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International Space Flight (ESA, Russia, China and others) => ESA Launchers - Ariane, Soyuz at CSG, Vega => Topic started by: russianhalo117 on 03/29/2013 12:30 pm

Title: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/29/2013 12:30 pm
Welcome to the Ariane 6 discussion thread. Please place your Ariane 6 discussions here.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 03/29/2013 03:41 pm
First, please note that "Ariane 6" is NOT an official name.
The only official name of this project is "NGL" (Next-Gen Launcher).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/29/2013 03:45 pm
First, please note that "Ariane 6" is NOT an official name.
The only official name of this project is "NGL" (Next-Gen Launcher).

Well CNES naming it the Ariane 6 on their website, materials and even events didn't help with the situation.  ;)

Honestly, the emerging of the common solid motor for the first and second stages for the proposed configuration has pushed me somewhat from strong opposition to almost neutral. Let's hope that it will be a cost effective launcher.....  :-\
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 03/29/2013 04:49 pm
From this (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg1031705#msg1031705) and this (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg1032077#msg1032077) post I've got a question:

So, they'll have a mobile integration tower, that will also enclose a fixed service tower (for H2, auxiliary gases, etc.). They did stated that they would integrate the lower three solids on a separate building. So I'm assuming it will have some sort of mobile bed? Or will the service tower and bed be integrated like the Atlas V's MLP?
BTW, I still don't see how will they scale down performance. Unless they can do a PPH with a single solid at the base.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: sdsds on 03/30/2013 02:13 am
I still don't see how will they scale down performance. Unless they can do a PPH with a single solid at the base.

They're proposing 3xP135 + 1xP135 + a Vinci-based hydrolox stage as the highest performance configuration, right? And for lower performance they can instead fly with only 2xP135 as the first stage?

Then the only question is how to fill the gap between that configuration and the current Vega. An up-rated Vega using a single P135 seems possible.

Enrico Saggese [head of Italian space agency ASI] says moving [Vega] to the more robust P135 could be a greater challenge, requiring a larger diameter for the stage, a new payload adapter and changes to existing tooling and production processes.

“But if we have a P135 for the Ariane 6, this could be worked”

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_10_15_2012_p26-505016.xml&p=3
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 03/30/2013 03:06 pm

Something tells me this "thing" will never be built.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 03/30/2013 05:36 pm

Something tells me this "thing" will never be built.

Hopefully!!!

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spaceStalker on 03/30/2013 06:20 pm
Let assume that they don't build NGL.
Then what? Ariane 5 stays or new rocket? What rocket?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 03/30/2013 07:07 pm
First, please note that "Ariane 6" is NOT an official name.
The only official name of this project is "NGL" (Next-Gen Launcher).

Hello Nicolas,

Analogy: the space shuttle was officially known as the space transportation system (STS). Yet everyone, including NASA referred to it primarily as "the space shuttle".

Technically, you are correct. This launcher is the NGL, and ESA is not (yet) officially referring to this as Ariane 6. Although.... Both CNES and the ESA director-general have, on multiple public occassions and interviews, referred to this launcher as Ariane 6.

So, Ariane 6 may not (yet) be the official name, it will eventually become the official name because everyone is already using that name.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 03/30/2013 07:10 pm

Something tells me this "thing" will never be built.

Unsubstantiated. CNES is now in full gear behind it. This "thing"  as you call it, has a very high chance of becoming a reality. And despite the somewhat unconventional 'look' of the first stage it is still a rocket, not a "thing".
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 03/30/2013 07:11 pm
Let assume that they don't build NGL.
Then what? Ariane 5 stays or new rocket? What rocket?

New rocket. CNES won't settle for staying with Ariane 5 indefinitely.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 03/30/2013 09:14 pm
Quote from: woods170
Unsubstantiated. CNES is now in full gear behind it. This "thing"  as you call it, has a very high chance of becoming a reality. And despite the somewhat unconventional 'look' of the first stage it is still a rocket, not a "thing".

Sure, CNES is fully behind it. I think this speaks volumes (from http://www.senat.fr/rap/r12-114/r12-1143.html, November last year):

Quote
D'après le CNES, le coût de production du lanceur Ariane 6 pourrait être très inférieur au coût d'un Ariane 5ME (70 M€ pour le premier - pour un lancement simple - contre 170 M€ pour le second - pour un lancement double).

D'après les auditions réalisées par vos rapporteurs, l'estimation des coûts et délais respectifs des deux lanceurs varie selon que l'on s'adresse aux partisans d'Ariane 5ME (Astrium, Safran) ou à ceux d'Ariane 6 (CNES, Arianespace).

Pour les premiers, Ariane 5ME entrerait en service assez rapidement (2017) et son coût de développement pourrait être limité à 1,2 Md€. En revanche, Ariane 6 ne pourrait être fiabilisée avant 2024 et son coût de développement serait de l'ordre de 5,5 Mds€.

Pour les seconds, Ariane 5ME arriverait en 2018 pour un coût d'environ 2 Mds€ ; et Ariane 6 en 2021 pour « seulement » le double (4 Mds€) mais apporterait une réponse durable aux questions posées par le marché, ce qui ne serait pas le cas du projet ME.

En septembre dernier, le CNES et les industriels (Astrium, Safran) ont élaboré une position commune, en vue de la réunion ministérielle de l'ESA de novembre. Cet accord suggère de poursuivre les programmes de développement des deux lanceurs en 2013 et 2014, d'ici à une prochaine réunion ministérielle de l'ESA, qui pourrait avoir lieu en 2014.

In english, CNES thinks 70m euros per launch is doable (vs. 170m for Ariane 5), wasn't the initial goal 40% less?

My interpretation: Arianespace thinks SpaceX and others can offer 6.5t to GTO at 70m euros in 2020+, so they need a launcher who can do that. Whether its doable remains to be seen.

Then it says cost estimates depend on who you ask. If you ask the industry (astrium, safran) dev. costs will be 5.5bn for Ariane 6, 1.2bn for Ariane 5 ME. If you ask CNES its 4bn for Ariane 6 and 2bn for Ariane 5 ME.

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html) etc.

Maybe my interpretations are silly, maybe they are not. I don't see it happening (except they reach that 70m cost target).


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/02/2013 08:25 am
Sure, CNES is fully behind it. I think this speaks volumes (from http://www.senat.fr/rap/r12-114/r12-1143.html, November last year):

Quote
D'après le CNES, le coût de production du lanceur Ariane 6 pourrait être très inférieur au coût d'un Ariane 5ME (70 M€ pour le premier - pour un lancement simple - contre 170 M€ pour le second - pour un lancement double).

D'après les auditions réalisées par vos rapporteurs, l'estimation des coûts et délais respectifs des deux lanceurs varie selon que l'on s'adresse aux partisans d'Ariane 5ME (Astrium, Safran) ou à ceux d'Ariane 6 (CNES, Arianespace).

Pour les premiers, Ariane 5ME entrerait en service assez rapidement (2017) et son coût de développement pourrait être limité à 1,2 Md€. En revanche, Ariane 6 ne pourrait être fiabilisée avant 2024 et son coût de développement serait de l'ordre de 5,5 Mds€.

Pour les seconds, Ariane 5ME arriverait en 2018 pour un coût d'environ 2 Mds€ ; et Ariane 6 en 2021 pour « seulement » le double (4 Mds€) mais apporterait une réponse durable aux questions posées par le marché, ce qui ne serait pas le cas du projet ME.

En septembre dernier, le CNES et les industriels (Astrium, Safran) ont élaboré une position commune, en vue de la réunion ministérielle de l'ESA de novembre. Cet accord suggère de poursuivre les programmes de développement des deux lanceurs en 2013 et 2014, d'ici à une prochaine réunion ministérielle de l'ESA, qui pourrait avoir lieu en 2014.

In english, CNES thinks 70m euros per launch is doable (vs. 170m for Ariane 5), wasn't the initial goal 40% less?

My interpretation: Arianespace thinks SpaceX and others can offer 6.5t to GTO at 70m euros in 2020+, so they need a launcher who can do that. Whether its doable remains to be seen.

Then it says cost estimates depend on who you ask. If you ask the industry (astrium, safran) dev. costs will be 5.5bn for Ariane 6, 1.2bn for Ariane 5 ME. If you ask CNES its 4bn for Ariane 6 and 2bn for Ariane 5 ME.

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html) etc.

Maybe my interpretations are silly, maybe they are not. I don't see it happening (except they reach that 70m cost target).

Your interpretations are not silly, they are however somewhat out-of-touch with reality.

First:
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers. For example: Ariane 5 originally was not supposed to need any subsidies. But currently it needs 110 million Euros each year in subsidies. Another example is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster: the price-tag for that has increased sharply since the announcement in 2011. The price-tag for the regular Falcon 9 has increased as well. We won't even bother looking at Vega as that little critter has become MUCH more expensive than once projected.
Pulling this trend forward into the future; it's safe to say that Ariane 6 will become more expensive, per flight, than the 70 million Euro's projected by CNES and ESA today. But then again: the promise of industry that Ariane 5 ME will no longer need subsidies is just as invalid. Once it becomes operational it definitely will still need subsidies.

Second:
Asking industry to give best-estimate figures about the costs to complete development of Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6 is just as ridiculous as asking ESA and CNES to give best-estimate figures  for the same. In the end, both parties will be way off. If there is one constant, in launcher development in Europe, it is that the launchers always become (much) more expensive (both in development cost as well as cost-per-flight) than initially calculated. Fighting petty wars over the difference in figures between industry and ESA/CNES is therefore an utter waste of effort.

Third:
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion. Almost all components of the current Ariane 5 launcher are made by a limited number of large Euorpean companies, with EADS/Astrium being the biggest by far (and prime-contractor as well). But, EADS/Astrium will also become the prime development-contractor for Ariane 6, simply because there is no other European company with the experience to lead development. For development and production of the solids both ESA/CNES and the prime contractor will rely on the companies that currently preduce the solids for Ariane 5 and Vega. ESA and CNES are NOT production companies. They are (cross-)state-level agencies. They initiate development and provide the funds for development. But development, design, test and construction is always done by industry, under auspices from ESA/CNES. That MO applies to both liquid- and solid launchers. Ariane 6 will be no different.

Fourth:
EuroCryoSpace crying foul over Ariane 6 not being a liquid launcher has one, and one reason only: When Ariane 5 (ME) stops flying in the late 2020's, they are set to loose roughly 50% of their business. A company that, for it's business, is so much dependant on a single revenue source (Ariane 5) ought to be ashamed of itself. Them suggesting that ITER and CERN will suffer when cryogenic propulsion technology disappears from ESA launchers is even more shamefull. EuroCryoSpace seems to think that they, and only they, can supply cryogenics-technology to ITER and CERN. Well, there are at least 10 other cryogenics technology companies in Europe. There will always be someone willing to jump into the hole that the (potential) demise of EuroCryoSpace would create. That's called competition and free-market enterprise. ITER and CERN willl not be in trouble at all. The article on astrowatch.net you reffered to is simply fear mongering by EuroCryoSpace.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Proponent on 04/02/2013 04:24 pm
<snip>

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html)) etc.

Your interpretations are not silly, they are however somewhat out-of-touch with reality.

First:
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers. For example: Ariane 5 originally was not supposed to need any subsidies. But currently it needs 110 million Euros each year in subsidies. Another example is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster: the price-tag for that has increased sharply since the announcement in 2011. The price-tag for the regular Falcon 9 has increased as well. We won't even bother looking at Vega as that little critter has become MUCH more expensive than once projected.
Pulling this trend forward into the future; it's safe to say that Ariane 6 will become more expensive, per flight, than the 70 million Euro's projected by CNES and ESA today. But then again: the promise of industry that Ariane 5 ME will no longer need subsidies is just as invalid. Once it becomes operational it definitely will still need subsidies.

I agree.  Europe will want to retain a space-launch industry.  It will fly its own government payloads on it and likely subsidize Ariane 6 as much as needed to keep at least a trickle of commercial payloads flying on it.

Quote
<snip>

Third:
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion. Almost all components of the current Ariane 5 launcher are made by a limited number of large Euorpean companies, with EADS/Astrium being the biggest by far (and prime-contractor as well). But, EADS/Astrium will also become the prime development-contractor for Ariane 6, simply because there is no other European company with the experience to lead development. For development and production of the solids both ESA/CNES and the prime contractor will rely on the companies that currently preduce the solids for Ariane 5 and Vega. ESA and CNES are NOT production companies. They are (cross-)state-level agencies. They initiate development and provide the funds for development. But development, design, test and construction is always done by industry, under auspices from ESA/CNES. That MO applies to both liquid- and solid launchers. Ariane 6 will be no different.

I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/02/2013 05:45 pm
I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.
Vulcain 2 is LOX/LH2, Aestus (Ariane 5 ES upper stage engine) is storable propellants and HM-7B (Ariane 5 ECA upper stage engine) is LOX/LH2.\

Knowledge of the use of cryogenic engines will likely not disappear entirely with Ariane 6. The current idea is to use a common-technology upper stage for both Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6. That is to be the ESC-B upper stage, driven by the Vinci engine. It runs on LOX/LH2.
It's just that the use of LOX/LH2 will be scaled down (literally), but the basic knowledge will be retained.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Patchouli on 04/02/2013 05:46 pm
<snip>

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html)) etc.

Your interpretations are not silly, they are however somewhat out-of-touch with reality.

First:
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers. For example: Ariane 5 originally was not supposed to need any subsidies. But currently it needs 110 million Euros each year in subsidies. Another example is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster: the price-tag for that has increased sharply since the announcement in 2011. The price-tag for the regular Falcon 9 has increased as well. We won't even bother looking at Vega as that little critter has become MUCH more expensive than once projected.
Pulling this trend forward into the future; it's safe to say that Ariane 6 will become more expensive, per flight, than the 70 million Euro's projected by CNES and ESA today. But then again: the promise of industry that Ariane 5 ME will no longer need subsidies is just as invalid. Once it becomes operational it definitely will still need subsidies.

I agree.  Europe will want to retain a space-launch industry.  It will fly its own government payloads on it and likely subsidize Ariane 6 as much as needed to keep at least a trickle of commercial payloads flying on it.

Quote
<snip>

Third:
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion. Almost all components of the current Ariane 5 launcher are made by a limited number of large Euorpean companies, with EADS/Astrium being the biggest by far (and prime-contractor as well). But, EADS/Astrium will also become the prime development-contractor for Ariane 6, simply because there is no other European company with the experience to lead development. For development and production of the solids both ESA/CNES and the prime contractor will rely on the companies that currently preduce the solids for Ariane 5 and Vega. ESA and CNES are NOT production companies. They are (cross-)state-level agencies. They initiate development and provide the funds for development. But development, design, test and construction is always done by industry, under auspices from ESA/CNES. That MO applies to both liquid- and solid launchers. Ariane 6 will be no different.

I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

On Falcon 9 and similar I think the ESA needs to look into RLV technology if they wish to remain relevant.

Even semi reusable systems may be enough to remain competitive.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/03/2013 02:20 am
Quote from: woods170
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers.


Yes, but at least the projected cost should be around 70m, afaik this is not yet guaranteed, its the goal.

Quote from: woods170
In the end, both parties will be way off.

There must be a consensus on a budget. If in the end costs exceed projected ones, industry is usually held responsible and must pay for parts of cost overruns.

Quote from: woods170
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion.

The conclusion was maybe a bit off, but the booster infrastructure in guaiana will likely be a significant cost factor for the all-solid solution, and it is under control of CNES/Arianespace.

Quote from: woods170
EuroCryoSpace crying foul over Ariane 6 not being a liquid launcher has one, and one reason only

Not saying their motives are honourable.

Quote from: Patchouli
On Falcon 9 and similar I think the ESA needs to look into RLV technology if they wish to remain relevant.

While I like what spacex does I think people are overly optimistic when it comes to their RLV plans. Reusable boosters, that's what spacex' first stage is in principle, have been on the drawing board around the world for a long time, never turned into reality due to low launch rates.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/03/2013 11:05 am
Quote from: woods170
In the end, both parties will be way off.
There must be a consensus on a budget. If in the end costs exceed projected ones, industry is usually held responsible and must pay for parts of cost overruns.

Not with ESA it isn't. Development of Ariane 5 went substantially over budget. However, the development prime contractor was not held responsible for the over-runs. The additional cost was mostly coughed up by the participating ESA member states by delaying the program. Same thing happened with ATV.

Quote from: woods170
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion.
The conclusion was maybe a bit off, but the booster infrastructure in guaiana will likely be a significant cost factor for the all-solid solution, and it is under control of CNES/Arianespace.

No, it isn't. It's under just as much control (or better said: as little control) from CNES/Arianespace as any other contractor facility, regardless of it being situated at CSG or not.
The booster infrastructure at CSG is partly run by the contractor (Regulus) and treated as a contractor facility by CNES/Arianespace.

There are more facilities at CSG that are not under direct control from CNES/Arianespace. One example is the Soyuz infrastructure at CSG. That infrastructure is operated on behalf of Arianespace, but it is under control of Roskosmos, the Russian space agency.


Quote from: Patchouli
On Falcon 9 and similar I think the ESA needs to look into RLV technology if they wish to remain relevant.
While I like what spacex does I think people are overly optimistic when it comes to their RLV plans. Reusable boosters, that's what spacex' first stage is in principle, have been on the drawing board around the world for a long time, never turned into reality due to low launch rates.
For the time being it remains to be seen whether a (partly) reusable RLV will have any signifant impact on lowering launch cost. SpaceX is doing impressive work, but it will be some time before it becomes clear if re-usability enhances SpaceX' business-case.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Proponent on 04/03/2013 02:56 pm
I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.

You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/03/2013 03:41 pm
I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.

You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.

Sorry to have to correct you again, but hydrocarbon technology was not abandoned with the introduction of Ariane 5, simply because Ariane launchers have never used hydrocarbon technology.
The previous Ariane 1 to Ariane 4 flew hypergolics stages and LOX/LH2 stages only. The additional boosters for Ariane 3 were solid propellant and the additional boosters for Ariane 4 were solid propellant and hypergolics.

As it is today, none of the propellant technologies ever employed on Ariane have been abandoned. Hypergolics are still in use in the upper stage of Ariane 5 ES (the version used for ATV). Solid propellant is in large-scale use in the EAP's of Ariane 5. And cryogenic propellant technology has been use on Ariane 1 (upper stage) and has continued to be used on Ariane upper stages ever since, the most recent installment being the ESC-A upper stage of Ariane 5 ECA. Cryogenic technology was introduced on large scale in the EPC (core) stage of Ariane 5.
It is possible that ESA/Arianespace will say goodbye to hypergolics with the introduction of Ariane 6. But very likely both solid propellant technology and cryogenic propellant technology will both be present on Ariane 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/03/2013 05:39 pm
Quote from: woods170
Not with ESA it isn't. Development of Ariane 5 went substantially over budget. However, the development prime contractor was not held responsible for the over-runs. The additional cost was mostly coughed up by the participating ESA member states by delaying the program. Same thing happened with ATV.

Well it would be pretty stupid to do it that way again.

Quote from: woods170
No, it isn't. It's under just as much control (or better said: as little control) from CNES/Arianespace as any other contractor facility, regardless of it being situated at CSG or not.
The booster infrastructure at CSG is partly run by the contractor (Regulus) and treated as a contractor facility by CNES/Arianespace.

The question is who owns the facilities and from how many potential maintainers the owner can choose from. If you design a new rocket, you're usually stuck with one contractor (the one who knows to build the rocket) forever.
 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 04/04/2013 10:23 pm
True damn pity it is Soyuz in Couru zenith would have been a much better partner.Imagine what Ariane 6 would have looked like if that had have happened.Not that I am knocking present plans.At present it is a very handy satellite launcher.Pity it will be such a polluting monster.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: arkaska on 04/04/2013 10:29 pm
True damn pity it is Soyuz in Couru zenith would have been a much better partner.Imagine what Ariane 6 would have looked like if that had have happened.Not that I am knocking present plans.At present it is a very handy satellite launcher.Pity it will be such a polluting monster.

Ariancespace and ESA had no need for a heavy launcher they needed a medium launcher to complement Vega and Ariane therefore Soyuz was and still is the best alternative.

And I can't see what that has to do with how Ariane 6 will look?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: R7 on 04/05/2013 04:48 pm
I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.

Can't be. P135s are way too big to be missiles. No synergy.

(actually I do agree but gotta counter-argue for counter-arguing's sake. Ed, wake up!)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 04/05/2013 05:05 pm
And I can't see what that has to do with how Ariane 6 will look?

I think the implication was that Zenit (or a Europeanised version of it) would be the correct size for NGL. Ignoring politics, it would make economic sense for ESA to just buy Zenits, rather that spend billions of Euros to develop their own launcher with nearly identical performance.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/05/2013 09:31 pm
Quote from: simonbp
Ignoring politics...

I stopped there, politics is the only reason europe has a space program beyond science.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 04/06/2013 07:46 am
Which apparently hasn't stopped them from buying Soyuzes...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: arkaska on 04/06/2013 01:01 pm
I think the implication was that Zenit (or a Europeanised version of it) would be the correct size for NGL. Ignoring politics, it would make economic sense for ESA to just buy Zenits, rather that spend billions of Euros to develop their own launcher with nearly identical performance.

With that logic the US would by Zenit's as well instead of flying expensive Atlas V and Delta IV.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 04/06/2013 01:31 pm
Which apparently hasn't stopped them from buying Soyuzes...

Soyuz fills a current gap in the European launch service, this has never been to the detriment of the commercially focussed Ariane 5 as it is used primarily for small science missions that could never afford the A5. Besides, remember Soyuz commercial launches are run by a 50:50 European-Russian company.

Anyway, the whole reason Ariane 6 is planned to be in the capability bracket it is is to shift the european launch market back to being able to survive on "institutional" launches and not requiring it to hold a significant portion of commercial launches.   The useful by-product being no more reliance on Soyuz for science.

ESA is pragmatic, it will use outside means to supplement its capabilities, but eventually the political objectives are to "europeanise" these.  See the eventual kicking of AVUM from Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Proponent on 04/06/2013 03:45 pm
You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.

Sorry to have to correct you again, but hydrocarbon technology was not abandoned with the introduction of Ariane 5, simply because Ariane launchers have never used hydrocarbon technology.

Gosh, what a font of rubbish I am!  Thanks for the correction.

Let me try again.  With Ariane 6, ESA abandons the technology of large-scale propulsion based on dense liquid propellants.  The US did something similar after the Saturn V and now regrets it (it continued to fly the RS-27 on the Delta and Delta II, but it let the technology age).

And with Ariane 6, it will abandon segmented-solid technology, though there seems to be little reason to think this will be missed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 04/06/2013 09:10 pm
Soyuz fills a current gap in the European launch service, this has never been to the detriment of the commercially focussed Ariane 5 as it is used primarily for small science missions that could never afford the A5.

Really? Of the four Soyuz launches from Kourou, two were Galileo nav sats and two were a French spy sats. The only real science payload on the manifest is Gaia. The rest are more Galileos and commercial comm sats.

Which is the point; nearly all (if not all) European government payloads are satisfied by Soyuz + Vega. So, NGL is solely targeted at commercial launches. But by the time a newly designed rocket flies, it will have to compete against both the low cost American companies (SpaceX, BlueOrigin, Stratolaunch, etc) and the increasingly reliable (and also low-cost) Chinese and Indians. The only reason Ariane 5 can compete now is its reliability record. Replace it with a new rocket and you've lost even that.

Really, the only way to make the economics work out is do the Soyuz route, buy a foreign rocket and resell it. Then ESA can save on the development costs and get the replacement up and flying as soon as possible. Zenit is the simple option, but they could also do some sort of Antares-like mix and match.

As it is, Ariane 6 may end up as Hermes II: ESA spends huge amounts of money on a French-led political program, only to cancel it before it even flies...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 04/06/2013 10:15 pm
True damn pity it is Soyuz in Couru zenith would have been a much better partner.Imagine what Ariane 6 would have looked like if that had have happened.Not that I am knocking present plans.At present it is a very handy satellite launcher.Pity it will be such a polluting monster.

Ariancespace and ESA had no need for a heavy launcher they needed a medium launcher to complement Vega and Ariane therefore Soyuz was and still is the best alternative.

And I can't see what that has to do with how Ariane 6 will look?

Can you imagine what the ministers would have said when they were asked for 3 billion per year for lunar missions, if esa could have ordered a super heavy launcher out of readily available launchers .Soyuz is too small for the high profit 6 ton com sats  . As satellites grow in size ariane 5 is getting too small to launch 2 at a time hence the development of ariane 6 .what is needed is a second launcher that can provide redundancy so that ariane 5 can grow to launch larger payloads.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: arkaska on 04/06/2013 10:45 pm

Can you imagine what the ministers would have said when they were asked for 3 billion per year for lunar missions, if esa could have ordered a super heavy launcher out of readily available launchers .Soyuz is too small for the high profit 6 ton com sats  . As satellites grow in size ariane 5 is getting too small to launch 2 at a time hence the development of ariane 6 .what is needed is a second launcher that can provide redundancy so that ariane 5 can grow to launch larger payloads.

Still don't understand what you're grasping at?

Before it was Zenit at CSG now you're talking about a 'super heavy rocket' and redundancy for Ariane 5?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/07/2013 12:17 am
Quote from: simonbp
Really, the only way to make the economics work out is do the Soyuz route, buy a foreign rocket and resell it.

There will be a european rocket anyway, for strategic reasons, either by continuing Ariane 5 or a new Ariane 6. Competing with spacex/russians may be difficult, but I guess by designing a low-cost system they can get close and the rest will be taken care of by a subsidy to achieve a reasonable launch rate.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 04/07/2013 12:32 am
Really? Of the four Soyuz launches from Kourou, two were Galileo nav sats and two were a French spy sats. The only real science payload on the manifest is Gaia. The rest are more Galileos and commercial comm sats.

You do realise ESA was buying Soyuz flights before it went to Kourou?  Mars Express, Venus Express, COROT, MetOp-A, MetOp-B all went on Soyuz pre-Kourou.  All future missions sized to fit on a Soyuz and too big for Vega -- Gaia, Euclid, the M3 mission and others -- will all use Soyuz.

"government" payloads, be they EU projects, ESA science missions or member state infrastructure are cost-constrained programmes that are termed in the industry as "institutional" missions, not commercial (which is predominantly telecoms).  They are market-wise all the same; while there is pressure politically to "buy European", costs ensure they will look elsewhere if there is no suitable European equivalent.  I assure you Galileo would be dead as a Dodo by now if Ariane launches were required.

Which is the point; nearly all (if not all) European government payloads are satisfied by Soyuz + Vega. So, NGL is solely targeted at commercial launches. But by the time a newly designed rocket flies, it will have to compete against both the low cost American companies (SpaceX, BlueOrigin, Stratolaunch, etc) and the increasingly reliable (and also low-cost) Chinese and Indians. The only reason Ariane 5 can compete now is its reliability record. Replace it with a new rocket and you've lost even that.

Ariane 6 is a replacement for both Soyuz and Ariane 5.  The lowest payload Ariane 6 is being sized for is approximately the same as a Soyuz, that isn't a coincidence.  This along with the planned increase in performance of Vega, and its multi-payload launch capability, will make Soyuz redundant.

It will be a launcher to capture both the European institutional market, which has pretty much been lost to foreign competitors like Soyuz, as well as competing for commercial launches.  This is much better for Europe going forward than the present where to even barely survive Ariane 5 must dominate the commercial market.  That's not realistic for the future given growing competition.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/07/2013 01:45 am
This may sound silly (and it certainly is ;)), but what about a first stage with approx. 25 vinci engines. Mass production of one engine and its an expander cycle engine, so according to wiki: Good for reusability, "tolerance", inherent safety (and cheap)!

 ;D

P.S. Vinci delivers 180kn (vac) thrust, has an isp of 465m/s (vac) and weights 160kg without nozzle (which would have to be adapted for sea-level use, non-extendable, probably cheaper).

http://cs.astrium.eads.net/sp/launcher-propulsion/rocket-engines/vinci-rocket-engine.html

Vulcain 2 delivers 1'340 kn (vac) thrust, isp of 431 (vac), weights 2100kg with nozzle.

P.P.S. Recurring cost of one engine would have to be in the 1-2m range to be able to compete with an expendable vulcain solution. With maybe 200-300 engines produced annually. For the expendable vulcain solution however a new engine would have to be developed, to my knowledge (Vulcain 3 with 1'500kn thrust). Vinci is reignitable for potential boost back and landing similar to spacex' solution.

Anyway, would be nice if some rocket expert could comment even if he knows its absurd (for example because so many h2 pipes from tank to engines would be prohibitively expensive) ;)


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 04/07/2013 07:08 pm

Can you imagine what the ministers would have said when they were asked for 3 billion per year for lunar missions, if esa could have ordered a super heavy launcher out of readily available launchers .Soyuz is too small for the high profit 6 ton com sats  . As satellites grow in size ariane 5 is getting too small to launch 2 at a time hence the development of ariane 6 .what is needed is a second launcher that can provide redundancy so that ariane 5 can grow to launch larger payloads.

Still don't understand what you're grasping at?

Before it was Zenit at CSG now you're talking about a 'super heavy rocket' and redundancy for Ariane 5?

It is all linked Soyuz is too small to launch big satellites.
If they had have got zenith instead there would have been 2 heavy launchers in CSG ,the reason for Ariane 6 is the second heavy launcher. satellite companies dont make satellites that can only be launched on one launcher.
 
A super heavy using rd 180s  on the first stage Vulcain on the second stage and one vulcain on the third sounds very like a very nice moon rocket to me.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: arkaska on 04/07/2013 08:23 pm
It is all linked Soyuz is too small to launch big satellites.
If they had have got zenith instead there would have been 2 heavy launchers in CSG ,the reason for Ariane 6 is the second heavy launcher. satellite companies dont make satellites that can only be launched on one launcher.
 
A super heavy using rd 180s  on the first stage Vulcain on the second stage and one vulcain on the third sounds very like a very nice moon rocket to me.

Since it's clear you haven't read anything that has been written on this subject on the forum I'm not even going to take the time to respond to your 'argument'
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 04/07/2013 08:41 pm
It is all linked Soyuz is too small to launch big satellites.
If they had have got zenith instead there would have been 2 heavy launchers in CSG ,the reason for Ariane 6 is the second heavy launcher. satellite companies dont make satellites that can only be launched on one launcher.
 
A super heavy using rd 180s  on the first stage Vulcain on the second stage and one vulcain on the third sounds very like a very nice moon rocket to me.

Since it's clear you haven't read anything that has been written on this subject on the forum I'm not even going to take the time to respond to your 'argument'

Have been reading this forum for ten years at least and guess what the same thing is being discussed as ten years ago only difference is that they have stopped bashing the shuttle.
Beagle 2 would have a damn sight more chance of success had it been bigger.I dont think that Ariane 5 will be abandoned when Ariane 6 is flying it will always be cheaper to split the insurance with somebody else than pay it alone.
As I said I think Soyuz is too small .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 04/09/2013 04:27 pm
True damn pity it is Soyuz in Couru zenith would have been a much better partner.Imagine what Ariane 6 would have looked like if that had have happened.Not that I am knocking present plans.At present it is a very handy satellite launcher.Pity it will be such a polluting monster.

Could someone please elaborate on the environmental issues regarding this new launcher?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/09/2013 08:20 pm
True damn pity it is Soyuz in Couru zenith would have been a much better partner.Imagine what Ariane 6 would have looked like if that had have happened.Not that I am knocking present plans.At present it is a very handy satellite launcher.Pity it will be such a polluting monster.

Could someone please elaborate on the environmental issues regarding this new launcher?

Combustion products from solid boosters are highly corrosive, have high acidity levels and, if the propellant contains perchlorate, the combustion products contains high levels of chlorine.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/23/2013 05:50 pm
Wait..... they are thinking of using the Soyuz pad for the Ariane 6!? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg1042853#msg1042853)  :o (reasonable thought, but still weird)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/23/2013 06:04 pm
Wait..... they are thinking of using the Soyuz pad for the Ariane 6!? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg1042853#msg1042853)  :o (reasonable thought, but still weird)

No, that is not what this image says. At best it suggest that CNES is thinking of using "a Soyuz-style launchpad" for Ariane 6. One cannot pull the conclusion that Ariane 6 will be launched from the current Soyuz launchpad, based on this image alone.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/23/2013 06:14 pm
Wait..... they are thinking of using the Soyuz pad for the Ariane 6!? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg1042853#msg1042853)  :o (reasonable thought, but still weird)

No, that is not what this image says. At best it suggest that CNES is thinking of using "a Soyuz-style launchpad" for Ariane 6. One cannot pull the conclusion that Ariane 6 will be launched from the current Soyuz launchpad, based on this image alone.

But why specifically design such a flame trench when most launch pads with rockets using solid motors have their flame trenches covered up? (Ariane 5, Titan series, Shuttle etc.)  ???
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/23/2013 09:05 pm
May be, after having the Soyuz experience, they discovered that it needed less refurbishment after each launch? Simplifies the sound suppression system? Digging in Kourou is not as expensive as the Cape?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/24/2013 06:46 am
May be, after having the Soyuz experience, they discovered that it needed less refurbishment after each launch? Simplifies the sound suppression system? Digging in Kourou is not as expensive as the Cape?


Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from anywhwere but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/24/2013 07:02 am
Wait..... they are thinking of using the Soyuz pad for the Ariane 6!? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg1042853#msg1042853)  :o (reasonable thought, but still weird)

No, that is not what this image says. At best it suggest that CNES is thinking of using "a Soyuz-style launchpad" for Ariane 6. One cannot pull the conclusion that Ariane 6 will be launched from the current Soyuz launchpad, based on this image alone.

But why specifically design such a flame trench when most launch pads with rockets using solid motors have their flame trenches covered up? (Ariane 5, Titan series, Shuttle etc.)  ???

STS launched from the pad 39 complex, and that does not have covered flame trenches. Vega is a solid launcher, it launches from the old ELA-1 site and that does not have covered flame trenches either. And there have been launchers using solids (either as first stage or as booster) that did not have flame trenches at all. One that comes to mind is the Delta and Delta 2 series that launch off of SLC-2W at VAFB. Or Scout launching off of SLC-5 at Vandenberg.
It is a misconception that solid motors require covered flame trenches.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/24/2013 03:25 pm
May be, after having the Soyuz experience, they discovered that it needed less refurbishment after each launch? Simplifies the sound suppression system? Digging in Kourou is not as expensive as the Cape?


Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from any where but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Because they are putting KSC as examples of how trenches are made. Which being a swamp and all that would make this solution totally impractical. You forget how each country usually thinks that everywhere else is just like home. Thus, I have to remind them that different places have different condition that might dictate different solutions. As I said before, I'm not sure, I'm just saying that it's a possibility.
What I'm afraid is when Americans think that the crawler is the most advanced solution for big rockets, when the fact is that at the Cape trains like Baikonour are not possible (or ridiculously expensive) mostly due to the soil. Thus, the fact that at the cape this sort of pads is not seen, is not necessary because it's not just as good or even better from a maintenance POV, but because you simply can't build it on a swamp.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/25/2013 06:35 am
Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from any where but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Because they are putting KSC as examples of how trenches are made.
<snip>

Citation please. Who and what are you referring to?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Lars_J on 04/26/2013 09:54 pm
Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from any where but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Because they are putting KSC as examples of how trenches are made.
<snip>

Citation please. Who and what are you referring to?

Calm down. I know you are defensive about the "Ariane 6", but there is no need to react this way to some basic comparison of different flame trench designs.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/27/2013 01:40 am
Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from any where but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Because they are putting KSC as examples of how trenches are made.
<snip>

Citation please. Who and what are you referring to?

But why specifically design such a flame trench when most launch pads with rockets using solid motors have their flame trenches covered up? (Ariane 5, Titan series, Shuttle etc.)  ???
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/27/2013 08:38 am
Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from any where but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Because they are putting KSC as examples of how trenches are made.
<snip>

Citation please. Who and what are you referring to?

But why specifically design such a flame trench when most launch pads with rockets using solid motors have their flame trenches covered up? (Ariane 5, Titan series, Shuttle etc.)  ???


Thank you for that citation. And that's not a "they"...  ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/27/2013 08:52 am
Why do you compare digging in Kourou with digging at the cape? Ariane 6 is not listed to launch from any where but Kourou. Thus, it makes no sense to compare with the cape.
Because they are putting KSC as examples of how trenches are made.
<snip>

Citation please. Who and what are you referring to?

Calm down. I know you are defensive about the "Ariane 6", but there is no need to react this way to some basic comparison of different flame trench designs.
I'm not so much defensive about Ariane 6 itself, but I do guard against all the nonsense that is thrown into the discussions around Ariane 6. This piece about flame trenches for solids need to be covered is one example. If people took the time to do just a tiny google search they would have known that flame trenches for solids don't need to be covered.
And people should realize that in this stage of Ariane 6 development, any artist impression is strictly notional. People really should not read all that much into the images that appear online. It's just CNES toying around with ideas. Decisions for the final 'look' of the launchpad and launcher will not be made until well after the 2014 ESA ministerial conference. Had people realized that it would have saved a few pointless discussions on this forum.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/28/2013 10:42 pm

Nobody commented on my 25 vinci first stage... :'(
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 04/29/2013 07:33 am

Nobody commented on my 25 vinci first stage... :'(

We were just being polite by not confirming the sillyness of that post.  ;) ;) ;) ;D
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 04/29/2013 10:03 pm
^

Well intuitively it is silly, but apart from potentially high cost I can only guess what speaks against it technically. I hoped somebody could enlighten me in that regard.

 :)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Lobo on 04/29/2013 10:11 pm
I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.

You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.

Sorry to have to correct you again, but hydrocarbon technology was not abandoned with the introduction of Ariane 5, simply because Ariane launchers have never used hydrocarbon technology.
The previous Ariane 1 to Ariane 4 flew hypergolics stages and LOX/LH2 stages only. The additional boosters for Ariane 3 were solid propellant and the additional boosters for Ariane 4 were solid propellant and hypergolics.

As it is today, none of the propellant technologies ever employed on Ariane have been abandoned. Hypergolics are still in use in the upper stage of Ariane 5 ES (the version used for ATV). Solid propellant is in large-scale use in the EAP's of Ariane 5. And cryogenic propellant technology has been use on Ariane 1 (upper stage) and has continued to be used on Ariane upper stages ever since, the most recent installment being the ESC-A upper stage of Ariane 5 ECA. Cryogenic technology was introduced on large scale in the EPC (core) stage of Ariane 5.
It is possible that ESA/Arianespace will say goodbye to hypergolics with the introduction of Ariane 6. But very likely both solid propellant technology and cryogenic propellant technology will both be present on Ariane 6.


If Ariane 6 is going to be a solid booster, maybe they should just put the hydrolox Ariane 5 core on top of it and make the Vulcan engine air-startable?

Hmmm...why does that sound so familiar...

;-)

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: RocketmanUS on 05/01/2013 05:13 am
I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.

You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.

Sorry to have to correct you again, but hydrocarbon technology was not abandoned with the introduction of Ariane 5, simply because Ariane launchers have never used hydrocarbon technology.
The previous Ariane 1 to Ariane 4 flew hypergolics stages and LOX/LH2 stages only. The additional boosters for Ariane 3 were solid propellant and the additional boosters for Ariane 4 were solid propellant and hypergolics.

As it is today, none of the propellant technologies ever employed on Ariane have been abandoned. Hypergolics are still in use in the upper stage of Ariane 5 ES (the version used for ATV). Solid propellant is in large-scale use in the EAP's of Ariane 5. And cryogenic propellant technology has been use on Ariane 1 (upper stage) and has continued to be used on Ariane upper stages ever since, the most recent installment being the ESC-A upper stage of Ariane 5 ECA. Cryogenic technology was introduced on large scale in the EPC (core) stage of Ariane 5.
It is possible that ESA/Arianespace will say goodbye to hypergolics with the introduction of Ariane 6. But very likely both solid propellant technology and cryogenic propellant technology will both be present on Ariane 6.


If Ariane 6 is going to be a solid booster, maybe they should just put the hydrolox Ariane 5 core on top of it and make the Vulcan engine air-startable?

Hmmm...why does that sound so familiar...

;-)


Would ESA and U.S. future law(s) allow an Ariane 6 ( Liberty ) to be launched at the ESA launch site in South America? ( more a statement than a question )

Personally I think they should keep away from solids.
Two stage to orbit with the 2nd stage optimized for BLEO.
For higher mass payloads add one or two common core strap ons.
Add in cross feed later if needed.
Have both stage with the same propellants as the core as Ariane 5.

Edit:
Other option could be for the boosters to use two Vulcain 2 engines on each booster with the tank length being stretched.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/01/2013 07:04 am
If Ariane 6 is going to be a solid booster, maybe they should just put the hydrolox Ariane 5 core on top of it and make the Vulcan engine air-startable?

Hmmm...why does that sound so familiar...

;-)



That monster would not fit the requirements. Way too powerfull.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/01/2013 07:07 am
If Ariane 6 is going to be a solid booster, maybe they should just put the hydrolox Ariane 5 core on top of it and make the Vulcan engine air-startable?

Hmmm...why does that sound so familiar...

;-)


Would ESA and U.S. future law(s) allow an Ariane 6 ( Liberty ) to be launched at the ESA launch site in South America? ( more a statement than a question )

Personally I think they should keep away from solids.
Two stage to orbit with the 2nd stage optimized for BLEO.
For higher mass payloads add one or two common core strap ons.
Add in cross feed later if needed.
Have both stage with the same propellants as the core as Ariane 5.

Edit:
Other option could be for the boosters to use two Vulcain 2 engines on each booster with the tank length being stretched.
What you are proposing is the ESA version of Delta-IV Heavy / Falcon Heavy.  That's not attractive to the technology critters at CNES. Therefore, it won't happen.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/01/2013 10:18 am
^

Which is unfortunate.

Not so long ago the concepts PPH, HHSC, HHGG, CH were seen as having less than 10% difference in recurrent costs. See attached pdf page 63.

Further the HHSC variant was considered to be the most promising solution also long-term (page 65). With a first stage propellant mass of 150t it would have been less of a beast than Delta IV (204t). Thanks to its efficient engines (first stage SC and vinci).

I understand that RLVs are probably still a generation away, but why invest in technology that will never have the chance to be reusable? For me it doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Patchouli on 05/01/2013 03:24 pm
If Ariane 6 is going to be a solid booster, maybe they should just put the hydrolox Ariane 5 core on top of it and make the Vulcan engine air-startable?

Hmmm...why does that sound so familiar...

;-)



That monster would not fit the requirements. Way too powerfull.

But they might be able to get ATK to share part of the R&D.

For LEO missions it might be cheaper then Ariane V but for GTO it will still need an upper stage.

Interesting note it would allow an easier path to future HLVs when the economic and political climate changes.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/01/2013 07:42 pm
^

Which is unfortunate.

Not so long ago the concepts PPH, HHSC, HHGG, CH were seen as having less than 10% difference in recurrent costs. See attached pdf page 63.

Further the HHSC variant was considered to be the most promising solution also long-term (page 65). With a first stage propellant mass of 150t it would have been less of a beast than Delta IV (204t). Thanks to its efficient engines (first stage SC and vinci).

I understand that RLVs are probably still a generation away, but why invest in technology that will never have the chance to be reusable? For me it doesn't make sense.


Not to you perhaps, but it does to me. At least four decades of research into reusable launch vehicles have turned up exactly ZERO reusable launch vehicles. Space Shuttle does not count as such as it was only partially reusable.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: RocketmanUS on 05/01/2013 08:07 pm
I don't see how Ariane 6 will be cheaper than Ariane 5.
They will loose lift capacity with Ariane 6.
It would seem to be cheaper to just do small upgrades to Ariane 5 over time to lower it's cost while keeping ESA's medium lift capacity.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/01/2013 11:12 pm
Quote from: woods170
Not to you perhaps, but it does to me. At least four decades of research into reusable launch vehicles have turned up exactly ZERO reusable launch vehicles. Space Shuttle does not count as such as it was only partially reusable.

Well maybe not fully reusable, but a flyback first stage (or boost back a al spacex) for a medium sized system, why not? Not Ariane 6 which will be expendable anyway, but Ariane 7, which is 30 years away.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/02/2013 06:29 am
They will loose lift capacity with Ariane 6.
It would seem to be cheaper to just do small upgrades to Ariane 5 over time to lower it's cost while keeping ESA's medium lift capacity.
This has been answered a number of times now in the Ariane 6 discussion threads: ESA and Arianespace have no further need for the big lifting capacity of Ariane 5 after ATV stops flying. Dual-launch of comm-sats is, in the long term, not a valid reason to keep Ariane 5 going. Single launch is deemed to be more cost-effective. With the necessity (of launching 20+ metric tons to LEO and 10+ metric tons to GTO) gone, the next launcher will be smaller in terms of lifting capacity.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: RocketmanUS on 05/02/2013 07:29 pm
They will loose lift capacity with Ariane 6.
It would seem to be cheaper to just do small upgrades to Ariane 5 over time to lower it's cost while keeping ESA's medium lift capacity.
This has been answered a number of times now in the Ariane 6 discussion threads: ESA and Arianespace have no further need for the big lifting capacity of Ariane 5 after ATV stops flying. Dual-launch of comm-sats is, in the long term, not a valid reason to keep Ariane 5 going. Single launch is deemed to be more cost-effective. With the necessity (of launching 20+ metric tons to LEO and 10+ metric tons to GTO) gone, the next launcher will be smaller in terms of lifting capacity.
I know they want to go down to a single payload per launch. However this may not lower cost and would remove their med lift for future use.

They should be looking into ways to lower the cost of the Ariane 5. Ariane 5 ME is said it could lower cost by 20% and also increase it's payload mass to orbit.
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2013/03/11/a-closer-look-at-ariane-6/

After Ariane 5 ME they should be looking into fly back boosters and reusable throttleable Vulcain engines.

By the time Ariane 6 is to fly they could find that they need to Ariane 5 lift capacity and that Ariane 6 would not have lowered the costs.

They can launch single primary payloads on Ariane 5 and with the extra capacity launch secondary payloads. Secondary payloads would have to meet the launch requirements of the primary payload ( launch date and orbit ).

 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 05/03/2013 01:13 pm
Have you even read the first lines? Ariane is about assuring access to space to European national missions. That does includes GTO because of military comm and weather satellites. But it's mostly on Soyuz range to LEO and escape. Buying Soyuz is not assuring access to space. thus Ariane 6. Nothing else.
Is very basic really and can't understand why you can't follow the logical consequence of a stated policy. Do you want to put into question the logic of such policy? Great, start a thread on "Does ESA really needs to assure european mission access to space or should it work on a RLV instead?", or whatever you want to question.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: RocketmanUS on 05/03/2013 05:21 pm
Have you even read the first lines? Ariane is about assuring access to space to European national missions. That does includes GTO because of military comm and weather satellites. But it's mostly on Soyuz range to LEO and escape. Buying Soyuz is not assuring access to space. thus Ariane 6. Nothing else.
Is very basic really and can't understand why you can't follow the logical consequence of a stated policy. Do you want to put into question the logic of such policy? Great, start a thread on "Does ESA really needs to assure european mission access to space or should it work on a RLV instead?", or whatever you want to question.
Ariane 5 ME is were they are headed now and should be. As the single payloads grow in mass they will need more than Ariane 6 could provide. Ariane 5 could be made to launch as cheap as Ariane 6 was expected to.

If they want a Soyuz payload class vehicle of their own then they only need to replace the SRB's and core with a new core. Three Vulcain engines on the 1st stage should do the job with two of them to drop off in flight like the Atlas rocket did with it's engines. This would have no SRB's however still use the same US, fairing and Vulcain engine. Would need a taller 1st stage for the added propellants. The engine mount would flare out like the Atlas did with the two extra engines. Same personnel could handle this launch vehicle too on a new pad.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/04/2013 06:34 am
Have you even read the first lines? Ariane is about assuring access to space to European national missions. That does includes GTO because of military comm and weather satellites. But it's mostly on Soyuz range to LEO and escape. Buying Soyuz is not assuring access to space. thus Ariane 6. Nothing else.
Is very basic really and can't understand why you can't follow the logical consequence of a stated policy. Do you want to put into question the logic of such policy? Great, start a thread on "Does ESA really needs to assure european mission access to space or should it work on a RLV instead?", or whatever you want to question.
Ariane 5 ME is were they are headed now and should be. As the single payloads grow in mass they will need more than Ariane 6 could provide. Ariane 5 could be made to launch as cheap as Ariane 6 was expected to.

If they want a Soyuz payload class vehicle of their own then they only need to replace the SRB's and core with a new core. Three Vulcain engines on the 1st stage should do the job with two of them to drop off in flight like the Atlas rocket did with it's engines. This would have no SRB's however still use the same US, fairing and Vulcain engine. Would need a taller 1st stage for the added propellants. The engine mount would flare out like the Atlas did with the two extra engines. Same personnel could handle this launch vehicle too on a new pad.

Single payload mass is still growing, but only barely. Within this decade most comm-sats (the primary 'secondary' payloads for Ariane) will almost all switch to ion drives. The result will be rather substantial decreases in payload mass. As a result: within 10 to 12 years there will be no further need for an ESA-sponsored big-lift launcher like Ariane 5.

You can shower this thread with hypothetical Ariane-5 derived launcher concepts, but that will be a wasted effort. ESA, the agency supplying the money for Ariane development, has it's course firmly set towards Ariane 5 ME (the final version of Ariane 5) and Ariane 6. What you think of that is of no interest to the people running the show in Paris. So, any further discussion about what ESA/CNES/Arianespace should do or should not do is futile.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: koroljow on 05/04/2013 07:41 am
Sorry if I missed this point in the ongoing discussion:
Ariane 5 is doing 5 to 6 launches per year. Launching approx. 10 ComSats to GEO. How do they want to keep this market share with Ariane 6 single launch capacity? 10 Ariane launches per year + Soyuz + Vega?! They would need much shorter turn around times. And there were reports that the CSG range takes to much time to be reconfigured for one of those different rockets. Maybe two Ariane 6 launchpads? Kourou has seen some busy years with Ariane 4 (up to 11 launches per year). But can they do this again with the new mixed fleet?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 05/04/2013 01:15 pm
Sorry if I missed this point in the ongoing discussion:
Ariane 5 is doing 5 to 6 launches per year. Launching approx. 10 ComSats to GEO. How do they want to keep this market share with Ariane 6 single launch capacity?

They don't, as securing this market share in the future will be impossible due to increased competition. As has been repeated many times above the whole point of this exercise is that Ariane 5 will no longer be viable in such a crowded marketplace, and so indigenous European access to space for payloads larger than Vega can provide will be at risk. Ariane 6 can survive on much smaller market share.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: koroljow on 05/04/2013 02:08 pm
Quote
Ariane 6 can survive on much smaller market share.
So they won't even try to compete with SpaceX, CGWIC, ILS...? They take what they can get because of their good reputation. If this is Europe's strategy Ariane will end like Delta and Atlas. Out of competition. Home carrier for governmental / institutional payloads. That's even worse than I thought.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: arkaska on 05/04/2013 06:35 pm
So they won't even try to compete with SpaceX, CGWIC, ILS...? They take what they can get because of their good reputation. If this is Europe's strategy Ariane will end like Delta and Atlas. Out of competition. Home carrier for governmental / institutional payloads. That's even worse than I thought.

Who said they won't try? They are just being realistic and know they won't be able to keep a 50% market-share.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: koroljow on 05/04/2013 08:37 pm
Quote
Who said they won't try? They are just being realistic and know they won't be able to keep a 50% market-share.
Sorry, but my English isn't good enough to discuss this in detail.

I think the current situation is such that Arianespace has problems to find matching payloads for their Ariane 5 double launch strategy. And in the future? If they get more payloads than anticipated they will have a problem to launch them. Recent Proton and Zenit failures, development issues with the new CZ-5. And Falcon 9 v1.1 still has to show it's commercial potential. It's anything but safe that Ariane's market-share will decline so much.
That said I hope that even with Ariane 6 they will be a strong competitor. But I have my doubts.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/06/2013 07:45 am
Quote
Ariane 6 can survive on much smaller market share.
So they won't even try to compete with SpaceX, CGWIC, ILS...? They take what they can get because of their good reputation. If this is Europe's strategy Ariane will end like Delta and Atlas. Out of competition. Home carrier for governmental / institutional payloads. That's even worse than I thought.
No, it isn't. You seem to be forgetting that the first - and foremost - reason for existence for Ariane is guaranteed independent European access to space. This is leading. Even if Ariane was not performing commercial launches, the launcher infrastructure and industrial organization would still be maintained by the ESA member states. Launching comm-sats in a competitive market is only a means to reduce the amount of money that ESA has to pour into maintaining the launcher infrastructure and industry.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/06/2013 08:09 am
Quote
Who said they won't try? They are just being realistic and know they won't be able to keep a 50% market-share.
Sorry, but my English isn't good enough to discuss this in detail.

I think the current situation is such that Arianespace has problems to find matching payloads for their Ariane 5 double launch strategy. And in the future? If they get more payloads than anticipated they will have a problem to launch them. Recent Proton and Zenit failures, development issues with the new CZ-5. And Falcon 9 v1.1 still has to show it's commercial potential. It's anything but safe that Ariane's market-share will decline so much.
That said I hope that even with Ariane 6 they will be a strong competitor. But I have my doubts.
This may sound a little strange, but customers usually do not run away from their launch provider if the latter has a failure every now-and-then. If the customers would run away to the competition as soon as a launch provider has a failure, then Arianespace would have no customers at all. Remember that the inaugural launches of both Ariane 5G and Ariane 5ECA were catastrophic failures. Yet, Ariane 5 now holds a near 50% market share.
And customers do not run away in masses from ILS because Proton suffers an occasional failure. One would imagine that SeaLaunch is the rare exception. Well, it isn't. It was not so much the launch failures at SeaLaunch, but the fact that it went thru bankruptcy.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: koroljow on 05/06/2013 08:09 pm
@woods170
I know you have far more insight and information on this topic than I will ever have. But the future is always difficult to see. Of course most ComSat companies do prefer one ore another launch provider and don't run away after each mishap. But on the other side they have to get their birds launched on time. If Ariane or Proton would be out of business, let's say for more than a year, some customers would think about alternatives. And if there is no Ariane 6 launch opportunity for many month some could do the same. Especially if the competitor is offering the launch for less and is gaining reputation (probably the case with SpaceX and/or CGWIC). But you are right - it's unlikely that Arianespace will suffer from a to long backlog. I was only wondering if this could become a problem.

On the other hand I'm not convinced that the ESA members are willing to support the independent European access to space at any cost. Since the beginning of ELDO and Ariane there have been voices saying that it would be more economical to let others do the job. Even the US DoD is doing their communication via Chinese satellites. Provocative question: does Europe really need it's own launcher (I think yes, but...)?
France is trying to secure jobs in it's national aerospace industry. Germany, too. But if we can't get out of the current economic crisis some politicians could start thinking about cutting all those highly subsidized aerospace programs (like Britain axed it's aerospace industry in the 60ies). And than the Ariane program could be in danger of starving to death.

Again - I'm a great supporter of all European spaceflight activities. But I fear that Arianespace will see difficult times. And the Ariane 5 vs. Ariane 6 decision could be crucial. Ariane 4 has been the key to success. What Ariane 6 will be remembered?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 05/17/2013 05:21 pm
So they won't even try to compete with SpaceX, CGWIC, ILS...? They take what they can get because of their good reputation. If this is Europe's strategy Ariane will end like Delta and Atlas. Out of competition. Home carrier for governmental / institutional payloads. That's even worse than I thought.

Who said they won't try? They are just being realistic and know they won't be able to keep a 50% market-share.

Real time satellite reconnaissance next is the big thing .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Proponent on 05/19/2013 10:44 am
Quote from: simonbp
Really, the only way to make the economics work out is do the Soyuz route, buy a foreign rocket and resell it.

There will be a european rocket anyway, for strategic reasons, either by continuing Ariane 5 or a new Ariane 6. Competing with spacex/russians may be difficult, but I guess by designing a low-cost system they can get close and the rest will be taken care of by a subsidy to achieve a reasonable launch rate.

I agree.  I suspect the reason they've chosen to rely heavily on monolithic solids for Ariane 6 is to maximize synergies with missiles, the infrastructure for which they're going to be paying for anyway.  Ariane 6 will probably have a low flight rate, and this is likely the cheapest way to maintain a medium-lift capability under those conditions.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: bolun on 05/24/2013 07:59 pm
With Ariane 6 Launch Site Selected, CNES Expects To Freeze Design of the New Rocket in July

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35469with-ariane-6-launch-site-selected-cnes-expects-to-freeze-design-of-the#.UZ_Fwx6bvMw
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: jacqmans on 05/25/2013 10:15 am
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/25/2013 08:39 pm
Quote from: Proponent
I agree.  I suspect the reason they've chosen to rely heavily on monolithic solids for Ariane 6 is to maximize synergies with missiles, the infrastructure for which they're going to be paying for anyway.

There is no significant synergy with missiles, AFAIK.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 05/26/2013 04:06 pm
The stick rises again :-\
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 05/27/2013 06:31 pm
So, they went with Soyuz style pads because they had that quarry that made it "cheap" and fast? I could see how that could give a big advantage tu such a pad design.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: antriksh on 05/28/2013 03:11 am
Excerpt from an interview of Jean-Yves Le Gall given to Indian newspaper

At CNES what innovations are you looking at in terms of low-cost access to space — which is a common concern of space agencies — and technologies related to spacecraft?

I think low-cost is the new frontier of space technology. Until now most of our projects were technology driven. There is clamour worldwide in favour of projects which are cost driven. This is why France started to think about the next generation of Ariane launch vehicles [to address this need].

We are now working on the next launch vehicle, the Ariane 6. The first flight is slated for 2020. This launcher will be defined as a low-cost approach whereas Ariane 5 is defined as technology driven.

Ariane 6 will be smaller than Ariane 5 and will launch six-tonne payloads to the GTO [geostationary transfer orbit] — which is about half of Ariane-5’s capability.

We hope the price tag will be less than half of Ariane 5. We plan to decrease launch price by 20 to 50 per cent compared to current launch prices.

On the satellite side, in Europe (European space agencies) and France we are investing a lot in electrical propulsion in order to have three communication satellites which will be smaller, less expensive to launch and with better performance. The programme is called NEOSAT. The huge R&D programme was decided at the gathering of European Ministers which took place in Naples last November.

source: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/isrocnes-taking-the-next-steps-together/article4757036.ece
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/28/2013 06:02 am
And there you have it: confirmation from the horse's mouth: ESA and CNES expect the weight of satellites to go down, thanks to electrical propulsion. Not in the least because they are actively steering in that direction themselves with the mentioned R&D program. And hence the reason why a 10+ metric tons to GTO launcher is no longer needed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 05/28/2013 06:14 am
Yea, and that of course makes it worthwhile to spend more money than you could ever spend on flying the 10+ metric tons launcher for the development of a smaller one.

When will you ever understand that the stuff these people say in interviews has absolutely nothing to do with their real motivations?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/28/2013 05:08 pm
The stick rises again :-\
Ariane 6 and Ares I/Liberty are substantially different.  The main difference is the use of two serial solid stages rather than only one.  That shrinks the required mass of the rocket, and especially of the cryogenic upper stage, reducing upper stage thrust requirements and therefore cost.  Other differences include the use of monolithic rather then segmented solid motors, composites rather than steel casings, and more efficient propellant. 

An Ares I designed like an Ariane 6 would have been a much better rocket.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 05/28/2013 05:46 pm
Technically, I think that the move to electric propulsion will reset the weight growth trend, but it won't stop it. What I mean, is that we'll see more birds with closer to 100 transponders, and they'll try to make them 200W. Also, the total power of the satellites is growing, too. What happens is that SEP allow to do a one time elimination of about 40% of the launch weight.
Thus, the move to SEP might move current 6t birds to 3.5t, but they'll will keep growing till 6t SEP in the next 15 years. You know those GSO slots are more crowded than ever and smaller CPE is a marketing need.
Thus, the overall strategy of ESA wrt GSO industry development (both sats and launchers) seems consistent and reasonable. It does make a bet, that SEP will be standard. But it would appear that it has very good odds.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/28/2013 07:59 pm
Yea, and that of course makes it worthwhile to spend more money than you could ever spend on flying the 10+ metric tons launcher for the development of a smaller one.

When will you ever understand that the stuff these people say in interviews has absolutely nothing to do with their real motivations?

It was expected that the weight-of-comsats-is-going-down argument would eventually be used by ESA and CNES officials to justify the rationale behind Ariane 6. And that is exactly what has now happened. That however does not mean that these are the REAL reasons behind the choice for Ariane 6. And I never stated as such.

