pm
Looking at some of the recent set backs Blue has had I wonder if the AR-1 could end up being the dark horse in the race to find a replacement for Russian engines.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/07/2017 06:14 pm
Looking at some of the recent set backs Blue has had I wonder if the AR-1 could end up being the dark horse in the race to find a replacement for Russian engines.


Unlikely. Blue is well ahead of AR-1. Setbacks during testing are normal. AR-1 will have those too.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/07/2017 10:00 pm
Looking at some of the recent set backs Blue has had I wonder if the AR-1 could end up being the dark horse in the race to find a replacement for Russian engines.


Unlikely. Blue is well ahead of AR-1. Setbacks during testing are normal. AR-1 will have those too.

There's little experience in the large scale test of a kerolox ORSC engine inside America. And with those outside, well, it's quite exciting to bring up engines of that scale. Won't be done either cheaply or quickly. Lot's of "boom's".

Some of which AJR knows fairly recently with testing an AJ-26.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ncb1397 on 06/07/2017 10:11 pm
Looking at some of the recent set backs Blue has had I wonder if the AR-1 could end up being the dark horse in the race to find a replacement for Russian engines.


Unlikely. Blue is well ahead of AR-1. Setbacks during testing are normal. AR-1 will have those too.

I don't remember any major mishaps with J-2X. Only thing I could find is they had to abort one test:

Quote
“The engine was shut down safely. Post-test data review and hardware inspections found the engine experienced a combustion “pop” (anomalous lox/fuel detonation) inside the turbine drive hot gas system. The test failure team has determined root cause to be incorrect installation of the gas generator pyrotechnic igniters, resulting in failure to properly ignite the gas generator.”

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/02/second-j-2x-engine-sls-testing/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/07/2017 11:23 pm
Looking at some of the recent set backs Blue has had I wonder if the AR-1 could end up being the dark horse in the race to find a replacement for Russian engines.


Unlikely. Blue is well ahead of AR-1. Setbacks during testing are normal. AR-1 will have those too.

I don't remember any major mishaps with J-2X. Only thing I could find is they had to abort one test...
ORSC compared to gas generator? They'd be done by now. You don't know what you're talking about.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: daveklingler on 06/08/2017 12:07 am
So, how far does this put Aerojet Rocketdyne behind Blue Origin?
BE-4 CDR was in October 2015; https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/659884423425318912?lang=en

Well on that basis about 17 months.

Of course now the CDR is complete AJR could throw staff at it to accelerate the mfg process.
Rocketdyne trailed Pratt & Whitney by many months during the SSME competition and were all but written off by the aerospace media of the time.  I'm not saying that history will repeat itself, but history is worth remembering.
Indeed. Just make sure you remember all of it. Rocketdyne may have been behind many months but they ultimately won because Rocketdyne, unlike Pratt & Whitney, spent its own money to build a full-scale test version of the SSME. This prototype SSME thrust chamber (partial engine) was fired successfully at the company’s Nevada Field Laboratory near Reno during late 1970 and early 1971. As noted by Frank Stewart, a former deputy in NASA's Engine Project Office, this "probably gave them the leg up" toward award of the later engine manufacturing contract.

Not to go too far off-topic, but Pratt famously spent its own money for 10 years to develop and demonstrate several highly-reusable, "passenger-rated" hydrolox high-pressure engines in preparation for the Shuttle program.  They also won the competition by a wide point margin, according to the NASA evaluation team.  The team was overruled by the NASA associate administrator put in charge of making the pick and who just happened to have been a Rocketdyne exec a few months before.  The last part of what you say is accurate..."this probably gave them a leg up."  :)

To add insult to injury, Pratt was ordered to hand over all of their R&D on the topic gratis to Rocketdyne, according to a clause in the RFP they hadn't noticed had been inserted.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/08/2017 08:45 am
Rocketdyne trailed Pratt & Whitney by many months during the SSME competition and were all but written off by the aerospace media of the time.  I'm not saying that history will repeat itself, but history is worth remembering.
Indeed. Just make sure you remember all of it. Rocketdyne may have been behind many months but they ultimately won because Rocketdyne, unlike Pratt & Whitney, spent its own money to build a full-scale test version of the SSME. This prototype SSME thrust chamber (partial engine) was fired successfully at the company’s Nevada Field Laboratory near Reno during late 1970 and early 1971. As noted by Frank Stewart, a former deputy in NASA's Engine Project Office, this "probably gave them the leg up" toward award of the later engine manufacturing contract.
Not to go too far off-topic, but Pratt famously spent its own money for 10 years to develop and demonstrate several highly-reusable, "passenger-rated" hydrolox high-pressure engines in preparation for the Shuttle program.  They also won the competition by a wide point margin, according to the NASA evaluation team.  The team was overruled by the NASA associate administrator put in charge of making the pick and who just happened to have been a Rocketdyne exec a few months before.  The last part of what you say is accurate..."this probably gave them a leg up."  :)

To add insult to injury, Pratt was ordered to hand over all of their R&D on the topic gratis to Rocketdyne, according to a clause in the RFP they hadn't noticed had been inserted.

Ah yes, the infamous P&W XLR-129 /SSME proposal controverse rears it's head again.

First: P&W developed only one engine specifically for the SSME competition. Not "several engines".
P&W's proposal for the SSME was an uprated version of the XLR-129 which had undergone hotfire tests as early as 1967. But stating that P&W had spent their own money developing this engine is not quite correct. XLR-129 development was funded by USAF for their ISINGLASS project. Only the uprating for the SSME proposal was paid for by P&W itself. As such, the investement coming from P&W's own pockets was significantly less then Rocketdyne's private investment in their own proposal engine.
The contract award to Rocketdyne, despite P&W winning the competition on points, was protested by P&W and investigated by GAO. The protest was rejected and GAO eventually upheld the contract award to Rocketdyne. So really, there was no fault in the contract ultimately going to Rocketdyne, despite them being behind on P&W.

Also: P&W was fully aware of the clause in the RPF. Them supposedly not being aware of this clause is a fine example of an urban myth.

Much of the information regarding the so-called "fixing" of the SSME competition comes from a book written by Richard Mulready: https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Engine-Development-Pratt-Whitney/dp/0768006643
From reading that book it is clear that mr. Mulready had an axe to grind. Not uncommon for folks who end up on the losing side of a competition.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/09/2017 05:19 pm
But the SSME analogy is a little off. The SSME contract was picked by NASA but the engine for Vulcan is picked by ULA only with the allowance of letting AF give it's concerns but not any actual veto power or even conditions. The pick will be for: does it meet the performance and business case requirements of ULA in the probable use by customers of which the gov is one of several, although the largest? The most significant of those being the schedule. With being two years ahead the BE-4 would have to have very significant problems. BO is going in the direction of hardware rich expecting some hardware testing to damage the test articles. The AR-1 is still testing only components and has yet to even integrate them into full scale engine.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/11/2017 05:57 pm
But the SSME analogy is a little off.
No engine/contract/politics is perfectly comparable here.

Quote
The SSME contract was picked by NASA but the engine for Vulcan is picked by ULA only with the allowance of letting AF give it's concerns but not any actual veto power or even conditions.
SSME contract was effectively picked by politicians, even if under a NASA "name".

None of this is logical in the slightest. And the pressures on the stakeholders/engine teams is peculiar at the moment now.

For example, the AF is sitting on its hands looking at a apparently working 1MN methalox indigenous engine that has fired on a test stand (combustion stable), five of which could power a Vulcan to orbit, which is likely to never be used on any other vehicle. The two teams competing for Vulcan are certain to be under an extreme pressure by this, one has problems getting through startup cycle (which can go on indefinitely), while the other is still gradually testing components with a full scale assembly 1-2 years out.

Quote
The pick will be for: does it meet the performance and business case requirements of ULA in the probable use by customers of which the gov is one of several, although the largest? The most significant of those being the schedule. With being two years ahead the BE-4 would have to have very significant problems. BO is going in the direction of hardware rich expecting some hardware testing to damage the test articles. The AR-1 is still testing only components and has yet to even integrate them into full scale engine.
Ironically, by contract, AF could force a pick now. Just one no one would want ...  ::)

And there's NGL hovering too.

Now, most here don't realize that SC means a LRE with one (or two with FFSC) LRE's nested inside, and if rocket engines are chaotic , recursive ones are exponentially leveraged by this.

So its nothing anyone can easily predict/control/"budget for"/"bound program schedule risk".

Now ... you want to do longitudinal comparisons.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/11/2017 07:36 pm
Do you have more info on this 1MN methalox engine?.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 06/11/2017 07:41 pm
Do you have more info on this 1MN methalox engine?.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/11/2017 10:44 pm
Do you have more info on this 1MN methalox engine?.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/
Thought it meant a ARJ engine, just read it again realised he was talking about Raptor.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/12/2017 12:04 am
Do you have more info on this 1MN methalox engine?.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/
Thought it meant a ARJ engine, just read it again realised he was talking about Raptor.

Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: yokem55 on 06/12/2017 03:23 am
Do you have more info on this 1MN methalox engine?.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/
Thought it meant a ARJ engine, just read it again realised he was talking about Raptor.

Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/12/2017 06:49 am
Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.
What get's in the way?
Tory's ego probably.
Not to mention that SpaceX and ULA are direct competitors for both government and non-government launches.

Just think why ULA went to Blue for a new engine (and Aerojet) in stead of SpaceX. Blue is not direct competition to ULA (not yet anyway) while SpaceX is competition already.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Ictogan on 06/12/2017 07:18 am
Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.
What get's in the way?
Tory's ego probably.
Not to mention that SpaceX and ULA are direct competitors for both government and non-government launches.

Just think why ULA went to Blue for a new engine (and Aerojet) in stead of SpaceX. Blue is not direct competition to ULA (not yet anyway) while SpaceX is competition already.
Also, SpaceX may decide not to sell their engines to a direct competitor.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/12/2017 10:59 am
Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.
What get's in the way?
Tory's ego probably.
Not to mention that SpaceX and ULA are direct competitors for both government and non-government launches.

Just think why ULA went to Blue for a new engine (and Aerojet) in stead of SpaceX. Blue is not direct competition to ULA (not yet anyway) while SpaceX is competition already.
Also, SpaceX may decide not to sell their engines to a direct competitor.
Correct. That is so blatant obvious that I did not even bother mention it.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/12/2017 01:37 pm
Beside that, SpaceX may be planning to propose a Raptor-based launch vehicle in the next big round of NSS launch opportunities (Block 2, 2019 I think).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 06/12/2017 01:51 pm
Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.
What get's in the way?
Tory's ego probably.
Not to mention that SpaceX and ULA are direct competitors for both government and non-government launches.

Just think why ULA went to Blue for a new engine (and Aerojet) in stead of SpaceX. Blue is not direct competition to ULA (not yet anyway) while SpaceX is competition already.
Also, SpaceX may decide not to sell their engines to a direct competitor.

I assume that the contract with the Air Force requires SpaceX to sell its engines, if the Air Force deems it necessary.  On the other hand, I doubt the price of that forced sale was specified.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/12/2017 02:35 pm
Beside that, SpaceX may be planning to propose a Raptor-based launch vehicle in the next big round of NSS launch opportunities (Block 2, 2019 I think).

This is the draft RFP for the round you're talking about:
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Service Agreements (LSA) Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) (https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=925e366fba301e452496dfd442d6a800&tab=core&_cview=0)
Quote
Depending on progress in developing new US domestic launch systems, the Air Force intends to explore the competitive award of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based firm fixed price (FFP) contracts to two launch providers for NSS launch procurements as soon as possible, but no later than 2020 for 2022 launches.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/12/2017 03:34 pm
Also consider the precedent of the consent decree that forced two rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin to work together.

While remote, if you are working on an engine for a vehicle I guarantee in the back of your mind there's the concern that somebody cuts a deal and suddenly things are a lot different. Because they always can, even if they don't.

Also, while rivals, there are clear areas of current non-compete, including VI. Deals are all about how you read the landscape. And, supposedly full-scale Raptor and full-scale BFR/BFS are the central focus of SX, no ULA/BO overlap there. If that were an absolute, and what Tom Mueller said about making all other vehicles obsolete in SX's eyes, then there is no real concern.

One asks long term - what are the specific areas for AR/BO/ULA/SX? Do they really overlap?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/12/2017 05:55 pm
Also consider the precedent of the consent decree that forced two rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin to work together.

While remote, if you are working on an engine for a vehicle I guarantee in the back of your mind there's the concern that somebody cuts a deal and suddenly things are a lot different. Because they always can, even if they don't.

Also, while rivals, there are clear areas of current non-compete, including VI. Deals are all about how you read the landscape. And, supposedly full-scale Raptor and full-scale BFR/BFS are the central focus of SX, no ULA/BO overlap there. If that were an absolute, and what Tom Mueller said about making all other vehicles obsolete in SX's eyes, then there is no real concern.

One asks long term - what are the specific areas for AR/BO/ULA/SX? Do they really overlap?

With regards to SpaceX versus the other three: no overlap whatsoever. SpaceX is headed for Mars. The other three aren't. ULA will likely continue to rely on government work with the odd commercial launch in the mix. Blue is very clearly vying for NASA work around the Moon along with space tourism. And Aerojet..? Well, unless they get their act together real fast (read: field a commercially competitive launcher) they have already missed the boat.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deruch on 06/12/2017 07:09 pm
Do you have more info on this 1MN methalox engine?.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/
Thought it meant a ARJ engine, just read it again realised he was talking about Raptor.

Indeed. Note that a) it was developed partially under AF/govt funds, b) its a very compact engine, and c) five engines means that one central engine for potential landing.

Ironic that there is an engine that could make Vulcan more than competitive, potentially immediately available.

That will not be used on any vehicle at all (because it is subscale).

People have been talking about modifying F9/FH to make them able to use Raptor. The irony is that there already is a vehicle in desperate need of same. By a rival. Who can't use it by choice.

The point - it must be a pressure on BO, ULA ... and AJR's AR-1 team. I know it would concern me if I was part of such an effort.
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.
That 1MN engine isn't a production engine though, and depending on what's required for SpaceX go about scaling it up to what they'll use for ITS, they won't produce any more of them without having to building a separate, dedicated production line.  It's not like ULA will have a use for just 2 or 3 engines.  They're going to need an on-going supply.  So, even if the AF was willing to apply some pressure and ULA was interested, I don't think it would matter since SpaceX is only going to make the 3MN Raptor variety in quantity.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/12/2017 11:28 pm
Also consider the precedent of the consent decree that forced two rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin to work together.

While remote, if you are working on an engine for a vehicle I guarantee in the back of your mind there's the concern that somebody cuts a deal and suddenly things are a lot different. Because they always can, even if they don't.

Also, while rivals, there are clear areas of current non-compete, including VI. Deals are all about how you read the landscape. And, supposedly full-scale Raptor and full-scale BFR/BFS are the central focus of SX, no ULA/BO overlap there. If that were an absolute, and what Tom Mueller said about making all other vehicles obsolete in SX's eyes, then there is no real concern.

One asks long term - what are the specific areas for AR/BO/ULA/SX? Do they really overlap?

With regards to SpaceX versus the other three: no overlap whatsoever. SpaceX is headed for Mars. The other three aren't. ULA will likely continue to rely on government work with the odd commercial launch in the mix. Blue is very clearly vying for NASA work around the Moon along with space tourism. And Aerojet..? Well, unless they get their act together real fast (read: field a commercially competitive launcher) they have already missed the boat.

Not so fast there... SpaceX is in the process of eating everyone else's lunch in the launch market because they need, 1) great rockets, and 2) lots of revenue, both to get to Mars.  They are entering the satellite market, intending to do the same... for same reason (#2).

Doesn't matter to the lunchless whether SpaceX is going to Mars or Disneyland.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/13/2017 01:21 am
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.

Even if Raptor were ready to go today, it's not in SpaceX's interests to help ULA.  They're SpaceX's direct competitor, especially for U.S. government launches.  It's much better for SpaceX to aim to get 100% of the revenue for a launch rather than just a portion of it for engines.  And it's better for SpaceX to deprive ULA of revenue that ULA can use to invest to compete better in the future.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: yokem55 on 06/13/2017 01:30 am
So what exactly is stopping ULA from knocking on SpaceX Propulsion's door on this? I mean, there is probably a win-win here, SpaceX gets to flight with Raptor sooner (probably) than with any scale of ITS they could get flying, and ULA gets a fairly high performance engine fairly quickly. They might even be able to get enough performance out of to need solids only rarely.

Even if Raptor were ready to go today, it's not in SpaceX's interests to help ULA.  They're SpaceX's direct competitor, especially for U.S. government launches.  It's much better for SpaceX to aim to get 100% of the revenue for a launch rather than just a portion of it for engines.  And it's better for SpaceX to deprive ULA of revenue that ULA can use to invest to compete better in the future.
This is the bit I disagree with. USAF will always want a secondary provider. SpaceX will not end up being a monopoly no matter how cheap they get. In the long run I see a situation much like the one in the x86 CPU market between Intel and AMD. Intel could have put AMD away years ago but hasn't because they saw benefits to keeping a nominal competitor in the market. So if there is a competitor in the market, why not help the one who is more aligned with serving the high cost, specialized services that you yourself cannot provide without a huge investment, while giving the other new commodity services entrant a hard time?

I agree that given the prototype nature of the 1M raptor SpaceX won't sell it, but I don't think they are so short sighted to decide they will never sell propulsion to competitors...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 06/13/2017 01:33 am
I assume that the contract with the Air Force requires SpaceX to sell its engines, if the Air Force deems it necessary.  On the other hand, I doubt the price of that forced sale was specified.

This is true. The contract implements section 1604 of the 2015 NDAA, which says, among other things "REQUIREMENTS.—The system developed under paragraph (1) shall— [blah blah blah] (E) be available for purchase by all space launch providers of the United States."
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: spacenut on 06/13/2017 01:39 am
So does that mean the vacuum Raptor that the Air Force gave money for SpaceX to develop, would have to be sold to others if they wanted it? 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/13/2017 01:50 am
That 1MN engine isn't a production engine though, and depending on what's required for SpaceX go about scaling it up to what they'll use for ITS, they won't produce any more of them without having to building a separate, dedicated production line.  It's not like ULA will have a use for just 2 or 3 engines.  They're going to need an on-going supply.  So, even if the AF was willing to apply some pressure and ULA was interested, I don't think it would matter since SpaceX is only going to make the 3MN Raptor variety in quantity.

If BE-4 was through start-up sequencing and combustion stable, they'd be at the same point.

They are both "one-off" engines at this point. Because when you do engine development, you don't have a production line, because the components are changing somewhat significantly (runs, interfaces, valves, manifolds ,...).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/13/2017 02:02 am
I assume that the contract with the Air Force requires SpaceX to sell its engines, if the Air Force deems it necessary.  On the other hand, I doubt the price of that forced sale was specified.

This is true. The contract implements section 1604 of the 2015 NDAA, which says, among other things "REQUIREMENTS.—The system developed under paragraph (1) shall— [blah blah blah] (E) be available for purchase by all space launch providers of the United States."

