Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here  (Read 788106 times)

Offline woods170

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https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/11/europes-challenger-to-the-falcon-9-rocket-runs-into-more-delays/
"European space officials announced late last week that the debut of the Ariane 6 rocket will be delayed again—this time until the second quarter of 2022."

According to the article the delay was mostly caused COVID-19.

2022? Covid or not, this is getting embarrassing.

Agreed. Covid plays a role but losing the first customer didn't help either. The shift to the right is partially there to free up time to find a new customer for the first launch.

Offline GWR64

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https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/11/europes-challenger-to-the-falcon-9-rocket-runs-into-more-delays/
"European space officials announced late last week that the debut of the Ariane 6 rocket will be delayed again—this time until the second quarter of 2022."

According to the article the delay was mostly caused COVID-19.

2022? Covid or not, this is getting embarrassing.

Agreed. Covid plays a role but losing the first customer didn't help either. The shift to the right is partially there to free up time to find a new customer for the first launch.

According to the roadmap, Ariane 6 and the launch system are far from ready.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg2148335#msg2148335
The costumer for the first launch, OneWeb might have been gone without bankruptcy.
Others will follow, if only they switch to Soyuz-ST.
The delay of Ariane 6 is at least twice as long as the Covid-19 pandemic.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2020 03:03 pm by GWR64 »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Europe's New Space Rocket Is Incredibly Expensive

That article is assuming that Arianespace needs to pay back the $4.4B development cost to ESA. Is that true?
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline woods170

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Europe's New Space Rocket Is Incredibly Expensive

That article is assuming that Arianespace needs to pay back the $4.4B development cost to ESA. Is that true?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Ariane 6 development is primarily funded by ESA member states to assure continued independent access to space. Meaning: ESA is willing to cough up multiple billions of Euros to make sure that ESA has assured access to space on an ESA-controlled European launch vehicle.
The wish to have independent access to space arose in the early 1970s when ESA's ambitions in space (and those of its predecessors ELDO and ESRO) were stifled by the USA. Both the US government and US launch service providers viewed the European space activities as competition.
When the Americans additionally managed to destroy two European satellites in launch mishaps the need for European independent access to space became even more acute.
The result is the Ariane series of launchers. And yes, the desire for European independent access to space is still there. Which is why ESA pays for the development of Ariane 6.
Arianespace was founded by ESA and the Ariane (sub)contrators to operate the Ariane launchers and sell launches in the commercial launch business. Being profitable is not a goal for Arianespace; ESA has always made up the losses with yearly subsidies.

It's all about independent acces to space and ESA is willing to pay for that. Even if it costs 4 billion Euros to develop a rocket that cannot adequately compete with SpaceX.


Which is why people uttering doomsday predictions like "Arianespace is screwed" or "Ariane 6 is a dead-end for Arianespace" really don't get it.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2020 02:37 pm by woods170 »

Offline RedLineTrain

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It's all about independent acces to space and ESA is willing to pay for that. Even if it costs 4 billion Euros to develop a rocket that cannot adequately compete with SpaceX.

Which is why people uttering doomsday predictions like "Arianespace is screwed" or "Ariane 6 is a dead-end for Arianespace" really don't get it.

The strength of that imperative might fluctuate over time.  But in any event, my thinking has been:  why not choose to be much less screwed?  If you're spending $4.4 billion no matter, you might as well get your money's worth!  Ariane 6 is not getting your money's worth.  Further, it doesn't provide any obvious technology optionality.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2020 02:44 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline Star One

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It's all about independent acces to space and ESA is willing to pay for that. Even if it costs 4 billion Euros to develop a rocket that cannot adequately compete with SpaceX.

Which is why people uttering doomsday predictions like "Arianespace is screwed" or "Ariane 6 is a dead-end for Arianespace" really don't get it.

The strength of that imperative might fluctuate over time.  But in any event, my thinking has been:  why not choose to be much less screwed?  If you're spending $4.4 billion no matter, you might as well get your money's worth!  Ariane 6 is not getting your money's worth.  Further, it doesn't provide any obvious technology optionality.
It seems to be investing taxpayer money in a technological dead end for launcher technology. Even if I understand the imperative to maintain independent access to space.

