Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle (as announced/built) - General Discussion Thread 3  (Read 120886 times)

Online RonM

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Since Vulcan won't be as far along in 2019 (when Phase 2 is to be awarded) as Falcon was when ULA was given a 36 core block Buy, shouldn't such a money-saving opportunity be taken again by the USAF?  Could save several times the purported $4.4B...

No.  ULA knows how to build and operate a certified vehicle.  Spacex had no such history.

Not because ULA knows all, but because block buy is a terrible idea in a competitive market. Let the Air Force decide per mission based on available launchers.

Hindsight...no one would call out the block buy being a *poop* deal that long ago (also Blocky Buy's origin start around 2011 by my count).
Block Buy most likely saved money when considering the time frame.

I'm not talking about previous block buys, I responding to the idea of a new block buy. Why give SpaceX a block buy for FH when they've done one test launch and Vulcan, NG, etc. are on the horizon? In a few short years there will be several launchers available. Block buy is no longer a viable concept.

Do you have a source on a new Block Buy?  That's news to me...and quite shocking to be honest.

I've heard ELC for both SpaceX and ULA, but not a Block Buy. I'd like more info (if you can share publicly)

Read the entire post above!

Since Vulcan won't be as far along in 2019 (when Phase 2 is to be awarded) as Falcon was when ULA was given a 36 core block Buy, shouldn't such a money-saving opportunity be taken again by the USAF?  Could save several times the purported $4.4B...

AncientU suggested a new block buy, Jim and I are objecting for different reasons. There is no inside information about a new block buy because there isn't one.

Offline TrevorMonty


https://twitter.com/Astro_Zach/status/963107576857624581
Woo. @torybruno just confirmed to me the Vulcan Ultra/Super/Three Core Heavy is still a GO if there is demand

They have D4H pads and experience of operating a triple core so it should be easier to develop than SpaceX had with FH. Price should be on par with FH in expendable form. Just need flight rate to justify it.

Offline Rocket Jesus

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https://twitter.com/Astro_Zach/status/963107576857624581
Woo. @torybruno just confirmed to me the Vulcan Ultra/Super/Three Core Heavy is still a GO if there is demand

They have D4H pads and experience of operating a triple core so it should be easier to develop than SpaceX had with FH. Price should be on par with FH in expendable form. Just need flight rate to justify it.

Flight Rate will not justify a 3 stick VH.  It only justifies a DIVH cuz they've already signed a contract.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2018 05:43 PM by Rocket Jesus »

Online cppetrie

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https://twitter.com/Astro_Zach/status/963107576857624581
Woo. @torybruno just confirmed to me the Vulcan Ultra/Super/Three Core Heavy is still a GO if there is demand

They have D4H pads and experience of operating a triple core so it should be easier to develop than SpaceX had with FH. Price should be on par with FH in expendable form . Just need flight rate to justify it.

Given that Elon just tweeted that FH in expendable mode is $150 million, how on earth can a 3 stick Vulcan beat that price if a single stick Vulcan is likely to cost ~$100 million?

Offline clongton

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https://twitter.com/Astro_Zach/status/963107576857624581
Woo. @torybruno just confirmed to me the Vulcan Ultra/Super/Three Core Heavy is still a GO if there is demand.

Doubt the demand will materialize. It would have to compete with Falcon Heavy and then with the BFR, which would be less expensive than the Falcon Heavy.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 07:19 AM by clongton »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/963118795303694336

Tory Bruno accepts Musk's challenge of Vulcan launching a NSS by 2023.

add:

I don't doubt ULA being able to do booster and US for that. I do doubt engine providers and ability to pull off the necessary qualifiable capabilities in that time (schedule pressure).

add:

He deleted the tweet! Perhaps he doesn't want to take the risk ... ouch, bad form!
« Last Edit: 02/12/2018 09:54 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Doubt the demand will materialize. It would have to compete with Falcon Heavy and then with the BFR, which would be less expensive than the BFR.
There's scenarios where a commercial architecture for a space station or deep space mission could make good use of such a vehicle. The availability of two providers would be helpful in this case.