In practice, this requirement is pretty meaningless because it doesn't put any specifications on the price that they can charge.  SpaceX could just charge $100 million per engine, and nobody would buy it.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/13/2017 12:59 pm
ULA/Vulcan need a low-cost, high performance engine soonest.

If AR-1 is the soonest, lowest-cost candidate, ULA/Vulcan will be diving -- late -- into a highly competitive market wearing cement boots.

IMO, this is why the company continues to stockpile RD-180s.  They may have to bid for the next round of NSS launches without a flown booster -- their only alternative would be to offer Atlas V, Russian engine and all.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 06/13/2017 01:03 pm
Somebody remind me if I have my history right.
ULA put out an open request for an all American RD-180 replacement and there were basically 2 responses. AR with a future engine and (out of the blue) Blue Origin with their BE-4 already under development.
SpaceX could have offered engines but choose not to.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/13/2017 01:20 pm
I remember Blue and ULA having a joint presser announcing a partnership for the BE-4.  AR-1 was shouting me, too, from the sidelines; SpaceX was otherwise occupied.  USAF funding has been flowing toward replacement 'launch systems', much to the chagrin of Congressional members pushing the Aerojet alternative (as sole target of RD-180 replacement funding pool... but they cannot say that in legislation).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/13/2017 01:37 pm
ULA/Vulcan need a low-cost, high performance engine soonest.

If AR-1 is the soonest, lowest-cost candidate, ULA/Vulcan will be diving -- late -- into a highly competitive market wearing cement boots.

IMO, this is why the company continues to stockpile RD-180s.  They may have to bid for the next round of NSS launches without a flown booster -- their only alternative would be to offer Atlas V, Russian engine and all.

ULA will use Atlas V for the round of NSS launches being bid in the next year.  For the round after that, it does seem likely that at least one provider will be awarded contracts for a launcher that either hasn't flown or maybe has one has a test flight.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/13/2017 02:36 pm
Thread trimmed.  The SpaceX vs. ILS thread is over yonder.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/13/2017 03:18 pm
ULA/Vulcan need a low-cost, high performance engine soonest.

If AR-1 is the soonest, lowest-cost candidate, ULA/Vulcan will be diving -- late -- into a highly competitive market wearing cement boots.

IMO, this is why the company continues to stockpile RD-180s.  They may have to bid for the next round of NSS launches without a flown booster -- their only alternative would be to offer Atlas V, Russian engine and all.

ULA will use Atlas V for the round of NSS launches being bid in the next year.  For the round after that, it does seem likely that at least one provider will be awarded contracts for a launcher that either hasn't flown or maybe has one has a test flight.
There is a small problem with AF LV services acquisition. The launcher must be certified prior to any contract award for a payload. The exception is pure experimental payloads. NASA's policy is certification prior to launch not contract award. so NASA could award contracts for flights in 2021 on Vulcan. Commercial crew and cargo are a special case not using the normal NASA LV certification. So possible cargo could launch as early as 2019/2020 on Vulcan.
This policy then requires that the new LV exists has flown 3 times and has gone through a 6 to 18 month exhaustive review after the 3 flights.
So if first flight of Vulcan is 2019 using BE-4
-> 3 flights by 2020
-> certification by 2021
->contract awards for flights NET 2022 (1 year after certification).

So Atlas V must be active through 2022 at least if not all the way to 2024.

Now add 2 years to this
So if first flight of Vulcan is 2021 using AR-1
-> 3 flights by 2022
-> certification by 2023
->contract awards for flights NET 2024 (1 year after certification).

For AR-1 Atlas V must be active through 2024 at least if not all the way to 2026.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/13/2017 11:01 pm
The BE-4 appeared to be 3-6 months behind its timeline when the test stand mishap occurred; AR-1 was supposed to be flight ready in 2019, 1-1.5 years behind BE-1.  The gap is closing while the decision point for ULA is stretching out toward a drop-dead date probably some time next year.  Mid-2018 could easily see two competing engines on the stand with no clear leader to simplify the decision... flip a coin?  Go with the 'industry leader' that has lots of political backing?  Go with the low-cost alternative that best supports the business case?  Either way, time to select, build, and fly one design or the other will be out by mid-2018, 12 months from now

This scenario assumes things go well in both oxygen-rich staged combustion engine development programs -- an engine thought to be impossible (except in Russia) in the recent past as noted in this forum.

So, the question is, will USAF 'disqualify' Atlas V for NSS Phase 2 flights (forecast for competition in 2019) based on the RD-180 or any/all foreign engines?  ...could easily make bidding a foreign-made engine non-responsive.

2019 is the Congressionally drawn line in the sand... so the USAF offering should directly address engine origin.  Waffling on the RD-180 in the offering will trigger Congressional push-back, but for that push-back to carry the day would take spine unseen in recent years.

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan?  Or bid Atlas V/RD-180 flat out with a 'maybe' Vulcan thrown in for political cover?  They certainly won't have a certified Vulcan launch vehicle before selection*

* They could certainly delay the solicitation until Vulcan was ready... like they did for the phase 1 solicitation for Falcon 9.  Oh wait...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/13/2017 11:24 pm
The BE-4 appeared to be 3-6 months behind its timeline when the test stand mishap occurred; AR-1 was supposed to be flight ready in 2019, 1-1.5 years behind BE-1.  The gap is closing while the decision point for ULA is stretching out toward a drop-dead date probably some time next year.  Mid-2018 could easily see two competing engines on the stand with no clear leader to simplify the decision... flip a coin?  Go with the 'industry leader' that has lots of political backing?  Go with the low-cost alternative that best supports the business case?  Either way, time to select, build, and fly one design or the other will be out by mid-2018, 12 months from now

This scenario assumes things go well in both oxygen-rich staged combustion engine development programs -- an engine thought to be impossible (except in Russia) in the recent past as noted in this forum.

So, the question is, will USAF 'disqualify' Atlas V for NSS Phase 2 flights (forecast for competition in 2019) based on the RD-180 or any/all foreign engines?  ...could easily make bidding a foreign-made engine non-responsive.

2019 is the Congressionally drawn line in the sand... so the USAF offering should directly address engine origin.  Waffling on the RD-180 in the offering will trigger Congressional push-back, but for that push-back to carry the day would take spine unseen in recent years.

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan?  Or bid Atlas V/RD-180 flat out with a 'maybe' Vulcan thrown in for political cover?  They certainly won't have a certified Vulcan launch vehicle before selection.

We have no idea if AR-1 is "catching up" to BE-4.  When AJR throws an engine on the stand we'll see if theirs blows up too...

The new vehicles are being developed for DoD with presumably some insight by the government, so they may not need a bunch of flights before certification.  I'd bet that if one of them can't be ready by 2020-ish it will be more like CRS-2, where delays in choosing the new winners just mean another year of flights for the old winners, not any major change to the process.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2017 12:20 am

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/14/2017 12:22 am
So you're picking option 3, wait until Vulcan is ready.  Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest -- and there is no one to hold USAF accountable for the double standard.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 06/14/2017 12:22 am

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here

naturally
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2017 12:41 am

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here

naturally

There is nothing to see.  Again, just another diatribe against ULA.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2017 12:44 am
So you're picking option 3, wait until Vulcan is ready.  Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest -- and there is no one to hold USAF accountable for the double standard.

What double standard?
The USAF wants a contractor that caters to its every needs, not one that only does things when it feels like it
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 02:27 am

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/14/2017 06:21 am

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
No they don't. Not until January 1st, 2023 that is.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 12:58 pm

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
No they don't. Not until January 1st, 2023 that is.

Which Vulcan might not be make, if they need to use AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/14/2017 01:18 pm

Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
No they don't. Not until January 1st, 2023 that is.

Which Vulcan might not be make, if they need to use AR-1.
That would only be the case if BE-4 never makes it off the test-stand. A highly unlikely scenario IMO.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 01:33 pm
That would only be the case if BE-4 never makes it off the test-stand. A highly unlikely scenario IMO.

Or if BE-4 is delayed about a year in testing, which isn't all that unlikely a scenario.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/14/2017 02:10 pm
My point was how long Atlas V would remain flying. It is a clear representation of why ULA will go with the earliest available engine. Schedule is the most important factor. And the engine availability is driving the schedule. Until the Vulcan is certified to be able to be awarded DOD contracts the Atlas V must be an alternative in order for U:A to keep bidding and getting some flights from the DOD. Once Vulcan starts f;ying the CRS and CC flights would shift to it. ULA does not have to wait on certification for these programs. except for CC they need Human rating certification. HRC is done in parallel with development so not much delay after Vulcan is flying for CC use.

All of this is to show that the business case is all about the schedule and only marginally about the costs. If BE-4 is delayed and AR-1 breezes through it's development then the choice would be to use the AR-1. But we are several years from this point. At least 1 1/2 years beginning of 2019. If BE-4 is not starting into production then AR-1 could end being selected.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/14/2017 04:00 pm
That would only be the case if BE-4 never makes it off the test-stand. A highly unlikely scenario IMO.

Or if BE-4 is delayed about a year in testing, which isn't all that unlikely a scenario.

Both could take ... years. Or not.  But, it's quite a motivator for both that an indigenous 1MN FFSC HC has fired.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/14/2017 04:07 pm
If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 06/14/2017 05:27 pm
If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
Unlikely. OA NGLV is nothing but a Powerpoint rocket right now. At least for Vulcan they have begun to actually install tooling and performing first hardware production tests.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 05:49 pm
If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
Unlikely. OA NGLV is nothing but a Powerpoint rocket right now. At least for Vulcan they have begun to actually install tooling and performing first hardware production tests.

Vulcan and NGL cores are about at the same status in terms of hardware, OATK has made some composite casings. However, even if Vulcan is delayed for AR-1, NGL won't have enough time to capture the market. It won't even have a test flight before 2020, which is around when a Vulcan with AR-1 could be flying.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: WindnWar on 06/14/2017 09:22 pm
My point was how long Atlas V would remain flying. It is a clear representation of why ULA will go with the earliest available engine. Schedule is the most important factor. And the engine availability is driving the schedule. Until the Vulcan is certified to be able to be awarded DOD contracts the Atlas V must be an alternative in order for U:A to keep bidding and getting some flights from the DOD. Once Vulcan starts f;ying the CRS and CC flights would shift to it. ULA does not have to wait on certification for these programs. except for CC they need Human rating certification. HRC is done in parallel with development so not much delay after Vulcan is flying for CC use.

All of this is to show that the business case is all about the schedule and only marginally about the costs. If BE-4 is delayed and AR-1 breezes through it's development then the choice would be to use the AR-1. But we are several years from this point. At least 1 1/2 years beginning of 2019. If BE-4 is not starting into production then AR-1 could end being selected.

The other factor in that schedule is that until Vulcan ACES starts flying they have to maintain Delta Heavy and set aside x number of cores for it, and those costs could easily end up quite a bit larger than the marginal cost difference between AR-1 and BE-4. Unless they change the plan of introducing Vulcan first and ACES later the first flight of Vulcan probably impacts the first flight of Vulcan ACES so the sooner its flying the sooner they can retire the assets of Delta Heavy and the costs associated with it.

Still requires AR-1 to either leapfrog BE-4 or BE-4 to suffer some major schedule delays.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 06/14/2017 10:20 pm
If ULA is waiting on an engine, any engine, perhaps it is time to accelerate ACES beyond what is public so far?

That would buy some additional time at the end of the development process when the heavy has to be replaced.
(Or maybe that is why there was a surge in ACES technology development.)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Dante80 on 06/16/2017 02:39 am
ULA is getting an engine, one way of the other. Moreover, even if both engine programs fail (not that probable), DoD is not going to disqualify their most reliable LV solution because John McCain is hysterical about Putin. Atlas V will keep launching.

That scenario would be bad for ULA (as per Tory Brunos' testimony under oath, they need a more competitive LV when the DoD launch rate ramps down in the early 20s), but far from catastrophic.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/16/2017 06:32 pm
EELV cost discussion moved here: EELV Costs from Air Force FY2018 Budget (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43159.0)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/17/2017 04:14 pm
Forbes take on this is that AR-1 funding was about to be - and maybe already had - stopped, until the BE-4 power pack blew up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2017/06/16/air-force-rethinks-military-space-plan-after-bezos-rocket-component-blows-up/#3aa3fe855fbf

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 06/17/2017 05:13 pm
Oh dear.  You're linking to Loren Thompson?  Not an authoritative source, by any means.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/19/2017 02:40 pm
Oh dear.  You're linking to Loren Thompson?  Not an authoritative source, by any means.
Here's another source with a similar report.
http://aviationweek.com/space/usaf-keep-ar-1-work-going-amid-be-4-setback

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 06/28/2017 01:17 am
New article from Jeff Foust of SpaceNews:
Blue Origin retains engine lead as House considers limitations on launch system funding (http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-retains-engine-lead-as-house-considers-limitations-on-launch-system-funding/)
Quote
[A]t a briefing of staff members organized by the House Armed Services Committee June 23, an independent assessment prepared by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center reportedly confirmed that BE-4 maintained a major schedule advantage over the AR1 despite the testing setback.

“They are two years behind Blue Origin,” one meeting attendee, not authorized to speak on the record, said of the assessment’s conclusion about AR1. Another year would be needed to integrate the engine with a launch vehicle.

[...]The briefing attendee noted the NASA assessment’s concerns about the AR1 were focused on its schedule and cost, rather than its technical development.
Edit: cross-posted from BE-4 discussion as it is also relevant to AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/21/2017 05:59 pm
https://youtu.be/_UDy0dMInP8 (https://youtu.be/_UDy0dMInP8)

Quote
Published on 21 Jul 2017
AR1 preburner testing at NASA's Stennis Space Center
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/21/2017 09:45 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UDy0dMInP8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UDy0dMInP8)

Quote
Published on 21 Jul 2017
AR1 preburner testing at NASA's Stennis Space Center
Looks like the E-6 test stand was stripped of AJ-26 hardware and rebuilt. Possibly going to be used for full AR-1 tests??
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/08/2017 02:46 pm
Quote
AR1 rocket R&D costs reach $228 million
by Michael Fabey — August 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — Research and development (R&D) costs for the AR1 rocket from the program’s inception through June 30 have reached about $228 million, according to recent Security Exchange Commission (SEC) filings by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the engine’s manufacturer.

http://spacenews.com/ar1-rocket-rd-costs-reach-288-4-million/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 09/01/2017 09:57 am
Quote
AR1 rocket R&D costs reach $228 million
by Michael Fabey — August 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — Research and development (R&D) costs for the AR1 rocket from the program’s inception through June 30 have reached about $228 million, according to recent Security Exchange Commission (SEC) filings by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the engine’s manufacturer.

http://spacenews.com/ar1-rocket-rd-costs-reach-288-4-million/
So $220m in and AJR have managed to get to a preburner test.

You've got to wonder how that has compared to the Raptor sub scale engine, and where it is in its test programme for costs.

If they are equivalent that would be more than SX spent on the whole F1 and F9 to first launch.

Somehow I rather doubt that's what SX did spend, but it was a new fuel and new engine cycle.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 09/05/2017 07:56 am
If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
You might like to look up ATK's claims at how they'd pursue Liberty (their predecessor liquid-on-solid ELV concept) if they lost the commercial cargo contract from NASA.

And what they actually did.  :(

This things a bunch of power points and a big price tag for someone else to pay.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/05/2017 08:59 am
If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
You might like to look up ATK's claims at how they'd pursue Liberty (their predecessor liquid-on-solid ELV concept) if they lost the commercial cargo contract from NASA.

And what they actually did.  :(

This things a bunch of power points and a big price tag for someone else to pay.
The difference this time round is Orbital LV expertise and all stages built inhouse except low cost BE3 US engine.
 The Liberty used a very expensive Ariane 5 core stage as US.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 09/05/2017 06:22 pm
The difference this time round is Orbital LV expertise and all stages built inhouse except low cost BE3 US engine.
 The Liberty used a very expensive Ariane 5 core stage as US.
Given Ariane 5 has been in production for some time its marginal cost (provided it didn't need a complete redesign) would probably not have been that high. The Antares booster was built in Russia as well.

The difference. Antares had a NASA development contract on it.

This new rocket will be built in exact proportion to how much some part of the USG foots the bill. If they foot 50% of the actual estimated development bill, that's what'll get built.  :(

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/05/2017 07:30 pm
Too much OT, too much ill considered, too much conflated.

For any LV, stage/engine development is never cheap. You look at marginal flight rates that will eventually pay off/operate the vehicle, given expected competition for such missions.

Look at why ULA is reducing its footprint - to match SX costing ala FAR/other. And also look at what ULA is going through to retain the manifest it needs to survive. As well as Vulcan. And the anxiety of BE-4 arriving late.

Know the AR-1 program. An extremely optimistic view is 2+years. The real fun (as BO and SX found) starts when you get a full scale engine on a test stand. For engines of this scale, there is an painful, indefinite time til success reliably delivers a useful engine.

The wonder was SX getting 1MN methalox mach diamonds so quickly. The free fall BO is currently in is to be expected (and I wish them well). AJR aspires to hope of such optimism as the best case in two years.

As for the OT OA - there is a completely paper vehicle with unqualified components, not stages, test stands, functional pad/GSE, operations, and logistics in place. Even further behind the 8 ball. Duh.

(Oh, and Ariane 5/6/next can move mountains too, with much in place. Their chief problem is really that they can afford one vehicle plus research, but they had financial pressure (A5) that drove the need to do a vehicle (A6) as the market was undergoing unprecedented change (F9R) leading to a different, incompatible future (Anext). Likely by the end of this there will be a different outcome than expected.)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/06/2017 07:20 am
The Antares booster was built in Russia as well.

The Antares engines were built in Russia. The booster was built in the Ukraine.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 09/06/2017 10:43 am
The Antares booster was built in Russia as well.

The Antares engines were built in Russia. The booster was built in the Ukraine.
A fair point but the key point was OA were quite happy to have mfg offshore and were expecting to make a profit on it, provided they had a NASA contract to do so.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/19/2017 08:26 pm
With the latest BE-4 50% thrust level 3 second successful test, what does this portend for the AR-1 program?

The basic items are that until ULA confirms it's choice and finishes CDR with the choice and that choice not being AR-1 there is no immediate consequence. But after?

The key here unless AJR can show that some other US launcher that wants to use the AR-1 for NSS launches, the AF would not renew any follow-on development contracts. Most likely not cancel the current one but just let it run out with no-follow on and no option exercising. That would probably get the AF the most for least effort. Information is always useful. Plus the current contract is funded so if canceled the AF would not be able to move the money elsewhere unless they were extremely lucky with the cancellation clauses and contract termination terms. (NOT LIKELY). Primarily the timeframe would be the contract would end at the end of this FY. BTW the current FY is FY2018 and it ends on 30 Sept 2018.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/20/2017 02:52 am
Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: rcoppola on 10/20/2017 03:08 am
The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/20/2017 03:10 am
The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.

How do you know the AR-1 has stopped development? I somehow don't believe you.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: rcoppola on 10/20/2017 03:30 am
The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.

How do you know the AR-1 has stopped development? I somehow don't believe you.
I know only one thing...Engines are made for launchers. There is no launcher for this engine.  But sure, if they can find the funds, they can build it and then ever so gently, place it right next to that shiny J2X...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: yokem55 on 10/20/2017 03:37 am


The AR-1 is dead. Long live the AR-1.

