Poll

Which upcoming new 25+MT launcher puts cargo in LEO or beyond first and Why?

SLS
9 (7.3%)
Super Heavy+Starship
84 (68.3%)
New Glenn
10 (8.1%)
Vulcan
9 (7.3%)
Nothing Anytime Soon (before Jan 1 2022)
10 (8.1%)
Other vehicle (describe in comments)
1 (0.8%)

Total Members Voted: 123

Voting closed: 03/31/2019 06:29 pm


Author Topic: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?  (Read 21496 times)

Offline dlapine

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At think point, I'm truly happy that I can ask this question with a straight face- We have multiple heavy lift rockets in development right now and there is the possibility that one of them will reach orbit in the next 12-24 months.

What becomes operational and puts cargo into orbit first from the current generation of heavy lift (25MT+) rockets?

The payload could be governmental, commercial, heck, I'd take a successful first checkflight like EM-1 as an acceptable first. You can argue about whether Starship to orbit without a payload counts. Demonstration of operational capability by the launch vehicle is the underlying goal here.

Call the acceptable "soon" deadline Dec 21 2021. If you don't think any vehicle/payload will be on orbit by then, select the "Nothing Anytime Soon" option.

Falcon Heavy is already operational, and Ariane 6, Long March 5 are just below the cargo weights to LEO, so let's not include them in this.

Offline IanO

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #1 on: 03/19/2019 09:17 pm »
I'll be the contrarian and suggest the Long March 9.  Superheavy launch capability is a statement about the health of the country's economy, how much excess they have to spend on vanity projects, and China's economy is the one trending upwards.
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #2 on: 03/19/2019 10:03 pm »
...and China's economy is the one trending upwards.

The economy isn't the only thing on an upwards trend. Using data from tradingeconomics.com and the last 2 years of data to generate a trend line gives the linked chart for national government debt burden:

sources:
https://tradingeconomics.com/china/government-debt-to-gdp
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp



Offline whitelancer64

I almost voted for New Glenn, but went with BFR / Starship instead. I think that Blue Origin will be very hot on SpaceX's heels. Probably within single digit months.
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Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #4 on: 03/19/2019 11:08 pm »
I'll be the contrarian and suggest the Long March 9.  Superheavy launch capability is a statement about the health of the country's economy, how much excess they have to spend on vanity projects, and China's economy is the one trending upwards.

The most recent info I see on the Long March 9 program notes- "The Long March 9 is slated to be ready for a test flight around 2030" from an article here: https://spacenews.com/china-reveals-details-for-super-heavy-lift-long-march-9-and-reusable-long-march-8-rockets/. Did you have some updated info on the development effort?

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #5 on: 03/19/2019 11:10 pm »
I almost voted for New Glenn, but went with BFR / Starship instead. I think that Blue Origin will be very hot on SpaceX's heels. Probably within single digit months.

I'd be thrilled to see bent metal on a New Glen prototype and a testing program with it that's pushes SpaceX within the next 12 months.

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #6 on: 03/19/2019 11:16 pm »
What is the latest timeline for Vulcan?

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #7 on: 03/20/2019 12:26 am »
From the Vulcan thread-

https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1100165131101720579

Quote
Just finished a nice interview with @torybruno. The first flight hardware for Vulcan is now being produced at ULAís factory in Alabama. First launch remains set for Spring 2021.

https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1100167165578235905

Quote
Critical design review for Vulcan should be completed soon, says @torybruno. Waiting on some final data from BE-4 engine tests. He says Blue Origin has completed dozens of hotfire tests to date on the BE-4, the most powerful methane rocket engine ever built.

Presumably waiting to get higher than 70% power?

[Edit] Vulcan would seem to be limited by the availability of the BE4, but at least that engine is in test firing mode now.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2019 12:27 am by dlapine »

Offline su27k

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #8 on: 03/20/2019 02:01 am »
Voted for SpaceX out of habit, but really SHS (first test flight) and Vulcan are basically neck to neck from where I'm sitting.

As for the rest: SLS schedule is a bit uncertain given recent events. I think New Glenn will be delayed, since it's Blue's first orbital class booster with fairly unique features (gliding, propulsive landing on moving ship), they'll need time to work everything out. Nobody else has anything even close to this timeline.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2019 04:36 am by su27k »

Offline Joseph Peterson

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #9 on: 03/20/2019 03:10 am »
My vote was based on available payloads, not the launch vehicle's rated capacity.  I also considered only the payload mass of deep space missions, not any kick stages.  Similarly payload adapter mass is not included.

As far as I know the only payloads that fit the bill are LEO constellations and Orion.  I have zero faith that SLS will ever launch so barring shifting Orion to a more realistic launcher, something that won't happen quickly, I am removing Orion from that list.  This takes the choices down to SS/SH and New Glenn.

My personal belief is Blue Origin is over-funded removing the mother of invention, necessity.  Therefore the only options left are SpaceX or no one.  Since I prefer to be optimistic I wasn't going to vote for no one.  The only remaining choice is SS/SH, so SpaceX got my vote.

TBH I have my doubts about SpaceX being able to build 25+ tonnes of Starlink satellites before SS/SH is ready to launch the next load.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #10 on: 03/20/2019 01:41 pm »
I voted SS+SH because of two things. When Erick Berger of NASA gives Starship even odds of beating SLS to space and the real pace observed in the test and flight hardware build, Starship schedules are likely to shift to the right not left as long as problems SpaceX encounters are not significant and can be quickly corrected. Unlike most LV development programs most of the gremlins will have been discovered before any hardware actually reaches orbit because as others have mentioned a vehicle that allows for incrementing challenges vs testing all at once has tremendous advantages for real schedule and costs. In modern LVs it is mostly the integration of the software to the hardware and then doing tests with the hardware in the loop to determine if the combination will actually work in the real world. I trust SpaceX software development team to deliver and update software very fast with high quality. In the end to get such software fully functional you can incrementally test in the real world and possibly loose a vehicle or several when the cost of hardware is low (estimate of hopper and other prototypes looks to be not much more than $10M). Else you can produce endless and expensive computer simulation models at high costs (each of these software models cost as much as the software) which takes time and multiplies the time to deliver working software. Note SLS is having this exact problem with ballooning costs and schedules in its software development.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2019 01:44 pm by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline whitelancer64

I almost voted for New Glenn, but went with BFR / Starship instead. I think that Blue Origin will be very hot on SpaceX's heels. Probably within single digit months.

