Author Topic: Delta IV Q&A  (Read 243433 times)

Offline marsavian

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #380 on: 09/24/2010 09:12 pm »
Yes, development costs* and conversely any production efficiencies due to scale are shared amongst all customers. That is reflected in the ELS price which is roughly the price NASA would be paying too.

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/EELV_main.htm

*not including those costs already agreed and paid for by specific customer (e.g. Government) in advance
« Last Edit: 09/24/2010 09:49 pm by marsavian »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #381 on: 09/24/2010 09:22 pm »
Yes, development costs and conversely any production efficiencies due to scale are shared amongst all customers. That is reflected in the ELS price which is roughly the price NASA would be paying too.

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/EELV_main.htm
"Eventually it became clear that the costs perspective provided early in the EELV program hinged on volume, whereby commercial customers would be so abundant as to cumulatively contribute, in the commercial prices charged, to defraying an assortment of costs."

If it hinges on volume, and the volume goes way up because of more launches per year, then price can come down, right?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline marsavian

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #382 on: 09/24/2010 09:33 pm »
Yes but costs may also go up as the ELC contract is for a certain DoD volume only and if more personnel/facilities are needed than provided by that capability that will be included in the price charged to other customers.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #383 on: 09/24/2010 09:37 pm »
Yes but costs may also go up as the ELC contract is for a certain DoD volume only and if more personnel/facilities are needed than provided by that capability that will be included in the price charged to other customers.
Right, but that is included in the incremental costs.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #384 on: 09/24/2010 09:47 pm »
The fixed costs are taken care of in the ELC contract.
So... Only the marginal costs are paid for, then?

Is that the only way that NASA can acquire launch services for the Delta IV Heavy?

No, NASA has a separate contract.

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #385 on: 09/24/2010 09:47 pm »
Yes, development costs and conversely any production efficiencies due to scale are shared amongst all customers. That is reflected in the ELS price which is roughly the price NASA would be paying too.

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/EELV_main.htm

This guy doesn't know what he is talking about

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #386 on: 09/24/2010 10:05 pm »
Yes but costs may also go up as the ELC contract is for a certain DoD volume only and if more personnel/facilities are needed than provided by that capability that will be included in the price charged to other customers.
Right, but that is included in the incremental costs.

The costs we are talking about is about $400 million for the fixed ones and $300 million per manned Orion launch. Even at this rate that is 4 launches and a total of 1.6 billion. This would be sufficient to put up 100 tons in LEO.  Which could be more than enough to do BOE exploration.

Heft's 100 ton brute has a unit cost of 1.8 billion dollars just for each launch and unkown fix costs perhaps around 2 billion a year.

You would have to launch the smaller delta IV five time for a total of 125 tons before the 1 launch of the 100 ton rocket is cheaper. 

In addition small upgrades to the Delta IV to bring it up to say 30-50 could be a lot cheaper than building SLS.

Offline 93143

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #387 on: 09/24/2010 10:23 pm »
If you're going to make an assertion like "more Delta IV Heavies launched per year won't lower costs significantly," then you need evidence. Especially when one is launched only about every two years! Come on...

You're putting words in my mouth.  Strange as it may seem on this board lately, I'm not trying to push an ideological stance here; I'm simply attempting to add a caution to what I saw as a misapprehension in someone's post.

What I was trying to convey was simply that looking at the very low Delta IV Heavy flight rate in isolation and trying to calculate savings as though it were the sole tenant in its fixed-/amortized-cost structure results in exaggeration of the potential per-flight savings that would be realized by increasing the flight rate.

Do you contest this?

I suppose it is actually a quantitative result supported by a quantitative analysis, if you allow the application of the term 'quantitative' to the > and < concepts...

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #388 on: 09/24/2010 10:51 pm »
If you're going to make an assertion like "more Delta IV Heavies launched per year won't lower costs significantly," then you need evidence. Especially when one is launched only about every two years! Come on...

You're putting words in my mouth.  Strange as it may seem on this board lately, I'm not trying to push an ideological stance here; I'm simply attempting to add a caution to what I saw as a misapprehension in someone's post.

What I was trying to convey was simply that looking at the very low Delta IV Heavy flight rate in isolation and trying to calculate savings as though it were the sole tenant in its fixed-/amortized-cost structure results in exaggeration of the potential per-flight savings that would be realized by increasing the flight rate.
...
I understand, thanks for the clarification.

Of course, as I noted, Delta IV mediums don't have a heck of a very high flight rate, either... 1.25 flights per year.

What is the factory capacity for CBCs per year right now? I'm sure this sort of depends on what part of the pipeline, as I'm sure different parts of the pipeline have different capacities.
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Offline 93143

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #389 on: 09/24/2010 11:47 pm »
Dunno.  Jim?

It looks to me like DIRECT's graphs have fixed costs uptick at 40 cores per year, which is 13 flights of a heavy EELV, plus one medium.  They don't specify which EELV; I believe I found out at one point and forgot...