How do you know the AR-1 has stopped development? I somehow don't believe you.
I know only one thing...Engines are made for launchers. There is no launcher for this engine.  But sure, if they can find the funds, they can build it and then ever so gently, place it right next to that shiny J2X...

If AJR was a little bit more ambitious and willing to take a risk, they would have most of the pieces for their own LV. It's no wonder Musk doesn't want SpaceX to become publicly traded.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/20/2017 07:03 am
At the IAC AR-1 presentation I asked if they will continue with AR-1 if ULA doesn't choose the AR-1. The speaker said they are talking to the USAF about that. Not much technical information was presented, other than they are using a metal alloy for the oxidiser rich preburner.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Hauerg on 10/20/2017 07:27 am
Which, of course, is the best combination on this planet right now.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 10/20/2017 08:01 am
Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
For that to be even viable AR-1 will have to switch to burning methane in stead of RP-1. You can do dual development work for the core, based on 2 different propellants, for only so long. Right up to CDR. After that, all bets are on a single propellant. And that will be methane. And with it, the "backup" role for AR-1 goes away. Quickly IMO.

But I agree that won't stop Aerojet-Rocketdyne lobbyists from keeping the pressure on certain folks in US Congress. After all, government funding is their bread-and-butter.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 10/20/2017 12:58 pm
Which, of course, is the best combination on this planet right now.

This needs to be said now (and quickly)... the 'industry leader' is in third place in head-to-head competition.
Soon -- five years from now -- they might not have a single vehicle flying their engines.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 10/20/2017 01:06 pm
Which, of course, is the best combination on this planet right now.

This needs to be said now (and quickly)... the 'industry leader' is in third place in head-to-head competition.
Soon -- five years from now -- they might not have a single vehicle flying their engines.
One word: RL10


It will still be around five years from now.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: PahTo on 10/20/2017 03:00 pm
Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
Or NASA keeping it alive as an SLS Block 2 booster engine option.

 - Ed Kyle

Yep, Ed nailed it.  Even though solids have a leg up for SLS advanced booster, and despite the fact said booster is unlikely to ever fly, I imagine funds will be made available to continue development of AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/20/2017 03:12 pm
Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
Or NASA keeping it alive as an SLS Block 2 booster engine option.

ULA has to end Atlas V because it's not competitive price-wise, nor can it carry the largest payloads for the USAF. So it has to die in order for ULA to live.

Which means the RP-1/LOX fueled AR-1 engine only has the option of being a "backup engine" for a liquid methane/LOX designed Vulcan or a LH2/LOX designed SLS.

I don't see a path to success there...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/20/2017 04:19 pm
If AR-1 has any plans for use on a liquid booster for SLS, NASA would have to find funds to support it's development. The AF would no longer do so since it would no longer have a NSS role.

The save it for use on Atlas V is not an  option because it would take the AF to fund the Atlas V redesign in order to mount the AR-1 on it, as well as pad mods and tooling etc. A significant amount of funds that would result in a new rocket that has to go through qualification and then the 3 flight success for certification to take DOD payloads all at 2 years behind the Vulcan, a few $100's million if not billion AF expense.

But all those who predict gloom and doom for AJR, that is far from the truth. AJR is more than just a few liquid rocket engines. Their main income comes from SRMs for munitions and rockets used by fielded systems which are expended regularly and are in significant production and will remain that way for years. There are other small engines RCS thrusters etc that they also manufacture for use in sats that are also likely to remain in production.

AR-1 is but a small development program in a large company.

Added: NOTE - the Vulcan with BE-4 being 2 years ahead of any use on Atlas V would basically put the Vulcan into flight tests by the time that a Atlas V with AR-1 redesign would go through a CDR. It is just too far out in time to be a program that will continue past this year unless BE-4 has some sort of sever engine design problem which this test shows that is now an unlikely occurrence. But we await the BE-4 full thrust full duration burn before the fait of AR-1 is sealed. Which would definitely occur before the end of this FY2018 and possibly even before the end of this CY2017.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/20/2017 04:54 pm
It's premature to call the BE-4 test the end of AR-1. Aerojet Rocketdyne have quite a bit of lobbying power and even if it is not picked by ULA for Vulcan, it may end up being kept alive regardless.The effectively got SSME into use for both SLS and XS-1. AR-1 could end up being kept for a future SLS advanced engine contract. Congress may even hatch a plan to mandate integration of AR-1 with the existing Atlas V booster regardless of Vulcan using BE-4. As ridiculous as that sounds, it's not beyond them.

There is also the remote possiblity another company that wants to enter the launch market with an RLV picks it up. Large reusable ORSC engines are expensive and take years to develop. Buying from AJR would cut costs, risk and schedule enormously. DC-X which is forefunner of many RLVs today, used plain old RL-10s rather than develop brand new engines.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/20/2017 05:19 pm
Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
For that to be even viable AR-1 will have to switch to burning methane instead of RP-1.
Not what I was referring to.

Yes, you could retarget AR-1 to being a backup engine to Vulcan. Was referring to instead how members of Congress were being lobbied that AR-1 was a "drop in replacement" for RD180, and (in effect we're back to having someone if not ULA) revise Atlas V and keep it flying as backup, thus "backup engine" (according to lobbyist talk, not me).

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You can do dual development work for the core, based on 2 different propellants, for only so long. Right up to CDR. After that, all bets are on a single propellant. And that will be methane. And with it, the "backup" role for AR-1 goes away. Quickly IMO.
Agreed. Another possibility but not likely.

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But I agree that won't stop Aerojet-Rocketdyne lobbyists from keeping the pressure on certain folks in US Congress. After all, government funding is their bread-and-butter.
Its what they are best at, unfortunately, as a "corporation".  ::)

Which, of course, is the best combination on this planet right now.

This needs to be said now (and quickly)... the 'industry leader' is in third place in head-to-head competition.
Soon -- five years from now -- they might not have a single vehicle flying their engines.
One word: RL10


It will still be around five years from now.
RL10 is a hard, established, engine to beat. Costly too, although that doesn't need to be.

Its history is intertwined with the entire space program, even in various other countries.

However if AJR were to become a single product company, that would be ... difficult.

Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
Or NASA keeping it alive as an SLS Block 2 booster engine option.

 - Ed Kyle

Yep, Ed nailed it.  Even though solids have a leg up for SLS advanced booster, and despite the fact said booster is unlikely to ever fly, I imagine funds will be made available to continue development of AR-1.
Almost brought this up.

But in Congress it could be heard things like "SLS day without solids is like a day without sunshine" (intentional pun with Florida reference), meaning it'll never see the light of day. Which is ironic given that the best chance of SLS being useful/"not cancelled" is to grow, and the limits of the scalability of the solids are the primary limitation, so for AJR to "win" OA would have to "lose".

(Note also that the F1-B work  on SLS LRE advanced boosters is still there by Dynetics, who have been brought in by AJR to "save" AR-1.)

And for those who'll attempt to bring it up also, yes you could power Antares, but again cheaper, available RD-181's are already in use (sorta ... we're coming up on its second flight). It is unclear with Northrup Grumman acquisition of OA if continuing Antares (or any launch systems) long term is desirable ... they might just fly out the CRS contract and/or switch to Atlas for the remainder.

So there are a lot of "sock puppets" to use here, but most of them have some pretty gaping holes.

Which is not surprising that AJR would desire to "get" Atlas V as a LV to operate, to transform itself into a provider, but the lobbyists can't help there, as AJR debt/stock isn't interesting, and one of Vulcan's biggest competitors for non NSS launches would then be an AJR LV - why breed your own competition. (Or in terms of Sowers, let a parasite take you over in full...)

If AR-1 has any plans for use on a liquid booster for SLS, NASA would have to find funds to support it's development. The AF would no longer do so since it would no longer have a NSS role.
Except as filling out a suite of propulsion options, which is lame but look at Raptor funding. Lobbyists think this way.

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The save it for use on Atlas V is not an  option because it would take the AF to fund the Atlas V redesign in order to mount the AR-1 on it, as well as pad mods and tooling etc. A significant amount of funds that would result in a new rocket that has to go through qualification and then the 3 flight success for certification to take DOD payloads all at 2 years behind the Vulcan, a few $100's million if not billion AF expense.

AJR says "minor changes', and the existing pads works fine. Remember, Atlas/Vulcan will share a pad.  They'd bill it as just continuing Atlas flyout past RD180, and milk Congress for billions to continue operations as a gradual phase over.  What they'll say.

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But all those who predict gloom and doom for AJR, that is far from the truth. AJR is more than just a few liquid rocket engines. Their main income comes from SRMs for munitions and rockets used by fielded systems which are expended regularly and are in significant production and will remain that way for years. There are other small engines RCS thrusters etc that they also manufacture for use in sats that are also likely to remain in production.
True but all products are under attack from rivals too. AJR has perpetual baggage, and I've been fooled too many times by the cartoonish "this time for sure" management speak.

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AR-1 is but a small development program in a large company.
Yes but billed as the pivot to turnaround AJR for more than a half decade.

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Added: NOTE - the Vulcan with BE-4 being 2 years ahead of any use on Atlas V would basically put the Vulcan into flight tests by the time that a Atlas V with AR-1 redesign would go through a CDR.
Don't discount the long fly out of Atlas. And something close to Atlas as a continuation beyond RD180 is what Congress wants more than Vulcan.

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It is just too far out in time to be a program that will continue past this year unless BE-4 has some sort of sever engine design problem which this test shows that is now an unlikely occurrence.
I'll give you a "cup of coffee" bet that it'll continue past FY2018 (redeemable eventually in Lompoc or Cocoa Beach or Denver). Not that it should.

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But we await the BE-4 full thrust full duration burn before the fait of AR-1 is sealed. Which would definitely occur before the end of this FY2018 and possibly even before the end of this CY2017.
I think it's duration and combustion stability that are the long poles. Agree with the CY2017.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/20/2017 05:32 pm
One word: RL10

It will still be around five years from now.
It's not very likely but it might not survive either. Delta IV is already being discontinued and ULA could pick BE-3 for ACES. The remaining user is SLS which could also get cancelled.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/20/2017 05:44 pm
One word: RL10

It will still be around five years from now.
It's not very likely but it might not survive either. Delta IV is already being discontinued and ULA could pick BE-3 for ACES. The remaining user is SLS which could also get cancelled.
Underestimates the fundamental effectiveness of the RL10.

It may fly in other ways for many decades. BTW Centaur advantages as well like this.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 10/20/2017 06:09 pm
One word: RL10

It will still be around five years from now.
It's not very likely but it might not survive either. Delta IV is already being discontinued and ULA could pick BE-3 for ACES. The remaining user is SLS which could also get cancelled.
Underestimates the fundamental effectiveness of the RL10.

It may fly in other ways for many decades. BTW Centaur advantages as well like this.

It might or it might not. But costs matter, now more than ever. It is only recently that the industry has broken out of the "isp at any cost" mentality - we even have GTO missions done with RP-1 stages (gasp!). Two new launch vehicles are being developed with MethaLox upper stages. None of them will have engines that match the isp of RL-10, but they could still kill it off.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/20/2017 06:29 pm
AJR have been working on reducing RL10 build cost by redesign it to enable use of modern manufacturing technology. I think it is still ULA preferred engine but having BE3U as option helps keep AJR on their toes.

Its in AJR best interest to bring price down so ULA can stay competitive. Less ULA flys the less engines they buy.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: spacenut on 10/20/2017 06:46 pm
I would love to see boosters for SLS with 6 AR-1's on each booster with say a Merlin in the middle and NASA learn how to land the boosters.  Then SLS would be a more capable rocket and save money with reuse of the boosters. 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Patchouli on 10/20/2017 09:01 pm

Added: NOTE - the Vulcan with BE-4 being 2 years ahead of any use on Atlas V would basically put the Vulcan into flight tests by the time that a Atlas V with AR-1 redesign would go through a CDR. It is just too far out in time to be a program that will continue past this year unless BE-4 has some sort of sever engine design problem which this test shows that is now an unlikely occurrence. But we await the BE-4 full thrust full duration burn before the fait of AR-1 is sealed. Which would definitely occur before the end of this FY2018 and possibly even before the end of this CY2017.

I thought the AR-1 was supposed to be largely a drop in replacement for the RD-180 requiring little in the way of changes to Atlas V CCB.

AJR have been working on reducing RL10 build cost by redesign it to enable use of modern manufacturing technology. I think it is still ULA preferred engine but having BE3U as option helps keep AJR on their toes.

Its in AJR best interest to bring price down so ULA can stay competitive. Less ULA flys the less engines they buy.


Moving the RL-10 to more automated construction even channel wall construction would be a step in the right direction.

I would love to see boosters for SLS with 6 AR-1's on each booster with say a Merlin in the middle and NASA learn how to land the boosters.  Then SLS would be a more capable rocket and save money with reuse of the boosters. 


That actually might be a good idea even with reuse of the booster it probably would increase the payload 10 to 30%.
Another benefit you get the first stage of a CLV in the deal by putting the old Ares I upper stage on top of it.
Though the better first stage would make the J-2X unnecessary it probably could get by with 2 BE-3Us.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/20/2017 09:23 pm

Added: NOTE - the Vulcan with BE-4 being 2 years ahead of any use on Atlas V would basically put the Vulcan into flight tests by the time that a Atlas V with AR-1 redesign would go through a CDR. It is just too far out in time to be a program that will continue past this year unless BE-4 has some sort of sever engine design problem which this test shows that is now an unlikely occurrence. But we await the BE-4 full thrust full duration burn before the fait of AR-1 is sealed. Which would definitely occur before the end of this FY2018 and possibly even before the end of this CY2017.

I thought the AR-1 was supposed to be largely a drop in replacement for the RD-180 requiring little in the way of changes to Atlas V CCB.

The engines are completely different. The RD180 is a single engine with dual TC which will be replaced by a pair of independent engines. The thrust structure, piping, software, and a lot of other items all in the same area is 100% different. Nothing is common. This is not an engine upgrade by a higher thrust version of engine in same family with similar thrust and piping connections, controllers, and software. Also the mixture ratio is different meaning the placement of where the dome separating the LOX and RP-1 tanks has to be moved creating a new tank design which must be structurally qualified. Basically you end with a nearly completely new booster.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 10/20/2017 09:42 pm

Added: NOTE - the Vulcan with BE-4 being 2 years ahead of any use on Atlas V would basically put the Vulcan into flight tests by the time that a Atlas V with AR-1 redesign would go through a CDR. It is just too far out in time to be a program that will continue past this year unless BE-4 has some sort of sever engine design problem which this test shows that is now an unlikely occurrence. But we await the BE-4 full thrust full duration burn before the fait of AR-1 is sealed. Which would definitely occur before the end of this FY2018 and possibly even before the end of this CY2017.

I thought the AR-1 was supposed to be largely a drop in replacement for the RD-180 requiring little in the way of changes to Atlas V CCB.

The engines are completely different. The RD180 is a single engine with dual TC which will be replaced by a pair of independent engines. The thrust structure, piping, software, and a lot of other items all in the same area is 100% different. Nothing is common. This is not an engine upgrade by a higher thrust version of engine in same family with similar thrust and piping connections, controllers, and software. Also the mixture ratio is different meaning the placement of where the dome separating the LOX and RP-1 tanks has to be moved creating a new tank design which must be structurally qualified. Basically you end with a nearly completely new booster.

In addition, people are treating AR-1 as a "sure thing". I'm not. They have years of work remaining that would be very challenging even if they were to be selected right now by ULA.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 10/20/2017 09:48 pm
Didn't Aerojet claim they could completely replicate RD-180s plumbing and structural interfaces? Software interfaces shouldn't be any different (vehicle-level avionics don't care whats going on in the engine controller, all the need is a set of defined inputs and outputs with defined formats to the engine. No different from how that would be defined in any new engine early in development). Presumably when you're designing a new engine from scratch specifically to fit an existing rocket, its not infeasible to match that sort of stuff, the way it would be to adapt Atlas to use Merlin (a much more radically different engine which was developed without any concern for existing interfaces on Atlas).

Big issue I think would be taking full advantage of the increased maximum thrust, which needs a stronger thrust structure and stretched tanks and new SRBs (because Atlas V has its SRBs attaching at the intertank, which would now be higher, and that means a complete booster redesign). But couldn't they do something like Antares 200, where they keep the tanks identical to the previous version and not fully-fuel the tanks (because of the slightly different mix ratio), and run the engine at a lower max thrust? Performance would be similar-ish or maybe even slightly improved (as was the case with Antares 200, the mass ratio loss is very small and theres a slight ISP gain), just not to its full potential. They've done/will soon do comparably large modifications on Atlas and Delta anyway (RS-68A, GEM-63, RL10C, composite AV 400 fairing). Then follow it up a few years later with a completely new rocket making full use of its capabilities.

But of course its a moot point, since BE-4 is still more capable, cheaper, and coming much sooner, and obviously that would be the preferred path forward for ULA even if AR-1 was a perfect drop in
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 10/20/2017 10:08 pm
Didn't Aerojet claim they could completely replicate RD-180s plumbing and structural interfaces?

AJR has claimed a *lot* of things with regards to the RD-180, including being able to build a domestic copy. Yeah, we know what happened to that. Which is why I'm skeptical about the AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/20/2017 10:22 pm
The basic point where if both a Vulcan BE-4 based and a Atlas V RD-180 or AR-1 exist at the same time the primary item is that if the government is given the choice between these two certified vehicles that have to fly off the same pad. That the AF will go with the lower cost booster which will be the Vulcan because it is being designed to be lower cost that the Atlas V and in a head to head would be cheaper even for the lightest payloads.

If Vulcan can not achieve this goal of cheaper than Atlas V then it will likely have a short life in this LV supply competitive environment that will be in place in the 2020's. If that happens then ULA will not live long past that point. ULA must become at least token competitive in the US with the other major US medium/heavy LV providers SpaceX, BO, and even Orbital ATK.

In order to do that they have to reduce the cost of launch. Use of an AR-1 on a Atlas V does not do that.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: butters on 10/20/2017 10:30 pm
RL-10 is their only large liquid engine with a plausible long-term future, after Delta and SLS wind down. The question is whether any amount of 3D printed RL-10 parts can overcome the amortized fixed costs of a vast enterprise which may have been reduced to selling half a dozen RL-10s per year (at best) for the remaining ULA missions not taken over by SpaceX. That's assuming ULA doesn't go with BE-3U.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/20/2017 10:30 pm
It's premature to call the BE-4 test the end of AR-1. Aerojet Rocketdyne have quite a bit of lobbying power and even if it is not picked by ULA for Vulcan, it may end up being kept alive regardless.

Just as a reminder though, ULA (i.e. Boeing and Lockheed Martin) own the decision about what engine to use. It would be highly unusual for Congress to step in and mandate a business decision for a contractor.

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Congress may even hatch a plan to mandate integration of AR-1 with the existing Atlas V booster regardless of Vulcan using BE-4. As ridiculous as that sounds, it's not beyond them.