I'd be thrilled to see bent metal on a New Glen prototype and a testing program with it that's pushes SpaceX within the next 12 months.

I don't think we're going to see much of New Glenn until it's on the launch pad. That's just how Blue Origin is. It will look like they came out of nowhere.
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Offline mme

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #12 on: 03/20/2019 02:44 pm »
I don't think any of them fly an actual mission before 2022. In order I would guess:

1. Vulcan
2. New Glenn
3. SH/SS

But all pretty close. This is no ding on SpaceX, I just think Vulcan and New Glenn have too much of a head start, SS flying any time close to them would be one heck of an accomplishment. I put New Glenn after Vulcan because Blue is so meticulous I don't see them "rushing."

I'm starting to think SLS won't fly. I'm torn on this as I think politically it has to fly at least once or twice but I guess I'm starting to buy into all the negativity.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #13 on: 03/20/2019 02:59 pm »
My vote was based on available payloads, not the launch vehicle's rated capacity.  I also considered only the payload mass of deep space missions, not any kick stages.  Similarly payload adapter mass is not included.

TBH I have my doubts about SpaceX being able to build 25+ tonnes of Starlink satellites before SS/SH is ready to launch the next load.

The vehicle should be capable of doing 25MT or more, but the first flight to orbit might not carry that much mass.

It would be possible to launch a smaller payload and demonstrate an operational capability of the vehicle itself. A mass simulator in some circumstances would be appropriate where as a commercial 7MT GTO comm sat mission might be just as valid as a demonstration, depending on other factors.

Offline skybum

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #14 on: 03/20/2019 08:19 pm »
SH + Starship is really the wildcard here. Improbably, it's schedule seems to have been sliding to the... left??? ... over the past year or so. If that keeps happening, then it'll handily beat the competition. On the other hand, that still seems really improbable. And on the third hand they've got a flightworthy engine mounted on a vehicle that'll be flying (a few inches) tomorrow, which is further than anyone else has gone. So, who knows?

In any event, it's a really close race, and I suspect that all of these (barring, possibly, SLS if it's cancelled) will fly within a year of each other.

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #15 on: 03/20/2019 08:37 pm »
In any event, it's a really close race, and I suspect that all of these (barring, possibly, SLS if it's cancelled) will fly within a year of each other.

I agree, and that's why it was so exciting to put up a poll at this time.  8)

At the moment, less than 7% of the responses think that we won't see any new heavy in orbit- that's really cool.

Offline Billium

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #16 on: 03/20/2019 08:57 pm »
I voted that none will fly before Jan 1, 2022, although I hope I'm wrong. It is possible that any might have an orbital launch prior to that date, and I think it is likely that some or all will by Jan 1, 2023, but I think schedules are going to slip so we won't see it in the time allowed in the poll.

SLS will slip... because it's SLS. Vulcan will slip because it doesn't need to slip that much, Blue takes things slow and this will be their first orbital vehicle, I think the SpaceX vehicle has extra technology that has to be proved out, ie. tranpirational cooling, and this is not a given and I don't think they will launch without it. Also I'm not sure if Spacex will have sufficient internal or external funding for this project within the time available.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #17 on: 03/20/2019 09:01 pm »
Vulcan is dependent on BE-4 as well as New Glenn.  Even if everything else is ready, when is BE-4 going to be ready?  Seems like SpaceX has gone with Raptor as is and will push it to higher thrust after it gets going like they did with Merlin. 

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #18 on: 03/26/2019 05:37 pm »
I almost voted for New Glenn, but went with BFR / Starship instead. I think that Blue Origin will be very hot on SpaceX's heels. Probably within single digit months.

I'd be thrilled to see bent metal on a New Glen prototype and a testing program with it that's pushes SpaceX within the next 12 months.

I don't think we're going to see much of New Glenn until it's on the launch pad. That's just how Blue Origin is. It will look like they came out of nowhere.

Shouldn't engine and/or full stage tests on the test stand they are building at LC-36 be noticeable? I'd think we will see those for a good year before they roll out for a WDR.

Also, if Blue going to build and test a STA for New Glenn, that should show up sometime well before a flight.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #19 on: 03/28/2019 02:21 am »
I was more contrarian than I thought by voting for Vulcan, with SLS being a close second. I doubt SLS is going to fly in 2020, in spite of their new promises, and I wouldn't be surprised if it slipped enough that Vulcan wins. I'm positive Vulcan is going to fly before New Glenn -- it's just a lot further along the design process and not as ambitious or big or complicated. As far as Starship goes, I'm skeptical it will be flying before summer of 2021 either. They're doing a crude, simplified hopper right now, but there's a ton of work from here to an operating Starship/SuperHeavy. I just don't see it flying before Vulcan.

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Offline space_snap828

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #20 on: 03/28/2019 02:34 am »
Very unpopular opinion, but of the options, the rocket with the most hardware completed (that I've seen) is the SLS. Honestly, SLS has a ton of problems that could set it back beyond the other options, but it is the only one with all stages (slowly) approaching completion.

Offline birdman

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #21 on: 03/28/2019 03:00 am »
Very unpopular opinion, but of the options, the rocket with the most hardware completed (that I've seen) is the SLS. Honestly, SLS has a ton of problems that could set it back beyond the other options, but it is the only one with all stages (slowly) approaching completion.

It's definitely further along than others are, but think about how long it took to get there.

Even though many parts are already flight-proven from Shuttle days, it's still taken 5+ years from the first relatively concrete plans to now... when it's not even that close to being done. Close-er than others, sure, but not that close still.

And then you look at something like SS/SH and others to an extent, many of them were still years away from existing even as ideas (ITS =/= SS/SH imo) when SLS was (relatively) fully planned and being constructed... yet they're still aiming to fly before it, and not unreasonably. SS/SH, in less than 2 years, has gone almost as far as SLS has in 5, and showing no signs of slowing down.

