Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here  (Read 752326 times)

Offline pippin

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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.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2013 04:04 pm by pippin »

Offline Oli

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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.


Offline floss

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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.

Offline woods170

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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)

Offline pippin

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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.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2013 02:08 pm by pippin »

Offline simonbp

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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.

Offline Oli

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^

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.



Offline Nicolas PILLET

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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.
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Offline pippin

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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.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2013 05:59 pm by pippin »

Offline woods170

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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.

Offline fatjohn1408

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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.

Offline R7

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Name a launcher that is not in any way subsidized please...

BA-2 !

Oh wait...
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Offline pippin

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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.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2013 12:29 pm by pippin »

Offline pippin

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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.

Offline Nicolas PILLET

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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.
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Offline cheesybagel

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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.

Offline cheesybagel

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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.


Offline R7

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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*
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Offline woods170

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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.

Offline woods170

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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.

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