Offline butters

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European prestige requires the development of Ariane 62 to end the embarrassment of launching Galileo and other European prestige missions on the badge-engineered Russian Soyuz rockets. They're not doing this to compete with SpaceX, they're doing this because the most competitive product they offer (especially for the growing LEO market) is not a product of European ingenuity.

Offline daedalus1

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European prestige requires the development of Ariane 62 to end the embarrassment of launching Galileo and other European prestige missions on the badge-engineered Russian Soyuz rockets. They're not doing this to compete with SpaceX, they're doing this because the most competitive product they offer (especially for the growing LEO market) is not a product of European ingenuity.

I think you mean 'Western European', Russians are also European.

Online mandrewa

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Europe's New Space Rocket Is Incredibly Expensive

That article is assuming that Arianespace needs to pay back the $4.4B development cost to ESA. Is that true?

No, it doesn't.  That article does not assume that Arianespace needs to pay back it's $4.4 billion development cost.

The only way you can possibly get prices like $77 million per launch of an Ariane 62 is to assume that Ariane 6 will not have to pay back its development cost.  That $77 million has to include the cost of building an Ariane 62 rocket, launching it, and then giving some return to the company and its investors. (And a better way to estimate the cost of doing this would be to try to count the number of people employed once the Ariane 6 is operational, because people are the main cost.)

Frankly I wonder if this is even possible -- I mean to do all of that for $77 million.

The proof is simple.  Suppose over the life of the Ariane 6 program they do 100 launches (and I think it's going to be much less than that).  Dividing $4.4 billion by 100 gives $44 million per launch for development costs alone, and we are assuming the money is interest free.  And if its only 50 launches over the life of the program (or Ariane 6 for 7 years at 7 launches per year) then it would be $88 million per launch for the development costs.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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The Ariane 6 development cost is state funded except for a small portion that was contributed by the industry. It's sunk cost, it does not have to be returned. Launch isn't commercial it's state permitted and largely state funded.
Ariane 5 ECA has been operational much longer than initially envisioned, because Vince and A5ME development didn't go well. A5ME and A6 PPH wouldn't have a future development path, Ariane 6 has.
Hardly any SpaceX launches to the US government have a launch package cost less than $100mln.
I think many have missed the news; Arianespace won the launch contract from Intelsat for three C-band clear-out satellites. So again Arianespace beat US launch service providers on launches for US funded comsats.
Let that sink in.

For now Ariane 6 in the 62 and 64 configuration are what Europe requires. The lighter weight upper-stage and the in orbit stage (and moon lander) are the next step. Parralel to the Ariane 6 implementation the Prometheus engine is being developed. Introducing that into an Ariane Next isn't very expansive because the production assets constructed for Ariane 6 can be used. The Ariane 5 production assets weren't reconfigurable.

I'm hopeful BOOST! (C-STS) will be successful and will prove technologies for the large (Ariane) launchers. But I'm skeptical there is enough launch demand in Europe for a large reusable launcher.   
I hope (European) government funding can transition from launcher development to missions.
AFAIK Artemis is risking the permanent human presence in space for the non-scientific ambition to land humans again on the moon. Sorry but I think this is a mistake.

Offline Star One

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The Ariane 6 development cost is state funded except for a small portion that was contributed by the industry. It's sunk cost, it does not have to be returned. Launch isn't commercial it's state permitted and largely state funded.
Ariane 5 ECA has been operational much longer than initially envisioned, because Vince and A5ME development didn't go well. A5ME and A6 PPH wouldn't have a future development path, Ariane 6 has.
Hardly any SpaceX launches to the US government have a launch package cost less than $100mln.
I think many have missed the news; Arianespace won the launch contract from Intelsat for three C-band clear-out satellites. So again Arianespace beat US launch service providers on launches for US funded comsats.
Let that sink in.

For now Ariane 6 in the 62 and 64 configuration are what Europe requires. The lighter weight upper-stage and the in orbit stage (and moon lander) are the next step. Parralel to the Ariane 6 implementation the Prometheus engine is being developed. Introducing that into an Ariane Next isn't very expansive because the production assets constructed for Ariane 6 can be used. The Ariane 5 production assets weren't reconfigurable.