Offline nicp

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #22 on: 03/28/2019 09:42 am »
I voted New Glenn. Not a fan really because they have spent lots of $$$ and haven't put so much as a ship's peanut into orbit, though I am sure they have good engineers.

They will get there I expect, perhaps it will snowball rather suddenly.
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Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #23 on: 03/28/2019 01:58 pm »
I was more contrarian than I thought by voting for Vulcan, with SLS being a close second. I doubt SLS is going to fly in 2020, in spite of their new promises, and I wouldn't be surprised if it slipped enough that Vulcan wins. I'm positive Vulcan is going to fly before New Glenn -- it's just a lot further along the design process and not as ambitious or big or complicated. As far as Starship goes, I'm skeptical it will be flying before summer of 2021 either. They're doing a crude, simplified hopper right now, but there's a ton of work from here to an operating Starship/SuperHeavy. I just don't see it flying before Vulcan.

~Jon

Is Vulcan a 25+ metric tonne launcher, though? Vulcan Heavy with Centaur 5+ Long is well over 25 t to LEO, but I rather doubt that version will fly at all before 2022. I'm not sure how many SRBs they need to get to 25 t to LEO with the initial Centaur 5, or whether that version will be able to get 25 t to LEO at all without an enhanced upper stage.

If a Vulcan 522 flying an 8 t demosat to GTO counts, then Starship reaching LEO with a wheel of cheese and no booster is in the same boat.

Offline nathan.tehrani

Very unpopular opinion, but of the options, the rocket with the most hardware completed (that I've seen) is the SLS. Honestly, SLS has a ton of problems that could set it back beyond the other options, but it is the only one with all stages (slowly) approaching completion.


Unpopular or not, it's reality. SLS is past design and fabrication and is in integration and test right now. SpaceX is still making changes to the main architecture of SS/SH and only a few months ago decided what to even build it out of.

Offline Joris

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #25 on: 03/28/2019 02:37 pm »

Unpopular or not, it's reality. SLS is past design and fabrication and is in integration and test right now. SpaceX is still making changes to the main architecture of SS/SH and only a few months ago decided what to even build it out of.

I was thinking the same thing, which is why I voted none before 2022, because that thing isn't gonna fly anytime soon.
JIMO would have been the first proper spaceship.

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #26 on: 03/28/2019 03:19 pm »
Very unpopular opinion, but of the options, the rocket with the most hardware completed (that I've seen) is the SLS. Honestly, SLS has a ton of problems that could set it back beyond the other options, but it is the only one with all stages (slowly) approaching completion.


Unpopular or not, it's reality. SLS is past design and fabrication and is in integration and test right now. SpaceX is still making changes to the main architecture of SS/SH and only a few months ago decided what to even build it out of.

SpaceX is also integrating and testing the first flight (albeit suborbital only) Starship. That they only decided what to build it out of a few months ago says a lot more about the relative speed of each organization than it does about the chances of an orbital flight of either system before 2022.

Offline nathan.tehrani

All it is is just a big metal Grasshopper!

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #28 on: 03/28/2019 05:32 pm »
All it is is just a big metal Grasshopper!

Not sure what your point is with that statement. Grasshopper was actual flight-capable Falcon hardware, built with most of the same parts using the same processes on the same tooling as the real orbital Falcon 9 v1.0. Starhopper, if  anything, is less advanced than that - but it still shows how far along SpaceX is and how fast they are moving compared to some of the competition that had a significant head start.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #29 on: 03/28/2019 05:58 pm »
Is Vulcan a 25+ metric tonne launcher, though? Vulcan Heavy with Centaur 5+ Long is well over 25 t to LEO, but I rather doubt that version will fly at all before 2022. I'm not sure how many SRBs they need to get to 25 t to LEO with the initial Centaur 5, or whether that version will be able to get 25 t to LEO at all without an enhanced upper stage.

I'm pretty sure Vulcan with the initial version of Centaur V should be able to get to 25mT to LEO with a standard number of strapons. I don't think they'd need Centaur V+ Long to get there. Though I could be wrong. We haven't actually been very involved with ULA for over a year.

As for whether they would fly a Vulcan with 25mT payload before 2022, that's less likely. But if the stock Centaur V with a standard number of stapons will get you to 25mT, I'd still count it.

Quote
If a Vulcan 522 flying an 8 t demosat to GTO counts, then Starship reaching LEO with a wheel of cheese and no booster is in the same boat.

So long as the Starship could realistically put 25mT worth of cargo into orbit with the configuration that flies the cheese, I'd count it to. And I just don't think that such a Startship is going to fly before 2022. There's a heck of a long way from their current StarHopper to a super Saturn V class orbital launch vehicle. More than 2.5yrs worth of distance IMO, based on their past experience with much easier launch vehicles.

~Jon

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #30 on: 03/28/2019 07:13 pm »
Is Vulcan a 25+ metric tonne launcher, though? Vulcan Heavy with Centaur 5+ Long is well over 25 t to LEO, but I rather doubt that version will fly at all before 2022. I'm not sure how many SRBs they need to get to 25 t to LEO with the initial Centaur 5, or whether that version will be able to get 25 t to LEO at all without an enhanced upper stage.

I'm pretty sure Vulcan with the initial version of Centaur V should be able to get to 25mT to LEO with a standard number of strapons. I don't think they'd need Centaur V+ Long to get there. Though I could be wrong. We haven't actually been very involved with ULA for over a year.

As for whether they would fly a Vulcan with 25mT payload before 2022, that's less likely. But if the stock Centaur V with a standard number of stapons will get you to 25mT, I'd still count it.

Quote
If a Vulcan 522 flying an 8 t demosat to GTO counts, then Starship reaching LEO with a wheel of cheese and no booster is in the same boat.

So long as the Starship could realistically put 25mT worth of cargo into orbit with the configuration that flies the cheese, I'd count it to. And I just don't think that such a Startship is going to fly before 2022. There's a heck of a long way from their current StarHopper to a super Saturn V class orbital launch vehicle. More than 2.5yrs worth of distance IMO, based on their past experience with much easier launch vehicles.