Other than that I think you are slightly paranoid.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/28/2013 08:03 pm
The stick rises again :-\
Ariane 6 and Ares I/Liberty are substantially different.  The main difference is the use of two serial solid stages rather than only one.  That shrinks the required mass of the rocket, and especially of the cryogenic upper stage, reducing upper stage thrust requirements and therefore cost.  Other differences include the use of monolithic rather then segmented solid motors, composites rather than steel casings, and more efficient propellant. 

An Ares I designed like an Ariane 6 would have been a much better rocket.

 - Ed Kyle

It should be obvious to even floss that Ariane 6 and Ares I have absolutely nothing in common. Kudos to Ed for helping floss see the light.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 05/28/2013 08:28 pm
I don't think I'm paranoid just because I don't think there are economic reasons for Ariane 6. Granted, I would not rule out those decision makers even BELIEVE they would have economic reasons for it because it you are exposed to this bureaucratic reasoning for long enough it kind of starts to make sense to you.

All my friends who work for these useless EU money sinks actually think what they do has any value, too....
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/29/2013 07:06 am
I don't think I'm paranoid just because I don't think there are economic reasons for Ariane 6. Granted, I would not rule out those decision makers even BELIEVE they would have economic reasons for it because it IF you are exposed to this bureaucratic reasoning for long enough it kind of starts to make sense to you.
<snip>

There... fixed that for ya.
One of my sources tells me that there are people inside both ESA and CNES that do not actually believe in the economic rationale for Ariane 6.  ::)

Quote
We hope the price tag will be less than half of Ariane 5.

Nice slip-of-the-tongue there by mr. Le Gall.
In short: nothing is set in stone with respect to the cost and pricing of Ariane 6. ESA and CNES are aiming at cutting cost in half but there is no guarantee that such goal will actually be met.

On a side note (and I'm starting to sound like a broken record by now): the main reason for Ariane 6 existence is not economic, but political. The economic argument is more-or-less a smoke screen.
With political reasons being the main driver behind the existence of Ariane 6 (and every other Ariane version before it), it is illogical to waste time discussing the economics of any Ariane version.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 05/29/2013 10:14 am
LH2 core stages are going out of fashion.

Solids and kerosene are taking over. Better fuel density, less tank, warmer temps.

Less tank seems to be a very good thing.

LH2 is still the best upper stage propellant.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/29/2013 04:26 pm
Quote
With political reasons being the main driver behind the existence of Ariane 6 (and every other Ariane version before it), it is illogical to waste time discussing the economics of any Ariane version.

Umm...what? ESA members have to finance the Ariane 6 program, and whether that happens is still uncertain and likely depends on cost estimates. It could very well be that A5 ME gets the go-ahead and A6 is postponed.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/29/2013 05:57 pm
Quote
With political reasons being the main driver behind the existence of Ariane 6 (and every other Ariane version before it), it is illogical to waste time discussing the economics of any Ariane version.

Umm...what? ESA members have to finance the Ariane 6 program, and whether that happens is still uncertain and likely depends on cost estimates. It could very well be that A5 ME gets the go-ahead and A6 is postponed.



Yeah, that is a possible scenario. And it will have nothing to do with Ariane 6 exploitation economics, but everything with politics and, at best, Ariane 6 development economics. Even if in 2014 the ESA member states decide not to go into full development of Ariane 6 just yet, it will at the next ministerial conference after that. CNES and France are simply too powerful for the rest of ESA to block them off. Ariane 6 has gotten a preliminary "GO" in the last ministerial conference. With the full weight of France (not the mention the involved industries) behind Ariane 6, the "GO" for full development will mostly be a formality, regardless of what development is gonna cost.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/31/2013 06:38 am
The discussion about solid versus liquid has entered a new chapter with this most recent development:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35546europe-urged-to-halt-work-on-%E2%80%98dead-end-ariane-6-design#.UahCkJFrMrs (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35546europe-urged-to-halt-work-on-%E2%80%98dead-end-ariane-6-design#.UahCkJFrMrs)

Quote
Europe Urged To Halt Work on ‘Dead End' Ariane 6 Design

Europe’s Air & Space Academy says the French and European space agencies are moving in the wrong direction on the future Ariane 6 rocket and should delay development in favor of a redesign that provides more growth potential.

The academy is urging the agencies to stop work on the Ariane 6 they approved in November with a view to beginning full development in 2014. The academy-favored rocket would use liquid propulsion instead of solid, and would face four more years of preparatory work before moving to full development in 2018.

In the meantime, the academy says, Europe should focus on an upgraded heavy-lift Ariane 5 that would fly for a decade before both it and the Europeanized version of Russia’s medium-lift Soyuz rocket are replaced by the all-liquid Ariane 6 in 2027. This rocket, called Ariane 5 ME, has been in design for several years. Continued work on it was approved, alongside Ariane 6, at the November meeting of European Space Agency (ESA) governments.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 05/31/2013 09:00 am
"Solids it is"  ;D

"But liquids are better"  ???

"Who cares?"  ::)

Where have I heard this story before?  :P
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 05/31/2013 09:21 am
The important part of this call is not the "solid vs. liquid" thing, it's the "wait" aspect.

I'm not convinced that that Ariane 6 _design_ is necessarily bad. However, to start the development _now_ is a completely ridiculous move. If they do 5ME (and that looks more or less like a given), they will be fine in the market for the next 10 years.
During that time, the market will change, we do already know that now. However, what we don't know is how successful NewSpace will be, what their price point will be and whether they have an impact on payload size growth/non-growth.

ESA is in no position to have to immediately react, Arianespace won't lose all market share at and instant and the current portfolio gives them all assured access they could ever want.
After the big changes settle down a bit you know what you've got to shoot for and can make an informed decision, they can afford to wait for that.

Shooting for a new launcher right now, however, will almost certainly leave you in a situation where, having developed it, you will see that one or the other development has been different than you expected. While you can never completely avoid that, right now looks like an especially bad time to make a decision.

SpaceX have had to revise their strategy a few times and are not yet in the market, if and how other entrants follow remains to be seen, this is not the time to start a completely new development.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/31/2013 09:52 am
"Solids it is"  ;D

"But liquids are better"  ???

"Who cares?"  ::)

Where have I heard this story before?  :P

Nice recap! Basically says it all.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/31/2013 10:02 am
The important part of this call is not the "solid vs. liquid" thing, it's the "wait" aspect.

I'm not convinced that that Ariane 6 _design_ is necessarily bad. However, to start the development _now_ is a completely ridiculous move. If they do 5ME (and that looks more or less like a given), they will be fine in the market for the next 10 years.
During that time, the market will change, we do already know that now. However, what we don't know is how successful NewSpace will be, what their price point will be and whether they have an impact on payload size growth/non-growth.

ESA is in no position to have to immediately react, Arianespace won't lose all market share at and instant and the current portfolio gives them all assured access they could ever want.
After the big changes settle down a bit you know what you've got to shoot for and can make an informed decision, they can afford to wait for that.

Shooting for a new launcher right now, however, will almost certainly leave you in a situation where, having developed it, you will see that one or the other development has been different than you expected. While you can never completely avoid that, right now looks like an especially bad time to make a decision.

SpaceX have had to revise their strategy a few times and are not yet in the market, if and how other entrants follow remains to be seen, this is not the time to start a completely new development.

Hmmm, not entirely convinced by this reasoning. You see, ESA and CNES started orienting themselves towards a new launcher as early as 2004, with the kick-off of the FLPP. It's customary to start looking towards future vehicles while your current vehicle has only just begun to fly. For instance: the first outlooks for Ariane 5 were developed when ESA had only barely begun to fly Ariane 2 and Ariane 3.

And then there is the other thing: development time. I'll give an example. Just suppose you postpone development of Ariane 6 for 5 years to see where the market is going. And just suppose you then choose a heavy launcher because satellites stay big and heavy. OK, you then begin development of a heavy launcher. By the time it becomes operational (7 to 10 years after start of development) it turns out the market has changed and now every commsat manufacturer has switched to electric propulsion and satellite weight is steadily going down.

In this example (and an example it is) ESA would still wind up with the wrong launch vehicle. Point is: development times for agency-developed launch vehicles are so long, that there is no guarantee that the resulting vehicle will 'fit' the market. Regardless of it being solid or liquid, or it having been developed now or 5 years from now.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 05/31/2013 02:21 pm
Well, as I said: you will never be able to completely avoid uncertainty.
But right now, during the next 3 or 4 years we will see whether there are more fundamental changes in the business model in the market place. I'm not talking about comsat sizes but the question whether SpaceX and the other NewSpace entrants really find ways to change the cost structure by a factor of more than, say, 1/5th or so.

I doubt it, but if they succeed you will definitely want to learn some lessons from them, also on the processes side (for example, it might result in even more payloads being able to be horizontally integrated; yes, I know most comsats already allow that....). It might also have an impact on payload sizes.

And if they don't succeed, well, then you didn't lose anything else because you just stay competitive.

That you have already started thinking about a new launcher a few years ago doesn't change the fact that right now is a bad moment for decisions.

And here again: regarding development times I believe everybody has already seen that in _this_ respect NewSpace is not faster than everybody else but maybe even slower so that doesn't add any hurry, A5ME will be competitive for quite a while.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/31/2013 04:15 pm
We know the French are in favor of the Ariane 6. What does the Germans think of this new launcher, especially since they will fund most of it. Does the Bundestag get a veto on new launcher development if they refuse to put up the cash?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kch on 05/31/2013 04:28 pm
"Solids it is"  ;D

"But liquids are better"  ???

"Who cares?"  ::)

Where have I heard this story before?  :P

Nice recap! Basically says it all.

'Twere ever thus ...


... you will never be able to completely avoid uncertainty.

That much is certain.   ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 05/31/2013 05:15 pm
We know the French are in favor of the Ariane 6. What does the Germans think of this new launcher, especially since they will fund most of it. Does the Bundestag get a veto on new launcher development if they refuse to put up the cash?

It has been more or less a complete non-issue so far in German media. On the technical side, the Germans traditionally haven't been much in favor of solids.

Regarding the funding: all funds going to ESA have to be approved per purpose so yes, each parliament in countries paying for this will have to agree.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 05/31/2013 06:32 pm
The French will probably foot half the bill so they can call it a French rocket.

Otherwise it is up to the commissioners.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/01/2013 10:19 pm
Attached is an interesting new document I found. To quote from the intro:

"..concept dubbed ANGELA (A New GEneration LAuncher) is a study financed with funds of the German Ministry of Economics and managed by the DLR Space Administration. The project, which started in the summer of 2012 aims at designing a low cost versatile launcher able to place payloads between 2 and 5 tons into GTO."

There are 3 concepts (numbers denote mass in tons), upper stage with Vinci:

H110 with 2-6 P36 - H29
Core stage with two Vulcain 2 and up to 6 boosters attached.

H90 with 2-6 P34 - H24
Core stage with new 1800kN (vac) staged combustion engine and up to 6 boosters.

2-3 P120 - P120 - H23
Resembles the CNES Ariane 6 design, but P120 instead of P135. Just like in the CNES design, solids will be "strictly identical" (which was new to me, I thought they may have different nozzles and/or thrust profiles).


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/02/2013 02:04 am
What a ridiculous name
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/02/2013 05:22 pm
What a ridiculous name

The current German Chancellor might be in favor of the name.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/02/2013 05:42 pm
She's a scientist, I'm pretty sure she'll find that kind of "naming for compliments" ridiculous, too.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/02/2013 06:06 pm

Must be german humor, at least they didn't name it Adolf.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/02/2013 06:13 pm
THAT would have been English humor then, nowadays ;)
And Germans don't have any humor.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 06/02/2013 06:13 pm
The stick rises again :-\
Ariane 6 and Ares I/Liberty are substantially different.  The main difference is the use of two serial solid stages rather than only one.  That shrinks the required mass of the rocket, and especially of the cryogenic upper stage, reducing upper stage thrust requirements and therefore cost.  Other differences include the use of monolithic rather then segmented solid motors, composites rather than steel casings, and more efficient propellant. 

An Ares I designed like an Ariane 6 would have been a much better rocket.

 - Ed Kyle

Thanks Ed KYLE that was just my point bet the same engineers worked on both.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/03/2013 01:36 am

So I looked at the H-IIA design and I find that quite interesting actually.

The first stage SC engine could be replaced with a scaled down Vulcain 2 engine, hopefully at lower cost.

The boosters could be scaled down P80s from vega.

The upper stage would be powered by vinci, naturally.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: cheesybagel on 06/03/2013 02:25 am
So basically the head of Arianespace hopes Ariane 6 will have less than half the cost per launch of Ariane 5. But the thing is Ariane 6 is supposed to have half the payload of Ariane 5. I would be willing to bet Ariane 6 will not cost less per pound than Ariane 5. Quite the opposite. Especially after the R&D costs and launch pad construction costs are included into the price. If there is one constant in this sector is that the launch costs are never as cheap as originally advertised.

Also their justification for canning Ariane 5 is that dual-launch is no longer possible because comsats are too getting too heavy for dual launch. But for Ariane 6 they claim that 6.5t payload makes sense because comsats will be getting lighter because of solar-electric propulsion. What?

I would just keep the current Ariane 5 improvement program, work on a heavier version of Vega to replace Soyuz, and put the rest of the money into R&D for a staged combustion first-stage engine. This way liquid engine know-how would be supported for the foreseeable future and the technology could eventually be reused for a future RLV.

The other option is to do like the Japanese and work on expander-bleed cycle engines for the first stage. Those should also have fairly good reusability characteristics and high ISP.

It seems the head of Arianespace got the wrong idea from SpaceX and Orbital. He seems to think they are not technologically driven. However the reality is that SpaceX uses much more modern stage construction techniques than Ariane 5 while Orbital uses staged-combustion engines in Antares.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 06/03/2013 09:17 pm
With Vega to prototype solid rocket improvements cost effectively Ariane 6 makes a lot of sense . Ariane 5 would need a lot of money to progress any further .
A launcher launching 15 to 20 times a year is a lot more cost effective than than one launching 6 times a year.(As mentioned here years ago).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/04/2013 10:59 am
You are at it again. Your post is full of incorrect. I'll attempt to enlighten you.

So basically the head of Arianespace hopes Ariane 6 will have less than half the cost per launch of Ariane 5.
Mr. Le Gall is no longer the head of Arianespace. He has been promoted and is now the head of CNES (the French space agency)

But the thing is Ariane 6 is supposed to have half the payload of Ariane 5. I would be willing to bet Ariane 6 will not cost less per pound than Ariane 5. Quite the opposite. Especially after the R&D costs and launch pad construction costs are included into the price.
Emphasis mine. That's not any different from Ariane 5 and the previous versions. You do not need to highlight that set of costs. They are sunk and not entered in the launch cost. R&D cost, along with infrastructure creation costs have never been factored into the launch price for Ariane. That money is coughed up by ESA member states and is considered sunk by the time the vehicle starts flying.

If there is one constant in this sector is that the launch costs are never as cheap as originally advertised.
Everybody knows that. Why kick in the wide open door?

Also their justification for canning Ariane 5 is that dual-launch is no longer possible because comsats are too getting too heavy for dual launch. But for Ariane 6 they claim that 6.5t payload makes sense because comsats will be getting lighter because of solar-electric propulsion. What?
It's not that black and white. A number of reasons is listed for terminating Ariane 5 use past 2025. Dual-launch (or the impending impossibility thereof) is only one of them. Other reasons are parts obsolescence, aging technology, decreasing competitiveness and the need for constant subsidies. Indeed, one of reasons heavily pushed by ESA and CNES is their 'displeasure' with the fact that Ariane 5 cannot fly with a profit below 7 launches per year.
Ariane 6 will be single-payload launches, meaning it could potentially fly twice as often given the same market numbers. That makes for increased economy-of-scale for the rocket components. The 6.5 ton performance number provides adequate performance margin, that will actually grow as comsats become lighter. But the latter is an (expected) future development, and it is not clear just how strong this development will be by the time Ariane 6 is set to fly for the first time.

I would just keep the current Ariane 5 improvement program, work on a heavier version of Vega to replace Soyuz, and put the rest of the money into R&D for a staged combustion first-stage engine. This way liquid engine know-how would be supported for the foreseeable future and the technology could eventually be reused for a future RLV.
Soyuz has only just begun to fly from Kourou. Why would you wanna do away with it so soon? And Vega would have to be scaled up very substantially to be able to replace Soyuz. It would be an altogether completely new rocket. Such an effort would be a waste of money right now.
RLV? As in Reusable Launch Vehicle? Ahum... ESA and CNES don't do RLV's. First ol' Elon will have to show that RLV's will do anything to revolutionize the launcher market. Not until after that might ESA and CNES do something with RLV's. Every effort right now is on expendable launchers.

It seems the head of Arianespace got the wrong idea from SpaceX and Orbital. He seems to think they are not technologically driven. However the reality is that SpaceX uses much more modern stage construction techniques than Ariane 5 while Orbital uses staged-combustion engines in Antares.
For someone who has never spoken to mr. Le Gall in person you seem to have a remarkable insight into his mistakes.  ::)
Ariane 5 was designed in the early 1990's. Naturally it's stage construction techniques are not as advanced as those employed by SpaceX. And staged combustion engines were not in fashion either when ESA developed Vulcain and Vulcain 2. Linking the technology choices of SpaceX and Orbital to Ariane en then calling the technology behind Ariane 5 antiquated is ridiculous. You are again kicking open a wide open door. Ariane 5 has been flying for 15 years. Falcon 9 and Antares have only just begun. What is even more ridiculous is blaming the current head of CNES for it. Was he supposed to have some magic crystal ball 25 years ago, to see into the present what is being done today? Nuts!

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 06/04/2013 01:17 pm
BTW, SpaceX didn't used significantly more advanced techniques, since Ariane 5 already uses FSW. And they even changed the F9 v1.1 construction method to use the same techniques as the rest. And upto the Merlin 1C, they still used tube wall for the rocket and nozzle, low temperature gas generator and a pintle injector. Everything no more sophisticated than a Vulcain or H7B, but with way easier fuel and some 15 to 20 years later.
In the Antares case, they used a 40 years old Russian engine. You appear to forget that the Ariane program requires it to be developed in Europe. There must be a reason why not everybody uses stage combustion. Specially if you wanted to make your first human rated vehicle. The failure mores of the SC engines are quick and nasty. Gas generator is much better behaved. Not to mention that you don't want to mix first handling of a fuel like H2 with your first staged combustion development.
Have you even read a little about Ariane to make this blanket statements?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 06/04/2013 03:13 pm

Have you even read a little about Ariane to make this blanket statements?
[/quote]

Please tell could you give some good English book references I would greatly appreciate it.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/04/2013 03:41 pm
Well, and now you are doing it again :) Don't justify the nonsense these people speak, whether they are head of something or not.

A number of reasons is listed for terminating Ariane 5 use past 2025. ... Other reasons are ... competitiveness and the need for constant subsidies. Indeed, one of reasons heavily pushed by ESA and CNES is their 'displeasure' with the fact that Ariane 5 cannot fly with a profit below 7 launches per year.

Yes, of course these kinds of arguments are being brought forward. But hey, it must be allowed (at least for me, who is paying all this nonsense with his taxes) to point out that these are completely ridiculous and - again- nonsensical arguments.

"Hey, let's spend another 4 or 5 billion Euros, maybe it allows us to get rid of these 120 million Euros of subsidies we'd have to spend each year. Heck, after a little more than 40 years that will already have paid off!"

And we both know they won't succeed with their goal.

They are saying these kind of things because a) the bureaucracies in Europe really think like that ("That's different money... one is an investment and the other is a subsidy". I've seen it in other places, too) and because they believe people are dumb enough to believe them. WRT mass media they are probably correct with the latter statement.

Oh, and I don't believe the likes of Mr. Le Gall actually _believe_ this. The real reaosns for their action are simply not the ones being brought forward publicly.
They want to develop that rocket and now they look for arguments to justify it, it's as simple as that. You don't even have to read, even less reiterate all these statements they make, they aren't worth the bytes they are stored in.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/04/2013 08:36 pm
Quote from: cheesybagel
However the reality is that SpaceX uses much more modern stage construction techniques than Ariane 5 while Orbital uses staged-combustion engines in Antares.

Vulcain 2 is basically a second stage engine. Staged combustion is worth it when the engine must deliver high efficiency at low altitudes.

For the liquid version of Ariane 6 a new first stage engine would be staged combustion.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 06/04/2013 09:27 pm
Ariane 5 is limited to 12 tons to Geo without an expensive new core and new boosters .Hence the development of a 7 ton Geo launcher .
A new launchpad built by Guyanese workers  which helps the french hold onto their colony is always a good idea.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/05/2013 07:41 am
Well, and now you are doing it again :) Don't justify the nonsense these people speak, whether they are head of something or not.

I refer to an earlier statement with regards to that attitude of yours. Some of the justifications that people like mr. Le Gall use are indeed smoke screens. But some others are actually, believe it or not, valid reasons.
You wishing not to believe that, says a lot more about you, than it does about people like mr. Le Gall.

A number of reasons is listed for terminating Ariane 5 use past 2025. ... Other reasons are ... competitiveness and the need for constant subsidies. Indeed, one of reasons heavily pushed by ESA and CNES is their 'displeasure' with the fact that Ariane 5 cannot fly with a profit below 7 launches per year.

Yes, of course these kinds of arguments are being brought forward. But hey, it must be allowed (at least for me, who is paying all this nonsense with his taxes) to point out that these are completely ridiculous and - again- nonsensical arguments.

"Hey, let's spend another 4 or 5 billion Euros, maybe it allows us to get rid of these 120 million Euros of subsidies we'd have to spend each year. Heck, after a little more than 40 years that will already have paid off!"

And we both know they won't succeed with their goal.

They are saying these kind of things because a) the bureaucracies in Europe really think like that ("That's different money... one is an investment and the other is a subsidy". I've seen it in other places, too) and because they believe people are dumb enough to believe them. WRT mass media they are probably correct with the latter statement.

Oh, and I don't believe the likes of Mr. Le Gall actually _believe_ this. The real reaosns for their action are simply not the ones being brought forward publicly.
They want to develop that rocket and now they look for arguments to justify it, it's as simple as that. You don't even have to read, even less reiterate all these statements they make, they aren't worth the bytes they are stored in.

Emphasis mine.
Yes, they actuallly are. You see, only a handfull of people really care about this business. You and I are two examples of such people. The vast majority of people in the ESA member states couldn't care less about launchers. Yet, all of them pay their share for financing the Ariane series of launchers (thru taxes). So, the reasons & justifications that are made public by CNES and ESA are of importance, regardless of them being the truth or a smoke screen. They are of importance simply because the vast majority of people will blindly accept those reasons as being the truth. It is for that reason, and that reason only, that you cannot simply dismiss those reasons - given by ESA and CNES - as being (possibly) false.
Truth is relative. Truth is what the vast majority of people believe to be the truth.

But this has gotten off-topic. I suggest we return to discussing Ariane 6, before the off-topic sherrif rears it's (unseen) head here.  8)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/05/2013 02:02 pm
Le Gall use are indeed smoke screens. But some others are actually, believe it or not, valid reasons.
You wishing not to believe that, says a lot more about you, than it does about people like mr. Le Gall.

Well, I never meant to say that _all_ the reasons Mr. Le Gall and others put forward are just smoke and mirrors but since not in all cases the wrong ones are as obvious as the money argument you never really know. So you have to take all their statements with a grain of salt and not believe that something is eternal truth, just because somebody in an official position has said this and that.

Quote
They are of importance simply because the vast majority of people will blindly accept those reasons as being the truth.
...
Truth is what the vast majority of people believe to be the truth.
No, I don't think that's the case. The majority of the people, at least here in Germany, nowadays thinks that everybody in an official position in a European organization is either corrupt or a liar or a slacker or all of the above. There is zero trust in European institutions left which is a serious issue because they are important (and because obviously not everybody in these institutions really is that bad). And behavior like holding up smoke and mirrors about the reasons why you want to spend billions of Euros of other people's money is exactly the reason for that attitude among people. Why it is so bad they do it.
Officials often underestimate the damage they do to their profession with that behavior because they only see their tactical rationale and no longer see what strategic impacts it has.

I don't know Mr. Le Gall in person but I know others in similar positions and they often simply don't see why people don't understand what they do because the whole circle they move in - including the media surrounding them - is so removed from the rest of the world.

Quote
But this has gotten off-topic. I suggest we return to discussing Ariane 6, before the off-topic sherrif rears it's (unseen) head here.  8)
Well, it is very much on topic for Ariane 6. Because _I_ honestly believe that the main reason for the existence of the Ariane 6 program is that CNES and Mr. Le Gall want a nice launch vehicle development program. There is even some validity in that reasoning, me thinks, because _one_ goal of the whole European space program is to develop and keep technological expertise and you don't do that (in all areas) by just flying existing vehicles, you also have to keep development programs or one day the last person actually having developed a new launcher has left and then a lot of competencies go to the bin.
But that's not yet a real issue, we still have the 5ME program so we could as well wait until that's done before starting a new full-scale development.
And you know what? I bet that's exactly what we will eventually see.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 06/06/2013 03:35 pm
But that's not yet a real issue, we still have the 5ME program so we could as well wait until that's done before starting a new full-scale development.
And you know what? I bet that's exactly what we will eventually see.

Of course, by the time 5ME is ready, the entire launch market may look radically different.

If I were investing money in a development program, I'd be spending it on a two-stage-to-GEO rocket with a reusable first stage. That seems to be the design that the commercial development programs are converging towards, both SpaceX, Blue Origin, and probably several others that are in stealth mode. Those are the vehicles that Ariane 6 will be competing against, and a giant flying tire fire is going to look rather primitive.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/06/2013 05:28 pm
^

Ok, reality check:

NASA/DoD have given up RLV plans (the latest victim being the Reusable Booster System), Russia has too, at least for now. The only serious contender with reusability plans is SpaceX, but they are still at the very beginning and whether they succeed technically and economically is uncertain, to put it mildly.

In any case I think its sensible to just wait a few years. A5 ME will do fine.


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 06/06/2013 05:40 pm
A new launchpad built by Guyanese workers  which helps the french hold onto their colony is always a good idea.

French Guyana is not a French colony. It is a part of our country.

The launch pads built in CSG are essentially NOT built by Guyanese workers.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/06/2013 05:58 pm
But that's not yet a real issue, we still have the 5ME program so we could as well wait until that's done before starting a new full-scale development.
And you know what? I bet that's exactly what we will eventually see.

Of course, by the time 5ME is ready, the entire launch market may look radically different.

If I were investing money in a development program, I'd be spending it on a two-stage-to-GEO rocket with a reusable first stage. That seems to be the design that the commercial development programs are converging towards, both SpaceX, Blue Origin, and probably several others that are in stealth mode. Those are the vehicles that Ariane 6 will be competing against, and a giant flying tire fire is going to look rather primitive.

Well, most importantly: we don't know that, yet.
SpaceX doesn't exactly look promising in the commercial market so far, with their endless delays, underperformance and cost increases. They still have to launch their first GEO Comsat, it will certainly not happen this year and I have strong doubts about next year, too.
And technically, the likes of SpaceX and Blue Origin could not be further apart, Orbital still plans to burn a lot of tires, so I don't see any "convergence" towards a single concept.
Others who are still in stealth mode are mainly irrelevant, they won't show up on the market within the next decade.

But that's the point: right now, Ariane 5 is very competitive and 5ME will keep that advantage. And if one of the NewSpace entrants manages to find the holy grail of better efficiency you'd better wait and see what that actually is.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/07/2013 06:25 am
But that's the point: right now, Ariane 5 is very competitive and 5ME will keep that advantage. And if one of the NewSpace entrants manages to find the holy grail of better efficiency you'd better wait and see what that actually is.

Ariane 5 is competative only because it is supported with an average of 120 million Euros in taxpayers money... each year.
Ariane 5 offers good value for money (not VERY good, because it is an expensive launcher, even with the subsidies), and very good reliability. That's why it is so popular. Take the subsidy away and value-to-money ratio becomes less attractive.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 06/07/2013 07:57 am
But that's the point: right now, Ariane 5 is very competitive and 5ME will keep that advantage. And if one of the NewSpace entrants manages to find the holy grail of better efficiency you'd better wait and see what that actually is.

Ariane 5 is competative only because it is supported with an average of 120 million Euros in taxpayers money... each year.
Ariane 5 offers good value for money (not VERY good, because it is an expensive launcher, even with the subsidies), and very good reliability. That's why it is so popular. Take the subsidy away and value-to-money ratio becomes less attractive.

Name a launcher that is not in any way subsidized please...
Ariane just does not try to lie about it. That's the only difference.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: R7 on 06/07/2013 11:04 am
Name a launcher that is not in any way subsidized please...

BA-2 !

Oh wait...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/07/2013 12:27 pm
Ariane 5 is competative only because it is supported with an average of 120 million Euros in taxpayers money... each year.
Which probably isn't more than anybody else in the business is getting. Including SpaceX.
Quote
Ariane 5 offers good value for money (not VERY good, because it is an expensive launcher, even with the subsidies), and very good reliability. That's why it is so popular. Take the subsidy away and value-to-money ratio becomes less attractive.
Well, it's got 50% market share so the value for money can't be tooo bad.
120 mil. a year makes roughly 10 mil per sat, that's not a lot compared to their launch prices.

And compare all that with a 4-5bn€ development program. THAT's a hefty subsidy/cost burden to the tax payer.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 06/07/2013 12:28 pm

Name a launcher that is not in any way subsidized please...
Ariane just does not try to lie about it. That's the only difference.


Bingo.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 06/07/2013 05:32 pm
Ariane 5 is competative only because it is supported with an average of 120 million Euros in taxpayers money... each year.

But these subventions are decreasing year after year.
In 2012, French government (which is the only one who gives subventions to AR5) had to give only 90M€.

This decreasing is due to the reliability of AR5, which implies low insurances. With low insurance prices, Arianespace can increase the launch price without disturbing the customer.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: cheesybagel on 06/08/2013 10:51 pm
Quote from: cheesybagel
However the reality is that SpaceX uses much more modern stage construction techniques than Ariane 5 while Orbital uses staged-combustion engines in Antares.

Vulcain 2 is basically a second stage engine. Staged combustion is worth it when the engine must deliver high efficiency at low altitudes.

For the liquid version of Ariane 6 a new first stage engine would be staged combustion.

This is not 100% true since Ariane 5 uses parallel staging. Vulcain is ignited at liftoff. So low altitude performance actually matters to a degree.
Similar launch systems like the Shuttle, Energia, H-IIA used staged combustion LOX/LH2 engines in a similar configuration. ESA decided against it for Ariane 5 because ESA is really design conservative. In their opinion Europe did not have the technology back then to develop staged combustion engines so they went for a low risk approach. There is nothing wrong with that. Even Delta IV which was developed much later uses gas-generator LOX/LH2. But if you are going to develop a new rocket in Europe with billions of funding in 2013 you better use the best known engine technology currently available. That is staged combustion.

Honestly I do not see the point in providing billions of funding to develop an all solid rocket which provides next to no new technological capabilities to improve access to space.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: cheesybagel on 06/08/2013 11:08 pm
BTW, SpaceX didn't used significantly more advanced techniques, since Ariane 5 already uses FSW. And they even changed the F9 v1.1 construction method to use the same techniques as the rest. And upto the Merlin 1C, they still used tube wall for the rocket and nozzle, low temperature gas generator and a pintle injector. Everything no more sophisticated than a Vulcain or H7B, but with way easier fuel and some 15 to 20 years later.
In the Antares case, they used a 40 years old Russian engine. You appear to forget that the Ariane program requires it to be developed in Europe. There must be a reason why not everybody uses stage combustion. Specially if you wanted to make your first human rated vehicle. The failure mores of the SC engines are quick and nasty. Gas generator is much better behaved. Not to mention that you don't want to mix first handling of a fuel like H2 with your first staged combustion development.
Have you even read a little about Ariane to make this blanket statements?

Its not just about using FSW. SpaceX stage design is a lot lighter improving payload mass fraction. That is the reason SpaceX can have such cheap launch prices using gas-generator LOX/Kerosene engines. The Merlin-1D engine will indeed be further advanced since it uses channel wall nozzle but that is in addition to their existing advantages in stage design.

It is easy to diss the NK-33 engine for being a 40 years old design. But the reality is it is much more technologically advanced than any engine ESA currently has at its disposal. There is nothing "easy" about oxygen rich staged combustion LOX/Kerosene. Why do you think the US, the currently leading space power, bought from Russia licenses to manufacture both the RD-180 and the NK-33?

There has been investment in staged combustion in Europe at the demonstrator or concept design level. There is currently no investment in actual prototype or launcher designs. In my opinion there should be.

I have nothing against the Ariane 5 design. It was great back then and contrary to what the people at CNES and elsewhere seem to believe I think it can fly for another 1-2 decades. I am just pointing out that if a new launcher is to be developed it should use leading edge liquid engine technology. The argument for solids is that it will be cheaper but the numbers being bandied around for developing an all solid Ariane 6 are certainly not cheap. Especially taking into consideration the money the US paid to develop either EELV or SpaceX took to develop the Falcon 9.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: R7 on 06/09/2013 11:35 am
Honestly I do not see the point in providing billions of funding to develop an all solid rocket which provides next to no new technological capabilities to improve access to space.

It provides funding and respectable reason to maintain and improve the capability to build large all solid rockets. *wink wink nod nod*
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/09/2013 03:51 pm
Honestly I do not see the point in providing billions of funding to develop an all solid rocket which provides next to no new technological capabilities to improve access to space.

That is exactly what happened when ESA developed Ariane 5. LOX/LH2 driven core and solid boosters was hardly state-of-the-art back when ESA selected them in the late 1980's for Ariane 5. What ESA did with Ariane 5 offered next to no new technological capabilities to improve access to space. Yet ESA spent many billions of AU (accounting units - they didn't have Euros back then) to do just that. ESA and CNES are in no different position today with Ariane 6.
So, your point is pointless.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/09/2013 03:54 pm
Ariane 5 is competative only because it is supported with an average of 120 million Euros in taxpayers money... each year.

But these subventions are decreasing year after year.
In 2012, French government (which is the only one who gives subventions to AR5) had to give only 90M€.

This decreasing is due to the reliability of AR5, which implies low insurances. With low insurance prices, Arianespace can increase the launch price without disturbing the customer.

Agreed, but those subventions will not disappear entirely. Not even with AR 5 ME, regardless of what Astrium tells ESA and CNES.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/09/2013 05:47 pm
Quote from: cheesybagel
This is not 100% true since Ariane 5 uses parallel staging. Vulcain is ignited at liftoff. So low altitude performance actually matters to a degree.

It burns for 650 seconds, almost to orbit, the thrust at low altitudes is tiny compared to the boosters. Igniting the engine on the pad has other advantages.

Quote from: cheesybagel
Similar launch systems like the Shuttle, Energia, H-IIA used staged combustion LOX/LH2 engines in a similar configuration.

Somewhat similar, but also utterly expensive. I'm not saying ESA wouldn't have chosen staged combustion if they had the experience and know-how, but its probably better they did not.

Quote from: cheesybagel
But if you are going to develop a new rocket in Europe with billions of funding in 2013 you better use the best known engine technology currently available. That is staged combustion.

The best and the most expensive. Not sure whether its worth it for an expendable rocket, but its certainly useful know-how for the future, so I would agree with you.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/10/2013 07:28 am
As was to be expected, here is the ESA response to the recent call for a pause in Ariane 6 development:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35678ignoring-call-for-strategic-pause-esa-intends-to-stay-the-course-on (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35678ignoring-call-for-strategic-pause-esa-intends-to-stay-the-course-on)

Quote
Ignoring Call for Strategic Pause, ESA Intends To Stay the Course on Ariane 6

The European Space Agency (ESA) has no intention of changing course for its future Ariane 6 rocket despite pointed criticism of the selected design by former ESA and European industry launch-vehicle experts, ESA Launch Vehicle Director Antonio Fabrizi said June 7.

Fabrizi said the current design, using two solid-fueled stages topped by a cryogenic upper stage, received the specific endorsement of ESA’s governments last November and cannot simply be set aside. He said the vehicle’s final design — both a single-block first stage and a multiblock cluster are being discussed — will be settled by early July.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 06/10/2013 08:50 am
BTW, SpaceX didn't used significantly more advanced techniques, since Ariane 5 already uses FSW.

There is no FSW used for Ariane 5.
It's all TIG welded!

Possibly in A5ME a few seams will be in FSW but that is not yet sure.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/10/2013 09:07 am
^

I don't know about the production technique, but the empty weight of the A5 ECA core stage is 14.1 tons (incl. engine), with a length of 30.5m, 5.4m diameter and total mass of 185.5 tons when full.

Pretty good I would say, at least comared to Falcon 9 1.1 where the first stage is estimated to weight around 28 tons. The ECA upper stage kind of sucks though.

Quote from: cheesybagel
The argument for solids is that it will be cheaper but the numbers being bandied around for developing an all solid Ariane 6 are certainly not cheap. Especially taking into consideration the money the US paid to develop either EELV or SpaceX took to develop the Falcon 9.

Not a good comparison. The space industry is huge in the US, and SpaceX builds upon that knowledge.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 06/10/2013 12:59 pm
^

I don't know about the production technique, but the empty weight of the A5 ECA core stage is 14.1 tons (incl. engine), with a length of 30.5m, 5.4m diameter and total mass of 185.5 tons when full.

The low empty mass of the ESC stage is often reffered to "good engineering" or something, but the truth is that the flight loads on the stage are very low in comparison to other launchers!

The axial booster loads are introduced in the front skirt at the upper end of the stage, so the core stage literally "hangs" between the two boosters. The high g-loads of up to 4,5g occur during booster operation. 

After booster separation the loads are very low, therefore the axial flux loads for the core stage are so low that a thin smooth wall without any reinforcements is sufficient.

Something the "Liberty" designers will have to learn...:-)

In all liquid launcher designs the loads are introduced at the rear end of the first stage which will therefore have to withstand all the flight loads.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/10/2013 01:57 pm
^

Which makes we wonder why other designs don't "transfer" some of the load to the top, by other means than increasing the thickness of the tank walls.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/11/2013 06:55 am
^

I don't know about the production technique, but the empty weight of the A5 ECA core stage is 14.1 tons (incl. engine), with a length of 30.5m, 5.4m diameter and total mass of 185.5 tons when full.

The low empty mass of the ESC stage is often reffered to "good engineering" or something, but the truth is that the flight loads on the stage are very low in comparison to other launchers!

The axial booster loads are introduced in the front skirt at the upper end of the stage, so the core stage literally "hangs" between the two boosters. The high g-loads of up to 4,5g occur during booster operation. 

After booster separation the loads are very low, therefore the axial flux loads for the core stage are so low that a thin smooth wall without any reinforcements is sufficient.

Something the "Liberty" designers will have to learn...:-)

They did. The EPC wall for the Liberty upper stage is well over 50% thicker than the standard EPC wall. On Liberty, al the loads, including the massive thrust from the 5-segment SRB are transferred to the EPC from below.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 06/11/2013 09:32 am
^

Which makes we wonder why other designs don't "transfer" some of the load to the top, by other means than increasing the thickness of the tank walls.

They do!
Sometimes the tank walls are reinforced by orthogrid (e.g. shuttle ET) or by stringers.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/11/2013 01:13 pm
^

I know rocket tanks usually have an internal structure, i.e. they are a semi-monocoque. But they must still increase the thickness of the skin because it carries some of the stress, right?

Anyway, I just thought there could be another way, more resembling a truss design, maybe just 2 truss poles on the sides which transfer the load to the top or something  :)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Remes on 06/11/2013 04:55 pm
The concept makes some sense to me.

If you launch on a Atlas/Delta/any single payload launcher you know the maximum weight and you optimize your system to get the most of it. Put as many transponders on the satellite as possible, increase the fuel, ... to get the most payload for the launch costs.

On an Ariane with dual payloads its a completely different story. You need someone who has a payload with the weight 12t-<your own payload>. Find someone, who will launch in the same time frame. No party should delay the start. Looking at the development times for satellites it seems hard to plan that far. Also weight increase is always a risk, and that would would render all planing moot.

Regarding the first stage for an Ariane 6: There are mainly two alternatives: Make the existing Ariane 5 smaller, which means create a smaller tank, and especially: develop a smaller vulcain 2. I think it is absolutely unattractive to spend a lot of money developing a new cryogenic engine just to make it smaller and less powerful.

The other alternative is taking the technically most evolved booster (P80: carbon fillament housing, e-tvc) and make it bigger. Sounds much better if you spend your money on making something bigger than spending the same money to make something smaller. Also it seems to be very attractive that this strengthened booster could be used for an evolved Vega. As more parts are build, as cheaper it gets. Maybe even one day 4xP120 can replace the currently used 2x230t on the Ariane 5.

The european state, which is willing to pay a lot of money will also get a lot of work packages. Retaining the space industry and knowledge might be be the main factor. Maybe the French government sees a need to support its industry, has some money left. Look at Vega, paid to 65% by Italy. There is no harm if e.g. Germany wouldn't be a part of the Ariane 6 development. So if the French have the feeling, they need to do something for their space industry, let them do it.

Even if I don't like solids, imho the concept is sound. I don't see a big step coming in terms of rlv, so lets pimp some existing equipment and build a single payload launcher.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 06/14/2013 06:14 pm
Ariane 5 is competative only because it is supported with an average of 120 million Euros in taxpayers money... each year.

But these subventions are decreasing year after year.
In 2012, French government (which is the only one who gives subventions to AR5) had to give only 90M€.

This decreasing is due to the reliability of AR5, which implies low insurances. With low insurance prices, Arianespace can increase the launch price without disturbing the customer.

Agreed, but those subventions will not disappear entirely. Not even with AR 5 ME, regardless of what Astrium tells ESA and CNES.

The current 120 M€ per year are the direct subventions, indirect subventions (e.g. the cost of the launch site) come on top. As said in this post (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1061563#msg1061563) all launchers are subsidized one way or another. And 120 M€ per year is actually really not too bad. The US Air Force seem to have running costs of a billion $ per year only for the launch ranges.

But the European governments have experienced a "golden age" in the 80ies, when there was no launch service market, the US put all their stakes on the space shuttle system, had mothballed their expendables, no Russian or Chinese launchers available for western comsats, no Indian launch vehicles existed and the Japanese launchers were way too small for comsats. Ariane had no competitors and could be sold for "luxury" prices. Now Europe, esp. the CNES of France, is chasing this idea to develop a launch vehicle that can be exploited without subventions, to have the "golden age" come back.

And it isn't just France paying the subventions, each country has to pay its share according to their percentage of industrial turnover for Ariane production.

And it isn't Astrium who claims that the subventions will disappear with Ariane 6, it is the claim and goal of CNES, that subventions will disappear.

In fact, Astrium is more in favor of A5ME and didn't just play along, raking in the money for Ariane 6 development. But right from the start they stated that they can't meet the foreseen recurrent cost target. Esp. not with the PPH design proposed by CNES.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Kaputnik on 07/06/2013 02:24 pm
I've been playing catchup on the Ariane 6 plans. Apologies is this concept was already suggested, but out of curiosity:
- could the EAPs be replaced with the Vega's P80s?
- could enhancements to the Vulcain's TVC allow deletion of TVC from the SRBs?
- could combinations of 2, 4, or 6 P80s in place of the current EAPs be used to tailor the launcher to different sizes of payload?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Remes on 07/06/2013 08:46 pm
I've been playing catchup on the Ariane 6 plans. Apologies is this concept was already suggested, but out of curiosity:
- could the EAPs be replaced with the Vega's P80s?
- could combinations of 2, 4, or 6 P80s in place of the current EAPs be used to tailor the launcher to different sizes of payload?
EAP are 230t each. Vega's is 80t. Also the EAP deliver their thrust in the forward section of the EPC. If you add shorter P80, you would have to stiffen the cryogenic tank.

Quote
- could enhancements to the Vulcain's TVC allow deletion of TVC from the SRBs?
The SRB deliver about 90% of the thrust. I think the cryogenic stage itself wouldn't have enough steering power (as long as srb are attached).

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/06/2013 08:56 pm
The low empty mass of the ESC stage is often reffered to "good engineering" or something, but the truth is that the flight loads on the stage are very low in comparison to other launchers!

You are talking about EAP, not ESC, right?
ESC has neither of "low mass" or "good engineering" (structurally speaking), especially not ESC-A (the current one). It's one mess of a design created out of the wish to keep development efforts down and similarities with other stuff high and not caring about the structural efficiency.

ESC-A has probably the worst upper stage design ever flown. On any launcher. (again: WRT it's structure).

ME will be a bit better but just a bit.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Kaputnik on 07/06/2013 11:18 pm
I've been playing catchup on the Ariane 6 plans. Apologies is this concept was already suggested, but out of curiosity:
- could the EAPs be replaced with the Vega's P80s?
- could combinations of 2, 4, or 6 P80s in place of the current EAPs be used to tailor the launcher to different sizes of payload?
EAP are 230t each. Vega's is 80t. Also the EAP deliver their thrust in the forward section of the EPC. If you add shorter P80, you would have to stiffen the cryogenic tank.
Yes, I'm aware of the difference in size between EAP and P80. The point of the exercise would be to make the launcher smaller (and cheaper). From the numbers I've found it seems the T:W at launch would be fine, and staging would occur only a little earlier than normal so I presume the low T:W of the remainder of the stack would not be a show stopper.
The structural issues are perhaps insurmountable, however. It sounds as though the EPC structure is similar to the STS stack?


Quote
- could enhancements to the Vulcain's TVC allow deletion of TVC from the SRBs?
The SRB deliver about 90% of the thrust. I think the cryogenic stage itself wouldn't have enough steering power (as long as srb are attached).[/quote]

The EAPs deliver 90% of the thrust of the existing stack. A P80 powered stack would see the Vulcain providing about 17% of the thrust at launch. Obviously this is not a lot, but I have no idea of what is realistic or not. And of course I am suggesting that the TVC on the Vulcain could be enhanced, perhaps (e.g. greater gimbal range, faster response time).

Just wanted to throw the idea out there, as to me it seems to offer an immediate way of downsizing the existing Ariane V stack, whilst creating commonality with Vega, and perhaps providing for greater flexibility. I would be curious to know if anything at all similar was proposed in the trades before the current Ariane 6 design was selected.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/06/2013 11:29 pm
^

page 6.

Quote
However, aerodynamic analysis and general
loads computations revealed that the loads on
the main core were much higher than A5,
penalizing the obtained performance and
reducing the communality with existing subsystem.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Kaputnik on 07/07/2013 08:26 am
Thanks for that- not precisely what I had in mind, but covers the same basic idea.

As a slight drift, it looks from the cutaway that the EPC has a common bulkhead- if so, how is the thrust from the EAPs transmitted? I am aware that STS has a beam in the intertank area.


EDIT: just looked again and I think the EAPs are long enough to reach the top of the stage, so may have answered my own question.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 07/08/2013 08:26 am
The low empty mass of the ESC stage is often reffered to "good engineering" or something, but the truth is that the flight loads on the stage are very low in comparison to other launchers!

You are talking about EAP, not ESC, right?
ESC has neither of "low mass" or "good engineering" (structurally speaking), especially not ESC-A (the current one). It's one mess of a design created out of the wish to keep development efforts down and similarities with other stuff high and not caring about the structural efficiency.

ESC-A has probably the worst upper stage design ever flown. On any launcher. (again: WRT it's structure).

ME will be a bit better but just a bit.

Sorry, my bad...
Of course I reffered to the EPC, the core stage, not the ESC upper stage. And also not the EAP which are indeed the solid boosters...

The Upper stage is indeed an extremely bad design as it was meant only as a quick an dirty interims solution. But I fear that the new A5-ME upper stage is not that much better.

As I always say:
A5-ME is the attempt to replace the worst upper stage of spaceflight history with the second worst upper stage of spaceflight history...:-)

Yes, it's a bit of a provocation, but I'm working in the A5-ME project myself and the high inert mass It is not because of bad engineering in the details. It's the overall concept of the stage that has its flaws!

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 09:51 am
Now that the design is final (see updates thread), discuss.

Looks cheap to me. Development of one solid motor of which probably 40+ will be produced a year and an upper stage.

Interestingly they dropped the version with 2 boosters as a first stage and the solids' diameter is now certainly more than 3 meters (in contrast to the previous "in line" version). In terms of propellant its a ~50% increase from Vega's 88t P80.

I think A5 ME is dead.



Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 10:38 am
It is not because of bad engineering in the details. It's the overall concept of the stage that has its flaws!

Sigh. And that's the one part that should then be shared with Ariane 6, too.

This is what happens when you want to save too much on development cost when you do things the first time. Kludges have a tendency to stay around....
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 11:10 am
Quote from: spacediver
The Upper stage is indeed an extremely bad design as it was meant only as a quick an dirty interims solution. But I fear that the new A5-ME upper stage is not that much better.

Well to be fair, a better one was/is not really needed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 07/09/2013 11:15 am
Quote from: spacediver
The Upper stage is indeed an extremely bad design as it was meant only as a quick an dirty interims solution. But I fear that the new A5-ME upper stage is not that much better.

Well to be fair, a better one was/is not really needed.

Better is always needed. With this mindset we wouldn't even have invented the wheel. Why should we, feet work fine!
Arianespace still launches the A5 with a loss, more improvements could make them brake even. Even more improvements could generate a profit, even more improvements than that could generate even more profit.
Capitalism 101.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 11:37 am
^

Um really? Show me your market analysis.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 11:42 am
Well to be fair, a better one was/is not really needed.

Not really.
If ESC-A had a mass ratio like the similarly sized Centaur the whole 5ME program might not be needed, at least not to reach 11.5-12t to GTO.
ESC-B with a similar mass ratio could reach 14t or so to GTO theoreticall allowing dual launches of 6t spacecraft (OK, you probably won't fit these into SYLDA so maybe not).

And for Ariane 6 they don't stop to tell us that it should become more cost efficient... A better upper stage would allow for much smaller and cheaper lower stages so this _is_ important.

But then, I don't get tired to point out that the reasons for the Ariane 6 program have nothing to do with all this so it's probably indeed a moot point....
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 07/09/2013 11:47 am
Good article from the BBC covering this, but then Jonathan Amos always does good articles on space.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23241158

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/09/2013 11:52 am
Now that the design is final (see updates thread), discuss.

Not "design is final". The baseline configuration is (more-or-less) final. The design will see quite a few more alterations before this thing is even remotely close to PDR.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/09/2013 11:58 am
Better is always needed.

Then why is that the Russians still launch their Soyuz spacecraft (with a base design of 4 decades old) on Soyuz boosters (again with a base design of 4 decades old)?

Answer: Better is NOT always needed. The wheel is still here, simply because something 'better' is not needed.

"Better is always needed" is a fallacy. Replace "always" with "sometimes" and then you just might have a point.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 12:07 pm
Quote from: pippin
And for Ariane 6 they don't stop to tell us that it should become more cost efficient... A better upper stage would allow for much smaller and cheaper lower stages so this _is_ important.

Well I agree the ECB could have been useful if done earlier.

I doubt the same inefficient upper stage will be used on the A6, since  synergies with EPC are not that relevant anymore.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/09/2013 12:09 pm
And for Ariane 6 they don't stop to tell us that it should become more cost efficient... A better upper stage would allow for much smaller and cheaper lower stages so this _is_ important.
Yes. But a better upper stage for Ariane 5ME / 6 would require a near complete re-design. And that is expensive and time consuming.
You can get to smaller and cheaper lower stages by designing an all-new upper stage (expensive).
Or you can do with the (near)-existing less efficient upper stage design (less expensive) with larger more expensive lower stages.
That's a draw basically.
What tipped the scales in favour the now defined baseline is time-to-market IMO.
Regardless of what upper stage, CNES and ESA still have to design new solids for the lower stages.
So, it comes down to development work needed for the upper stage. The Vinci-propelled, ESC-A-derived upper stage has the advantage here. It has been in the works for some 7 years now. A more efficient upper stage starts from scratch.

Choice is simple. It now looks like CNES and ESA made that simple choice.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 12:13 pm
^

Who said it will be the same US, apart from Vinci?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 12:14 pm
Yes. But a better upper stage for Ariane 5ME / 6 would require a near complete re-design. And that is expensive and time consuming.

Of course. From where we are it makes sense.
But we were discussing the point that if they had done ESC-A right the first time instead of deciding that it's too expensive and time-consuming then we would not need ESC-B and even Ariane 6 might become somewhat smaller and cheaper. They might not even have had to develop Vonci (woued be a pity about the engine, but it's been expensive and time-consuming...)

So even "saving" some money can be pretty expensive in the long run.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 07/09/2013 12:58 pm
Better is always needed.

Then why is that the Russians still launch their Soyuz spacecraft (with a base design of 4 decades old) on Soyuz boosters (again with a base design of 4 decades old)?

Answer: Better is NOT always needed. The wheel is still here, simply because something 'better' is not needed.

"Better is always needed" is a fallacy. Replace "always" with "sometimes" and then you just might have a point.

Better is always needed, it is just not always attainable to the extent that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Sometimes the development costs are too high for the result in performance gain. The original statement was better is not needed, that's the fallacy. It's not because you have a design that beats your competitors that you do not want to improve it anymore.

The cost of getting better sometimes outweighs the profit of being better. That's how the original statement should have read :)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/09/2013 01:04 pm
^

Who said it will be the same US, apart from Vinci?

Not me. But people seem to be forgetting that, apart from the development work on Vinci, the stage structure for (what once was called ESC-B) has been in development (at a slow pace) for years now. The driver was that the stage structure was restricted to certain absolute defined maximum dimensions, as dictated by the available 'working space' on top of the Ariane 5 EPC.
Similar restrictions led to the kludge that is now known as ESC-A. For the time being, those restrictions remain in place, as the plan is to complete development of the Vinci upper stage (and associated structures) in such a way that the stage has as much commonality as possible between Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/09/2013 01:08 pm
Better is always needed.

Then why is that the Russians still launch their Soyuz spacecraft (with a base design of 4 decades old) on Soyuz boosters (again with a base design of 4 decades old)?

Answer: Better is NOT always needed. The wheel is still here, simply because something 'better' is not needed.

"Better is always needed" is a fallacy. Replace "always" with "sometimes" and then you just might have a point.

Better is always needed, it is just not always attainable to the extent that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Sometimes the development costs are too high for the result in performance gain. The original statement was better is not needed, that's the fallacy. It's not because you have a design that beats your competitors that you do not want to improve it anymore.

The cost of getting better sometimes outweighs the profit of being better. That's how the original statement should have read :)

Thanks for clarifying.

Per your reasoning: In a financial reality that is increasingly cost-driven (or better said: cost-reduction-driven) the need for better is slowly decreasing, as evidenced by the choice by ESA and CNES for the current Ariane 6 baseline configuration.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 07/09/2013 02:13 pm
Now that the design is final (see updates thread), discuss.


It's a bad day for Europe!

This bullsh.. thing is the beginning of the end of European access to space!
Once A5 is retired we will have lost the large liquid engine technology forever. It's a technological dead end!


Obviously cost and risk was a main driver for the concept choice, and CNES was verry sucessful in finding the most expensive and most risky launcher concept.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 02:58 pm
The driver was that the stage structure was restricted to certain absolute defined maximum dimensions, as dictated by the available 'working space' on top of the Ariane 5 EPC.
Similar restrictions led to the kludge that is now known as ESC-A. For the time being, those restrictions remain in place, as the plan is to complete development of the Vinci upper stage (and associated structures) in such a way that the stage has as much commonality as possible between Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6.

Err... C'mon. You know that's not true.
The dominant reason for the current design is not physical size restrictions or anything, it's been to re-use as much as possible and keep development costs down.
The upper tank dome is a re-use from EPC - which makes sense from a financial POV on Ariane 5 but no longer on 6 - and the LOX tank of ESC-A was a carryover part from Ariane 4. All of this resulted in a really bad structural design.

_NOW_ the idea is to keep as much of that current compromise design as possible and only change the LOX tank (and stretch the LX2 tank) but do no more changes to the structure.

While this is all reasonable and acceptable for 5ME, it's not helpful for A6, there the carryover tank dome, for example, will actually _add_ to the recurring cost instead of lowering it.

And it just adds to the fact that the whole A6 program doesn't make sense, it doesn't even have any inner logic.
The whole program runs on the premise of spending an ridiculous amount of money (that will never ever be recouped) to develop a launcher that should then have a somewhat lower recurring cost. But now for the most critical part of the whole design they use a carryover part to save development costs that will add significantly to the recurring cost even though they'd have the chance to amortize the (development) cost of a better design over even TWO programs instead of just one and the added (recurring) cost on 5ME should not be as significant since it's only supposed to fly a limited number of times anyway.

This is all weird, eurocratic nonsense and will - here I agree with spacediver - drive Europe into a similar position the US are in with ULA just with the slight difference that Europe itself will buy much fewer launches, especially once ISS goes away.

And then we'll see them subsidize the whole mess again, probably with a higher amount per flight than they have to do today.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 04:46 pm
^

You realize Ariane ME development was estimated to cost around 1.5-2bn, this Ariane 6 will be between 2.5 and 3.5bn. Given the design that is more than credible.

IMO there is no reason to continue with A5 ME, I would try to introduce A6 earlier.

Or drop A6 and wait, but certainly not both.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 05:44 pm
Well, A6 will never make the 3.5bn, more likely it will end up somewhere in the range of 4-5bn. Without ME you'd have to add an upperstage development in probably a 1-2.5bn € range so you are at 5-6bn.

And all of that to develop a less capable launcher that will require the same or even more subsidies than A5. It's not ME that doesn't make sense. But we had that discussion before, read it up...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 07:14 pm
^

First of all, Ariane ME US does not equal A6 US, I have no idea where this idea comes from, there are only commonalities, like Vinci.

Pretty sure the 2.5-3.5 does NOT include A5 ME development because A5 ME development is not decided yet.

Further, development of Vega was 710m euros, plus 410m for qualification flights. Hence development of P80 was rather cheap.

P135 is 50% scale up from P80 (88t), with the same technology (remember, it was new for Vega!). I don't believe it will cost more to develop. In particular because production rate for flights will be high anyway.

Then you have upper stage development, which is probably in the A5 ME range. So yes, 2.5-3.5bn is absolutely credible!


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 07/09/2013 08:25 pm
The driver was that the stage structure was restricted to certain absolute defined maximum dimensions, as dictated by the available 'working space' on top of the Ariane 5 EPC.
Similar restrictions led to the kludge that is now known as ESC-A. For the time being, those restrictions remain in place, as the plan is to complete development of the Vinci upper stage (and associated structures) in such a way that the stage has as much commonality as possible between Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6.

Err... C'mon. You know that's not true.
Believe it or not, it IS true, the available space between Fairing and EPC is VERY limited and it is required to make A5ME US fit into this 'working space'.
Quote
The dominant reason for the current design is not physical size restrictions or anything, it's been to re-use as much as possible and keep development costs down.
The upper tank dome is a re-use from EPC - which makes sense from a financial POV on Ariane 5 but no longer on 6 - and the LOX tank of ESC-A was a carryover part from Ariane 4. All of this resulted in a really bad structural design.

_NOW_ the idea is to keep as much of that current compromise design as possible and only change the LOX tank (and stretch the LX2 tank) but do no more changes to the structure.

While this is all reasonable and acceptable for 5ME, it's not helpful for A6, there the carryover tank dome, for example, will actually _add_ to the recurring cost instead of lowering it.
Yes, for ESC-A the carry-over from EPC (and Ariane 4 US) was to save time and costs, for A5ME the carry-over fro EPC is necessary to achieve 28t of propellant loading in a tank of mere 5.3m length.
For Ariane 6 common elements have been identified, the tank diameter of 5.4m is NOT considered as such a commonality, thus Ariane 6 has a chance to have a different, more mass efficient tank design/lay-out.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 07/09/2013 08:49 pm
^

You realize Ariane ME development was estimated to cost around 1.5-2bn, this Ariane 6 will be between 2.5 and 3.5bn. Given the design that is more than credible.

IMO there is no reason to continue with A5 ME, I would try to introduce A6 earlier.

Or drop A6 and wait, but certainly not both.

Why don't they just keep evolving the A5 & as well as looking to increase performance but also find a way to decrease costs? To me the A6 looks like a step back in a lot of ways over the A5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/09/2013 08:51 pm
Why don't they just keep evolving the A5 & as well as looking to increase performance but also find a way to decrease costs?

They are doing that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Remes on 07/09/2013 09:10 pm
It's a bad day for Europe!

This bullsh.. thing is the beginning of the end of European access to space!
For sure it is not a rocket to impress anyone or anything. But maybe that is a decision which will be a first step to a more economical approach in space. Trying to find the super alloy, the ultimate production technology, the perfect computer equipment, ..., that was always somehow linked to the space sector and all this super technology was in series production and everything was so expensive.

Now ESA seems to be saying:"No, we are not looking for the perfect wonder for endless money. We are looking for a solid concept, for proven (up to simple technologies) and we try to make it more economically efficient".