The owners of ULA are Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the two largest government contractors - who no doubt have their own large armies of lobbyists. If they don't want it to happen it likely won't.

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There is also the remote possiblity another company that wants to enter the launch market with an RLV picks it up.

I'm sure AJR will welcome them with open arms. Highly unlikely though, isn't?

Quote
Large reusable ORSC engines are expensive and take years to develop. Buying from AJR would cut costs, risk and schedule enormously. DC-X which is forefunner of many RLVs today, used plain old RL-10s rather than develop brand new engines.

The amount of money spent on something has no relationship to how long it should survive in the marketplace. And if the marketplace does move to reusable launchers, then engines that enable that are what AJR should really be focused on if they want to stay in the rocket supplier business.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 10/20/2017 11:42 pm
Predict that lobbyists will speak of a "backup engine" for Atlas V as a means to keep funding AR-1 after a BE-4 selection. That vision dies hard.
Or NASA keeping it alive as an SLS Block 2 booster engine option.

 - Ed Kyle

Yep, Ed nailed it.  Even though solids have a leg up for SLS advanced booster, and despite the fact said booster is unlikely to ever fly, I imagine funds will be made available to continue development of AR-1.

Continuing to develop an engine (AR-1 or its variants have been around developing for 15-20 ? years) is different than anyone buying it for their operational launch vehicle.  In a cost-competitive launch services market, AJR is simply not a player.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/21/2017 12:20 am
I'm sure AJR will welcome them with open arms. Highly unlikely though, isn't?
Yup. Hence I qualified it with the word 'remote', as unlikely but not zero.


Quote
The amount of money spent on something has no relationship to how long it should survive in the marketplace. And if the marketplace does move to reusable launchers, then engines that enable that are what AJR should really be focused on if they want to stay in the rocket supplier business.
Never actually said there is a relationship between the money spent on a system and its marketplace viability. However, AR-1 already is a reusable engine and the government have effectively paid for it. Since engines like this can take up to 7 years to develop at a cost of hundreds of millions, a new entrant to the RLV market could choose to avoid those costs by purchasing something commercial and off the shelf at its marginal cost instead of reinventing the wheel. They could then focus their limited resources on all other parts of the RLV and field it sooner than would be otherwise possible. Another company attempting to compete with Blue Origin and SpaceX in the RLV market could make themselves more competitive by exactly the money and time they did not spend on something!. I've no idea how likely this scenario is with the AR-1 in particular, but it's perfectly plausible.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: butters on 10/21/2017 12:46 am
I'm sure AJR will welcome them with open arms. Highly unlikely though, isn't?
Yup. Hence I qualified it with the word 'remote', as unlikely but not zero.


Quote
The amount of money spent on something has no relationship to how long it should survive in the marketplace. And if the marketplace does move to reusable launchers, then engines that enable that are what AJR should really be focused on if they want to stay in the rocket supplier business.
Never actually said there is a relationship between the money spent on a system and its marketplace viability. However, AR-1 already is a reusable engine and the government have effectively paid for it. Since engines like this can take up to 7 years to develop at a cost of hundreds of millions, a new entrant to the RLV market could choose to avoid those costs by purchasing something commercial and off the shelf at its marginal cost instead of reinventing the wheel. They could then focus their limited resources on all other parts of the RLV and field it sooner than would be otherwise possible. Another company attempting to compete with Blue Origin and SpaceX in the RLV market could make themselves more competitive by exactly the money and time they did not spend on something!. I've no idea how likely this scenario is with the AR-1 in particular, but it's perfectly plausible.

If ULA would choose BE-4 over AR-1, then why would anyone else choose AR-1 over BE-4? Especially for an RLV, where methane has advantages over RP-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 10/21/2017 12:50 am
However, AR-1 already is a reusable engine

How is it already reusable? It's early in development, and re-usability has not been something that AJR has promoted as a part of AR-1 - unless I missed it.

and the government have effectively paid for it.

How so? It is nowhere near done, nor is the entire development funded.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/21/2017 01:32 am
One word: RL10

It will still be around five years from now.
It's not very likely but it might not survive either. Delta IV is already being discontinued and ULA could pick BE-3 for ACES. The remaining user is SLS which could also get cancelled.
Underestimates the fundamental effectiveness of the RL10.

It may fly in other ways for many decades. BTW Centaur advantages as well like this.

It might or it might not. But costs matter, now more than ever. It is only recently that the industry has broken out of the "isp at any cost" mentality - we even have GTO missions done with RP-1 stages (gasp!). Two new launch vehicles are being developed with MethaLox upper stages. None of them will have engines that match the isp of RL-10, but they could still kill it off.


Which is why ACES/distributed launch appears. As an on orbit, long duration, propulsion system, it may have a considerable life. "May" being very much the case.

AJR have been working on reducing RL10 build cost by redesign it to enable use of modern manufacturing technology.
In theory yes. There's talk, lets see about what flies. AJR hasn't sold a cheap US LRE ever. They might require high price still. I would be on them wanting too much margin in the sell, as that's what they've gotten used to doing since forever.

Quote
I think it is still ULA preferred engine but having BE3U as option helps keep AJR on their toes.
ULA prefers one US, and one engine for that. BE3U may have cost and thrust, but to do ULA's missions as current they may need more than these.

Quote
Its in AJR best interest to bring price down so ULA can stay competitive. Less ULA flys the less engines they buy.
AJR doesn't necessarily see this.

Likely it is an all or nothing thing. Either RL10 costs are affordable against rivals, or ULA builds in the costs of everything else they need to add to an alternative, which they can do.

And it works both ways here. Even if AJR has government contracts for engines for govt HSF vehicles, they also need commercial sales as well, otherwise they are funded too narrowly for them to do business well. They don't need to be losing certain contracts.

Perhaps its a game of "contract chicken"?

If ULA would choose BE-4 over AR-1, then why would anyone else choose AR-1 over BE-4? Especially for an RLV, where methane has advantages over RP-1.

Not necessarily in the case of SLS advanced booster. Congress seems to prefer expendables, so the increased energy density of kerolox would be an advantage.

(Although 4x F9R Block 5 (two apiece, not unlike how Zenit's worked to boost Energia) to me would be the best solution for SLS longest run of missions, but then I'm no political tool.)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/21/2017 06:30 am
However, AR-1 already is a reusable engine and the government have effectively paid for it.

A rocket engine is only reusable if you can reuse it. That means it has to be recovered as part of a 1st stage, or by recovering the engine from the 1st stage before it lands in the water (ala Vulcan mid-air engine recovery). And that capability is not necessarily the responsibility of the engine, but of the rocket manufacturer.

Anyone being serious about getting into the launch business is going to survey the competition and see that the two to beat both make their own engines and rockets. So buying an engine that is not built to be used for a reusable rocket is not likely to be popular.

Maybe there is a government program that could use the AR-1, but it would be hard to see a scenario where a commercial rocket manufacturer would want to use the AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/21/2017 09:06 am
If ULA would choose BE-4 over AR-1, then why would anyone else choose AR-1 over BE-4? Especially for an RLV, where methane has advantages over RP-1.

I was suggesting another company other than ULA decides to create a new RLV and needs an engine.

How is it already reusable? It's early in development, and re-usability has not been something that AJR has promoted as a part of AR-1 - unless I missed it.

AR-1 is a candidate for SMART reuse on Vulcan.



A rocket engine is only reusable if you can reuse it. That means it has to be recovered as part of a 1st stage, or by recovering the engine from the 1st stage before it lands in the water (ala Vulcan mid-air engine recovery). And that capability is not necessarily the responsibility of the engine, but of the rocket manufacturer.
A third party buying AR1s would be responsbile for developing the recovery method. I'm not sure what the point of contention with that is? For example, Boeing is buying derived RS-25 engines for the reusable DARPA XS1 Spaceplane instead of going through the expensive and lengthy process of creating an entirely new engine. DC-X used existing engines too.

Quote
Anyone being serious about getting into the launch business is going to survey the competition and see that the two to beat both make their own engines and rockets. So buying an engine that is not built to be used for a reusable rocket is not likely to be popular.
It's not self-evident that the level of vertical integration Blue Origin and SpaceX is the only valid strategy to compete with them. The majority of the industry doesn't do so. For relative latecomers to the RLV market or companies with fewer resources, buying an engine from an external supplier could be a perfectly valid strategy to lower development costs and expedite entry to the market.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 10/21/2017 12:42 pm
...
...
Quote
Anyone being serious about getting into the launch business is going to survey the competition and see that the two to beat both make their own engines and rockets. So buying an engine that is not built to be used for a reusable rocket is not likely to be popular.
It's not self-evident that the level of vertical integration Blue Origin and SpaceX is the only valid strategy to compete with them. The majority of the industry doesn't do so. For relative latecomers to the RLV market or companies with fewer resources, buying an engine from an external supplier could be a perfectly valid strategy to lower development costs and expedite entry to the market.

The majority of the industry (a.k.a. Old Space) has received a wake-up call.  Vertical integration isn't a panacea, but either that or some alternate approach that gets control of costs and allows rapid innovation will be necessary if the intent is to remain a majority.  Political influence can only hold back change for so long.

* See 'auto industry'.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 10/21/2017 01:46 pm
If ULA would choose BE-4 over AR-1, then why would anyone else choose AR-1 over BE-4? Especially for an RLV, where methane has advantages over RP-1.

I was suggesting another company other than ULA decides to create a new RLV and needs an engine.


.. and why would that hyphothetical "another company" choose AR-1 instead of BE-4 or some RD-170-derived engine?

It seems practically all new rocket companies are making their engines themself, and the two other new EELV-class launchers under development are using solids to get off the pad.


Quote

A rocket engine is only reusable if you can reuse it. That means it has to be recovered as part of a 1st stage, or by recovering the engine from the 1st stage before it lands in the water (ala Vulcan mid-air engine recovery). And that capability is not necessarily the responsibility of the engine, but of the rocket manufacturer.
A third party buying AR1s would be responsbile for developing the recovery method. I'm not sure what the point of contention with that is? For example, Boeing is buying derived RS-25 engines for the reusable DARPA XS1 Spaceplane instead of going through the expensive and lengthy process of creating an entirely new engine. DC-X used existing engines too.


Even if AR-1 is capable of multiple burns, it is badly suited for reuse;

On a reasonable-sized rocket, it cannot be throttled down enough to allow low enough T/W to land the first stage propulsively.

AR-1 is only suitable for reuse on either
1) a very big rocket.
2) winged ot otherwise expensive recovery
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/21/2017 03:23 pm
For example, Boeing is buying derived RS-25 engines for the reusable DARPA XS1 Spaceplane instead of going through the expensive and lengthy process of creating an entirely new engine.

VTHL systems have been shown to be limited in payload size and weight, so they are not competitors for the majority of the commercial and government launch market. Which means you still need an engine that can take off vertically and either land vertically (via throttling and restarts) or by recovering the engine(s) via parachute before they hit the water. Both of those require tight coordination of features between the engine designers and the rocket body designers - not easy when one of those can't make changes.

Quote
DC-X used existing engines too.

DC-X was an experimental sub-orbital vehicle, and is not relevant to conversations about orbital needs.

Quote
It's not self-evident that the level of vertical integration Blue Origin and SpaceX is the only valid strategy to compete with them.

We do know that traditional reliance on sub-contractor is not a viable competitive strategy when compared to vertical integration, so the only other option would be a 3rd strategy - which apparently no one has attempted to implement successfully.

Quote
The majority of the industry doesn't do so.

I've been in the majority of the industry that doesn't do vertical integration for non-aerospace products, and I can tell you that it's not easy to switch if you are a mature company with mature operations. And SpaceX really only recently proved the advantages of vertical integration DO WORK for the commercial launch industry, so there has hardly been enough time for a full reaction.

But comparing what SpaceX does to the rest of the rocket manufacturers it becomes clear why they are able to iterate and innovate so fast, and that is something the rest of the industry will try to emulate when they can. But like I said, it's difficult to change your company from one mode of manufacturing to the other.

Quote
For relative latecomers to the RLV market or companies with fewer resources, buying an engine from an external supplier could be a perfectly valid strategy to lower development costs and expedite entry to the market.

There is no such thing as a "relative latecomers to the RLV market", since SpaceX only just created it. It's still in it's infancy. And unfortunately you can't get into the EELV launch market without a boatload of money and time, since SpaceX is now 15 years old and Blue Origin is 17 years old.

I will say though that we learned recently that the launch market is focused on having three viable launch providers, and currently SpaceX is one of them. If Blue Origin becomes the 2nd reusable launch provider the market depends on there is still room for a 3rd reusable launch provider - who will that be?

Bottom line though is that the AR-1 doesn't seem to be an option for a launch provider that wants to build an EELV-class reusable launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/21/2017 03:33 pm
The hypothetical company could be Aerojet itself. At one point they tried to gain production rights to the Atlas-V using AR-1. Alternatively, another company might choose an aerojet engine to avoid enriching domestic competitors and to avoid any possible sanctions on a foreign engine. The startups that are opting to develop their own engines with the exception of Blue Origin and SpaceX are developing relatively small simple engines for small ELVs because engines in the AR-1 class are beyond their resources and capabilities. The scenario I am describing would involve a new entrant making a rather large RLV to directly compete with Falcon Heavy or New Glenn.

Out of interest, have Aerojet actually published what the throttle range of AR-1 is?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 10/21/2017 03:52 pm
The hypothetical company could be Aerojet itself. At one point they tried to gain production rights to the Atlas-V using AR-1. Alternatively, another company might choose an aerojet engine to avoid enriching domestic competitors and to avoid any possible sanctions on a foreign engine. The startups that are opting to develop their own engines with the exception of Blue Origin and SpaceX are developing relatively small simple engines for small ELVs because engines in the AR-1 class are beyond their resources and capabilities. The scenario I am describing would involve a new entrant making a rather large RLV to directly compete with Falcon Heavy or New Glenn.

Out of interest, have Aerojet actually published what the throttle range of AR-1 is?

Then that new company better have a large amount of money to spend.  The launch industry is going to get more competitive in the next 5 years.  The company will be competing against SpaceX, BO, ULA, and possible Northrop.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 10/21/2017 04:04 pm
Out of interest, have Aerojet actually published what the throttle range of AR-1 is?

No, but

1) it's very unlikely to use pintle injector, as only SpaceX and TRW have experience in pintle injectors, an AJR has lots of experience and heritage of other type injectors, and deep throttling was not a goal for AR-1. Deep throttling is much easier with pintle injector based engines.

2) It's nominial thrust is so high, that insanely deep throttling would be needed to get the TWR down enough.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/21/2017 04:27 pm
Out of interest, have Aerojet actually published what the throttle range of AR-1 is?

No, but

1) it's very unlikely to use pintle injector, as only SpaceX and TRW have experience in pintle injectors, an AJR has lots of experience and heritage of other type injectors, and deep throttling was not a goal for AR-1. Deep throttling is much easier with pintle injector based engines.

2) It's nominial thrust is so high, that insanely deep throttling would be needed to get the TWR down enough.

AFAIK BE-4 has a large throttle range. Is it known to be using pintle injectors?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Patchouli on 10/21/2017 04:59 pm
However, AR-1 already is a reusable engine and the government have effectively paid for it.

A rocket engine is only reusable if you can reuse it. That means it has to be recovered as part of a 1st stage, or by recovering the engine from the 1st stage before it lands in the water (ala Vulcan mid-air engine recovery). And that capability is not necessarily the responsibility of the engine, but of the rocket manufacturer.

Anyone being serious about getting into the launch business is going to survey the competition and see that the two to beat both make their own engines and rockets. So buying an engine that is not built to be used for a reusable rocket is not likely to be popular.

Maybe there is a government program that could use the AR-1, but it would be hard to see a scenario where a commercial rocket manufacturer would want to use the AR-1.

In theory even the H-1/RS-27 could have been reusable if it was recovered.

http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=5948
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 10/21/2017 05:24 pm
The hypothetical company could be Aerojet itself. At one point they tried to gain production rights to the Atlas-V using AR-1. Alternatively, another company might choose an aerojet engine to avoid enriching domestic competitors and to avoid any possible sanctions on a foreign engine. [...]

Hm... How about a bit of political pressure on the RD-181 once Atlas V and RD-180 are basically gone?
That replacement seems somewhat closer. 2 separate engines this time. :)
The third time is the charm as the saying goes.  8) (Counting Antares first stage engines.)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/21/2017 05:53 pm
Not likely. Antares flies infrequently, no NSS payloads,  requires cheap engines that AJR, and acquired by a firm which appears to be restructuring itself to address defense systems for the next decade, with careful, narrow focus.

Too many incompatible launch systems with too small a manifest. Too much of a distraction?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/21/2017 07:22 pm
Too much speculation on boosters that do not exist even in Power Point.

Wandering OT.

Please get back to the engine itself and AJR status of the engine and contract.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/21/2017 09:28 pm
AFAIK BE-4 has a large throttle range. Is it known to be using pintle injectors?

I have not seen a reference about that, so I don't know. What is known is that Blue Origin plans to use 7 BE-4 for their New Glenn, so the amount that needs to be throttled would be far less of a range than what an AR-1 would need to do if there were two of them on an Atlas V-class reusable launcher.

If an AR-1 was used to build a Falcon 9 type rocket with 9 engines, based on the greater thrust of the AR-1 compared to the Merlin 1D such a rocket would be in the range of 2.5X as big, since the AR-1 has 500,000 lbf thrust (sea level) vs 190,000 lbf thrust (sea level) for the Merlin 1D. The Merlin 1D can throttle between 100% to 70%, which is an indication of what might be needed from the AR-1 if it were to be used in a stage that can land back on the surface of the Earth.

Was the AR-1 designed to be reused safely 10 or more times? If not then debating this doesn't lead anywhere...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lars-J on 10/21/2017 10:18 pm
Out of interest, have Aerojet actually published what the throttle range of AR-1 is?

No, but

1) it's very unlikely to use pintle injector, as only SpaceX and TRW have experience in pintle injectors, an AJR has lots of experience and heritage of other type injectors, and deep throttling was not a goal for AR-1. Deep throttling is much easier with pintle injector based engines.

A pintle injector is not a requirement for deep throttling ability. The RD-180 does not use it, and has a pretty wide throttle range. We don't even know if the Raptor engine uses it.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 10/22/2017 02:27 pm
How is it already reusable? It's early in development, and re-usability has not been something that AJR has promoted as a part of AR-1 - unless I missed it.

AR-1 is a candidate for SMART reuse on Vulcan.

So is BE-4 and that one is actually being designed and constructed for reuse (given it's role on New Glenn).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 02:04 am
This article on the BE-4 has some information on the AR-1. The last paragraph is interesting. The list of who else could use AR-1 must be pretty short. OA could use it for Antares, but OA seem to be moving away from that vehicle given they are looking at Altas V for future Cygnus flights. NASA could use them in advanced liquid boosters for SLS Block II, provided that Congress keeps funding SLS in the face of alternative heavy lift from Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy and BFR that use (or could use) in-orbit refuelling (or Tanking Mode as Von Braun called it) to reach high TLI masses. New liquid boosters would also be a more expensive option compared to new solid boosters from OA. Everybody else has their own high performance engines.