~Jon

Reviewing the Vulcan thread further back, it looks like the 6 SRB version with the regular upper stage will get over 25 t, but the 4 SRB version probably will not.

I don't think it's implausible that Starship could SSTO 25 t to LEO by burning its landing fuel on ascent. Though I doubt SpaceX would ever do that, they might go to orbit and back with no real payload just to test of the heatshield or whatever. Starship itself is much smaller than Saturn V and actually quite a bit smaller than Falcon Heavy, and simpler in some ways (fewer stages) but more complex in others.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #31 on: 03/30/2019 05:07 pm »
I voted SS/SH because their build rate is a new flight vehicle is one every 6 months in serial production. The first full SS orbital version prototype will be flight ready ~ July 2019. It will likely incorporate lessons learned almost all of which is software but some mechanical/structural possibly as well from the Starhopper #1 flight tests. What this all portends is a full orbital reaching SS flight vehicle ready by #3 by Jan 2020. Add a SH hopper #1 test vehicle followed in ~6 months by a operational SH vehicle #2  by around July 2020 that can carry the SS #3 then this stack would be doing its first orbital demo around October 2020. (Expect a 3 month timeframe to work out processing and integration.)

Therefore I predict SS/SH to reach full 25+mt orbital capability by end of year 2020. SLS chances of doing the same or sooner is by Bridenstine mentions that to reach goal of launching in 2020 they must do program schedule changes by deleting/combining tests to reach launch by EOY 2020.

Offline SimonFD

I voted New Glenn as I think, as someone else has already said, that it will pop up and launch as if out of nowhere.
My heart want Starship/Super Heavy but my head says Blue with an SLS a slight possibility
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Offline TrevorMonty

I was more contrarian than I thought by voting for Vulcan, with SLS being a close second. I doubt SLS is going to fly in 2020, in spite of their new promises, and I wouldn't be surprised if it slipped enough that Vulcan wins. I'm positive Vulcan is going to fly before New Glenn -- it's just a lot further along the design process and not as ambitious or big or complicated. As far as Starship goes, I'm skeptical it will be flying before summer of 2021 either. They're doing a crude, simplified hopper right now, but there's a ton of work from here to an operating Starship/SuperHeavy. I just don't see it flying before Vulcan.

~Jon
I vote Vulcan, using lot of flight proven hardware (Centuar, Avionics, SRBs) and very experienced LV company. Pads exist just need modifying. Only thing that could delay them is any problems with Be4.

Original Centuar version is all they need to retire D4H, which is priority as its lot of overheads for low flight rate LV.

I can see a case for flying both Centuar versions, with smaller cheaper version for lower performance missions.



Offline spacenut

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #34 on: 03/31/2019 03:23 am »
Vulcan is dependent on BE-4 from Blue Origin which is still in testing.  Vulcan will depend on how fast BE-4 can be flight ready.  Raptor from SpaceX seems to already be ready for flight testing. 

As for SLS, if they cut some testing out, as they are already saying they will, they may be ready by next year.  However if they have a screw up and loose the rocket, SLS will be doomed, especially when these others come on line. 

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #35 on: 03/31/2019 09:34 am »

I don't think it's implausible that Starship could SSTO 25 t to LEO by burning its landing fuel on ascent.

Pixel measuring the ITS 2016 presentation delta-v/payload map suggests not even ITS could do it on paper which was much larger.



Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #36 on: 04/08/2019 09:09 am »
I am going to be insufferably smug when the SLS flies first 1-3 years from now and I point back to this thread.

Of course, I'm not a hypocrite: feel free to rub this statement into my face if history doesn't vindicate it. But I'm pretty confident it will.

Offline speedevil

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #37 on: 04/08/2019 09:35 am »

I don't think it's implausible that Starship could SSTO 25 t to LEO by burning its landing fuel on ascent.

Pixel measuring the ITS 2016 presentation delta-v/payload map suggests not even ITS could do it on paper which was much larger.
I don't think you can remotely safely do this.
Neither the 2016 or 17 presentations specified this was a bare unoutfitted spaceship.
The dear.moon presentation specifically raises extreme doubts about taking the '85 ton' number as canon for IAC2017, for example as it can't do the presented mission as it doesn't have enough delta-v unless you assume it's quite a bit lighter.

I note Elon recently gave a mass of 40 tons dry for a 3 engine 'kicker' - which would be around 50 tons with all engines.

If you are not trying to recover it, a 25 ton payload to LEO 'cheaper than a falcon 9' stage starship-minimum SSTO seems not excluded.
(May it not happen for other reasons, sure).

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #38 on: 04/08/2019 12:42 pm »
I am going to be insufferably smug when the SLS flies first 1-3 years from now and I point back to this thread.

Of course, I'm not a hypocrite: feel free to rub this statement into my face if history doesn't vindicate it. But I'm pretty confident it will.

I don't see any reason to be smug about it. SLS started years earlier than any of the other rockets listed, didn't develop anything new of note, had many billions of dollars more funding, and all of NASA's considerable design, test, and validation resources. By all rights (and by law) it should have been flying years ago.

The results of this poll simply represent the feeling that the current gross ineptitude in management and execution displayed on the SLS program will continue for a while longer.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2019 01:24 pm by envy887 »

Offline hkultala

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #39 on: 04/08/2019 01:09 pm »

I don't think it's implausible that Starship could SSTO 25 t to LEO by burning its landing fuel on ascent.

Pixel measuring the ITS 2016 presentation delta-v/payload map suggests not even ITS could do it on paper which was much larger.

Why are all ITS/BFR/SS threadsp polluted by this offtopic-SSTO madness?


Having 9.3km/s of delta-v does not guarantee ability to SSTO. The 2016 version definitely could not SSTO because of it did not have enough atmospheric engines to take off safely with any reasonable amount of fuel. it would had had to used only partially filled tanks, having maybe only about 7km/s of delta-v with fuel if could lift with, and it would still had had terrible gravity losses.

« Last Edit: 04/08/2019 01:09 pm by hkultala »

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #40 on: 04/08/2019 01:29 pm »

I don't think it's implausible that Starship could SSTO 25 t to LEO by burning its landing fuel on ascent.

Pixel measuring the ITS 2016 presentation delta-v/payload map suggests not even ITS could do it on paper which was much larger.