I'm hopeful BOOST! (C-STS) will be successful and will prove technologies for the large (Ariane) launchers. But I'm skeptical there is enough launch demand in Europe for a large reusable launcher.   
I hope (European) government funding can transition from launcher development to missions.
AFAIK Artemis is risking the permanent human presence in space for the non-scientific ambition to land humans again on the moon. Sorry but I think this is a mistake.
Take away the factor of humans landing on the moon and so does much of the political interest and money in this area.

Online mandrewa

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I think many have missed the news; Arianespace won the launch contract from Intelsat for three C-band clear-out satellites. So again Arianespace beat US launch service providers on launches for US funded comsats.
Let that sink in.

I think that misses a bit of context.  From an article in SpaceNews, https://spacenews.com/intelsat-taps-maxar-for-fifth-c-band-satellite-capping-order-spree/ ,

Quote
Intelsat said Sept. 17 it signed contracts with Arianespace and SpaceX to launch its seven C-band replacement satellites. Arianespace will launch two satellites on an Ariane 5 in 2022, and the just-ordered Galaxy-37 on an Ariane 6 in 2023. SpaceX will launch four satellites across two missions starting in 2022, Intelsat said.

Offline GWR64

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According to press reports in Germany, there are further delays on Ariane 6 schedule. Nothing is official yet.
But so far such reports have been officially confirmed a little later.

Josef Aschbacher says here:
https://www.spektrum.de/news/neuer-esa-chef-wir-muessen-bereit-sein-mehr-risiko-einzugehen/1848406
(Google translate)
Quote
The goal is still mid-2022. I haven't been in office that long, but I set up a working group on the first day to verify the date. We absolutely have to start Ariane 6 in 2022 - to limit further expenses for its development, but also to finally be able to use it. In this respect, this topic has top priority.

The Weser-Kurier writes:
https://www.weser-kurier.de/bremen/bremen-wirtschaft_artikel,-finanzspritze-fuer-rakete-ariane-6-_arid,1966284.html
(Google translate)
Quote
...If everything had gone according to plan last year, the Ariane 6 would have already made its maiden flight; the European space agency Esa, politics and business were happy and thanked each other for the great cooperation. But nothing came of this if-if scenario, the schedule was too tight and then Corona intervened. Above all, this has brought supply companies into trouble. They simply lack money because the first flight has been postponed to the second half of 2022. ...

If that turns out to be true, I'll be curious what happens with the launch of CSO-3.
I think planned on Ariane 62 #2.
https://twitter.com/Thales_Alenia_S/status/1377536369883553793
And the first flight of Ariane 64 will most likely be postponed to 2023.

Offline gosnold

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The French governement has sent a report to ESA asking for a reusable successor to Ariane 6, with the Prometheus engine, and potentially a second-stage reuse:

https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/ce-que-veut-vraiment-la-france-en-matiere-de-lanceurs-apres-2025-882354.html

https://www.capital.fr/entreprises-marches/vols-spatiaux-pourquoi-ariane-a-ete-detrone-par-spacex-1399785

They say Ariane 6 will not be competitive with SpaceX and the institutional launches of Europe are not enough to keep a high enough cadence.

I have always thought that Ariane 6 was a missed opportunity, and that if we had spent more money on R&D work for Prometheus in early 2010, it would have been ready by the time the A6 program was launched and we would have had a competitive launcher. Instead, we will have spent billions on an obsolete rocket and launch pad, and we will have to develop a methalox launcher anyway.

Offline Pipcard

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I have always thought that Ariane 6 was a missed opportunity, and that if we had spent more money on R&D work for Prometheus in early 2010, it would have been ready by the time the A6 program was launched and we would have had a competitive launcher. Instead, we will have spent billions on an obsolete rocket and launch pad, and we will have to develop a methalox launcher anyway.
But people had to go and dismiss reusability as if it will always be like the Space Shuttle.
« Last Edit: 04/16/2021 02:44 am by Pipcard »

Offline baldusi

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The French governement has sent a report to ESA asking for a reusable successor to Ariane 6, with the Prometheus engine, and potentially a second-stage reuse:

https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/ce-que-veut-vraiment-la-france-en-matiere-de-lanceurs-apres-2025-882354.html

https://www.capital.fr/entreprises-marches/vols-spatiaux-pourquoi-ariane-a-ete-detrone-par-spacex-1399785

They say Ariane 6 will not be competitive with SpaceX and the institutional launches of Europe are not enough to keep a high enough cadence.