Perhaps what Aerojet needs is someone to build a clone of Falcon 9 with nine AR-1 engines on the first stage (for 20 MN of thrust) and one AR-1 in the second.

http://aviationweek.com/space/blue-origin-fires-be-4-methane-fuel-rocket-engine

"Aerojet declined to comment about AR1’s prospects for powering ULA’s Vulcan rockets in light of the successful BE-4 engine firing. “We have been talking to them every day since then,” says Aerojet Vice President Julie Van Kleeck. “We have asked them about their downselect. We are always careful about speculating.”

The U.S. Air Force is contributing up to $536 million for development of the liquid oxygen and kerosene-fueled AR1 through the end of 2019.  The engine is designed to generate 500,000 lb. of thrust at sea level. “We have [AR1] funding for this year. We are negotiating what next year will look like,” says Van Kleeck.

Aerojet has other prospective customers for the AR1 besides ULA, Van Kleeck adds, though she declined to identify them."
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/31/2017 09:05 am
One potential LV is Northrop Grumman XS1 vehicle with a OA developed BE3 US. NG were going to use a few of Virgin 70klb Newton3, so switch to 1x AR1 is not that radical as vehicle was design for RP1 engines and 1x550klb engine would be about right size for this class of RLV (1500-3000kg).

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/northrop-backs-xs-1-spaceplane-to-join-satellite-lau-424210/

This article from last  year but it seems NG are serious about entering LV business, which could explain OA purchase.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: GWH on 10/31/2017 12:10 pm
How is it already reusable? It's early in development, and re-usability has not been something that AJR has promoted as a part of AR-1 - unless I missed it.

AR-1 is a candidate for SMART reuse on Vulcan.

So is BE-4 and that one is actually being designed and constructed for reuse (given it's role on New Glenn).
I was perusing through a ULA paper on SMART reuse, they specifically mention that BE-4 being designed for reusability makes it an ideal fit,  and make no mention of AR-1. Personally I haven't seen mention anywhere of AR-1 being designed for reusability. Do you have a source on that?

EDIT: To answer my own question, yes it can be reused:
Quote
Martin said the AR1 could be reused if selected by ULA.

“We have had discussions with ULA about reusability, and in the context of their concept, where it’s (something) like five to 10 reuses, AR1 meets that requirement,” Martin said. “For example, during development testing, we’ll baseline testing these engines at least 20 times, and usually quite a bit more. They’re inherently reusable to a certain amount, and then it’s just a question of how reusable.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/19/ar1-engine-clears-milestone-in-step-toward-ending-u-s-reliance-on-russian-propulsion/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/31/2017 06:21 pm
They have to have limited reuse to allow for testing/qualification/aborts.

Better question - are they designed for reflights? BE-4 is/many.

Suggestion - ask AJR about how many reflights for AR-1? Highly likely they'll hedge the question  ;D
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 11/01/2017 01:02 pm
They have to have limited reuse to allow for testing/qualification/aborts.

Better question - are they designed for reflights? BE-4 is/many.

Suggestion - ask AJR about how many reflights for AR-1? Highly likely they'll hedge the question  ;D

BE-4 is designed for 100 or more flights, based on Blue's targets for New Glenn reflight.

RD-180 is rated for 10 reflights (IIRC) so AR-1 probably is designed to that spec if it's designed for reflight at all.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/01/2017 10:23 pm
They have to have limited reuse to allow for testing/qualification/aborts.

Better question - are they designed for reflights? BE-4 is/many.

Suggestion - ask AJR about how many reflights for AR-1? Highly likely they'll hedge the question  ;D

BE-4 is designed for 100 or more flights, based on Blue's targets for New Glenn reflight.

RD-180 is rated for 10 reflights (IIRC) so AR-1 probably is designed to that spec if it's designed for reflight at all.

SX and BO have modified engines significantly following successive landings. (You may remember the early stage recoveries with visible engine damage.) These have fed in to the design of subsequent engines.

Even RD-180 does not have what Raptor and BE-4 have had fed back into design from Merlin and BE-3.

Now ... where does AR-1 get any of that? How is it tested/refined?

Those that run down SX/BO to build up AJR and NPO Energomash (great firms with great products), miss a considerable business/legal/regulatory difference.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: DreamyPickle on 11/01/2017 11:00 pm
Does reusability even make sense for AR1?

SpaceX makes money by flying payloads, reusable engines means they can spend less manufacturing resources on Merlin. But Aerojet makes engine, all successful reuse means for them is less income and an even lower production rate.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: GWH on 11/01/2017 11:34 pm
There is definitely competing interests there. For ULA competing with AR-1 being a very expensive engine ($25M a pair) will be very difficult without reuse. But for AR only selling one pair for every 10 flights they wouldn't have a hope of breaking even.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/03/2017 06:20 pm
There is definitely competing interests there. For ULA competing with AR-1 being a very expensive engine ($25M a pair) will be very difficult without reuse. But for AR only selling one pair for every 10 flights they wouldn't have a hope of breaking even.

AJR does not earn revenue so much off its product as the exorbitant contracts (government) that surround the products.

They are, as Sowers describes, professional leeches. That is in fact what they were designed to be by circumstance, as an outgrowth of decision from the Nixon administration's forced acqusitions in aerospace.

Precisely the kinds of deals that cause people to misunderstand ULA as well. And partly what Tory Bruno is up against in restructuring ULA to give it a future.

Now, what was supposed to happen, well before the invasion of the Crimea, was that AR-1 was supposed to be a commercial engine that was competitive in its own rights in selling even to SX. Possibly w/o government funds, which was an incredible stretch. Or so the turnaround fantasy logic was to me, with even more as follow on.

(Bring this up so you can appreciate the situation in turning around AJR in light of what is happening at ULA. They both still survive on special treatment by USG, but to a lessening degree with ULA because of SX's success makes it harder to be outright unfair. Keep in mind that firms like this entirely were set up around the necessity of such "unfairness", and they feel burned in having it to begin with, in needing it to survive, and in having to find a way out of the trap.) By no means is this easy.

So when people talk of using AR-1 with yet another government program, it doesn't necessarily do AJR the kind of favor it really needs to remedy its root issues. It just gives the leach another artery to temporarily avoid the necessary reinvention. This does not make a firm better. And that idiot Casper Wienberger, while not directly complicit in this situation, did create this, one of many, by a colossal idiocy that caused many of these, ironically to "make Amercian aerospace great again".  ::)

add:
The root presumption was that space would always remain small, hard, and rare. I.E. that a BO or a SX would never happen.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: deruch on 11/04/2017 04:25 pm
The root presumption was that space would always remain small, hard, and rare. I.E. that a BO or a SX would never happen.

Given history, not exactly a bad wager.  SX made it just barely by the skin of their teeth with a big assist from NASA (COTS/CRS).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 11/04/2017 09:48 pm
Reduce the quantity form 10 pairs /year to only 1 pair / year and the unit price will soar from the $25M current quote to somewhere around $80M per pair. This is the similar price per pair/year that AJR gave NASA for RS-25E ($50M each engine or $100M for the pair) for only building 2 engines per year.

The best thing that ULA could do would be to buy as many as AJR could produce a year for as long as needed to get 20 years worth of operations. Or about $500M worth of 20 pair of engines. Then ULA would tell AJR to get lost and shut down the production line. Then ULA would fly and reuse the engine pairs 10 X each for a total of 200 flights giving a cost per flight value for engines of $2.5M.

But ULA is trying to avoid this economic hole and the necessity of using their own money to bring prices down tying up funds long term that could be used for other useful developments.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/04/2017 10:33 pm
The root presumption was that space would always remain small, hard, and rare. I.E. that a BO or a SX would never happen.

Given history, not exactly a bad wager.  SX made it just barely by the skin of their teeth with a big assist from NASA (COTS/CRS).

Self-fulfilling prophecy.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/11/2017 12:18 am
They are, as Sowers describes, professional leeches. That is in fact what they were designed to be by circumstance, as an outgrowth of decision from the Nixon administration's forced acqusitions in aerospace.


So when people talk of using AR-1 with yet another government program, it doesn't necessarily do AJR the kind of favor it really needs to remedy its root issues. It just gives the leach another artery to temporarily avoid the necessary reinvention. This does not make a firm better. And that idiot Casper Wienberger, while not directly complicit in this situation, did create this, one of many, by a colossal idiocy that caused many of these, ironically to "make Amercian aerospace great again".  ::)

I'm thinking of the analogy that AJR is like a virus that infects ULA. Raising it's prices is like raising the temperature of the body. Sooner or later either the body overcomes the virus or the body dies.  :(

They are both a product of the USG's absolute desire to maintain access to space at all times, regardless of a level of price inflation that sometimes seems to outsiders a lot like extortion.  :(

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/11/2017 04:02 am
They are, as Sowers describes, professional leeches. That is in fact what they were designed to be by circumstance, as an outgrowth of decision from the Nixon administration's forced acqusitions in aerospace.


So when people talk of using AR-1 with yet another government program, it doesn't necessarily do AJR the kind of favor it really needs to remedy its root issues. It just gives the leach another artery to temporarily avoid the necessary reinvention. This does not make a firm better. And that idiot Casper Wienberger, while not directly complicit in this situation, did create this, one of many, by a colossal idiocy that caused many of these, ironically to "make Amercian aerospace great again".  ::)

I'm thinking of the analogy that AJR is like a virus that infects ULA. Raising it's prices is like raising the temperature of the body. Sooner or later either the body overcomes the virus or the body dies.  :(

They are both a product of the USG's absolute desire to maintain access to space at all times, regardless of a level of price inflation that sometimes seems to outsiders a lot like extortion.  :(
Nah.

It was a bet that space was for the most part unusable (this hasn't yet been unproven either). And that the only real use would be by governments, who would in term be the only true "anchor clients" to be concerned with it, with the commercial rabble just allowing them to spread costs a bit. (EELV had commercial as second class citizens.)

So they wished to structure this in the most optimum way given that expectation. In this case, the "virus" was government policy. And its still omnipresent, though the least stable its ever been.

We started out with many incompatible launch systems which each had to be kept current with some amount of flight frequency, and its own supply chain. Why pay for so much duplication?

The smartest, best part of the decision was that of having the launch provider concept, with a competitive bid for launches. IMHO we are only now going back to a system of national launch contracts that loosely resembles a market system (too small to really work by market economics or to avoid political influence), and that's because the providers supply chains overlap at the least granular level.

The beyond stupid part was misunderstanding propulsion systems in terms of design, test, IPR, and manufacturing. The value is held not in engines as products but engine+related IPR, and as an economy we're kind of half way there. So creating engine companies with single use application was asking for trouble, because too much rides on too little, so you get into corporate loading that greatly distorts costing. You can solve this vertically (SX) or horizontally (BO+ULA+possibly others). Worse yet, now you have a disincentive to compete with newer propulsion technologies, because you're still paying off the old ones (russian engines suffer from this, that's why the interest in foreign consumers). Lots more than just propulsion, but its an obvious example.

And it gets even deeper when you add in overlap areas with non-space related industries, as well as the necessary policies to keep certain technologies separate artificially for munitions,  materials, and quality/traceability.

Generally the problem was due to the simplistic view of stuffing it into a container and forgetting the problem. Our industry, society, and means to "interoperate" make the simple containers obstacles to the future, ways by which things don't keep current but become irrelevant.

Disruption reveals this, although it doesn't necessarily mean things have to get better after getting though it, although so far that seems to be what does happen at the very end anyways.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: AncientU on 11/11/2017 03:18 pm
They are, as Sowers describes, professional leeches. That is in fact what they were designed to be by circumstance, as an outgrowth of decision from the Nixon administration's forced acqusitions in aerospace.


So when people talk of using AR-1 with yet another government program, it doesn't necessarily do AJR the kind of favor it really needs to remedy its root issues. It just gives the leach another artery to temporarily avoid the necessary reinvention. This does not make a firm better. And that idiot Casper Wienberger, while not directly complicit in this situation, did create this, one of many, by a colossal idiocy that caused many of these, ironically to "make Amercian aerospace great again".  ::)

I'm thinking of the analogy that AJR is like a virus that infects ULA. Raising it's prices is like raising the temperature of the body. Sooner or later either the body overcomes the virus or the body dies.  :(

They are both a product of the USG's absolute desire to maintain access to space at all times, regardless of a level of price inflation that sometimes seems to outsiders a lot like extortion.  :(

With the Centaurus 5 needing multiple (3-4?) RL-10s, or a single BE-EU (>110,000klbf) -- and Vulcan needing to cost half as much as Atlas V -- hasn't price inflation at AJR essentially killed use of RL-10 on Vulcan/Centaurus 5?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/11/2017 06:25 pm
More of a decision for AJR than a decision for ULA.

Unlike the past, ULA is getting to the point where it has more options. The pivot point appears to be the down selection of engine providers for Vulcan. (Were AR-1 to be selected, Vulcan would in effect become an even more narrower (because of expectation of flight frequency) platform than Atlas V.) If BO carries through with timely qualification of BE-4 for Vulcan, we may see a much broader platform than previously described.

The original point of AR-1 was missed. Does AJR want to narrow its options still further? It's really easy and seductive to follow the old game plan of using Congress to proffer more contracts to keep the old space masters alive. But when there's too much new, and the old ones can't play the new game, at some point this becomes ... risky.

It's always been necessary to reorient the firm, just like ULA, to have a greater revenue base through commercial contracts to offset likely "shrinkage" in govt contracts. An AR1 contact to supplant SLS solids, while causing a hit eventually to NG/OA, won't breath much life into AJR. And in the interim Centaur 3/5 use of RL10 at high price, more than the booster engine, might be tolerable ... but its long term viability is in doubt. If AJR only sells infrequently flown engines on govt HSF vehicles, it becomes a single customer company whose fortunes might be tied to a single LV that's 20x more costly with 2-3 alternatives that might replace it?

The alternative isn't great either. Lets say they have a low cost RL10 (which they most certainly can, they've always been able to dominate with a global leader in US/inspace propulsion but they've never dared to do it) - the play would be for volume. You'd especially want to do this BEFORE reuse in the US kicks in, because you'd want to establish yourself as owning this "high ground" and being the one that "disrupts" by offering the best, highest reuse/performance/reliable propulsion ever (you might even want to sell entire stages!).

Right now the push is on across all industries, for industry leaders to lead the disruption occurring to them, rather than be swallowed by rivals. (Hambrecht and Quist told the media/communications industries this 2 decades ago.)

Ironically, that was why AR-1 would have had to have been developed to undercut RD-180 and Merlin 1C(!) long ago, which would have caused a drop in the then Aerojet revenues for a half decade, but then that risk might have paid off in a broad base (big assumption that you could get many rival LV providers to eat the same dog food). Then you could have had a different story. Note the similarities/risks - you have to do it before things like booster reuse actually happen.

My bet is AJR will talk a great deal about low cost RL10, after losing Vulcan to BE4. But they'll never commit. ULA will continue to use RL10. After getting Vulcan to the point where its a reliable bidder on national launch contracts, they'll see how much commercial they can snag with a lower cost US engine - if its significant, they'll phase over Centaur to  a new engine (if they know this in advance, they'll likely do a block purchase). RL10 will join J2-2X, RS-25E, RS-68 and a long list of others. AJR will become a government contractor with limited munitions related businesses, and will gradually fade away.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Chasm on 11/11/2017 07:08 pm
Were there any AR1 announcements lately? I can't remember any.

As far as the future of RL10 goes I really wonder why ACES requires more tank pressure than Common Centuar to prevent engine cavitation. To the point that they increased wall thickness for both ACES and Centaur V. Unless I'm missing something obvious adding engines should not change that.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/11/2017 09:36 pm
More of a decision for AJR than a decision for ULA.

Unlike the past, ULA is getting to the point where it has more options. The pivot point appears to be the down selection of engine providers for Vulcan. (Were AR-1 to be selected, Vulcan would in effect become an even more narrower (because of expectation of flight frequency) platform than Atlas V.) If BO carries through with timely qualification of BE-4 for Vulcan, we may see a much broader platform than previously described.

The original point of AR-1 was missed. Does AJR want to narrow its options still further? It's really easy and seductive to follow the old game plan of using Congress to proffer more contracts to keep the old space masters alive. But when there's too much new, and the old ones can't play the new game, at some point this becomes ... risky.

It's always been necessary to reorient the firm, just like ULA, to have a greater revenue base through commercial contracts to offset likely "shrinkage" in govt contracts. An AR1 contact to supplant SLS solids, while causing a hit eventually to NG/OA, won't breath much life into AJR. And in the interim Centaur 3/5 use of RL10 at high price, more than the booster engine, might be tolerable ... but its long term viability is in doubt. If AJR only sells infrequently flown engines on govt HSF vehicles, it becomes a single customer company whose fortunes might be tied to a single LV that's 20x more costly with 2-3 alternatives that might replace it?
WRT to this thread title the question is what happens to the AR-1 if ULA decides it is not suitable for the Vulcan?

Does it go on the shelf awaiting someone who needs a large US built Kerolox engine at almost any price?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/11/2017 11:09 pm
Answered upthread. They get lobbyists to insist on its use as "Advanced boosters for SLS" in LRE to displace the solids, which were abandoned politically earlier. (Which does have a sensible point, as it did then, because the solids limit the performance of SLS, and get you much of Block 2 performance, at a political cost.)

But this would be a desperate gamble. And before its brought up, AR-1 is too expensive for use on Antares to displace the RD-181's.

I suppose Congress could write a law banning non indigenous LRE's.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/12/2017 04:14 pm
Answered upthread. They get lobbyists to insist on its use as "Advanced boosters for SLS" in LRE to displace the solids, which were abandoned politically earlier. (Which does have a sensible point, as it did then, because the solids limit the performance of SLS, and get you much of Block 2 performance, at a political cost.)

But this would be a desperate gamble. And before its brought up, AR-1 is too expensive for use on Antares to displace the RD-181's.

I suppose Congress could write a law banning non indigenous LRE's.
Well the lobbyists would write it, then they'd hand it to some representative to put on the list of work to do.

I know it's just BAU in the Big Aerospace arena, but I've never liked the sound of corporate executives whining for a handout.   :(

"Our technology is so precious yet no one will buy the engines we make"
So in fact your technology is not  as precious as you think it is, but you want the USG to bank roll you anyway.

If it's that good, yet the profit margin is that poor the smart move would seem to be for AJR to parcel up the company assets and auction them off to find out what they are really worth.

I found it very telling that when ULA and AJR (or whatever it was called then) had the same corporate parent and ULA was shopping for an RL10 replacement they went to XCOR to develop it.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 11/12/2017 09:06 pm
{snip}

I found it very telling that when ULA and AJR (or whatever it was called then) had the same corporate parent and ULA was shopping for an RL10 replacement they went to XCOR to develop it.

Equals can negotiate. Where one side has a boss man with the rank to fire the other side the group ends up doing what he says. This may not be good for the project.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Patchouli on 11/12/2017 09:38 pm
More of a decision for AJR than a decision for ULA.