Why are all ITS/BFR/SS threadsp polluted by this offtopic-SSTO madness?


Having 9.3km/s of delta-v does not guarantee ability to SSTO. The 2016 version definitely could not SSTO because of it did not have enough atmospheric engines to take off safely with any reasonable amount of fuel. it would had had to used only partially filled tanks, having maybe only about 7km/s of delta-v with fuel if could lift with, and it would still had had terrible gravity losses.

Because SpaceX has explicitly said that they will fly Starship as a single stage on a high energy trajectory to test the heatshield at orbital heat loading. It's a fairly small leap from there to flying "cargo" to LEO which is the topic of this thread.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #41 on: 04/08/2019 06:10 pm »
I think Blue will fly to orbit first. They don't tell us ANYTHING about what is going on, but they do have a factory and are building an operational launch pad and are selling flights, so on paper they are ahead of Starship. They also have a lot more money available to work toward the goal. If Starship reaches orbit before New Glenn then I'm not sure Blue has a future.

Offline Lar

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #42 on: 04/08/2019 08:46 pm »
I think Blue will fly to orbit first. They don't tell us ANYTHING about what is going on, but they do have a factory and are building an operational launch pad and are selling flights, so on paper they are ahead of Starship. They also have a lot more money available to work toward the goal. If Starship reaches orbit before New Glenn then I'm not sure Blue has a future.
There are many who feel Blue has a place in the game because of the desire to preserve competition, but who knows... it may come down to whether they can get New Glenn operational before Vulcan.
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Offline kevinof

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #43 on: 04/08/2019 09:21 pm »
Ok so I'd love SS/SH to get there first , if only because it's such a radical departure from the past. Then again if it comes in second or third, I still think it will go on to be a huge success.

BO could go either way because they are so secretive. Either they have nothing or have a full stack built in their shed and are now finishing off the painting and putting the stickers on. We just don't know.

I think BO will/should get there first but it will be a close run thing with SS.

Offline high road

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #44 on: 04/09/2019 07:11 am »

Nothing before 2022. SLS will be years away from flying for years to come. Once Vulcan is 6 months away from flying, it will continue to be 6 months away from flying for quite a long time as well. New Glenn, having inexhaustible funding and thus lacking the drive to move fast, will continue to muddle along while giving Bezos the chance to troll the companies actually launching hardware with the intended cargo at a high pace. Until the first superheavy class vehicle launches and Bezos decides that New Armstrong is the real game changer and New Glenn fizzles. Rinse and repeat. And SpaceX, well, 01/01/2022 is not that far away. They'll have a lot of tweeking to do, and much less pressure/opportunity to do so on the fly as they had with F9.

That's about all the cynicism I had in me for today. Hope to be proven wrong.

Offline speedevil

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #45 on: 04/09/2019 10:16 pm »
I voted SS/SH because their build rate is a new flight vehicle is one every 6 months in serial production. The first full SS orbital version prototype will be flight ready ~ July 2019. It will likely incorporate lessons learned almost all of which is software but some mechanical/structural possibly as well from the Starhopper #1 flight tests. What this all portends is a full orbital reaching SS flight vehicle ready by #3 by Jan 2020. Add a SH hopper #1 test vehicle followed in ~6 months by a operational SH vehicle #2  by around July 2020 that can carry the SS #3 then this stack would be doing its first orbital demo around October 2020. (Expect a 3 month timeframe to work out processing and integration.)
Does it count if you could launch to orbit, but choose not to?
It seems likely to me that SS/SH have a damn good chance of hitting orbit first time you launch them.
If you delay till you're certain you can land both halves, and do not treat it as expendable, two sets of RCS, thermal protection systems, aero reentry, landing guidance systems, ... all have to work and be debugged flawlessly.

If SpaceXs Raptor production line gets ahead of their SS/SH test flow, and they do not hit major structural problems with SH/SS that would preclude an attempt, they could have the ability to do a ~300 ton class expendable launch considerably before reusable is working.

It could also be a way of funding risky tests.
If they think they have SH or SS working well enough for an expendable launch, and they're ramping the production of starlink satellites hard, throwing a hundred and fifty tons of them up at once could accelerate things nicely and pay off by not having to launch 10 F9 missions.
Even if you only have ~50% chance of pulling it off, you just moved your timeline (on average) a lot to the left, and saved a lot of money that can directly go into your SS program.

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #46 on: 10/08/2019 10:00 pm »
It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?

Offline jongoff

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #47 on: 10/09/2019 01:27 am »
It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?

I still think there's a decent chance Vulcan beats Starship to orbit, but if it does it might not be by much. I'm really skeptical of
Elon's 6 month claim, and highly doubt they'll get a successful orbital flight by the end of 2020, but Vulcan is late enough in 2021 that there's a chance Starship could win, especially if you count a non-reuse-capable Starship stunt. I wouldn't bet on either NG or SLS beating Starship though.

~Jon

Offline Billium

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #48 on: 10/09/2019 02:57 am »
I voted that none will fly before Jan 1, 2022, although I hope I'm wrong. It is possible that any might have an orbital launch prior to that date, and I think it is likely that some or all will by Jan 1, 2023, but I think schedules are going to slip so we won't see it in the time allowed in the poll.

SLS will slip... because it's SLS. Vulcan will slip because it doesn't need to slip that much, Blue takes things slow and this will be their first orbital vehicle, I think the SpaceX vehicle has extra technology that has to be proved out, ie. tranpirational cooling, and this is not a given and I don't think they will launch without it. Also I'm not sure if Spacex will have sufficient internal or external funding for this project within the time available.

As an update to my prediction, I think Elon has taken some of the technical risk out of SH/SS with the new design and seems to pushing really hard. If I could go back in time I would change my vote to SH/SS instead of none. Maybe they can make it to orbit by the end of next year.

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #49 on: 10/09/2019 04:06 pm »
It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?

I still think there's a decent chance Vulcan beats Starship to orbit, but if it does it might not be by much. I'm really skeptical of
Elon's 6 month claim, and highly doubt they'll get a successful orbital flight by the end of 2020, but Vulcan is late enough in 2021 that there's a chance Starship could win, especially if you count a non-reuse-capable Starship stunt. I wouldn't bet on either NG or SLS beating Starship though.