This comments about improving efficiency, carrying more payload and becoming cheaper: c'mon, Where is that going to happen? Price of technology rises much faster then the price you get for the additional amount of payload.

In regards of the ESC-B: Well, a little bit newer technology might easily reduce the dry weight without too much risk or cost.

I like the idea of 40+ P135 produced per year. A space vehicle in series production.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/09/2013 09:50 pm
The driver was that the stage structure was restricted to certain absolute defined maximum dimensions, as dictated by the available 'working space' on top of the Ariane 5 EPC.
Similar restrictions led to the kludge that is now known as ESC-A. For the time being, those restrictions remain in place, as the plan is to complete development of the Vinci upper stage (and associated structures) in such a way that the stage has as much commonality as possible between Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6.

Err... C'mon. You know that's not true.
Believe it or not, it IS true, the available space between Fairing and EPC is VERY limited and it is required to make A5ME US fit into this 'working space'.

And you can trust spacejulien on his word. He is intimately involved in the development of A5ME / A6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 09:57 pm
Believe it or not, it IS true, the available space between Fairing and EPC is VERY limited and it is required to make A5ME US fit into this 'working space'.

And you can trust spacejulien on his word. He is intimately involved in the development of A5ME / A6.

Might be that the space is limited, but the horrible ESC-A design actually wastes a lot of space by using the undersized LOX tank. A more structurally efficient design would have been both shorter AND lighter.
And the same is probably true for ESC-B, too: make it lighter and you can go with a smaller stage (less fuel) so it can be shorter as well....
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 10:01 pm
Now ESA seems to be saying:"No, we are not looking for the perfect wonder for endless money. We are looking for a solid concept, for proven (up to simple technologies) and we try to make it more economically efficient".
But that's not what they are doing. They talk about it but in reality they are spending billions to develop a launcher that even by their own predictions as of now will not be cheaper per sat launched than the current Ariane 5!

They plan to SPEND BILLIONS to KEEP the cost level they are at today!!!! And that's only the plan!

Quote
In regards of the ESC-B: Well, a little bit newer technology might easily reduce the dry weight without too much risk or cost.
Bingo. Well, it's probably not just "a bit" but for half the money they plan to spend on A6 you could easily tweak quite a bit out of the overall A5 design over the years and be perfectly fine for the next 15-20 years.

But we had all that in this thread before, didn't we?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 10:20 pm
Quote from: woods170
And you can trust spacejulien on his word. He is intimately involved in the development of A5ME / A6.

So what does our insider spacejulien think of the A6 in its current configuration? ;D
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 07/09/2013 10:53 pm
Believe it or not, it IS true, the available space between Fairing and EPC is VERY limited and it is required to make A5ME US fit into this 'working space'.

And you can trust spacejulien on his word. He is intimately involved in the development of A5ME / A6.

Might be that the space is limited, but the horrible ESC-A design actually wastes a lot of space by using the undersized LOX tank. A more structurally efficient design would have been both shorter AND lighter.
And the same is probably true for ESC-B, too: make it lighter and you can go with a smaller stage (less fuel) so it can be shorter as well....

ESC-A was an interim step towards ESC-B which is today A5ME US, so design choices for ESC-A were made in view of ESC-B with a foreseen loading of 28 t and corresponding thrust of the engine of 180 kN. A stage with a lower-thrust engine would have a corresponding lower optimum loading. With 5.4 m diameter interfaces to EPC and Fairing and less than 7 m stage height (on the outer cylinder) between EPC and Fairing the wide, short tank design with common bulkhead at reduced (4m) diameter was the best compromise. And we have run trade studies for almost a decade on the ESC-B design. The result is an ugly, non-elegant, heavyweight (wrt its dry mass) but the best compromise attainable under the imposed requirements.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2013 11:06 pm
Quote from: pippin
They plan to SPEND BILLIONS to KEEP the cost level they are at today!!!! And that's only the plan!

You forget that A6 will also serve the institutional market well. You know, galileo, earth observation, space science stuff that nowadays mostly ends up on soyuz or proton. Money for the russians. A5 is an efficient GTO launcher, but basically Europe's present to the comsat industry.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 11:09 pm
I didn't dispute that both stages are optimum designs given their requirements.

But I'd assume ESC-A would not have been designed as it is if it had been known that it would be used for so long.
And A5ME US _could_ be further optimized, if that was needed, right?

Now I agree that on A5 it will probably not be needed so if the A6 upperstage is indeed different then there's no reason to add expensive optimizations.
I was under the impression, the upperstage would be reused from ME, it's been widely reported in the press here but then that's probably just a confusion due to the similar engine.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2013 11:10 pm
You forget that A6 will also serve the institutional market well. You know, galileo, earth observation, space science stuff that nowadays mostly ends up on soyuz or proton.

No it's not because it's much more expensive than Soyuz.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 07/09/2013 11:21 pm
Quote from: woods170
And you can trust spacejulien on his word. He is intimately involved in the development of A5ME / A6.

So what does our insider spacejulien think of the A6 in its current configuration? ;D

I have heard all the arguments mentioned in this thread (and before in other threads) also in my professional context over and over again. There are strong arguments for each development, A5ME and A6. There are also good arguments against each of them. No one could make an absolute ranking of all those pros and cons, the result depends on how each one weighs these arguments.
Fortunately for me, my job is not the decision-making on on political level  but to implement what has been decided. So my opinion doesn't really matter, in fact I shall not favor one over the other. But, between A5ME and A6, I am more convinced of the A5ME concept, technically as well as economically.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/10/2013 08:41 am
Quote from: pippin
No it's not because it's much more expensive than Soyuz.

I heard Arianespace offers Soyuz for 70m. It doesn't have to be equally cheap, just not 2-3 times as much as A5.

Fact is a Soyuz replacement is wanted. So you can build a launcher which replaces A5 and Soyuz, or only a Soyuz replacement. The former, IMO, is overall economically more attractive and does not warrant an absurdly high market share like today.

Quote from: spacejulien
But, between A5ME and A6, I am more convinced of the A5ME concept, technically as well as economically.

A6 questions :):

Did they consider composite tanks for the liquid concepts? You know similar to the ones Boeing develops for SLS.

Which design do you think would have to lowest recurrent cost if development costs are not considered (up to a certain limit, say 5bn)? The HHSC maybe? (of all the solid/hydrogen/methane SC or GG concepts).


By the way, I found this very interesting 4xVinci - Vinci Design in a Herakles document. See below. That would have been a funny launcher (this and the quadri-vulcain didn't make the final round).


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: newpylong on 07/10/2013 01:59 pm
I am by no means an expert on the Ariane line but this seems like it certainly is a step backwards. Spend a lot of money to develop a launcher with less capability in hopes of it being cheaper? Wouldn't it make more sense to keep developing the A5 with the same goals?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/10/2013 02:49 pm
I am by no means an expert on the Ariane line but this seems like it certainly is a step backwards. Spend a lot of money to develop a launcher with less capability in hopes of it being cheaper? Wouldn't it make more sense to keep developing the A5 with the same goals?

Ariane 1 thru 4 all constituted more-or-less linear increases in mass performance to orbit. With Ariane 4 this increase was initially so large that 'dual' launch was fairly much the default option for the Ariane 4 'heavy' versions. But as time progressed, even the heaviest version of Ariane 4 became increasingly incapable of dual launch. Reason: satellites kept growing in weight.
Initially, Ariane 5 was to be just another enlargement of the Ariane 1-4 lineage. But then enter Hermes in the picture. This proposed mini-shuttle was so heavy that a simple enlargement of Ariane 4 would not do.
Hence one of the drivers to do a completely new design for Ariane 5.
' 5' was very substantially more powerful then ' 4', not in the least because of those massive EAP's. When Hermes went off the stage, the baseline design for Ariane 5 had been set firmly, meaning that this launcher was suddenly way too capable for "single" launch. Thus, dual launch became (again) standard practice for the newest addition to the Ariane lineage. But not so much by design, but by accident (so to speak).

Dual launch however has it's drawbacks. A major one is that there is constant jugling of payloads to match the launcher performance to a certain orbit type. It is this jugling that ESA and CNES want to do away with. Hence it being one of the drivers behind Ariane 6 being a less capable (mass to orbit) launcher than Ariane 5.
But make no mistake: proposed performance of Ariane 6, for a standard GEO transfer orbit, is still 1,600 kg more than that of the most powerful version of Ariane 4.
As such, Ariane 5 can be considered to be "the stranger in our midst":
The growth in mass performance to orbit is more-or-less linear from Ariane 1 to 6, with Ariane 5 being the major exception. But, as explained earlier, there was a reason why Ariane 5 is such an exceptionally large launcher.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 07/10/2013 05:21 pm
Why don't they just keep evolving the A5 & as well as looking to increase performance but also find a way to decrease costs?

They are doing that.

Therefore what's the point of the A6?

Would they A6 even be capable of dealing with some of the less run of the mill payloads like JWST, JUICE or ATV?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/10/2013 05:52 pm
Why don't they just keep evolving the A5 & as well as looking to increase performance but also find a way to decrease costs?

They are doing that.

Therefore what's the point of the A6?

Would they A6 even be capable of dealing with some of the less run of the mill payloads like JWST, JUICE or ATV?

None of those payloads is scheduled to be lifted by Ariane 6. That makes your theoretical exercise superfluous.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 07/10/2013 06:04 pm
Why don't they just keep evolving the A5 & as well as looking to increase performance but also find a way to decrease costs?

They are doing that.

Therefore what's the point of the A6?

Would they A6 even be capable of dealing with some of the less run of the mill payloads like JWST, JUICE or ATV?

None of those payloads is scheduled to be lifted by Ariane 6. That makes your theoretical exercise superfluous.

I am aware of that, that is why I said like them, or do you think ESA are not going to develop any one off or out of the ordinary payloads in the future.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/10/2013 10:11 pm
Well, so far ESA didn't really develop a lot of these payloads, didn't they?
ATV was developed with the size it has simply because that's what the size of a payload on A5 was. It's going away and should ESA ever want something similar in the future, it would simply be sized smaller. Progress, Dragon and Cygnus are all smaller and work just fine.

And other than that, ESA to my knowledge has never ever built a payload that required a full A5 launch. JWST was a barter agreement and NASA's problem (that they could probably have solved by throwing a lot of money at DIVH.

No, the size is not the problem with A6, the problem is the fact that it eats a lot of development €s without really bringing any advantage.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/10/2013 11:16 pm
Now that the design is final (see updates thread), discuss.
It's a bad day for Europe!
As an American, I'm admiring this Ariane 6 design.  I see it as a bold engineering step toward simplicity and cost efficiency.  It is a design that is already showing signs of becoming the "new normal" (see "Pegasus 2" for one example). 

I can imagine seeing Ariane 6 rockets stacked and flown in metronome fashion while Mr. Musk struggles to get his complex, leaky, many-engined liquid rockets off of their multiple, costly launch pads and while others battle to get access to the Russian rocket engine monopoly.   

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Silmfeanor on 07/11/2013 02:15 am
Now that the design is final (see updates thread), discuss.
It's a bad day for Europe!
As an American, I'm admiring this Ariane 6 design.  I see it as a bold engineering step toward simplicity and cost efficiency.  It is a design that is already showing signs of becoming the "new normal" (see "Pegasus 2" for one example). 

I can imagine seeing Ariane 6 rockets stacked and flown in metronome fashion while Mr. Musk struggles to get his complex, leaky, many-engined liquid rockets off of their multiple, costly launch pads and while others battle to get access to the Russian rocket engine monopoly.   

 - Ed Kyle
Then again, you saw something in the stick  ;)
Solids are a branch of fireworks. Mass producing them for lower stages- interesting. But the project as a whole is a kludge. It is mass-limited and not very elegant.
Also, no human rating. Institutional launcher.
I'm happy they'll have A5 till atleast 2018-2019. We'll see after that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/11/2013 02:56 am
Then again, you saw something in the stick  ;)
I always acknowledged that Ares I was less than ideal.  What I supported was the program to land astronauts on the Moon.  The plan included Ares I.
Quote
Solids are a branch of fireworks. Mass producing them for lower stages- interesting. But the project as a whole is a kludge. It is mass-limited and not very elegant.
I see plenty of elegance.  Here is a rocket that will launch on the thrust of the world's largest, most advanced, most efficient monolithic composite case solid motors, combined in multiples to cut costs, topped by a highly efficient upper stage powered by the world's most efficient rocket engine. 

Every rocket is "mass limited".  The more mass it can lift, the more it will cost, but how many massive payloads exist?  Cutting costs is perfectly elegant.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/11/2013 06:39 am

Solids are a branch of fireworks. Mass producing them for lower stages- interesting. But the project as a whole is a kludge. It is mass-limited and not very elegant.
Also, no human rating. Institutional launcher.
I'm happy they'll have A5 till atleast 2018-2019. We'll see after that.

Emphasis mine.
ESA is not interested in human rating any of their launchers. Reason is simple: ESA has no intention to stick a manned spacecraft on top of their launchers. Man rating Ariane 6 would be just as ridiculous as continuing man rating of Ariane 5 after Hermes went away. However, ESA did the logical thing back then: the minute Hermes went off the stage, they dropped all man rating requirements for Ariane 5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 07/11/2013 06:43 am
How many solids can you cluster?

Seems like this launch vehicle isn't good enough.

The latest spacecraft buses are 6600kg+

Perhaps I'm just confused.

Does ESA have no ambitions for manned spaceflight? Are they putting those eggs in the SLS basket now?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Lars_J on 07/11/2013 07:49 am
I can imagine seeing Ariane 6 rockets stacked and flown in metronome fashion while Mr. Musk struggles to get his complex, leaky, many-engined liquid rockets off of their multiple, costly launch pads and while others battle to get access to the Russian rocket engine monopoly.   

 - Ed Kyle

Time will tell, I suppose. But perhaps this will be yet another nail In the coffin for the "cheap solids" argument instead.

And regarding your SpaceX comment - props to you for finally putting your real feelings on them out there for all to see. Leaky?  ???
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kch on 07/11/2013 08:05 am
I can imagine seeing Ariane 6 rockets stacked and flown in metronome fashion while Mr. Musk struggles to get his complex, leaky, many-engined liquid rockets off of their multiple, costly launch pads and while others battle to get access to the Russian rocket engine monopoly.   

 - Ed Kyle

Time will tell, I suppose. But perhaps this will be yet another nail In the coffin for the "cheap solids" argument instead.

And regarding your SpaceX comment - props to you for finally putting your real feelings on them out there for all to see. Leaky?  ???

That was ... enlightening.  ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/11/2013 08:47 am
How many solids can you cluster?

There is not a set limit and will depend on the motors used.
Design studies for A6 have envisioned using up to 6 solid boosters to lift heavier masses.

Does ESA have no ambitions for manned spaceflight? Are they putting those eggs in the SLS basket now?
No ESA has no plans or any deep ambition for indigenous manned launches.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 07/11/2013 09:50 am
Does ESA have no ambitions for manned spaceflight? Are they putting those eggs in the SLS basket now?
No ESA has no plans or any deep ambition for indigenous manned launches.

ATV has nothing to do with manned launches. It supports astronauts on orbit.

Is disbanding the ESA astronaut corps really an option?

I thought they would just be throwing them on SLS missions.

In which case I assert building service modules isn't enough of a contribution.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/11/2013 10:08 am
I wonder, why not use a solid A6 für manned launches? When it comes to safety, A5 has solids, Atlas V for crew will have solids, Ares-I had solids...

So the problem must be vibrations, but I'm sure there are ways to dampen them for the capsule.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/11/2013 10:47 am
I wonder, why not use a solid A6 für manned launches? When it comes to safety, A5 has solids, Atlas V for crew will have solids, Ares-I had solids...

So the problem must be vibrations, but I'm sure there are ways to dampen them for the capsule.
Any manned spacecraft for ESA purposes (and mind you, any of those are entirely theoretical) will likely exceed the 6.5 metric tons lift capacity of Ariane 6. So your question is moot.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Verio Fryar on 07/11/2013 10:54 am
Any manned spacecraft for ESA purposes (and mind you, any of those are entirely theoretical) will likely exceed the 6.5 metric tons lift capacity of Ariane 6. So your question is moot.

Ariane 6 will be able to launch 6.5 tons to GTO. How much will be able to launch to LEO?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Skyrocket on 07/11/2013 10:55 am
I wonder, why not use a solid A6 für manned launches? When it comes to safety, A5 has solids, Atlas V for crew will have solids, Ares-I had solids...

So the problem must be vibrations, but I'm sure there are ways to dampen them for the capsule.
Any manned spacecraft for ESA purposes (and mind you, any of those are entirely theoretical) will likely exceed the 6.5 metric tons lift capacity of Ariane 6. So your question is moot.

The 6.5 t capacity is for GTO, not for LEO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/11/2013 10:58 am
Does ESA have no ambitions for manned spaceflight? Are they putting those eggs in the SLS basket now?
No ESA has no plans or any deep ambition for indigenous manned launches.

ATV has nothing to do with manned launches. It supports astronauts on orbit.

Is disbanding the ESA astronaut corps really an option?

I thought they would just be throwing them on SLS missions.

In which case I assert building service modules isn't enough of a contribution.

I wasn't talking about the ATV. What little will there was to get involved in manned spaceflight hardware was the Orion service module itself. Remember the French, who are lead with A6, merely wanted to use ATV technologies for a satellite servicing tug.

No one is saying the astronaut corps will go, because as we've seen with Orion bartering seats is about politics rather than a logical measure of contribution.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/11/2013 11:32 am
ESA to my knowledge has never ever built a payload that required a full A5 launch.

The heaviest ESA payload combination (other than ATV) that ever launched on Ariane 5 was the very first: Cluster 1. It came in at a launch weight of a little under 5 metric tons.
If you count the adaptor for dual launch as well, then the heaviest ESA payload combination on Ariane 5 was the Herschel/Planck launch at roughly 5.5 metric tons.
From there it is a (very) long jump to the 20 metric tons for ATV or 21 metric tons for the once planned Hermes shuttle.

Note: for simplicity I left orbit-types out of this. I'm purely talking launch mass now.

So, for ESA launches (the prime driver behind the development of any Ariane version) 6.5 metric tons launch capacity is more than enough, particularly since none of the planned ESA missions exceeds a launch mass of 4.5 metric tons.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/11/2013 11:54 am
I entered some reasonable numbers in Schilling's calculator and got 17.1t for LEO (185/185/45°), 6.8t for GTO and 4.8t for escape trajectory.

Probably the upper limit.

JUICE (4.8t) will probably be too heavy.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/11/2013 12:00 pm
The question is what the structural limit for LEO would be
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 07/11/2013 12:14 pm
I wonder if there's any back paper calculations for the performance of an A6 with just one P135 on the first and second stages (possibly T/W <1?) or a cluster of 5 P135s on the first stage?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/11/2013 12:46 pm
I now got 6.9t to GTO in the baseline version, weird, maybe "triple seven" was meant literally ;)


With 1xP135:
2.7t to GTO (quite a lot  ???, 9t to LEO)

With 5xP135:
10t to GTO (and 23.2t to LEO, same as A5 ME  ;D).

Of course as Jim would say, "rockets are not legos" ;)

Maybe I should give numbers :)

GTO: 35943/250/6° (from Kourou, see A5 user manual).
LEO: 185/185/45° (from Kourou)

Dry mass of boosters: 10% of propellant (slightly more than P80).
Upper stage fuel: 31t (known, read it somewhere).
Upper stage dry mass: 5t (just a guess).
Booster isp: 285 (a guess, must enter vacuum number).
Booster thrust: 4500kn (1.5x P80, pure guess)
Fairing: 2t, jettison at 200s.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/11/2013 01:49 pm
Of course as Jim would say, "rockets are not legos" ;)

Paper rockets are.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: R7 on 07/11/2013 02:37 pm
Manned S/Cs for Ariane 6 can be made lighter than for other LVs. LAS is not needed ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/11/2013 03:08 pm
And regarding your SpaceX comment - props to you for finally putting your real feelings on them out there for all to see. Leaky?  ???
I would like to see SpaceX, and all of the other launch providers, succeed, but "leaky" is what happened when they initially fueled v1.1 at McGregor, several months ago now, causing delays.  I was illustrating one advantage of monolithic solids.

Remember also that Falcon 9 v1.1 won't be able to match Ariane 6 lift capability.  Only Falcon Heavy could do that, a machine that would require perfect performance from twenty eight turbopumps, liquid valve sets, temperature sensor sets, thrust vector controller sets, propellant feed line sets, and so on.  Even Atlas V has to fly in a 551 variant to match Ariane 6 GTO performance, and Delta IV has to go as a Heavy to better Ariane 6.  So yes, Ariane 6 looks pretty elegant by comparison.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/11/2013 04:06 pm
^

531 ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/11/2013 04:16 pm
^

531 ;)
Not on an equivalent delta-v to GEO basis.  Atlas V 531 can only lift about 5.65 tonnes to a GTO that is 1,500 m/s short of GEO, which is the Ariane baseline.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/11/2013 04:34 pm
^

I see, I must learn.

According to this article:

http://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/2013/07/09/01008-20130709ARTFIG00464-la-configuration-definitive-d-ariane-6-enfin-devoilee.php

thrust of two lateral P135 is 760 tons at takeoff (the central one is ignited 10s into flight, for whatever reason).

Unfortunately the rocket's mass is 660t, 28t more than I expected, which kind of ruins the estimation (closer to 5t than 6.5t). If I blame the additional mass on the first stage and increase ISP to 295 (I think one must insert isp with vacuum nozzle, at least it says in the description, not sure), Zefiro 9 with 295s is my justification ;D, I get 6.57t to GTO.

2.7t for the 1xP135 and ~9.4t for 5xP135 are still within reach.

Anyway, this is pointless, I give up ;)



Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Lars_J on 07/11/2013 05:56 pm
And regarding your SpaceX comment - props to you for finally putting your real feelings on them out there for all to see. Leaky?  ???
I would like to see SpaceX, and all of the other launch providers, succeed, but "leaky" is what happened when they initially fueled v1.1 at McGregor, several months ago now, causing delays.  I was illustrating one advantage of monolithic solids.

If it leaked while sitting on the pad I might excuse your comment - but not in an early test in a testing facility designed to ... you know ... test things. Do you think solid development and testing is always trouble free? Shall we drag up every small scale issue that ATK or other solid manufacturer into every solid vs liquid discussion??

No, your comment was out of line and highly informative of your bias.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Stephan on 07/11/2013 06:46 pm
ESA to my knowledge has never ever built a payload that required a full A5 launch.

The heaviest ESA payload combination (other than ATV) that ever launched on Ariane 5 was the very first: Cluster 1. It came in at a launch weight of a little under 5 metric tons.
If you count the adaptor for dual launch as well, then the heaviest ESA payload combination on Ariane 5 was the Herschel/Planck launch at roughly 5.5 metric tons.
From there it is a (very) long jump to the 20 metric tons for ATV or 21 metric tons for the once planned Hermes shuttle.

Note: for simplicity I left orbit-types out of this. I'm purely talking launch mass now.

So, for ESA launches (the prime driver behind the development of any Ariane version) 6.5 metric tons launch capacity is more than enough, particularly since none of the planned ESA missions exceeds a launch mass of 4.5 metric tons.
Don't forget Envisat, ~8 metric tons. But it's unlikely to happen again, even with Ariane 5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/11/2013 06:52 pm
^

Envisat was not in GEO, 800km.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 07/11/2013 07:09 pm
When you consider PPH, you have to consider a P135 Vega. That's where it will make economic and strategic sense for ESA. May be they could have donde it better another way. I loved MT proposal, btw. But you gotta take the whole launch needs of Europe as a group. How many SSO of more than 3.5tonnes have you seen? And how many are planned? What if a P135 Vega can do a single Galileo? That's optimal for fleet maintenance, for example.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Stephan on 07/11/2013 07:48 pm
^

Envisat was not in GEO, 800km.
Didn't say it was.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 07/11/2013 08:48 pm
I entered some reasonable numbers in Schilling's calculator and got 17.1t for LEO (185/185/45°), 6.8t for GTO and 4.8t for escape trajectory.

Probably the upper limit.

JUICE (4.8t) will probably be too heavy.

Isn't JUICE slated to be launched on an A5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/12/2013 03:09 am
And regarding your SpaceX comment - props to you for finally putting your real feelings on them out there for all to see. Leaky?  ???
I would like to see SpaceX, and all of the other launch providers, succeed, but "leaky" is what happened when they initially fueled v1.1 at McGregor, several months ago now, causing delays.  I was illustrating one advantage of monolithic solids.

If it leaked while sitting on the pad I might excuse your comment - but not in an early test in a testing facility designed to ... you know ... test things. Do you think solid development and testing is always trouble free? Shall we drag up every small scale issue that ATK or other solid manufacturer into every solid vs liquid discussion??

No, your comment was out of line and highly informative of your bias.
If I have a bias, it is toward success.  If this is a bias, it is a hard-learned bias because I personally witnessed STS-51L when I worked at KSC. 

But when I examine the statistics for big-throat solids over the years, I count something like 328 total launches of big solid Titans, Ariane 5, and STS.  Of those, 22 suffered failures.  Of those failures, only three involved solid motor propulsion failures. 

Or consider Arianespace over the years, which has dealt with 11 failures of Ariane 1 through 5 - none of which involved a solid motor.

Or compare contemporary missiles like Titan 2 versus Minuteman 1, or Redstone versus Pershing, or UR-100 versus Topol, or even Falcon 1 or Rokot versus Vega.  In each case the solid missile failed far less frequently than the liquid missile.

That is not to say that liquids can't be successful; R-7, CZ, and the Ariane 5 and Atlas 5 core stages being prime examples.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/12/2013 11:00 am
If I have a bias, it is toward success.  If this is a bias, it is a hard-learned bias because I personally witnessed STS-51L when I worked at KSC. 

But when I examine the statistics for big-throat solids over the years, I count something like 328 total launches of big solid Titans, Ariane 5, and STS.  Of those, 22 suffered failures.  Of those failures, only three involved solid motor propulsion failures. 

Or consider Arianespace over the years, which has dealt with 11 failures of Ariane 1 through 5 - none of which involved a solid motor.

Or compare contemporary missiles like Titan 2 versus Minuteman 1, or Redstone versus Pershing, or UR-100 versus Topol, or even Falcon 1 or Rokot versus Vega.  In each case the solid missile failed far less frequently than the liquid missile.

That is not to say that liquids can't be successful; R-7, CZ, and the Ariane 5 and Atlas 5 core stages being prime examples.

 - Ed Kyle

So, this whole thing is coming down to one thing: KISS
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: R7 on 07/12/2013 01:18 pm
Or compare contemporary missiles like Titan 2 versus Minuteman 1, or Redstone versus Pershing, or UR-100 versus Topol, or even Falcon 1 or Rokot versus Vega.  In each case the solid missile failed far less frequently than the liquid missile.

By astronautix numbers Minuteman 1A ( 85.37%) wasn't more reliable than Titan II (92.59%) and 1B (93.29%) was only slightly. Calling Redstone and Pershing contemporary is a stretch, developed almost decade apart during times when rocketry was advancing by leaps and bounds. Same thing with UR-100 (60s) and Topol (80s). And Rokot vs Vega... Rokot is UR-100N with Briz-stage, so comparing something with CCCP painted over against another thing developed in 21st century produces a bit lopsided results.

Falcon-1 failures prove only that SpaceX doesn't get a free pass in physics. Things rust, liquids slosh and thrust decay matters, even with X on the skin.


Having said that, congratulations to the French and Safran Herakles for Ariane 6. Well lobbied.


edit: springing to Ed's defense; astronautix (and wiki) numbers for Titan II probably aren't correct, they combine N and B series launches but seem report only B series failures.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/12/2013 01:39 pm
Quote from: R7
Having said that, congratulations to the French and Safran Herakles for Ariane 6. Well lobbied.

I hope in the case a liquid design would have won, you would have said "congratulations to the French and Safran Snecma, Air Liquide and co., well lobbied."

Not? Does that show your bias towards liquids?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: R7 on 07/12/2013 02:01 pm
"congratulations to the French and Safran Snecma, Air Liquide and co., well lobbied."

Forgot to say that, they did manage to cling to liquid US so well lobbied! :)

Quote
Not? Does that show your bias towards liquids?

I can show my bias towards liquids by saying that I'm definitely biased towards liquids in civilian space efforts.  :D
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/12/2013 02:01 pm
By astronautix numbers Minuteman 1A ( 85.37%) wasn't more reliable than Titan II (92.59%) and 1B (93.29%) was only slightly.
I'm not sure which Titan II the Astronautix numbers are describing.  Titan II ICBM test flights actually only succeeded a bit more than 80% of the time (81 flights with 16 failures). 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/12/2013 05:28 pm
Woerner said most studies suggest that satellites, on average, are getting heavier — not lighter, and that a capacity limited to 6,500 kilograms for a launcher to enter service in the 2020s is insufficient.
Only two rockets in the world right now can lift more than 6.5 tonnes to GEO - 1,500 m/s (the Ariane GTO).  Those are Atlas V 551 and Delta IV Heavy, neither of which is commercially competitive.  The U.S. Government has only been able to afford to launch these two configurations a combined total of nine times during the past 11 years.

Of course Ariane 5 can lift more than 6.5 tonnes, but it is designed to lift two payloads at once.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 07/12/2013 05:48 pm
Go Germany lol

Can Ariane 5 ME lift Orion?

Perhaps a composite version?

I like how they say "Italy can pay and France can pay" "Don't want to spend all our money on launchers". Good on them. Spaceflight is more about the payload. A service module is not enough of a contribution to the SLS stack to get a seat. Not when the U.S. is paying somewhere around $30-40b+ for development.

I want to see them make a DSH. It will cost billions yes but it will help NASA go to a NEA and it will ensure Europeon astronauts go along for the ride.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/12/2013 05:54 pm
Argh. A lot of strawman arguments to defuse pro-Ariane 6 strawman arguments. This is what makes European space policy so annoying.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/12/2013 06:00 pm

As the post was removed, for whatever reason, I will post only the link to the article.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/36225dlr%E2%80%99s-woerner-remains-unconvinced-just-unveiled-ariane-6-design-is-right#.UeA0mG1tb9t

Hope that is allowed  ???
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/12/2013 08:11 pm
The "whatever reason" will be quoting copyrighted material which is a violation of the author's copyright and could potentially get Chris into trouble, so it was right to remove it.
Posting the link is the correct way to report it.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: sdsds on 07/13/2013 03:56 am
The quote from the Le Gall interview got me thinking. “If we’re launching 15 times per year, that’s 60 identical boosters because we have a single design for the vehicle. This is how we can keep costs down.” What if the liquid advocates accepted A6, and proposed replacing A5 with a vehicle that used some number (maybe four?) of these boosters around a Vulcain-2 powered core/sustainer stage? By using even more boosters, wouldn't that vehicle "keep costs down" even more, while maintaining the industrial base that builds Vulcain engines?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/13/2013 09:51 am
Why maintain Vulcain? Vega evolutions are looking at a LOX/methane upper stage so something based on LOX/methane could have more synergy.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/13/2013 11:15 am
Quote from: sdsds
What if the liquid advocates accepted A6, and proposed replacing A5 with a vehicle that used some number (maybe four?) of these boosters around a Vulcain-2 powered core/sustainer stage? By using even more boosters, wouldn't that vehicle "keep costs down" even more, while maintaining the industrial base that builds Vulcain engines?

If most of the thrust at launch comes form solids, they must have TVC, which is expensive. I guess that is why the A6 liquid version has two Vulcain 3 (which should be 30% less expensive than Vulcain 2 and provide slightly higher thrust with 1500kn) to provide most of the thrust, plus "simple", small boosters with fixed nozzles.

So its either big fat solids with TVC (and potentially discarding liquid first stage altogether), or a strong liquid core.

Quote from: mmeijeri
Why maintain Vulcain? Vega evolutions are looking at a LOX/methane upper stage so something based on LOX/methane could have more synergy.

From what I can tell they looked into methane, but the resulting rockets were heavy, requiring strong engines (for example 2 engines with 2650kn each, the document is posted on NSF in this or past threads).

Below is an image of the engines in study at Snecma in 2009.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 07/13/2013 08:51 pm
The quote from the Le Gall interview got me thinking. “If we’re launching 15 times per year, that’s 60 identical boosters because we have a single design for the vehicle. This is how we can keep costs down.” What if the liquid advocates accepted A6, and proposed replacing A5 with a vehicle that used some number (maybe four?) of these boosters around a Vulcain-2 powered core/sustainer stage? By using even more boosters, wouldn't that vehicle "keep costs down" even more, while maintaining the industrial base that builds Vulcain engines?


There seems to be a wrong view of serial production impact out there....

The current A6 configuration uses 4 solid stages plus one cryogenic upper stage. According to our NELS results this configuration is more expensive that a "simple" three stage PPH in line configuratiopn using a P340 in the first and a P110 in the second stage. Chopping the first stage into small pieces does add complexity and cost.

The most important thing I learned during the NELS study is that reducing the number of "propulsive modules" is the way to go and the current A6 configuration is going in the opposite way.

Our HH configuration with three Vulcain 3 (the cost optimized version of the Vulcain 2) resulted in practically the same cost as the now chosen "Multi-P" configuration.

There is absolutely no cost argument for sticking with the ugly solids!

And there is still the option for a smaller version for the 3,5 ton GTO target by omitting the center engine of the first stage and fueling of that stage to 65% only. A feature that the multi-P Ariane 6 configuration doesn't offer!

Also there is still the door open for a heavy CCB version with three bundled core stages, the outer with 3 engines, the center with two, that could bring up to 40 tons to LEO should there ever be a need for such a payload capacity in Europe.

For me the most important feature is that we could maintain the large liquid engine technology that I assume as crucial for anything beyond Ariane 6!

It's good to hear that DLR head Woerner is tending to the right side...!

It's time to destroy that myth of "cheap solid propulsion"!
It is not cheaper than liquid propulsion from the launcher systems point of view.

Spacediver
 
 
 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/13/2013 10:19 pm
Quote from: spacediver
There seems to be a wrong view of serial production impact out there....

Did you really do such an in depth economic analysis? I mean I don't see why they should pick the 3xP135-P135 version over the P180/strapons -P110 if not for economic reasons (Afaik the latter would offer superior capacity, up to 8t). Also Woerner doesn't seem to disagree with the potential of economics of scale of 60+ identical solids produced in one factory.

And did you consider synergies with Vega?

Quote from: spacediver
Our HH configuration with three Vulcain 3 (the cost optimized version of the Vulcain 2) resulted in practically the same cost as the now chosen "Multi-P" configuration.

Vulcain 3 has a sea level thrust of 1066kn, to my knowledge. Three Vulcains means 3198kn. Don't you think the T/W ratio at takeoff would be rather pathetic? A few pages back in this thread there is a pic of a quadri-vulcain concept. Wouldn't that reduce gravity losses and tank size significantly?

Also, adding 20t boosters or similar with fixed nozzle would reduce number of engines to 2, hence increasing reliability, and again reduce tank size. With less tank diameter one could also use common bulkhead with the upper stage without making it a terrible design (i.e. heavy).

Just some thoughts from a layman  :)

Edit: Did you say P340? There is no way for such a booster to be monolithic, right?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kch on 07/13/2013 10:58 pm

Edit: Did you say P340? There is no way for such a booster to be monolithic, right?


Well, of course not -- that'd be huge!  Who would be crazy enough to even build something like that, let alone test-fire it?

http://www.astronautix.com/engines/aj2602.htm

 ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/13/2013 11:11 pm
^

Not composite and terrible ISP  ;)

Besides, development costs matter too. That thing looks rather crazy indeed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 07/14/2013 12:33 am

Did you really do such an in depth economic analysis?


Yes, we did!
Complete Business case analysis and cost estimate for each concept.


And did you consider synergies with Vega?


No, was not a NELS requirement.


Vulcain 3 has a sea level thrust of 1066kn, to my knowledge.


Sorry, forgot to mention that it's a Vulcain with reduced expansion ratio of about 30. S/L thrust was 1295 kN per Engine.


Also, adding 20t boosters or similar with fixed nozzle would reduce number of engines to 2, hence increasing reliability, and again reduce tank size.


We investigated such a concept but the additional solid boosters are much more expensive than the third Vulcain!


Edit: Did you say P340? There is no way for such a booster to be monolithic, right?


Yes it would need to be segmented and therefore most likely metallic. We investigated this concept more as a benchmark than a real world concept.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/14/2013 01:12 am
^

Ok I guess 3 Vulcains is enough then. What do you think of a higher expansion ratio, thus higher vaccum isp, but one more engine?

You seem not very much concerned with tank size. Is that a non-issue with regard to manufacturing cost?

I guess you're from OHB and the concepts below are the ones you looked into.

Clearly the H2 only version is huge, while the version with strap-ons is relatively small (ok it has a single SC engine, but the ISP of Vulcains is not bad, so probably would not be much bigger with 2 Vulcains).

Btw., did you consider composite H2 tanks?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: cheesybagel on 07/14/2013 07:54 am
Quote from: mmeijeri
Why maintain Vulcain? Vega evolutions are looking at a LOX/methane upper stage so something based on LOX/methane could have more synergy.

For upper stage applications they have Vinci. Probably overpowered for a Vega upper stage but it should work fine on the larger Ariane 4 class rocket.

From what I can tell they looked into methane, but the resulting rockets were heavy, requiring strong engines (for example 2 engines with 2650kn each, the document is posted on NSF in this or past threads).

Below is an image of the engines in study at Snecma in 2009.

Right. My favorite between those two (Veda and Volga) is the LOX/Methane Volga with staged combustion that was supposed to be designed with Russian input. I guess they had those two concept designs because the idea back then was to make an European version of the US Space Launch Initiative TSTO launcher proposal. Remember the RS-83 and RS-84? Heh. Like I said ESA isn't really creative with these things. One big proof is how they persist with this all solid Ariane 6 after the US itself dropped work on the "stick" i.e. Ares-I.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/14/2013 08:53 am
And did you consider synergies with Vega?

Not to mention nuclear missiles. As far as I know a Trident replacement has still to be decided.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: mmeijeri on 07/14/2013 08:55 am
For upper stage applications they have Vinci. Probably overpowered for a Vega upper stage but it should work fine on the larger Ariane 4 class rocket.

Sure, I meant as a second and perhaps eventually first stage. But first it would have to start as a third stage for Vega and then "work its way down".
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/14/2013 10:51 am
Quote from: cheesybagel
Right. My favorite between those two (Veda and Volga) is the LOX/Methane Volga with staged combustion that was supposed to be designed with Russian input.

Problem with SC engines, they're bloody expensive. I think Volga was considered for a reusable booster system. On the other hand, GG kerosene engines with vinci US, probably too bad isp. They would need to stage earlier and use a more powerful US engine. Something a la F9.

I wonder, are there any high-thrust (1000kn+) GG kerosene engines except the F-1?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: aga on 07/14/2013 11:21 am
I wonder, are there any high-thrust (1000kn+) GG kerosene engines except the F-1?
rd-117? just barely over 1000 kN
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/14/2013 11:39 am
^

Sorry, >1100kn  :), not Soyuz' engine and RS-27A.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: cheesybagel on 07/14/2013 04:59 pm
Quote from: cheesybagel
Right. My favorite between those two (Veda and Volga) is the LOX/Methane Volga with staged combustion that was supposed to be designed with Russian input.

Problem with SC engines, they're bloody expensive. I think Volga was considered for a reusable booster system. On the other hand, GG kerosene engines with vinci US, probably too bad isp. They would need to stage earlier and use a more powerful US engine. Something a la F9.

I wonder, are there any high-thrust (1000kn+) GG kerosene engines except the F-1?


According to the Russians they are not that expensive to manufacture. Sure they cost more but in return you get more payload.

The Russians are going to use staged combustion in Angara. They have been switching the Soyuz engines to use staged combustion as well (e.g. RD-0124). RD-180 is used in Atlas V in the US. The Chinese are going to use the technology in Long March 5. Finally SpaceX is supposedly developing a LOX/Methane staged combustion engine named the Raptor.

I remember reading the status reports on the LOX/Methane collaboration of the French with the Russians. Allegedly the choice of LOX/Methane over LOX/Kerosene was done in order to mitigate the risk required to design a staged combustion engine. Allegedly a LOX/LH2 staged combustion engine is not that hard to design and a LOX/Methane version is only slightly more difficult. The main issue is when you attempt to design a LOX rich LOX/Kerosene staged combustion engine. That is when all the insane metallurgical problems start creeping up.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/14/2013 06:11 pm
Quote from: cheesybagel
According to the Russians they are not that expensive to manufacture.

Nominal wages in Russia are on average still maybe a third of those in the west. Also, the russians already know how to manufacture them.

Quote from: cheesybagel
The Russians are going to use staged combustion in Angara.

...and keep Proton until 2030, no plans to retire Soyuz. Although Proton uses SC engines too, but with hypergolics, probably a lot simpler.

Quote from: cheesybagel
They have been switching the Soyuz engines to use staged combustion as well (e.g. RD-0124).

Only upper stage.

Quote from: cheesybagel
Finally SpaceX is supposedly developing a LOX/Methane staged combustion engine named the Raptor.

Would make sense given their plans.

Quote from: cheesybagel
Allegedly a LOX/LH2 staged combustion engine is not that hard to design and a LOX/Methane version is only slightly more difficult.

The expendable version of RS-25 is supposed to cost $40m (reusable more than $70m). Awful lot of money for an engine which offers slightly bigger ISP and better mixture ratio than GG (at least when looking at H2).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/15/2013 07:05 am
Our HH configuration with three Vulcain 3 (the cost optimized version of the Vulcain 2) resulted in practically the same cost as the now chosen "Multi-P" configuration.

There is absolutely no cost argument for sticking with the ugly solids!
Turning that around: There is absolutely no cost argument for sticking with the highly complicated liquids.

If you wish to define solids as 'ugly', then support that definition with arguments.


Also there is still the door open for a heavy CCB version with three bundled core stages, the outer with 3 engines, the center with two, that could bring up to 40 tons to LEO should there ever be a need for such a payload capacity in Europe.
You're missing the point. No such need exists today. And should the need ever arise, ESA will have a very good reason to develop Ariane 7. After all, the main driver behind the Ariane series of launchers is to keep the European launcher industry at work.

It's time to destroy that myth of "cheap solid propulsion"!
It is not cheaper than liquid propulsion from the launcher systems point of view.
And again you fail to address the real issue at hand. Why is liquid propulsion to be preferred above solids? Cost is clearly not the point. Then what is it?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/16/2013 03:19 pm

Seeing to what extent ESA endorses REL's SABRE engine (see Skylon thread), I wonder whether ESA simply does not see a future for liquid engine development beyond SABRE.

Maybe Ariane 6 is designed as a launcher which should close the gap to a future RLV with SABRE as cheap as possible, with as much synergies as possible with the existing Vega. Also its the last opportunity to improve on solid rocket motor technology.

I'm not kidding  ;D
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: cheesybagel on 07/18/2013 04:23 am

Seeing to what extent ESA endorses REL's SABRE engine (see Skylon thread), I wonder whether ESA simply does not see a future for liquid engine development beyond SABRE.

Maybe Ariane 6 is designed as a launcher which should close the gap to a future RLV with SABRE as cheap as possible, with as much synergies as possible with the existing Vega. Also its the last opportunity to improve on solid rocket motor technology.

I'm not kidding  ;D


ESA is not going to fund Skylon. Most programs are done on a workshare basis where the countries which provide the most funding to ESA get more of the work. Skylon is a British project and that country has not been interested in funding space launch technology since like the 1970s. Some minor funding for studies is being provided sure. But not the funding required to develop an actual launch vehicle.

The "new" solids for Ariane 6 aren't that exciting. Basically they changed the casing to use filament wound carbon instead of metal casings. It still uses the same propellants. If this was a hybrid rocket instead that could have been interesting. This way it is not IMO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/18/2013 05:34 am
Quote from: cheesybagel
ESA is not going to fund Skylon. Most programs are done on a workshare basis where the countries which provide the most funding to ESA get more of the work. Skylon is a British project and that country has not been interested in funding space launch technology since like the 1970s. Some minor funding for studies is being provided sure. But not the funding required to develop an actual launch vehicle.

Today's aerospace industry does not stop at national borders anymore. Skylon would offer plenty of work for companies in Europe and abroad, and hence development costs would be shared. Critical technology like the heat exchangers could still fully remain inside Britain. Of course I don't believe we'll see anything like Skylon before 2030. But as a successor to A6, I see at least a slight chance :)

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 07/18/2013 04:43 pm
Skylon is already being funded by ESA and the British space agency. REL isn't going to build Skylon itself, they are just going to produce the engines with the planes being made by a different factory. If SpaceX can get rockets reusable and they can out compete ESA, I'm pretty sure ESA would be interested in increasing the funding for Skylon and a company in a different European country would start producing it (EADS, perhaps?).

Also, Britain has started to increase it's space spending since last year, it's fairly possible that they would be very interested in funding Skylon if the SABRE tests are successful.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/19/2013 08:38 am
If SpaceX can get rockets reusable and they can out compete ESA Arianespace, I'm pretty sure ...

Fixed that for ya. And welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 07/19/2013 09:53 am
Oh damnit, missed that. And thank you :)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 08/24/2013 09:02 pm
Recently, I've thought about a possible merger of Ariane 5 and 6 into one heavy lift launch vehicle. The first stage would consist of 5x P135, the second stage would be the Ariane 5 core and the optional upper stage would be the same as the A5ME upper stage. Plugging the numbers from astronautix.com into the LV calculator and I got about 40 tons to LEO and 21 tons to GTO. It might not be necessary for the near future, but say ESA suddenly wanted Heavy lift performance for whoever knows what reason. Would a design like that be feasible?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 08/26/2013 02:00 pm
^

The A5 core is not designed to withstand that load, Vulcain is not air-startable. Keeping production lines for cores and vulcains open only for a rarely (if at all) used heavy version would be too expensive anyway.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 08/26/2013 02:06 pm
^

The A5 core is not designed to withstand that load, Vulcain is not air-startable. Keeping production lines for cores and vulcains open only for a rarely (if at all) used heavy version would be too expensive anyway.

I was already afraid that the physical loads would make the design unworkable. It's not really that I think a Heavy launcher is necessary but I was thinking about possible Ariane 6 derived HLV's. You know, in case it's necessary. And with that I mean I like big rockets.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 08/26/2013 03:21 pm
The piece in the last Spaceflight magazine appeared to be indicating that this isn't a done deal, that it's more a French project than anything else and the German's were far less keen on it?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Patchouli on 08/26/2013 05:39 pm
Woerner said most studies suggest that satellites, on average, are getting heavier — not lighter, and that a capacity limited to 6,500 kilograms for a launcher to enter service in the 2020s is insufficient.
Only two rockets in the world right now can lift more than 6.5 tonnes to GEO - 1,500 m/s (the Ariane GTO).  Those are Atlas V 551 and Delta IV Heavy, neither of which is commercially competitive.  The U.S. Government has only been able to afford to launch these two configurations a combined total of nine times during the past 11 years.

Of course Ariane 5 can lift more than 6.5 tonnes, but it is designed to lift two payloads at once.

 - Ed Kyle

The move to 4 and 8K HDTV will require higher data rates and thus need a stronger signal.
There are two ways to address this larger dishes on the receiving end "which is not going to happen after the market has gotten used to small dishes" or you jack up your transmitter power.

Then there's emerging markets such as multispot beam sats for high speed internet such as  Skyterra.

This will likely cause increases in mass that will greatly outstrip anything saved with ion engines being used for orbit refinement.

Then there's the issue of Europe being left without a HSF capable launcher and having to depend on the Russians and Americans.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 08/26/2013 05:48 pm

Then there's the issue of Europe being left without a HSF capable launcher and having to depend on the Russians and Americans.

I'm pretty sure ESA isn't interested in an independent human space program. If they were, they still have a few options open.

Should they want to build a scaled up version of the Pride-ISV in a similar fashion to the X-37C they could build a dual or triple Vulcain version of Ariane 5 without the SRB's, which should be capable of about 13 tons to LEO. The reason they didn't do that for Ariane 6 was that the current Vulcain was too expensive and developing a new one wouldn't have any synergies with Vega. Should the need arrive for a manned launcher when Ariane 5 is still flying they could develop it for relatively little. Should the need arrive after Ariane 5 has stopped flying they'll have a good reason to develop Ariane 7.

And of course, ESA is supporting Skylon and currently doing an economical analysis to see wether it could replace Ariane as their primary launcher. If they decide to fully support it ESA will have manned capability anyway, regardless of the kind of Ariane that replaces Ariane 5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Patchouli on 08/26/2013 06:01 pm
Skylon seems like something they should be supporting as a long term project.
If the ESA doesn't back it I think NASA should partner with the UK on it.

As for a near term crew launch vehicle Araine 5 originally was designed for such a role.

A human rated version of Araine 5 paired with a modern crew vehicle would likely be safer then Ares I and Soyuz.
The LV has a near perfect record and the one nasty failure would have been just a LOM vs LOC had there been a crew vehicle with some sort of LAS on top.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 08/26/2013 06:05 pm
Then there's the issue of Europe being left without a HSF capable launcher and having to depend on the Russians and Americans.

Invalid argument. Europe has never had possession of an HSF capable launcher. Ariane 5 as we know it never had HSF capabilities. Those were thrown out when Hermes was cancelled.
Europe has always had to depend on the Russians or Americans to transport their astro's to space.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 08/26/2013 06:17 pm
The move to 4 and 8K HDTV will require higher data rates and thus need a stronger signal.
There are two ways to address this larger dishes on the receiving end "which is not going to happen after the market has gotten used to small dishes" or you jack up your transmitter power.
If you switch to SEP for GSO circularization, I think you'll first get volume limited rather than payload limited on most cargo. At least antoine has stated that when they were volume limited on a Proton they quoted a SEP version of their sat. Customer chose a more expensive launcher, though.
Ariane 6 will probably have a huge payload volume for its performance. And I still think that developing more efficient space rated solar cells would be cheaper than a more powerful LV development. That and the need for more powerful TWT, a market for which Europe also has a 50% share. I think, thus, that if I had to chose between a bigger LV and better solar cells and TWT, I would go with the latter.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 08/28/2013 06:48 pm
Skylon seems like something they should be supporting as a long term project.
If the ESA doesn't back it I think NASA should partner with the UK on it.

As for a near term crew launch vehicle Araine 5 originally was designed for such a role.

A human rated version of Araine 5 paired with a modern crew vehicle would likely be safer then Ares I and Soyuz.
The LV has a near perfect record and the one nasty failure would have been just a LOM vs LOC had there been a crew vehicle with some sort of LAS on top.

People should be biting their hands off to partner on Skylon as it must be the program with the greatest potential to alter our access to space in fifty years.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 08/31/2013 12:53 pm
Skylon seems like something they should be supporting as a long term project.
If the ESA doesn't back it I think NASA should partner with the UK on it.

As for a near term crew launch vehicle Araine 5 originally was designed for such a role.

A human rated version of Araine 5 paired with a modern crew vehicle would likely be safer then Ares I and Soyuz.
The LV has a near perfect record and the one nasty failure would have been just a LOM vs LOC had there been a crew vehicle with some sort of LAS on top.

People should be biting their hands off to partner on Skylon as it must be the program with the greatest potential to alter our access to space in fifty years.

Skylon is the great dream maybe in 20 years it might become a reality .Right now an Ariane with a reusable core, the high thrust engine and two of the most powerful boosters possible would make more sense and be cheaper.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Patchouli on 09/01/2013 03:51 am
Then there's the issue of Europe being left without a HSF capable launcher and having to depend on the Russians and Americans.

Invalid argument. Europe has never had possession of an HSF capable launcher. Ariane 5 as we know it never had HSF capabilities. Those were thrown out when Hermes was cancelled.
Europe has always had to depend on the Russians or Americans to transport their astro's to space.

Killing Hermes was one of the dumber mistakes made in European space flight though it never had full ESA backing.
The times when the shuttle was grounded would have been a lot less painful had it been flying.
OT but it might have even been able to rescue the crew of Columbia.

Interesting note it seems Araine 6 should have similar LEO payload to Falcon 9 v1.1 which means the ATV's functionality could be fully replicated using a reusable tug and a dumb cargo container like the Russian Parom concept.
This also means a Dragon or Dream chaser class spacecraft is possible if you don't mind riding on a vehicle with a solid first stage.

Bad thing though it can launch cargo and capsules but falls short of what you need for station modules and many flagship class space missions.

Ion propulsion on science missions and use of a tug for space station construction can compensate some of the deficiency.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/01/2013 08:37 pm
Then there's the issue of Europe being left without a HSF capable launcher and having to depend on the Russians and Americans.

Invalid argument. Europe has never had possession of an HSF capable launcher. Ariane 5 as we know it never had HSF capabilities. Those were thrown out when Hermes was cancelled.
Europe has always had to depend on the Russians or Americans to transport their astro's to space.

Killing Hermes was one of the dumber mistakes made in European space flight though it never had full ESA backing.
The times when the shuttle was grounded would have been a lot less painful had it been flying.
OT but it might have even been able to rescue the crew of Columbia.

Interesting note it seems Araine 6 should have similar LEO payload to Falcon 9 v1.1 which means the ATV's functionality could be fully replicated using a reusable tug and a dumb cargo container like the Russian Parom concept.
This also means a Dragon or Dream chaser class spacecraft is possible if you don't mind riding on a vehicle with a solid first stage.

Bad thing though it can launch cargo and capsules but falls short of what you need for station modules and many flagship class space missions.

Ion propulsion on science missions and use of a tug for space station construction can compensate some of the deficiency.

You're all over the place. When will you finally grasp that Ariane 6 is NOT meant to launch:
- Recreated ATV functionality
- Reusable tugs
- Station modules
- Flagship class space missions

Ariane 6 is meant to launch:
- small and medium class robotic space missions
- Weather satellites
- Earth observation satellites
- Navsats
- Comsats

And that's about it. There are no plans, by ESA, for recreated ATV functionality, tugs, station modules, European manned spacecraft etc, etc. Your rot about how Ariane 6 cannot do this and cannot do that and that such is all a big mistake made by ESA is becoming boring.
Also, you are in no position to judge the cancellation of Hermes as "one of the dumber mistakes made in European space flight". Never mind your suggestion that Hermes could have saved the Columbia crew. The latter is bordering on ridiculous.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 09/01/2013 10:11 pm
If ESA wants to outsource all their manned spaceflight activities to the United States they can do so. Hopefully it's worth it.

Throwing away a brilliant and capable launcher like the Ariane 5 just to pour money into a new development seems foolhardy to me.

They should at least figure out what they want to do post ISS first.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/02/2013 09:56 am
If ESA wants to outsource all their manned spaceflight activities to the United States they can do so. Hopefully it's worth it.

Throwing away a brilliant and capable launcher like the Ariane 5 just to pour money into a new development seems foolhardy to me.

They should at least figure out what they want to do post ISS first.

All manned ESA spaceflight activities were never 'home-grown' to begin with. So you can't really say that ESA is outsourcing it's HSF activities. They have relied upon the Americans (Spacelab, shuttle-MIR, ISS) and the Russians (Mir, ISS) from the very beginning.

The fact that every ESA attempt, to produce an European HSF system, ended in cancellation, shows that the current HSF situation (rely on Americans and Russians) is working just fine for ESA.

Ariane 5 is neither brilliant, nor capable enough for HSF.
It's reliable however. But at a cost.
The technology behind Ariane 5 is outdated, with much of it's design going back to the 1980's. Even if it had been fully manrated it probably could only barely launch a manned spacecraft.
The CNES study into 'Orion on Ariane 5' showed that there was little-to-no margin for mass-growth of the spacecraft, without requiring significant performance improvements being made to the launcher.
On a side note: the study also showed that modification of the launcher and the CSG infrastructure was "cost-prohibitive".
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 09/02/2013 11:25 am
Outdated? Relevance?

Launch technology doesn't change much. As long as you can still supply the parts there shouldn't be a problem.

How can Ariancespace justify a new launcher on the basis of price when any new launcher needs to amortize launch development costs before it can even begin to undercut the Ariane 5. By that time the alternatives might have won enough business to make Ariane 6 unprofitable.

Ariane 5 can't launch Orion. DIV-H can't launch Orion. Orion is the most bloated capsule ever designed. It's a concrete block.... on second thoughts perhaps that's unfair to the block.  :)

If SpaceX can build a small capsule spacecraft for not much money why can't ESA?

If they can't compete with SpaceX might as well just shut up shop and buy their services.

Trying to develop a new launcher when the world is already flush with launchers seems to be hiding an ulterior motive.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 09/02/2013 02:43 pm
Outdated? Relevance?
Manufacturing technology, materials and parts obsolescence, pad ops optimized for different requirements, etc.

Quote
How can Ariancespace justify a new launcher on the basis of price when any new launcher needs to amortize launch development costs before it can even begin to undercut the Ariane 5. By that time the alternatives might have won enough business to make Ariane 6 unprofitable.
Totally uninformed. ESA pays for development, Astrium charges mft and maintenance costs. Most of the changes for Ariane 6 will be on lowering the overhead.

Quote
Ariane 5 can't launch Orion. DIV-H can't launch Orion. Orion is the most bloated capsule ever designed. It's a concrete block.... on second thoughts perhaps that's unfair to the block.  :)
That's so wrong. No capsule has had the requirements of Orion (500 days in deep space, plus a ridiculous amount of delta-v, for four crew). I challenge you to design to the same requirements for significantly less mass. The Russians for their lunar capable capsule are also around 23tonnes or so. And DIVH can launch Orion, just not to TLI. But they could do EOR pretty easily. In fact, they have better performance than the ill fated Ares I to any orbit.

Quote
If SpaceX can build a small capsule spacecraft for not much money why can't ESA?
Ask ESA. As why the ATV-R study contract was €80M. Ask why ATV was so over engineered when it could have used the Progress ops. Yet, is upto ESA to decide why they like big, over-engineered and expensive projects on the HSF side of things. Whatever you or me would like to spend that money on is of no concern. That's why they are the elected officials and we are simple citizens (and not even pay said officials).

Quote
If they can't compete with SpaceX might as well just shut up shop and buy their services.
What part of "Assured European access to space" don't you get? Really, how many times do we have to go over this?

Quote
Trying to develop a new launcher when the world is already flush with launchers seems to be hiding an ulterior motive.
Read the previous answer, is just two lines above. It's no secret and within that logic, it is a reasonable good decision.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/02/2013 03:32 pm
Outdated? Relevance?
Manufacturing technology, materials and parts obsolescence, pad ops optimized for different requirements, etc.

Oh really? That is an eternal problem. Look at any launcher of this world, they all have to properly adress obsolecence. Just to stay with European launchers, by the time VEGA made its maiden flight, there were already obsolecence problems around. You will not get rid of the topic by developping a new launcher.

Look at Soyuz, should have been out of business for long according to your line of argument.

If you prefer to look west instead of east, wondered about the renaissance of "old" engines: J2-X, RS-25, F-1B
Not 100% the original w.r.t. each and every design & manufacturing aspect, but still based on a supposedly "outdated" design?!?

If they can't compete with SpaceX might as well just shut up shop and buy their services.
What part of "Assured European access to space" don't you get? Really, how many times do we have to go over this?

Trying to develop a new launcher when the world is already flush with launchers seems to be hiding an ulterior motive.
Read the previous answer, is just two lines above. It's no secret and within that logic, it is a reasonable good decision.

Or this "reasonable good logic" is at least what some interested parties try to proclaim. Only time will tell if Ariane 6 (in its current form and designed for current market hypothesis) is indeed the better answer for "assured European access to space". Depends a lot if the ambitious goals can all be met.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 09/02/2013 05:01 pm
Outdated? Relevance?
Manufacturing technology, materials and parts obsolescence, pad ops optimized for different requirements, etc.

Oh really? That is an eternal problem. Look at any launcher of this world, they all have to properly adress obsolecence. Just to stay with European launchers, by the time VEGA made its maiden flight, there were already obsolecence problems around. You will not get rid of the topic by developping a new launcher.

Look at Soyuz, should have been out of business for long according to your line of argument.

If you prefer to look west instead of east, wondered about the renaissance of "old" engines: J2-X, RS-25, F-1B
Not 100% the original w.r.t. each and every design & manufacturing aspect, but still based on a supposedly "outdated" design?!?
Please, read what I wrote carefully. You're trying to address just one of the factors, and assuming that engines cycles is the only relevant technology.
BTW, Russian manufacturing base has different technology cycles to European and American. Yet, the Soyuz-2 program is exactly done for that. So were the -U, the -FG, etc.