Ironically, that was why AR-1 would have had to have been developed to undercut RD-180 and Merlin 1C(!) long ago, which would have caused a drop in the then Aerojet revenues for a half decade, but then that risk might have paid off in a broad base (big assumption that you could get many rival LV providers to eat the same dog food). Then you could have had a different story. Note the similarities/risks - you have to do it before things like booster reuse actually happen.


I wonder if a gas generator engine maybe a scaled down F-1B or an up scale of the RS-27 would have been a better route than trying to copy the RD-180?
Blue got a bid on Vulcan with an engine that not only had a different OF ratio but used different fuel.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 11/13/2017 06:32 am
I suppose Congress could write a law banning non indigenous LRE's.
Congress tried with a partial ban first. And that failed when the "in-effect" date was shifted backwards several years. By the time the new "in-effect" data approaches and indigenous LRE's are not available US Congress will simply shift the date to the right again.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: WindnWar on 11/13/2017 03:12 pm
They are, as Sowers describes, professional leeches. That is in fact what they were designed to be by circumstance, as an outgrowth of decision from the Nixon administration's forced acqusitions in aerospace.


So when people talk of using AR-1 with yet another government program, it doesn't necessarily do AJR the kind of favor it really needs to remedy its root issues. It just gives the leach another artery to temporarily avoid the necessary reinvention. This does not make a firm better. And that idiot Casper Wienberger, while not directly complicit in this situation, did create this, one of many, by a colossal idiocy that caused many of these, ironically to "make Amercian aerospace great again".  ::)

I'm thinking of the analogy that AJR is like a virus that infects ULA. Raising it's prices is like raising the temperature of the body. Sooner or later either the body overcomes the virus or the body dies.  :(

They are both a product of the USG's absolute desire to maintain access to space at all times, regardless of a level of price inflation that sometimes seems to outsiders a lot like extortion.  :(

With the Centaurus 5 needing multiple (3-4?) RL-10s, or a single BE-EU (>110,000klbf) -- and Vulcan needing to cost half as much as Atlas V -- hasn't price inflation at AJR essentially killed use of RL-10 on Vulcan/Centaurus 5?

The other question on this is, how much of the RL-10 stockpile that ULA has is currently remaining? They were converting them to the RL-10C for use on both Atlas and Delta, but I've never been able to find how many of those engines were left, just that Boeing had bought a large number of the engines for Delta. Depending on how many are left that might be what powers the initial Vulcan Centaurs until they are used up. Anyone have an actual count of how many are left?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 11/14/2017 01:01 pm
Boeing ordered 100 RL10Bs, IIRC. 35 have been used on Delta IV. RL10C first flew on Atlas in December 2013. I know theres been at least one RL10A mission since then, probably more, but ballpark theres been about 20 flown since then. So >half used up. Theres still ~10 Deltas planned to fly, and at least 21 Atlases (probably much more), though not all future Atlases will use them (DEC missions must use RL10A). So with the known future manifest, thats only about 15 engines left to play with. Seems pointless to use them on Vulcan and have to redesign both upper stages once the supply runs out. Burn through them on the final Atlas V flights
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/21/2017 01:40 pm
Not great news for AR-1 funding by USAF:

Good article by Eric Berger on the NDAA funding language and thus the flexibility it does, and does not, give the USAF:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/a-new-law-gives-air-force-some-wiggle-room-in-picking-its-new-rockets/ (https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/a-new-law-gives-air-force-some-wiggle-room-in-picking-its-new-rockets/)

Two crucial quotes:

Quote
Further, the bill defines “rocket propulsion system” as a main booster, first-stage rocket engine, or motor. The term does not include a launch vehicle, an upper stage, a strap-on motor, or related infrastructure.

Quote
Another provision in the bill relates to the engines under development for Vulcan. This language states that the Air Force may terminate funding for other rocket propulsion systems when “the Secretary of the Air Force certifies to the congressional defense committees that a successful full-scale test of a domestic rocket engine has occurred.”

So first stage funding is fine, but not second or other stages, and AR-1 funding can be dropped once BE-4 achieves a 'full-scale test'.

Suggest following up in original (space policy) thread.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/22/2017 12:04 pm
This wording also allows USAF to fund CASTOR 300, 600 & 1200 development by OrbitalATK.
Indeed bad news for Rocketdyne and AR-1 development funding.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/23/2017 04:09 pm
This wording also allows USAF to fund CASTOR 300, 600 & 1200 development by OrbitalATK.
Indeed bad news for Rocketdyne and AR-1 development funding.
I think ULA might like to keep AR-1 around a bit longer just to give Blue the possibility they could be dropped if they don't deliver on time.

It depends on how keen Congress is on finishing funding to AJR.  They could continue to fund even after a successful all up engine test for Blue, even after they ran it for the full time IE a full stages worth of propellant.  :(
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Darkseraph on 11/23/2017 07:46 pm
There's a possibility Aerojet Rocketdyne, alone or partnering with another aerospace firm, submits a proposal for the EELV contract that uses AR-1. Extremely unlikely, but stranger things have happened! 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/24/2017 07:02 am
There's a possibility Aerojet Rocketdyne, alone or partnering with another aerospace firm, submits a proposal for the EELV contract that uses AR-1. Extremely unlikely, but stranger things have happened!

Indeed.

As anyone who remembers the ATK "Liberty" launcher proposal knows.  :(
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/16/2018 03:23 pm
Quote
Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne renegotiating AR1 agreement
by Jeff Foust — February 16, 2018

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working to revise an agreement to support development of the company’s AR1 rocket engine, as questions continue about the engine’s long-term future.

In a Feb. 14 response to questions submitted by SpaceNews, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) confirmed that Aerojet Rocketdyne is seeking to revise the Rocket Propulsion System (RPS) award the company received in 2016 to reduce the fraction of development costs the company has to pay.

http://spacenews.com/air-force-and-aerojet-rocketdyne-renegotiating-ar1-agreement/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/20/2018 03:50 am
Quote
Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne renegotiating AR1 agreement
by Jeff Foust — February 16, 2018

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working to revise an agreement to support development of the company’s AR1 rocket engine, as questions continue about the engine’s long-term future.

In a Feb. 14 response to questions submitted by SpaceNews, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) confirmed that Aerojet Rocketdyne is seeking to revise the Rocket Propulsion System (RPS) award the company received in 2016 to reduce the fraction of development costs the company has to pay.

http://spacenews.com/air-force-and-aerojet-rocketdyne-renegotiating-ar1-agreement/
Renegotiating Aerojet Rocketdynes share of AR1 dev cost from 1/3rd to no greater than 1/6th total development cost (AR's preference goal is 1/9th cost share per other articles with with 1/6th cost share being AR's offered all or nothing compromise solution):  https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/aerojet-wants-more-money-for-rocket-engine-the-government-may-not-need/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/28/2018 03:10 pm
A follow-up by Eric Berger:

Quote
Financial documents raise questions about AR1 engine’s readiness
"We are committed to delivering an engine in 2019," the company said.

Eric Berger - 2/28/2018, 2:11 PM

Publicly, the venerable US rocket engine company Aerojet Rocketdyne maintains that it is committed to finishing development of its powerful new AR1 engine by 2019. By meeting this deadline, company officials say, they will provide an all-American engine in time for use by United Launch Alliance's next-generation rocket.

However, a review of recent financial US Securities and Exchange Commission filings by Aerojet reveals that, even as it says progress is being made toward completing the AR1 rocket engine, the company is spending substantially less money developing it.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/aerojet-has-dramatically-cut-internal-funding-for-its-ar1-rocket-engine/

Not much room for doubt about the ultimate fate of AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: IanThePineapple on 02/28/2018 09:44 pm
A follow-up by Eric Berger:

Quote
Financial documents raise questions about AR1 engine’s readiness
"We are committed to delivering an engine in 2019," the company said.

Eric Berger - 2/28/2018, 2:11 PM

Publicly, the venerable US rocket engine company Aerojet Rocketdyne maintains that it is committed to finishing development of its powerful new AR1 engine by 2019. By meeting this deadline, company officials say, they will provide an all-American engine in time for use by United Launch Alliance's next-generation rocket.

However, a review of recent financial US Securities and Exchange Commission filings by Aerojet reveals that, even as it says progress is being made toward completing the AR1 rocket engine, the company is spending substantially less money developing it.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/aerojet-has-dramatically-cut-internal-funding-for-its-ar1-rocket-engine/

Not much room for doubt about the ultimate fate of AR-1.

Yeah, and ULA seemingly preferring the BE-4 doesn't help it...

Also, AFAIK no one is currently building a heavy-lift vehicle and don't have an engine yet, so I'd say AR-1 is likely dead/shelved.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/23/2018 03:21 am
https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1558220//
Quote
Aerojet Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, California, has been awarded a $69,804,323 modification (P00014) to a previously awarded other transaction agreement (FA8811-16-9-0003) for the development of the AR1 booster engine and the RL10CX upper stage engine for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. This action implements Section 1604 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2015, which requires the development of a next-generation rocket propulsion system that will transition away from the use of non-allied space launch engines to a domestic alternative for National Security Space launches. Work will be performed in Canoga Park, California; Sacramento, California; Centennial, Colorado; Huntsville, Alabama; Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. The work on the AR1 is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2019, and the work on the RL10CX is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) funds in the amount of $63,014,148; and fiscal 2018 RDT&E funds in the amount of $20,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, California, is the contracting activity.

https://mainenginecutoff.com/blog/2018/06/another-70-million-for-ar1
Quote
I don’t remember RL10 being part of the previously-awarded EELV propulsion contracts. Wonder if that’s related to the recent announcements that both Vulcan and OmegA will use the RL10 as their upper stage.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/24/2018 07:46 pm
The contract scope is rocket engine development.

This allows the add of any engine development work contract modification.

Thus it is likely the contract mod is mainly all focused and funding for the RL10CX work.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 06/24/2018 07:54 pm
The contract scope is rocket engine development.

This allows the add of any engine development work contract modification.

Thus it is likely the contract mod is mainly all focused and funding for the RL10CX work.

That would probably be a good use for their leftover 2017 funds.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/24/2018 08:06 pm
The contract scope is rocket engine development.

This allows the add of any engine development work contract modification.

Thus it is likely the contract mod is mainly all focused and funding for the RL10CX work.

That would probably be a good use for their leftover 2017 funds.
Contract mods can be implemented in 90 days or less. They can only add or delete elements that fall within the primary scope of the contract. Since this contract never included production engines, the mod for adding production engines would not be allowed.

But development work on other engines would be, if there was a mention of the other engine anywhere in the original contract. Also the scope could have been made vague as to development work not on the AR-1 but on development work on AJR rocket engines.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: johnfwhitesell on 06/27/2018 06:23 am
Near as I can figure, the air force has changed it's minds and RL10 funds are included now.
http://spacenews.com/rl10-engine-added-to-air-force-agreement-with-aerojet-rocketdyne/

That would seem to be bad news for AR-1.  The article also seems to mention in passing that the schedule for BE-4 has slipped into 2019 which would seem to be good news for AR-1.  The schedule disadvantage wouldn't be gone but it sure wouldn't be as big as it used to be.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/10/2018 05:19 pm
BUMP For RD-181:
Per likely  strong lobbying efforts via Aerojet Rocketdyne and others Congress adds RD-181 in latest version of Russian engine ban: http://spacenews.com/energomash-raises-alarm-over-u-s-ban-on-russian-rocket-engines/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 07/10/2018 05:30 pm
BUMP For RD-181:
Per likely  strong lobbying efforts via Aerojet Rocketdyne and others Congress adds RD-181 in latest version of Russian engine ban: http://spacenews.com/energomash-raises-alarm-over-u-s-ban-on-russian-rocket-engines/

RD-181 doesn't have anything to do with AR-1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/10/2018 05:35 pm
BUMP For RD-181:
Per likely  strong lobbying efforts via Aerojet Rocketdyne and others Congress adds RD-181 in latest version of Russian engine ban: http://spacenews.com/energomash-raises-alarm-over-u-s-ban-on-russian-rocket-engines/

RD-181 doesn't have anything to do with AR-1.
it might in the near future because the RD-181 ban goes into effect well before the last possible ISS CRS2 flight. AR-1 was initially marketed after the Antares launch failure and later extended to replace RD-180, which for the latter engine is a slimmer chance of happening.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 07/10/2018 05:41 pm
BUMP For RD-181:
Per likely  strong lobbying efforts via Aerojet Rocketdyne and others Congress adds RD-181 in latest version of Russian engine ban: http://spacenews.com/energomash-raises-alarm-over-u-s-ban-on-russian-rocket-engines/

RD-181 doesn't have anything to do with AR-1.
it might in the near future because the RD-181 ban goes into effect well before the last possible ISS CRS2 flight. AR-1 was initially marketed after the Antares launch failure and later extended to replace RD-180, which for the latter engine is a slimmer chance of happening.

The ban doesn't apply to CRS-2.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Kansan52 on 07/10/2018 06:17 pm
If memory serves, the RD-180 ban allowed purchases for commercial and NASA launches. Does the RD-181 ban allow purchases for commercial and NASA launches as well?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/10/2018 06:41 pm
If memory serves, the RD-180 ban allowed purchases for commercial and NASA launches. Does the RD-181 ban allow purchases for commercial and NASA launches as well?
currently yes. The reason why RD-181 was added to the ban because NGIS is planning on increasing their launch offerings including to payloads that require the lower tiers of EELV2.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Aurora on 07/10/2018 06:46 pm
H.R.2810 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018

Last Action:   12/12/2017 Became Public Law No: 115-91

Page 1010

Foreign commercial satellite services: cybersecurity threats and launches (sec. 1603)
The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1612) that would prohibit the Secretary of Defense from entering into a contract for satellite services with any entity if such services will be provided using satellites launched from a covered foreign country or using a launch vehicle that is designed or manufactured in a covered foreign country or that is provided by the government of a covered foreign country or by an entity controlled in whole or in part by, or acting on behalf of, the government of a covered foreign country, regardless of the location of the launch.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes with an amendment that would add an exception for satellites launched prior to December 31, 2022.



SEC. 1603. FOREIGN COMMERCIAL SATELLITE SERVICES: CYBERSECURITY
THREATS AND LAUNCHES.
(a) CYBERSECURITY RISKS.—Subsection (a) of section 2279 of title 10, United States Code, is amended— (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘‘; or’’ and inserting a semicolon; (2) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end and inserting: ‘‘; or’’; and (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ‘‘(3) entering into such contract would create an unacceptable cybersecurity risk for the Department of Defense.’’.

(b) LAUNCHES.—Such section is amended— (1) by redesignating subsections (b) through (e) as subsections (c) through (f), respectively; and (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsection (b): ‘‘(b) LAUNCHES AND MANUFACTURERS.—

‘‘(1) LIMITATION.—In addition to the prohibition in subsection (a), and except as provided in paragraph (2) and in subsection(c), the Secretary may not enter into a contract for satellite services with any entity if the Secretary reasonably believes that such satellite services will be provided using satellites that will be— ‘‘(A) designed or manufactured in a covered foreign country, or by an entity controlled in whole or in part by, or acting on behalf of, the government of a covered foreign country; or ‘‘(B) launched using a launch vehicle that is designed or manufactured in a covered foreign country, or that is provided by the government of a covered foreign country or by an entity controlled in whole or in part by, or acting on behalf of, the government of a covered foreign country, regardless of the location of the launch (unless such location is in the United States).

‘‘(2) EXCEPTION.—The limitation in paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to— ‘‘(A) a launch that occurs prior to December 31, 2022; Or ‘‘(B) a contract or other agreement relating to launch services that, prior to the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection, was either fully paid for by the contractor or covered by a legally binding commitment of the contractor to pay for such services.

‘‘(3) LAUNCH VEHICLE DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term ‘launch vehicle’ means a fully integrated space launch vehicle.’’
.
(c) DEFINITIONS.—Subsection (f) of section 2279 of title 10, United States Code, as redesignated by subsection (b)(1)(A), is amended to read as follows: ‘‘(f) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

‘‘(1) The term ‘covered foreign country’ means any of the following: ‘‘(A) A country described in section 1261(c)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 112–239; 126 Stat. 2019). ‘‘(B) The Russian Federation.

‘‘(2) The term ‘cybersecurity risk’ means threats to and vulnerabilities of information or information systems and any related consequences caused by or resulting from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, degradation, disruption, modification, or destruction of such information or information systems, including such related consequences caused by an act of terrorism.’’.

(d) CONFORMING AND CLERICAL AMENDMENTS.— (1) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—Such section 2279 is further amended— (A) in the section heading, by striking ‘‘services’’ and inserting ‘‘services and foreign launches’’; (B) by striking ‘‘subsection (b)’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘subsection (c)’’; (C) in subsection (a)(2), by striking ‘‘launch or other’’; (D) in subsection (c), as redesignated by subsection (b)(1), by striking ‘‘prohibition in subsection (a)’’ and inserting ‘‘prohibitions in subsection (a) and (b)’’; and (E) in subsection (d), as so redesignated, by striking ‘‘prohibition under subsection (a)’’ and inserting ‘‘prohibition under subsection (a) or (b)’’. (2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 135 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 2279 and inserting the following:
‘‘2279. Foreign commercial satellite services and foreign launches.’’.

(e) APPLICATION. — Except as otherwise specifically provided, the amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to contracts for satellite services awarded by the Secretary of Defense on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/11/2018 06:07 am
The ban doesn't apply to CRS-2.

That is my understanding as well. The ban only applies to US military launches. Commercial and US civil (NASA, NOAA, etc) can still use the engines.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 07/11/2018 08:34 am
The ban doesn't apply to CRS-2.

That is my understanding as well. The ban only applies to US military launches. Commercial and US civil (NASA, NOAA, etc) can still use the engines.

Correct.
Quote from: US Congress
(e) APPLICATION. — Except as otherwise specifically provided, the amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to contracts for satellite services awarded by the Secretary of Defense on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

So, the ban applies to military launches only.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Aurora on 07/11/2018 12:51 pm
Ban on US DOD missions - yes.   However the effects will have ramifications to the commercial satellite industry. 

Commercial satellite operators that utilize a launch service with Russian Federation engines (such as as RD-180 and RD181) as defined, and/or launch services on Proton M or Soyuz after December 31, 2022 will not be able to sell their capacity to the US DOD.   Many of these operators lease capacity in regions the that US DOD requires capacity (MENA and ASEAN).   
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Svetoslav on 07/11/2018 12:51 pm
What about Atlas V and Starliner?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ZachS09 on 07/11/2018 01:23 pm
What about Atlas V and Starliner?

Eventually, Vulcan will start launching Starliner.

But first, several Atlas V/Starliner flights will be flown.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 07/11/2018 01:24 pm
The ban doesn't apply to CRS-2.

That is my understanding as well. The ban only applies to US military launches. Commercial and US civil (NASA, NOAA, etc) can still use the engines.

ULA isn't going to keep bleeding money into Atlas V and buying RD-180 to service commercial and civil missions. They will move those to Vulcan as soon as they can, to commonize everything and cut costs.