Offline Sknowball

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Doubt the demand will materialize. It would have to compete with Falcon Heavy and then with the BFR, which would be less expensive than the BFR.
There's scenarios where a commercial architecture for a space station or deep space mission could make good use of such a vehicle. The availability of two providers would be helpful in this case.

Only makes sense for initial mass to LEO as distributed launch would almost certainly be cheaper than a 3 core Vulcan to move that much mass to any other orbit.  Most recent distributed launch numbers below.

Some slides we had seen previously, gives some updated numbers for Vulcan/ACES lift both single launch and distributed launch.

Launch MethodEarth EscapeGSO/Lunar OrbitLunar Surface
Single Launch14mT10mT3.8mT
Distributed Launch30mT24mT12mT

Offline TrevorMonty

Doubt the demand will materialize. It would have to compete with Falcon Heavy and then with the BFR, which would be less expensive than the BFR.
There's scenarios where a commercial architecture for a space station or deep space mission could make good use of such a vehicle. The availability of two providers would be helpful in this case.

Only makes sense for initial mass to LEO as distributed launch would almost certainly be cheaper than a 3 core Vulcan to move that much mass to any other orbit.  Most recent distributed launch numbers below.

Some slides we had seen previously, gives some updated numbers for Vulcan/ACES lift both single launch and distributed launch.

Launch MethodEarth EscapeGSO/Lunar OrbitLunar Surface
Single Launch14mT10mT3.8mT
Distributed Launch30mT24mT12mT
DT is why ULA are not pushing Vulcan Heavy or see a need for one.  For situations where 2 Vulcans are not enough, still easier to launch 3 x Vulcan 564 than 1 x564 and Heavy.

Offline Rocket Jesus

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/963118795303694336

Tory Bruno accepts Musk's challenge of Vulcan launching a NSS by 2023.

add:

I don't doubt ULA being able to do booster and US for that. I do doubt engine providers and ability to pull off the necessary qualifiable capabilities in that time (schedule pressure).

add:

He deleted the tweet! Perhaps he doesn't want to take the risk ... ouch, bad form!

Any idea how many consecutive successful flights are needed by Vulcan until it meets NSS certification?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/963118795303694336

Tory Bruno accepts Musk's challenge of Vulcan launching a NSS by 2023.

add:

I don't doubt ULA being able to do booster and US for that. I do doubt engine providers and ability to pull off the necessary qualifiable capabilities in that time (schedule pressure).

add:

He deleted the tweet! Perhaps he doesn't want to take the risk ... ouch, bad form!

Any idea how many consecutive successful flights are needed by Vulcan until it meets NSS certification?
Estimate 2-3.

Offline Archibald

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Quote
Maybe that plan works out, but I will seriously eat my hat with a side of mustard if that rocket flies a national security spacecraft before 2023

When I red this I started laughing so hard, like an idiot, couldn't stop, lost my breath, started coughing, someone please call 9-1-1...

The reason ?

eating his hat ? reminded myself of something...

Scrooge McDuck rivals. They used to taunt Scrooge into insane challenges they hoped to win, usually adding "and if I lose this one, I'll eat my hat" and everytime it happened, to the point it become a running joke in the series, at some point the loser lost so hard and so badly, he ended eating a complete truckload of hats (ROTFLMAO)

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/nonciclopedia/images/5/5c/Rockerduck_si_mangia_la_bombetta.png/revision/latest?cb=20130704164559

Rockerduck_si_mangia_la_bombetta Ah, the beauty of italian language !!!

Quite inevitably it imediately become...

Elonduck_si_mangia_la_bombetta

Seriously, somebody should make a hashtag out of this...

« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 07:50 PM by Archibald »
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline AncientU

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Since Vulcan won't be as far along in 2019 (when Phase 2 is to be awarded) as Falcon was when ULA was given a 36 core block Buy, shouldn't such a money-saving opportunity be taken again by the USAF?  Could save several times the purported $4.4B...

No.  ULA knows how to build and operate a certified vehicle.  Spacex had no such history.