Quote
Or this "reasonable good logic" is at least what some interested parties try to proclaim. Only time will tell if Ariane 6 (in its current form and designed for current market hypothesis) is indeed the better answer for "assured European access to space". Depends a lot if the ambitious goals can all be met.
Again, read where I'm from. Very little interest here. Look at all the requirements, their projection of the markets and see if it's obviously flawed. Of course in ex post it could be a monumental mistake. It could also be a brilliant strategy. And it's obvious that even the best strategy has little chances on poor execution. Yet, the argument that always come back is that Ariane 6 won't cover the requirements that the poster wants it to cover (e.g. HSF, space station modules, etc.). You don't like the requirements, go vote a different party so they change your MP on the EU Ministry Council. Or better yet, start a lobby campaign for your desired requirements. Else, just sit and discuss it from the sidelines like the rest of us.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 09/02/2013 06:03 pm
Quote from: spectre9
Outdated? Relevance?

If SpaceX can build a small capsule spacecraft for not much money why can't ESA?

If they can't compete with SpaceX might as well just shut up shop and buy their services.

1. Upgrading a launcher is often done by increasing its payload with weight savings and engine enhancements. There are many ways how you could upgrade A5, composite casings for boosters, higher thrust (Vulcain 3) for first stage engine (Vulcain 2 is no ideal for A5, around 1700kn would be optimal), less heavy second stage etc. But A5 is already too powerful, for single-launch anyway.

Upgrading an existing launcher is not necessarily cheap btw. The A5 ME upgrade is projected to cost 1.5bn, A6 around 3bn.

2. Apart from that little return mass ATV wipes the floor with Dragon when it comes to capability.

3. If SpaceX were a european company, would you say ULA/NASA should just shut up and buy their services? And why should Europe not buy from the Russians, from which Arianespace already purchases Soyuz? Its  SpaceX who has to prove it can compete.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/03/2013 06:29 am
Outdated? Relevance?
Manufacturing technology, materials and parts obsolescence, pad ops optimized for different requirements, etc.

Oh really? That is an eternal problem. Look at any launcher of this world, they all have to properly adress obsolecence. Just to stay with European launchers, by the time VEGA made its maiden flight, there were already obsolecence problems around. You will not get rid of the topic by developping a new launcher.

Look at Soyuz, should have been out of business for long according to your line of argument.

If you prefer to look west instead of east, wondered about the renaissance of "old" engines: J2-X, RS-25, F-1B
Not 100% the original w.r.t. each and every design & manufacturing aspect, but still based on a supposedly "outdated" design?!?
Please, read what I wrote carefully. You're trying to address just one of the factors, and assuming that engines cycles is the only relevant technology.
BTW, Russian manufacturing base has different technology cycles to European and American. Yet, the Soyuz-2 program is exactly done for that. So were the -U, the -FG, etc.

Sorry, I have not been explicit enough. I used "obsolecence" in the wider meaning encompassing the whole set of your list. I will be more verbose this time and give examples.

Manufacturing technologies (a European example):
Friction Stir Welding (FSW) instead of TIG is (partially) introduced in the current A5ME development.

Materials (an US example):
The external tank was "upgraded" from classical Al-alloy to Al-Li-alloy.

parts obsolescence
adressed already in the first reply. An every day issue of any launcher

All those issues can be adressed for existing launchers and are not limited to rocket motors (and I never claimed that). You cite yourself the venerable Soyuz which has its roots in the R-7 design dating back to the middle of last century. Each and every of the above mentioned "problems" has been properly addressed by the Russians. Obviously, each change requires a delta development and delta qualification, but there is no principal show stopper.

I do not agree that the Russians have a different technology cycle, I would rather say they have a different development philosophy (but it is getting philosophical here  ;)).

Only "pad ops optimized for different requirements" is usually not addressed with an existing design (but there again, if there is a hard requirement, could be done for a considerable amount of money to build the new infrastructure (and if it is limited to where to stack the launcher (difference between Ariane 5 case and Ariane 6 (which goes back to the Ariane 4 philosphopy, though with two pads)), not when you go from vertical integration to horizontal integration, which would have a major impact on the structural design of the launcher).




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Or this "reasonable good logic" is at least what some interested parties try to proclaim. Only time will tell if Ariane 6 (in its current form and designed for current market hypothesis) is indeed the better answer for "assured European access to space". Depends a lot if the ambitious goals can all be met.
Again, read where I'm from. Very little interest here. Look at all the requirements, their projection of the markets and see if it's obviously flawed. Of course in ex post it could be a monumental mistake. It could also be a brilliant strategy. And it's obvious that even the best strategy has little chances on poor execution. Yet, the argument that always come back is that Ariane 6 won't cover the requirements that the poster wants it to cover (e.g. HSF, space station modules, etc.). You don't like the requirements, go vote a different party so they change your MP on the EU Ministry Council. Or better yet, start a lobby campaign for your desired requirements. Else, just sit and discuss it from the sidelines like the rest of us.

Again sorry for not being clear enough. I never claimed that Europe should go for an own HSF-capability. Only very few people push into that direction, but within any foreseeable future, there will not be enough political support throughout Europe to support such an endeavour!

My line of argument is limited to the guaranteed access to space for institutional payloads!

Your reasons for Ariane 6 are only second or third order arguments in the "official" debate. The Ariane 6 supporters argue that Ariane 5 is not adapted to the current and future commercial satellite market and will see its launch rate sharply reduced with in addition no more double launches. They deny that Ariane 5 can be adapted to their forecasted market expectations (That is said more or less explicitly in the press statements of ESA and CNES).

Ariane 6, at the same time, is expected to be successfull and to continue Europes current "market dominance", thus being in the position to deliver the ~10-12 Ariane 5 payloads per year in single launch plus doing the ~2-4 [email protected] launches. The resulting ~15 launches per year are there to keep the hopes of industry alive to achieve similar turn-overs as today. And to be honest, me being a European, I would be happy to see that come true, but I am realistic enough to have serious doubts about the chances of that ever happening.

That would require that the much smaller Ariane 6 has considerable lower specific (not just absolute!) launch costs than Ariane 5. I see unfortunately no lever to achieve that: Not new materials, not new technologies, not the streamlining of the industry (considering the multitude of countries and their individual interests involved) and not even the sum of all above!

However, the current Ariane 6 design is building on that assumption. The chosen design is non-modular (i.e. only one version with a 6.5 t GTO performance) and the infrastructure shall be designed for a high launch rate. If Ariane 6 fails to achieve the ambitious cost goals, Europe will end up with a launcher which is designed for an unachievable high launch rate and which is oversized (and therefore unnecessarily expensive) for the majority of European institutional payloads (which are in the Vega and Soyuz class). That is the major flaw of the programm, designing a launcher for an use case, which IMHO will never be achievable!
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 09/03/2013 08:10 pm
Quote from: Notaris

That would require that the much smaller Ariane 6 has considerable lower specific (not just absolute!) launch costs than Ariane 5. I see unfortunately no lever to achieve that: Not new materials, not new technologies, not the streamlining of the industry (considering the multitude of countries and their individual interests involved) and not even the sum of all above!


I guess composite booster casings and a new cryogenic engine that blows RL10 out of the water are not, in any way, considered new? I can see how mass producing solid boosters that have far superior performance to the current P240 allows a launch vehicle with superior payload per dollar. But maybe I'm alone in that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 09/03/2013 08:33 pm
I don't seriously think that Ariane 6 will significantly lower the cost from Ariane 5 to GTO. What it will allow EU members, is to have a family of launchers for their actual needs. Ariane might be able to keep with the market. It's quite probably that the next batch of ECA will include enough improvements to offer a bigger fairing, in line with the current SEP transition. And ME will fit them quite nicely. Until 2024, probably.
But how many planned institutional payloads will be able to fly on Ariane 5? Remember that ATV and Envisar are no more. Only the military comm and GEO meteorological satellites and and the initial deployment of Galileo. But once they place the fleet, replenishment is done in much smaller batches. If ES can put 4 birds, it's quite probable that ME will be able to do 5 if not 6. But each plane is just 8 birds. And replenishment is usually done in one or two birds per launch.
Ariane 6 and the evolved Vega will cover them nicely.
Remember that Ariane 6 implies a P135 based Vega. If they can keep doing 7 GTO launches, plus 6 Vegas per year, that's 32 P135 per year, which, for this type of solids, is unheard of rate of production and will offer a low cost. The upper stage will have a similar rate to current Ariane 5, and if they can simplify the Vega with the MIRA stage, they'll also have a nice and cheap combo. For a government led European project, that is.
In other words, Ariane 5 replacement with 6 is more about actually covering the institutional payload's range. If they want to "assure access to space", they beter develop something in the range that they need. Regrettably, to keep Ariane 5 competitive in the GTO market, they have to push it farther and farther. Because with Ariane 5 you can only offer better performance at same price, rather than overall lower price for the same performance.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 09/04/2013 12:01 am
Quote from: Notaris
However, the current Ariane 6 design is building on that assumption.

Nope.

The rocket and the launch installation are being designed to operate Ariane 6 at least eight times per year, with a mission goal of 12 flights annually to keep production and operations costs within the targeted 70 million euros ($91 million) per launch.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35469with-ariane-6-launch-site-selected-cnes-aims-to-freeze-design-of-the-new#.UaL3EpFrOHN
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/04/2013 05:56 am
Quote from: Notaris
However, the current Ariane 6 design is building on that assumption.

Nope.

The rocket and the launch installation are being designed to operate Ariane 6 at least eight times per year, with a mission goal of 12 flights annually to keep production and operations costs within the targeted 70 million euros ($91 million) per launch.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35469with-ariane-6-launch-site-selected-cnes-aims-to-freeze-design-of-the-new#.UaL3EpFrOHN

Do not assume that the press is always 100% on target. The Mission Requirements Document specifies that Ariane 6 shall be designed for a launch rate of 12. The cost target of 70 Million Euros shall be reached at launch rate of 9.

Unfortunately, you stop short with the citation, the following sentence reads:

At somewhere between eight and 12 flights per year, including three or four European government missions, Ariane 6 would no longer need the annual price supports [...]

... and that is not necessarily current status of industrial estimations!
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/04/2013 06:30 am
I don't seriously think that Ariane 6 will significantly lower the cost from Ariane 5 to GTO. What it will allow EU members, is to have a family of launchers for their actual needs. Ariane might be able to keep with the market. It's quite probably that the next batch of ECA will include enough improvements to offer a bigger fairing, in line with the current SEP transition. And ME will fit them quite nicely. Until 2024, probably.
But how many planned institutional payloads will be able to fly on Ariane 5? Remember that ATV and Envisar are no more. Only the military comm and GEO meteorological satellites and and the initial deployment of Galileo. But once they place the fleet, replenishment is done in much smaller batches. If ES can put 4 birds, it's quite probable that ME will be able to do 5 if not 6. But each plane is just 8 birds. And replenishment is usually done in one or two birds per launch.

It is off-topic here, but the original Galileo design had 3 orbital planes with 10 S/C each (9 active and 1 in-orbit-spare). Only two launches per orbital plane were foreseen: 1 Ariane 5 ECB with 8 S/C and 1 Soyuz with 2 S/C. A5ME being basically the ESC-B design, should come close to the 8 S/C per mission (but might miss that goal). However, as you write correctly, it is quite unlikely that a replenishment would ever be 8 S/C in one orbital plane at a time!



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Ariane 6 and the evolved Vega will cover them nicely.
Remember that Ariane 6 implies a P135 based Vega.

That (or to be exact, rather the other way around: The Vega Evolution P120 shall be the common motor element for A6!) currently is and was the sine qua non of Italy for its Ariane 6 participation due to their severely strapped budget. There are ongoing studies with industry to work on synergies of Vega evolution and Ariane 6, but launchers ain't LEGO (which you are aware of)!

Staying a moment with the casings: Vega Evolution is based on continued use of the existing facilities and tools in Colleferro. Therefore the diameter remains fixed and the stage will become longer (within the limits of the existing machine). Such a design is unfavorable for A6 due to too low volume (not enough propellant loading) and undesirable long and thin stages (structural and controllability issues).
Coming from A6 side, you end up with a shorter stage with higher diameter, which is in turn incompatible with existing machines.
Furthermore, also the requirements for the propellant grain (thrust profile) are antagonist and a common motor with common casting mandrel seems out of question. The ideal Vega-E thrust profile is not acceptable for A6 and vice versa. A compromise solution is not in sight.
Most likely, the synergies will be restrained to same materials and processes, but not much more than that.


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If they can keep doing 7 GTO launches, plus 6 Vegas per year, that's 32 P135 per year, which, for this type of solids, is unheard of rate of production and will offer a low cost. The upper stage will have a similar rate to current Ariane 5, and if they can simplify the Vega with the MIRA stage, they'll also have a nice and cheap combo. For a government led European project, that is.

Only time will tell. But I fear that 6 Vega per year is way on the high side (I assume rather 2-4 Vega p.a.). If A6 failes to reach the ambitious cost goals, we will rather see "only" 5-6 launches per year to limit the required subventions. The number of upper stages might remain the same as today, but the cost base will be different, because the synergies with today's still existing lower cryo stage is no more. I do not dare to tell today how effective Europe would be to rationalize and streamline the industry, but most likely the per item costs will be higher than today due to the sharply reduced turn-over for the concerned players.


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In other words, Ariane 5 replacement with 6 is more about actually covering the institutional payload's range. If they want to "assure access to space", they beter develop something in the range that they need. Regrettably, to keep Ariane 5 competitive in the GTO market, they have to push it farther and farther. Because with Ariane 5 you can only offer better performance at same price, rather than overall lower price for the same performance.

I fully share your point that A5 is not really tailored to the institutional need. Nevertheless, with its capabilities it could do (and did) also LEO missions (at an unattractive cost). It is this lever arm where it boils down to! Do not forget that we have for the time being Soyuz in Kourou (which is strictly speaking not an ESA launcher and does not create turn-over in western European industry) which serves well the gap between Vega and Ariane. The Russians are good business men (you see that if you compare the prices that the Russian state is paying for federal missions and what they charge Arianespace), therefore as long as we have our lever arm and Russia does not stop Soyuz production (and I do not see that coming for the foreseeable future), I have no doubts concerning the availability of Soyuz in Kourou.

The quest for Europe is the guaranteed access to space at the most affordable cost - and I strongly believe that the current set-up is under current and future market conditions more affordable (i.e. less cotsly) than the A6/Vega set-up. Is there a guarantee for that statement? No! Obviously there are too many unknowns (for every one!), so it will always remain a question of probabilities and the personal judgment how likely different trends will be.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/04/2013 08:10 am
Quote from: Notaris
However, the current Ariane 6 design is building on that assumption.

Nope.

The rocket and the launch installation are being designed to operate Ariane 6 at least eight times per year, with a mission goal of 12 flights annually to keep production and operations costs within the targeted 70 million euros ($91 million) per launch.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35469with-ariane-6-launch-site-selected-cnes-aims-to-freeze-design-of-the-new#.UaL3EpFrOHN

Do not assume that the press is always 100% on target. The Mission Requirements Document specifies that Ariane 6 shall be designed for a launch rate of 12. The cost target of 70 Million Euros shall be reached at launch rate of 9.

Unfortunately, you stop short with the citation, the following sentence reads:

At somewhere between eight and 12 flights per year, including three or four European government missions, Ariane 6 would no longer need the annual price supports [...]

... and that is not necessarily current status of industrial estimations!

That is of no importance. What is important is what ESA, as the governing- and funding agency thinks. Compare this to the situation concerning Ariane 5 ME.
Industry (that is: the main contractor for Ariane 5) thinks that replacing Ariane 5 ECA with Ariane 5 ME will do away with the annual price supports.
ESA is not convinced that this will actually be the case and expects that, even with Ariane 5 ME, annual price supports will be required.
With Ariane 6 the situation is exactly reverse. ESA expects the launcher to not need annual price supports (when above a certain yearly launch rate), and industry thinks Ariane 6 will never be able to achieve that goal.

Lesson in this: don't take the word of ESA as a given. Don't take the word of industry as a given. Only time will tell which of the parties had it right.
The only plus ESA has above industry is the fact that they are paying the bills and are steering the ship (so to say). So, in the end, only their opinion on Ariane counts.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/04/2013 09:28 am
Quote from: Notaris
However, the current Ariane 6 design is building on that assumption.

Nope.

The rocket and the launch installation are being designed to operate Ariane 6 at least eight times per year, with a mission goal of 12 flights annually to keep production and operations costs within the targeted 70 million euros ($91 million) per launch.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35469with-ariane-6-launch-site-selected-cnes-aims-to-freeze-design-of-the-new#.UaL3EpFrOHN

Do not assume that the press is always 100% on target. The Mission Requirements Document specifies that Ariane 6 shall be designed for a launch rate of 12. The cost target of 70 Million Euros shall be reached at launch rate of 9.

Unfortunately, you stop short with the citation, the following sentence reads:

At somewhere between eight and 12 flights per year, including three or four European government missions, Ariane 6 would no longer need the annual price supports [...]

... and that is not necessarily current status of industrial estimations!

That is of no importance. What is important is what ESA, as the governing- and funding agency thinks. Compare this to the situation concerning Ariane 5 ME.
Industry (that is: the main contractor for Ariane 5) thinks that replacing Ariane 5 ECA with Ariane 5 ME will do away with the annual price supports.
ESA is not convinced that this will actually be the case and expects that, even with Ariane 5 ME, annual price supports will be required.
With Ariane 6 the situation is exactly reverse. ESA expects the launcher to not need annual price supports (when above a certain yearly launch rate), and industry thinks Ariane 6 will never be able to achieve that goal.

Lesson in this: don't take the word of ESA as a given. Don't take the word of industry as a given. Only time will tell which of the parties had it right.
Full agreement to this last sentence of yours!


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The only plus ESA has above industry is the fact that they are paying the bills and are steering the ship (so to say). So, in the end, only their opinion on Ariane counts.
No agreement on this point. To be nitpicky, it is the Member States who pay and who steer, not ESA. ESA might have an own opinion and try to steer the discusssions between Member States in the one or the other direction, but it is not up to ESA to decide.

...and more importantly, it is industry who writes out the bills (that ESA pays for development work and Arianespace pays for production work). If there is no industry producing a launcher for a price tag that ESA desires than there is no launcher. It is as simple as that!
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Proponent on 09/04/2013 01:04 pm
No capsule has had the requirements of Orion (500 days in deep space, plus a ridiculous amount of delta-v, for four crew).

Minor point: the Apollo CSM had a larger delta-V than Orion.  The Apollo CSM performed LOI for the entire CSM/LM stack, whereas Orion is designed to rely on the lunar lander for this maneuver.  Even without a lander, Orion lacks the delta-V to place itself into LLO and then return to earth.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/04/2013 01:35 pm
Lesson in this: don't take the word of ESA as a given. Don't take the word of industry as a given. Only time will tell which of the parties had it right.
Full agreement to this last sentence of yours!


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The only plus ESA has above industry is the fact that they are paying the bills and are steering the ship (so to say). So, in the end, only their opinion on Ariane counts.
No agreement on this point. To be nitpicky, it is the Member States who pay and who steer, not ESA. ESA might have an own opinion and try to steer the discusssions between Member States in the one or the other direction, but it is not up to ESA to decide.
To be nitpicky: the member states govern ESA and tell ESA what to do in broad perspective. ESA then governs programmes, to achieve the goals set by the member states. Example: ESA governs the Ariane programme.

Member states do not govern the Ariane programme directly. The agency is there to do that for them. As such, ESA steers the industrial partners and ESA pays the bills, on behalf of the member states.

...and more importantly, it is industry who writes out the bills (that ESA pays for development work and Arianespace pays for production work).
Why kick in a wide open door? ESA has always relied on industrial partners to do the work for them. Naturally industry will write out a bill for the work performed. That does not change the fact that industry performs work per ESA's wishes and then serves ESA with a bill for the work done, which then get's paid by ESA.

If there is no industry producing a launcher for a price tag that ESA desires than there is no launcher. It is as simple as that!
Invalid argument. No such situation exists. Back when the Europa program came online, European industry was jumping to get on the train. Despite the failure of the Europa launcher, industry stuck in place and were all too happy when a second chance (the Ariane programme) came along. With Ariane 6, industry is again jumping to get on the train. Money spent by ESA on a new launcher is keeping them busy and occupied, not to mention well paid.
Oh, you will here complains from a certain liquids contractor that gets shut out because Ariane 6 will be nearly all-solid. But you sure as h*ll will not hear the solids contractor complain.
The industry is there, and even if they cannot build Ariane 6 at the price level that ESA desires, they will still build Ariane 6. Like with all previous versions, Ariane 6 will go over-budget. And like all previous versions ESA will pay the extra bills, after a lot of moaning by the member states.
Things on agency-run programs never change.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 09/04/2013 02:30 pm
I know about the thrust law problem on the P135. Let's not forget that they have to do the first and second stage. I'm wondering if the thrust law of the first stage will be equal for all three cores. And why couldn't it be used on the Vega. I would assume that the second stage would need a different thrust law, though. But if they keep the same casing for all, the same mixers, formula, etc, and only change the mandrels for the grain, the cost might be basically the same as having all the same. After all, the main cost would be initial development, but marginal cost would use mostly common tooling and exactly same personnel and factory. They could even build in batches, if it would save money, since they surely will launch at least 4 of each. So batches of 8 or even 10 won't be a logistical problem.
The EAP has the top segment cast in France and the lower segments cast at Kourou, right? Vega casts the P80 at Kourou and the Z23 and Z9 in Italy? How will they negotiate who will cast what where?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 09/04/2013 05:04 pm
Quote from: Notaris
Unfortunately, you stop short with the citation, the following sentence reads:

I apologize ;)

Quote from: Notaris
... and that is not necessarily current status of industrial estimations!

True, that remains to be seen. So far they only finalized the design.

Quote from: woods170
The industry is there, and even if they cannot build Ariane 6 at the price level that ESA desires, they will still build Ariane 6. Like with all previous versions, Ariane 6 will go over-budget.

The difference this time: There is an alternative called Ariane 5 ME. And I guess whether A6 will go over budget depends on the contracting model. A6 does not seem to be a technological leap like A5 or previous versions.

Quote from: Notaris
A compromise solution is not in sight.
Most likely, the synergies will be restrained to same materials and processes, but not much more than that.

Do you have any info on this? I cannot imagine they'll keep the 3m diameter solids, otherwise they'd need the infrastructure to cast solids with 2 different diameters in Kourou. What about not filling the P135 completely for Vega? I heard that can be done with solids..(?)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/04/2013 07:51 pm
Quote from: woods170
The industry is there, and even if they cannot build Ariane 6 at the price level that ESA desires, they will still build Ariane 6. Like with all previous versions, Ariane 6 will go over-budget.

The difference this time: There is an alternative called Ariane 5 ME. And I guess whether A6 will go over budget depends on the contracting model. A6 does not seem to be a technological leap like A5 or previous versions.

The same was the case with the switch from A4 to A5. There was an alternative: Ariane 4.
And A6 is a technological leap. Reason: fundamentally different propulsion.
A4 was liquids, self igniting (hypergolics). A5 was a technological leap as it introduced large scale use of Hydrolox and metal casing solids.
A6/VEGA evolution is a technological leap because of the very advanced solids being introduced.

And regardless of the contracting model involved, A6 will go over budget. You're talking about European industry and ESA rules and regulations here. Those combined will guarantee an over-budget situation.
Not a single major launcher program initiated by ESA or ELDO has ever come in on time or on budget. None. Ever. A6 will continue that tradition.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 09/04/2013 08:04 pm
Quote from: woods170
The same was the case with the switch from A4 to A5. There was an alternative: Ariane 4.
And A6 is a technological leap. Reason: fundamentally different propulsion.

No, Ariane 4 was not an alternative. It was becoming too small for sats and was inadequate for launching Hermes.

Ariane 5 has still big potential for upgrading.

The A6 propulsion is not a leap over Vega.

Apparently anyone expect CNES sees A5 ME as an alternative. And A6 needs definitely more than just the approval of CNES.

Quote from: woods170
You're talking about European industry and ESA rules and regulations here. Those combined will guarantee an over-budget situation.

That's hardly an argument. How do those rules look like for A6, how will they guarantee over-budget?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/05/2013 08:04 am
Lesson in this: don't take the word of ESA as a given. Don't take the word of industry as a given. Only time will tell which of the parties had it right.
Full agreement to this last sentence of yours!


Quote
The only plus ESA has above industry is the fact that they are paying the bills and are steering the ship (so to say). So, in the end, only their opinion on Ariane counts.
No agreement on this point. To be nitpicky, it is the Member States who pay and who steer, not ESA. ESA might have an own opinion and try to steer the discusssions between Member States in the one or the other direction, but it is not up to ESA to decide.
To be nitpicky: the member states govern ESA and tell ESA what to do in broad perspective. ESA then governs programmes, to achieve the goals set by the member states. Example: ESA governs the Ariane programme.

Member states do not govern the Ariane programme directly. The agency is there to do that for them. As such, ESA steers the industrial partners and ESA pays the bills, on behalf of the member states.

Correct. ESA places the contracts and is responsible for the day to day management of the program. I do not know what you understand under "govern the [...] programm directly", but I can reassure you that the ESA Member States do exactly that under my (and I claim the generic) understanding of this term.

The Member States agree on a Programme Proposal and a Declaration, defining the main objectives of the programme. They (usually) agree on implementing rules, which describe how ESA shall implement the programme. During the course of the programme, there is at least four times a year a Programme Board where ESA reports progress of the ongoing programmes and where Member States take relevant decisions for the execution of the programme. The procurements are dealt with in the IPC (which meets ~6 times a year), a board where, again, the Member States decide. An these are only the official meetings. Inbetween, there are many, many bi-lateral discussions and meetings with the major stake holders of the programme.

In the specific case of Ariane programmes, I can reassure you that CNES is sitting every other day on the lap of the ESA Launcher Director to make sure that he stays on track.

Quote
...and more importantly, it is industry who writes out the bills (that ESA pays for development work and Arianespace pays for production work).
Why kick in a wide open door? ESA has always relied on industrial partners to do the work for them. Naturally industry will write out a bill for the work performed. That does not change the fact that industry performs work per ESA's wishes and then serves ESA with a bill for the work done, which then get's paid by ESA.

Noone (at least not me) claimed that ESA would do the actual work! But maybe you misunderstood me? Please read below.

Quote
If there is no industry producing a launcher for a price tag that ESA desires than there is no launcher. It is as simple as that!
Invalid argument. No such situation exists. Back when the Europa program came online, European industry was jumping to get on the train. Despite the failure of the Europa launcher, industry stuck in place and were all too happy when a second chance (the Ariane programme) came along. With Ariane 6, industry is again jumping to get on the train. Money spent by ESA on a new launcher is keeping them busy and occupied, not to mention well paid.
Oh, you will here complains from a certain liquids contractor that gets shut out because Ariane 6 will be nearly all-solid. But you sure as h*ll will not hear the solids contractor complain.
The industry is there, and even if they cannot build Ariane 6 at the price level that ESA desires, they will still build Ariane 6. Like with all previous versions, Ariane 6 will go over-budget. And like all previous versions ESA will pay the extra bills, after a lot of moaning by the member states.
Things on agency-run programs never change.

I fully share your point that industry will always run where the money is. If there is no more cash for A5ME and only A6, industry will happily move on (at least the ones who are still on board). But that was not my point.

My point was that it is not because ESA wants a launcher that costs 70 Million € a flight (including launcher manufacturing, launch operations, maintenance of installations and sampling as well as marketing and sales) that they will get it. In a certain way, you seem to agree as you state (unfortunately correctly) that the usual business is that the development will go over-budget and that the exploitation will be more expensive than desired. And last but not least, Member States will pay the deficit if they have no alternative by then (which is unfortunately also a likely case). But again, and this is what I insist on, it is not sufficient that ESA writes a number in the Mission Requirements Document. That number is largely irrelevant! You have to look at what industry promises that they can do (and than you should put probably at least 20% on top to have a reasonable good idea of what could be reality in the end).

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/05/2013 08:25 am
I know about the thrust law problem on the P135. Let's not forget that they have to do the first and second stage. I'm wondering if the thrust law of the first stage will be equal for all three cores. And why couldn't it be used on the Vega. I would assume that the second stage would need a different thrust law, though. But if they keep the same casing for all, the same mixers, formula, etc, and only change the mandrels for the grain, the cost might be basically the same as having all the same. After all, the main cost would be initial development, but marginal cost would use mostly common tooling and exactly same personnel and factory. They could even build in batches, if it would save money, since they surely will launch at least 4 of each. So batches of 8 or even 10 won't be a logistical problem.
The EAP has the top segment cast in France and the lower segments cast at Kourou, right? Vega casts the P80 at Kourou and the Z23 and Z9 in Italy? How will they negotiate who will cast what where?

First of all, the choosen Ariane 6 concept will separate all 3 first stage motors as a common block. There is no lateral separation as you have it with the EAPs of A5. Under this assumption, different thrust profiles of the center motor and the lateral motors do not make much sense.
From a system engineering point of view, just looking at technical aspects, you would certainly look for different thrust laws for first and second stage. Furthermore, you would use a nozzle with higher aera ratio for the second stage. However, the current axiom requires that all motors are strictly identical to achieve (globally, not just on motor level where it is obvious) minimum cost. I am personnaly not fully convinced that this leads indead to global minimum cost. Even if they start out with that, it is not granted that this will still be the case at the end of the development. We might well see that adaptations will be made to recover performance which was lost during the course of the development (fearing that the current project margins are not sufficient).

The problem of a common thrust law for Vega and A6 is given by the fact that they are largely different launchers (lift-off mass). You need lots of thrust at the beginning (to minimize losses) but less thrust afterwards (to limit aerodynamic loads). A thrust law which fits the "heavy" A6 is just not compatibel with Vega. You can tweak the flight profile of Vega in that case, but you will more or less loose all the performance gain that you theoretically could have had.  :( Doing it the other way round is not much better, as you will incur more losses during the ascent flight of A6 than ideal/inevitable/necessary.

Your knowledge on solid motor casting is almost correct. The forward segment of the EAP (the S1 segment) is cast in Colleferro, Italy (as the Zefiro 23 and 9). No motor casting for big civilian motors is done in France.

Casting of P135 will be done in Kourou due to European safety regulations. According to my knowledge even the transport of the loaded Zefiro 23 from Italy to Kourou required a waiver.

In contrast, I think that the Shuttle Boosters were cast in Utah and transported to the Cape by rail. Seems the US is more relaxed about transporting big solids than we here in Europe.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/05/2013 08:34 am
Quote from: Notaris
A compromise solution is not in sight.
Most likely, the synergies will be restrained to same materials and processes, but not much more than that.

Do you have any info on this? I cannot imagine they'll keep the 3m diameter solids, otherwise they'd need the infrastructure to cast solids with 2 different diameters in Kourou. What about not filling the P135 completely for Vega? I heard that can be done with solids..(?)


I am not sure that I understood your question completely! The limiting factor for reusing the existing casting pits in Kourou is the maximum diameter and the maximum length. As long as the motor casing fits within these limits, you can cast them in the existing casting pits. The diameter of the casings can be different. The P135 design respects the limits of the existing casting pits.

"Not filling a motor completely" does not sound very convincing to me. You would have an additional free surface where the propellant would burn and regress, most probably not leading to a desirable thrust profile. It is more likely that you would use the same casing, but a different casting mandrel to tune for two different uses (but risk likewise that the nozzle will not be compatibel for both thrust profiles).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/05/2013 10:29 am
Quote from: woods170
The same was the case with the switch from A4 to A5. There was an alternative: Ariane 4.
And A6 is a technological leap. Reason: fundamentally different propulsion.
No, Ariane 4 was not an alternative. It was becoming too small for sats and was inadequate for launching Hermes.
Hermes was cancelled several years before development of A5 was done. As such, it was no factor in the equation of A4 being an alternative to A5.
And A4 was becoming incapable of dual-launch. It still had many years of usefull service left as a single-lauch vehicle, and as such was very much an alternative to A5, both for comsats and most institutional payloads. That situation only changed when the need for launching super-heavy loads (like Envisat and ATV) arose.

Ariane 5 has still big potential for upgrading.
Not quite. You can ask Spacejulien. With what they are doing for Ariane 5 ME they are reaching the upper limits of possible changes without also requiring significant changes to Ariane 5 core (meaning EAP and EPC). Changing the core of the vehicle carries performance upgrades from 'expensive, and barely affordable' to 'unaffordable'.

The A6 propulsion is not a leap over Vega.
I said technological leap within the context of A5 and A6.

Apparently anyone expect CNES sees A5 ME as an alternative. And A6 needs definitely more than just the approval of CNES.
Correct. The decision to proceed to full development and production of A6 requires approval of the ESA member states. Right now, only the first phases of A6 development have been approved. A final decision is expected in the next ESA ministerial council (scheduled for 2014).

Quote from: woods170
You're talking about European industry and ESA rules and regulations here. Those combined will guarantee an over-budget situation.

That's hardly an argument. How do those rules look like for A6, how will they guarantee over-budget?
Because it is an agency program. The industries I mentioned have been doing primarily agency programs. They are not used to aberrant situations. And since the modus operandi of ESA has not significantly changed over the years, one can make an educated guess to what the outcome of the A6 program will be (budget wise). But I will clarify by stating that an over-budget situation for A6 is my interpretation of what I think will happen.
History will eventually tell if I was right or wrong.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/05/2013 10:41 am


Ariane 5 has still big potential for upgrading.
Not quite. You can ask Spacejulien. With what they are doing for Ariane 5 ME they are reaching the upper limits of possible changes without also requiring significant changes to Ariane 5 core (meaning EAP and EPC). Changing the core of the vehicle carries performance upgrades from 'expensive, and barely affordable' to 'unaffordable'.

But any such a number of those upgrades would still be a bargain compared to the A6 development, therefore I do not share the "unaffordable" statement. Admittedly, none of those upgrades is currently up for choice due to the general political constellation, but things may change (not claiming that this is a likely scenario).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 09/05/2013 01:59 pm
..
The problem of a common thrust law for Vega and A6 is given by the fact that they are largely different launchers (lift-off mass). You need lots of thrust at the beginning (to minimize losses) but less thrust afterwards (to limit aerodynamic loads). A thrust law which fits the "heavy" A6 is just not compatibel with Vega. You can tweak the flight profile of Vega in that case, but you will more or less loose all the performance gain that you theoretically could have had.  :( Doing it the other way round is not much better, as you will incur more losses during the ascent flight of A6 than ideal/inevitable/necessary.
...
Well, I think that if they originally were thinking of a P120, they could get a P135 with a non optimal thrust law and eat the performance margin. In fact, I believe that the S1 vs S2 thrust law problem is more critical. For a start you need to design a "dip" in thrust around MaxQ on S1, but you don't need that on S2. And even if the stack on top of S2 were to be, proportionally, the same as that on top of S1 (which is doubtful since the payload fraction gives more variance), you don't have drag and have better isp.
For Vega, you might have to tweak the trajectory, but you already have an 85% bigger first stage. And you have the same isp, you have to pass through maxq, and they might get the stack on top of the P135 to be a similar fraction of the S1. Specially when you consider that the P135 on Vega will include at least one new stage (at least an AVUM replacement).
But in any case, correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic difference if they only tweaked a new thrust law, could be a different mandrel for casting. Thus, the bulk of costs would be pretty much shared and only the development money would be an issue. Specially since Italy is in very tight fiscal situation.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 09/05/2013 02:24 pm
..
The problem of a common thrust law for Vega and A6 is given by the fact that they are largely different launchers (lift-off mass). You need lots of thrust at the beginning (to minimize losses) but less thrust afterwards (to limit aerodynamic loads). A thrust law which fits the "heavy" A6 is just not compatibel with Vega. You can tweak the flight profile of Vega in that case, but you will more or less loose all the performance gain that you theoretically could have had.  :( Doing it the other way round is not much better, as you will incur more losses during the ascent flight of A6 than ideal/inevitable/necessary.
...
Well, I think that if they originally were thinking of a P120, they could get a P135 with a non optimal thrust law and eat the performance margin. In fact, I believe that the S1 vs S2 thrust law problem is more critical. For a start you need to design a "dip" in thrust around MaxQ on S1, but you don't need that on S2. And even if the stack on top of S2 were to be, proportionally, the same as that on top of S1 (which is doubtful since the payload fraction gives more variance), you don't have drag and have better isp.
For Vega, you might have to tweak the trajectory, but you already have an 85% bigger first stage. And you have the same isp, you have to pass through maxq, and they might get the stack on top of the P135 to be a similar fraction of the S1. Specially when you consider that the P135 on Vega will include at least one new stage (at least an AVUM replacement).
But in any case, correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic difference if they only tweaked a new thrust law, could be a different mandrel for casting. Thus, the bulk of costs would be pretty much shared and only the development money would be an issue. Specially since Italy is in very tight fiscal situation.

I am no die-hard solid propulsion specialist, so please do not nail me down on too many details. I have some relevant technical background and some information on current ongoing activities, but I am not sitting here myself trying to design various thrust profiles and plugging them in A6 and Vega models and doing trajectory optimization afterwards....

As said before, the current working hypotheses is (at least for A6) strictly identical solid motors. As an extension and as requested by Italy, the A6 motors and the Vega Evolution first stage motor shall also be strictly identical. Industry is working under ESA contract on that topic, but as I wrote before, the intermediate results are not too promising. Never forget, there is a huge difference between Vega (Lift-off mass ~ 137 t) and Ariane 6 (>600 t).

Obviously, you can start to deviate from the initial hypothesese, but you risk to come from different mandrel to different nozzle etc. which all eats into your assume savings during recurrent production (not to speak of non recurring costs, different mandrel is different motor and therefore most probably at least two additional motor qualification tests)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 09/05/2013 03:56 pm
Quote from: woods170
Hermes was cancelled several years before development of A5 was done. As such, it was no factor in the equation of A4 being an alternative to A5.
And A4 was becoming incapable of dual-launch. It still had many years of usefull service left as a single-lauch vehicle, and as such was very much an alternative to A5, both for comsats and most institutional payloads. That situation only changed when the need for launching super-heavy loads (like Envisat and ATV) arose.

The decision to develop an A5 fell in 1985, even before the A4s success. In November 1987 the ministerial council approved the A5 we know today. Hermes was cancelled in 1992.

I assume at that time people thought satellites would outgrow A5 dual-launch in the longer term.

Quote from: Notaris
The limiting factor for reusing the existing casting pits in Kourou is the maximum diameter and the maximum length.

I see, but you would need a different mandrel for different diameters...

Thanks btw for your insights into solid motor production.

Quote from: Notaris
Casting of P135 will be done in Kourou due to European safety regulations.

It has nothing to do with logistics? I can imagine transporting such huge and heavy solids to Kourou could cause some problems.


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Stephan on 09/05/2013 04:34 pm
Your knowledge on solid motor casting is almost correct. The forward segment of the EAP (the S1 segment) is cast in Colleferro, Italy (as the Zefiro 23 and 9). No motor casting for big civilian motors is done in France.

Casting of P135 will be done in Kourou due to European safety regulations. According to my knowledge even the transport of the loaded Zefiro 23 from Italy to Kourou required a waiver.
Kourou is in France (nitpicking I know).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 09/06/2013 06:38 am
Quote from: woods170
Hermes was cancelled several years before development of A5 was done. As such, it was no factor in the equation of A4 being an alternative to A5.
And A4 was becoming incapable of dual-launch. It still had many years of usefull service left as a single-lauch vehicle, and as such was very much an alternative to A5, both for comsats and most institutional payloads. That situation only changed when the need for launching super-heavy loads (like Envisat and ATV) arose.

The decision to develop an A5 fell in 1985, even before the A4s success. In November 1987 the ministerial council approved the A5 we know today. Hermes was cancelled in 1992.
Hermes was officially cancelled at the end of 1992. But that was after a one year reflection period in which virtually all work on Hermes had been stopped. Even the first phase of Hermes was delayed considerably and by the time it was finished in late 1991 the writing was all over the wall that Hermes would never fly. ESA stopped Hermes prepartory work on Ariane 5 in 1991 as well. Development of Ariane 5 ended three years later. The decision for Ariane 5, as we saw it in 1996 was taken nine years previous (1987) indeed. But that only signalled the start of the full development and phase. And that had not finished by the time Hermes was killed. From that point on, the main driver behind Ariane 5 fell away, but it was too late to stop and do a re-design. Dual launch saved the day because at that time most available payloads could still be flown on Ariane 4 in single launch mode. Remember, the Ariane 5 performance parameters were driven by the need to launch Hermes. When Hermes got canned, Ariane 5 was suddenly way overpowered for almost all payloads.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/08/2013 09:28 pm
It looks to me that ESA needs both a heavy lift rocket and a light cheap light rocket that is preferably easily man rated.
Like what the Shuttle program was before the US Airforce got involved in the program.


When they have Ariane 6 ,Ariane 5 me,Soyuz and Vega which will be cut ??
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/08/2013 10:56 pm
It looks to me that ESA needs both a heavy lift rocket and a light cheap light rocket that is preferably easily man rated.
Like what the Shuttle program was before the US Airforce got involved in the program.


When they have Ariane 6 ,Ariane 5 me,Soyuz and Vega which will be cut ??
Ariane 5 and Soyuz are replaced by Ariane 6, but Ariane 5 will probably have a transition period. Vega is in a whole different class. What ESA is working on, is on evolving Vega to share Ariane 6 parts. In particular, the P135. And may be reduce the number of stages, while making the rocket fully in Europe (currently the AVUS is mostly Ukranian). Think of current production lines: P245, EPS, ECA, ES, Souyz (it's bought built), P80, Z23/Z9, AVUS. Then you have Ariane 5's BIP, BIL, BAF and pad, Soyuz's MIK, Mobile Gantry and pad and the Vega Mobile Gantry and pad. So you have 8.5 production lines, 4 integration buildings, two Mobile Gantries and three pads. All incompatible.
If they can make the new Vega compatible with the Ariane 6's flow, they'll need production lines for: P135, A6US, Vega US, two pads, two mobile integration building and could probably share pad crew among them. This would give them the capability of doing at least 12 launches from CSG, if the integration and launch campaign is 60 days. Or, they could keep the Vega launch pad and be able to do something like 18 launches. So, it does seems like a lot of costs could be cut. It's not a bad strategy. Specially considering the political limitations involved.

Table Comparison:

Now Integrated Future

InfrastructureNow                  Future (Low rate) IFuture (High rate) II
Manufacturing lines8.5 III33
Pads3 IV23
Integration Buildings400
Mobile Gantries123
GTO Launches max18 V12 VI12
GTO Launches > 3.2tonnes max121212
GTO Launches > 4.5tonnes max6 VII1212
Total Launches max22 VIII1218
Foreign dependencyYesNoNo
Payload margin (LEO tonnes)0.5-250.5-120.5-12
ITwo pad compatible with both Ariane 6 and Vega.
IITwo Ariane 6 pads and one Vega pad.
IIIZ23 and Z9 should share half the line, at least.
IVAriane 5 count as 2, and Soyuz as 1. But A5 pairing is difficult and Soyuz is limited to 3.2tonnes. Assumes 10 launches per year for Soyuz.
VIAny payload from 0 to 6.5tonnes.
VIIAssumes that SYLDA is not modified to support heavier than 4.5 satellites.
VIIIAssume 6 launches/year Ariane 5 (count as 2), launches/year Soyuz and 6 launches/year Vega.

As you see, the future is adjusted for a lower rate of launches and for optimized cost structure. I'm not saying it couldn't be done other way. And you lose some capability that are not needed anymore, but you win on big GTO payload, which is projected into the future. Thus, while I think it could have been better a different approach (MT proposal was niceeeee), is not a bad plan and I can't say they are not being realistic on their future forecast. History has shown that flat is not a bad base assumption. And they are counting on bigger trend in GTO wight, which has been a steady case for the last thirty years.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/08/2013 11:23 pm
It looks to me that ESA needs both a heavy lift rocket and a light cheap light rocket that is preferably easily man rated.
Like what the Shuttle program was before the US Airforce got involved in the program.


When they have Ariane 6 ,Ariane 5 me,Soyuz and Vega which will be cut ??
Ariane 5 and Soyuz are replaced by Ariane 6, but Ariane 5 will probably have a transition period. Vega is in a whole different class. What ESA is working on, is on evolving Vega to share Ariane 6 parts. In particular, the P135. And may be reduce the number of stages, while making the rocket fully in Europe (currently the AVUS is mostly Ukranian). Think of current production lines: P245, EPS, ECA, ES, Souyz (it's bought built), P80, Z23/Z9, AVUS. Then you have Ariane 5's BIP, BIL, BAF and pad, Soyuz's MIK, Mobile Gantry and pad and the Vega Mobile Gantry and pad. So you have 8.5 production lines, 4 integration buildings, two Mobile Gantries and three pads. All incompatible.
If they can make the new Vega compatible with the Ariane 6's flow, they'll need production lines for: P135, A6US, Vega US, two pads, two mobile integration building and could probably share pad crew among them. This would give them the capability of doing at least 12 launches from CSG, if the integration and launch campaign is 60 days. Or, they could keep the Vega launch pad and be able to do something like 18 launches. So, it does seems like a lot of costs could be cut. It's not a bad strategy. Specially considering the political limitations involved.

Table Comparison:

Now Integrated Future

InfrastructureNow                  Future (Low rate) IFuture (High rate) II
Manufacturing lines8.5 III33
Pads3 IV23
Integration Buildings400
Mobile Gantries123
GTO Launches max18 V12 VI12
GTO Launches > 3.2tonnes max121212
GTO Launches > 4.5tonnes max6 VII1212
Total Launches max22 VIII1218
Foreign dependencyYesNoNo
Payload margin (LEO tonnes)0.5-250.5-120.5-12
ITwo pad compatible with both Ariane 6 and Vega.
IITwo Ariane 6 pads and one Vega pad.
IIIZ23 and Z9 should share half the line, at least.
IVAriane 5 count as 2, and Soyuz as 1. But A5 pairing is difficult and Soyuz is limited to 3.2tonnes. Assumes 10 launches per year for Soyuz.
VIAny payload from 0 to 6.5tonnes.
VIIAssumes that SYLDA is not modified to support heavier than 4.5 satellites.
VIIIAssume 6 launches/year Ariane 5 (count as 2), launches/year Soyuz and 6 launches/year Vega.

As you see, the future is adjusted for a lower rate of launches and for optimized cost structure. I'm not saying it couldn't be done other way. And you lose some capability that are not needed anymore, but you win on big GTO payload, which is projected into the future. Thus, while I think it could have been better a different approach (MT proposal was niceeeee), is not a bad plan and I can't say they are not being realistic on their future forecast. History has shown that flat is not a bad base assumption. And they are counting on bigger trend in GTO wight, which has been a steady case for the last thirty years.

True Ariane 6 Is not a bad low cost design at all once real time satellite video becomes routine size might grow.Now imagine if the upper solid stage got replaced with a good refuelable liquid stage it would open up many possibility's.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/08/2013 11:34 pm
You might be confusing concepts. The Ariane 6's US is almost the same H2/LOX of the Ariane 5 ME. And it uses the reignitable Vinci engine. Thus, it will be able to do things as put Galileo satellites on their circular orbits. Since the ECA can't reignite, they have to keep the hypergolic ES stage just for that (and ATV, but the last is at CSG). Can also do escape missions that require or are optimized by a two and even three burn profile.That's also why they are not loosing any really needed capability. I guess they'll be able to put 12 tonnes on LEO or so. Have you seen any payload that's not a vehicle that requires more than that?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/08/2013 11:57 pm
Manned lunar flight of course the three P135s as a first stage a liquid second stage. Refuel the second stage in orbit and boost to low lunar orbit .Refuel it again AND PUT LEGS on it and land.
A really rugged trottalable restartable engine and a zero g refueling system  would be needed for starters.

Not sure if the P135 are big enough but the is plenty of growth in the technology.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/10/2013 01:58 am
Please, don't go into fantasy mode. If and when ESA decides to go to the moon alone, they'll design the necessary LV. Unless you are willing to offer to foot a € 25B or so.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 11/10/2013 07:18 am

In this document there are lots of technical details:

http://emits.sso.esa.int/emits-doc/ESA_HQ/Technicalconditionsv10.pdf
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: sdsds on 11/10/2013 07:43 am
So is the physical appearance shown in the "Technical Conditions" document now fairly certain?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 11/10/2013 10:28 am

In this document there are lots of technical details:

http://emits.sso.esa.int/emits-doc/ESA_HQ/Technicalconditionsv10.pdf

And that document is now offline...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 11/10/2013 10:31 am
It looks to me that ESA needs both a heavy lift rocket and a light cheap light rocket that is preferably easily man rated.
Like what the Shuttle program was before the US Airforce got involved in the program.


When they have Ariane 6 ,Ariane 5 me,Soyuz and Vega which will be cut ??

Preferably easy man rated? Please, do tell us where you got the notion that ESA needs a man rated rocket.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 11/10/2013 10:34 am

Ok, I've attached it. Its unclassified, so should not be a problem ;).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 10:45 am

Ok, I've attached it. Its unclassified, so should not be a problem ;).
Thanks Oli, lots of interesting stuff in this one.

Quote
Mass (propellant mass, inert mass) : 135 000 kg / 6500 kg
From the document. Did I miss something, or does that seem like a very high mass ratio?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/10/2013 10:57 am
I wonder how difficult and how expensive would it be to develop 1-booster and 5-booster versions of the Ariane 6 should the need arises - per previous discussions they would be in the Soyuz and Ariane 5 classes respectively. This (and Vega and its derivatives) would make for a flexible launcher family that might have an edge over the EELVs....  ::)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 11:16 am
I wonder how difficult and how expensive would it be to develop 1-booster and 5-booster versions of the Ariane 6 should the need arises - per previous discussions they would be in the Soyuz and Ariane 5 classes respectively. This (and Vega and its derivatives) would make for a flexible launcher family that might have an edge over the EELVs....  ::)
According to this article: http://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/2013/07/09/01008-20130709ARTFIG00464-la-configuration-definitive-d-ariane-6-enfin-devoilee.php

Ariane 6 weighs 660 tons at lift-off, and has a thrust of 760 tonnes with two of the P135s firing. That's 380 tons of thrust per P135. If each P135 has a mass of about 145 tons, that brings the lift-off mass of our hypothetical "solid Soyuz" at 370 tons. A lift-off TWR of just 1.03, not including payload, seems a little too low to really work.

The document Oli linked to claimed a thrust of "up to 4.0 MN", which would mean a lift-off thrust of 408 tons and a TWR of 1.1, but that seems to be vacuum thrust. I don't think a "solid Soyuz" is going to work very well without strap-on boosters.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 11:59 am
It looks to me that ESA needs both a heavy lift rocket and a light cheap light rocket that is preferably easily man rated.
Like what the Shuttle program was before the US Airforce got involved in the program.


When they have Ariane 6 ,Ariane 5 me,Soyuz and Vega which will be cut ??
They don't have a need for a man rated rocket. If they really cared about launching humans, they'd try to get Soyuz to Kourou before they would start some independent project that will likely be delayed by 10 years and have a total cost 3.14 times as high as initially estimated. And they don't have any reason to do so, at least for the time being. Independent manned access to space is only required if some major policy shift happens within Europe.

Heavy lift is also pretty useless to Europe. What do they need it for? Comsats rarely exceed 6 tons in mass, and Ariane 6 fits that range just fine. Earth observation satellites and Galileo are all small enough to be launched by Soyuz or Vega. ATV was only as big because Ariane 5 was the only launcher around that could get anything significant to the ISS, so they designed it around A5s capabilities. If any new space station project comes along, a smaller, ~10 ton supply vehicle launched on A6 would be a much better option than a revived ATV on a new rocket.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/10/2013 01:18 pm
It looks to me that ESA needs both a heavy lift rocket and a light cheap light rocket that is preferably easily man rated.
Like what the Shuttle program was before the US Airforce got involved in the program.


When they have Ariane 6 ,Ariane 5 me,Soyuz and Vega which will be cut ??
They don't have a need for a man rated rocket. If they really cared about launching humans, they'd try to get Soyuz to Kourou before they would start some independent project that will likely be delayed by 10 years and have a total cost 3.14 times as high as initially estimated. And they don't have any reason to do so, at least for the time being. Independent manned access to space is only required if some major policy shift happens within Europe.

Heavy lift is also pretty useless to Europe. What do they need it for? Comsats rarely exceed 6 tons in mass, and Ariane 6 fits that range just fine. Earth observation satellites and Galileo are all small enough to be launched by Soyuz or Vega. ATV was only as big because Ariane 5 was the only launcher around that could get anything significant to the ISS, so they designed it around A5s capabilities. If any new space station project comes along, a smaller, ~10 ton supply vehicle launched on A6 would be a much better option than a revived ATV on a new rocket.

What I am talking about is the next 20 years when you are launching 18 rockets a year another 5 or six will be very cheap the mats does not change.It is the EU council that only has to give the go ahead.

Galileo will be built before this rocket ever flies .
Why build a new highly costly station when the moon is there?
Refueling the com and spysats will be the new markets .
ATV is really old teck bet any good engineer could improve the design.

10 ton launcher launching many times is very cost effective as pointed out many times on this site.

ps still think that a heavy 30 tons launcher will be needed even if it only launches once every two years.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 01:58 pm
What I am talking about is the next 20 years when you are launching 18 rockets a year another 5 or six will be very cheap the mats does not change.It is the EU council that only has to give the go ahead.

Galileo will be built before this rocket ever flies .
Why build a new highly costly station when the moon is there?
Refueling the com and spysats will be the new markets .
ATV is really old teck bet any good engineer could improve the design.

10 ton launcher launching many times is very cost effective as pointed out many times on this site.

ps still think that a heavy 30 tons launcher will be needed even if it only launches once every two years.
Galileo will need to be maintained though, satellites will break down and grow outdated and new ones will need to be launched. GPS sats were launched in march this year even though the first one was launched in 1978.

The moon is not cheaper than a new space station. A new one could be a small on orbit laboratory and won't have to cost 100 billion euros. Also, Ariane 6 also fits nicely in the 10 ton launch range for LEO flights. If you mean for GTO, then no. Dual launch is not cost effective, as has been pointed out many times.

A 30 ton launcher is not necessary. How often does ESA launch anything too heavy for Soyuz? About once per year, and that's ATV. ESA will not need a 30 ton launcher unless a major policy shift takes place. Ariane 6 is big enough for anything ESA needs, and for LEO missions an evolved Vega is actually more than enough.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 11/10/2013 02:35 pm
Quote from: M129K
Also, Ariane 6 also fits nicely in the 10 ton launch range for LEO flights.

Pretty sure A6 will lift more than 10t to LEO, possibly around 16t.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/10/2013 02:35 pm
What I am talking about is the next 20 years when you are launching 18 rockets a year another 5 or six will be very cheap the mats does not change.It is the EU council that only has to give the go ahead.

Galileo will be built before this rocket ever flies .
Why build a new highly costly station when the moon is there?
Refueling the com and spysats will be the new markets .
ATV is really old teck bet any good engineer could improve the design.

10 ton launcher launching many times is very cost effective as pointed out many times on this site.

ps still think that a heavy 30 tons launcher will be needed even if it only launches once every two years.
Galileo will need to be maintained though, satellites will break down and grow outdated and new ones will need to be launched. GPS sats were launched in march this year even though the first one was launched in 1978.

The moon is not cheaper than a new space station. A new one could be a small on orbit laboratory and won't have to cost 100 billion euros. Also, Ariane 6 also fits nicely in the 10 ton launch range for LEO flights. If you mean for GTO, then no. Dual launch is not cost effective, as has been pointed out many times.

A 30 ton launcher is not necessary. How often does ESA launch anything too heavy for Soyuz? About once per year, and that's ATV. ESA will not need a 30 ton launcher unless a major policy shift takes place. Ariane 6 is big enough for anything ESA needs, and for LEO missions an evolved Vega is actually more than enough.

Costs of a moon shot is ninety percent fuel.A station for what ?
The more you launch a rocket the cheaper it gets per launch.
Fully agree that ARIANE 6is big enough for everything in LEO .
It is large payloads in other orbits that the big one is for (big telescopes in GEO for instance).
Why keep Vega when Ariane 6 will be cost effective ?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 02:52 pm
Quote from: M129K
Also, Ariane 6 also fits nicely in the 10 ton launch range for LEO flights.

Pretty sure A6 will lift more than 10t to LEO, possibly around 16t.
I know, I tried estimating its payload before. Up to 15 tons seems very realistic. However, that still fits pretty nicely with ~10 ton payloads, doesn't it?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 11/10/2013 03:01 pm
Costs of a moon shot is ninety percent fuel.A station for what ?
The more you launch a rocket the cheaper it gets per launch.
Fully agree that ARIANE 6is big enough for everything in LEO .
It is large payloads in other orbits that the big one is for (big telescopes in GEO for instance).
Why keep Vega when Ariane 6 will be cost effective ?

ESA has no desire for a "moon shot".  If ESA does want a station in future it would likely be a small microgravity lab as has been mooted for decades. ESA has no plans for big telescopes in GEO. Vega covers a range which includes many payloads from European institutions/agencies that would have to go elsewhere otherwise.  Vega is part of the EGAS policy.


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/10/2013 04:42 pm
Costs of a moon shot is ninety percent fuel.A station for what ?
The more you launch a rocket the cheaper it gets per launch.
Fully agree that ARIANE 6is big enough for everything in LEO .
It is large payloads in other orbits that the big one is for (big telescopes in GEO for instance).
Why keep Vega when Ariane 6 will be cost effective ?

ESA has no desire for a "moon shot".  If ESA does want a station in future it would likely be a small microgravity lab as has been mooted for decades. ESA has no plans for big telescopes in GEO. Vega covers a range which includes many payloads from European institutions/agencies that would have to go elsewhere otherwise.  Vega is part of the EGAS policy.



Look up eads website "for Geo surveillance " the satellites resolution is limited by mirror diameter. They are going to need refueling.
Anything that Vega can do Ariane 6 can do better.
ESA are a lot of space scientists of course they want to go to the moon.
Policy  can change .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 04:55 pm
Look up eads website "for Geo surveillance " the satellites resolution is limited by mirror diameter. They are going to need refueling.
Anything that Vega can do Ariane 6 can do better.
ESA are a lot of space scientists of course they want to go to the moon.
Policy  can change .
Say you have a 1.5 ton earth observation satellite. Would you rather pay 30 million euros for Vega, or 70 million euros for Ariane 6? Ariane 6 has no advantage for small sats.

Lots of scientists would rather see ESA exploring Mars, Venus and Jupiter using space probes than a moonshot. A moonshot would require a new LV, a manned spacecraft and a lunar lander, costing billions, and all we get is prestige and some more data about the moon. I would love to see a lunar landing by ESA, but from a scientific standpoint it's simply not worth it.

Policy can change, but I doubt France, Germany and Italy all decide at once to turn ESA from focusing on science to focusing on space colonization. It's a huge jump, and nobody wants to pay for it.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 11/10/2013 05:19 pm
Look up eads website "for Geo surveillance " the satellites resolution is limited by mirror diameter. They are going to need refueling.
Anything that Vega can do Ariane 6 can do better.
ESA are a lot of space scientists of course they want to go to the moon.
Policy  can change .

Ariane 6 has the same fairing diameter as Ariane 5 ME, I thought you were talking about satellites A6 couldn't carry. I don'think GO-3S invalidates A6.

A6 may be able to lift more than Vega, but it is much more expensive to do so for small payloads.  It's why you don't generally see A5 lifting single 1000 Kg sats...

ESA couldn't even approve the German unmanned lunar lander, i somehow doubt the member states are particularly interested in a manned mission to the moon. Nor were they interested in the ARV manned capsule.

Policy can only change with increased funding, increased funding will only come from increased EU involvement.  That is in rough waters right now with both some governments and ESA itself growing more opposed.  Even if it were to happen we are not talking about major policy changes til at least the mid 2020's and probably later.  So really it has no place in the immediate discussions on launchers.  If the EU miraculously becomes interested in the things you propose, which I doubt, then it will fund its own launcher programme to achieve them.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 11/10/2013 05:47 pm
Look up eads website "for Geo surveillance " the satellites resolution is limited by mirror diameter. They are going to need refueling.
Anything that Vega can do Ariane 6 can do better.
ESA are a lot of space scientists of course they want to go to the moon.
Policy  can change .
Say you have a 1.5 ton earth observation satellite. Would you rather pay 30 million euros for Vega, or 70 million euros for Ariane 6? Ariane 6 has no advantage for small sats.

Lots of scientists would rather see ESA exploring Mars, Venus and Jupiter using space probes than a moonshot. A moonshot would require a new LV, a manned spacecraft and a lunar lander, costing billions, and all we get is prestige and some more data about the moon. I would love to see a lunar landing by ESA, but from a scientific standpoint it's simply not worth it.

Policy can change, but I doubt France, Germany and Italy all decide at once to turn ESA from focusing on science to focusing on space colonization. It's a huge jump, and nobody wants to pay for it.

Geo spysats have 5 meter mirrors at least the bigger the mirror the better the resolution.
Arianespace business is a lot bigger that just esa.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Silmfeanor on 11/10/2013 06:32 pm
Floss, what exactly are you talking about here?

