Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here  (Read 752330 times)

Offline bolun

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Offline jacqmans

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« Last Edit: 05/25/2013 10:16 am by jacqmans »

Offline Oli

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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.

Offline floss

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The stick rises again :-\

Offline baldusi

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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.

Offline antriksh

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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
Nasadiya Sukta:
Srishti se pehle sat nahin thaa, asat bhi nahin | Antariksh bhi nahin, aakaash bhi nahin thaa | chhipaa thaa kyaa, kahaan, kisne dhakaa thaa | us pal to agam, atal jal bhi kahaan thaa ||

From: 1st verse of 129th Hymn of the 10th Book of Rig Veda

Offline woods170

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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.

Offline pippin

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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?
« Last Edit: 05/28/2013 06:15 am by pippin »

Online edkyle99

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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

Offline baldusi

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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.

Offline woods170

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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.

Offline woods170

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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.
« Last Edit: 05/28/2013 08:11 pm by woods170 »

Offline pippin

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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....
« Last Edit: 05/28/2013 08:29 pm by pippin »

Offline woods170

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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.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2013 07:14 am by woods170 »

Offline spectre9

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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.

Offline Oli

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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.


Offline woods170

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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.

Offline woods170

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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

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.

Offline spectre9

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"Solids it is"  ;D

"But liquids are better"  ???

"Who cares?"  ::)

Where have I heard this story before?  :P

Offline pippin

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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.

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