I can't see Antares moving to AR-1 either. That would entail a significant redesign and probably a higher marginal cost, for a vehicle with only a single customer in CRS. Since Antares doesn't fly DoD missions there's no reasons to switch except costs, but AR-1 likely is not cheaper than RD-181. NGIS would probably also prefer to move CRS to Omega (vs. paying more for an AR-1 engines Antares), since the higher flight rate would help amortize that investment, and being built entirely in house increases their margins.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: woods170 on 07/12/2018 06:50 am
Ban on US DOD missions - yes.   [/b]However the effects will have ramifications to the commercial satellite industry.[/b]

Commercial satellite operators that utilize a launch service with Russian Federation engines (such as as RD-180 and RD181) as defined, and/or launch services on Proton M or Soyuz after December 31, 2022 will not be able to sell their capacity to the US DOD.   Many of these operators lease capacity in regions the that US DOD requires capacity (MENA and ASEAN).   

No, there will be no ramifications at all IMO.
Antares, using RD-181, has been unable to get a foothold in the commercial market for the past decade. The signs are not looking positive for the future either.
Atlas V, using RD-180, will go away shortly after 2022, to be replaced by Vulcan, with an all-American engine.
Proton is on the way out as well, being retired in favor of Angara.
And Soyuz is not really suited to launch comsats to GTO/GEO. The largest use of Soyuz for comsat launches will end shortly after 2022 when Soyuz-from-Kourou is replaced by the upgraded versions of Vega.
And no US provider in his/hers right mind would continue launching its comsats on Russian vehicles with the oncoming surge of new, cheaper, US launch vehicles (Falcon 9, FH, New Glenn, NGIS, etc.).
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/12/2018 04:36 pm
Ban on US DOD missions - yes.   [/b]However the effects will have ramifications to the commercial satellite industry.[/b]

Commercial satellite operators that utilize a launch service with Russian Federation engines (such as as RD-180 and RD181) as defined, and/or launch services on Proton M or Soyuz after December 31, 2022 will not be able to sell their capacity to the US DOD.   Many of these operators lease capacity in regions the that US DOD requires capacity (MENA and ASEAN).   

No, there will be no ramifications at all IMO.
Antares, using RD-181, has been unable to get a foothold in the commercial market for the past decade. The signs are not looking positive for the future either.
Atlas V, using RD-180, will go away shortly after 2022, to be replaced by Vulcan, with an all-American engine.
Proton is on the way out as well, being retired in favor of Angara.
And Soyuz is not really suited to launch comsats to GTO/GEO. The largest use of Soyuz for comsat launches will end shortly after 2022 when Soyuz-from-Kourou is replaced by the upgraded versions of Vega.
And no US provider in his/hers right mind would continue launching its comsats on Russian vehicles with the oncoming surge of new, cheaper, US launch vehicles (Falcon 9, FH, New Glenn, NGIS, etc.).
The only reason RD-181 was added was because NGIS planned to expand offerings for lower tier EELV thus it had to be added.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 07/12/2018 04:50 pm
The only reason RD-181 was added was because NGIS planned to expand offerings for lower tier EELV thus it had to be added.

RD-181 wasn't just "added" to anything.  The 2015 NDAA and all subsequent NDAA's restrict Russian rocket engines for EELV use, period.  It never had specific language for banning just RD-180.  (The funding for developing a replacement engine does call it an RD-180 replacement.)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/12/2018 07:31 pm
The only reason RD-181 was added was because NGIS planned to expand offerings for lower tier EELV thus it had to be added.
Northrop Grumman is proposing Omega for EELV-2, as I understand things.  I don't recall ever reading about Antares being involved in the proposals, but perhaps you've run across different information.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 07/12/2018 11:39 pm
Doesn't make contractual sense either. Even if Antares was politically or technically viable for low-end EELV missions, EELV2 requires both providers to meet *all* reference missions, which Antares can't do with any realistic upgrade path (at absolute best, it might be able to reach the mid-range Atlas V missions. Not DIVH and above). Neither USAF nor NG is going to be interested in certifying a rocket that would only be able to perform missions between now and like 2022
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/16/2019 08:20 pm
AR-1 UPDATE: Full engine testing to begin by Q4 2019 as it targets startups and other rocket firms (still pretty much PR spin on AR's arms flailing):

https://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-proposes-using-ar1-for-medium-class-launch-vehicle/
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: GWH on 04/16/2019 11:13 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.

This would likely be similar or lower performance than the Cyclone-4M which itself looks like a very tough sell.
If aiming for something that competes with Falcon 9 operating in RTLS mode, one would really need much cheaper propulsion if going fully expendable. That ain't RL-10 and it sure ain't AR-1.

Now maybe if someone wanted to try for a fully reusable small to medium lift 2 stage rocket based on those high performance engines they could have something - but I've never seen AR pitch their motor as reusable. You would think they might try and sell reusability as an option with their engine if it were capable...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/16/2019 11:21 pm
I'm not very happy that my tax dollars are paying for the ridiculous fantasy that AR-1 will ever fly.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/17/2019 01:08 am
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.

This would likely be similar or lower performance than the Cyclone-4M which itself looks like a very tough sell.
If aiming for something that competes with Falcon 9 operating in RTLS mode, one would really need much cheaper propulsion if going fully expendable. That ain't RL-10 and it sure ain't AR-1.

Now maybe if someone wanted to try for a fully reusable small to medium lift 2 stage rocket based on those high performance engines they could have something - but I've never seen AR pitch their motor as reusable. You would think they might try and sell reusability as an option with their engine if it were capable...
Assuming AR1 is reuseable could be good option for VTOHL XS-1 class LV. NG design used a multiple Newton3 engines from LauncherOne so single AR1 may work.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/17/2019 05:44 am
I think a reusable first stage using nine AR-1's would be the basis for a great launch vehicle. That would have 20.0 MN of thrust, slightly less than Falcon Heavy at 22.8 MN. A reusable upper stage using four RL-10's would could then be made.

I've also looked at replacing the SLS core and boosters with a single stage using 19 AR-1's (42.3 MN of thrust). This would have an impulse of 8.92 GNs, compared to 7.53 GNs for 2xRSRMV+Core. That might be enough to have a reusable stage. Engine configuration below.

Unfortunately, all other details on the AR-1 have not been made public, so it makes it difficult for us to estimate performance.

http://www.rocket.com/innovation/ar1-engine
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: 1 on 04/17/2019 06:09 am
Sorry Steven, am I misunderstanding something? AR-1's intended to be a dual-chambered engine as I understand it; wouldn't you need some configuration of '38 circles in a circle'? Or is each circle intended to mark engine footprint rather than nozzle footprint?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/17/2019 06:20 am
Sorry Steven, am I misunderstanding something? AR-1's intended to be a dual-chambered engine as I understand it; wouldn't you need some configuration of '38 circles in a circle'? Or is each circle intended to mark engine footprint rather than nozzle footprint?

The AJ1E6 was dual chamber. The AR-1 is single chamber.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: GWH on 04/17/2019 06:24 am
Correction to my previous post, their new AR-1 website DOES mention reusability:

Quote
AR1’s choice of propellant combination, high-performance engine cycle, and thrust-level make it an attractive propulsion solution from the Delta-II-class through EELV with potentially applications for larger, reusable launch vehicles.
http://www.rocket.com/innovation/ar1-engine
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: 1 on 04/17/2019 06:45 am
Sorry Steven, am I misunderstanding something? AR-1's intended to be a dual-chambered engine as I understand it; wouldn't you need some configuration of '38 circles in a circle'? Or is each circle intended to mark engine footprint rather than nozzle footprint?

The AJ1E6 was dual chamber. The AR-1 is single chamber.

Huh, somehow I missed the memo on that (and it doesn't look to be a recent memo either). Carry on, then.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/17/2019 07:13 am
I think a reusable first stage using nine AR-1's would be the basis for a great launch vehicle. That would have 20.0 MN of thrust, slightly less than Falcon Heavy at 22.8 MN. A reusable upper stage using four RL-10's would could then be made.
I'm curious, given the KE and PE an upper stage has to handle would be much bigger (11.3x in the case of F9, probably a bit less if the delta v was split a bit more evenly between stages) and the payload/structure tradeoff is 1:1 on a US.

What did you have in mind?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/17/2019 07:22 am
I'm curious, given the KE and PE an upper stage has to handle would be much bigger (11.3x in the case of F9, probably a bit less if the delta v was split a bit more evenly between stages) and the payload/structure tradeoff is 1:1 on a US.

What did you have in mind?

Well, I would start with a dual engine RL-10 expendable upper stage and see what performance I get to GTO, optimising the size of the first and second stage with 1.2g initial acceleration. We can then look at adding reusability to the second stage, either by an inflatable heat shield, steel tanks and tiles or a heat shield that rotates under the engines.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 04/17/2019 07:48 am
I'm curious, given the KE and PE an upper stage has to handle would be much bigger (11.3x in the case of F9, probably a bit less if the delta v was split a bit more evenly between stages) and the payload/structure tradeoff is 1:1 on a US.

What did you have in mind?

Well, I would start with a dual engine RL-10 expendable upper stage and see what performance I get to GTO, optimising the size of the first and second stage with 1.2g initial acceleration. We can then look at adding reusability to the second stage, either by an inflatable heat shield, steel tanks and tiles or a heat shield that rotates under the engines.

Dual RL-10 (only 22 tonnes of thrust) would be seriously underpowered to be used with reusable first stage; Reusable first stage would mean optimal staging point would be much lower than where Atlas V stages, meaning the second stage would practically have to contain about twice as much propellant than Centaur, meaning T/W would not increase compared to Centaur and lower staging also means same T/W gives worse gravity losses.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 04/17/2019 08:19 am
Dr Steven; if a heavy lifter like SLS (or similar) had a pair of expendable strap on boosters, each powered by 4x AR-1s - what sort of lifting performance could we expect instead of big solids?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: envy887 on 04/17/2019 02:29 pm
Dr Steven; if a heavy lifter like SLS (or similar) had a pair of expendable strap on boosters, each powered by 4x AR-1s - what sort of lifting performance could we expect instead of big solids?

There is a small gain (on the order of 5%) but it doesn't make a significant difference without at least upgrading the upper stage to EUS, or preferably even a larger upper stage. Adding booster performance helps lift the core stage higher, but since the burnout mass of the core stage is so large (~100 tonnes) you don't want to bring it much past LEO.

A 6-engine stretched EUS would probably get a fair amount more performance for less money than liquid boosters.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/17/2019 05:21 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.
This should outperform Delta 2 by a fair margin.  It would outperform Antares 230+, etc.  It is closer to Atlas 3B and Delta 4 Medium performance.  I figure that 9 metric tons to LEO/ISS should be possible, 8 tonnes to LEO/S, almost 4 tonnes to GTO, and nearly 3 tonnes to escape velocity.   

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 04/17/2019 06:52 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage....

Why would anyone build a Delta II class expendable launcher today. Could see heavier and lighter payload launchers as viable not something like the Delta II. Especially not with a AR-1 and a RL-10. Which is about the launch cost of a brand new Falcon 9 by themselves.

Sadly the AR-1 is about 6 years too late in the launch market game. AJR should have developed it on their own dime before the appearance of the Raptor and BE-4. Really don't see anyone needing it for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 04/17/2019 07:08 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.
This should outperform Delta 2 by a fair margin.  It would outperform Antares 230+, etc.  It is closer to Atlas 3B and Delta 4 Medium performance.  I figure that 9 metric tons to LEO/ISS should be possible, 8 tonnes to LEO/S, almost 4 tonnes to GTO, and nearly 3 tonnes to escape velocity.   

 - Ed Kyle

AR-1 has about 220 tonnes of sea level thrust. Antares and Atlas IIIB have about 380 tonnes of sea level thrust. I don't see single AR-1 outperforming those, even though it would have more efficient upper stage than antares has.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/17/2019 07:15 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage....

Why would anyone build a Delta II class expendable launcher today. Could see heavier and lighter payload launchers as viable not something like the Delta II. Especially not with a AR-1 and a RL-10. Which is about the launch cost of a brand new Falcon 9 by themselves.

Sadly the AR-1 is about 6 years too late in the launch market game. AJR should have developed it on their own dime before the appearance of the Raptor and BE-4. Really don't see anyone needing it for the foreseeable future.
GPS launch was originally contracted for $82.7 million and was expendable.  Aerojet had targeted $10-12.5 million per AR-1 and has contract for RL10 with NASA that averages $14.5 million per engine, so maybe $27 million in engines per launch, though probably more.  Still less than $82.7 million, but probably suggests a total AR1-RL10 launch vehicle cost exceeding $82.7 million.

Why a Medium ELV?  An AR1-RL10 launch vehicle would be able to loft 50 Electron's worth of payload in a single launch!  Fifty Electron launches cost $300 million!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/17/2019 07:23 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.
This should outperform Delta 2 by a fair margin.  It would outperform Antares 230+, etc.  It is closer to Atlas 3B and Delta 4 Medium performance.  I figure that 9 metric tons to LEO/ISS should be possible, 8 tonnes to LEO/S, almost 4 tonnes to GTO, and nearly 3 tonnes to escape velocity.   

 - Ed Kyle

AR-1 has about 220 tonnes of sea level thrust. Antares and Atlas IIIB have about 380 tonnes of sea level thrust. I don't see single AR-1 outperforming those, even though it would have more efficient upper stage than antares has.
It would definitely outperform Antares 230 series to beyond-LEO missions and to higher altitude LEO missions.  Castor 30XL is OK for LEO missions, but it gets left behind by anything RL10 beyond LEO.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ncb1397 on 04/17/2019 07:52 pm
Beyond launch vehicles, isn't space force going to need engines for the fleet? ;D
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/17/2019 07:58 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.
This should outperform Delta 2 by a fair margin.  It would outperform Antares 230+, etc.  It is closer to Atlas 3B and Delta 4 Medium performance.  I figure that 9 metric tons to LEO/ISS should be possible, 8 tonnes to LEO/S, almost 4 tonnes to GTO, and nearly 3 tonnes to escape velocity.   

 - Ed Kyle

AR-1 has about 220 tonnes of sea level thrust. Antares and Atlas IIIB have about 380 tonnes of sea level thrust. I don't see single AR-1 outperforming those, even though it would have more efficient upper stage than antares has.
It would definitely outperform Antares 230 series to beyond-LEO missions and to higher altitude LEO missions.  Castor 30XL is OK for LEO missions, but it gets left behind by anything RL10 beyond LEO.

 - Ed Kyle
NG wont be replacing Antares with another liquid engine ELV. They will use a SRB ELV ie Omega or liquid engine (AR1)RLV.

A RLV means reduced sales of AR1 so small expensive production line.

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Lar on 04/17/2019 09:52 pm

Why a Medium ELV?  An AR1-RL10 launch vehicle would be able to loft 50 Electron's worth of payload in a single launch!  Fifty Electron launches cost $300 million!

Until you have hub and spoke[1], lofting 50 Electron payloads at once isn't really feasible... It is hard enough getting two payloads to share a ride, much less 50 primaries and 200 secondaries....

So that comparision is baseless, really. Compare costs and prices against the market leader in a segment at least kind of close to this launcher instead.

1 - which implies reusable everything, at least past LEO.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: GreenShrike on 04/17/2019 09:54 pm
AR-1 has about 220 tonnes of sea level thrust. Antares and Atlas IIIB have about 380 tonnes of sea level thrust. I don't see single AR-1 outperforming those, even though it would have more efficient upper stage than antares has.

Well, for a very rough calculation...

220 tonnes thrust with a 1.2 liftoff T/W gets you a ~175t rocket with a 9t payload.

If the first stage is 75% of the rocket (130t) and has a 0.92 propellant mass fraction (a PMF a bit worse than F9), then you have ~120.3t prop and ~10.5t structure.

Using RD-180's 311/338s ISP as a stand-in, and using the rule-of-thumb that says the average ISP over a booster flight is the Sea Level ISP + 2/3rds of the SL/Vacuum difference, gets you an average ~329s ISP over the flight.

So: 329*9.806*ln((175+9)/((175+9)-120.3))) = ~3420m/s for first stage flight.


The second stage is 25% of the rocket (~43.6t) and, if it has a .89 PMF (a bit worse than Centaur), then ~38.8t of it is prop. RL-10-C's ISP is ~450s.

So: 450*9.806*ln((43.6+9)/((43.6+9)-38.8))) = ~5900m/s for second stage flight.

Which gets you a total ~9320m/s dV, which does seem like enough to put something into LEO.

8t payload with the same parameters would get ~9600m/s.


Now, whether you can put together an exclusively Aerojet-Rocketdyne-powered medium-class launch vehicle and beat the Falcon 9 on mission cost is another story -- and F9's capability means that if your medium payload is overweight by a tonne or two, F9 should still be able to lift it.

As much as I'd like the Cyclone 4M to do well for Ukraine's sake, I'm pretty certain it's going to get creamed in the market. I don't think an AR-1/RL-10 rocket would be any cheaper.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/18/2019 12:16 am
Why a Medium ELV?  An AR1-RL10 launch vehicle would be able to loft 50 Electron's worth of payload in a single launch!  Fifty Electron launches cost $300 million!

That's like judging the economics of a semi truck by comparing it to a sedan while ignoring other semi trucks that already exist in the market.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ncb1397 on 04/18/2019 12:27 am
I think you are making this too complicated. The Atlas V weighs about 724,000 pounds and lifts ~21,500 pounds to orbit(or 3% payload). This is a 500,000 pound-force engine, say the stage masses 400,000 pounds. 3% of 400,000 pounds is 12000 pounds or ~ 5500 kg. They would likely have to get the cost down to about $60 million for a government customer to come in lower than F9R would cost and then steal some of the lighter payloads it would be launching mostly empty for. $10 million for the AR-1 and $10 million for the RL-10 would make the business case roughly close which is a bit less than what NASA pays for an RL-10 (but this includes some likely healthy profit margins that can be negotiated against and may not include all the modernized manufacturing savings). Assuming first stage recovery/reflight, you could presumably get 2,500 kg+ to orbit and save on buying a lot of AR-1s.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: ZachS09 on 04/18/2019 12:48 am
I don't know if this question was asked:

Is there a source that tells how many kilograms the AR-1 weighs?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/18/2019 05:42 am
Dr Steven; if a heavy lifter like SLS (or similar) had a pair of expendable strap on boosters, each powered by 4x AR-1s - what sort of lifting performance could we expect instead of big solids?

Using three AJ1E6 (equivalent to six AR-1) performance is 136.2 t using dual J-2X upper stage. Note that AJ1E6 has 10% greater thrust than two AR-1s, so performance would be a little less with AR-1s. ATK Advanced Boosters (Dark Knights) with dual J-2X has a payload 124.8 t.

Using four AR-1's would probably have a big performance hit, since the thrust from the boosters would be reduced by 33%.

Is there a source that tells how many kilograms the AR-1 weighs?

Not that I know of. The only number we know is the sea level thrust!
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 04/22/2019 05:54 pm
has contract for RL10 with NASA that averages $14.5 million per engine

RL10 is 6.5-11.5 million a piece, depending on RL10A vs B (RL10C-3 for EUS doesn't count, small production run of a custom variant and for a government customer, both mean heavily inflated price). Next-gen RL10C variants with 3d printing should be ~half that.

Not that I know of. The only number we know is the sea level thrust!