You might want to make a thread about possible payloads for Ariane 6, or a thread in advanced concepts about a GEO-refueling space tug with a mass below 10mt, or something along those lines.
This thread is about Ariane 6 itself, not a discussion about whether ESA should fly to the moon  ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/10/2013 06:32 pm
Geo spysats have 5 meter mirrors at least the bigger the mirror the better the resolution.
Arianespace business is a lot bigger that just esa.
Do the math and tell me what aperture do you need for a diffraction limited optic to have a 0.25m resolution.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/10/2013 07:11 pm
Floss, what exactly are you talking about here?

You might want to make a thread about possible payloads for Ariane 6, or a thread in advanced concepts about a GEO-refueling space tug with a mass below 10mt, or something along those lines.
This thread is about Ariane 6 itself, not a discussion about whether ESA should fly to the moon  ;)
Exactly. A thread about payloads for Ariane 6 or a "How would Europe go to the moon?" thread could be very interesting, but they don't belong here.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spectre9 on 11/12/2013 08:09 am
I'm now coming around to the idea of Ariane 6.

Is it too big though?

What are the largest payloads it will be required to lift?

Manned spaceflight from Kourou is just a pipe dream. Europeons can chip in towards SLS just like they put Columbus in the shuttle payload bay.

The need for specialized international cargo vessels like ATV seems to be coming to an end too. SpaceX can play mailman.

If the Ariane 5 core stage is too expensive put it on the scrap heap. No point in fighting it.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 11/12/2013 10:26 am
Look up eads website "for Geo surveillance " the satellites resolution is limited by mirror diameter. They are going to need refueling.
Anything that Vega can do Ariane 6 can do better.
ESA are a lot of space scientists of course they want to go to the moon.
Policy  can change .
Say you have a 1.5 ton earth observation satellite. Would you rather pay 30 million euros for Vega, or 70 million euros for Ariane 6? Ariane 6 has no advantage for small sats.

Lots of scientists would rather see ESA exploring Mars, Venus and Jupiter using space probes than a moonshot. A moonshot would require a new LV, a manned spacecraft and a lunar lander, costing billions, and all we get is prestige and some more data about the moon. I would love to see a lunar landing by ESA, but from a scientific standpoint it's simply not worth it.

Policy can change, but I doubt France, Germany and Italy all decide at once to turn ESA from focusing on science to focusing on space colonization. It's a huge jump, and nobody wants to pay for it.

Geo spysats have 5 meter mirrors at least the bigger the mirror the better the resolution.
Arianespace business is a lot bigger that just esa.

Correct. Question: how many times has Arianespace launched spysats? And when you have found the number.. do yourself a favour and try to find the reason why that number is so low.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/13/2013 05:18 pm
Is it too big though?

What are the largest payloads it will be required to lift?

I don't think it's too big. The max payloads it will be required to lift are around 6.5 tons, which is exactly what it is being designed for. If anything, I'd say it's just a little too small. Market forecasts indicated the possibility that sats could grow in mass up to 8 tons, which H2C and P1B allowed for. P7C, however, does not. If it makes up for that in lower costs, however, I'm perfectly fine with it, and so would most customers be I imagine.

For smaller payloads in the 3-3.5 ton range, they have the option of using 2 P135s instead of 3 for the first stage, which could get 3.4 tons to GTO, slightly more than Soyuz. I don't know if that option is still on the table though, I haven't seen it anywhere for the past few months. They picked a more in-line design for A6; would asymmetrical boosters be a possibility for Ariane?

Quote
Manned spaceflight from Kourou is just a pipe dream. Europeons can chip in towards SLS just like they put Columbus in the shuttle payload bay.

Agreed, ESA shouldn't bother with manned spaceflight until they have a legitimate reason to commit to such a hugely expensive program. Supporting Orion to get seats on it (or on PTK) is a better option than spending billions on doing it themselves.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 11/18/2013 12:22 pm
I put this in the discussion thread. Interview with ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain.

"Ariane 6 at 70m euros, its possible"

http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/air-defense/actu/0203129671502-jean-jacques-dordain-directeur-general-de-l-esa-ariane-6-a-70-millions-d-euros-c-est-possible-630032.php

Loosely translated:

They evaluated 160 proposals from the industry. As things stand they're not yet at 70m, but he's confident that the price point will be reached.

He says that they are impressed by the Falcon first stage reusability demonstrations, but that its not certain it will pay off. The recovery cycle doesn't come for free.

(Please don't make this thead about SpaceX now ;))
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/18/2013 05:46 pm
I put this in the discussion thread. Interview with ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain.

"Ariane 6 at 70m euros, its possible"

http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/air-defense/actu/0203129671502-jean-jacques-dordain-directeur-general-de-l-esa-ariane-6-a-70-millions-d-euros-c-est-possible-630032.php

Loosely translated:

They evaluated 160 proposals from the industry. As things stand they're not yet at 70m, but he's confident that the price point will be reached.

He says that they are impressed by the Falcon first stage reusability demonstrations, but that its not certain it will pay off. The recovery cycle doesn't come for free.

(Please don't make this thead about SpaceX now ;))
How will they reach it? I think the main thing that blocks it now is the Geo-return principle. Ariane 6 can only become that cheap if all the solids are made in one factory in Italy, and unless Italy wants to pay that much for the program they won't get that industrial return. Are they planning to get rid of geo-return?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/18/2013 06:45 pm
I put this in the discussion thread. Interview with ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain.

"Ariane 6 at 70m euros, its possible"

http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/air-defense/actu/0203129671502-jean-jacques-dordain-directeur-general-de-l-esa-ariane-6-a-70-millions-d-euros-c-est-possible-630032.php

Loosely translated:

They evaluated 160 proposals from the industry. As things stand they're not yet at 70m, but he's confident that the price point will be reached.

He says that they are impressed by the Falcon first stage reusability demonstrations, but that its not certain it will pay off. The recovery cycle doesn't come for free.

(Please don't make this thead about SpaceX now ;))
How will they reach it? I think the main thing that blocks it now is the Geo-return principle. Ariane 6 can only become that cheap if all the solids are made in one factory in Italy, and unless Italy wants to pay that much for the program they won't get that industrial return. Are they planning to get rid of geo-return?
Two details. They've stated that they would not be so strict about geo return. And in any case it's about development money. If the Italian state puts a certain percentage, they will get that same percentage share of the industrial cost of the rocket.
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany, and the filling of the P80, and the P135, would be done at Kourou, which is in France.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 11/19/2013 10:03 am
Quote from: M129K
Are they planning to get rid of geo-return?

It looks like at this stage its being ignored.

Quote from: baldusi
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany

To my knowledge MT is also a contender for the composite casings for A6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 11/19/2013 10:43 am
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany, and the filling of the P80, and the P135, would be done at Kourou, which is in France.

The current Ariane 5 solids get their casing from MT in Germany. The casing for Vega's  P80 is produced by Europropulsion, for Avio, but winding of the composite casing is done at Avio itself.  The casings for Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9 are entirely produced by Avio.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/21/2013 05:47 pm
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany, and the filling of the P80, and the P135, would be done at Kourou, which is in France.

The current Ariane 5 solids get their casing from MT in Germany. The casing for Vega's  P80 is produced by Europropulsion, for Avio, but winding of the composite casing is done at Avio itself.  The casings for Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9 are entirely produced by Avio.

Thanks to both of you, I thought P80 was built entirely in Italy. Would the same be true for P135? I think that to reach the €70m goal, they would have to focus that all to one factory.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/21/2013 06:30 pm
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany, and the filling of the P80, and the P135, would be done at Kourou, which is in France.

The current Ariane 5 solids get their casing from MT in Germany. The casing for Vega's  P80 is produced by Europropulsion, for Avio, but winding of the composite casing is done at Avio itself.  The casings for Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9 are entirely produced by Avio.

Thanks to both of you, I thought P80 was built entirely in Italy. Would the same be true for P135? I think that to reach the €70m goal, they would have to focus that all to one factory.
Due to transport hazards, big solids are filled in Kourou. If I'm not mistaken the top segment of Ariane 5's is filled in Europe, since it includes the start up ordnance and is "small" compared to the other two, which are filled at Kourou. The P80 is filled in Kourou, but, as stated above Z23 and Z9 are completely filled in Italy. I don't know but it would seem that 80 tonnes is above what's safe to transport by sea, thus, the P135 will surely be filled at CSG.
BTW, look into the Herakles site information about their solid propulsion sides. You'll see that they do supply many components even for the Z9 and Z23.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/21/2013 08:54 pm
Another thought that I had. If they ever need to increase the performance, couldn't they just put four booster P135 around an air started P135, plus another P135 on top? They could easily go from:
S1: 3 x P135
S2: 1 x P135
S3: H28

to
S1: 4 x P135
S2: 1 x P135
S3: 1 x P135
S4: H28

If they ever need that extra performance, of course.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 11/22/2013 07:17 am
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany, and the filling of the P80, and the P135, would be done at Kourou, which is in France.

The current Ariane 5 solids get their casing from MT in Germany. The casing for Vega's  P80 is produced by Europropulsion, for Avio, but winding of the composite casing is done at Avio itself.  The casings for Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9 are entirely produced by Avio.

Your woridng is quite confusing. The casing of P80 is produced (i.e. winding of the composite casing) by Avio in Italy. The casting of the propellant is done by Regulus and the production of the motor (i.e. integration of nozzle and igniter etc.) is done by Europropulsion in Kourou.
The Zefiro 23 and 9 are entirely produced by Avio, i.e. the winding of the casing, the casting of the propellant is done and the integration of the motor.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Notaris on 11/22/2013 07:24 am
But, please remember that current solids get their casing from MT in Germany, and the filling of the P80, and the P135, would be done at Kourou, which is in France.

The current Ariane 5 solids get their casing from MT in Germany. The casing for Vega's  P80 is produced by Europropulsion, for Avio, but winding of the composite casing is done at Avio itself.  The casings for Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9 are entirely produced by Avio.

Thanks to both of you, I thought P80 was built entirely in Italy. Would the same be true for P135? I think that to reach the €70m goal, they would have to focus that all to one factory.
Due to transport hazards, big solids are filled in Kourou. If I'm not mistaken the top segment of Ariane 5's is filled in Europe, since it includes the start up ordnance and is "small" compared to the other two, which are filled at Kourou. The P80 is filled in Kourou, but, as stated above Z23 and Z9 are completely filled in Italy. I don't know but it would seem that 80 tonnes is above what's safe to transport by sea, thus, the P135 will surely be filled at CSG.
The legal limit in Europe is somewhere below 20 t propellant loading, if I remember right. I know for sure, that there is already a waiver for transport of the Zefiro 23. However, the risk assessement seems to be quite different in the U.S. The STS booster segments were casted in Utah and transported by rail across the continent to Florida.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/22/2013 12:36 pm
So, if they were to make in improved stage for Vega it would probably have to be filled at Kourou?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 11/22/2013 01:32 pm
Quote from: baldusi
Another thought that I had. If they ever need to increase the performance, couldn't they just put four booster P135 around an air started P135, plus another P135 on top? They could easily go from:

The boosters are designed for a certain load and have a specific thrust profile. I'm pretty sure you cannot simply use them in any other configuration without modifications.

Quote from: Notaris
The legal limit in Europe is somewhere below 20 t propellant loading, if I remember right.

I can imagine that transporting 80t or 135t solids would be a major pain in the ass, not only for safety reasons.
Rather fill them at the launch site.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/29/2013 08:04 am
Due to transport hazards, big solids are filled in Kourou. If I'm not mistaken the top segment of Ariane 5's is filled in Europe, since it includes the start up ordnance and is "small" compared to the other two, which are filled at Kourou. The P80 is filled in Kourou, but, as stated above Z23 and Z9 are completely filled in Italy. I don't know but it would seem that 80 tonnes is above what's safe to transport by sea, thus, the P135 will surely be filled at CSG.
BTW, look into the Herakles site information about their solid propulsion sides. You'll see that they do supply many components even for the Z9 and Z23.
Well, I meant producing it all in one factory, then cast it in Kourou. I was aware that casting in Europe wasn't the best idea.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/29/2013 06:56 pm
Due to transport hazards, big solids are filled in Kourou. If I'm not mistaken the top segment of Ariane 5's is filled in Europe, since it includes the start up ordnance and is "small" compared to the other two, which are filled at Kourou. The P80 is filled in Kourou, but, as stated above Z23 and Z9 are completely filled in Italy. I don't know but it would seem that 80 tonnes is above what's safe to transport by sea, thus, the P135 will surely be filled at CSG.
BTW, look into the Herakles site information about their solid propulsion sides. You'll see that they do supply many components even for the Z9 and Z23.
Well, I meant producing it all in one factory, then cast it in Kourou. I was aware that casting in Europe wasn't the best idea.
But one thing is to have them all integrated and finished (sans fill) in one factory, and another is to make everything in the same factory. As you you could read on the Herakles page, somebody can make the nozzle, other the actuators, other the integrate the TVC system, somebody can make the casing and another the winding (in the composite case), etc. The degree of vertical integration is quite a decision.
I'm not sure that everything should be made in one factory.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 11/30/2013 12:39 pm
But one thing is to have them all integrated and finished (sans fill) in one factory, and another is to make everything in the same factory. As you you could read on the Herakles page, somebody can make the nozzle, other the actuators, other the integrate the TVC system, somebody can make the casing and another the winding (in the composite case), etc. The degree of vertical integration is quite a decision.
I'm not sure that everything should be made in one factory.
I always understood that the best way to get the costs down is 1. simplicity, and 2. concentrate everything within one factory with a single contractor. Wouldn't spreading manufacturing of the boosters over several different factories and several different contractors only drive up costs?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 11/30/2013 02:47 pm
I always understood that the best way to get the costs down is 1. simplicity, and 2. concentrate everything within one factory with a single contractor. Wouldn't spreading manufacturing of the boosters over several different factories and several different contractors only drive up costs?
It's always a delicate balance. Generally it depends on how much existing infrastructure and tooling you can use and how many custom processes. If the cost is driven by quality control and traceability, may be it's better to be done in-house since you already have all the process developed and the people trained. If the cost is driven by the tooling and workers know-how, and if they supplier doesn't decide to charge you too much, it's probably wise to go with an external supplier. Or you can do an hybrid approach and send your process and auditor people to your supplier's factory and make a batch for you. You'll laugh at the example, but that's how you do Kosher candies. They use the stock factory, and have it cleaned and supervised by a rabbi.
Even in SpaceX, you see a lot of contractors. The DragonEye is contracted, the Merlin 1C turbopumps were contracted, the metal vacuum nozzle is contracted, etc. I'm pretty sure that the explosively forming of the inner lining of the Merlin 1D's thrust chamber is done on a supplier's equipment. May be the operation is managed by SpaceX personnel, but those kinds of heavy machines are usually shared by many industries.
And there's the opportunity to take normal contractors and teach them to do process control and space certify their products. Sometimes, you can simply space certify yourself  a certain batch of a stock products. Astrobotics did that with the Li-ion batteries. And I remember that the bolts that hold the lens protector on Curiosity were bought of McMaster-Carr online and then certified by NASA personnel. They did came with a standard certificate, though. So you have many options.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: sdsds on 12/21/2013 10:13 pm
New pic.

Wasn't a big part of the concept having the four solid stages as similar as possible; even identical? How can that work with the three-in-line first stage design? Structurally won't the loads on the side boosters be quite different from the loads on the center booster, and even more different from the loads on the second stage?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 12/22/2013 02:23 am
Wasn't a big part of the concept having the four solid stages as similar as possible; even identical? How can that work with the three-in-line first stage design? Structurally won't the loads on the side boosters be quite different from the loads on the center booster, and even more different from the loads on the second stage?

In that particular picture it almost looks like the 2nd stage is being "carried" by all three boosters (thrust transfer at the top). In any case, the boosters will be identical so I guess they're just designed for the max. load case. Solids are pretty sturdy after all ;).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 01/08/2014 06:28 am
Europe To Consider Radically Streamlined Supplier Base for Next-generation Ariane 6 Launcher

from here:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/38968europe-to-consider-radically-streamlined-supplier-base-for-next-generation (http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/38968europe-to-consider-radically-streamlined-supplier-base-for-next-generation)

Quote
A radically simplified European rocket manufacturing organization that cuts the number of companies involved in Ariane rocket construction by two-thirds and permits a next-generation Ariane 6 rocket to meet its aggressive cost targets will be presented to European governments in March, officials from the French space agency, CNES, said Jan. 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/13/2014 12:05 pm
From the Update thread:

New pic.

Other info from the CNEStweetup. A6 could evolve into a 4t or 8t launcher, depending on the market. The 8t version would be doable with 5 solid motors in the first stage.

I can't seem to find the other info (my French is terrible, that doesn't help); does this mean that a 2x and 5x P135 Ariane 6 is pretty much confirmed? And does this indicate that Ariane 6 is evolvable, like SLS (moving between configs, but only using one at any time) or modular, like the EELVs?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/13/2014 10:54 pm

^

Evolvable probably but I don't think its modular.

Btw, thrust from the side boosters is transfered at the bottom, technical specifications clearly say so.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 01/14/2014 11:50 am
does this mean that a 2x and 5x P135 Ariane 6 is pretty much confirmed? And does this indicate that Ariane 6 is evolvable, like SLS (moving between configs, but only using one at any time) or modular, like the EELVs?

There is no such requirement in the current RFP documents.
A 5xP145 (No typo! ESA changed it to P145 recently...) would require a substantial re-design of the thrust structures.
Not to mention the acceleration loads.

Would be more or less a complete new launcher...

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Kasponaut on 01/14/2014 12:28 pm
What is the diameter of the lower boosters?
Is there any technical description of the Ariane 6 out yet? I guess not.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/14/2014 12:39 pm
^

Technical conditions have been posted here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1118288#msg1118288

Diameter is 3.5m, 135t propellant and 10t dry mass.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Kasponaut on 01/14/2014 01:03 pm
^

Technical conditions have been posted here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1118288#msg1118288

Diameter is 3.5m, 135t propellant and 10t dry mass.


Great! Thanks :-)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 01/14/2014 01:04 pm
^

Technical conditions have been posted here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1118288#msg1118288

Diameter is 3.5m, 135t propellant and 10t dry mass.


These numbers are outdated. They are from RFC (request for consultation).
Now we have the RFP (request for proposal) documents.
The new numbers:
Length 11,5m
Diameter 3,5m
Propellant mass 145t
Casing mass 8,7t incl. insulation

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/14/2014 01:08 pm

Quote from: spacediver
These numbers are outdated. They are from RFC (request for consultation).
Now we have the RFP (request for proposal) documents.
The new numbers:
Length 11,5m
Diameter 3,5m
Propellant mass 145t
Casing mass 8,7t incl. insulation

Spacediver

Ah, I remember, you're the liquid guy. Still convinced solids are the wrong choice and 70m per launch is unrealistic?

 :)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/17/2014 07:48 pm
^

Technical conditions have been posted here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1118288#msg1118288

Diameter is 3.5m, 135t propellant and 10t dry mass.


These numbers are outdated. They are from RFC (request for consultation).
Now we have the RFP (request for proposal) documents.
The new numbers:
Length 11,5m
Diameter 3,5m
Propellant mass 145t
Casing mass 8,7t incl. insulation

Spacediver

Very interesting... Does this large increase in propellant influence the performance and cost of Ariane 6 by much? Thanks for the info btw.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Danderman on 01/17/2014 08:05 pm
Kerosene systems are cheaper than the alternative, but they don't seem to want to look at that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/17/2014 08:31 pm
Quote from: Danderman
Kerosene systems are cheaper than the alternative, but they don't seem to want to look at that.

The second part is simply not true. Kerosene/Methane systems were certainly looked at.

Spacediver said LH2/Solid/Kerosene versions had almost the same recurrent costs.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/17/2014 08:56 pm
Kerosene systems are cheaper than the alternative, but they don't seem to want to look at that.
They did look at kerosene and methane powered options. Methane proved more promising, kerosene never got as far in the trade studies, likely because both propellants required a start from scratch for Europe and methane performs better.

According to Spacediver, as well as some older ESA presentations, kerosene, methane, solid and H2 all had similar recurring cost. Europe has more experience with solids and H2, so those were the most promising options from the start.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Danderman on 01/17/2014 09:26 pm
Unless they actually looked at program lifetime costs for kerosene vs other fuels, they didn't really look at kerosene.

I am sure that using propellants they are familiar with is cheaper at the beginning, locking yourself into a more expensive system to save some upfront costs is not a wise decision.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/17/2014 09:41 pm
Quote from: Danderman
Unless they actually looked at program lifetime costs for kerosene vs other fuels, they didn't really look at kerosene.

There are numerous documents proving otherwise.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/17/2014 09:45 pm
Unless they actually looked at program lifetime costs for kerosene vs other fuels, they didn't really look at kerosene.

I am sure that using propellants they are familiar with is cheaper at the beginning, locking yourself into a more expensive system to save some upfront costs is not a wise decision.
They did. Little difference. Methane, kerosene, solid and LH2 all were similar in recurring cost. Solids and LH2 had lower dev costs and better timelines. With solids having synergies with Vega, the winner became clear.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Danderman on 01/17/2014 09:51 pm
Methane, kerosene, solid and LH2 all were similar in recurring cost.

This is one of the amazing statements I have seen in quite a while.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/17/2014 10:05 pm
Quote from: Danderman
This is one of the amazing statements I have seen in quite a while.

Why? There is nothing amazing about it. In fact its kind of obvious looking at all the different rocket configurations flying worldwide. There is no silver bullet.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/17/2014 11:06 pm
Methane, kerosene, solid and LH2 all were similar in recurring cost.

This is one of the amazing statements I have seen in quite a while.
I suspect that any rocket design that they tried was "overhead heavy". Kerolox has been shown to be the cheapest alternative internationally. But the environmental laws are extremelly draconian, too.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Avron on 01/17/2014 11:13 pm
Quote from: Danderman
Unless they actually looked at program lifetime costs for kerosene vs other fuels, they didn't really look at kerosene.

There are numerous documents proving otherwise.

You folks talking Human  potential or just cargo, just stepped in here, please forgive?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/17/2014 11:24 pm
Quote from: baldusi
Kerolox has been shown to be the cheapest alternative internationally.

Not least because of the supply of russian SC kerolox engines. I doubt those engines would be cheap to develop and produce in the west.

Quote from: Avron
You folks talking Human  potential or just cargo, just stepped in here, please forgive?

Cargo.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Danderman on 01/17/2014 11:41 pm
What rockets are the cheapest to operate in the world?

Soyuz.

SpaceX.

What fuel do they use?

I rest my case.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Silmfeanor on 01/17/2014 11:49 pm
What rockets are the cheapest to operate in the world?

Soyuz.

SpaceX.

What fuel do they use?

I rest my case.

Ah, so what about the cost of building up a new knowledge base and expertise, state-subsidized military grunt labor, industrial capability, new infrastructures needed (or not needed) and the gigantic range in different ways to run a company (or state-owned launchers), let alone economy of scale and the like?
Must be because of the propellants!

Let's not get too much offtopic. The analysis has been done. Do you have any evidence that it is cheaper for ESA to go to LOX/RP1 for ariane 6, taking things like industrial base, commonality, expertise and the like in account?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/18/2014 12:32 am
At least Argentina is going from zero to kerolox. But the truth is that developing the RP-1 infrastructure is simple. There's a lot of experience in handling kerosen, and most equipment can be bought off the shelf. The kerosen has a long shelf life compared to any cryo, and is probably the cheapest to transport. Doing a GG kerolox is probably the cheapest development you can do.
I do remember the few papers I read, and none did a good job at justifying the ongoing cost nor the development effort.
For exaple, they either kept copying the solid or H2 concepts but just swapped the fuel. Obviously little or no cost was saved.
What I meant, is that they always assumed either super expensive SC or the GG are puny. If they had used a 20% more powerful kerolox GG and applied the extra performance to trade margin for cost, it could be done.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Avron on 01/18/2014 12:43 am
At least Argentina is going from zero to kerolox. But the truth is that developing the RP-1 infrastructure is simple. There's a lot of experience in handling kerosen, and most equipment can be bought off the shelf. The kerosen has a long shelf life compared to any cryo, and is probably the cheapest to transport. Doing a GG kerolox is probably the cheapest development you can do.
I do remember the few papers I read, and none did a good job at justifying the ongoing cost nor the development effort.
For exaple, they either kept copying the solid or H2 concepts but just swapped the fuel. Obviously little or no cost was saved.
What I meant, is that they always assumed either super expensive SC or the GG are puny. If they had used a 20% more powerful kerolox GG and applied the extra performance to trade margin for cost, it could be done.

OT - Argentina is not going anyplace quickly with zero forex ..

I don't see a more cheap/simple solution if you just want a rocket , than to use solids.. its proven tech from 1232 ok maybe not the "black powder" type, so I think it would be beneficial for Ariane 6 to make use of ATK tech   
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/18/2014 12:47 am
What rockets are the cheapest to operate in the world?

Soyuz.

SpaceX.

What fuel do they use?

I rest my case.
For its payload class Zenit is pretty cheap, too. It was designed by the Russians trying to make it cheap. And the Falcon 9 is sort of very similar, even on ops.
But cheapest are usually military surplus (Minotaur, Dnpr or Kosmos) or extremely cheap labor (PSLV).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/18/2014 12:52 am
Quote from: baldusi
But the truth is that developing the RP-1 infrastructure is simple. There's a lot of experience in handling kerosen, and most equipment can be bought off the shelf. The kerosen has a long shelf life compared to any cryo, and is probably the cheapest to transport. Doing a GG kerolox is probably the cheapest development you can do.

Arianespace operates Soyuz besides Ariane/Vega, so I doubt RP-1 infrastructure was a big unknown in the decision making process.

You make a good point with the GG kerolox engines. I've never seen a NGL (Ariane 6) concept with hydrocarbon GG engines. They were all SC.

For their newer rockets (after Soyuz) the Russians did not use GG engines anymore either.

Quote from: baldusi
For its payload class Zenit is pretty cheap, too.

I would say labor in the Ukraine is pretty cheap too, probably cheaper than in Russia.

Quote from: Avron
...it would be beneficial for Ariane 6 to make use of ATK tech   

The technology in the A6 solids has already been proven with Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: hop on 01/18/2014 01:03 am
What rockets are the cheapest to operate in the world?

Soyuz.

SpaceX.

What fuel do they use?

I rest my case.

A very weak case.

1) You didn't present evidence they are actually the cheapest to operate. How much do PSLV, Dnepr, Tsyklon or the various Long March flavors cost to operate?
2) Atlas 5 uses Kerosene, but isn't exactly cheap. Heck, it's not clear Soyuz from Kourou is particularly cheap either (edit: and to the extent it is, the fact the rocket is produced with Russian labor is likely significant).
3) Other factors obviously play a big role. Soyuz benefits from mass production and long ago paid off infrastructure. It's clear that SpaceX has a more streamlined operation than many other LV providers, which would give them an advantage regardless of propellent.

I'm a fan of Lox/Kero myself, but I don't see any unambiguous evidence that propellent choice is a dominant factor in LV pricing, and I see a lot of evidence that other factors are more important.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Danderman on 01/18/2014 02:40 am
In business, it is generally to take a hit up front in terms of one time costs, in order to save money on recurring costs.

The Space Shuttle is a classic case of doing the opposite - saving money on development, and paying out hugely over decades of high ops costs.

Apart from the low cost of kerosene rockets, there are also lower lifetime costs in terms of nasty hypergolic propellants, someone has got to pay for the cleanup. And solids have some environmental costs.  This is not to say that kerosene is completely clean, but its cleanup costs at end of program are lower than most alternatives.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/18/2014 10:33 am
In business, it is generally to take a hit up front in terms of one time costs, in order to save money on recurring costs.

The Space Shuttle is a classic case of doing the opposite - saving money on development, and paying out hugely over decades of high ops costs.

Apart from the low cost of kerosene rockets, there are also lower lifetime costs in terms of nasty hypergolic propellants, someone has got to pay for the cleanup. And solids have some environmental costs.  This is not to say that kerosene is completely clean, but its cleanup costs at end of program are lower than most alternatives.
And hydrogen is far, far cleaner than kerosene, hypergolic or solids, with far better performance.

You really don't have a very strong case here. Some of the cheapest rockets in the world in cost/kg use hypergolic fuels, like Proton, the Long March family or PSLV, while some of the most expensive rockets in the world like Atlas V use kerosene. If there is anything that determines the cost of a launcher, it's complexity and the labor costs involved. That's what makes Soyuz and Falcon 9 cheap. Not the propellant. Kerosene was evaluated by ESA and found to have little advantage over solid or hydrogen.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/18/2014 01:19 pm
Hydrogen production is extremely contaminant. And you usually you need a local plant. And yes, H2 is more expensive than RP-1, both to develop and to operate, not to mention GSE. The "cheap" hypergolics are legacy systems in countries where contamination is not an issue and labor is dirty cheap. And yet all the three of them are trying to get away from it as fast as they can.
But the phalacy of your argument is comparing whole systems to the inherent technologies. Nobody starts a clean sheet design with hypergolics. And the experience with H2 is always more expensive than RP-1. You keep mentioning Atlas V but fail to mention the even more expensive Delta IV and H-IIA. So, for same capability and labor cost, RP-1 always comes cheaper.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/18/2014 02:59 pm
^

Repeating it over and over doesn't make it more true. All fuels in use have advantages and disadvantages.

When comparing Atlas and Delta you have to take into account other factors than the fuel, for example the imported RD-180. To my knowledge Delta is only slightly more expensive anyway.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/18/2014 03:11 pm
Hydrogen production is extremely contaminant. And you usually you need a local plant. And yes, H2 is more expensive than RP-1, both to develop and to operate, not to mention GSE. The "cheap" hypergolics are legacy systems in countries where contamination is not an issue and labor is dirty cheap. And yet all the three of them are trying to get away from it as fast as they can.
But the phalacy of your argument is comparing whole systems to the inherent technologies. Nobody starts a clean sheet design with hypergolics. And the experience with H2 is always more expensive than RP-1. You keep mentioning Atlas V but fail to mention the even more expensive Delta IV and H-IIA. So, for same capability and labor cost, RP-1 always comes cheaper.
The difference between Atlas V and Delta IV is pretty minimal, and most of it is because ULA has to pay Boeing a lot for every core to pay of development, combined with the Russian RD-180 engine on Atlas V.

The reason kerosene is usually cheaper is because of different design philosophies. The Russians like their kerosene, and of course their rockets are cheaper, because Russian labor is cheaper. They haven't built a hydrogen rocket yet because they don't have the money to develop it. But look at the US, and look at ESA studies, and you'll see the difference between kerosene and hydrogen for cost alone really isn't that big. There are many other factors involved and propellant alone isn't enough to base it on. In fact, from what I've seen in some older ESA papers, hydrogen usually had the advantage as the higher performance meant less engines were required, improving reliability and cost.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/18/2014 03:44 pm
Made up numbers. Hydrogen ground support equipment is more expensive, fuel production is more expensive, tankage is more expensive, valves are orders of magnitude more expensive, piping is more expensive, presurization system is more expensive. Only reason ESA's overly expensive studies found H2 cheaper was because they assumed an evolved Vulcain. And they use "engineering optimization" model to minimize launch dry mass, rather than cost.
Look at the MT proposal to see what I mean. Do a GG kerolox and start with bad specs. You'll need a 20% bigger rocket, but you can trade mass and design margin all over for cost.
Of course, all this discussion is for first stage use. Upper stages are a whole different analysis.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/18/2014 04:04 pm
Made up numbers. Hydrogen ground support equipment is more expensive, fuel production is more expensive, tankage is more expensive, valves are orders of magnitude more expensive, piping is more expensive, presurization system is more expensive. Only reason ESA's overly expensive studies found H2 cheaper was because they assumed an evolved Vulcain. And they use "engineering optimization" model to minimize launch dry mass, rather than cost.
Look at the MT proposal to see what I mean. Do a GG kerolox and start with bad specs. You'll need a 20% bigger rocket, but you can trade mass and design margin all over for cost.
Of course, all this discussion is for first stage use. Upper stages are a whole different analysis.

According to spacediver, the difference in recurring cost between PPH, multi-P, HH and a "KH" concept, with kerosene first stage and hydrogen upper stage, was minimal. Recurring cost, not development cost. The difference isn't massive, and kerosene is not necessarily the superior option.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/18/2014 04:56 pm
One must add that the upper stage engine was pretty much fixed with Vinci, at least in later studies (from what I have seen). Vinci has rather low thrust (18t). That requires the first stage to deliver lots of delta v.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Danderman on 01/18/2014 05:04 pm
One must add that the upper stage engine was pretty much fixed with Vinci, at least in later studies (from what I have seen). Vinci has rather low thrust (18t). That requires the first stage to deliver lots of delta v.

In aerospace, there is a saying that 90% of the costs of a program are incurred in the first 10%.

In this case, levying the requirement that "second stage must be powered by Vinci" is going to drive the design.

However, it should be noted that kerosene first stages like the Antares first stage can provide a lot of delta-V.

I would imagine that the option of "license build the Antares first stage" did not exist in this study.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/18/2014 05:05 pm

I would imagine that the option of "license build the Antares first stage" did not exist in this study.
The Antares first stage couldn't reach the 6.5 ton goal.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/18/2014 05:25 pm
Quote from: Danderman
In this case, levying the requirement that "second stage must be powered by Vinci" is going to drive the design.

Well I don't think it was an explicit requirement, but its a fine engine, if you have it you wanna use it.

Quote from: Danderman
I would imagine that the option of "license build the Antares first stage" did not exist in this study.

If I remember correctly the OHB "KH" configuration had 4 NK-33 type engines in the first stage.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: hop on 01/18/2014 07:22 pm
In business, it is generally to take a hit up front in terms of one time costs, in order to save money on recurring costs.
In general that is often true, but the details matter. If you know you are only going to have a small production run, investing lots up front to bring your per unit cost can easily increase the total cost.
Quote
Apart from the low cost of kerosene rockets, there are also lower lifetime costs in terms of nasty hypergolic propellants, someone has got to pay for the cleanup. And solids have some environmental costs.
All of this is true, but it doesn't actually make the case that propellent choice is a significant driver of program cost, or that that it would outweigh the other constraints in the specific case of Ariane 6. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't but to know with any sort of confidence, you would need go a lot deeper than saying "F9 and Soyuz are cheap, therefore anything other than kerosene is a bad choice"
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Lars_J on 01/26/2014 01:33 am
This article - linked in the Ariane 5ME thread - has some interesting information regarding Ariane 6 contracting:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39156esa-puts-price-tag-on-ariane-5-me-completion

Some quotes:
Quote
"Unlike past ESA development projects, Ariane 6 is being designed by industry to meet cost and technical requirements without regard for where the work is conducted. ESA’s contract pillar — geographic return guaranteeing governments that the money they spend at ESA will be returned in the form of contracts to their national industry — has been tossed aside for Ariane 6.

“I have given industry total carte blanche on this,” Dordain said. “I want them to tell me the best way of moving forward, with no constraints.”

Once the rocket’s design and cost have been deemed acceptable by ESA, the agency will approach those governments whose companies are on the winning proposal team and ask for financing.

“Basically, I will go to those member states and say, ‘Good news: Your industry has been selected as among the best for Ariane 6. The bad news is that now you’re going to have to pay for it,’” Dordain said."
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 01/26/2014 07:57 pm

Quote from: spacediver
These numbers are outdated. They are from RFC (request for consultation).
Now we have the RFP (request for proposal) documents.
The new numbers:
Length 11,5m
Diameter 3,5m
Propellant mass 145t
Casing mass 8,7t incl. insulation

Spacediver

Ah, I remember, you're the liquid guy. Still convinced solids are the wrong choice and 70m per launch is unrealistic?

 :)


More than ever Oli, more than ever!
With the change to P145, the cost increase, according to our NELS cost model, shows that our HH concept (3 x Vulcain 3 in the first stage, cost optimized version of Vulcain 2) is now even a little cheaper in RC cost than the current A6.

To what I hear from colleagues in industry, DLR and ESA there is a struggle going on in ESA launcher directorate about going solid or liquid. Ministerial conference 2014 will show!

Spacediver 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/26/2014 09:16 pm

Quote from: spacediver
These numbers are outdated. They are from RFC (request for consultation).
Now we have the RFP (request for proposal) documents.
The new numbers:
Length 11,5m
Diameter 3,5m
Propellant mass 145t
Casing mass 8,7t incl. insulation

Spacediver

Ah, I remember, you're the liquid guy. Still convinced solids are the wrong choice and 70m per launch is unrealistic?

 :)


More than ever Oli, more than ever!
With the change to P145, the cost increase, according to our NELS cost model, shows that our HH concept (3 x Vulcain 3 in the first stage, cost optimized version of Vulcain 2) is now even a little cheaper in RC cost than the current A6.

To what I hear from colleagues in industry, DLR and ESA there is a struggle going on in ESA launcher directorate about going solid or liquid. Ministerial conference 2014 will show!

Spacediver
Can the design still be changed? I thought it was pretty much set in stone.

Also, why the increase in size? It seemed like Ariane 6 could easily reach the payload goals.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/27/2014 04:59 am
Quote from: spacediver
With the change to P145, the cost increase, according to our NELS cost model, shows that our HH concept (3 x Vulcain 3 in the first stage, cost optimized version of Vulcain 2) is now even a little cheaper in RC cost than the current A6.

Would the HH concept allow for the same level of competition between component suppliers?

Quote from: M129K
Can the design still be changed? I thought it was pretty much set in stone.

They may postpone Ariane 6, but I doubt there is time for getting industry proposals for a new concept until the november conference.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 01/27/2014 07:41 am

Quote from: spacediver
These numbers are outdated. They are from RFC (request for consultation).
Now we have the RFP (request for proposal) documents.
The new numbers:
Length 11,5m
Diameter 3,5m
Propellant mass 145t
Casing mass 8,7t incl. insulation

Spacediver

Ah, I remember, you're the liquid guy. Still convinced solids are the wrong choice and 70m per launch is unrealistic?

 :)


More than ever Oli, more than ever!
With the change to P145, the cost increase, according to our NELS cost model, shows that our HH concept (3 x Vulcain 3 in the first stage, cost optimized version of Vulcain 2) is now even a little cheaper in RC cost than the current A6.

To what I hear from colleagues in industry, DLR and ESA there is a struggle going on in ESA launcher directorate about going solid or liquid. Ministerial conference 2014 will show!

Spacediver
Can the design still be changed? I thought it was pretty much set in stone.

Also, why the increase in size? It seemed like Ariane 6 could easily reach the payload goals.
The PPH concept for Ariane 6 was confirmed as the preferred configuration during the 2012 ESA Ministerial Council. Official selection of the PPH configuration took place in july 2013.

The Prelimary Requirements Review (PRR), based on the PPH configuration, was concluded in November 2013.
The end of the Design Analysis Cycle 1 (DAC-1) is planned for this coming February. DAC cycles are there to iron the major quircks out of the basic design. DAC-2 is planned to start this coming March.

The results of DAC-2 will be direct input for the Systems Requirements Review (SRR). SRR is planned for October/November 2014.

Put in short: the choice for Solid or Liquid was made over a year ago, but not yet set in stone. It only becomes more-or-less irreversible until completion of the SRR. (next step after SRR is Preliminary Design Review).
So yes, theoretically, ESA could still change course from solid to liquid. But it all comes down to who is willing to pay the biggest share in Ariane 6: Germany (heavy in favor of liquid option) or France (solid all the way).

IMO: my bet is on France (and thus a solid config for Ariane 6). Germany already got what they wanted by means of Ariane 5 ME and the ESM in the 2012 Ministerial conference. France will seek payback-time in the 2014 Ministerial Conference and they will get it: PPH config for Ariane 6, regardless of the struggle going on in the ESA launcher directorate. But, that's just my personal opinion.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/27/2014 09:05 am
Quote from: woods170
...France (solid all the way)...

Maybe someone could explain to me why France should be biased towards solids.

A5 core stage integration is in France (Astrium) as well as Vulcain 2 assembly (Snecma). And the fuel comes from Air Liquide.

For the solids its the nozzles and the propellant (Herakles).

The commonality with solids for military use does not seem to be that big, although there probably is with Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 01/27/2014 11:56 am
Quote from: woods170
...France (solid all the way)...

Maybe someone could explain to me why France should be biased towards solids.
CNES is the big player in the French contribution to ESA. And CNES is very biased towards solids. Don't know why, it just is.
And yes, I find this strange as well. France does have very significant interests in the liquid propulsion component of A5. And the same applied to Ariane 1 thru 4.  So why exactly CNES is now very much pushing solid propulsion remains a bit of a mystery.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/27/2014 12:15 pm
Quote from: woods170
...France (solid all the way)...

Maybe someone could explain to me why France should be biased towards solids.
CNES is the big player in the French contribution to ESA. And CNES is very biased towards solids. Don't know why, it just is.
And yes, I find this strange as well. France does have very significant interests in the liquid propulsion component of A5. And the same applied to Ariane 1 thru 4.  So why exactly CNES is now very much pushing solid propulsion remains a bit of a mystery.

My theories :)

1) There are more companies who can build components for the solid A6. With a liquid version they're probably stuck with Airbus and Snecma. In other words, the solid version allows for more competition and lower cost.

2) There seems to be promising research in the field of refrigerated solid propellants (or cryogenic solids). Apparently the expected isp for those propellants is between 355s and 375s against 315s for HTPB/AP/Al. That would basically enable solid-only TSTO rockets. So solids may actually be the future.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Hauerg on 01/27/2014 12:22 pm
Over here the argument still seems to be to "protect" the (French) technology base for ICBMs.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/27/2014 12:40 pm
Over here the argument still seems to be to "protect" the (French) technology base for ICBMs.

Well you're probably right. I guess they want to employ those people somehow.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: mmeijeri on 01/27/2014 12:49 pm
Over here the argument still seems to be to "protect" the (French) technology base for ICBMs.

That industrial base is of strategic importance and will be protected anyway. If the only goal is to preserve a European launch capability for institutional payloads, then PPH is fine, especially because it has synergy with French nuclear missiles and with Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 01/27/2014 01:08 pm
According to an OHB paper presented at IAC 2013, solids are better cost-wise if the number of launch does not reach the target of 9/year. With SpaceX and others coming to the market, Arianespace's market share will probably go down so solids seem to be the smarter choice.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/27/2014 01:46 pm
According to an OHB paper presented at IAC 2013, solids are better cost-wise if the number of launch does not reach the target of 9/year. With SpaceX and others coming to the market, Arianespace's market share will probably go down so solids seem to be the smarter choice.

Hi there :)

You probably cannot post the paper, but maybe you can explain the scoring system in more detail and which versions actually won on "exploitation costs". See pics attached. Thanks.

The internet is awesome ;)

Source: http://www.air-defense.net/forum/topic/15728-ariane-6/page-6
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/27/2014 01:58 pm
According to an OHB paper presented at IAC 2013, solids are better cost-wise if the number of launch does not reach the target of 9/year. With SpaceX and others coming to the market, Arianespace's market share will probably go down so solids seem to be the smarter choice.
That'd pretty much be giving up, wouldn't it?

The argument of lower fixed costs is a sound one though. Should launch rate go down, they're cheaper. On the othr hand, one might argue that using solids might cause more development risk, therefore more delays, causing a larger market share loss and pretty much forcing the lower launch rate.

My opinion used to be in favor of the P7C concept. However, lately I've started to change my mind about it. In part because the mass increase of P7C to P145 stages shows a first sign of what I like to call the "Ares V" process, where the concept keeps growing and growing resulting in higher cost.

Also, should a competitor achieve partial reusability, it would be difficult to incorporate that into the P7C design. The HH with three engines, however, would keep more options open for this. The future outlook for solids isn't as good.

In any case, the most affordable system should win, but with this recent increase in mass (which would also make synergies with Vega even more difficult) I don't think P7C is still competitive with an in-line PPH or HH design, or even an HH design with strap-ons.

Therefore, I keep my fingers crossed Germany will win at the next meeting in favor of liquids.

Just my €0.02.

By the way, does anyone have a link to the agenda points for the next ministerial meeting?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 01/27/2014 04:30 pm
According to an OHB paper presented at IAC 2013, solids are better cost-wise if the number of launch does not reach the target of 9/year. With SpaceX and others coming to the market, Arianespace's market share will probably go down so solids seem to be the smarter choice.

Hi there :)

You probably cannot post the paper, but maybe you can explain the scoring system in more detail and which versions actually won on "exploitation costs". See pics attached. Thanks.

The internet is awesome ;)

Well you seem to know the article better than I do, it does say PPH is the only option which can work without subsidies and can meet the 70M€/launch cost target.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Stephan on 01/27/2014 06:04 pm
Over here the argument still seems to be to "protect" the (French) technology base for ICBMs.
And that's mostly wrong, very little synergy ...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Lars_J on 01/27/2014 06:25 pm
Isn't Italy another strong supporter of Solids, and a significant part of the push to make Ariane 6 primarily solid? They make the first two stages for Vega, and there appears to be some synergy planned between Ariane 6 and Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/28/2014 02:29 am
Quote from: gosnold
Well you seem to know the article better than I do, it does say PPH is the only option which can work without subsidies and can meet the 70M€/launch cost target.

Nah, only found the pics on the internet. The PPH seems to be the winner overall, but we don't know the scoring system so its difficult to tell by how much. The KH comes in second and the HH third.

Problem is, solids are probably a dead end in the long term, so I don't think it makes sense to go along that route if its only a few bucks cheaper.

In any case, OHB is a German company so a French conspiracy can be ruled out ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/28/2014 02:49 am
I'll keep my posture that they'll only make it final if SpaceX fails to return a first stage by the next Ministerial Meeting.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 01/28/2014 09:21 am
Here is the weight system used in the article, PPH has a bigger lead in the exploitation cost than in the final result.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/28/2014 09:48 am
Here is the weight system used in the article, PPH has a bigger lead in the exploitation cost than in the final result.

Thanks, do you know whether the KH version uses an existing russian engine (NK-33)? Spacediver mentioned something along those lines in an earlier post. Here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30749.msg1000469#msg1000469

If not it looks like a viable alternative to PPH.

Quote from: M129K
My opinion used to be in favor of the P7C concept. However, lately I've started to change my mind about it. In part because the mass increase of P7C to P145 stages shows a first sign of what I like to call the "Ares V" process, where the concept keeps growing and growing resulting in higher cost.

Dordain mentioned they're looking into dual launch of smaller satellites, maybe they need slightly more performance for that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/28/2014 11:39 am
May be this allowed a single Vega evolution to put a Galileo on orbit? May be they added a bit of mass to the solid to trade for US efficiency and save conversion work from Ariane 5 ME? May be it was required to give an inline version enough performance to be relevant?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/28/2014 12:20 pm
Over here the argument still seems to be to "protect" the (French) technology base for ICBMs.
And that's mostly wrong, very little synergy ...
True.

I had a similar conversation around the SRBs with the Shuttle and Areas as it was. I suggested mfg them in multiple pours and storing them upright in the Utah desert (of which there is quite a lot  :) ) The reply was "Can't be done, SRB composition slumps over time, unlike ICBM blend, which is designed that way."

I learned then that anyone playing the "defense" card for LV SRBs is talking nonsense. Beyond consisting of a case loaded with a solid monopropellant mixture they are completely different beasts in terms of chemistry. :(

Isn't Italy another strong supporter of Solids, and a significant part of the push to make Ariane 6 primarily solid? They make the first two stages for Vega, and there appears to be some synergy planned between Ariane 6 and Vega.
True. They also cast most of the SRB and (AFAIK) Vega segments on site (except those with the nozzles and actuators).

BTW I think ESA have changed the funding rules on Ariane 6. Work share is less directly tied to who funds it. I think funding is set by size of state, but work by capabilities. Realistically that means Germany and France will provide most of the cash, Italy most of the work.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/28/2014 01:01 pm
I believe that previously each country said how much they wanted to contribute and then they had to give back that amount in industrial share. Now they are going to get the best quote and ask each country to fund for that amount. The difference in pricing can be quite dramatic.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/28/2014 01:21 pm
Here is the weight system used in the article, PPH has a bigger lead in the exploitation cost than in the final result.
Which version of PPH is this? The P1B, P7C, or in-line PPH variant?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 01/28/2014 02:15 pm
Since several people are interested in the article, here it is.

I believe that previously each country said how much they wanted to contribute and then they had to give back that amount in industrial share. Now they are going to get the best quote and ask each country to fund for that amount. The difference in pricing can be quite dramatic.
That's what Dordain said:
Quote
“Basically, I will go to those member states and say, ‘Good news: Your industry has been selected as among the best for Ariane 6. The bad news is that now you’re going to have to pay for it,’”
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 01/28/2014 02:19 pm
Here is the weight system used in the article, PPH has a bigger lead in the exploitation cost than in the final result.
Which version of PPH is this? The P1B, P7C, or in-line PPH variant?

The OHB article refers to the inline PPH with 1xP340 and 1xP110 in the lower compartment.
The only PPH variant that was a bit closer to the 70M€ target but with lots of uncertainties.
It is still doubtful whether the manufacturing of a segmented CFRP-casing in the size required for a P340 is feasible.

All other PPH versions (including Multi-P, aka A6) that we investigated were much more expensive due to the higher number of propulsive modules and therefore closer to HH and KH in RC cost.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/28/2014 02:31 pm
Here is the weight system used in the article, PPH has a bigger lead in the exploitation cost than in the final result.
Which version of PPH is this? The P1B, P7C, or in-line PPH variant?

The OHB article refers to the inline PPH with 1xP340 and 1xP110 in the lower compartment.
The only PPH variant that was close to the 70M€ target but with lots of uncertainties.
It is still doubtful whether the manufacturing of a segmented CFRP-casing in the size required for a P340 is feasible.

All other PPH versions (including Multi-P, aka A6) that we investigated were much more expensive due to the higher number of propulsive modules and therefore closer to HH and KH in RC cost.

Spacediver
Thank you. But didn't you say before that PPH and HH were "nearly identical" in cost, or did you simply say that because the higher risk compensated for the lower cost?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/28/2014 02:39 pm
It would seem that OHB assumed that the kerosene propulsion would be imported? And also it was not very clear what solid system they were aiming for. In particular, no system was able to compete with Falcon 9 on GTO.
What's worse, it totally forgets the SSO market, which is the actual critical market for most European science missions. If they can't compete with Falcon 9, they'll have most national agencies going to USA (which is already happening).
As always, bad optimization parameters give bad solutions. How many European missions are GTO and how many are SSO?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 01/28/2014 02:48 pm
Here is the weight system used in the article, PPH has a bigger lead in the exploitation cost than in the final result.
Which version of PPH is this? The P1B, P7C, or in-line PPH variant?

The OHB article refers to the inline PPH with 1xP340 and 1xP110 in the lower compartment.
The only PPH variant that was close to the 70M€ target but with lots of uncertainties.
It is still doubtful whether the manufacturing of a segmented CFRP-casing in the size required for a P340 is feasible.

All other PPH versions (including Multi-P, aka A6) that we investigated were much more expensive due to the higher number of propulsive modules and therefore closer to HH and KH in RC cost.

Spacediver
Thank you. But didn't you say before that PPH and HH were "nearly identical" in cost, or did you simply say that because the higher risk compensated for the lower cost?

Then I refered to the Multi-P version of the PPH concept because the inline-version was, at least at that time, not a feasible alternative because of the technical challenges I mentionned before.
Unfortunately a lot of people (also from ESA) often refer to the PPH concept without taking into account that there are a lot of different PPH concepts.
Often confusing...
In NELS we investigated four basically different versions of the PPH. The inline was the cheapest of them and closest to the 70M€ target (but still exceeded it by a considerable amount), the Multi-P was about the same cost as HH and KH while the other ones were much more expensive than HH / KH.
KH with 4xNK33 could have been the cheapest and probably meet the 70M but cost to assure availability of the engines(strategic stock etc.) increased cost considerably.
A domestic (European) hydrocarbon engine could be game changing but not viable due to the "first flight in 2020" requirement.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 01/28/2014 03:05 pm
For SSO Vega is available, and upgrades are considered. A scaled-up Vega with a P145 for A6 commonality and accordingly bigger stages could launch 1.5*145/80=2.7T SSO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/28/2014 03:17 pm
Then I refered to the Multi-P version of the PPH concept because the inline-version was, at least at that time, not a feasible alternative because of the technical challenges I mentionned before.
Unfortunately a lot of people (also from ESA) often refer to the PPH concept without taking into account that there are a lot of different PPH concepts.
Often confusing...
In NELS we investigated four basically different versions of the PPH. The inline was the cheapest of them and closest to the 70M€ target (but still exceeded it by a considerable amount), the Multi-P was about the same cost as HH and KH while the other ones were much more expensive than HH / KH.
KH with 4xNK33 could have been the cheapest and probably meet the 70M but cost to assure availability of the engines(strategic stock etc.) increased cost considerably.
A domestic (European) hydrocarbon engine could be game changing but not viable due to the "first flight in 2020" requirement.

Spacediver
Thanks for the explanation. Reading this, I can hardly say I'm surprised Multi-P was selected. The last three concepts all had strap-ons except for Multi-P. I guess the 3.5 ton GTO performance was very important?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 01/28/2014 03:25 pm
Quote from: spacediver
It is still doubtful whether the manufacturing of a segmented CFRP-casing in the size required for a P340 is feasible.

ATK's Dark Knights are segmented.

Quote from: spacediver
KH with 4xNK33 could have been the cheapest and probably meet the 70M but cost to assure availability of the engines (strategic stock etc.) increased cost considerably. A domestic (European) hydrocarbon engine could be game changing but not viable due to the "first flight in 2020" requirement.

But a domestic NK-33 would probably be more expensive, right? (not considering strategic stock costs for NK-33).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 01/28/2014 03:27 pm
Quote from: spacediver
It is still doubtful whether the manufacturing of a segmented CFRP-casing in the size required for a P340 is feasible.

ATK's Dark Knights are segmented.
I have a feeling he means unsegmented. Making such a booster segmented is easy, but making it monolithic to cut costs is not.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 01/28/2014 04:09 pm
KH with 4xNK33 could have been the cheapest and probably meet the 70M but cost to assure availability of the engines(strategic stock etc.) increased cost considerably.
A domestic (European) hydrocarbon engine could be game changing but not viable due to the "first flight in 2020" requirement.
What about a licensed production of NK-33A or RD-181? Something like Atlas V or Antares contract? You could start with the foreign production and move to Europe if you wanted to do it on at a later date. At least in NPO Energomash case, the already have the factory tooled for mass production. Of course, if I was going to license the engine, I would go with the RD-0162. It's already designed for reusability.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/29/2014 12:15 am
I believe that previously each country said how much they wanted to contribute and then they had to give back that amount in industrial share. Now they are going to get the best quote and ask each country to fund for that amount. The difference in pricing can be quite dramatic.
I wasn't sure of the details, but I got the impression the new rules shifted the balance of support for different concepts a lot.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 01/29/2014 06:43 am
What about a licensed production of NK-33A or RD-181? Something like Atlas V or Antares contract? You could start with the foreign production and move to Europe if you wanted to do it on at a later date. At least in NPO Energomash case, the already have the factory tooled for mass production. Of course, if I was going to license the engine, I would go with the RD-0162. It's already designed for reusability.

NK-33 is a no-go for any ESA launcher from day one. France and Germany will see to it that the main propulsion system on any new Ariane version will not be acquired from a non-ESA country. Using NK-33 in the KH concept was a nice idea (technically speaking) but a big No-No politically speaking. Even the less substantial fourth stage of Vega (currently engined by Ukraine) is under discussion right now with German efforts to replace this stage by an all-ESA stage.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 02/05/2014 01:48 am
Thought Vega Lyra program was a upgrade that was found unworkable.Ariane 5 at the moment is too small for lunar work and too big for satellite work so a dirt cheap launcher is needed bit of a pity really seeing as a fully reusable launcher is nearly doable.
 When the SLS starts launching things might change.

Seriously dont think that Ariane 5 will be decommissioned until Skylon gets built.Figure that most space agencies will have one big and one small launcher until some game changing equipment becomes available .

As for Space x their prices have risen pretty much as expected.If ESA wanted to cut costs of Ariane 5 they would have given the 3 billion needed for lunar exploration .

Will Ariane 6 ever be built or a small 5 ton skylon is anybody's guess..
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 02/05/2014 07:30 pm
Ariane 6 development is priced at 3-4 B€ by ESA, Skylon at 12B$(9B€) by REL.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 02/05/2014 07:39 pm
Ariane 6 development is priced at 3-4 B€ by ESA, Skylon at 12B$(9B€) by REL.

But skylon would save for more money in the long therm kinda like the difference between rich and poor .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/05/2014 07:46 pm
Thought Vega Lyra program was a upgrade that was found unworkable. Ariane 5 at the moment is too small for lunar work and too big for satellite work so a dirt cheap launcher is needed bit of a pity really seeing as a fully reusable launcher is nearly doable.
 When the SLS starts launching things might change.
I don't really understand what SLS has to do with this.

Quote
As for Space x their prices have risen pretty much as expected.If ESA wanted to cut costs of Ariane 5 they would have given the 3 billion needed for lunar exploration .
Again, a launcher for lunar exploration is not a way to cut costs. It would make the economic viability go down the drain, because you would lose the biggest market, which is satellites. It could be cheap for launching massive stuff to LEO, as bigger rockets usually have lower cost/kg if given the flight rate for it, but it really doesn't make economic sense in the current market.

A 5 ton Skylon would also be kind of pointless. 5 tons to LEO is lower than Soyuz and would make the GTO payload negligible.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 02/05/2014 08:59 pm

SLS is important because it will raise the gaze of some politicians. If NASA puts man on the moon again they will be a market to cut the price of a person to the moon until then any thought of cheap space flight will nev er gain funding   because people are quiet happy with the status quo.

The more Ariane 5 that are launched the cheaper each launch costs per flight.Every moon mission would have needed 4 to 6 Ariane 5s per lunar mission.Building a new launcher is only efficient if you do the mission in one go or should I say inefficient(SLS).

A 5 ton cargo plus 2-4 crew reusable shuttle is what ESA have wanted all along that means 10 to 11 tons unmanned (Hermes).

The launch market is saturated at the mo with too many launchers so a new market is needed .In reality the only market left to fill at the mo is people to the ISS which Space X have filled quiet well.Hopefully some new markets will open or the ISS crew will grow.
 Arianespace are going after the same market that they already have which is pretty pointless .Spending billions to do a job you are already the best in the world at while reducing flexibility is pretty silly .





Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/06/2014 12:57 pm
SLS is important because it will raise the gaze of some politicians. If NASA puts man on the moon again they will be a market to cut the price of a person to the moon until then any thought of cheap space flight will nev er gain funding   because people are quiet happy with the status quo.

Your reasoning is flawed. Putting a man back on the moon bij NASA will not create any incentive to cut the price-tag. Men back on the moon will be another political stunt (at best) if done by NASA or any other government space agency. The only way to cut the price tag of putting people on the moon is to do it commercially. The minute you get governments involved the price tag goes way up.

The more Ariane 5 that are launched the cheaper each launch costs per flight.Every moon mission would have needed 4 to 6 Ariane 5s per lunar mission.Building a new launcher is only efficient if you do the mission in one go or should I say inefficient(SLS).
What in the world has this ramble to do with Ariane 6 (or 5 for that matter)? Neither vehicle is suited to do (manned) lunar missions.

A 5 ton cargo plus 2-4 crew reusable shuttle is what ESA have wanted all along that means 10 to 11 tons unmanned (Hermes).
Baloney. ESA dumped Hermes a long time ago for very valid reasons: they did not actually need it and it was way too expensive as well as a technical nightmare. Not needed and too expensive still apply today.

The launch market is saturated at the mo with too many launchers so a new market is needed .In reality the only market left to fill at the mo is people to the ISS which Space X have filled quiet well.Hopefully some new markets will open or the ISS crew will grow.
In case you had not noticed: SpaceX is flying cargo, not people, to the ISS.