Because their parents did it 20 years ago?
And Blue has vast experience in orbital ORSC methlox engines, or can seek help from ULA's vast trove of engine development expertise?
Or AJR will deliver its first ORSC kerlox engine by then?

The outcome is not solely in ULA's hands.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 08:26 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline russianhalo117

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https://twitter.com/Astro_Zach/status/963107576857624581
Woo. @torybruno just confirmed to me the Vulcan Ultra/Super/Three Core Heavy is still a GO if there is demand.

Doubt the demand will materialize. It would have to compete with Falcon Heavy and then with the BFR, which would be less expensive than the Falcon Heavy.
The parent corporations have more or less required that the Vulcan Heavy configuration be designed into the standardized Vulcan core stage from the beginning of development just like the never flown Atlas-5 Heavy. As with the A5 core CCB, the attachment bracket and thrust take-out mounting locations would be machined but the unneeded hardware would not be installed. (VH would use an attachment system similar to that used by the DIVH CBC's).
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 10:03 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline TrevorMonty


https://twitter.com/Astro_Zach/status/963107576857624581
Woo. @torybruno just confirmed to me the Vulcan Ultra/Super/Three Core Heavy is still a GO if there is demand.

Doubt the demand will materialize. It would have to compete with Falcon Heavy and then with the BFR, which would be less expensive than the Falcon Heavy.
The parent corporations have more or less required that the Vulcan Heavy configuration be designed into the standardized Vulcan core stage from the beginning of development just like the never flown Atlas-5 Heavy. As with the A5 core CCB, the attachment bracket and thrust take-out mounting locations would be machined but the unneeded hardware would not be installed. (VH would use an attachment system similar to that used by the DIVH CBC's).

Flight rate may not need to be much more than 1-2 flights a year to justify ground infrastructure. Pad could still be used for single stick Vulcan giving ULA two pads, ideal for distributed launch. Should be very little extra manufacturing infrastructure required as its just three Vulcan cores with few modifications.

There is no reason to believe 1st stages will be significantly more expensive than FH. Lot depends on how much 2xBE4s are compared to 9x Merlins.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 10:14 PM by TrevorMonty »

Hello everyone!

I just had a few questions about Vulcan.

1) What is the newest information available about the launch cost and capability of the most basic Vulcan configuration? (I believe that is currently Vulcan 501 + Centaur V)

2) Is there information about the launch cost and capability of the most advanced planned Vulcan configuration (Vulcan 564 + ACES)?

Thanks. :)

Offline russianhalo117

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Hello everyone!

I just had a few questions about Vulcan.

1) What is the newest information available about the launch cost and capability of the most basic Vulcan configuration? (I believe that is currently Vulcan 501 + Centaur V)

2) Is there information about the launch cost and capability of the most advanced planned Vulcan configuration (Vulcan 564 + ACES)?

Thanks. :)
Such information is not currently available to the public at this time, but per their website: ULA | Vulcan Centaur
Quote
For detailed information please email us. [email protected]
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 12:32 AM by russianhalo117 »

Offline TrevorMonty

These come from 2 different ULA sheets, I don't think V561 is relative anymore so assume bit more for GTO.

Vulcan 564 ACES (Centuar V may not have same performance). GEO 20klbs

V561 ACES GEO 16klbs, GTO 33klbs


VH GEO 30klbs, GTO 50klbs.


Offline Jim

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1.  Because their parents did it 20 years ago?
2.  And Blue has vast experience in orbital ORSC methlox engines, or can seek help from ULA's vast trove of engine development expertise?

1,  it is the same people
2 yes and yes.

Offline Rocket Jesus

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1.  Because their parents did it 20 years ago?
2.  And Blue has vast experience in orbital ORSC methlox engines, or can seek help from ULA's vast trove of engine development expertise?

1,  it is the same people
2 yes and yes.

What "vast trove of engine development expertise" does ULA have?  AFAIK engine IP lies with other companies (namely AR and Energomash...perhaps also Pratt & Whitney?) and ULA has little engine development expertise as it's not done in-house.  ULA's expertise lies in launch vehicle development, manufacturing, and operation.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 01:33 PM by Rocket Jesus »

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