~Jon

Is there any info that ULA has received any of the BE-4's for Vulcan yet? That would go a long way towards pushing them ahead of SS.

It is easy to track SpaceX progress through their public events; reasonably so for ULA, and almost not at all for Blue Origin development efforts.

Offline whitelancer64

It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?

I still think there's a decent chance Vulcan beats Starship to orbit, but if it does it might not be by much. I'm really skeptical of
Elon's 6 month claim, and highly doubt they'll get a successful orbital flight by the end of 2020, but Vulcan is late enough in 2021 that there's a chance Starship could win, especially if you count a non-reuse-capable Starship stunt. I wouldn't bet on either NG or SLS beating Starship though.

~Jon

I agree, if that turns out to be the case it definitely won't be by too much. I still think Starship / SH will be the first, but we could very well see all of these rockets launching within a few months of eachother.
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Offline Paul451

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #51 on: 10/22/2019 09:02 am »
This is an odd thread/poll. SLS/NG/Vulc and LM9 (if we include the latter as the "other") are in the same class as Falcon Heavy, which is already flying. But to be "fair" to the others, we have to pretend they are in a "race" with Starship.

If Starship launches before the others, SpaceX won't have just won the race, it means they've won on the first race course, packed up, moved to the next race course, unpacked and set up, and then also run that race before the other competitors have crossed the line at the previous course.

[edit: Pronoun ambiguity]
« Last Edit: 10/25/2019 04:37 am by Paul451 »

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #52 on: 10/22/2019 10:03 pm »
This is an odd thread/poll. SLS/NG/Vulc and LM9 (if we include the latter as the "other") are in the same class as Falcon Heavy, which is already flying. But to be "fair" to the others, we have to pretend they are in a "race" with Starship.

If Starship launches before the others, they won't have just won the race, it means they've won on the first race course, packed up, moved to the next race course, unpacked and set up, and then also run that race before the other competitors have crossed the line at the previous course.

I don't disagree mostly, but if SLS were flying now, it would have better LEO/TLI performance and better support for larger volumes with the 10m fairings. Would that be worth the extra $10B (SLS only) in development costs? Probably not.

Part of the other issue is that NASA and the DOD seem to be acting as if the FH were not already available as a heavy option. at least with respect to block buys. With Starship or any of the other wide-bodies in putting payload into orbit, perceptions change.

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #53 on: 10/22/2019 11:40 pm »
This is an odd thread/poll. SLS/NG/Vulc and LM9 (if we include the latter as the "other") are in the same class as Falcon Heavy, which is already flying. But to be "fair" to the others, we have to pretend they are in a "race" with Starship.

If Starship launches before the others, they won't have just won the race, it means they've won on the first race course, packed up, moved to the next race course, unpacked and set up, and then also run that race before the other competitors have crossed the line at the previous course.

I don't disagree mostly, but if SLS were flying now, it would have better LEO/TLI performance and better support for larger volumes with the 10m fairings. Would that be worth the extra $10B (SLS only) in development costs? Probably not.

Part of the other issue is that NASA and the DOD seem to be acting as if the FH were not already available as a heavy option. at least with respect to block buys. With Starship or any of the other wide-bodies in putting payload into orbit, perceptions change.

What 10 m fairing? The only fairing available for SLS in any near-term scenario is the 5 m Delta IV fairing.

The 8.4 m fairing requires EUS and isn't going to be operationally available before 2025.

The 10 m fairing requires Block 2 and isn't going to be operationally available before 2028, if ever.
« Last Edit: 10/23/2019 01:21 pm by envy887 »

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #54 on: 10/24/2019 03:58 am »

I don't disagree mostly, but if SLS were flying now, it would have better LEO/TLI performance and better support for larger volumes with the 10m fairings. Would that be worth the extra $10B (SLS only) in development costs? Probably not.

Part of the other issue is that NASA and the DOD seem to be acting as if the FH were not already available as a heavy option. at least with respect to block buys. With Starship or any of the other wide-bodies in putting payload into orbit, perceptions change.

What 10 m fairing? The only fairing available for SLS in any near-term scenario is the 5 m Delta IV fairing.

The 8.4 m fairing requires EUS and isn't going to be operationally available before 2025.

The 10 m fairing requires Block 2 and isn't going to be operationally available before 2028, if ever.

Good point. I was trying to see an upside for SLS, but I forgot that it won't have the additional volume from 10M until Block 2, or the 8.4M volume from EUS, and neither of those are in this timeframe.

Offline Paul451

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #55 on: 10/25/2019 04:55 am »
I was trying to see an upside for SLS, but

People keep doing that. I don't think it is a good habit to defend a bad thing because you can sort-of, from a certain angle, if you turn your head and squint the right way, kind of see that it isn't completely worthless, if it existed, and if you ignore everything else about it.

Suppose SLS did have a 10m fairing available on day one. Would that make it worth the cost? No.

Look at the programs that could take advantage of that, would they save the tens of $billions required to develop SLS by using that wide fairing? Take an extreme example, JWST. On current projections, $9+b total cost. And say that a big part of the cost is the complexity of the unfolding origami of the sun-shade. Not a realistic assumption, since the sun-shade apparently isn't the biggest cost item. How much could you possibly save by launching with a less complex sun-shade (3-5 folds instead of 50+). Hubble was proposed at $1b and cost $2.7b. JWST was proposed at $3b and will cost upwards of $9b. Say we could save $6b. Is that worth SLS? Or even part of SLS? Were there other solutions that could have been cheaper, had NASA and contractor management been more honest about JWST or SLS?

It's the same as other standard defence, SLS's much vaunted BLEO "performance".

The current plan is that most or all the hardware will be launched commercially, support will be launched commercially. The only thing that will use SLS is Orion and crew. And the limits of SLS's performance, the limits introduced by insisting on that central requirement means that everything else is more difficult. Virtually any other alternative (even excluding SH/SS) to replicating that capability would be cheaper (and given better program flexibility)*.