Arianespace are going after the same market that they already have which is pretty pointless .Spending billions to do a job you are already the best in the world at while reducing flexibility is pretty silly .
And this final statement of yours indicates just how little you grasp the developing situation in the launch business.
Within a decade Ariane 5 will no longer be a competitive launcher. If Arianespace wishes to remain a major player in the business, they better get themselves a (much) cheaper launcher.
Last: Ariane 5 is not a flexible launcher. Launch capacity is not scalable like it was on Ariane 4 and dual-launch has actually become a quite annoying necessity to keep launch cost down to reasonable levels.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/06/2014 01:18 pm
Btw, and this is the part that I don't get of the German position on Ariane 6, Ariane 5 is good only for GTO, L-Mission escape and ATV like. And after Galileo first deployment, it will be too expensive for replenishment.
Even ExoMars and JUICY found Ariane 5 too expensive. Copernicus will use Soyuz and Vega (plus some dnpr). I simply don't see Ariane 5 ME solving anything but milcomm for EU, while Falcon 9, Soyuz, Vega and Dnpr launch all the rest of the missions. How can the Germans not want something that can scale between a Soyuz-2.1a and an Atlas V 541 that would actually cover the actual range of payloads that they need.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/06/2014 01:57 pm
Btw, and this is the part that I don't get of the German position on Ariane 6, Ariane 5 is good only for GTO, L-Mission escape and ATV like. And after Galileo first deployment, it will be too expensive for replenishment.
Even ExoMars and JUICY found Ariane 5 too expensive. Copernicus will use Soyuz and Vega (plus some dnpr). I simply don't see Ariane 5 ME solving anything but milcomm for EU, while Falcon 9, Soyuz, Vega and Dnpr launch all the rest of the missions. How can the Germans not want something that can scale between a Soyuz-2.1a and an Atlas V 541 that would actually cover the actual range of payloads that they need.
Well, most of the payloads they need are commercial communications satellites. Ariane 5 ME will cost €1 billion and cut cost per kg by 20%, while Ariane 6 will cost about three to four times as much to cut cost by 30% per kg. And Ariane 5 ME is nearly guaranteed to have that particular cost saving, while Ariane 6 is a lot less sure. Considering that big rockets are usually cheaper per kg than small rockets, it's going to be very hard to actually achieve the cost goal. Understandably, they consider the need for Ariane 6 small, as the cost benefit isn't huge, while there is very little guarantee it will actually reach the promised cost target.

By the way, the current Ariane 6 design doesn't really provide the modularity you're talking about either. It can lift 6.5 tons to GTO with triple first stage and 3.4 with double first stage, and the double first stage variant hasn't been shown for a long time. H2C and P1B did provide it, but both of those were more expensive than P7C or had other disadvantages.

On top of that, ESA is a space agency, not a launcher agency. Should they really spend their nearly frozen budget on ever increasing launch vehicle development cost? I don't think so, and the DLR doesn't think so either.

Quote from: Woods170
Putting a man back on the moon bij NASA
Got your languages mixed up mate?  ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/06/2014 02:40 pm
Btw, and this is the part that I don't get of the German position on Ariane 6, Ariane 5 is good only for GTO, L-Mission escape and ATV like. And after Galileo first deployment, it will be too expensive for replenishment.
Even ExoMars and JUICY found Ariane 5 too expensive. Copernicus will use Soyuz and Vega (plus some dnpr). I simply don't see Ariane 5 ME solving anything but milcomm for EU, while Falcon 9, Soyuz, Vega and Dnpr launch all the rest of the missions. How can the Germans not want something that can scale between a Soyuz-2.1a and an Atlas V 541 that would actually cover the actual range of payloads that they need.
Well, most of the payloads they need are commercial communications satellites...
Here is where I get the issue. I don't see the commercial comm fleets as "national interest". I understand that the only GTO that's sovereign are the military comm. And I in that category you have all earth observation, Copernicus, Galileo and some escape missions. When I look at it GTO is a small fraction of total launches. Probably a small one even by revenue. Look at how they had to use the ES for Galileo and ended up a 30% more expensive than Soyuz. And only because they launch in fours, which can only be done on the fleet deployment but is not optimal for fleet replenishment.
In other words, save for those initial two or three ES launches (ME won't arrive in time), Ariane 5 is just too big for all the sovereign missions, save comm sats. And the truth about those latter is that since they can't articulate a common fleet, they the small nations going with American fleet, and only being able to afford a couple of sats per big nation, with insufficient global coverage, just to keep their national industries happy.
In  other words, I don't see how national payloads are counted towards GTO if half of their own GTO comm exports go to Russian launchers. And if SpaceX is successful it's quite probable that a bit more than half.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/06/2014 04:46 pm
The point is: do you really believe that Ariane 6 will cut only a single € of launch cost compared to A5 and Soyuz? If you don't believe it (I for one, don't), Ariane 6 just becomes an effort to sink 5 bn $ (yes, that's what it's going to cost in the end) into the loo.

For that kind of money you could get 20 A5 launches or you could subsidize a hundred launches to match SpaceX' pricing until you can come up with a better idea to lower costs. Or SpaceX' starts to rise, too.

And what exactly is so bad about flying Soyuz as a medium sized launcher?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/06/2014 04:47 pm
Here is where I get the issue. I don't see the commercial comm fleets as "national interest".

They are of "national interest" as long as they help reduce launch costs for institutional missions. If you launch only 2-3 times with Ariane 6 instead of 12 times that's gonna be expensive per launch. Even if a yearly subsidy of 100m euros or so is needed it still saves you money. I imagine the industry also prefers the higher launcher rate.

As you said, Ariane 5 is almost useless for institutional missions, although with A5 ECB up to 8 Galileo satellites could have been deployed, so its kind of stupid ECB (now ME) was delayed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/06/2014 06:14 pm
The point is: do you really believe that Ariane 6 will cut only a single € of launch cost compared to A5 and Soyuz? If you don't believe it (I for one, don't), Ariane 6 just becomes an effort to sink 5 bn $ (yes, that's what it's going to cost in the end) into the loo.

The biggest problem we have now is that the gap between Ariane 5 and Soyuz is really big. The current Ariane 6 design closes that gap.

This could raise the question whether we can make a version of Ariane 5 with smaller boosters to make it cheaper and more versatile. But judging from some old studies, it seems like that wouldn't be very practical or cost effective.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/06/2014 06:20 pm
This all doesn't make sense given the development costs for pretty much anything around Ariane.
The "gap" is not a problem, it's just expensive. But let it cost 50 mil€ too much per launch, does that justify a, say, 1bn € development effort if you only fly one payload the other year anyway? Just spend the 50 mil extra and be happy about the hundreds of millions you still saved.

Of course, a government agency that wants to do a development project doesn't think that way, which is the real problem at hand here.
The French want a project, the Germans want a project. The Germans already got theirs, now the French want theirs doubly so. That's the game. It has all absolutely nothing to do with real capabilities anybody needs let alone with money.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 02/06/2014 06:27 pm
Yup french pork pie at its best as I said before Soyuz is too small if they had a bigger rocket there wound be no need for Ariane 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/06/2014 08:38 pm
What still puzzles me is the cost estimate for development. 3-4bn euros. Let's compare that to

Ariane 5: 5.8bn euros (may have been more but that's a number I found). I get it, completely new launcher and new technology for Europe in almost every aspect.

Vega: 710m plus 400m to sponsor 5 development flights (Proba, IXV etc.). I get it, P80 etc., new solid rocket technology for launchers.

Ariane 5 ME: 1bn. New upper stage, in particular new engine.

Ariane 6: Pretty much proven technology, only one solid motor type to qualify, I guess that's why the particular design has been chosen. So why 3-4bn? I guess I don't understand rocket development.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/06/2014 09:30 pm
Yea, same here.
But the whole load regime is different, I'm not sure it's "just" a new motor and I'd expect the booster and scone stage motors to not be thaaaat common in the end.

And then there's a whole he ground infrastructure. New pads, new integration buildings,....
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/06/2014 10:18 pm
And then there's a whole he ground infrastructure. New pads, new integration buildings,....
The Ariane 5 ME included a new factory, for example, fot the new ME upper atage (ECB?). And upgrades to the engine testing stand, if I'm not mistaken.
Ariane 6 would have to include not only a new factory (unless Vega's is ridiculously oversied), but two new pads, two mobile assembly structures with all the necessary GSE and clean rooms.
Besides, to design one motor  for three different roles, would probably mean more than three the qualification effort. Not to mention that the last ATV-R study cost something like 80M Euros. So you have that, too.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 06:45 am
The point is: do you really believe that Ariane 6 will cut only a single € of launch cost compared to A5 and Soyuz? If you don't believe it (I for one, don't), Ariane 6 just becomes an effort to sink 5 bn $ (yes, that's what it's going to cost in the end) into the loo.

For that kind of money you could get 20 A5 launches or you could subsidize a hundred launches to match SpaceX' pricing until you can come up with a better idea to lower costs. Or SpaceX' starts to rise, too.

And what exactly is so bad about flying Soyuz as a medium sized launcher?

None of you seem to get it do you? This is not about competing with SpaceX or keeping market share. This is all about keeping the European launcher industry at work. This is all about keeping high technology expertise in Europe. It's all about political prestige for countries such as France and Germany. Remaining competitive and lowering the cost of launches are just the arguments used in the public debate to get the money to serve the before-mentioned actual goals.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 06:47 am
Quote from: Woods170
Putting a man back on the moon bij NASA
Got your languages mixed up mate?  ;)
No, got a new keyboard with a (rather annoying) auto-correct feature set to the Dutch language. Have switched back to my old keyboard for now.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 06:49 am
The French want a project, the Germans want a project. The Germans already got theirs, now the French want theirs doubly so. That's the game. It has all absolutely nothing to do with real capabilities anybody needs let alone with money.
BINGO!
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 06:52 am

Ariane 5: 5.8bn euros (may have been more but that's a number I found). I get it, completely new launcher and new technology for Europe in almost every aspect.

The corrected-for-inflation number that I have states a little over 7 billion Euros for A5 development (including G, G+, ES and ECA versions) So that is 7 billion Euros to get to the most powerfull version that exists today (Ariane 5 ECA).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 02/07/2014 02:26 pm
NK-33 is a no-go for any ESA launcher from day one. France and Germany will see to it that the main propulsion system on any new Ariane version will not be acquired from a non-ESA country. Using NK-33 in the KH concept was a nice idea (technically speaking) but a big No-No politically speaking. Even the less substantial fourth stage of Vega (currently engined by Ukraine) is under discussion right now with German efforts to replace this stage by an all-ESA stage.

And that's the problem exactly. You can either have a cheap rocket, or you can protect the existing industrial base. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

ESA has chosen to protect the industrial base. Fine. But to then pretend that the rocket will be cheap is pure fantasy. I really doubt Ariane 6 will be cheaper for the customer than the current Ariane 5 on a $/kg to orbit basis.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/07/2014 03:07 pm
But it actually is an improvement. They are doing away with the ex-ante geo-return policy. So it will mean some serious consolidation within Europe. In that sense is probably good. It won't be good for the liquid propulsion induatrial base, though.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: JMSC on 02/07/2014 03:24 pm
But it actually is an improvement. They are doing away with the ex-ante geo-return policy. So it will mean some serious consolidation within Europe. In that sense is probably good. It won't be good for the liquid propulsion induatrial base, though.

Just a question here, why not do away with the geo-return policy for Ariane V?  If you could save as much by doing away with the policy for the current version of Ariane V, why not do that and use the 3-5 billion euros to fund payloads for Ariane V?  Or is the reality in Europe that going ahead with a new launcher and hence new industrial organization is the only way to get nations to agree to do away with geo-return?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/07/2014 03:49 pm
Ariane 5 is already developed and suppliers are selected and have bee supplying components for years.
You could only change the industrial setup for the new components in A5ME and there you'd probably also be limited since, for example, the engine is already developed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 04:06 pm
Ariane 5 is already developed and suppliers are selected and have bee supplying components for years.
You could only change the industrial setup for the new components in A5ME and there you'd probably also be limited since, for example, the engine is already developed....
... and being supplied by the usual suspects along with the usual suspects for the stage structure, electronics etc. etc.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 04:07 pm
NK-33 is a no-go for any ESA launcher from day one. France and Germany will see to it that the main propulsion system on any new Ariane version will not be acquired from a non-ESA country. Using NK-33 in the KH concept was a nice idea (technically speaking) but a big No-No politically speaking. Even the less substantial fourth stage of Vega (currently engined by Ukraine) is under discussion right now with German efforts to replace this stage by an all-ESA stage.

And that's the problem exactly. You can either have a cheap rocket, or you can protect the existing industrial base. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

ESA has chosen to protect the industrial base. Fine. But to then pretend that the rocket will be cheap is pure fantasy. I really doubt Ariane 6 will be cheaper for the customer than the current Ariane 5 on a $/kg to orbit basis.
Correct, but that fantasy stuff is used to sell the launcher to the entities providing the money (tax payers of ESA member states thru their respective governments)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/07/2014 04:11 pm
NK-33 is a no-go for any ESA launcher from day one. France and Germany will see to it that the main propulsion system on any new Ariane version will not be acquired from a non-ESA country. Using NK-33 in the KH concept was a nice idea (technically speaking) but a big No-No politically speaking. Even the less substantial fourth stage of Vega (currently engined by Ukraine) is under discussion right now with German efforts to replace this stage by an all-ESA stage.

And that's the problem exactly. You can either have a cheap rocket, or you can protect the existing industrial base. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Yeah but buying Russian engines isn't exactly a solution either, its just a temporary relief. I remember reading in this forum that a domestic RD-180 would cost 30-40m instead of less than 15m.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/07/2014 04:44 pm
NK-33 is a no-go for any ESA launcher from day one. France and Germany will see to it that the main propulsion system on any new Ariane version will not be acquired from a non-ESA country. Using NK-33 in the KH concept was a nice idea (technically speaking) but a big No-No politically speaking. Even the less substantial fourth stage of Vega (currently engined by Ukraine) is under discussion right now with German efforts to replace this stage by an all-ESA stage.

And that's the problem exactly. You can either have a cheap rocket, or you can protect the existing industrial base. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Yeah but buying Russian engines isn't exactly a solution either, its just a temporary relief. I remember reading in this forum that a domestic RD-180 would cost 30-40m instead of less than 15m.

Correct. Labor and materials are relatively cheap in Russia. Not so in the USA or any of ESA member states.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: JMSC on 02/07/2014 05:22 pm
NK-33 is a no-go for any ESA launcher from day one. France and Germany will see to it that the main propulsion system on any new Ariane version will not be acquired from a non-ESA country. Using NK-33 in the KH concept was a nice idea (technically speaking) but a big No-No politically speaking. Even the less substantial fourth stage of Vega (currently engined by Ukraine) is under discussion right now with German efforts to replace this stage by an all-ESA stage.

And that's the problem exactly. You can either have a cheap rocket, or you can protect the existing industrial base. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Yeah but buying Russian engines isn't exactly a solution either, its just a temporary relief. I remember reading in this forum that a domestic RD-180 would cost 30-40m instead of less than 15m.

Correct. Labor and materials are relatively cheap in Russia. Not so in the USA or any of ESA member states.

Not entirely true in the case of the US.  The US is rapidly becoming the lowest cost Western producer.  Here's a link to the synopsis for a recent Harvard Business Review article stating that, "By 2015, average manufacturing costs in Germany, Japan, France, Italy, and the UK will be 8% to 18% higher than in the U.S".  Electricity costs in the US are already about half of what they are in Germany and materials and labor are much cheaper.  For many products when you include labor productivity the US is or will be a good deal cheaper than Russia, and it looks like much cheaper than in manufacturing in Europe.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/08/us-poised-to-become-the-low-cos/
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/07/2014 06:04 pm
For many products when you include labor productivity...

I lol'd. Of course when you adjust it for productivity western countries are perfectly competitive. The question is whether they are in the production of rocket engines, apparently still a very labor-intensive process. Russia is/was kind of a special place, advanced engine technology combined with low labor costs due to the economic collapse.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: JMSC on 02/07/2014 06:58 pm
For many products when you include labor productivity...

I lol'd. Of course when you adjust it for productivity western countries are perfectly competitive. The question is whether they are in the production of rocket engines, apparently still a very labor-intensive process. Russia is/was kind of a special place, advanced engine technology combined with low labor costs due to the economic collapse.

It really depends on a lot of things.  When East Germany collapsed they retained the very excellent pre-War War Germany tradition of optics production and actually made reasonably good cameras.  West Germans thought this was an industry they could actually make into a profitable business since the East Germans had low wages and sold their cameras for really cheap.  Until they found out the same task that took 1 hour in West Germany took 3 hours in East Germany.  Needless to say their was no way the businesses could be made competitive.  One major issues with rocket engines is as you point out, is the labor input since for many engines this is a very big costs, especially complex ones like the Shuttle Main Engine, so yes the cheap labor makes a difference.  But when you are say comparing a Merlin Engine with RD-180 there is no comparison.  The Merlin's productive labor force, simplified production scheme of one factory, and simplicity in design overwhelm any advantage of cheaper labor posseses.  One reason I would suspect the French like solids is the lower labor input.

However, the Japanese and Germans despite their very high labor costs are still your most profitable auto producers and are quite competitive in small cars, just not quite as large as China anymore.  I just think we need to be careful about assigning too much advantage to cheap labor, it's one input of many, and also need to remember Russian labor is not nearly as cheap as it was 20 years ago.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/07/2014 08:07 pm

Btw, with A5 ME becoming more flexible due to its restartable upper stage and Vega and its evolutions addressing the LEO market, A6 seems to be pretty pointless.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/07/2014 09:17 pm
But it actually is an improvement. They are doing away with the ex-ante geo-return policy. So it will mean some serious consolidation within Europe. In that sense is probably good. It won't be good for the liquid propulsion induatrial base, though.

Just a question here, why not do away with the geo-return policy for Ariane V?  If you could save as much by doing away with the policy for the current version of Ariane V, why not do that and use the 3-5 billion euros to fund payloads for Ariane V?  Or is the reality in Europe that going ahead with a new launcher and hence new industrial organization is the only way to get nations to agree to do away with geo-return?
It's actually a middle step. Everything is validated and qualified, so nothing that works is touched. But the new ME upper stage is consolidated on a single factory, so for that they did appear to have reduced that requirement.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 02/07/2014 09:22 pm
Unless you want to free Ariane 5 for other work.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 02/07/2014 10:02 pm
Correct. Labor and materials are relatively cheap in Russia. Not so in the USA or any of ESA member states.

I wouldn't go that far. It is true that building an RD-180 using Russian 60s-era manufacturing techniques in the US or EU would be quite expensive. For the exact same reason, hand-crafted artisan RL-10s are obscenely expensive to make.

But it's 2014, and noone in the general industry builds engines like that anymore. The SpaceX Merlin 1D costs a tiny fraction of an RD-180 on $/N of thrust, and nearly all of that is simply because it's a new-design engine, which allowed SpaceX to use modern manufacturing techniques (most notably extensive use of 3d CNC). That was nothing revolutionary, and just follows what jet engine manufactures have been doing for years now.

If given a hard time/budget cap, I can completely believe that Snecma or Rolls Royce could make a cost-competitive RP-1 Euro-Merlin.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/07/2014 10:23 pm
Correct. Labor and materials are relatively cheap in Russia. Not so in the USA or any of ESA member states.

I wouldn't go that far. It is true that building an RD-180 using Russian 60s-era manufacturing techniques in the US or EU would be quite expensive. For the exact same reason, hand-crafted artisan RL-10s are obscenely expensive to make.

But it's 2014, and noone in the general industry builds engines like that anymore. The SpaceX Merlin 1D costs a tiny fraction of an RD-180 on $/N of thrust, and nearly all of that is simply because it's a new-design engine, which allowed SpaceX to use modern manufacturing techniques (most notably extensive use of 3d CNC). That was nothing revolutionary, and just follows what jet engine manufactures have been doing for years now.

If given a hard time/budget cap, I can completely believe that Snecma or Rolls Royce could make a cost-competitive RP-1 Euro-Merlin.

Except that RD-180 is an engine introduced in 1999 and a US version would obviously use modern manufacturing techniques, so that can hardly be the reason for the high cost estimates. We don't know how much Merlin costs, but maybe you have a source?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/08/2014 12:59 pm

Btw, with A5 ME becoming more flexible due to its restartable upper stage and Vega and its evolutions addressing the LEO market, A6 seems to be pretty pointless.
Ariane 5 is too powerfull and too expensive for most single payloads. The increase in payload capacity (when compared to Ariane 5 ECA) only allows Arianespace to make slightly better matches between two comsats to be launched. In ECA configuration most of those matches include a big satellite in the 5-6 metric tons range and a smaller satellite in the 3-4 metric tons range. The better upmass capacity of ME will allow Arianespace to have the smaller comsat become heavier.
And despite the relative flexibility of having a restartable upper stage Arianespace will always be puzzling to match two comsats on the same vehicle. This has caused so many headaches over the years that ESA and Arianespace both wish to do away with dual launch.
Vega on the other hand, even in it's evolved form, will still leave a considerable gap to the planned capabilities of Ariane 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/08/2014 01:35 pm
Btw, with F9 and GLSV MkIII, LM-5 having  a 5m fairing. Suddenly Kourou becomes the only LV for light GTO with a 4m fairing. Exactly when they expect SEP to be volume limited.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/08/2014 02:04 pm

Btw, with A5 ME becoming more flexible due to its restartable upper stage and Vega and its evolutions addressing the LEO market, A6 seems to be pretty pointless.
Ariane 5 is too powerfull and too expensive for most single payloads. The increase in payload capacity (when compared to Ariane 5 ECA) only allows Arianespace to make slightly better matches between two comsats to be launched. In ECA configuration most of those matches include a big satellite in the 5-6 metric tons range and a smaller satellite in the 3-4 metric tons range. The better upmass capacity of ME will allow Arianespace to have the smaller comsat become heavier.
And despite the relative flexibility of having a restartable upper stage Arianespace will always be puzzling to match two comsats on the same vehicle. This has caused so many headaches over the years that ESA and Arianespace both wish to do away with dual launch.
Vega on the other hand, even in it's evolved form, will still leave a considerable gap to the planned capabilities of Ariane 6.

A5 ME will allow for more flexibility combining different GTO payloads, and also allow combining GTO with institutional missions (earth escape). Arianespace seems to like it, especially with electric satellites on the horizon.

Dual launch causing a headache? Well without that headache Arianespace would probably not exist in its current form. Also why did Dordain mention dual launch for small satellites on A6? Maybe because A6 doesn't offer a significant cost advantage vs. A5 ME otherwise.

Regarding Vega. LEO payloads up to 3t make up most of the market. A6 is too big for LEO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/08/2014 04:28 pm
A5 ME will allow for more flexibility combining different GTO payloads, and also allow combining GTO with institutional missions (earth escape). Arianespace seems to like it, especially with electric satellites on the horizon.
Are you aware that GTO launches have very strict solar input requirements, that means that most GTO launches and the correct windows for escape are incompatible?

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Dual launch causing a headache? Well without that headache Arianespace would probably not exist in its current form. Also why did Dordain mention dual launch for small satellites on A6? Maybe because A6 doesn't offer a significant cost advantage vs. A5 ME otherwise.
Obviously. A5 was a failed mini-shuttle launcher. The program would have had to been reassessed and probably cancelled. Or they might have gone with the hydrolox core and small solids and have had a Delta IV which would have given them a lot more flexibility.
Regarding the two small sats on A6 is only a way to cover even more GTO spectrum. The difference is that there exist a lot of 6tonne GTO payloads. I know not one case of a 12tonne one. And then you have Galileo, which EU will have to keep replenishing. Vega is sort of small. The "small" version of A6 would be optimal (~4tonnes to GTO might be able to put two Galileos on MEO).

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Regarding Vega. LEO payloads up to 3t make up most of the market. A6 is too big for LEO.
Vega can only do 1.7 for now, has a small fairing and too many stages. An evolution with a single P145 plus a CH4/LOX upper stage that can cover anything that's required in the foreseeable future. The fact is that Vega is seriously benefited by A6. And that combo covers everything that EU needs or is going to need for a long time. BTW, A6 escape should be on par with Proton-M, which is launching ExoMars and JUICY.

The real critique to A6 is that is a technological dead end exactly when it looks that there might be a serious elbow in the technology.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/08/2014 05:55 pm
Obviously. A5 was a failed mini-shuttle launcher. The program would have had to been reassessed and probably cancelled. Or they might have gone with the hydrolox core and small solids and have had a Delta IV which would have given them a lot more flexibility.
Typically, modular launch platforms are more expensive than the ones in fixed configurations. Spacediver has said this a lot when comparing modular NGL concepts vs clean in-line designs, but I wouldn't be surprised if this also holds true for Ariane 5. Having a big launcher do all your payloads gives a lower cost/kg than giving every payload its own small launcher.

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Regarding the two small sats on A6 is only a way to cover even more GTO spectrum. The difference is that there exist a lot of 6tonne GTO payloads. I know not one case of a 12tonne one. And then you have Galileo, which EU will have to keep replenishing. Vega is sort of small. The "small" version of A6 would be optimal (~4tonnes to GTO might be able to put two Galileos on MEO).
Agreed, but I still haven't seen anything on the "small" Ariane 6 besides a CNES tweet with no additional info. If that version is one using scaled down boosters I doubt it will ever be made. Very big modifications that would hurt Vega.

Vega can only do 1.7 for now, has a small fairing and too many stages. An evolution with a single P145 plus a CH4/LOX upper stage that can cover anything that's required in the foreseeable future. The fact is that Vega is seriously benefited by A6. And that combo covers everything that EU needs or is going to need for a long time. [/quote] Agreed completely.

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BTW, A6 escape should be on par with Proton-M, which is launching ExoMars and JUICY.

It should actually be higher, because of the hydrolox upper stage rather than the kerolox/hypergolic Proton upper stages. However, JUICE will be launched on the much more powerful Ariane 5, Ariane 6 will be too small. Maybe the 5-P145 8 ton Ariane 6 can, however, but I haven't seen a lot on that.

I don't know what you mean exactly with a serious elbow in technology, but I still consider the current baseline a technological dead end, and I doubt it will be able to compete for very long, if ever.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/08/2014 06:02 pm

Dual launch causing a headache? Well without that headache Arianespace would probably not exist in its current form. Also why did Dordain mention dual launch for small satellites on A6? Maybe because A6 doesn't offer a significant cost advantage vs. A5 ME otherwise.
You can make your launcher flexible, cheap per kg or big. Pick two.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/08/2014 08:10 pm
The real critique to A6 is that is a technological dead end exactly when it looks that there might be a serious elbow in the technology.

No. The real criticism to A6 is how horribly expensive its development is compared to what you get for the money.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M_Puckett on 02/08/2014 08:14 pm
Pippin, I think there is an argument that both conditions are true.  Neither excludes the other.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/08/2014 08:15 pm
The real critique to A6 is that is a technological dead end exactly when it looks that there might be a serious elbow in the technology.

No. The real criticism to A6 is how horribly expensive its development is compared to what you get for the money.

That's your criticism, not "the real" criticism. There are several points of criticism that all mean more to some than to others. I've seen both of them, there is no consensus on why Ariane 6 is supposedly bad.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/08/2014 08:51 pm
A5 ME will allow for more flexibility combining different GTO payloads, and also allow combining GTO with institutional missions (earth escape). Arianespace seems to like it, especially with electric satellites on the horizon.
Are you aware that GTO launches have very strict solar input requirements, that means that most GTO launches and the correct windows for escape are incompatible?

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Dual launch causing a headache? Well without that headache Arianespace would probably not exist in its current form. Also why did Dordain mention dual launch for small satellites on A6? Maybe because A6 doesn't offer a significant cost advantage vs. A5 ME otherwise.
Obviously. A5 was a failed mini-shuttle launcher. The program would have had to been reassessed and probably cancelled. Or they might have gone with the hydrolox core and small solids and have had a Delta IV which would have given them a lot more flexibility.
Regarding the two small sats on A6 is only a way to cover even more GTO spectrum. The difference is that there exist a lot of 6tonne GTO payloads. I know not one case of a 12tonne one. And then you have Galileo, which EU will have to keep replenishing. Vega is sort of small. The "small" version of A6 would be optimal (~4tonnes to GTO might be able to put two Galileos on MEO).

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Regarding Vega. LEO payloads up to 3t make up most of the market. A6 is too big for LEO.
Vega can only do 1.7 for now, has a small fairing and too many stages. An evolution with a single P145 plus a CH4/LOX upper stage that can cover anything that's required in the foreseeable future. The fact is that Vega is seriously benefited by A6. And that combo covers everything that EU needs or is going to need for a long time. BTW, A6 escape should be on par with Proton-M, which is launching ExoMars and JUICY.

The real critique to A6 is that is a technological dead end exactly when it looks that there might be a serious elbow in the technology.

1. Nope, good point if true, I was not aware of that.

2. Ariane 4 was doing dual launches too and it was a major factor for its competitiveness. A5G started with a payload slightly above A4LL, its hardly a "failed mini-shuttle launcher".

3. Its not that A6 would not be preferable to A5, assuming the cost benefits would materialize, but IMO its not worth the development money at this point. I mean what's the point of upgrading your existing launcher if the next one is being introduced 3 years later. No need to hurry.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/08/2014 09:19 pm
The real critique to A6 is that is a technological dead end exactly when it looks that there might be a serious elbow in the technology.

No. The real criticism to A6 is how horribly expensive its development is compared to what you get for the money.

That's your criticism, not "the real" criticism. There are several points of criticism that all mean more to some than to others. I've seen both of them, there is no consensus on why Ariane 6 is supposedly bad.

Of course. This is an Internet forum. All we are offering here are just personal opinions,
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/09/2014 12:12 pm
2. Ariane 4 was doing dual launches too and it was a major factor for its competitiveness. A5G started with a payload slightly above A4LL, its hardly a "failed mini-shuttle launcher".

"Slightly above"? Are you trying to fool us or something?
Here are the hard numbers for single-payload launches: Ariane 44L H10-3, the most powerfull variant of the Ariane 4 family could carry 4720 kg to GTO and 7000 kg to LEO. Ariane-5 G, the starter version of Ariane 5, could carry 6900 kg to GTO (an increase of no less than 2200 kg / 46 percent compared to 44L H10-3) and 18000 kg to LEO (an increase of no less than 11000 kg / 157 percent compared to 44L H10-3).
I would hardly call those numbers "slightly above" and you bet your *ss that A5 G was a failed mini-shuttle launcher. Not until ATV came along was there any payload that came even remotely close to that massive payload-to-LEO capacity.

After the ISS deal between NASA and ESA, Ariane 5 existed for one reason, and one reason only: Hermes. ATV was still just a concept being studied with no-go for full development. Dual-launch was a back-up feature that saved the vehicle after Hermes got cancelled in 1992 and launch of Columbus had been transferred from A5 to shuttle. With the re-alignment of the ESA contributions to ISS program in 1995 the ATV finally was given the go for full development. Note: that's a full three years after Ariane 5 lost it's primary payload (Hermes).
In other words: dual launch is what kept Ariane 5 development going before ATV became an assigned payload.
But the dual-launch feature has become Ariane 5's greatest draw-back over the years and is now the prime driver for getting it out of the way for Ariane 6. The only reason Ariane 5 ME wasn't canned in 2012, in favor for all-out development of A6, was the strong-headed Germans forcing the ESA members into a dual-development approach.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/09/2014 12:43 pm
Of course. This is an Internet forum. All we are offering here are just personal opinions,
Exactly, that's why I think calling things "the real criticism" of Ariane 6 a bit nonsensical. You think it costs too much to develop without real pay-off. Some think it's a technological dead end, others think it's not flexible enough. I think it's Ariane's apparent identity crisis that is ruining Ariane 6's possibilities. They're all, to some extent, valid criticisms and there is no single weak spot about Ariane 6 that ruins it's potential.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 02/09/2014 01:13 pm
But the dual-launch feature has become Ariane 5's greatest draw-back over the years and is now the prime driver for getting it out of the way for Ariane 6.

True, which is why I'm surprised to hear they want to add dual-launch back in for small payloads to MEO/GTO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/09/2014 03:35 pm
But the dual-launch feature has become Ariane 5's greatest draw-back over the years and is now the prime driver for getting it out of the way for Ariane 6.

True, which is why I'm surprised to hear they want to add dual-launch back in for small payloads to MEO/GTO.
Dual launch to GTO is now the prime mode needed for A5 to fly as cheap and as efficient as possible (and "cheap" is meant relatively here...)
Single launch will be the prime mode for A6. However, A6 is stil a quantum leap more powerfull than the current and projected future versions of Vega. Heavier payload (too heavy for Vega) may very well be too light to serve as single payload on A6. Hence ESA keeping open the possibility of putting dual launch on A6. But, dual launch on A6 will not be the prime launch mode. Prime mode is single-launch comsats. Dual launch to MEO/GTO will be a back up mode to serve the market now served by Soyuz.
Also: Vega (evolution) does not serve the GTO market but only LEO/MEO. Vega reference orbit is 90 degree inclination 700x700 km orbit.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/09/2014 06:58 pm
Also: Vega (evolution) does not serve the GTO market but only LEO/MEO. Vega reference orbit is 90 degree inclination 700x700 km orbit.
If they evolve it to make it powerful enough, there's no real reason it can't be changed to serve that market, at least for really small sats. In theory, at least.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 05:14 am
Also: Vega (evolution) does not serve the GTO market but only LEO/MEO. Vega reference orbit is 90 degree inclination 700x700 km orbit.
If they evolve it to make it powerful enough, there's no real reason it can't be changed to serve that market, at least for really small sats. In theory, at least.
The evolution concepts for Vega all address target orbits in their proposals. And those are all LEO/MEO/SSO.
It's not so much a question of what orbits CAN be addressed but what orbits WILL be addressed. GTO is not among them for Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Runerdieker on 02/10/2014 11:15 am
But the dual-launch feature has become Ariane 5's greatest draw-back over the years and is now the prime driver for getting it out of the way for Ariane 6.
But what if the Ariane 5 ME could be used for replenishing two Galileo sats as secondary payload to a big comsat? Shouldn´t that solve the problem of too few small secondary payloads?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 12:01 pm
But the dual-launch feature has become Ariane 5's greatest draw-back over the years and is now the prime driver for getting it out of the way for Ariane 6.
But what if the Ariane 5 ME could be used for replenishing two Galileo sats as secondary payload to a big comsat? Shouldn´t that solve the problem of too few small secondary payloads?

No. Here's a few reasons:
- Replenishment sats for Galileo come along only every several years. Smaller secondary payloads (such as s maller comsats to fit with the primary big comsat) are needed up to eight times each year at the current marketshare of Arianespace.
- Galileo sats are light: only 700 kg each. Two of them do just 1.4 metric tons. Add the dispenser hardware and you hardly make 2 metric tons. Even for A5 ECA that is too light. But I won't mention the fact that A5 ECA cannot do combined missions to different orbits for lack of re-start capability of the upper stage. A5 ME however is theoretically capable of such a combined-mission profile to different orbits. But A5 ME will increase the throw-weight-to-GTO by 20 percent, thus having even more over-performance. At least four replenishment Galileo sats would be required in such a scenario. Replenishment of Galileo is not planned to be performed at the rate of 4 sats at once.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/10/2014 12:22 pm
Please stop spreading this FUD that you somehow "need" to use an LV to capacity. Especially SpaceX shows, that this is not the case. It's all a question of costs. If your cost structure is such that it's competitive to fly with excess capacity there is absolutely no reason not to do so.

And if you compare to the status quo A6 will have an immense cost-malus here. Amortization of the development cost alone will easily cost 50 mil€/flight (I know you don't calculate that way but not counting development cost is lying to oneself, nothing else) and that's already a very generous calculation (not counting interest for dozens of years and assuming A6 will fly 100 times without another major development; both is not realistic).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 01:49 pm
Please stop spreading this FUD that you somehow "need" to use an LV to capacity.
I was talking about A5 specific: this vehicle over-performs to GTO if and when it's not loaded with a heavy enough payload. For Ariane 5 maximizing the amount of payload weight is actually the most efficient thing to do in terms of performance and value-for-money. (Ariane 5 being a very expensive launcher compared to rest of the playing field).
Arianespace always tries to maximize the payload weight on a flight, for this very reason. And they are good at it. Only a handfull of Ariane 5 flights carried significantly more than the standard amount of ballast.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/10/2014 01:55 pm
I was talking about A5 specific: this vehicle over-performs to GTO if and when it's not loaded with a heavy enough payload. For Ariane 5 maximizing the amount of payload weight is actually the most efficient thing to do in terms of performance and value-for-money. (Ariane 5 being a very expensive launcher compared to rest of the playing field).
I was also talking about the Galileo scenario with ME above.
Of course it makes sense to max out performance if you can and of course it can make sense to use a cheaper launcher.

But that's all just a cost issue. The problem is NOT that A5 is "overpowered" to do a smaller mission (SpaceX plan to fly single large comsats on a heavy with similar performance to A5), the problem is that A5 is EXPENSIVE.
But A6 won't fix that, except for the accounting stunts that are now being brought forward, it will make it worse.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 01:55 pm
And if you compare to the status quo A6 will have an immense cost-malus here. Amortization of the development cost alone will easily cost 50 mil€/flight (I know you don't calculate that way but not counting development cost is lying to oneself, nothing else) and that's already a very generous calculation (not counting interest for dozens of years and assuming A6 will fly 100 times without another major development; both is not realistic).
ESA pays for the development of the A6 launcher. And here's the thing: ESA does not amortize the cost of development thru flights. To ESA, development costs are sunk costs. That has applied, and still applies, to all versions of Ariane and Vega.
ESA is not SpaceX. ESA is a governmental organization. To ESA development costs are taxpayer's Euros thrown down a drain never to be looked after again. Not so for SpaceX. That's a fully commercial entity and thus in need of either a government organization throwing money at them (NASA) or they must cough up development funds on their own (thru Elon's fortune and amortization thru flights).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 01:59 pm
But A6 won't fix that, except for the accounting stunts that are now being brought forward, it will make it worse.
Those "accounting stunts" of yours were applied to Ariane 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Vega. I didn't hear anyone in the ESA member states complaining loud enough to prevent those launchers from happening. Same applies to A6.
Complain all you will, but those "accounting stunts" are not gonna make any difference.

The one billion Euro's required for final development of A5 ME will also be sunk costs. They will not be amortized thru flights. If they were A5 ME could never do away with the yearly subsidies; they would actually need a huge increase in yearly subsidies.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/10/2014 02:00 pm
ESA pays for the development of the A6 launcher. And here's the thing: ESA does not amortize the cost of development thru flights. To ESA, development costs are sunk costs. That has applied, and still applies, to all versions of Ariane and Vega.

And what? I mean... lying about the business case doesn't make the business case any better. It's still you and me footing the bill.

The ARGUMENT being brought forward for A6 - actually the ONLY argument I have EVER heard being brought forward - is that it would be more cost efficient and so save the tax payer some money. And that argument is plain wrong. It's a lie. You can't say "it's cheaper for you if we don't count all the other money we are taking from you for it". It's like saying: hey, today you have to pay 3$ for a hamburger but if you now give me 100$ upfront, you will get the next 50 hamburgers for 2$ each so you save 50$, isn't that a great deal?"

There may be other arguments in favor of A6 but I have never heard about them in the discussion. All is just about money and that argument is wrong.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/10/2014 02:05 pm
Those "accounting stunts" of yours were applied to Ariane 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Vega. I didn't hear anyone in the ESA member states complaining loud enough to prevent those launchers from happening.
Because they developed capabilities not available before. And there were plenty of arguments against Vega.

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Same applies to A6.

No it does not. A6 does NOT build a new capability. It's being done (allegedly) to save money. You don't need to develop A6 to achieve anything you could not achieve today with what you already have. That wasn't true for A1-5.

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Complain all you will, but those "accounting stunts" are not gonna make any difference.

I know. Doesn't make it any better. Problem is, there kind of stunts drive down public acceptance for EU public, European programs. We see it everywhere and long term it puts the whole program at risk. It needs to stop.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 02:08 pm
ESA pays for the development of the A6 launcher. And here's the thing: ESA does not amortize the cost of development thru flights. To ESA, development costs are sunk costs. That has applied, and still applies, to all versions of Ariane and Vega.

And what? I mean... lying about the business case doesn't make the business case any better. It's still you and me footing the bill.

The ARGUMENT being brought forward for A6 - actually the ONLY argument I have EVER heard being brought forward - is that it would be more cost efficient and so save the tax payer some money. And that argument is plain wrong. It's a lie. You can't say "it's cheaper for you if we don't count all the other money we are taking from you for it". It's like saying: hey, today you have to pay 3$ for a hamburger but if you now give me 100$ upfront, you will get the next 50 hamburgers for 2$ each so so save 50$, isn't that a great deal?"

There may be other arguments in favor of A6 but I have never heard about them in the discussion. All is just about money and that argument is wrong.
Did you even listen to my argument? The development money is gone anyway. Like it or not, but us European taxpayers pay for the development of those launchers. That money is gone, never to be seen again.
It's the phase after development that is supposed to save some of the taxpayers' money. In the operational phase a launcher that higher production-and-operating costs will be more expensive than one that has lower production-and-operating costs.

Basically, we're dealing with two differents jars of money here: development and operation. Development is always sunk money, regardless of the end-result being an expensive-to-operate or cheap-to-operate launcher.

If you want to save money thru the way you are reasoning, then ESA should immediately stop developing launchers alltogether.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/10/2014 02:17 pm
Did you even listen to my argument? The development money is gone anyway.

I do, but you don't.
The development money for A6 is NOT gone. It's still to be spent. Cancel the program now and you save 3-5bn€, depending on who you ask.

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Like it or not, but us European taxpayers pay for the development of those launchers.
Yes. And that's why long term they are going to hate and cancel these programs. And then it will be all wining here in the forum about the great opportunities lost in European Spaceflight.

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It's the phase after development that is supposed to save some of the taxpayers' money. In the operational phase a launcher that higher production-and-operating costs will be more expensive than one that has lower production-and-operating costs.
Such is it in my hamburger example above.
You can repeat it as often as you like (and I know European bureaucracy calculates like that, too), but there is no magic money making spell. It's still a losing deal. It overall COSTS money and not save any.

There is no way in the world the savings in the operational phase will ever outweigh the upfront investment so from an investment POV the whole activity is a loss. It doesn't pay off.

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Basically, we're dealing with two differents jars of money here: development and operation. Development is always sunk money, regardless of the end-result being an expensive-to-operate or cheap-to-operate launcher.
Yes. But today we have the choice to simply NOT sink that money. There will be zero negative effect of not doing that in terms of capability. We lose nothing, we just save money.

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If you want to save money thru the way you are reasoning, then ESA should immediately stop developing launchers alltogether.
That's pretty much exactly what I am proposing, indeed. Yes. Makes zero sense to depelop something you don't get anything for.

And IF ESA still wants to develop LVs, then they shall bring forward the real reasons for doing so and not just tell me funny stories about saving money that in the end turn out to be a lie. Then we can argue about those real reasons and whether they are worth the cost.
Right now, everybody is trying to play the "hey, you save money with this" game to make it appear to people as it won't cost them anything so they can just agree. But this doesn't work, it never does and in the end, all you get is a ruined public acceptance for your space program as a whole. As you can see in the US where, let's face it, the public acceptance for the (government funded) space program now is as low as never before.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 02:17 pm
Those "accounting stunts" of yours were applied to Ariane 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Vega. I didn't hear anyone in the ESA member states complaining loud enough to prevent those launchers from happening.
Because they developed capabilities not available before. And there were plenty of arguments against Vega.
All the arguments against Vega did not prevent the launcher from being developed. And Vega was most certainly development of capabilities that ESA/Arianespace did not have prior. Large composite solids for one thing. Splittable retro-equipped interstages for another.

Same applies to A6.

No it does not. A6 does NOT build a new capability. It's being done (allegedly) to save money. You don't need to develop A6 to achieve anything you could not achieve today with what you already have. That wasn't true for A1-5.
It is of no interest that A6 supposedly does not build new capability. That's your interpretation and not ESA's. With ESA being the agency in control of development of A6 it is of no interest what your (or my) opinion in this matter is.

Complain all you will, but those "accounting stunts" are not gonna make any difference.
I know. Doesn't make it any better. Problem is, there kind of stunts drive down public acceptance for EU public, European programs. We see it everywhere and long term it puts the whole program at risk. It needs to stop.
Public acceptance for ESA programs only goes down if the public interprets these programs as "waisting Euro's". But generally ESA does a rather good job in making clear to the public why those investments are needed. ESA also does a good job of PR.
Also, public acceptance of EU or ESA programs tends to go down in times of financial crisis (such as the one we are now just barely exiting) and go up in times of financial growth.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/10/2014 02:19 pm
All the discussion about cheap access to space for smaller institutional payloads like Galileo makes me wonder what ever happened to the earlier building block PPH/PPL concepts. P240 booster first stage, P80 second stage, L10 upper stage for the smaller concept, with a P110 second stage and H28 upper stage later for 3 tons to GTO. It always seemed like a good idea to me, as it could exist alongside Ariane 5 and Vega, with Ariane doing the commercial payloads and the occasional heavy payload, Vega doing the small ones and this intermediate doing what CNES wants Ariane 6 doing. Few unique components, low cost. Wonder why it disappeared from trade studies.

Edit: Found link: http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bullet104/caporicci104.pdf
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/10/2014 02:40 pm
All the discussion about cheap access to space for smaller institutional payloads like Galileo makes me wonder what ever happened to the earlier building block PPH/PPL concepts. P240 booster first stage, P80 second stage, L10 upper stage for the smaller concept, with a P110 second stage and H28 upper stage later for 3 tons to GTO. It always seemed like a good idea to me, as it could exist alongside Ariane 5 and Vega, with Ariane doing the commercial payloads and the occasional heavy payload, Vega doing the small ones and this intermediate doing what CNES wants Ariane 6 doing. Few unique components, low cost. Wonder why it disappeared from trade studies.
Because those two proposals are kludges. In other words, their may be parts commonality with other programs, but at least one of those programs (Ariane 5) is to be replaced by Ariane 6. P240 is considered "old-and-ending" technology and keeping it's production line open for just that PPH/PPL variant will be expensive.
And with the switch from P240/P80/L10 to P240/P110/H28 you would essentially develop not one, but two launchers (for twice the money).

The commonality between the boosters (P135) in the first and second stage of the current A6 proposal is supposed to drive costs down: produce one booster a lot instead of producing three or four different boosters in smaller quantities. Basically the same MO used by SpaceX: produce one engine (Merlin 1D) a lot, in stead of producing two or three different engines in smaller quantities.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/10/2014 02:57 pm
All the discussion about cheap access to space for smaller institutional payloads like Galileo makes me wonder what ever happened to the earlier building block PPH/PPL concepts. P240 booster first stage, P80 second stage, L10 upper stage for the smaller concept, with a P110 second stage and H28 upper stage later for 3 tons to GTO. It always seemed like a good idea to me, as it could exist alongside Ariane 5 and Vega, with Ariane doing the commercial payloads and the occasional heavy payload, Vega doing the small ones and this intermediate doing what CNES wants Ariane 6 doing. Few unique components, low cost. Wonder why it disappeared from trade studies.
Because those two proposals are kludges. In other words, their may be parts commonality with other programs, but at least one of those programs (Ariane 5) is to be replaced by Ariane 6. P240 is considered "old-and-ending" technology and keeping it's production line open for just that PPH/PPL variant will be expensive.
And with the switch from P240/P80/L10 to P240/P110/H28 you would essentially develop not one, but two launchers (for twice the money).
I imagined that you could stick with Ariane 5 for commercial satellites, with the occasional institutional payload that requires the capacity, with upgrades to the P240 stage being spread out over the two launchers (such as composite casings as I saw proposed some time ago), and with upgrades to the second stage also being applied to Vega. Basically making every upgrade one that you can share between programs, boosting overall competitiveness (and giving the same "synergies with Vega" argument as P7C).

But yeah, if the goal is to phase out Ariane 5, it's a bad idea. That's clear. I doubt anyone is willing to pay to keep Ariane 5 up for commercial launches after ESA doesn't need it anymore. I'd prefer Ariane 5 to keep flying though. I doubt any single launch vehicle will be able to keep competing.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/10/2014 03:16 pm
BTW whoever wanted Galileo as secondary, he didn't even thought about the orbital mechanics, did he?
Even assuming ME with restart, you start from a 185km x 36,000km x 5deg and have to go to a 22,000km x 22,000km x 56deg. So you have to change your plane by 51deg while increasing your perigee by 21,850km. And then circularize.
And we didn't got into RAAN issues. Launch windows are such that the gto craft has optimal illumination. This could seriously reduce launch windows. If even possible
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 02/10/2014 03:20 pm
Think that is the whole problem with Ariane 6 nobody would care if Ariane 5 was not being cut.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/10/2014 04:12 pm
Think that is the whole problem with Ariane 6 nobody would care if Ariane 5 was not being cut.

That's not true. I, for one, would complain even more because keeping BOTH launchers and all their infrastructure then would be even more expensive.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/10/2014 04:23 pm
Think that is the whole problem with Ariane 6 nobody would care if Ariane 5 was not being cut.
I care a lot more about Ariane 6 at this point than whether Ariane 5 makes it or not. If Ariane 6 is cheaper and more flexible than Ariane 5, you won't hear me complaining if it gets tossed out.

What I don't like about Ariane 6 is that I doubt it will really be much cheaper and more flexible than Ariane 5. From what I've seen so far, it'll basically just be an A5ME with half the payload, similarly lacking in flexibility and being similar in cost, only with €3 billion attached to developing it. That's what worries me. Not Ariane 5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 02/10/2014 07:58 pm
Vega (even upgraded with a P145 for A6 commonality) is small for GEO comsats, currently it can do 2.3T equatorial LEO, with a P145 it might do 4T, as a rule of thumb it gives half to GTO, so 2T. It is small for that kind of sats, but you may use electric propulsion which would give you the equivalent of a 4T chemical sat. The price would probably increase accordingly.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/11/2014 07:08 am
What I don't like about Ariane 6 is that I doubt it will really be much cheaper and more flexible than Ariane 5. From what I've seen so far, it'll basically just be an A5ME with half the payload, similarly lacking in flexibility and being similar in cost, only with €3 billion attached to developing it. That's what worries me. Not Ariane 5.

To get to Ariane 5 ME thru the path taken (Ariane 5 G -> G+ -> ES -> ECA -> ME) it took over 8 billion Euros in development money alone.
To get to Ariane 6 (or as you call it Ariane 5 ME with half the payload) will probably take 4 billion Euros when all is said and done.
Guess what: half the payload for half the money.
This particular sentence:
Quote
...only with €3 billion attached to developing it.
illustrates nicely your lack of understanding of the issue at hand. The only commonality between A5ME and A6 is the upper stage. The rest is (much) different and associated with it's own development cost. One vehicle being liquid fueled and the other being solid fueled. You cannot discriminate between the two vehicles by specifically mentioning the development cost of A6 and NOT mentioning the A5 development cost. Compare apples-to-apples, not apples-to-nothing please.

Another point is that development of A6 is not expected to be any cheaper than that of A5 (whatever version). And that does not matter. Reduction of the development cost is not the point of the A6 program. The point of the A6 program is to bring the operational costs down. Over time, the operational cost of a launcher will far exceed the amount of money spent on development. Development cost is sunk money. Operational cost is NOT considered sunk money and thus needs to be amortized thru sales of launches.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/11/2014 07:12 am
Think that is the whole problem with Ariane 6 nobody would care if Ariane 5 was not being cut.

That's not true. I, for one, would complain even more because keeping BOTH launchers and all their infrastructure then would be even more expensive.
If things go the way they are planned then both sets of infrastructures will co-exist (in flight operations) for at least three years, possibly even longer. Nothing new here. The same thing has happened before:
Ariane 2/3 flew for some time together with Ariane 4 (two different production lines, two sets of infrastructures at CSG). And then it happened again with Ariane 4 and Ariane 5. A4 was only phased out when A5 has already a number of flights under it's belt. (two different production lines, two sets of infrastructures at CSG). And exactly the same will happen if and when A6 starts flying.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 02/11/2014 07:22 am
Over time, the operational cost of a launcher will far exceed the amount of money spent on development. Development cost is sunk money.

I can't believe you said that. Sorry, but you are spreading FUD again, please look at the numbers.

1. Development cost is NOT sunk cost before you sink it, we are talking about the future here.
2. The operational cost of A6 is targeted at 75mil€. Assuming it flies as often as Ariane 5 (which is NOT projected in the plan, it's supposed to fly LESS overall!) the overall operational cost will be in the same ballpark as the development cost. The plan is to spend almost as much money as flying the thing costs over it's entire life time on development. To "save" cost.

Stating over and over again that this would somehow magically "save" money doesn't make it true. This program does NOT save any money, it COSTS money.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/11/2014 09:40 am
Over time, the operational cost of a launcher will far exceed the amount of money spent on development. Development cost is sunk money.

I can't believe you said that. Sorry, but you are spreading FUD again, please look at the numbers.

1. Development cost is NOT sunk cost before you sink it, we are talking about the future here.
2. The operational cost of A6 is targeted at 75mil€. Assuming it flies as often as Ariane 5 (which is NOT projected in the plan, it's supposed to fly LESS overall!) the overall operational cost will be in the same ballpark as the development cost. The plan is to spend almost as much money as flying the thing costs over it's entire life time on development. To "save" cost.

Stating over and over again that this would somehow magically "save" money doesn't make it true. This program does NOT save any money, it COSTS money.
No, you are spreading FUD. You cannot possibly state that the amount of development money will be in the same ballpark as the overal operational cost. Simply because it is not clear when the operational lifetime of A6 will begin, when it will end, and how many flights are performed in-between. The numbers given in the proposal and study phases are often minimal target numbers. They are not called PROJECTED numbers for nothing. Reality is nearly always different.
The same applies to A5. When A5 was developed a certain number of flights and a certain number of service years were targeted in the proposals and studies for A5. But, A5 has already gone far beyond those numbers, both in years and number of flights. Same happened for Ariane 4. Based on this prior experience it is not unreasonable to state that it is likely that the operational cost of A6 will eventually far exceed the development cost. It is not unreasonable to state the eventual number of A6's flown will be greater than is now foreseen.
On the other hand, your statement to the contrary is not based on anything but projected numbers in studies and proposals.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/11/2014 12:31 pm
2. Ariane 4 was doing dual launches too and it was a major factor for its competitiveness. A5G started with a payload slightly above A4LL, its hardly a "failed mini-shuttle launcher".

"Slightly above"? Are you trying to fool us or something?
Here are the hard numbers for single-payload launches: Ariane 44L H10-3, the most powerfull variant of the Ariane 4 family could carry 4720 kg to GTO and 7000 kg to LEO. Ariane-5 G, the starter version of Ariane 5, could carry 6900 kg to GTO (an increase of no less than 2200 kg / 46 percent compared to 44L H10-3) and 18000 kg to LEO (an increase of no less than 11000 kg / 157 percent compared to 44L H10-3).
I would hardly call those numbers "slightly above" and you bet your *ss that A5 G was a failed mini-shuttle launcher. Not until ATV came along was there any payload that came even remotely close to that massive payload-to-LEO capacity.

But the dual-launch feature has become Ariane 5's greatest draw-back over the years and is now the prime driver for getting it out of the way for Ariane 6. The only reason Ariane 5 ME wasn't canned in 2012, in favor for all-out development of A6, was the strong-headed Germans forcing the ESA members into a dual-development approach.

Slightly may be the wrong word, but according to my numbers 44L could lift 4950kg to GTO while for 5G it was 6200kg. You say dual launch has become A5 greatest drawback, but according to what I've read dual launch made A4 competitive (apart from the lack of competition), so its not surprising A5 was designed with dual launch in mind. Market projections were probably overly optimistic back then too.


Reduction of the development cost is not the point of the A6 program. The point of the A6 program is to bring the operational costs down. Over time, the operational cost of a launcher will far exceed the amount of money spent on development. Development cost is sunk money. Operational cost is NOT considered sunk money and thus needs to be amortized thru sales of launches.

While its true that operational costs will exceed development cost when it comes to launch vehicles, the question is how development costs compare to the operational cost savings of A6 versus A5. Development money is not for free, either you pay for it with a loan, so you must pay interest on it, or you must include opportunity costs in your calculations. Either way, you end up with a discount rate of maybe 3.5%-10%. The longer your investment leads actual operational cost savings (in the case of a rocket that's decades), the more punishing up front investment gets.

In the case of A6 you quickly realize that if you project the current market share into the future it won't pay off, even if Ariane 6 will fly for 25 years.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/11/2014 03:48 pm
To get to Ariane 5 ME thru the path taken (Ariane 5 G -> G+ -> ES -> ECA -> ME) it took over 8 billion Euros in development money alone.
To get to Ariane 6 (or as you call it Ariane 5 ME with half the payload) will probably take 4 billion Euros when all is said and done.
Guess what: half the payload for half the money.
This particular sentence:
Quote
...only with €3 billion attached to developing it.
illustrates nicely your lack of understanding of the issue at hand. The only commonality between A5ME and A6 is the upper stage. The rest is (much) different and associated with it's own development cost. One vehicle being liquid fueled and the other being solid fueled. You cannot discriminate between the two vehicles by specifically mentioning the development cost of A6 and NOT mentioning the A5 development cost. Compare apples-to-apples, not apples-to-nothing please.

I meant that my biggest concern with Ariane 6 is that it will end up inflexible, similarly to Ariane 5. You frequently claim that Ariane 5 is overpowered for most European payloads, but the current configuration, which is fixed at 6.5 tons to GTO, will similarly be oversized for a large amount of institutional payloads. How many payloads does ESA, or CNES or DLR have that require 6500 kg to GTO and ~13 tons to LEO? Not that many.

When I stated development cost, I meant compared to continuing Ariane 5. It's very well possible the difference in recurring cost will not be significant. If that's the case, the additional €3-4 billion development price tag seems like a plain waste to me. That's what worries me, not whether Ariane 6 will cost less to develop than A5 or not. Complaining about that is just pointless to me.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/11/2014 04:59 pm
To get to Ariane 5 ME thru the path taken (Ariane 5 G -> G+ -> ES -> ECA -> ME) it took over 8 billion Euros in development money alone.
To get to Ariane 6 (or as you call it Ariane 5 ME with half the payload) will probably take 4 billion Euros when all is said and done.
Guess what: half the payload for half the money.
This particular sentence:
Quote
...only with €3 billion attached to developing it.
illustrates nicely your lack of understanding of the issue at hand. The only commonality between A5ME and A6 is the upper stage. The rest is (much) different and associated with it's own development cost. One vehicle being liquid fueled and the other being solid fueled. You cannot discriminate between the two vehicles by specifically mentioning the development cost of A6 and NOT mentioning the A5 development cost. Compare apples-to-apples, not apples-to-nothing please.

I meant that my biggest concern with Ariane 6 is that it will end up inflexible, similarly to Ariane 5. You frequently claim that Ariane 5 is overpowered for most European payloads, but the current configuration, which is fixed at 6.5 tons to GTO, will similarly be oversized for a large amount of institutional payloads. How many payloads does ESA, or CNES or DLR have that require 6500 kg to GTO and ~13 tons to LEO? Not that many.

When I stated development cost, I meant compared to continuing Ariane 5. It's very well possible the difference in recurring cost will not be significant. If that's the case, the additional €3-4 billion development price tag seems like a plain waste to me. That's what worries me, not whether Ariane 6 will cost less to develop than A5 or not. Complaining about that is just pointless to me.
If you look at the trade studies quoted above, you'll see that A6 was not the cheapest alternative to operate, except on the low launch scenario. So, they rightfully settled on the "cheapest" alternative to assure access to space in the pessimistic environment.
Also, you'll notice that they expected at least two versions, the smaller of which should be competitive with Falcon 9. Which is (roughly) in the Soyuz range. If you look at all European missions, Soyuz has been the workhorse. So they want to replace A5 plus Soyuz. This is complicated given the huge payload range. But if they can achieve it, we'll have to congratulate them. Of course this will mean going slightly under the primary payload capability of A5 and above the SSO capability of even Soyuz-2.1B. But that means they can close ELS+MIK+MST and ELA-3+LIB+FAB plus all associated infrastructure. They'll need two new pads, and Mobile Integration Towers. The consolidation alone should save a lot of operative work. Since the pads would be identical, you could run them with a single crew. One for vehicle integration and another for payload and launch processing.
And if they can launch Vega's from those pads, then they could consolidate even more. Imagine just two pads and one crew for all your launch needs. They could (probably) launch 12 times per year with very low operative costs. That's why they want to go this way. I guess.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Hauerg on 02/11/2014 05:42 pm
This makes too much sense. So you are probably wrong.      ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/11/2014 06:43 pm
If you look at the trade studies quoted above, you'll see that A6 was not the cheapest alternative to operate, except on the low launch scenario. So, they rightfully settled on the "cheapest" alternative to assure access to space in the pessimistic environment.
Also, you'll notice that they expected at least two versions, the smaller of which should be competitive with Falcon 9. Which is (roughly) in the Soyuz range. If you look at all European missions, Soyuz has been the workhorse. So they want to replace A5 plus Soyuz. This is complicated given the huge payload range. But if they can achieve it, we'll have to congratulate them. Of course this will mean going slightly under the primary payload capability of A5 and above the SSO capability of even Soyuz-2.1B. But that means they can close ELS+MIK+MST and ELA-3+LIB+FAB plus all associated infrastructure. They'll need two new pads, and Mobile Integration Towers. The consolidation alone should save a lot of operative work. Since the pads would be identical, you could run them with a single crew. One for vehicle integration and another for payload and launch processing.
And if they can launch Vega's from those pads, then they could consolidate even more. Imagine just two pads and one crew for all your launch needs. They could (probably) launch 12 times per year with very low operative costs. That's why they want to go this way. I guess.