I have always thought that Ariane 6 was a missed opportunity, and that if we had spent more money on R&D work for Prometheus in early 2010, it would have been ready by the time the A6 program was launched and we would have had a competitive launcher. Instead, we will have spent billions on an obsolete rocket and launch pad, and we will have to develop a methalox launcher anyway.

Ariane 6 is actually a win over the mostly solid project that CNES was pushing. ArianeGroup had to fight really hard to get them to actually work on making it half the cost of the the previous version. If you expect government to have entrepreneurial vision, you will be sorely disappointed your whole life.

Offline grdja

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I have always thought that Ariane 6 was a missed opportunity, and that if we had spent more money on R&D work for Prometheus in early 2010, it would have been ready by the time the A6 program was launched and we would have had a competitive launcher. Instead, we will have spent billions on an obsolete rocket and launch pad, and we will have to develop a methalox launcher anyway.
But people had to go and dismiss reusability as if it will always be like the Space Shuttle.
It wasn't just the Space Shuttle. NASP, X-33, DC-X, Sanger, HOTOL, Skylon, all the failed new space startups of dotcom era. If it was going to be reusable it had to have aerodynamic surfaces and preferably to be a SSTO. Even Soviet Baikal fly back booster was going to turn itself into an airplane.

In early 2010's any serious discussion about reusability would be about how much it had proven itself to not work and even when it works it's not economic.

On this very website we had endless arguments about how "build it and they will come" was a business suicide logic.

And with internet mega constellations both BO and SpaceX are creating demand for themselves.

Sent from my M2007J3SG using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: 04/16/2021 11:11 am by grdja »

Offline GWR64

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cross post from Ariane 6 update thread
Cross-post; my bold:
Quote
ARIANE 6
Access to space for all applications under the best conditions!
https://www.arianespace.com/vehicle/ariane-6/#in-depth
Quote
Ariane 6 will provide Arianespace with new levels of efficiency and flexibility to meet customers' launch services needs across a full range of commercial and institutional missions, with first flight planned for the end of 2022.

"end of" has been removed from the Arianespace website; it now just says "in 2022". The only other clue about first Ariane 6 launch is this:

Quote
Aschbacher suggested that schedule could see more delays. The independent assessment, he said, will “make sure that we can do everything we need to do to launch on time.” He later defined “on time” as being before the next ESA ministerial meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for late 2022.
https://spacenews.com/europe-proposes-launcher-alliance/

Eric Berger - who generally reports agressive against European and Russian space activities - confused the date of the meeting with the date of the launch and wrote "Europe hopes for a late 2022 launch". Which then spread over Wikipedia and other media.

There is no (more) communicated "late 2022" launch target. They try to launch it before the meeting, which in past years happend in October, November or December.

Quote
Soyuz-ST-B/Fregat-MT Galileo pair launches = FM23 & 24 late Nov/early Dec 2021; FM25 & 26 mid-2022; FM27 & 28 late 2022/early 2023.
Second Ariane 6 flight = Ariane 62, Galileo FM29 and 30.

Besides of Ariane 6 availability, Galileo payload readiness might slip as well. So I don't see clear evidence yet that FM27 & 28 switch to Soyuz.

context: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg2261439#msg2261439

I think Galileo will be ready. 2 are already in storage, 4 more are obviously at ESTEC for testing.
https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/1400382129498959874

The next candidate for Soyuz is CSO-3.

Otherwise I cannot see fundamental differences between the individual statements to the Ariane 6 maiden flight.
I compare the ESA roadmap with the current reports.
The Ariane 6 is already months behind the milestones.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg2148335#msg2148335
I believe Q2/2022 is no longer possible. We'll see whether Q3 or Q4 or end of 2022.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2021 11:53 am by GWR64 »

Offline floss

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Reusability adds nothing to ESA capability while locking ESA into a multi-billion rocket development program for the next ten years thereby stoping any investment in payloads for the next twenty years .
 If they invested in recycling in low earth orbit it would add capability .

Offline floss

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Please God I really hope the French rocket engineers do not get to copy space x it has been fifty years years of stagnant Nasa development to get far less than if they kept with the Saturn 5 .

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