Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here  (Read 751849 times)

Offline Oli

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^

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.

Offline Patchouli

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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.

« Last Edit: 05/01/2013 03:24 pm by Patchouli »

Offline woods170

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^

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.

Offline RocketmanUS

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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.

Offline Oli

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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.

Offline woods170

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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.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2013 06:33 am by woods170 »

Offline RocketmanUS

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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 ).

 

Offline baldusi

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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.

Offline RocketmanUS

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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.

Offline woods170

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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.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2013 06:34 am by woods170 »

Online koroljow

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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?
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Online Alpha_Centauri

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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.

Online koroljow

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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.
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Online arkaska

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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.

Online koroljow

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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.
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Offline woods170

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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.

Offline woods170

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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.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2013 08:10 am by woods170 »

Online koroljow

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@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?
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Offline floss

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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 .

Offline Proponent

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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.

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