Good points, good post overall. However, is the small version with two P145s as S1 still being considered? Haven't seen it in a long, long time.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: bolun on 02/11/2014 08:32 pm
European Auditors Question Plan To Phase out Europeanized Soyuz Rocket

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39464european-auditors-question-plan-to-phase-out-europeanized-soyuz-rocket
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/12/2014 12:03 am
European Auditors Question Plan To Phase out Europeanized Soyuz Rocket

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39464european-auditors-question-plan-to-phase-out-europeanized-soyuz-rocket

I quote from the article:

Quote
The court says the Ariane 6 as currently designed — the vehicle would be capable of carrying a 6,000-kilogram satellite to geostationary transfer orbit, where most telecommunications satellites go — will be too expensive to compete for the heavier European government satellites. These spacecraft are suited to Soyuz, the court says. It favors a long-term strategy keeping all three rockets — Ariane 6, Soyuz and Vega — in simultaneous operation.

Hilarious, so they build a launcher to serve the commercial comsat market, just as A5 does now. Brilliant ::)

Quote
Arianespace says that at 70 million euros for a 3,000-kilogram satellite, the Ariane 6 would be more expensive than today’s Ariane 5 ECA for the passenger riding in the lower position, reserved for the smaller of the two satellites typically launched by the Ariane 5.

Lol.

Quote
The advent of all-electric propulsion for satellites, which can save up to 50 percent on the weight of a telecommunications satellite, could push Ariane 6 to retain a dual-launch capability, Arianespace says in its statement to the court. Up to now, one of Ariane 6’s selling points has been that, unlike Ariane 5 ECA, its financial viability does not require the launch of two satellites at a time.

Dual launch sucks, eh? Considering the payload penalty caused by dual launch it could be difficult for A6 to retain dual-launch capability for small satellites.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/12/2014 12:15 pm
Well, if they are doing away with the low power version of the Ariane 6, then yes, most hope is lost. It is true that they could do dual manifest. SEPs will probably be 2 to 4tonnes. Which could fit nicely and they could even use the same SYLDAS and fairing that they currently use. So dual launch will be a capability directly inherited from A5. But with the same problems as before and again with the same flexibility problems.
It the A6 can't realistically replace Soyuz, then there's simply no reason for it. From what I can see, the plan closes if they replace Soyuz/Ariane 5 AND can leverage VEGA. There they can have a flexible family.
Of course if they had chosen the MT Aerospace AG proposal, of cheap gas generator H2/LOX cores with an H2/LOX upperstage and you could use anywhere from 1 to 4 cores (go read the proposal (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27452.0)) it would all have been solved. I still believe that MT made it just too big. They should have covered 3tonnes LEO to 6tonnes to GTO. Probably a 1.5MN engine, like a Vulcain but made for cheap. And that would have been a much better proposal.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 02/12/2014 06:34 pm
Well, if they are doing away with the low power version of the Ariane 6, then yes, most hope is lost. It is true that they could do dual manifest. SEPs will probably be 2 to 4tonnes. Which could fit nicely and they could even use the same SYLDAS and fairing that they currently use. So dual launch will be a capability directly inherited from A5. But with the same problems as before and again with the same flexibility problems.
It the A6 can't realistically replace Soyuz, then there's simply no reason for it. From what I can see, the plan closes if they replace Soyuz/Ariane 5 AND can leverage VEGA. There they can have a flexible family.
Of course if they had chosen the MT Aerospace AG proposal, of cheap gas generator H2/LOX cores with an H2/LOX upperstage and you could use anywhere from 1 to 4 cores (go read the proposal (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27452.0)) it would all have been solved. I still believe that MT made it just too big. They should have covered 3tonnes LEO to 6tonnes to GTO. Probably a 1.5MN engine, like a Vulcain but made for cheap. And that would have been a much better proposal.
Such a concept is imaginable. A concept using one Vulcain per core could get about 4 tons to LEO with a single core and roughly 7 tons to GTO with three cores. But didn't the NELS study show that any CCB design, with the exception of a solid CCB design, was not competitive with an in-line liquid or solid design? I doubt a vehicle requiring three separate cores to do the majority of comsat missions would be very cheap. Especially one solely powered by hydrogen. Of course, one could argue that the flexibility this would provide would pay off for the higher cost, and that liquids are inherently better than solids, but there wouldn't be any real justification for this design over Multi-P.

Note that the MT Aerospace proposal used kerosene, not hydrogen, and their trade study only showed that a CCB design was cheaper than a design with liquid or strap-on boosters. No in-line liquid design optimised for 6.5 tons to GTO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Runerdieker on 02/12/2014 06:56 pm
I am still puzzled by the development cost of 3 to 5 bn euro´s for the current A6 design. I believe that the new policy of choosing the best contenders from industry and letting their home countries pay, won´t make a big difference, because there is still no competition for the companies involved. So the figure of 3 to 5 bn wil stand. The (fierce) discussions in this topic so far have made clear that the differences between the alternatives for the current PPH-design where not that big to have a clear and conclusive winner. Why then for a LV with many improved technologies and some communalities with present LV´s, instead of a start from scratch, such huge development costs? What I read in this forum about Spacex, Orbital, TsSKB, etc. is of a really different magnitude (and most are costs for completely new vehicles). Sunken costs or not, there need to be (European!) government leaders to decide about the next phase of development, so this does matter. So what could be a coarse breakdown of the development costs of the A6 that explains at least something?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 02/12/2014 08:16 pm
Just the contract for A6 preliminary studoes for the next Ministerial Meeting with Airbus Defense and Space is 50M (80M usd). At those prices it won't be cheap.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/13/2014 08:25 am
Just the contract for A6 preliminary studoes for the next Ministerial Meeting with Airbus Defense and Space is 50M (80M usd). At those prices it won't be cheap.
Those are not preliminary studies. They are detailed studies aimed at validating the core design as chosen in the last ministerial conference. The phase of preliminary studies regarding A6 ended before the 2012 ministerial conference.

Those of you who are familiar with my take on the going-ons at ESA are aware of the fact that ESA studies everyting to death before any metal ever gets bend (or carbon fibre gets woven in this particular case).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/13/2014 09:02 am
European Auditors Question Plan To Phase out Europeanized Soyuz Rocket

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39464european-auditors-question-plan-to-phase-out-europeanized-soyuz-rocket (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39464european-auditors-question-plan-to-phase-out-europeanized-soyuz-rocket)

I quote from the article:

Quote
The court says the Ariane 6 as currently designed — the vehicle would be capable of carrying a 6,000-kilogram satellite to geostationary transfer orbit, where most telecommunications satellites go — will be too expensive to compete for the heavier European government satellites. These spacecraft are suited to Soyuz, the court says. It favors a long-term strategy keeping all three rockets — Ariane 6, Soyuz and Vega — in simultaneous operation.

Hilarious, so they build a launcher to serve the commercial comsat market, just as A5 does now. Brilliant ::)
Exactly what part of the phrase "A6 is a replacement for A5" did you not understand?

Quote
Arianespace says that at 70 million euros for a 3,000-kilogram satellite, the Ariane 6 would be more expensive than today’s Ariane 5 ECA for the passenger riding in the lower position, reserved for the smaller of the two satellites typically launched by the Ariane 5.

Lol.
Hence the fact that Arianespace is always looking at maximizing payload-use of the available throw-mass.

Quote
The advent of all-electric propulsion for satellites, which can save up to 50 percent on the weight of a telecommunications satellite, could push Ariane 6 to retain a dual-launch capability, Arianespace says in its statement to the court. Up to now, one of Ariane 6’s selling points has been that, unlike Ariane 5 ECA, its financial viability does not require the launch of two satellites at a time.
Dual launch sucks, eh? Considering the payload penalty caused by dual launch it could be difficult for A6 to retain dual-launch capability for small satellites.
No. Trade studies I have seen indicate that two examples of a three-metric-ton comsat can be launched on the 6.5 metric tons version of A6 with the current SYLDA design. (The largest SYLDA adapter weighs 0.5 metric tons). Mass to GTO for the current A6 baseline is not 6000 kg. but 6500 kg. It's just that reference weights for big comsats are given as 6000 kg, not 6500 kg. The extra 500 kg for the A6 throw weight is there specifically to support the use of a SYLDA.

On SYLDA: the current largest SYLDA is capable of carrying of a 6500 kg comsat on top of it. But on A6 it will not be carrying a 6500 kg comsat, it will be carrying a 3000 kg comsat at most. It is safe to assume that, as part of A6 development, a new SYLDA will be developed for use on A6. This new SYLDA will probably be substantially lighter than the current design.

Three metric tons is the current reference weight for small comsats. Standard practice on A5 dual launch is one big (6000 kg class) comsat and one small (3000 kg class) comsat.
SEP is expected to significantly bring down the mass of comsats, but a reference weight for this class of comsats (neither big nor small) has not been set at present. With this uncertainty in place it is only logical for ESA/Arianespace to state that launching a single 3 metric ton comsat on A6 will be cost-ineffective.
It all depends on how small SEP comsats will become and how big the marketshare of SEP comsats will become.

The expected weight-loss of comsats due to the advent of SEP presents a direct problem for A5ME as well: A5ME will be capable of dual launch of a 6000 kg and 5000 kg comsat. But the expectation is that comsats will become lighter, not heavier. This could result in cost-ineffective launches for A5ME. Sticking two examples of 3000-to-4000 kg comsats on a launcher (capable of throwing 11500 kg tot GTO) will result in sharing the cost of the launch between two equally heavy satellites. In that case there is no benefit to the "smaller and lighter" satellite (because there is not one). It is exactly this scenario that is being used to question the viability of A5ME.

So, where are we with all this? Back at square one. There are reasons to doubt the viability of A5ME and there are reasons to doubt the viability of A6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 02/13/2014 10:56 am
Ok, lets take a look at commercial market forecasts.

There are quite a few payload combination options here which A5 ME could offer at a more or less competitive price. With 60% of the market (big/medium satellites) not contested by SpaceX at the moment. So its not unreasonable to assume that Arianespace can keep up a sufficiently high launch rate for A5 ME without the need for subsidies of several hundreds of millions per year.

Because in order for A6 to make sense economically, A5 subsidies must go through the roof compared to A6. IMO this can only happen if its a lot cheaper to maintain a small market share with A6 than a big one with A5.

If assured access to space is the goal, ESA should probably build a Soyuz/Falcon 9 class launcher.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 02/14/2014 08:50 am
The primary goal for Ariane 6 is indeed assured indepent access to space for ESA, with the secondary goal of earning money in the comsat launch business. But you seem to be forgetting that ESA has some demands on it's own, with regards to launcher performance. Performance to GTO for comsats is by far not the only factor driving the Ariane 6 design. For example: one of those requirements is the performance demand set by ESA for institutional payloads to the L2 and L1 lagrangian points of the Sun-Earth system. Those requirements for the heaviest institutional payloads cannot be met by a Soyuz/Falcon 9 class launcher. On the other hand, A5ME (and A5 ECA) are currently over-powered for the same requirement. There is a gap in-between and A6 will land smack in the middle of that gap.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 02/14/2014 07:37 pm
Airbus, Safran, OHB and Avio have submitted industrial proposals for A6.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39494europe%E2%80%99s-rocket-builders-present-industrial-plan-for-ariane-6 (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39494europe%E2%80%99s-rocket-builders-present-industrial-plan-for-ariane-6)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/19/2014 05:02 pm
Head of DLR proposes a strange new Ariane 6 design, with cryo first and third stages, and a solid second stage.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/39918woerner-urges-esa-to-scrap-favored-ariane-6-design

I'm not sure why anyone would propose such a rocket, unless the two stage version was for LEO, like Antares.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 03/19/2014 05:32 pm
Head of DLR proposes a strange new Ariane 6 design, with cryo first and third stages, and a solid second stage.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/39918woerner-urges-esa-to-scrap-favored-ariane-6-design

I'm not sure why anyone would propose such a rocket, unless the two stage version was for LEO, like Antares.

 - Ed Kyle
While the text under the photo claims such a design, reading what he said makes it seem more like solid strap-ons with a normal core/upper stage layout.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 03/19/2014 05:36 pm
Ah, the return of geographic return.... Back to square one.
If this is indeed a policy position and not just a first step in the negotiation then Ariane 6 will have a hard time. If the Germans get the impression that France just wants to change the rules to have Germany finance their industry this can get nasty...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 03/19/2014 06:05 pm

Ah, the return of geographic return.... Back to square one.
If this is indeed a policy position and not just a first step in the negotiation then Ariane 6 will have a hard time. If the Germans get the impression that France just wants to change the rules to have Germany finance their industry this can get nasty...

Reading the article makes me wonder if they might be looking for more than five participants in the program, perhaps to spread the costs around more.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 03/19/2014 06:07 pm
Reading the article makes me wonder if they might be looking for more than five participants in the program, perhaps to spread the costs around more.
Ariane 5 already has twelve participants. Ariane 6 will undoubtedly be similar.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Star One on 03/19/2014 07:05 pm

Reading the article makes me wonder if they might be looking for more than five participants in the program, perhaps to spread the costs around more.
Ariane 5 already has twelve participants. Ariane 6 will undoubtedly be similar.

Speaking from a purely personal viewpoint I would like to see the UK to have some involvement in it rather than sitting on the sidelines.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 03/19/2014 07:10 pm
This position amounts to killing Ariane 6: In the OHB/MT aero study this concept ranked 4th out of 5 and 5th out of 5 for a lunch rate of 6/year, with a launch cost of 91M€ at 9 launches per year, and with a development cost 500M€ higher than PPH.

This is not even about return on investment since the proposed new geographic return rules make states pay only for the workshare given to their industry, it is simply about having maximum control on the project. It is a "If I can't have it, no one else will" kind of position.

Or it is just a ploy to get France to fund A5 ME, as the head of CNES just stated it was no longer possible:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39905questions-swirl-around-future-of-europe%E2%80%99s-ariane-launcher-program?utm_content=buffer1a4f0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39905questions-swirl-around-future-of-europe%E2%80%99s-ariane-launcher-program?utm_content=buffer1a4f0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/19/2014 07:32 pm
Head of DLR proposes a strange new Ariane 6 design, with cryo first and third stages, and a solid second stage.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/39918woerner-urges-esa-to-scrap-favored-ariane-6-design

I'm not sure why anyone would propose such a rocket, unless the two stage version was for LEO, like Antares.

 - Ed Kyle
While the text under the photo claims such a design, reading what he said makes it seem more like solid strap-ons with a normal core/upper stage layout.
I think the wording in the story may have changed after I posted the link. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Zed_Noir on 03/20/2014 05:29 am
Head of DLR proposes a strange new Ariane 6 design, with cryo first and third stages, and a solid second stage.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/39918woerner-urges-esa-to-scrap-favored-ariane-6-design

I'm not sure why anyone would propose such a rocket, unless the two stage version was for LEO, like Antares.

 - Ed Kyle
While the text under the photo claims such a design, reading what he said makes it seem more like solid strap-ons with a normal core/upper stage layout.

Euro version of the Atlas V. Interesting.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 03/20/2014 08:13 am
Off course, economically speaking A6 does not make any sense whatsoever.
Let's consider the following numbers (all in euro) from the top of my head (insert your own if you'd like)
The A5ME development costs 1.2 billion, the A6 development cost 4B.
The A5ME costs 150M a piece the A6 70M.
The A5ME can lift 12 tonnes, the A6 6.5 tonnes.

That means one ton with A5ME costs 12.5M to launch, with A6 10.77M
The breakevenpoint is found as follows
1200 + 12.5 * x = 4000 + 10.77 * x
x = 1618.5

So it makes sense to go with the A6 if you expect you will use this launcher to launch at least 1156 tonnes.
That is 249 launches!
So it does not make sense economically.

It's politics. Always has and always will.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 03/20/2014 08:36 am
Off course, economically speaking A6 does not make any sense whatsoever.
Let's consider the following numbers (all in euro) from the top of my head (insert your own if you'd like)
The A5ME development costs 1.2 billion, the A6 development cost 4B.
The A5ME costs 150M a piece the A6 70M.
The A5ME can lift 12 tonnes, the A6 6.5 tonnes.

That means one ton with A5ME costs 12.5M to launch, with A6 10.77M
The breakevenpoint is found as follows
1200 + 12.5 * x = 4000 + 10.77 * x
x = 1618.5

So it makes sense to go with the A6 if you expect you will use this launcher to launch at least 1156 tonnes.
That is 249 launches!
So it does not make sense economically.

It's politics. Always has and always will.

In your example it actually would make sense, because A6's lifetime is expected to be 25 years. However you disregard the cost of money.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Proponent on 03/20/2014 10:45 am
Euro version of the Atlas V.

I suspect that cryo means liquid hydrogen.  For one thing, the article refers to the first stage being derived from Ariane 5's first stage, which burns hydrogen.  Hence, it would be more of a Euro Delta IV.  Or, for that matter, a Euro Ariane 5.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 03/20/2014 10:59 am
I suspect that cryo means liquid hydrogen. 

LOX / hydrogen is the only liquid propulsion technology that is available in Europe to date.
So Mr. Woerner surely refered to a core with one or two Vulcain engines (Vulcain 2 or 3) and additional solid boosters.

In the NELS study we found all the concepts using solid strap on boosters as very expensive compared to "clean designs", so I hope we can convince Mr. Woerner to support the "clean" tiple Vulcain HH concept without any boosters.
This concept would also be competitive with the current A6 w.r.t recurrent cost.

As I mentionned before in the other thread, a domestic, European LOX / methane engine has the potential to lead to even lower recurrent cost but would require at least 8-10 years development time (and some billion €) and therefore a shift of A6 first flight to 2025.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 03/20/2014 11:16 am
In the NELS study we found all the concepts using solid strap on boosters as very expensive compared to "clean designs"

So what makes the design expensive? Vertical integration? Isn't that required for some payloads anyway? Or is it primarily the payload mix? (i.e. heavy comsats as main market).

If we assume Vega will keep flying for the lifetime of A6, how would that change things?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha Control on 03/20/2014 11:27 am
Steven Clark at SpaceFlightNow has a one-on-one interview with the CEO of Arianespace, Stephane Israel.

Mr. Israel discusses A5ME, A6, the launch manifest for this year, and the competition.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1403/19arianespace/

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 03/20/2014 11:49 am
Steven Clark at SpaceFlightNow has a one-on-one interview with the CEO of Arianespace, Stephane Israel.

Mr. Israel discusses A5ME, A6, the launch manifest for this year, and the competition.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1403/19arianespace/

Most interesting part: There will be Soyuz in the next decade. A6 is overpowered for Soyuz satellites, meaning you can have both A6 and Soyuz in parallel in the long term.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 03/20/2014 02:33 pm
Euro version of the Atlas V. Interesting.
More like Delta IV, though it's not really that interesting. The design was proposed long ago, lost out in the trade studies to both Multi-P and an all-liquid in-line design, and really only offers flexibility over the other designs. It's a pretty bad choice if cost is a main factor.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/25/2014 01:02 am
SEP is expected to significantly bring down the mass of comsats, but a reference weight for this class of comsats (neither big nor small) has not been set at present. With this uncertainty in place it is only logical for ESA/Arianespace to state that launching a single 3 metric ton comsat on A6 will be cost-ineffective.
It all depends on how small SEP comsats will become and how big the marketshare of SEP comsats will become.

Couldn't the Europeans just wait until the size of SEP comsats becomes known, before designing a new rocket?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/25/2014 07:43 am
The proposed srb-x also used a second solid stage about ~1/3 the size of the first. If NASA wasn't interested in using the shuttle launch pad, it could have gone for 3 3-segment boosters for the first stage, instead of 2 4-segment boosters.

I hope the Ariane 6 does something different than the H-3, 3 to 6.5 tons to GEO, hydrogen single stage with strap on boosters. PPH was different.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 03/30/2014 02:30 am
SEP is expected to significantly bring down the mass of comsats, but a reference weight for this class of comsats (neither big nor small) has not been set at present. With this uncertainty in place it is only logical for ESA/Arianespace to state that launching a single 3 metric ton comsat on A6 will be cost-ineffective.
It all depends on how small SEP comsats will become and how big the marketshare of SEP comsats will become.

Couldn't the Europeans just wait until the size of SEP comsats becomes known, before designing a new rocket?


Satellites have been growing for years as they grow features can be added such as the ability to dodge rubbish .etc
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 04/10/2014 10:56 am
In the NELS study we found all the concepts using solid strap on boosters as very expensive compared to "clean designs"

So what makes the design expensive? Vertical integration? Isn't that required for some payloads anyway? Or is it primarily the payload mix? (i.e. heavy comsats as main market).

If we assume Vega will keep flying for the lifetime of A6, how would that change things?

Sorry for the late answer...

The main driver is the expected payload mix. About 80% of the payloads is above 3,5t (GTO equivalent) and only 20% below 3,5t. A modular approach would optimize the launcher for small payloads that only have a 20% share and would add a huge cost penalty for the remaining 80% because of the boosters.

If the payload mix would be the other way round, 20% large and 80% small payloads, a booster concept could be more attractive, but we did not investigate such a scenario.

An important lesson learned from NELS: a cost efficient launcher configuration is strongly driven by the expected payload mix!

Horizontal vs. vertical integration is for sure an influencing factor but has not that high impact.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 04/10/2014 02:48 pm
And I suppose it also has to do with using one solid engine on the first stage instead of using seven.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 04/15/2014 09:00 am
SEP is expected to significantly bring down the mass of comsats, but a reference weight for this class of comsats (neither big nor small) has not been set at present. With this uncertainty in place it is only logical for ESA/Arianespace to state that launching a single 3 metric ton comsat on A6 will be cost-ineffective.
It all depends on how small SEP comsats will become and how big the marketshare of SEP comsats will become.

Couldn't the Europeans just wait until the size of SEP comsats becomes known, before designing a new rocket?

Well I could tell you that if the largest capacity available today would be 1 ton to GTO, then those SEP comsats would be 1 ton.
I could also tell you that if the largest capacity available today would be 2 tonnes to GTO, then those SEP comsats would be 2 ton.
I'm not sure that if the largest capacity (as in 2 launchers so you could switch if one of them has a hickup) available today would be 6.5 tonnes that they would weigh 6.5t though.

Long story short, offer drives demand, to a certain extent. That's why waiting isn't necessarily the best strategy.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/15/2014 01:24 pm
ESA can't wait because even Ariane 5ME will be barely competitive by 2021. This last years, sat distribution has been roughly 1/3 < 3.5 tonnes, 1/3 between 3.5 and 4.5 and 1/3 > 4.5 tonnes. With a slight upward trend. But since the whole commercial market is around 20 satellites, you can't really use the big numbers law. It would seem that without some sort of scalability magic, Ariane 6 would need something like 75% of wins in the top segment. Which will be quite a feat. Now, if it was an 8.5tonnes vehicle, it could dual manifest most of the lower portion of the market.
But it is more interesting the SpaceX solution. Do a 4 tonne single core for most small medium, and do a heavy variant and dual manifest the big ones. Plus, they are actively pursuing reusability. My guess is that Ariane will increase slightly the solids. Or they'll try to offer a version without the second stage solid, but only fire the outboard solids at liftoff and use the center one as a second stage. I they can add third version without boosters and two stacked solids, they could get the necessary flexibility (but might still not be price competitive)..
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 04/15/2014 06:30 pm
Interview of Stephane Israel (head of Arianespace)(in French):
http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140414trib000825295/si-ariane-6-arrive-a-faire-du-lancement-double-elle-devient-vraiment-l-arme-fatale-stephane-israel-arianespace.html (http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140414trib000825295/si-ariane-6-arrive-a-faire-du-lancement-double-elle-devient-vraiment-l-arme-fatale-stephane-israel-arianespace.html)
Bottom line is Arianespace is supporting both Ariane 5 Me and Ariane 6, and is pushing for a dual-launch capability on Ariane 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: simonbp on 04/15/2014 08:03 pm
Relevant text:
Quote
Aussi faut-il envisager des solutions de lancement double pour Ariane 6 pour capturer les petits satellites : avec 70 millions d'euros, Ariane 6 serait plus chère pour un petit satellite en lancement simple que nous ne le sommes aujourd'hui. En revanche, si on arrive à faire du lancement double de petits satellites de 3 à 3,5 tonnes sur Ariane 6, ce lanceur devient vraiment l'arme fatale.
and Google translated:
Quote
Also we need to consider solutions dual launch for Ariane 6 to capture small satellites with 70 million euros, Ariane 6 would be more expensive for a small satellite launch simple than we are today. However, if we manage to double launch small satellites from 3 to 3.5 tonnes on Ariane 6 launcher becomes really lethal weapon.

Is that 3-3.5 tonnes to LEO or GTO? I'd guess the later, but it's not clear.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 04/15/2014 09:49 pm
In the context of the interview it is definitely GEO. I have not heard of any plans to send sats to LEO using A6, though it would be interesting (5m fairing for 70M€ can be very interesting for earth observation)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/16/2014 12:12 am
It's the GTO market. Ariane 6 is simply overkill for anything short of NRO type payloads for LEO. Earth observation are typically 1.5 to 3 tonnes. And A6 should be doing at least 12tonnes (probably more). The institutional use of A6 Is MEO, GTO, escape and L2 missions. LEO and may be split evenly among Soyuz and Vega.
Now, if they had gone with the MT proposal they could have covered Vega to A6 range with a common core, not unlike Angara but even smaller/simpler.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 04/16/2014 06:53 pm
It's true LEO does not seem to be a priority, and I have not seen any figures for the A6 payload to LEO. But A6 can be of interest for some applications: Vega has a small fairing so high resolution EO satellites have to be optimized a lot to fit in it, which is expensive. The other option is to pay 30 or 40M€ more and use Soyuz or A6. And there are many reasons not to use a Soyuz (relations with Russia getting tense, increasing the flight rate of A6 to soak up fixed costs, stopping the Soyuz activity so save up on pad maintenance, or launching defense payloads with a full autonomy). A6 is not so overkill, since it is only around 15% more expensive than a CSG Soyuz.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/16/2014 08:18 pm
The Galileo Soyuz launches cost €56, which include the dual dispenser, two payload integrations and the STB upper stage and a Fregat-MT stage. Thus, basic STA without Fregat might well be under €45.Which is a far cry from the Ariane 6 €70. And Soyuz does has a 4.1m fairing.
The next version of Vega, btw, will have a bigger fairing. Probably a 3.7m, since that's the current LEO standard. Now, if they could use a two solid plus upper stage for €50, then that would be a very interesting product. Again, zero change of reusability.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/17/2014 08:56 pm
It's the GTO market. Ariane 6 is simply overkill for anything short of NRO type payloads for LEO. Earth observation are typically 1.5 to 3 tonnes. And A6 should be doing at least 12tonnes (probably more). The institutional use of A6 Is MEO, GTO, escape and L2 missions. LEO and may be split evenly among Soyuz and Vega.
Now, if they had gone with the MT proposal they could have covered Vega to A6 range with a common core, not unlike Angara but even smaller/simpler.
You mean this one.

I'm beginning to think that industry has these same concerns - that too many payloads can't fit to have the economics work. And I'm not convinced of a viable proposal that fits well. So expect that Ariane 6 not to proceed with such underwhelming support.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 04/18/2014 01:52 am

It's the GTO market. Ariane 6 is simply overkill for anything short of NRO type payloads for LEO. Earth observation are typically 1.5 to 3 tonnes. And A6 should be doing at least 12tonnes (probably more). The institutional use of A6 Is MEO, GTO, escape and L2 missions. LEO and may be split evenly among Soyuz and Vega.
Now, if they had gone with the MT proposal they could have covered Vega to A6 range with a common core, not unlike Angara but even smaller/simpler.
You mean this one.

I'm beginning to think that industry has these same concerns - that too many payloads can't fit to have the economics work. And I'm not convinced of a viable proposal that fits well. So expect that Ariane 6 not to proceed with such underwhelming support.
Yep. That's the proposal. I don't know if it was strong, but it is the only architecture capable of covering the whole market.
The main issue for low cost is that it depends heavily on implementation. You have to make cheap engines, cheap tanking, cheap avionics, etc. but above all, cheap overhead, cheap infrastructure and cheap factory. I simply don't see any industrial proposal that will work that way since its sacrificing future revenue and profits. Not with current procurement system. There's very little incentive to kill half your revenue.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/19/2014 07:03 pm
PPH played to certain strengths of dominant forces from the past. You either have more variation in the design to address smaller payload GTO and greater subsidies, or you're back to multiple launch - neither of this is healthy.

With a limited set of industry they could make PPH economics work by restructuring only those. To pull off the larger solution, it meant a larger scope of restructuring of the kind put of before, and the absence of certain involvement overstated in the prior vehicle and too dominant in PPH. So instead - they stuck their fingers in their collective ears and hummed really loudly.

Can't stomach where things are headed. So everything slows down. Prediction - they'll do a high cost very limited run launcher that only does the big payloads, with few highly subsidized launches, and still be looking for a future launcher that addresses the market better. Then the industry will have a survival motivation to do something better.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/20/2014 06:21 pm
French Space Minister Open to Ariane 6 Design Changes

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40626french-space-minister-open-to-ariane-6-design-changes

Quote
French space minister Genevieve Fioraso, in an apparent overture to Germany, on May 20 said France is willing to entertain modifications to the design of the next-generation Ariane 6 rocket so long as the changes stick to the established credibility criteria and are in hand by July 8.


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: quanthasaquality on 05/24/2014 02:52 pm
I find the appeal of a vega derived, soyuz replacement to be strong. A 4 stage rocket: 3 vega stg 1, 1 vega stg 1, 1 vega stg 2, vinci stage. According to my cheezy spreadsheet, that gets ~10 tons to LEO, ~4 tons to GTO.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 05/24/2014 04:51 pm
That would cover most of the institutional missions, except interplanetary (and possibly L2) missions. However fairing size could be an issue.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: savuporo on 05/24/2014 07:12 pm
French Space Minister Open to Ariane 6 Design Changes
It hurt my eyes to read the full thing. This has got to be the most political rocket ever designed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/24/2014 07:26 pm
French Space Minister Open to Ariane 6 Design Changes
It hurt my eyes to read the full thing. This has got to be the most political rocket ever designed.
I guess you were not around when Ariane 5 was being designed. The only difference with today is that the internet was restricted to universities back then and no such thing as NSF existed and the only news about the launcher came thru newspapers that didn't understand rocket science. But it was just as political.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/25/2014 08:36 pm
French Space Minister Open to Ariane 6 Design Changes

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40626french-space-minister-open-to-ariane-6-design-changes

Quote
French space minister Genevieve Fioraso, in an apparent overture to Germany, on May 20 said France is willing to entertain modifications to the design of the next-generation Ariane 6 rocket so long as the changes stick to the established credibility criteria and are in hand by July 8.

And yet nobody seems to question the cost advantages of solids. The Germans are mainly interested in maintaining their test site.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/26/2014 06:34 am
French Space Minister Open to Ariane 6 Design Changes

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40626french-space-minister-open-to-ariane-6-design-changes (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40626french-space-minister-open-to-ariane-6-design-changes)

Quote
French space minister Genevieve Fioraso, in an apparent overture to Germany, on May 20 said France is willing to entertain modifications to the design of the next-generation Ariane 6 rocket so long as the changes stick to the established credibility criteria and are in hand by July 8.

And yet nobody seems to question the cost advantages of solids. The Germans are mainly interested in maintaining their test site.
And their launcher industrial base. Germany's stakes in this are bigger than Lampoldhausen alone. But, Germany acting up over Ariane 6 is to be fully expected. It's how politics work. Time will tell how much the current German actions will change the Ariane 6 design.
The whole Ariane 6 development process is already highly interesting to witness and will likely continue to do so.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 05/26/2014 08:29 am
And yet nobody seems to question the cost advantages of solids.

I do... ;D

"Cost advantage of solids"?
There is no such thing...

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/26/2014 10:40 am
And yet nobody seems to question the cost advantages of solids.

I do... ;D

"Cost advantage of solids"?
There is no such thing...

Spacediver
Yes, and I know that you are in the know. It's for this very reason that I find the politics surrounding Ariane 6 very interesting. You see, one of the reasons uttered, by several high ranking CNES- and ESA officials, for the current Ariane 6 design is the so-called cost advantage of mass-producing solids. Clearly, those officials don't have a clue what they are talking about.
That's also the reason that I don't buy recent utterings from the same officials that the ESA Service Module for Orion is back on track whilst industry sources are indicating something entirely different.

But I digress.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/26/2014 10:53 am
And yet nobody seems to question the cost advantages of solids.

I do... ;D

"Cost advantage of solids"?
There is no such thing...

Spacediver

You said its around 76m euros (same as HH), so I guess a slightly different cost model could easily lead to 70m a flight.

And of course, reliability is also an issue.

In any case, I think the German critique is rather weak. They do not dispute the advantages of solids, or the need for A6 in the next decade, they just say they'd like some liquid propulsion in A6 to keep their stuff.

Quote from: woods170
You see, one of the reasons uttered, by several high ranking CNES- and ESA officials, for the current Ariane 6 design is the so-called cost advantage of mass-producing solids. Clearly, those officials don't have a clue what they are talking about.

Well Wörner never disputed the so-called cost advantage either. See for example this article:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/36225dlr%E2%80%99s-woerner-remains-unconvinced-just-unveiled-ariane-6-design-is-right
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 05/26/2014 12:52 pm
The last official trade I saw, solids where barely the cheapest for the lowest launch rate scenario. Solids were more about minimizing the worse loss if it is a commercial failure. For the medium launch rate it was par or more expensive than other options. And, ironically, with a big launch rate, it was significantly more expensive. Go read the trades.
I always suspect of statements that go against prevailing trends. Tell me how many of the low cost competitors use solids? Are the rest of the world idiots that go with liquids instead of the cheapest solids?
I do suspect that for expendable small vehicles solids might be cheaper. But once you go into big sizes there are no economical big solids.
Of course, those trades didn't told the underlying assumption of keep doing things the way they always do. If so, Falcon 9 + Dragon would have costed NASA 3B. Not only for government cost, but because they would have gone into a new propulsion project, and started with 15% margins and then had to invest millions to make even more expensive design and manufacturing trying to reduce mass and increase performance because they based their trades on minimizing dry mass instead of doing a cheap and bigger rocket.
That was the underlying problem of the trade. Had they worked on optimizing the factory so they throw stages that only need final checkup, to use a HIF for integration and stage checkout, even with the possibility of integrating those payloads that can be integrated horizontally, had they made a rationalization of specification and trade studies, etc. If they had done so, liquids would have been even cheaper.
Of course they would have to reduce CSG personnel, consolidate everything in one or two factories and generally reduce Arianespace and CNES overhead significantly. Which is politically non viable. But so is keeping the expenditure. That's the underlying limitation of government bureaucracies.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/26/2014 01:26 pm
The last official trade I saw, solids where barely the cheapest for the lowest launch rate scenario. Solids were more about minimizing the worse loss if it is a commercial failure. For the medium launch rate it was par or more expensive than other options. And, ironically, with a big launch rate, it was significantly more expensive. Go read the trades.

You mean the OHB paper? Only the hypothetical KH version with Russian engines was cheaper at high launch rates (versus inline PPH). Spacediver said HH is about the same as the current PPH. And that's only one cost model. In addition, solids have proven to be very reliable in all European programs while the same cannot be said about liquids.

As long as you ignore reusability and HSF, I don't see a rational argument for choosing liquids over solids.

Quote from: baldusi
I always suspect of statements that go against prevailing trends. Tell me how many of the low cost competitors use solids? Are the rest of the world idiots that go with liquids instead of the cheapest solids?

My guess:

The Russians do not have to know-how and don't need it (since they have good hydrocarbon engines). The US needed to cover a payload range (up to Delta Heavy) which a solid-only rocket probably could not, or at least not at a reasonable price. Both the US and Russia operate multiple launch sites, while ESA only has CSG (where the solids will be cast).

In addition, there probably has been significant progress in making big composite structures in recent decades.

Antares could soon be a "low-cost competitor" that uses solids as a first stage.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: savuporo on 05/26/2014 05:20 pm
So France and Germany are at odds here in what they want in regards to A6 development, and the differences seem to be irreconcilable - in one vehicle.
So why force each other into a suboptimal solution that both see is going to fail, just part ways and field two separate launchers.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 05/26/2014 05:23 pm
So France and Germany are at odds here in what they want in regards to A6 development, and the differences seem to be irreconcilable - in one vehicle.
So why force each other into a suboptimal solution that both see is going to fail, just part ways and field two separate launchers.



Been saying that with a while .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 05/26/2014 06:53 pm
Germany does not really want its own launcher: there is too much competition, and sovereign launch capabilities are not required (the next german spy sat launches on Falcon 9). Its goals in the Ariane 6 program are to get money for its industry, and to get a R&D-intensive workshare to be competitive in the future.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 05/26/2014 08:12 pm
The last official trade I saw, solids where barely the cheapest for the lowest launch rate scenario. Solids were more about minimizing the worse loss if it is a commercial failure. For the medium launch rate it was par or more expensive than other options. And, ironically, with a big launch rate, it was significantly more expensive. Go read the trades.

You mean the OHB paper? Only the hypothetical KH version with Russian engines was cheaper at high launch rates (versus inline PPH). Spacediver said HH is about the same as the current PPH. And that's only one cost model. In addition, solids have proven to be very reliable in all European programs while the same cannot be said about liquids.
You see, I'm an economist. I don't only read the engineering model, but the economic one. They didn't stated a 3P/1P/1H AND 2P/1P/1H AND 1P/1P/1H AND 1P/Z30/VEGA as an overall strategy. They compared just 3P/1P/1H as if there was a single market. Assuming no synergy with Vega nor with Soyuz. And the fact is that there's simply not how the market is configured. Doing dual launch on a 6.5tonne to GTO is a hassle, unless you do stacked pairings like the Boeing 702SP on Falcon 9 or the Reshetnevs on Proton (apparently Orbital GEOStar3 bus can also do it).
Within that framework, it was clear that they didn't assumed design to cost but the usual way of doing things. They assumed vertical integration all the way. They didn't assumed the competitiveness of the performances scales. They didn't made a model of institutional, national security and commercial payloads. Which all have different elasticities. Each engineering model, would have had different positioning and different optimal markets.
Overall, they tried one costing model, with the same business model, and then came up with a magic number. But that's not how you do market analysis. Different technical solutions have different strengths, which make them optimal for different markets, and thus you optimize in different ways.
Regrettably, the presented solid solution, showed no analysis that would have convinced me. But that analysis in general didn't convinced me. I'm not stating that solids is wrong per se. It might, if they find a way of making a mix and match system that cover from Vega to 6.5tonnes to GTO performance with at least four performance levels. It's just that they tried a general model that abstract the reality of market demand and actual cost optimizations away.

As long as you ignore reusability and HSF, I don't see a rational argument for choosing liquids over solids.
I've given you above my take on the rest. But given SpaceX latest experience with the F9R, I would at least wait a couple of years to fully understand if it's going to work or not. Re-usability has the potential to be a market changer force, and I wouldn't want to commit to a potentially dead end development just because they wanted to spend more money on development.

Quote from: baldusi
I always suspect of statements that go against prevailing trends. Tell me how many of the low cost competitors use solids? Are the rest of the world idiots that go with liquids instead of the cheapest solids?

My guess:

The Russians do not have to know-how and don't need it (since they have good hydrocarbon engines). The US needed to cover a payload range (up to Delta Heavy) which a solid-only rocket probably could not, or at least not at a reasonable price. Both the US and Russia operate multiple launch sites, while ESA only has CSG (where the solids will be cast).
In addition, there probably has been significant progress in making big composite structures in recent decades.
Antares could soon be a "low-cost competitor" that uses solids as a first stage.
Solids, ironically, seem to work for low launch rates (Athena, Pegasus, Minotaur, Taurus, etc.). All high launch rate vehicles use solids just for thrust augmentation. Look at starting nations and commercial start ups. Almost nobody tries solids. Even the masters of solid propulsion, ATK, haven't been able to move Liberty forwards. And if Antares where to go with a solid first stage, it would have still to prove itself "cheap". Upto now is just a vehicle used by OrbitalATK on a single service contract that actually required it to develop an own LV.
The Russians do have solid knowledge, since most new ICBM are solid. Yet, they don't see the need even for thrust augmentation. May be ESA's mistake is assuming they don't need to keep the liquid engine capabilities. But I don't want to digress on that point.
Casting in CSG is both a bless (because of transport) and a problem (French labor cost and environmental laws). But even though it might end as an advantage overall, I still don't believe it's the be all end all. The market had failed to be competitive due to the unreliability of Proton-M, Sea Launch and GSLV plus the US blockage on Chinese LV and ULA's and MHI's high cost.
Now SpaceX is starting to make inroads, ULA is actually lowering their prices, the Indians are improving their process and even the Japanese are getting more competitive. And nobody is planning solids for anything more than boosters or SLV.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/26/2014 08:13 pm
There's no denying its difficult to go forward with Ariane at this juncture in time.

The theory of "cheap solids" allows the political machinations to have license. Like in the previous decisions for Ariane 5 long ago - only the nature/justification of the "excuse" is different.

In truth there is more to the practice of "least risk" as a meme here than anything else. You've got too much riding on one launcher - where each community would be better served by a separate one. But, because the economics do not combine well for certain low launch frequency needs, this is disallowed. It's a perfect storm in which extreme waste of budget could happen, precisely because extreme budget discipline at a time when a paradigm change is threatening.

The theory of "reusable first stage" is still way beyond acceptable as Musk incrementally steps it forward if almost in a teasing way. While entering the scene, the overhang on the effect of this on the competitive landscape is likely a half decade to go, still longer for risk /"blame" obsessed governments with rigid industry policy. With the considerable downsides of instability as you see given Russia right now.

Many know that its just as dangerous to be overly narrow as it is to be overly broad in response at this juncture, yet that doesn't have a voice at the moment. Nor is there any flex / degrees of freedom on the policy side, given the volatile nature of international relations over the past two decades alone.

How can you make a multi decade decision? Low risk? Minimal investment? Requiring significant restructuring of industry? Without threatening the necessary eurocentrism to not bring on the rise of euroskepticism (note election results currently sweeping through). Its a straight jacket.

Striking things to think about - you can get EU/US economic scalability but at political and industrial risk. You can exploit the new paradigm but only at the cost of "all up" risk to the old paradigm - it is unlikely both will survive long term, nor is it likely that a rival exploiting the new paradigm can arrive on the scene in such a way, and in such a time, that it won't do anything but destabilize a rocky situation.

The benefits of aligning industrial bases here would be to increase the durability to economic impact by increased resilience.   Rather than having them incrementally take the hit alone, and fall over in sequence.

One can align on low cost of failure approaches (solids - a cynical bet with least exposure), push through with maximal investment on the new paradigm in a "fail fast" means (with a reserve to repair the old), or a unified "best of old", "best of new" dual mode investment with full involvement of the aligned industrial base, with  the clear intent of unlike the EELV competition, really only having one of the two long term.

It is hard to see any of these. It is still harder to see how Musk doesn't end up as a major factor in any outcome.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: savuporo on 05/26/2014 08:33 pm
One can align on low cost of failure approaches (solids - a cynical bet with least exposure), push through with maximal investment on the new paradigm in a "fail fast" means (with a reserve to repair the old), or a unified "best of old", "best of new" dual mode investment with full involvement of the aligned industrial base, with  the clear intent of unlike the EELV competition, really only having one of the two long term.
Good writeup. The third option would essentially be buying down long term risk with small cheap potential failures, i.e. continuous R&D program for launcher development to actually understand the opportunities and pitfalls better. This is a path definitely not taken in EU so far, unfortunately.



Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/27/2014 06:31 am
From the VA218 update thread:

propulsion issue (thrusters), Spacecraft was half fueled so this puts extra strain on the launch schedule for CSG (decontamination etc.)
Optus 10 will be shipped back

Launch is canceled, Arianespace looking for another payload as MEASAT is filled and ready


EDIT:
press-release here:
http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2014/5-26-2014-VA218.asp (http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2014/5-26-2014-VA218.asp)



Ariane 6 anyone?  ;)
No seriously. This is just another prime example why dual launch is not the way to go.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 05/27/2014 11:28 am
Oh! I'm all for single launch. I'm just criticizing the economic analysis done up to now.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 05/27/2014 01:00 pm
Oh! I'm all for single launch. I'm just criticizing the economic analysis done up to now.

I know that. I wasn't referring to your criticizing.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 05/27/2014 06:50 pm
You see, I'm an economist. I don't only read the engineering model, but the economic one. They didn't stated a 3P/1P/1H AND 2P/1P/1H AND 1P/1P/1H AND 1P/Z30/VEGA as an overall strategy. They compared just 3P/1P/1H as if there was a single market. Assuming no synergy with Vega nor with Soyuz. And the fact is that there's simply not how the market is configured. Doing dual launch on a 6.5tonne to GTO is a hassle, unless you do stacked pairings like the Boeing 702SP on Falcon 9 or the Reshetnevs on Proton (apparently Orbital GEOStar3 bus can also do it).
Within that framework, it was clear that they didn't assumed design to cost but the usual way of doing things. They assumed vertical integration all the way. They didn't assumed the competitiveness of the performances scales. They didn't made a model of institutional, national security and commercial payloads. Which all have different elasticities. Each engineering model, would have had different positioning and different optimal markets.
Overall, they tried one costing model, with the same business model, and then came up with a magic number. But that's not how you do market analysis. Different technical solutions have different strengths, which make them optimal for different markets, and thus you optimize in different ways.
Regrettably, the presented solid solution, showed no analysis that would have convinced me. But that analysis in general didn't convinced me. I'm not stating that solids is wrong per se. It might, if they find a way of making a mix and match system that cover from Vega to 6.5tonnes to GTO performance with at least four performance levels. It's just that they tried a general model that abstract the reality of market demand and actual cost optimizations away.

You are making a lot of baseless assumptions here. What makes you think they (CNES, Arianespace, ESA, industry) have not done a market analysis? You can be pretty sure they have. That single publication from one company involved certainly doesn't tell the whole story.

Look at starting nations and commercial start ups. Almost nobody tries solids.

I think I have mentioned enough reasons for why this is the case.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: hektor on 06/16/2014 06:50 am
Airbus, Safran team up on response to SpaceX -sources (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/15/airbus-group-safran-idUSL5N0OW1IP20140615)

Quote
Les Echos newspaper, also reporting a new co-operation venture, said Airbus and Safran would propose a new technical configuration for Ariane 6 as part of the move. France and Germany have been at odds over the rocket's design, which must be resolved ahead of a ministerial meeting in December.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: hektor on 06/16/2014 08:21 am
Airbus Group and Safran To Join Forces in Launcher Activities  (http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran-en/press-media/press-releases/2014/article/airbus-group-and-safran-to-join?13976)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: bolun on 06/16/2014 08:44 pm
Airbus Group and Safran to team up: “A milestone for the European launcher industry”
 
Evry, June 16, 2014

Airbus Group and Safran, the two largest industry shareholders in Arianespace, announced this morning that they are creating an equally-owned joint venture for launch vehicles.

French President François Hollande invited all stakeholders in the Ariane system to the Elysée Palace for a meeting to mark this occasion.

Following the meeting, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "This is a major milestone for the European launcher industry. The initiative by Airbus Group and Safran, our two largest industry shareholders, aims to increase the competitiveness of the Ariane system and enhance its responsiveness in today's competitive environment, by simplifying our organization. Arianespace, on behalf of all our shareholders and reflecting our mission of guaranteeing independent access to space for Europe, is very pleased with this initiative, which will benefit all of our commercial and governmental customers. Today's announcement comes several months before the next ESA ministerial-level conference, in Luxembourg, which will prove decisive for the future of European launchers. Arianespace will draw on the excellence of our engineers and other employees in Evry and French Guiana to play a proactive role during this pivotal phase and maintain our long-standing leadership."

http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2014/6-16-2014-Rapprochement-Airbus-Safran.asp
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: mlindner on 06/16/2014 09:22 pm
Could Airbus and Safran be preparing to dump Arianespace and create their own company so they're not burdened by government controls?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/16/2014 09:41 pm
According to French newspapers, they want to merge the launcher departments of Safran, Airbus, CNES (the French Space Agency) and Arianespace to have one integrated launch provider, and they want to use 2 rockets (4t and 8t GTO) with cryo propulsion. Very ambitious.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/16/2014 09:45 pm
Being solely a commercial company and having the freedom to choose their suppliers and design LVs without government intervention would be a big plus.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/16/2014 09:49 pm
They'll never be completely independent of governments, the development will be paid by France, Germany and Italy. In fact, the merger is made also to please governments: Germany has OK'd the deal and the move toward cryo propulsion certainly played a big part in that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 06/16/2014 10:00 pm

According to French newspapers, they want to merge the launcher departments of Safran, Airbus, CNES (the French Space Agency) and Arianespace to have one integrated launch provider, and they want to use 2 rockets (4t and 8t GTO) with cryo propulsion. Very ambitious.
Any more information on the technical proposal?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: hektor on 06/17/2014 07:13 am
I expect something very similar to the H-3 of Mitsubishi/JAXA
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/17/2014 11:22 am
Being solely a commercial company and having the freedom to choose their suppliers and design LVs without government intervention would be a big plus.
On the other hand, they would loose access to the government-owned and CNES operated launch site at Kourou if they were to go for full indepence from ESA and the member states.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/17/2014 11:25 am
They'll never be completely independent of governments, the development will be paid by France, Germany and Italy.
Correct. On their own the companies involved don't have the bucks to develop any new launchers. They need government funds from ESA member states.

IMO, this merger is an early step in the consolidation of the European launcher industry following the coming demise of the geo-return policy.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/17/2014 11:28 am
According to French newspapers, they want to merge the launcher departments of Safran, Airbus, CNES (the French Space Agency) and Arianespace to have one integrated launch provider, and they want to use 2 rockets (4t and 8t GTO) with cryo propulsion. Very ambitious.

Both Safran, Airbus and CNES are major shareholders in Arianespace. The move described in the French newspapers would erase the boundaries between these four entities and create a single entity that could possibly operate more smoothly and efficiently. Not my use of the word 'could'.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/17/2014 05:49 pm
The 8.5t version is kind of weird. Do they expect satellites to become lighter, such that they can do dual launches?

We'll see.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: RocketGoBoom on 06/17/2014 06:04 pm
They are doing this joint venture to compete with SpaceX, but I don't see a strategy here that really cuts costs. They are still focused on the number of jobs per country. Notice the French are focused on their 16,000 jobs.

This is still a government dominated strategy that is basically a jobs program. There won't be significant savings here unless they change the underlying culture and strategy. In fact, in a joint venture they will likely be creating a new level of management just to run that joint venture.

This may be just my opinion, and it is purely based on these media articles so far, but I don't see how this would lead to a 20% cut in costs (or whatever the target is) for the players involved.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/17/2014 06:17 pm
This is still a government dominated strategy that is basically a jobs program.

Of course its a job program. If Arianespace loses its commercial market share, lots of jobs will be lost.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/17/2014 07:22 pm
The GTO throw weights seem a bit odd indeed: 4t is OK for light chemical propulsion comsats and electric propulsion ones, but the medium to heavy market is 4-6t at the moment, too heavy for the light rocket they propose and lighter than the heavy rocket.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: savuporo on 06/18/2014 02:53 pm
A bunch of tweets from Peter B. de Selding @pbdes just now , presumaly later in SN article with the full context:
Quote
18 mo of Euro/Fr space agency work on future Ariane 6 rocket near collapse as Airbus & Snecma Safran propose new design w/ Fr govt blessing.

Airbus/Snecma Safran Ariane 6 replaces solids w/ liquids, assuring German support. Also up to 8,500kg to GTO, enlarging dual-launch ability.

New Ariane 6 design eliminates need for new launch pad, saving 100s of millions in devel costs. Question remains on version's prod cost.

German DLR, French CNES space agencies agree: Airbus/Safran Snecma Ariane 6 proposal a welcome 1st step in launch-industry reorganization.

CNES chief Le Gall: Let's wait and see on whether Airbus/Snecma Safran rocket joint venture proposal's idea for Ariane 6 meets cost targets.


Let the sanity prevail ?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kerlc on 06/18/2014 03:47 pm
So, it's similar to an uprated Zenit. An EuroZenit, if you will.

If the folks at ESA are clever enough about how they organise development and production, this might actually make A6 a bit more affordable and less of a pipe dream concerning costs.

I'm still a bit skeptical on whether the decision to keep dual-launch is a smart move, but given the smaller baseline GTO payload than the A5, less money would be wasted on single-launch missions.

Wait and see, I guess?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/18/2014 05:31 pm
A bunch of tweets from Peter B. de Selding @pbdes just now , presumaly later in SN article with the full context:
Quote
18 mo of Euro/Fr space agency work on future Ariane 6 rocket near collapse as Airbus & Snecma Safran propose new design w/ Fr govt blessing.

Airbus/Snecma Safran Ariane 6 replaces solids w/ liquids, assuring German support. Also up to 8,500kg to GTO, enlarging dual-launch ability.

New Ariane 6 design eliminates need for new launch pad, saving 100s of millions in devel costs. Question remains on version's prod cost.

German DLR, French CNES space agencies agree: Airbus/Safran Snecma Ariane 6 proposal a welcome 1st step in launch-industry reorganization.

CNES chief Le Gall: Let's wait and see on whether Airbus/Snecma Safran rocket joint venture proposal's idea for Ariane 6 meets cost targets.


Let the sanity prevail ?

It would not be the first time that a design of a new version of Ariane was thrown out to make way for something better. Has anyone here ever seen the first designs for Ariane 5? Those were a natural evolution from Ariane 4. But it was ultimately concluded that the design-core for Ariane 1 to 4 had reached it's limits and could not be extended far enough to lift - what was then to be Ariane 5's primary payload - Hermes.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/18/2014 05:33 pm
Wait and see, I guess?
That's a fact. Just keep the popcorn around, relax, sit back and enjoy the ride. Interesting times are upon us once more. This new development is going to be fun to watch.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/18/2014 06:05 pm
Indeed.

It's a good comparison to think of Ariane 4 designs that were abandoned, The key issue was Hermes, while the key issue now is commercial launch that can allow european aerospace to have rational economics given potential technology shifts.

Like OrbATK, they don't necessarily have to beat SpaceX (assuming they succeed), but to be relevant in such a competitive landscape. If they win 20-30% market share of commercial launches, that would be enough.

What they have going for them is a good technology base to develop from, and a history/heritage to draw off of. What they don't have is the culture of a SpaceX, which allows them to change the ways to adapt quickly with what might be heretical approaches that challenge technology base and heritage - because evolving a hydrolox propulsion system to a less expensive, modular launch architecture (possibly reusable) requires addressing massive changes of esoteric nature with a KISS approach that can be replicated with lowest labor costs, in an environment that is motived by entirely the opposite mindset.

They can do this. Will they do this? Or will they chicken out when too many ox's are gored.

PPH was a cynical gambit all along, because too many ox's were being gored.

If I were them, I'd wish to not only study F9R, but learn the lessons of where Delta IV and H2 went wrong.

Likely what we're looking at is Ariane 5 redux (A5RE?). Kind of the reverse of the Ariane 4 scenario, where they went with something completely different in the end, in this case it may be reinventing the Ariane 5 hydrolox propulsion in modular fashion.

Like perhaps having the same modular stage, tanks, thrust structure, engines. Perhaps US differentiation by stage stretch, vacuum nozzle extension. Following in the SpaceX economies of scale.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: savuporo on 06/18/2014 06:13 pm
What they have going for them is a good technology base to develop from, and a history/heritage to draw off of. What they don't have is the culture of a SpaceX, which allows them to change the ways to adapt quickly with what might be heretical ...

Ariane has a massive experience in integrating and launching commercial payloads. They know practically everything that there is to know about streamlining and squeezing launch calendars in the modern environment, as per these article for example
( although russian military has probably a lesson or two on them about firing about a launch per week to orbit with Soyuz in the old days )

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/35984ariane-5-manifest-unsettled-for-remainder-of-2013-and-into-2014
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1110/26csg/

Whether they make their rockets reusable, change the fuel to baked beans etc is only relevant if it keeps their flight rates up and overhead costs down
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 06/18/2014 06:21 pm
Well, now that I think of it, there are a few ways of doing only two payloads levels without SRB thrust augmentation.
1) Single and heavy. The payload difference doesn't quite seems to fit.
2) Disposable and Reusable first stage. I don't think they'll be that bold, but if SpaceX does succeeds at reusability it might even be the politically reasonable one.
3) Using solids for first stage and doing 3P/1P/1H and 1P/1P/1H. I understand they are going with liquid propulsion, but I just wanted to state it.
4) Using one engine with "small" tanks and dual engine with a "stretched" tank. Sort like the Atlas V Phase 2 stubby and normal. It would use the same tooling and share almost everything (but pad interfaces would need either two adaptors or the option of elevating the base.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/18/2014 07:27 pm
The dual-launch capability mentioned by Peter de Selding is very weird, the whole point of Ariane 6 is to get rid of this. Plus 8.5t is very light for dual launch, for a heavy satellite of 6t it would leave 2t for the other passenger. There are no (or almost none) GEO satellites of this mass.

Well, now that I think of it, there are a few ways of doing only two payloads levels without SRB thrust augmentation.
1) Single and heavy. The payload difference doesn't quite seems to fit.
2) Disposable and Reusable first stage. I don't think they'll be that bold, but if SpaceX does succeeds at reusability it might even be the politically reasonable one.
3) Using solids for first stage and doing 3P/1P/1H and 1P/1P/1H. I understand they are going with liquid propulsion, but I just wanted to state it.
4) Using one engine with "small" tanks and dual engine with a "stretched" tank. Sort like the Atlas V Phase 2 stubby and normal. It would use the same tooling and share almost everything (but pad interfaces would need either two adaptors or the option of elevating the base.

SRBs are really likely, otherwise the French ministry of Defense will put its veto, since the French industry would lose a lot of expertise in solids.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 06/18/2014 07:48 pm
They are doing this joint venture to compete with SpaceX, but I don't see a strategy here that really cuts costs. They are still focused on the number of jobs per country. Notice the French are focused on their 16,000 jobs.

This is still a government dominated strategy that is basically a jobs program. There won't be significant savings here unless they change the underlying culture and strategy. In fact, in a joint venture they will likely be creating a new level of management just to run that joint venture.

This may be just my opinion, and it is purely based on these media articles so far, but I don't see how this would lead to a 20% cut in costs (or whatever the target is) for the players involved.

Indeed.

And see this thread (Airbus-Safran joint venture (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34980.0)) for a fuller discussion that is not limited to Ariane 6, the scope of this thread.

In the Airbus-Safran joint venture thread, there is a broader discussion going on of how this may, or may not, affect the competiveness of these two companies within the French mixed economy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_economy), and perhaps more importantly, how this change in the structure of the French space industrial complex (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military-industrial_complex) may, or may not, affect competitiveness in the worldwide launch market in general, and with SpaceX in particular.

Cheers.
 Llian
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/18/2014 08:16 pm
Right now you can go two ways - accept low/no commercial longterm and accept a trimmed fully burdened cost profile, or choose to be in the commercial competitive landscape. Very different choices w/no middle ground.

For the first you accept a loss of the initiative and future marginalization, and you get a bounded cost program and no need to change your culture/deals.

For the second, you need to address what it will take for leadership of the most competitive possible and build from there what you'll need. At a minimum its the culture that has to be invested in to change.

You can change everything, even use beans for  propellant - but the more you change the longer and greater risk - are beans a good risk? Is reusing existing pad better than all up new?

With the mention of dual payload increase, made me think of an incremental approach where both stages were being upgraded and the solids becoming optional.

As to the solids being mandatory, that's one of the ox's to be gored. If it comes down to competitive or not with SpaceX - who don't have the cost burden - do they want to be competitive or not?

Fewest cost burdens here. Thats the game. One engine used in volume. Fewest differences between boosters and US. Real obvious stuff. No distractions.

Also they don't need to do reusable. Just ELV that might be eventually revised to do so if that suits.

Keep it simple. Do it fast. Make it cheap. After that retain what made you best as a provider.

If this isn't the mantra then they won't succeed.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/18/2014 08:29 pm
Well it will probably be the end of geo-return, which is a good thing I guess.

"Luckily" the institutional market in Europe is so small (and European governments are not even obliged to launch with Arianespace) such that this new entity has an actual incentive to compete in the commercial market.

Arianespace has a massive experience in integrating and launching commercial payloads.

Right, they launch 10+ commercial payloads per year and have been doing that for a long time.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 06/18/2014 09:53 pm
Btw, dual launch at 8.5tonnes cover possible future growth of payloads of big sats, or, if SEP is successful, two 4tonne SEP sats that would be about equivalent to liquid 6.5tonnes.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Burninate on 06/19/2014 12:51 am
IMO trying to complete with Falcon 9 at this juncture is not sufficient.