Offline alexw

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #390 on: 09/25/2010 12:23 am »
Dunno.  Jim?
It looks to me like DIRECT's graphs have fixed costs uptick at 40 cores per year, which is 13 flights of a heavy EELV, plus one medium.  They don't specify which EELV; I believe I found out at one point and forgot...
   Decatur was originally built mid-90s for (IIRC) 40 DIV cores/yr. (There are document links around here somewhere.) Maybe they've scaled that infrastructure back some to lower their fixed costs, separately from the reduced staffing/shifts personnel costs, but I haven't seen any newer production limit figures reported. It's also complicated by the co-location of AV core production. Did they move tooling down from Colorado? Is Centaur still manufactured in San Diego?
   -Alex

Offline Antares

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #391 on: 09/25/2010 02:00 am »
Okay, let us be clear.  ELC pays for the fixed cost (or ~95% IIRC) of both facilities and human capital for something like 5 launches of each EELV per year.  An educated guess says this includes one heavy.  ELS then pays for the marginal cost of each DoD launch.

Any non-DoD launch (NASA, commercial, whatever) pays both that marginal price, (though the price might not equal the ELS price since different customers negotiate different specific terms for special services, insight, etc) plus they pay part of the ELC, which is either refunded to the DoD or they just don't pay part of the next ELC installment.

HEFT is irrelevant until everything shakes out in Congress and there are RFPs or JOFOCs on the street.
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Offline sdsds

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #392 on: 10/02/2010 08:20 pm »
If NASA/ESMD chooses Delta-IV Heavy (DIVH) for a test flight of Orion in 2013, when would ULA need to get the order?  The booster CBCs aren't exactly stock inventory, so what lead time is required for DIVH flights in general?  Then also,  could the Orion/DIVH configuration be purchased under the terms of the existing NASA/ULA contract for science missions?  Or would ESMD need to compete the launch, in which case ULA could conceivably offer only AVH?
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #393 on: 10/03/2010 06:35 pm »
If NASA/ESMD chooses Delta-IV Heavy (DIVH) for a test flight of Orion in 2013, when would ULA need to get the order?  The booster CBCs aren't exactly stock inventory, so what lead time is required for DIVH flights in general?  Then also,  could the Orion/DIVH configuration be purchased under the terms of the existing NASA/ULA contract for science missions?  Or would ESMD need to compete the launch, in which case ULA could conceivably offer only AVH?
Good questions.
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Offline Antares

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #394 on: 10/03/2010 07:20 pm »
One answer is that, as discussed on a thread in the Live News section, Delta IV Heavy is not on the existing NASA/ULA contract.  If NASA contracts directly with ULA, it would need another, most likely standalone contract.  That takes a lot of calendar time to navigate the procurement hoops.  There are regulations that allow not having to compete something if there's only one thing that can do it.  One could also look at the GOES launches, where the launch was part of a delivery-on-orbit satellite contract; so the launch was contracted for as a commercial launch by the satellite contractor.  But that contract was always intended to go that way.  I doubt any existing contracts have that provision.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #395 on: 10/05/2010 05:50 pm »

Wouldn't they also have to sign a contract to make pad mods they need to make to support manned spaceflight?
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Offline sdsds

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #396 on: 10/05/2010 08:10 pm »
Wouldn't they also have to sign a contract to make pad mods they need to make to support manned spaceflight?

Not at first, and maybe not ever.  The Orion team is proposing using DIVH for an uncrewed test flight, for which they might have a flight test article ready in 2013.  That test flight gives them operational experience with Orion in orbit.  Once SLS is available, the plan would be to use it to launch the crewed Orion flights.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #397 on: 10/05/2010 09:37 pm »
Wouldn't they also have to sign a contract to make pad mods they need to make to support manned spaceflight?

Not at first, and maybe not ever.  The Orion team is proposing using DIVH for an uncrewed test flight, for which they might have a flight test article ready in 2013.  That test flight gives them operational experience with Orion in orbit.  Once SLS is available, the plan would be to use it to launch the crewed Orion flights.

That is one plan, but the HEFT report suggested that "commercial crew" was still a possibility for these missions, keeping SLS unmanned to launch an uncrewed "Orion" like spacecraft.  It isn't clear to me that any final decisions have been made. 

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Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #398 on: 10/06/2010 05:09 am »
One answer is that, as discussed on a thread in the Live News section, Delta IV Heavy is not on the existing NASA/ULA contract.  If NASA contracts directly with ULA, it would need another, most likely standalone contract.  That takes a lot of calendar time to navigate the procurement hoops.  There are regulations that allow not having to compete something if there's only one thing that can do it.  One could also look at the GOES launches, where the launch was part of a delivery-on-orbit satellite contract; so the launch was contracted for as a commercial launch by the satellite contractor.  But that contract was always intended to go that way.  I doubt any existing contracts have that provision.

The DoD once "gifted" a Titan IV to NASA, Perhaps they would do the same with the Delta heavy and get a reimbursement from NASA.

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta IV Q&A
« Reply #399 on: 10/06/2010 11:55 am »

The DoD once "gifted" a Titan IV to NASA, Perhaps they would do the same with the Delta heavy and get a reimbursement from NASA.

NASA didn't have a contract with LM/Titan. Now, NASA has a contract with ULA that the DOD is envious of.  The DOD actually wanted to go thru NASA for vehicles.  Delta IV can be added to the contract easily.

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