AR-1 weighs 17200 pounds for a pair (so like 7.8 tons). ISP is 304.7-337.5 seconds. Mix ratio is 2.71:1 at full throttle, preburner mix ratio is 49:1. Max throttle thrust is 582.5 klbf vac, 526 klbf SL. Chamber pressure is 3100 psi. Expansion ratio is 38.8:1. It can throttle down to 40%. Any other information you require for simulation purposes?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Patchouli on 04/22/2019 06:22 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne is pitching that someone could build a Delta II class rocket using a single AR-1 and single RL-10 as the upper stage. I'd assume some vernier thrusters for roll control as well.
This should outperform Delta 2 by a fair margin.  It would outperform Antares 230+, etc.  It is closer to Atlas 3B and Delta 4 Medium performance.  I figure that 9 metric tons to LEO/ISS should be possible, 8 tonnes to LEO/S, almost 4 tonnes to GTO, and nearly 3 tonnes to escape velocity.   

 - Ed Kyle

Bring back the LR-101 engine for that.

It could be a good fit for a smaller LV for ULA if they wanted to keep the Delta II payload class as even the smallest version of Vulcan is a medium heavy.

Too bad all the crew vehicles are around 10 tons or more unless you want to launch a Soyuz or Shenzhou as with only one main engine in each stage and a single staging event it could in theory be very reliable.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Jim on 04/22/2019 07:19 pm

Bring back the LR-101 engine for that.


No, hydrazine thrusters would be better for that.  See Atlas II
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/23/2019 06:27 am
AR-1 weighs 17200 pounds for a pair (so like 7.8 tons). ISP is 304.7-337.5 seconds. Mix ratio is 2.71:1 at full throttle, preburner mix ratio is 49:1. Max throttle thrust is 1165 klbf vac, 1052 klbf SL. Chamber pressure is 3100 psi. Expansion ratio is 38.8:1. It can throttle down to 40%. Any other information you require for simulation purposes?

Where did this data come from? This looks like the spec for AJ1E6, not AR-1. The dry mass looks very high. RD-180 is 5.48 t.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 04/23/2019 02:29 pm
Where did this data come from? This looks like the spec for AJ1E6, not AR-1. The dry mass looks very high. RD-180 is 5.48 t.

A ULA presentation. Numbers are close to, but not the same as, the last ones I saw for AJ1E6/AJ500 (I edited my previous post, thrust figure was for the dual engine configuration, halved that for single-engine). Which makes sense given AR-1 is the direct continuation of that program (note how Aerojet's bid for the SLS Block 2 boosters changed from AJ1E6 to AR-1 with effectively no performance or external design change also)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/24/2019 04:20 am
A ULA presentation. Numbers are close to, but not the same as, the last ones I saw for AJ1E6/AJ500 (I edited my previous post, thrust figure was for the dual engine configuration, halved that for single-engine).

Thanks for the clarification. Is there a link to this presentation? What about the dry mass? Is it 3.9 t for AR-1? That would be very high. RD-191 with similar thrust (1.92 MN vs 2.34 MN for AR-1) is only 2.29 t.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 04/24/2019 06:00 am
AR-1 has about 220 tonnes of sea level thrust. Antares and Atlas IIIB have about 380 tonnes of sea level thrust. I don't see single AR-1 outperforming those, even though it would have more efficient upper stage than antares has.

Well, for a very rough calculation...

220 tonnes thrust with a 1.2 liftoff T/W gets you a ~175t rocket with a 9t payload.

If the first stage is 75% of the rocket (130t) and has a 0.92 propellant mass fraction (a PMF a bit worse than F9), then you have ~120.3t prop and ~10.5t structure.

Using RD-180's 311/338s ISP as a stand-in, and using the rule-of-thumb that says the average ISP over a booster flight is the Sea Level ISP + 2/3rds of the SL/Vacuum difference, gets you an average ~329s ISP over the flight.

So: 329*9.806*ln((175+9)/((175+9)-120.3))) = ~3420m/s for first stage flight.


The second stage is 25% of the rocket (~43.6t) and, if it has a .89 PMF (a bit worse than Centaur), then ~38.8t of it is prop. RL-10-C's ISP is ~450s.

So: 450*9.806*ln((43.6+9)/((43.6+9)-38.8))) = ~5900m/s for second stage flight.

Which gets you a total ~9320m/s dV, which does seem like enough to put something into LEO.



You are ignoring one very important point: The terrible gravity drag of the second stage. The second stage would simply drop from the sky before reaching orbital speed.

450s isp and 110 kN of thrust means it's burning 25 kg of propellant per second.
This means that in order to burn 38.8 tonnes of propellant, it's burn would last about 1550 seconds.



Centaur can survive with (but suffers from) a low T/W ratio because it stages very high in all rockets where it's used, but you are proposing much lower staging for upper stage with even lower T/W ratio.

Lets say our 3.2 km/s for lower stage contains 1 km/s of gravity losses(as initially 83% of the thrust is used for fighting gravity). Then our velocity is 2.2 km/s at staging.

At 30 degrees angle this means 1.1km/s vertical velocity 1.9km/s horizontal velocity.

This 1.1km/s vertical velocity means that the first stage has kinetic energy to keep ascending for 60.5 kilometers, 110 seconds.

Lets take the second stage into account:



Your rocket would have initial second stage T/W of only 0.244. If initially rising at 30 degree angle, this would  mean only about 1.23 m/s^2 of vertical thrust component. Assuming the 1.9km/s horizontal velocity reduces effective gravity by 25% (not sure if this is linear in reality) we are losing about 6.1 m/s^2 vertical velocity.

So, with it's initial weight and T/W ratio the second stage would continue rising for only 180 seconds.

But it keeps getting lighter?

After 200 seconds it would have burned only 5 tonnes of propellant. It would still weight 38.6 and have T/W of only 0.285. At 30 degree angle this gives about 1.4 m/s^2 of vertical thrust component.

It would have gained only about 465 m/s of vertical velocity, going at about 2.47km/s. Assuming this reduces effective gravity to about 6.5 m/s^2, it would still have 5.1 km/s of downwards acceleration. So with this weight, it would keep rising for 215 seconds.

So, in practice it would reach it's apogee at about 200 seconds, and then it would fall down.

No amount of delta-v helps when there is no time to use it.


What if trying to use more lofted trajectory? Make the staging at 45 degrees.

Then at staging it has 1.55 km/s vertical velocity and 1.55 km/s horizontal velocity. About 155 seconds of rise time for the first stage after stage separation.

Now the horizontal speed is 350 m/s less and we get intial effective dravity drop of 20% instead of 25%.

Second stage burning at 45 degrees also? Now our vertical thrust component is 1.7 km/s^2 instead of 1,2 km/s^2. We are still losing vertical velocity 6.1 km/s^2 , which means rise time of about 255 seconds.

After burning for 240 seconds, 6 tonnes of propellant is burned.  We have now T/W of about 2.9. The vertical component of this is about 2 m/s^2.

It has gained about 460 m/s of horizontal velocity, which is now about 2.01 km/s. Effective gravity is still about 7.2 m/s^2 , so total downwards forces 5.2 m/s^2, rise time ~300 seconds.

After burning for 480 seconds, 12 tonnes of propellant is burned. We have now T/W of about 0.35.
The vertical component of this is about 2.4 m/s^2.

It has gained about 990 m/s of horizontal velocity, which is not about 2.54 km/s. Effective gravity about 6.5 m/s^2, so total downwards acceleration is about 4.1 m/s^2 , rise time ~380 seconds.

So, in practice it would start falling down after something like 320 seconds.


No amount of lofting will make this work. Even if there was no gravity losses in the first stage and it would burn vertically, the first stage would have ballistic ascent time of only 320 seconds after stage separation, but the seconds stage needs 1550 seconds to burn it's fuel.


The first stage would need to be longer and second stage much smaller.

Aim for 7.5-tonne payload, make the first stage weight 150 tonnes and second stage 17.5 tonnes. Then your first stage has ~5 km/s of delta-v and second stage has T/W of 0.44, delta-v of ~4.2 km/s and burn time of ~612 seconds. This might work.

... but this is much less than the payload of Atlas IIIB and slightly less than the payload of Antares 230.


With DEC(Dual-Engine-Centaur) upper stage and about 145-tonne first stage it might beat Antares 230 to LEO, but would still easily lose to Atlas IIIB



Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: JEF_300 on 05/07/2019 09:37 pm
While the presence of OmegA has made most of us (including me initially) dismiss the idea of using AR1 on Antares, reusability could be the thing that makes Antares a viable commercial launcher. If the AR1 really can power a reusable launch vehicle, it's something that should be looked into.

Imagine for a moment that the Antares 300 first stages are stretched stages powered by 2 AR1s. The stretch is to accommodate carrying whatever method of RTLS NGIS would pick. Boost-back is the most obvious now, but I personally still hold out hope we'll see a glide-back booster one day.

How much cheaper would a reusable Antares be to operate, and what sort of second stage would be needed. It would be easiest (and cheapest) to use the Castor 30XL, but I worry that might not have enough delta-V to be practical on an RLV.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hplan on 05/07/2019 09:47 pm
While the presence of OmegA has made most of us (including me initially) dismiss the idea of using AR1 on Antares, reusability could be the thing that makes Antares a viable commercial launcher. If the AR1 really can power a reusable launch vehicle, it's something that should be looked into.

Imagine for a moment that the Antares 300 first stages are stretched stages powered by 2 AR1s. The stretch is to accommodate carrying whatever method of RTLS NGIS would pick. Boost-back is the most obvious now, but I personally still hold out hope we'll see a glide-back booster one day.

How much cheaper would a reusable Antares be to operate, and what sort of second stage would be needed. It would be easiest (and cheapest) to use the Castor 30XL, but I worry that might not have enough delta-V to be practical on an RLV.

Reusability on two engines? I don't see how that could work, at least if you are thinking powered vertical landing. To have symmetrical thrust about the center axis, you'd need to have both engines powered on descent. But then you'd have a really hard time powering down enough to actually land, unless the engines can power down to something like 10%...
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/07/2019 09:49 pm
While the presence of OmegA has made most of us (including me initially) dismiss the idea of using AR1 on Antares, reusability could be the thing that makes Antares a viable commercial launcher. If the AR1 really can power a reusable launch vehicle, it's something that should be looked into.

Imagine for a moment that the Antares 300 first stages are stretched stages powered by 2 AR1s. The stretch is to accommodate carrying whatever method of RTLS NGIS would pick. Boost-back is the most obvious now, but I personally still hold out hope we'll see a glide-back booster one day.

How much cheaper would a reusable Antares be to operate, and what sort of second stage would be needed. It would be easiest (and cheapest) to use the Castor 30XL, but I worry that might not have enough delta-V to be practical on an RLV.
While AR1 could conceivably be adapted for Antares, a reusable Antares is simply not going to happen, certainly not with AR1 propulsion, nor would it cost less than the current expendable Antares.  Northrop Grumman's goal is steady U.S. Government launch services work via. Minotaur, Antares, and if they can sell it Omega.  In my opinion. 

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/07/2019 10:03 pm
While the presence of OmegA has made most of us (including me initially) dismiss the idea of using AR1 on Antares, reusability could be the thing that makes Antares a viable commercial launcher. If the AR1 really can power a reusable launch vehicle, it's something that should be looked into.

Imagine for a moment that the Antares 300 first stages are stretched stages powered by 2 AR1s. The stretch is to accommodate carrying whatever method of RTLS NGIS would pick. Boost-back is the most obvious now, but I personally still hold out hope we'll see a glide-back booster one day.

How much cheaper would a reusable Antares be to operate, and what sort of second stage would be needed. It would be easiest (and cheapest) to use the Castor 30XL, but I worry that might not have enough delta-V to be practical on an RLV.
VTOHL RLV is quite within NG capabilities, they even have design from XS-1 competition. A 1xAR1 RLV would fit nicely in their design as it was RP1 LOX powered, size would need scaling to match AR1 but most likely similar size to XS1 design. Ideal for competiting against new 1000-1500kg class ELVs being developed.

Omega is probably better option for Antares replacement.






Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: brickmack on 05/08/2019 02:34 am
Reusability on two engines? I don't see how that could work, at least if you are thinking powered vertical landing. To have symmetrical thrust about the center axis, you'd need to have both engines powered on descent. But then you'd have a really hard time powering down enough to actually land, unless the engines can power down to something like 10%...

A spaceplane could work, though it'd be heavy (though Antares core stage is pretty overweight as it is, both because of the heavy Ukrainian construction and the lack of a stretch to take maximum advantage of RD-181. A clean-sheet American design built around AR-1, even with reuse, might not perform much worse) and would have to be an almost complete redesign of the whole vehicle. Doesn't make sense unless the flightrate improves a bunch, and unlike [nameless other reusable vehicles] I don't think thats likely to happen as long as Antares or its derivatives have a solid upper stage. Its pretty much only useful for LEO, both because of the terrible ISP and the lack of restartability. Antares has always been cheaper than Atlas V 401 for not much worse LEO performance, but has failed to get actual non-Cygnus missions anyway. Further Antares prospects died with the High Energy Second Stage

SMART-style reuse would be much easier, with almost no development needed, minimal mass impact, and it can probably break even in only 1 or 2 flights.

In either case though, I don't see that AR-1 makes sense to power this hypothetical vehicle.  RD-181 has effectively identical performance, the RD-170 family as a whole is reusable to a comparable degree as AR-1 targets, both RD-181 and Antares-RD-181 already exist and are flying, and with reuse the geopolitical issues around RD-180/181 largely go away (Aerojet/Pratt & Whitney has the ability to service them and even build some parts. RD-180 coproduction may not have made financial sense, but maintenance is an entirely different matter). Little to no money going back to Russia, little to no risk of interrupted launch capability. What does AR-1 bring to the table, except hundreds of millions in extra dev/qualification costs before you can even *consider* the development needed to reuse anything? I want to see Antares reach something along the lines of its original goals, but this ain't it. If anything, replacing the Zenit-derived tanks is probably a higher priority both technically and geopolitically. But thats a separate thread
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Tomness on 12/20/2020 11:51 pm
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2020-12-20-Lockheed-Martin-to-Acquire-Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Strengthening-Position-as-Leading-Provider-of-Technologies-to-Deter-Threats-and-Help-Secure-the-United-States-and-its-Allies

Quote

**Snip**
*-Thread bump**
 in light of this breaking news, could AR-1 be  resurrected for the Atlas V have Atlas V and Vulcan continue to launch in tandem if this merger goes through?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: DreamyPickle on 12/21/2020 02:12 am
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2020-12-20-Lockheed-Martin-to-Acquire-Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Strengthening-Position-as-Leading-Provider-of-Technologies-to-Deter-Threats-and-Help-Secure-the-United-States-and-its-Allies

In light of this breaking news, could AR-1 be  resurrected for the Atlas V have Atlas V and Vulcan continue to launch in tandem if this merger goes through?
ULA is pressured to decrease costs, running Atlas V and Vulcan in parallel would achieve the opposite. They definitely want to get down to a single rocket on 2 pads.

Vulcan itself is very far along in development and would be ready much sooner than any rocket powered by AR-1.

Could an AR-1 powered Atlas even fly the "class C" direct-to-GEO mission?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Sam Ho on 12/21/2020 03:47 am
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2020-12-20-Lockheed-Martin-to-Acquire-Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Strengthening-Position-as-Leading-Provider-of-Technologies-to-Deter-Threats-and-Help-Secure-the-United-States-and-its-Allies

In light of this breaking news, could AR-1 be  resurrected for the Atlas V have Atlas V and Vulcan continue to launch in tandem if this merger goes through?
ULA is pressured to decrease costs, running Atlas V and Vulcan in parallel would achieve the opposite. They definitely want to get down to a single rocket on 2 pads.

Vulcan itself is very far along in development and would be ready much sooner than any rocket powered by AR-1.

Could an AR-1 powered Atlas even fly the "class C" direct-to-GEO mission?
ULA is already planning to fly Atlas V and Vulcan in parallel, sharing SLC-41, because only Atlas V is certified for crew and nuclear.  That said, I don't see ULA investing in a reengined Atlas V.  Also, crew and nuclear are both for civil space; ULA is free to buy more RD-180s for civil use.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/21/2020 10:55 pm
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2020-12-20-Lockheed-Martin-to-Acquire-Aerojet-Rocketdyne-Strengthening-Position-as-Leading-Provider-of-Technologies-to-Deter-Threats-and-Help-Secure-the-United-States-and-its-Allies

Quote

**Snip**
*-Thread bump**
 in light of this breaking news, could AR-1 be  resurrected for the Atlas V have Atlas V and Vulcan continue to launch in tandem if this merger goes through?

This is completely targeted at NG in response to NG buying OATK to position them favourably against Boeing et al while also acting as a check against certain Boeing led projects.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Kryten on 01/12/2021 01:13 pm
https://twitter.com/AerojetRdyne/status/1348992893051154432
Quote
The first #AR1 engine is complete – the first American-made liquid oxygen/ kerosene staged-combustion engine. AR1 is the ideal engine for many possible solutions; it brings the right thrust level, size, and performance to a wide variety of launch vehicles.

(We should probably take 'proposed' out of the thread title)
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: leovinus on 01/12/2021 02:11 pm
Aerojet Rocketdyne completes assembly of its first AR1 rocket engine
https://spacenews.com/aerojet-rocketdyne-completes-assembly-of-its-first-ar1-rocket-engine/

Though nice to see progress, article seems to lack mention of price or re-use.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: hkultala on 01/12/2021 02:17 pm
Do they have any customers for AR-1?

Even though not officially declared, Are they still hoping to make some kind of "Atlas VI" where RD-180 is replaced with two AR-1's ?
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 01/12/2021 02:40 pm
Firefly has talked about using it for their larger vehicle.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/12/2021 03:54 pm
Firefly has talked about using it for their larger vehicle.
They recently chose to go with in house Reaver-2 and Reaver Vacuum Engines for Beta. It is now only on the table for Gamma.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 01/12/2021 04:53 pm
LM could build XS1using AR1 and RL10.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 01/12/2021 09:07 pm
LM could build XS1using AR1 and RL10.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

XS-1 was canceled by Boeing.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/13/2021 12:04 am
LM could build XS1using AR1 and RL10.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

XS-1 was canceled by Boeing.
And was for fully cryogenic/storable green propellants for stage 1.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: gongora on 01/13/2021 07:40 pm
[CNBC] Aerojet Rocketdyne completes first AR1 rocket engine, but won’t test fire until at least ‘late 2022’ (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/13/aerojet-rocketdyne-completes-ar1-rocket-engine-wont-fire-until-late-2022.html)
Quote
“Aerojet Rocketdyne could be in a position to hot fire the AR1 engine in late 2022,” the company said in a statement to CNBC on Tuesday.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 01/13/2021 08:14 pm
LM could build XS1using AR1 and RL10.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

XS-1 was canceled by Boeing.
Doesn't stop LM building their own version.
Title: Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (aka AJ-1E6)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/14/2021 03:33 am
Doesn't stop LM building their own version.

Yes it does. LM's business model (like all primes) is making money from US government contracts and standard commercial products. Building their own XS-1 without a customer is not going to happen.