Author Topic: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift  (Read 2485 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27619
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 51375
  • Likes Given: 21932
Quote
Assessing the Impact of U.S. Air Force National Security Space Launch Acquisition Decisions
An Independent Analysis of the Global Heavy Lift Launch Market

Preface

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) today stands at a crossroads with respect to its space vehi- cle launch acquisition strategy. For years, it has relied on Atlas V and Delta IV rockets to launch heavy National Security Space (NSS) payloads—typically those weighing 5,000 pounds or more—for defense and intelligence clients. However, the Atlas V is powered by Russian engines. Under U.S. law, the USAF is prohibited after 2022 from purchasing rockets with engines designed or manufactured in Russia. Moreover, the Delta family will be retired from service over the next few years. Despite these retire- ments, the USAF is nevertheless required to sustain at least two viable launch vehicle providers for NSS payloads, and those payloads must be launched from U.S. soil. With 30-plus unprocured NSS launches forecasted for the 2022–2025 period and replace- ment launch vehicles still in development, the USAF’s ability to fulfill vital NSS mis- sions has come under substantial congressional scrutiny.

The USAF asked RAND Project AIR FORCE to independently analyze the heavy lift launch market to assess how decisions the USAF might make in the near term could affect domestic launch providers and the market in general. The research reported here was commissioned by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and conducted within the Force Modernization and Employment Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE as part of a fiscal year 2019 project entitled Space Launch Market Research and Assessment. The intended audience for this report includes the U.S. Department of Defense, USAF leader- ship, and the U.S. Congress.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR4200/RR4251/RAND_RR4251.pdf

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1255290799937421315

Quote
U.S. Air Force and NASA funding for large rockets paid to ULA, SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin since 2005.

Source: RAND rand.org/content/dam/ra…

N.B.  The report explicitly prohibits posting of the report on-line, which is why I only provide a link above
« Last Edit: 04/29/2020 07:53 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27619
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 51375
  • Likes Given: 21932
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #1 on: 04/29/2020 07:43 am »
From Observations and Recommendations:

Quote
Thus, the size of the global addressable market, the leading position that SpaceX has in this market, and the fact that the U.S. share is likely to shrink mean that the global heavy lift launch market is unlikely to support more than one U.S. provider of launch services focused on commercial heavy lift.

Quote
Long-Term Strategy
The USAF should make prudent preparations for a future with only two U.S. provid- ers of NSS-certified heavy lift launch, at least one of which may have little support from the commercial marketplace.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27619
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 51375
  • Likes Given: 21932
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #2 on: 04/29/2020 02:30 pm »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1255504085769428992

Quote
How long does it take to develop and launch a new heavy-lift rocket?

A RAND study of the schedules for Air Force certification of Blue Origin's New Glenn, Northrop Grumman's OmegA, ULA's Vulcan, and SpaceX's Falcon Heavy:
rand.org/content/dam/ra…

Offline GWH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1608
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1681
  • Likes Given: 1084
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #3 on: 04/29/2020 03:09 pm »
The dollar figure for ULA's launch contracts with NASA seems very questionable.  We know they have flown missions for not just NASA science but also 3rd party procument for NASA contracted payloads such as Boeing's Starliner and NGIS Cygnus missions.... so how do they get $0?

Even if you assume this is Vulcan only that ignores the launches on contract for Dream Chaser and CRS2.

I haven't read the report, maybe that gets addressed in there?
« Last Edit: 04/29/2020 03:13 pm by GWH »

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7993
  • Liked: 6527
  • Likes Given: 2926
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #4 on: 04/29/2020 04:47 pm »
The dollar figure for ULA's launch contracts with NASA seems very questionable.  We know they have flown missions for not just NASA science but also 3rd party procument for NASA contracted payloads such as Boeing's Starliner and NGIS Cygnus missions.... so how do they get $0?

Even if you assume this is Vulcan only that ignores the launches on contract for Dream Chaser and CRS2.

I haven't read the report, maybe that gets addressed in there?

That part is just completely and hilariously wrong. If they included all of ULA's government launch contracts, they would need a log scale on that axis to see any of the the other providers.

Online lrk

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 498
  • Likes Given: 1021
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #5 on: 04/29/2020 05:22 pm »
Page 19 - what on earth is Falcon Super Heavy that is apparently making its first launch later this year? 

Is this referring to FH with the upgraded faring? 

Edit: On further reading, this appears to be a reference to the Starship system. 
« Last Edit: 04/29/2020 05:29 pm by lrk »

Offline yoram

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 184
  • Liked: 137
  • Likes Given: 15
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #6 on: 05/03/2020 11:01 pm »
RAND really likes Monte Carlo it seems.

One thing I found interesting in the report is that even RAND (representing the Air Force) couldn't get through FAA's red tape to get full launch data. They had to use the tables from russianspaceflight.com instead (Why not Gunther or Ed Kyle or McDowell? I guess Zak has a good site, or they're not that good at Googling :-)

Online VSECOTSPE

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 911
  • Liked: 3229
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: RAND report on USAF NSS launch acquisition & heavy-lift
« Reply #7 on: 05/07/2020 05:12 pm »

You gotta love the conflicting headlines:

RAND Report Backs Up Space Force’s Plan For Only Two Heavy Launch Providers

https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2020/04/29/rand-report-backs-up-space-forces-plan-for-just-two-heavy-launch-providers/

Independent Study of Launch Market Says U.S. Air Force Should Support Three Domestic Launch Providers

https://spacenews.com/independent-study-of-launch-market-says-u-s-air-force-should-support-three-domestic-providers/

RAND and USAF/USSF don’t seem to recognize the dissimilar competition at play here or to grasp the opportunities for the USG.  BO and SX are very different beasts from ULA.  (Setting aside NG here for the sake of simplicity.)

ULA is a joint venture with a narrowly defined business, a broad supplier base, and very limited access to capital and even its own profits.  It cannot play in the markets of its parents, it has limited control over its costs, and it lacks the resources to change either of those things.  ULA needs the USAF/USSF to make its market.

BO and SX are independent companies with the freedom to enter any business they chose, vertically integrated and largely internal supply chains, and abundant access to capital.  They can and do play in markets outside national security launch and space launch altogether, have tight control over their costs, and the resources to protect and exploit both.  BO and SC don’t need the USAF/USSF to make their markets.

USAF/USSF has to provide enough business to ULA to keep it healthy.  USAF/USSF only has to provide enough business to BO and SX to ensure that they prioritize USAF/USSF payloads.

It’s bizarre that USAF/USSF and even RAND continue to treat all national security launch competitors like they’re ULAs.  They’re not.
« Last Edit: 05/07/2020 05:12 pm by VSECOTSPE »

Offline TrevorMonty

Only Omega Medium (10t GTO) is launching 2021, Omega Heavy(7t GSO) is 2023-24.

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1