Capability doesn't exist in isolation**. If it costs you so much to develop that capability that it destroys the capacity to benefit from the capability, then it is a net negative.


* (For eg, if you ran a refuellable orbital tug development program as badly as commercial crew, it would still be cheaper than SLS. It would also give you a general purpose capability that vastly exceeds SLS in flexibility and future capability. It would also energise a new generation of tech development.)

** (For eg, people are quick to point out that FH being able to launch 50-60T into LEO doesn't mean anything if your "heavy" payload clients need GEO and beyond, or need slightly larger fairings.)
« Last Edit: 10/25/2019 04:59 am by Paul451 »

Offline Hog

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #56 on: 10/25/2019 03:25 pm »
It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?
We've got engines installed on SLS/Artemis Core Stage#1.

Attachments
1) This pic was taken in the 60's at Michoud Asembly Facility and shows a lineup of  at least 2 Saturn V SI-C 1st stages.  There is an L2 pic showing SLS Core Stage #1 with a RS-25 "Adaptation" (ME-2056 with 9 STS missions flown) engine installed in the #2 Engine Position(upper Left engine position).
2) Engine Position Assignments for SLS Core Stage Main Engines and the Core Stage orientations during Engine Section Mate and the orientation used during Engine Install
3) Engine Assignments for Artemis-1 through 4-note the engine cluster for Artemis-2 is using the 2 RS-25 engines that have yet to be flown. ME-2062(built in 2010) and 2063 circa 2014 have only recently even been hotfired.
Paul

Offline whitelancer64

It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?
We've got engines installed on SLS/Artemis Core Stage#1.

*snip*
There is an L2 pic showing SLS Core Stage #1 with a RS-25 "Adaptation" (ME-2056 with 9 STS missions flown) engine installed in the #2 Engine Position(upper Left engine position).
*snip*

The pictures with the first engine installed are public.

https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/1186730199343419392

https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/1187372029068152832
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Offline Hog

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #58 on: 10/25/2019 04:03 pm »
It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?
We've got engines installed on SLS/Artemis Core Stage#1.

*snip*
There is an L2 pic showing SLS Core Stage #1 with a RS-25 "Adaptation" (ME-2056 with 9 STS missions flown) engine installed in the #2 Engine Position(upper Left engine position).
*snip*

The pictures with the first engine installed are public.
The ones in tweet form are public, the ones tweezed from those tweets are not, yet.  When I say public I mean, in regards to free vs. pay here at NSF. The tweezed pics are so far confined to L-2, which is why I dint post them here.  I just tend to err on the side of caution with such things.  The guys here at NSF.com have treated me most excellently, this site does provide income for certain people here.


Paul

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #59 on: 10/25/2019 08:08 pm »
It's 6 months later, and SpaceX doesn't yet have an orbital prototype, Boeing hasn't yet started attaching engines to the first SLS (that we know of), no New Glenn updates. It does seem to favor SS a bit, with raptors having done test flights with a hopper at this point.
Any updates on your thoughts here without re-doing the poll?
We've got engines installed on SLS/Artemis Core Stage#1.


At the time I posted the update (08 October), the engines weren't installed, which is why I included it.

Does the recent engine installation change the launch timeframe for the first SLS in your mind?

Offline Paul451

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #60 on: 10/26/2019 04:16 am »
Pedantry:

1) This pic was taken in the 60's at Michoud Asembly Facility and shows a lineup of  at least 2 Saturn V SI-C 1st stages.


There's at least 4 first stages. The two unengined stages (2nd and 4th in line) have the wrong bottom shape to be S-II's.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #61 on: 02/25/2021 03:34 pm »
NG at least 19+ months from first launch:

https://www.blueorigin.com/news/new-glenns-progress-towards-maiden-flight

Quote
NEWSFEB 25, 2021
NEW GLENNíS PROGRESS TOWARDS MAIDEN FLIGHT
As major progress is being made on the New Glenn launch vehicle and its Cape Canaveral facilities, the schedule has been refined to match the demand of Blue Originís commercial customers. The current target for New Glennís maiden flight is Q4 2022. The Blue Origin team has been in contact with all of our customers to ensure this baseline meets their launch needs.
This updated maiden flight target follows the recent Space Force decision to not select New Glenn for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement (LSP).
New Glenn is proceeding to fulfill its current commercial contracts, pursue a large and growing commercial market, and enter into new civil space launch contracts. We hope to launch NSSL payloads in the future, and remain committed to serving the U.S. national defense mission.
Recent milestones include completion of a New Glenn first stage mockup simulator, completion of a structural test facility, and hardware milestones for tanks, stage modules, and composite fairings.
In addition to program progress, more than 600 jobs have been created in the region. Blue Origin has invested more than $2.5 billion in facilities and infrastructure at all sites, including $1 billion invested in the rebuild of historic LC-36, which is nearing completion.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2021 03:34 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #62 on: 02/25/2021 04:45 pm »
Even though a major delay was announced for New Glenn the competition between SLS, Vulcan and Starship is too close to all. Very exciting!

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #63 on: 02/26/2021 02:09 pm »
Per Ars Technica's weekly rocket report- "Sources have told Ars that the realistic "no earlier than" date for Artemis I inside NASA is now February 2022, and this presumes a successful Green Run hot fire test in early March."

Not sure that SLS still in the running to launch this year. Need to keep a close on the completion of the Green run.

At least we're now getting dates for New Glenn, even if they aren't in this year

Offline Bryan Hayward

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #64 on: 03/05/2021 01:54 pm »
I'll be the contrarian and suggest the Long March 9.  Superheavy launch capability is a statement about the health of the country's economy, how much excess they have to spend on vanity projects, and China's economy is the one trending upwards.

The most recent info I see on the Long March 9 program notes- "The Long March 9 is slated to be ready for a test flight around 2030" from an article here: https://spacenews.com/china-reveals-details-for-super-heavy-lift-long-march-9-and-reusable-long-march-8-rockets/. Did you have some updated info on the development effort?

According to an article today (5 Mar 2021) Long March 9 is still scheduled for a test flight in 2030.
https://spacenews.com/china-to-develop-two-super-heavy-launchers-for-moon-missions/

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #65 on: 01/04/2022 01:07 am »
Just noting that none of the new ones reached orbit in 2021. sigh

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #66 on: 01/04/2022 02:18 pm »
An even bigger sigh is that some may not make orbit until 2023!