They have to complete with Falcon Heavy & flyback boosters as well.

Something that resembles Angara, or Angara-Baikal, adjusted to the fuels they have the best access to, and with the tremendous advantage of equatorial launch, would not be amiss.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kerlc on 06/19/2014 05:27 am
LH2 Angara actually sounds like a sound strategy due to the Angara's modular design. Single first stage core mass produced and used in various configurations to modulate payload size.

But I'm skeptical that such a design could be produced, so I'll stick to the EuroSoyuz comparison that some people on this thread have used.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/19/2014 12:05 pm
Some info from those articles

http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-president-d-airbus-defence-and-space-france-propose-deux-versions-d-ariane-6.N269614

http://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0203569568414-ariane-airbus-et-safran-lancent-la-contre-attaque-face-a-space-x-1013467.php

- "2 versions of Ariane 6, actually (en fait) two versions of the same common "trunc" (core I guess) with 75% commonality".

- First flight of the 4t A6 possible in 2019. Ariane 5 ME in 2017.

- reduced transition risk from A5 to A6.

- A6 will use the A5 pad.

The obvious configuration based on previous A6 configurations we have seen would be the one with 2 Vulcain 3 in the core + strap-ons. That would cover the payload range from 2.2t (0 boosters) to 8.4t (6 boosters). I have not seen a 4t version though (with 2 boosters its 5.6t).

According to OHB, such a version is hardly competitive, at least when it comes to recurrent costs (assuming single launch). Also that configuration has a different core stage diameter than A5.

We know the A5 pad will be used, what limits does that impose on possible A6 configurations?

Right now I think it could be a A5 core with 2 P80 (or bigger) (to my knowledge such concepts were rejected in the past, too costly for too little payload), or maybe an A5 core with multiple Vulcains and no strap-ons (at least for the 4t version).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/19/2014 12:36 pm
Some info from those articles

http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-president-d-airbus-defence-and-space-france-propose-deux-versions-d-ariane-6.N269614 (http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-president-d-airbus-defence-and-space-france-propose-deux-versions-d-ariane-6.N269614)

http://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0203569568414-ariane-airbus-et-safran-lancent-la-contre-attaque-face-a-space-x-1013467.php (http://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0203569568414-ariane-airbus-et-safran-lancent-la-contre-attaque-face-a-space-x-1013467.php)

The articles suggest strongly that the newly proposed A6 will be a direct derivative from the current A5; the part about first flight in 2019 is particularly telling. The fact that it is suppose to use the same launchpad suggests that the main propulsion systems (both liquid fueled engines on the core, and solid strap-ons) will be located over the currently existing flame ducts. That gives some clues, up to the point that the new A6 proposal wil likely use a core very similar to the current A5 core, possibly with multiple Vulcain engines attached (4 t version) and additional strap on boosters (derived from Vega first stage perhaps?) for the heavy (8.5 t version). The upper stage will undoubtly be powered by Vinci.
Anyway, we won't have to wait too long for more details on this proposal to emerge. Some stuff is bound to leak out once the proposal is in ESA hands later this summer. The ministerial conference coming December will surely lift the veil on most details.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/19/2014 01:08 pm
The fact that it is suppose to use the same launchpad suggests that the main propulsion systems (both liquid fueled engines on the core, and solid strap-ons) will be located over the currently existing flame ducts. That gives some clues, up to the point that the new A6 proposal wil likely use a core very similar to the current A5 core, possibly with multiple Vulcain engines attached (4 t version) and additional strap on boosters (derived from Vega first stage perhaps?) for the heavy (8.5 t version).

Indeed. The flame duct for the core looks too small for multiple engines right now, but I guess with little modification they could fit 2 in there. A 2-engine core for 4t?

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/19/2014 06:56 pm
Some info from those articles

http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-president-d-airbus-defence-and-space-france-propose-deux-versions-d-ariane-6.N269614 (http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-president-d-airbus-defence-and-space-france-propose-deux-versions-d-ariane-6.N269614)

http://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0203569568414-ariane-airbus-et-safran-lancent-la-contre-attaque-face-a-space-x-1013467.php (http://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0203569568414-ariane-airbus-et-safran-lancent-la-contre-attaque-face-a-space-x-1013467.php)

He also says the industry solution will be cheaper than the ESA one in recurrent cost
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/20/2014 12:12 am
He also says the industry solution will be cheaper than the ESA one in recurrent cost

The kind of depends on the market. According to FAA forecasts the majority of commercial payloads (~60%) will still be above 4t by the end of the decade, maybe they're wrong.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/20/2014 01:45 am
By my read they need a 4T LV at about 1/3 cost of Ariane 5, with no solids.

Engines and stage costs would be the issue. Can't see how they can do this.

This would about do for small market share ELV only. Bare bones, holding on by fingernails.

Much better use of limited budget than PPH. More likely customers won't gag on this one.

No one has any idea of where things will go if first stage RLV becomes practicable.

Predict that ELV and RLV markets are mutually exclusive economics. Bimodal pricing with big gap between "bumps".
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha Control on 06/20/2014 07:55 pm
Link to today's SpaceNews article by Peter B. de Selding:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40973airbus-and-safran-propose-new-ariane-6-design-reorganization-of-europe%E2%80%99s

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/20/2014 11:13 pm
According to this the light version can do 4t to 7t. To me this hints at a variable number of solid boosters.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/20/2014 11:17 pm
According to this the light version can do 4t to 7t. To me this hints at a variable number of solid boosters.

From the article:

Quote
One Ariane 6 would launch payloads weighing between 3,000 and 7,000 kilograms into orbit, with the focus on the European government market. The other would have a lift capacity of up to 8,500 kilograms and would be used for commercial launches, both single- and dual-launch versions.

Make no sense.

Lots of confusing information out there.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/21/2014 12:20 pm
The only explanation I have is the light version is seriously non-competitive, and the heavy version has a competitive cost/kg if it launches two 4t satellites at the same time. Which is a fallacy because you rarely get a perfect pairing of satellite masses.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 06/21/2014 12:38 pm
Mmm, 3 to 7 plus 8.5 does sounds like SRB augmented liquid plus a heavy version.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Archibald on 06/22/2014 05:58 am
An all LH2 Ariane 6 with multiple Vulcains on the first stage, augmented with small strapons to obtain a heavy variant.
How about that...
Two things

- back from the future, Marty !  ;D
 http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1984/1984%20-%200608.html?search=Ariane%205P
Ariane 5L seems to be back...

-  it uses Ariane 5 core with two differences: more Vulcains, smaller (or non existings) SRBs: that would be a logical consequence of the current Ariane 5 lack of flexibility.
Indeed Ariane 5 core can't fly without the big solids. But the big solids, somewhat of Hermes legacy, push the payload to 22 tons LEO or 10 tons+GTO, hence dual launch that is no longer sustainable.

That solution makes some sense, at least historically...

It is interesting to review those old Ariane 5 concepts of 30 years ago. One was clearly of Ariane 44L legacy (the 5R, Reference); and it even reached far back into the past, to Europa IIIB that was canned in favour of the LIIIS in 1973.
Much like Ariane 5R, the LIIIB was to have a cryogenic stage 2 (the H20 engine slowly evolved into the HM-60, future Vulcain... Ariane 5R was somewhat a matured LIIIB except that it ultimately proved unworkable, too much Vikings downstairs with a fat LH2 stage on top = bad)

The other two Ariane 5 were somewhat influenced by the Shuttle, one way or another. The 5P that ultimately won the deal was of clear Shuttle legacy (SRB + high tech LH2, both eventually recoverable, although that never happened in the end)

What about the 5C, all-cryo ? It was perhaps the best of the lot but is growth potential to LEO was too small. I red somewhere it topped at 13.5 tons when Hermes was already busting the 15 tons limit, on the way to the final 23 tons. It was easier to stretch SRBs for more power, as happened twice during Hermes history - from P170 to P190 in 1986, and later to P240 or so...
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/22/2014 08:11 am
- back from the future, Marty !  ;D
 http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1984/1984%20-%200608.html?search=Ariane%205P

Thanks! That's the "great" thing about rockets, every concept you see will still be the future 30 years later.

Btw the Quadri-Vulcain was also one of the A6 concepts (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1072797#msg1072797), so that could be the 8.5t version (we know that a 6.5t version is possible with 3 Vulcains).

What about the 5C, all-cryo ? It was perhaps the best of the lot but is growth potential to LEO was too small.

Interestingly the LEO versions (both expendable and reusable first stage) have a big second stage with one Vulcain.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/22/2014 08:09 pm
An all LH2 Ariane 6 with multiple Vulcains on the first stage, augmented with small strapons to obtain a heavy variant.
How about that...
Depends on four things:
1. is the goal cheap expendable?
2. is the goal reusable?
3. does the goal mean cost sharing solids with Vega?
4. is the goal fewest dependant costs such that incremental change allows fast market adaptation?

The suggestion doesn't help 1, 3, or 4.


Two things

- back from the future, Marty !  ;D
 http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1984/1984%20-%200608.html?search=Ariane%205P
Ariane 5L seems to be back...

From the article:
Quote
An all-cryogenic Ariane 5 is a logical step towards reusable  step towards reusable rockets, generally accepted as the best way to reduce launch costs. Ariane 5 (solid-propellant) is not, and in this sense it represents a blind alley.
So the idea back then was cryogenic tech as a stepping stone to reusable, like Shuttle. And to band-aid that with solids, because an all cryogenic couldn't be afforded. I.e. number 2 I listed above.

So A6 PPH was another "blind alley".

-  it uses Ariane 5 core with two differences: more Vulcains, smaller (or non existings) SRBs: that would be a logical consequence of the current Ariane 5 lack of flexibility.
Indeed Ariane 5 core can't fly without the big solids. But the big solids, somewhat of Hermes legacy, push the payload to 22 tons LEO or 10 tons+GTO, hence dual launch that is no longer sustainable.

That solution makes some sense, at least historically...
The flexibility of Ariane 5 was dual payloads. Which seems to be continuing.

The choice of doing reusable back then may be different than doing reusable these days. Also, the economics have shifted in design, manufacturing, and financing.

So yes its "back to the future" from the standpoint of revisiting the post Ariane 4 discussions, which were a dead-on critique.

However, answering the question of what to do next will be a lot different.

It is interesting to review those old Ariane 5 concepts of 30 years ago. One was clearly of Ariane 44L legacy (the 5R, Reference); and it even reached far back into the past, to Europa IIIB that was canned in favour of the LIIIS in 1973.
Much like Ariane 5R, the LIIIB was to have a cryogenic stage 2 (the H20 engine slowly evolved into the HM-60, future Vulcain... Ariane 5R was somewhat a matured LIIIB except that it ultimately proved unworkable, too much Vikings downstairs with a fat LH2 stage on top = bad)
They need upper stage for necessary performance that drove the need.  But the boost for that was insufficient. And there was no kerolox experience, which, along with the Shuttle, would have been a better solution than the solids and the awkwardness created in intersecting weapons industry where the cart insists on pushing the horse in european and american budget politics...

The other two Ariane 5 were somewhat influenced by the Shuttle, one way or another. The 5P that ultimately won the deal was of clear Shuttle legacy (SRB + high tech LH2, both eventually recoverable, although that never happened in the end)

What about the 5C, all-cryo ? It was perhaps the best of the lot but is growth potential to LEO was too small. I red somewhere it topped at 13.5 tons when Hermes was already busting the 15 tons limit, on the way to the final 23 tons. It was easier to stretch SRBs for more power, as happened twice during Hermes history - from P170 to P190 in 1986, and later to P240 or so...
In many ways the influence of the Shuttle was felt both with Hermes and its launcher. That had positive and negative influences. Much like Shuttle was to America. The large segmented solids weren't a good decision, reusable liquids were a better choice. How to do liquid reuse was the missed opportunity if you wanted to do reuse.

If you wanted to do ELV, its all about economics of stage/engine like Atlas V/Antares/Delta IV/Angara/Falcon 9 teaches. Or modular costing as Falcon 9/Delta IV/Angara teaches. This gets back to my item 4 above.

Most of the negative influences had to do with being too "Shuttle like". Most of the positives had to do with what it compelled the european aerospace industries to "grow" to encompass, and to refine launch operations as a result from the challenge.

BTW, Hermes original concept w/o mission creep still think would have succeeded. But the costs of HSF vehicles was then extremely underestimated, and the creep that made it seem incrementally more like Shuttle kept compounding this - one had to just keep to the initial concept. Perhaps the same might be true here for revisiting what to do with its LV too.

One should really revisit this time of post Ariane 4. You do get the impression of Ariane 5 as incompletely executed and that much of what was discussed then as criticism is still valid. But don't take it further than that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/23/2014 12:10 pm
And there was no kerolox experience, which, along with the Shuttle, would have been a better solution than the solids

There were studies on metholox boosters as part of Ariane 2010 initiative. Mission cost for an A5 with metholox boosters was estimated to be 30% higher than with solids.

Regarding the Shuttle, I just quote from "the space shuttle decision":

Quote
The strong case of a solid motor also gave a strong case for choosing the solid motor. No one had previously tried to recover and reuse a solid booster; those of the Titan III had simply plopped into the deep, to provide homes for fishes. Early in January, a NASA official had said, "It is not contemplated at this time that a solid-rocket booster would be recoverable." Yet the modest staging velocity of the solids, as low as 4000 ft/sec, meant that their heavy casings could easily serve as a heat sink. They also could withstand the stress of dropping by parachute into the ocean. NASA-Marshall and its contractors found that reusability of these solids would cut the cost per flight to around $10 million, allowing the Shuttle to maintain its advantage and to capture its traffic from expendables.

NASA also had to consider the danger of the sea, for inevitably, some boosters would be lost. The high cost of a liquid booster meant that losing even one of them would be quite expensive. Moreover, although the pump-fed booster would save on development costs through its use of the existing F-1 engine, its thin-walled structure would easily sustain damage while afloat. The casing of a solid booster would cost much less. It would be relatively impervious to damage, and the occasional loss of such a casing would not compromise the program's overall economics.

http://www.nss.org:8080/resources/library/shuttledecision/chapter09.htm
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 06/23/2014 01:24 pm
Clearly I don't want to delve deeper into those economic analysis. I'd like to keep my breakfast.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/25/2014 07:24 pm
Safran and Airbus basically propose a "mini-A5":

- Two monolithic P145 boosters instead of the big, segmented solids.
- A new core derived from the current with 1 Vulcain 2 (cost-optimized).
- Upper stage with Vinci for the 8.5t version, Aestus for the smaller version (curious).

The 8.5t version will dual launch satellites with electric propulsion.

http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran/presse-et-medias/espace-medias/article/lanceurs-spatiaux-l-accord-safran

I'm somewhat confused by the Aestus upper stage, I thought they wanted to get rid of the A5 ES upper stage. Otherwise, looks like common sense has won. Development cost will probably be lower and dual launch will be retained. Never quite understood why they wanted to give it up.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/25/2014 08:18 pm
It seems a lot less optimized than PPH:
-P145 development and infrastructure has to be financed in both cases
-2 more types of liquid engines have to be kept in production (that will keep the German and Safran happy)
-the light version shares most of its components with the heavy version, so will probably be around the same cost

As you say, curious.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 06/25/2014 08:45 pm
If that is what they are proposing, i fail to see the point in developing an Ariane 6 in the first place...

That would still require a lot of development funding, but have no hope in hell of achieving the desired price point.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/25/2014 09:56 pm
It seems a lot less optimized than PPH:
-P145 development and infrastructure has to be financed in both cases
-2 more types of liquid engines have to be kept in production (that will keep the German and Safran happy)
-the light version shares most of its components with the heavy version, so will probably be around the same cost

As you say, curious.

I guess its mostly a reaction to a change in market forecast. Dual launching on A6 was mentioned before, but I guess 6.5t were not enough.

Its similar to A5, same US, almost same core, same pad, should keep dev. costs down. No change in diameter of solids I guess (3m), may also be a factor (?).

I can imagine its less costly than a 2-engine core with strap-ons.

That would still require a lot of development funding, but have no hope in hell of achieving the desired price point.

I think that is more a question of industrial organisation than a question of rocket configuration.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/26/2014 07:12 am
Safran and Airbus basically propose a "mini-A5":

- Two monolithic P145 boosters instead of the big, segmented solids.
- A new core derived from the current with 1 Vulcain 2 (cost-optimized).
- Upper stage with Vinci for the 8.5t version, Aestus for the smaller version (curious).

The 8.5t version will dual launch satellites with electric propulsion.

http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran/presse-et-medias/espace-medias/article/lanceurs-spatiaux-l-accord-safran (http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran/presse-et-medias/espace-medias/article/lanceurs-spatiaux-l-accord-safran)

I'm somewhat confused by the Aestus upper stage, I thought they wanted to get rid of the A5 ES upper stage. Otherwise, looks like common sense has won. Development cost will probably be lower and dual launch will be retained. Never quite understood why they wanted to give it up.

Emphasis mine.
The thinking was to not have 3 different upper stages. Right now you have the ES upper stage (with Aestus), the ESC-A upper stage (with HM-7B), and the Vinci upper stage for A5 ME and A6 PPH. Although the upper stages of ME and A6 would be very similar (same engine, similar tankage) they would still be slightly different.
Right now Ariane 5 ME is set to replace Ariane 5 ECA, getting rid of the ESC-A upper stage. With the new proposal two upper stages will remain: ES (adapted for Ariane 6) and the ME upper stage (for both A5 ME and the A6 heavy variant)
Under the original plan (solid A6) there would be one upper stage in two variants, both carrying Vinci.

I fail to see how this new proposal for A6 saves development money. A5 ME still will be developed, requiring wrapping up development of Vinci regardless. A6 PPH required development of new monolithic solids and so does this new A6 proposal because a monolithic P145 does not exist. And this new A6 proposal requires redevelopment of the core. That's extra development cost.

On the other hand, not needing a new launchpad will probably save several hundreds of millions of Euros and could thus offset the cost of redevelopment of the core stage.
Retaining Vulcain 2 is smart. Retaining that technology will keep redevelopment of core relatively simple.

On dual-launch: that has both its merits and some serious disadvantages. Noting a string of launch delays in recent years, caused specifically by the dual-launch feature, I can very well understand why CNES and ESA would like to do away with dual-launch capability.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/26/2014 01:15 pm
A6 PPH required development of new monolithic solids and so does this new A6 proposal because a monolithic P145 does not exist.

While this is true, the development of P80 (or rather P88) for Vega was rather inexpensive, despite being new technology. Which leads me to believe that its not the solid motor itself that makes A6 PPH dev. costly.

Still, in this new mini-A5 thrust will probably be transfered at the bottom, resulting in a heavier core (on the positive side it makes the design more flexible) and everything I've read so far suggests that the segmented solids make up less than half of Ariane 5 costs, so its hard to imagine the change of boosters alone will save them much (the same can be said about all-liquid designs with multiple Vulcains though).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 06/27/2014 12:13 am
On the other hand, not needing a new launchpad will probably save several hundreds of millions of Euros and could thus offset the cost of redevelopment of the core stage.

The reuse of Ariane 5 launch pad was already incorporated into the nominal Ariane 6 project: "Le Gall said the two companies’ proposal to scrap the idea of a new launch pad for Ariane 6 — estimated price: 750 million euros — is a good idea that had already been incorporated into the latest iteration of the solid-fueled Ariane 6 design." [1] So no saving Ariane 6 hasn't  already anticipated.

[1] http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40973airbus-and-safran-propose-new-ariane-6-design-reorganization-of-europe%E2%80%99s

Still, in this new mini-A5 thrust will probably be transfered at the bottom, resulting in a heavier core (on the positive side it makes the design more flexible) and everything I've read so far suggests that the segmented solids make up less than half of Ariane 5 costs, so its hard to imagine the change of boosters alone will save them much (the same can be said about all-liquid designs with multiple Vulcains though).
That is what I also wonder about: The industrial proposal has the same parts count/key technologies/propulsion systems as Ariane 5 ME, just scaling down the parts doesn't usually make much of a difference in costs. So how should it be significantly less expensive than Ariane 5 ME, let alone achieve the 70 M€ price target. I can't believe that.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 06/27/2014 06:16 am
On the other hand, not needing a new launchpad will probably save several hundreds of millions of Euros and could thus offset the cost of redevelopment of the core stage.

The reuse of Ariane 5 launch pad was already incorporated into the nominal Ariane 6 project: "Le Gall said the two companies’ proposal to scrap the idea of a new launch pad for Ariane 6 — estimated price: 750 million euros — is a good idea that had already been incorporated into the latest iteration of the solid-fueled Ariane 6 design." [1] So no saving Ariane 6 hasn't  already anticipated.

[1] http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40973airbus-and-safran-propose-new-ariane-6-design-reorganization-of-europe%E2%80%99s
Thanks for pointing this out Spacejulien. I had not noticed this yet.

Still, in this new mini-A5 thrust will probably be transfered at the bottom, resulting in a heavier core (on the positive side it makes the design more flexible) and everything I've read so far suggests that the segmented solids make up less than half of Ariane 5 costs, so its hard to imagine the change of boosters alone will save them much (the same can be said about all-liquid designs with multiple Vulcains though).
That is what I also wonder about: The industrial proposal has the same parts count/key technologies/propulsion systems as Ariane 5 ME, just scaling down the parts doesn't usually make much of a difference in costs. So how should it be significantly less expensive than Ariane 5 ME, let alone achieve the 70 M€ price target. I can't believe that.
Me neither. Ariane 5 is an expensive launcher. If find it somewhat strange that a scaled-down version would be that much cheaper, particularly since the new proposal for A6 retains some expensive elements from A5: Vulcain 2, ES upper stage. Vinci upper stage is unavoidable I guess, so I won't count on any savings coming from there.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 06/27/2014 11:47 am
Me neither. Ariane 5 is an expensive launcher.

It may be right now, but I don't think it must be expensive. Vulcain 2 is a medium thrust GG engine. There's only one engine which simplifies thrust structure and plumbing. Vinci is an expander, the cheapest design possible other than pressure-fed. The tank diameter is relatively large, but the infrastructure to handle it is already in place (transport is done by ship anyway, Mureaux is located at the Seine river). The segmented steel boosters seem to be what everybody wants to get rid of.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 06/27/2014 05:20 pm
SES criticizes the Ariane 6 design of the industry:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/41048heavyweight-ses-leans-on-europe-to-meet-spacex-launch-prices (http://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/41048heavyweight-ses-leans-on-europe-to-meet-spacex-launch-prices)

Quote
“The designs they have put forward, and the price points they have put forward, are a little lacking in ambition, we believe,” Halliwell said. “They will not get us where we need to go in the time scale we require.”
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 07/02/2014 05:26 pm
The 8.5t industry version is estimated at 100M€ per launch.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41117airbus-defends-springing-last-minute-ariane-6-design-on-esa?utm_content=buffer3afa9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41117airbus-defends-springing-last-minute-ariane-6-design-on-esa?utm_content=buffer3afa9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)
This is more expensive per kg than the 70M€ 6.5t PPH.  If they really thought the 4t segment  will be the most interesting in the future, they should have proposed a 4t PPH, with common P90 boosters with Vega.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/02/2014 05:53 pm
4t is too small to capture the majority of the most lucrative part of market, in fact even 6.5 may be too small for plenty of commercial payloads in the future, which is what Francois was pointing out.  This is the case even assuming greater use of all-electric propulsion.  The point is that the liquid A6 could dual launch some all-electric sats and so somewhat negate the higher launch price, the solid version could not.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 07/02/2014 06:31 pm
The 8.5t industry version is estimated at 100M€ per launch.
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41117airbus-defends-springing-last-minute-ariane-6-design-on-esa?utm_content=buffer3afa9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41117airbus-defends-springing-last-minute-ariane-6-design-on-esa?utm_content=buffer3afa9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)
This is more expensive per kg than the 70M€ 6.5t PPH.  If they really thought the 4t segment  will be the most interesting in the future, they should have proposed a 4t PPH, with common P90 boosters with Vega.

At least they're being realistic with the estimates. PPH wasn't very likely to hit the cost goal of 70 million. Also, 4 tons is too small for a large portion of the market, as a large amount of payloads are still in the 6 ton range and even the PPH design might be too small for some future payloads.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 07/02/2014 07:07 pm
If 4t is a small market, why are they proposing dual 4t launch then? They would be even less competitive on other segments with their solution, the price tag to put a 5t sat to GTO would twice that of SpaceX.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/02/2014 07:29 pm
A 4t launcher is too small, not the 4t satellite market. It is not that the market for 4t satellites is especially small, and indeed the push to all-electric might see more of these. It's that the entire market is small, and it is simply not economically viable to build a vehicle that will need to survive commercially that cannot compete for almost all of the accessible market. It all comes down to the market predictions.  These have indicated a splitting of the market into two discrete groups at ~4 and 7t.  Building a launcher that can only access the former is not viable from the start.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 07/02/2014 07:35 pm
Who koows what the real price of a Space X launch is since Space X has been given so much by NASA. Elon has said nothing about insurance or any other hidden costs.

What ESA needs is two launchers of complementary launchers so that they can assure satellite companies that their satellite will be launched no matter what with no multy year delay in case of failure .

This is the same as NASAs plans with manned flight .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 07/02/2014 07:45 pm
Quote
What ESA needs is two launchers of complementary launchers so that they can assure satellite companies that their satellite will be launched no matter what with no multy year delay in case of failure .
That is only possible if the launcher have a low commonality, which increases costs. In case of a serious failure, sat operators will move to other launch companies.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 07/02/2014 07:56 pm
A 4t launcher is too small, not the 4t satellite market. It is not that the market for 4t satellites is especially small, and indeed the push to all-electric might see more of these. It's that the entire market is small, and it is simply not economically viable to build a vehicle that will need to survive commercially that cannot compete for almost all of the accessible market. It all comes down to the market predictions.  These have indicated a splitting of the market into two discrete groups at ~4 and 7t.  Building a launcher that can only access the former is not viable from the start.

The F9 is already contracted for 5300kg satellite from SES.

There is of course the assumption SpaceX can execute their goals.

Quote
SpaceX spokeswoman Emily Shanklin said Feb. 20 that the Falcon 9 is capable of placing a 5,300-kilogram satellite into geostationary orbit. The vehicle’s advertised capacity ceiling of 4,850 kilograms does not include a 450-kilogram reserve that SpaceX has kept for its own purposes.

http://spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/39558updated-ses-books-falcon-9-for-2016-launch (http://spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/39558updated-ses-books-falcon-9-for-2016-launch)

 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/02/2014 07:58 pm
I removed that point specifically so we would not to derail the thread with SpaceX amazing peopleism...

Back to Ariane 6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 07/02/2014 07:58 pm
Quote
What ESA needs is two launchers of complementary launchers so that they can assure satellite companies that their satellite will be launched no matter what with no multy year delay in case of failure .
That is only possible if the launcher have a low commonality, which increases costs. In case of a serious failure, sat operators will move to other launch companies.


True but if ESA want a heavier launcher for manned applications they will need justification and a market .What is limiting the growth of Ariane 5 is the fact that only Proton can handle the heavy satellites .If Ariane  6 can launch 1 heavy satellite and Ariane 5 can handle 2 then ESA will have a launcher that can be used for far more than just satellites .
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/02/2014 08:03 pm

It all comes down to the market predictions.  These have indicated a splitting of the market into two discrete groups at ~4 and 7t.

Source?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 07/02/2014 08:06 pm
Quote
What ESA needs is two launchers of complementary launchers so that they can assure satellite companies that their satellite will be launched no matter what with no multy year delay in case of failure .
That is only possible if the launcher have a low commonality, which increases costs. In case of a serious failure, sat operators will move to other launch companies.


True but if ESA want a heavier launcher for manned applications they will need justification and a market .What is limiting the growth of Ariane 5 is the fact that only Proton can handle the heavy satellites .If Ariane  6 can launch 1 heavy satellite and Ariane 5 can handle 2 then ESA will have a launcher that can be used for far more than just satellites .

ESA does not want a heavy launcher for manned applications.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: M129K on 07/02/2014 08:14 pm
If 4t is a small market, why are they proposing dual 4t launch then? They would be even less competitive on other segments with their solution, the price tag to put a 5t sat to GTO would twice that of SpaceX.
4 tons is a very large share of the market, possibly the largest, but the 6-8 ton market is not negligible and if the vehicle can't provide services to that market it's bound to be pretty uncompetitive. SpaceX wouldn't be able to capture the majority of the market if they only offered Falcon 9.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 07/02/2014 08:18 pm
Quote
What ESA needs is two launchers of complementary launchers so that they can assure satellite companies that their satellite will be launched no matter what with no multy year delay in case of failure .
That is only possible if the launcher have a low commonality, which increases costs. In case of a serious failure, sat operators will move to other launch companies.


True but if ESA want a heavier launcher for manned applications they will need justification and a market .What is limiting the growth of Ariane 5 is the fact that only Proton can handle the heavy satellites .If Ariane  6 can launch 1 heavy satellite and Ariane 5 can handle 2 then ESA will have a launcher that can be used for far more than just satellites .

ESA does not want a heavy launcher for manned applications.

Not yet anyway but but it would be handy to have one avalible .But a bigger Ariane 5 opens way more opportunities than just satellites .Kinda easy to get funding for a mission if you dont need a whole launcher.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 07/02/2014 08:37 pm
A 4t launcher is too small, not the 4t satellite market. It is not that the market for 4t satellites is especially small, and indeed the push to all-electric might see more of these. It's that the entire market is small, and it is simply not economically viable to build a vehicle that will need to survive commercially that cannot compete for almost all of the accessible market. It all comes down to the market predictions.  These have indicated a splitting of the market into two discrete groups at ~4 and 7t.  Building a launcher that can only access the former is not viable from the start.
Well, as I read it, the 8t-version is intended for the commercial market and the smaller derivative is for institutional, non-GTO launches. The latter one has an equivalent payload capability to GTO in the range of 4 to 7 t. Quasi a replacement for the Soyuz launched from Kourou.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/02/2014 08:45 pm

It all comes down to the market predictions.  These have indicated a splitting of the market into two discrete groups at ~4 and 7t.

Source?

Just from reading policy documents from esa/astrium/arianespace etc over the years.

To be honest I don't have more recent ones to hand, here's one from a few years back (see page 22)
Le transport spatial européen et ses enjeux (http://www.education-cva.eu/data/File/formation-transport-spatial/Les%20lanceurs%20europeens%20-%20ISSAT%20-%20pbai%20-%2011%20July%202012%20%5BCompatibility%20Mode%5D.pdf) (PDF) where the split was around 3/6, but the predicted masses have continued to rise in the intervening years as predicted.  This is part of the reason why the operators were sceptical of the solid A6.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/02/2014 08:53 pm
Well, as I read it, the 8t-version is intended for the commercial market and the smaller derivative is for institutional, non-GTO launches. The latter one has an equivalent payload capability to GTO in the range of 4 to 7 t. Quasi a replacement for the Soyuz launched from Kourou.

I was specifically responding to gosnold's suggestion of just creating a 4t capable solid A6.

Do we know the capability for the Aestus version, I don't think it was announced?  7t to GTO seems unlikely.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/02/2014 11:08 pm
These have indicated a splitting of the market into two discrete groups at ~4 and 7t.  Building a launcher that can only access the former is not viable from the start.

If the split will be 4/7, why a new launcher? A5 ME would be perfect. IMO this new A6 only makes sense when the vast majority of payloads will be around 4t.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/03/2014 12:45 am
I made that very point on page 43! :)

To be fair there are some valid reasons, e.g. ESA would like a launcher that could cover both the institutional missions (replacing Soyuz) as well as commercial. But I can't see the Aestus version having a particularly attractive launch cost if the Vinci is over $130m.

This new proposal makes more sense commercially than the solid, granted and which is the primary concern, but you do wonder whether it's worth the effort and uncertainty a new launcher brings.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/03/2014 12:33 pm
Quote
What ESA needs is two launchers of complementary launchers so that they can assure satellite companies that their satellite will be launched no matter what with no multy year delay in case of failure .
That is only possible if the launcher have a low commonality, which increases costs. In case of a serious failure, sat operators will move to other launch companies.


True but if ESA want a heavier launcher for manned applications they will need justification and a market .What is limiting the growth of Ariane 5 is the fact that only Proton can handle the heavy satellites .If Ariane  6 can launch 1 heavy satellite and Ariane 5 can handle 2 then ESA will have a launcher that can be used for far more than just satellites .

ESA does not want a heavy launcher for manned applications.

Not yet anyway but but it would be handy to have one avalible .But a bigger Ariane 5 opens way more opportunities than just satellites .Kinda easy to get funding for a mission if you dont need a whole launcher.
Trolling again floss? You have a habit of bringing up the completely unsubstantiated "ESA needs a heavy launcher for manned applications" thing every few months. What happens next is that people show that your assumption is wrong and the subject goes off the table. Only to be refloated, by you, a few months later. This has happened multiple times now and quite frankly your MO is becoming boring.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kerlc on 07/05/2014 04:09 pm
So I stumbled upon this neat little article:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28166626

It features concepts for the Safran/Airbus-proposed A6 versions (attached).
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/06/2014 08:36 am
Its interesting that they went for a different upper stage for the smaller version instead of a smaller number of boosters. For example they could have chosen 2 boosters for the small version and 4 for the big version, similar to the Japanese H-2A. In that case the size of the boosters could have remained closer to Vega's P88, instead of developing a rather huge P145.

Maybe because a smaller booster would not be substantially cheaper than a P145, or maybe because otherwise they could not use the same pad as A5.

By the way, what does spacediver think of this new design?  :D
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/06/2014 09:18 am
I suspect the primary reason is to reduce the need to modify the ELA-3 pad.  By creating a mini-A5 the infrastructure cost is kept down.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: kerlc on 07/06/2014 02:05 pm
But can it really drive the costs down?

This question might seem a bit silly, but what was it exactly that drove the costs so high with A5? was it the design itself or was the reason of a more bureaucratic nature?
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 07/06/2014 02:38 pm
I simply don't understand how to reduce costs with that architecture. There's zero rationalization of stages, no reduction in integration and processing infrastructure, no system simplification. Only if they replace Vega with a P148+ES.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 07/06/2014 03:36 pm
By the way, what does spacediver think of this new design?  :D

This design is at least maintaining the Vulcain technology, but having four different stages with three different propulsion technologies is not what I would call a cost optimized approach...

I am sure this new configuration is more politically than economically driven. It is designed to make everyone happy in the Astrium / Safran joint venture.
It is OK to show CNES and ESA that other approaches are possible, but I am also sure that this configuration will not be the final answer by Astrium/Safran. I see this as an approach to re-open the discussion.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: baldusi on 07/06/2014 03:42 pm
Spacediver, I have an important question from a cost perspective. The current flow of the Ariane 5 requires three vertical integration buildings, plus pad and MLP. Isn't it one of the biggest overhead drivers? I could see either a HIF plus MST on pad, a VAF plus MLP and flat pad or a straight MST on pad for full integration (and two pads). But the current flow seems really inefficient. What were the trades on your studies?
I mean this question as a proxy of actual work on lowering the costs against keeping the status quo.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 07/06/2014 03:45 pm
IMHO the thinking behind the configuration is to the French and the German onboard for development, and then to ask for a bigger subsidy from ESA to be able to compete with SpaceX. ESA approval is likely if they have French and German support.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: RocketGoBoom on 07/06/2014 11:48 pm
Has the entire design of Ariane 6 been put back into play?
It's almost as if they are starting over due to the November 2012 decisions no longer being competitive.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41117airbus-defends-springing-last-minute-ariane-6-design-on-esa

Quote
The head of Airbus’ space division on July 1 said his company was forced to come up with an Ariane 6 rocket design that competed with the version approved by the European and French space agencies because the agency version ultimately would have decimated Europe’s rocket industry.

Testifying before the French Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces, Francois Auque said the solid-fuel-dominated Ariane 6 design that the European Space Agency and the French space agency, CNES, approved in July 2013 would have attracted mainly European government customers — a market whose size would mean reducing Europe’s rocket design and production industry by two-thirds.

To avoid being decimated, he said, European rocket builders needed to be sure that the commercial market, which accounts for 90 percent of the launches of Europe’s current heavy-lift Ariane 5 vehicle, would support the new vehicle.

“We asked our customers and they said, ‘The Ariane 6 design you have will not be competitive — at all — on the commercial market,’” Auque said. “Since it’s human nature to resist being reduced by two-thirds, we reacted and came up with a solution that could attract the commercial market as well.”
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/07/2014 01:16 am
Yes, you bring everyone back onboard to reconsider the position.

PPH had other shortcomings besides not being able to address  dual launch (which as an issue by itself isn't bad).

What are your competitive threats?
1. low cost F9 (4T) launches - current, active threat but not working down the manifest
2. lower cost F9R launches -  inching closer every quarter from theoretical to possible
3. higher payload FH launches - awaiting becoming practice-able, already possible given DIVH
4. Atlas V (ignore engine nonsense) entering into commercial fray
5. Russian?

Your competitive footprint is larger than in the past. Without liquid first stage boost, there are limits to modular solid approach.
So you have to retain that, and have the ability to address potential payloads well above Ariane 5 ECA, while also addressing the
volume (4T) and commonality with Vega. So you get a Hobson's choice to begin reopening the argument again.

Need not only for processing/mfr costs to be less and greater commonality, need greater range so that the allure of bigger payloads doesn't cause one to lose the appearance of leadership. Not a problem until items 3 & 4 happen.

Cost structures around kerolox boost are hard to beat with hydrolox and solids. Even more so with modular use. Solids are about the cost/volume curve, and hydrolox is about making an exotic propellant system approach hydrocarbon levels.

If you can't do the first because you can't get the volumes, then you minimize the dependency and focus on the second.

Or, you do kerolox without solids. With no history. And no industry support. Not likely to source from Russia either.

So many easy options. The only part constant is the need for a Vinci second stage, and the need to optimise assembly/pad flows of what you finally decide to field.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/07/2014 09:06 am
Has the entire design of Ariane 6 been put back into play?
It's almost as if they are starting over due to the November 2012 decisions no longer being competitive.

I imagine the problem is the variety of missions foreseen for A6 and the changing market perspectives.

A6 must be competitive with Falcon 9 for small satellites, with Proton for medium to heavy satellites and also fulfill institutional needs. 100m euros for 8.5t isn't bad, but for single launches up to ~6.5t I guess its slightly more expensive than Proton.

Judging by the article it seems the industry is afraid that CNES/ESA choose a design (A6 PPH) that is optimal for institutional missions and low flight rate. For A5 subsidizing commercial exploitation makes sense to some extent, that might change with A6.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: gosnold on 07/07/2014 06:59 pm
Details of the Airbus/Safran proposal have leaked out:
http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140707trib000838582/faut-il-donner-toutes-les-cles-d-ariane-6-a-airbus-et-safran.html (http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140707trib000838582/faut-il-donner-toutes-les-cles-d-ariane-6-a-airbus-et-safran.html)
http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140707trib000838581/privatisation-d-ariane-6-comment-airbus-et-safran-negocient-le-casse-du-siecle.html (http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140707trib000838581/privatisation-d-ariane-6-comment-airbus-et-safran-negocient-le-casse-du-siecle.html)
(In French)

Summary:
ESA members pay 2.6B€ cash at the start of the program
The industry has control over the design
ESA purchases 4 launchers/year
ESA members pay for CSG maintenance
ESA members assume return to flight costs and pay for future tech develoment if necessary

In which case, the price for a block buy of 30 launchers is 85M€ the heavy 6.1 version and 69M€ the light 6.2 version.
I will leave you to your conclusions...
 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/07/2014 07:37 pm
ESA members pay 2.6B€ cash at the start of the program

In which case, the price for a block buy of 30 launchers is 85M€ the heavy 6.1 version and 69M€ the light 6.2 version.

It further says the launch price is guaranteed with a launch rate of 4 A6 6.2 and 8 A6 6.1 per year (and 4 Vega).

If true that's a very good price. Its interesting that the light version is 16m euros cheaper than the heavy, which suggest that EPS is a bargain compared to the Vinci US.

The 2.6bn euros dev. cost (of which 300m for ground infrastructure) are still a lot, but I suppose in Europe its difficult to do it cheaper. The industry just isn't as big as in the US.

...but having four different stages with three different propulsion technologies is not what I would call a cost optimized approach...

I guess at some point though rationalization of stages does not save you much anymore. For a liquid-only 8.5t rocket you'd probably need 4 Vulcain 3 and a huge core. And if EPS is that much cheaper, why not use it?

This A6 is basically a 3-stage rocket again, with the solids doing almost all of the work up to Mach 6 or so. Vulcain 2 was somewhat underpowered for Ariane 5 (gravity losses after separation of solids), it might actually be a better fit for A6.


Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/07/2014 10:35 pm
ESA members pay 2.6B€ cash at the start of the program

In which case, the price for a block buy of 30 launchers is 85M€ the heavy 6.1 version and 69M€ the light 6.2 version.


If true that's a very good price.

...but having four different stages with three different propulsion technologies is not what I would call a cost optimized approach...
Not to be unkind, but its an impossibly good price on a very tight budget and where consolidation of the workforce will have impact.

I'm dubious. Sounds like too good a deal. Flat out cannot believe the reductions in labor costs required for a more complex LV than A5.

Projection - either cost is an issue or it isn't. If it is, the costs in the solids and the multiple LRE's must be trimmed, along with stage costs. If it isn't, program costs will rise considerably above these numbers, and A6 is merely a incremental development plan for A5 indefinitely to serve need of not deciding on anything more ambitious.

I guess at some point though rationalization of stages does not save you much anymore. For a liquid-only 8.5t rocket you'd probably need 4 Vulcain 3 and a huge core. And if EPS is that much cheaper, why not use it?

This A6 is basically a 3-stage rocket again, with the solids doing almost all of the work up to Mach 6 or so. Vulcain 2 was somewhat underpowered for Ariane 5 (gravity losses after separation of solids), it might actually be a better fit for A6.
EPS is a non issue right now. Doesn't figure much into the future, more of not needing to add development costs. Allows use of the common first stage in 4T launches - good, but also requires solids commonality which may be too costly against competition as a total package. The overall integration costs, facilities, and flows bring along too much labor as well.

As pad work now I can't see more than 2-3 inline engines working, and you'd still need smaller solids to make that stretched core work. Assume you could have a working liquid only single core 4T LV, the commonality of the engines no solids might allow for acceptable costs assuming scaling production of Vulcain 3 were to substantially reduce cost.

I've heard this before with US and Japanese hydrolox first stage engines, and have been rather skeptical. Even more skeptical of low cost staged combustion for "expendable" SSME derivatives. Perhaps it can be done.

The cost issue for A6 is really around having too many propulsion systems requiring too much combined costs across the board.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2014 04:35 am
I'm dubious. Sounds like too good a deal. Flat out cannot believe the reductions in labor costs required for a more complex LV than A5.

EPS is a non issue right now. Doesn't figure much into the future, more of not needing to add development costs. Allows use of the common first stage in 4T launches - good, but also requires solids commonality which may be too costly against competition as a total package.

It is certainly less complex than A5, no need to stack solids.

EPS uses hypergolics, I don't see commonality with solids.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 07/09/2014 09:53 am
So currently they charge about ~€120M for an ECA capable of 10.35t. (in '07 there was a batch of 35 for over 4 billion, which means less than 5 billion, costs have improved with 5% since then if i remember correctly)
The A5ME capable of 12t is claimed to be as cheap as the ECA if I'm correct. Or €10M/t

Then you throw €2.6B at it, basically strap of the boosters, put some new ones on, change to cheaper Vulcain 3 and make the first stage slightly smaller and tada €40M dissapears. You are left with an 8.5t launcher for 85M or 10M/t.

So where is the benefit? Shouldn't you just fit the ME with a Vulcain 3 and get 12.5t for €115M and only pay €0.5B developement cost?

Pricewise (payload per kg), this proposal is no improvement over A5ME. Is single launch over dual launch worth that much? - I havent even begun how the 8.5t is oversized for the market btw. -
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: major_tom on 07/09/2014 10:33 am
In which case, the price for a block buy of 30 launchers is 85M€ the heavy 6.1 version and 69M€ the light 6.2 version.
I will leave you to your conclusions...

In the aftermath of yesterday's ministerial reunion came out this article:

http://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/2014/07/08/01008-20140708ARTFIG00387-le-choix-d-ariane-6-divise-industriels-et-agences-spatiales.php

Turns out that, according to the space agencies, Airbus/Safran performance and cost numbers
for their Ariane 6.X proposal don't add up. I quote:

"Et d'après les industriels, ces deux nouvelles versions d'Ariane 6 seraient moins chères que celle demandée par l'ESA. Une conclusion que contestent les experts des agences spatiales, qui estiment d'autre part que la capacité d'emport annoncée à 8,5 tonnes en géostationnaire serait surestimée de 1,7 tonne!"

Translation: "according to the manufacturers (Airbus/Safran) these two new Ariane 6 versions (Ariane 6.1
and 6.2) would be less expensive than ESA requirements. This claim is contested by the space agencies'
experts, who estimate that in fact the 8.5 ton to GTO performance is overestimated by 1.7 ton!"

So it seems that  A6.1 will carry just 6.8 ton, and that's what 85M€ will get you.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/09/2014 10:51 am
So currently they charge about ~€120M for an ECA capable of 10.35t. (in '07 there was a batch of 35 for over 4 billion, which means less than 5 billion, costs have improved with 5% since then if i remember correctly)

What you are calculating is not the launch price. e.g., see Former Arianespace Chief Says SpaceX Has Advantage on Cost (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39906former-arianespace-chief-says-spacex-has-advantage-on-cost). Even when factoring in the ESA subsidy the per-satellite price, i.e in dual launch, is about $100 million.  The price for a whole Ariane payload is therefore approximately $200 million, which matches with a CNES doc i have from a couple of years ago which puts it around $190 million. So we are talking a price for an Ariane 5 of about €147 million.

So this plan would represent significant reductions if it were to work.

I haven't even begun how the 8.5t is oversized for the market btw.

It is not oversized if you are working on the premise that you need to be able to compete for a very large fraction of the market to remain viable.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 07/09/2014 12:53 pm

What you are calculating is not the launch price. e.g., see Former Arianespace Chief Says SpaceX Has Advantage on Cost (http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39906former-arianespace-chief-says-spacex-has-advantage-on-cost). Even when factoring in the ESA subsidy the per-satellite price, i.e in dual launch, is about $100 million.  The price for a whole Ariane payload is therefore approximately $200 million, which matches with a CNES doc i have from a couple of years ago which puts it around $190 million. So we are talking a price for an Ariane 5 of about €147 million.


http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140707trib000838581/privatisation-d-ariane-6-comment-airbus-et-safran-negocient-le-casse-du-siecle.html

Well yes that is what I am calculating because I want to compare apples to apples. €85M is for a 30 launcher block buy to Arianespace. The extra cost of Arianespace's work needs to be transferred to the customer for both the A5 as A6 on top of the figures I used.

It is not oversized if you are working on the premise that you need to be able to compete for a very large fraction of the market to remain viable.

Yes but if you go for single launch on an 8.5t launcher your average payload will probably turn out to be 6t. If you go for dual launch on a 12t launcher your average payload will probably turn out to be 11t or so.
So the customer will have a lower price to pay per ton with A5ME than A6 due to this effect of higher capacity loading.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/09/2014 01:29 pm
So we are talking a price for an Ariane 5 of about €147 million.

Without subsidy its probably closer to 160m.

€85M is for a 30 launcher block buy to Arianespace.

€85M is the alleged launch price.

Yes but if you go for single launch on an 8.5t launcher your average payload will probably turn out to be 6t. If you go for dual launch on a 12t launcher your average payload will probably turn out to be 11t or so.

What? Dual launch takes away 0.5t of payload, to my knowledge. The goal is to launch 2 4t sats.
 
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 07/09/2014 10:14 pm
Ariane 5 ECA VEHICLE PRICE is about 120 M€ for the launch vehicle delivered out-of-BIL (w/o Sylda, Fairing) by Airbus to Arianespace, thus w/o payload processing, w/o launch.
The total LAUNCH COST including vehicle procurement for Arianespace is about 160 M€, their earnings per launch are about 140 M€.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: fatjohn1408 on 07/10/2014 07:50 am
Ariane 5 ECA VEHICLE PRICE is about 120 M€ for the launch vehicle delivered out-of-BIL (w/o Sylda, Fairing) by Airbus to Arianespace, thus w/o payload processing, w/o launch.
The total LAUNCH COST including vehicle procurement for Arianespace is about 160 M€, their earnings per launch are about 140 M€.

Thank you.

From the la tribune article:
 
"Les prix proposés par les deux industriels seraient garantis à partir d'une cadence de production de douze lanceurs par an (4 Ariane 6.2 et 8 Ariane 6.1) et de 28 moteurs à poudre (2x12 Ariane 6 ; 1x4 Vega) lorsque le nouveau lanceur sera en régime de croisière et par l'achat d'un lot de 30 lanceurs, après un lot initial de 15 lanceurs."

So the prices of 69M and 85M are only for a batch of 30 launchers after an initial lot of 15 (which would be at higher prices). Twelve launches per year are required for this. Only thing is, to me, they seem to refer to the block buys, which occur between Airbus and Arianespace.

If this is not the case, they want me to believe that replacing the P235's and changing the tanks would lead to an almost 50 percent reduction in price. Sorry, I'm not buying that. This thing looks to much as an Ariane 5ME and its price will look like it too.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/10/2014 10:32 am
Only thing is, to me, they seem to refer to the block buys, which occur between Airbus and Arianespace.

Its the launch price, it says so in the paragraph above the one you quoted and even more clearly in every other article.

Whether its realistic or not is another question. Its not fundamentally different from the cost estimates we have seen from OHB for various configurations for example.

ESA should make sure it does not have to foot the fill in the case the industry fails to reduce costs as promised.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 07/11/2014 03:27 pm
Why ESA dosent just buy a hydrocarbon engine and make a lower stage like Dyneticks proposed .
2 stages to leo and Vinci for orbital work.
Same tank diameter so only 1 jig.

Lower stage can be upgraded easily to reuse or more thrust seeing as it stages so low.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacediver on 07/12/2014 08:04 am
Why ESA dosent just buy a hydrocarbon engine and make a lower stage like Dyneticks proposed .
2 stages to leo and Vinci for orbital work.
Same tank diameter so only 1 jig.

Lower stage can be upgraded easily to reuse or more thrust seeing as it stages so low.

Which is exactly what we proposed in the NELS study!
KH was - by far - the cheapest concept using Russian engines.
Even with west European labour cost applied for a license production of the engines, the KH concept would have been about 4-5 million Euro cheaper than the next best concept.

Also a cooperation with Aerojet on their new 2200 kN kerolox engine would be a great option, but Kerosene is an absolute no go in the European space community!

I proposed kerolox during the 2011 space access conference in Paris and faced violent contradiction by CNES members.

Spacediver
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 07/12/2014 09:47 am
Why ESA dosent just buy a hydrocarbon engine and make a lower stage like Dyneticks proposed .
2 stages to leo and Vinci for orbital work.
Same tank diameter so only 1 jig.

Lower stage can be upgraded easily to reuse or more thrust seeing as it stages so low.

Which is exactly what we proposed in the NELS study!
KH was - by far - the cheapest concept using Russian engines.
Even with west European labour cost applied for a license production of the engines, the KH concept would have been about 4-5 million Euro cheaper than the next best concept.

Also a cooperation with Aerojet on their new 2200 kN kerolox engine would be a great option, but Kerosene is an absolute no go in the European space community!

I proposed kerolox during the 2011 space access conference in Paris and faced violent contradiction by CNES members.

Spacediver



Funny how that happens if anything that recent events have provd is that Ariane 5 core is a perfectly adequate upper stage and a US lower stage would "Americanise " the rocket thus enabling larger markets .

So am I right that they dismissed a cheaper ,smoother and easily upgradeable rocket for Eurofudge Ariane 6 that will take years and billions to complete.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: pippin on 07/12/2014 10:51 am
Interesting moves. Can any of you judge on whether this is just a move to open up the box on A6 and probably get the whole thing delayed a bit further to be able to refine the configuration? Maybe even after the Airbus-Safran JV is set up enough to be able to really make it's own decisions?

I mean... to me that would be the only sensible move, would also buy them time to see how things go on with SpaceX and reusability... I mean... currently SpaceX is upping prices instead of lowering them and F9R is really not a GEO launcher and FH isn't really reusable and nobody knows whether reusability really saved them money so all of this is pretty much just nice ideas in the room but IF they succeed to lower prices then the European space industry needs to reach a bit higher...

Technically, these new proposals look like they make even less sense than the PPH A6 but then spending 2.4bn and retain capabilities (Vulcain) makes more sense than spending 4bn only to scrap them but I fail to see how all these price tags fit together. Developing more components for less money kind of doesn't make sense to me.

Keeping the EPS sounds not _that_ bad a move to me if the engine is much cheaper than Vinci, btw. There will probably not be too much development cost attached to this.
What I also wonder is whether the existing pad could be modified to launch a configuration with 4 P80s attached in pairs (and whether this would work from a thermal POV), this with a smaller core could really be kind of a cheaper solution from a development POV and a 2xP80/EPS upper stage version might add payload range while further lowering the launch cost for small payloads.
Such a version would reduce newly needed components to a smaller core. And then there's cost reduction efforts like the Vulcain nozzle and things.

But I wonder whether the real change they'd need is actually one in the whole organizational setup not on the industry side but on the institutional side. This would all be incremental developments and actually incremental developments do make a lot of sense because they allow you to learn after each step and make better decisions for the next one. Just like it worked out with Ariane 1-4
However, any incremental approach is really hard if after every step you have to go through the ministerial council and plan for a few years for the decision alone....

IF SpaceX becomes really successful IMHO the only promising way forward for European space industry is to privatize the operational/development side of things as well, maybe with a model like Airbus originally had it. With one operating company also writing the contracts and main contractors/subcontractors and stuff and ESA just throwing money at the thing if they have their own needs.
Maybe the Airbus-Safran move is a first step in that direction, too.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: spacejulien on 07/12/2014 12:18 pm
Why ESA dosent just buy a hydrocarbon engine and make a lower stage like Dyneticks proposed .
2 stages to leo and Vinci for orbital work.
Same tank diameter so only 1 jig.

Lower stage can be upgraded easily to reuse or more thrust seeing as it stages so low.

Which is exactly what we proposed in the NELS study!
KH was - by far - the cheapest concept using Russian engines.
Even with west European labour cost applied for a license production of the engines, the KH concept would have been about 4-5 million Euro cheaper than the next best concept.

Also a cooperation with Aerojet on their new 2200 kN kerolox engine would be a great option, but Kerosene is an absolute no go in the European space community!

I proposed kerolox during the 2011 space access conference in Paris and faced violent contradiction by CNES members.

Spacediver



Funny how that happens if anything that recent events have provd is that Ariane 5 core is a perfectly adequate upper stage and a US lower stage would "Americanise " the rocket thus enabling larger markets .

So am I right that they dismissed a cheaper ,smoother and easily upgradeable rocket for Eurofudge Ariane 6 that will take years and billions to complete.

The reason Europe builds launch vehicles is independent access to space. And there are good reasons for that, see e.g. [1], pages 36ff  for the history behind the decision to develop Ariane:
Quote
The negotiations that were subsequently begun with the USA and Comsat about purchasing Thor Delta rockets to be launched from Cape Canaveral were successfully concluded in June 1974, although considerable political hurdles had to be jumped before that: in the view of the US government, even Europe’s experimental communications satellites represented a potential threat to the American-dominated INTELSAT consortium. Because ‘Symphonie’ was started on an American launcher the USA could achieve that none of the ‘Symphonie’ satellites would be used commercially.
There is another detail of transatlantic cooperation which shows how critically the US government viewed ‘Symphonie’. The
Europeans were assured that the infrared horizon sensors needed to pinpoint the antennas as well as the small attitude control
jets required for stabilising the satellites would be supplied. Four weeks before the agreed delivery date, the agreement was
annulled by the Department of Commerce, not by NASA.

In those days, the US protected their commercial interests, imagine Europe today having to rely on foreign launch services for military reconnaissance, satcom or navigation.

Europe develops and operates launch vehicles because it needs an independent access to space. That is absolutely non-optional, you wont get development funding from the European governments for a launch vehicle that threatens the independence.

In this context "Americanisation" is as stupid an idea as is buying Russian engines or production licenses*4). Industry is fully free to cooperate with any other entity for launch system developments like e.g. ATK for liberty launcher, [2], but on their own funds.

There is almost no doubt that a hydrocarbon first stage has price advantages, but Europe would need to develop the technology themselves. And there is not even the budget available to develop the PPH Ariane 6, see e.g. [3]. so where should the budget for yet another liquid engine development come from?

It is interesting that the OHB/MTA NELS study assumes that the engines may well be procured in Russia, whilst stage tanks & structures are probably assumed to be procured in Europe (e.g. from MTA)?

[1] http://www.dlr.de/rd/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-4788/7944_read-31168/

[2] http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26773.15

[3] http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/40655germany%E2%80%99s-budget-straitjacket-complicates-europes-ariane-funding-outlook

*4) License production of Russian engines is very difficult and expensive to do, as the whole qualification system from materials specifications, technical standards up to qualification logic is so different between Russia and Euroamerica, that a license production relying on a complete Euroamerican production chain is almost as expensive as a complete redevelopment of said engine.
Compare the related topic of "Americanisation" of the RD-180: http://aviationweek.com/awin/us-rd-180-coproduction-would-cost-1-billion
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/12/2014 12:44 pm
Which is exactly what we proposed in the NELS study!
KH was - by far - the cheapest concept using Russian engines.

Even with west European labour cost applied for a license production of the engines, the KH concept would have been about 4-5 million Euro cheaper than the next best concept.

Also a cooperation with Aerojet on their new 2200 kN kerolox engine would be a great option, but Kerosene is an absolute no go in the European space community!

I proposed kerolox during the 2011 space access conference in Paris and faced violent contradiction by CNES members.

Spacediver

In that OHB paper KH using Russian engines was not the cheapest in terms of recurrent cost, you said that yourself not long ago.

Regarding a European kerolox engine...4 million euros less would be around 5% cheaper than the next best concept (PPH/HH), so its probably not worth the development cost.

The fact that there is no consensus in that matter also suggests that the cost advantages of such an engine are marginal ab best.

Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: floss on 07/12/2014 12:49 pm
Which is exactly what we proposed in the NELS study!
KH was - by far - the cheapest concept using Russian engines.

Even with west European labour cost applied for a license production of the engines, the KH concept would have been about 4-5 million Euro cheaper than the next best concept.

Also a cooperation with Aerojet on their new 2200 kN kerolox engine would be a great option, but Kerosene is an absolute no go in the European space community!

I proposed kerolox during the 2011 space access conference in Paris and faced violent contradiction by CNES members.

Spacediver

In that OHB paper KH using Russian engines was not the cheapest in terms of recurrent cost, you said that yourself not long ago.

Regarding a European kerolox engine...4 million euros less would be around 5% cheaper than the next best concept (PPH/HH), so its probably not worth the development cost.

The fact that there is no consensus in that matter also suggests that the cost advantages of such an engine are marginal ab best.





Never said Russian engines the object is Americanisation not funding Putins attempt at Tzar.
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Alpha_Centauri on 07/12/2014 07:03 pm
Not going to happen, as spacejulien pointed out America is an even less reliable partner than Russia as it is preoccupied with protecting its assets from competition. *cough*Galileo*cough*
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: Oli on 07/14/2014 10:01 am
What I also wonder is whether the existing pad could be modified to launch a configuration with 4 P80s attached in pairs (and whether this would work from a thermal POV), this with a smaller core could really be kind of a cheaper solution from a development POV and a 2xP80/EPS upper stage version might add payload range while further lowering the launch cost for small payloads.

In a spacenews article on Ariane 6 from approx. a year ago they said that in order to reduce cost one must, among other things, minimize the number of solids with TVC. Could be a reason why the version with P180, P110 plus strap-ons (without TVC) stayed in the race until July last year. I can imagine that 4xP80 would be significantly more expensive in production than 2xP145.

Or its the pad ;)
Title: Re: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here
Post by: woods170 on 07/14/2014 11:16 am
Why ESA dosent just buy a hydrocarbon engine and make a lower stage like Dyneticks proposed .
2 stages to leo and Vinci for orbital work.
Same tank diameter so only 1 jig.

Lower stage can be upgraded easily to reuse or more thrust seeing as it stages so low.

Which is exactly what we proposed in the NELS study!
KH was - by far - the cheapest concept using Russian engines.
Even with west European labour cost applied for a license production of the engines, the KH concept would have been about 4-5 million Euro cheaper than the next best concept.

Also a cooperation with Aerojet on their new 2200 kN kerolox engine would be a