Vulcan, SLS, NG, SS...in that order...
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #68 on: 01/06/2022 12:35 am »
Vulcan, SLS, NG, SS...in that order...

Really? You'd expect a New Glenn to launch and deliver a payload to orbit before SS? And Vulcan before SLS? Do you have any reasoning you'd care to share on that, as a "why" is part of the poll?

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #69 on: 01/06/2022 12:56 am »
Current vehicle launch readiness as far as I am aware for SLS, SS, Vulcan & NG 5 as of Jan 2022

SLS - WDR scheduled for late Feb for the stacked Artemis 1 mission, launch date to be considered after that
SS - current B4 + SS20 flight articles have been stacked and had full prop loads (together as a stack?) have had separate static fires- waiting on FAA approval for launch consideration
Vulcan - Initial flight article waiting for flight-ready engine delivery and integration
New Glenn - pathfinder test article only, no flight-ready engines available yet either

That's a rough description- if anyone has more useful, current information, please add.

Offline schaban

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #70 on: 01/06/2022 02:46 pm »
Vulcan - Initial flight article waiting for flight-ready engine delivery and integration
Iím not sure Vulcan 2nd stage is ready yet. Also, payload is late as well

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #71 on: 01/06/2022 03:33 pm »
The "nothing" option won so this poll needs to be remade.

My order would be SLS, Vulcan, Starship followed much later by New Glenn.

Offline dlapine

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #72 on: 01/06/2022 03:36 pm »
The "nothing" option won so this poll needs to be remade.

My order would be SLS, Vulcan, Starship followed much later by New Glenn.

I agree that that the "nothing" option won.

Still not sure that Vulcan beats out Starship though. Probably should do a new Poll in any case.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #73 on: 02/01/2022 11:32 pm »
Well, SLS slips again. A new NET of Apr 8. And if things get difficult for the WDR it may end out in May.

Offline envy887

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #74 on: 02/05/2022 07:52 pm »
Current vehicle launch readiness as far as I am aware for SLS, SS, Vulcan & NG 5 as of Jan 2022

SLS - WDR scheduled for late Feb for the stacked Artemis 1 mission, launch date to be considered after that
SS - current B4 + SS20 flight articles have been stacked and had full prop loads (together as a stack?) have had separate static fires- waiting on FAA approval for launch consideration
Vulcan - Initial flight article waiting for flight-ready engine delivery and integration
New Glenn - pathfinder test article only, no flight-ready engines available yet either

That's a rough description- if anyone has more useful, current information, please add.

Are the flight booster and upper stage for Vulcan actually ready? I thought the stage that did the WDR was not going to be the first flight booster. And ULA has been fairly cagey about the readiness of Centaur, which was not part of the booster WDR.

Booster 4 has not had a full prop load or static fire. Booster 3 did a static fire, but only with a partial prop load, 3 (?) engines, and on the suborbital pad. IT's not clear that the orbital pad can support a full prop load in the near future.

New Glenn is far behind the others. Blue seems to be still trying to figure out manufacturing and structural testing.

That leaves SLS. But a Q1 launch appears to be out of the question now, and there remains a lot of pad hardware and operations that have never been run with a rocket out there, so more delays seem inevitable.

IMO SLS and SS are too close to call. Vulcan is most likely 3rd, and New Glenn a distant 4th that will probably first launch over a year behind the others.

Online Vahe231991

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #75 on: 06/29/2022 03:58 am »
Per Ars Technica's weekly rocket report- "Sources have told Ars that the realistic "no earlier than" date for Artemis I inside NASA is now February 2022, and this presumes a successful Green Run hot fire test in early March."

Not sure that SLS still in the running to launch this year. Need to keep a close on the completion of the Green run.

At least we're now getting dates for New Glenn, even if they aren't in this year
NASA is now officially eyeing an August 23-September 6 launch window for the first launch of the SLS rocket.

Link:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/06/nasa-aims-to-launch-the-sls-rocket-in-just-2-months/

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #76 on: 10/28/2022 01:08 pm »
The "nothing" option won by a mile.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Missed it by 10.5 months...
Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery. Current Priority: Chasing the Chinese Spaceflight Wonder Egg & A Certain Chinese Mars Rover

Online Vahe231991

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Re: Which new heavy/superheavy LV is first to reach orbit?
« Reply #78 on: 11/16/2022 07:35 pm »
Current vehicle launch readiness as far as I am aware for SLS, SS, Vulcan & NG 5 as of Jan 2022

SLS - WDR scheduled for late Feb for the stacked Artemis 1 mission, launch date to be considered after that
SS - current B4 + SS20 flight articles have been stacked and had full prop loads (together as a stack?) have had separate static fires- waiting on FAA approval for launch consideration
Vulcan - Initial flight article waiting for flight-ready engine delivery and integration
New Glenn - pathfinder test article only, no flight-ready engines available yet either

That's a rough description- if anyone has more useful, current information, please add.

Are the flight booster and upper stage for Vulcan actually ready? I thought the stage that did the WDR was not going to be the first flight booster. And ULA has been fairly cagey about the readiness of Centaur, which was not part of the booster WDR.

Booster 4 has not had a full prop load or static fire. Booster 3 did a static fire, but only with a partial prop load, 3 (?) engines, and on the suborbital pad. IT's not clear that the orbital pad can support a full prop load in the near future.

New Glenn is far behind the others. Blue seems to be still trying to figure out manufacturing and structural testing.

That leaves SLS. But a Q1 launch appears to be out of the question now, and there remains a lot of pad hardware and operations that have never been run with a rocket out there, so more delays seem inevitable.

IMO SLS and SS are too close to call. Vulcan is most likely 3rd, and New Glenn a distant 4th that will probably first launch over a year behind the others.
The SLS just had its first launch today, and whether the Starship will make its first launch next month as Elon Musk hopes remains to be seen.

The Vulcan rocket is scheduled for launch in early 2023, and Blue Origin hasn't said whether it can launch the New Glenn next year.

 

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