Author Topic: How many Vulcan Centaurs can ULA transport to VFSB and to CCSFS per year?  (Read 1867 times)

Offline DanClemmensen

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Apparently, ULA curently uses RocketShip
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS_RocketShip
To send cores and Centaurs. Will this be the only method?  Can RocketShip carry three entire Vulcan Centaur sets per trip?

Apparently, a one-way trip from the factory to CCSFS takes 8 days, so 16 days for a round trip to carry 3(?) Vulcan Centaurs. about 20 trips/yr or 60 rockets a year. Not bad. However, RocketShip takes 3 weeks each way for VSFB trips. That's 25 Vulcan Centaurs/yr. Better to assume they launch only 3/yr from VSFB, (i.e. one trip), leaving maybe 18 (54 VC) trips for CCSFS. Still not bad at all.

I conclude that if they intend to just use RocketShip, VSFB flights will be limited. Is this correct?

 

Offline lrk

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When the Amazon bulk Vulcan purchase was announced, Tory Bruno said that they were planning to acquire a second RocketShip. 

I also wonder why ULA doesn't work out some sort of deal with NASA to use Pegasus for transporting Vulcan cores and Centaur Vs - Pegasus won't be anywhere close to full utilization in the near future transporting ~1 SLS per year. 

Offline DanClemmensen

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When the Amazon bulk Vulcan purchase was announced, Tory Bruno said that they were planning to acquire a second RocketShip. 

I also wonder why ULA doesn't work out some sort of deal with NASA to use Pegasus for transporting Vulcan cores and Centaur Vs - Pegasus won't be anywhere close to full utilization in the near future transporting ~1 SLS per year.
Vulcan is built in Decatur Ala, on the Tennessee river, RocketShip goes from there down the Tennessee, down the Ohio, down the Mississippi, and finally across the Gulf of Mexico. I don't know if Pegasus can get all the way up to Decatur. They could also just use big barges and customized containers, especially if RocketShip can satisfy nearly all the demand.

But a second RocketShip should work.

Online Zed_Noir

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Maybe ULA can lease a large RoRo ship to carry several Vulcan-Centaur launcher sets from a Gulf port to the West Coast. After the Rocketship shuttled the launcher sets from Decatur to the Gulf port. The RoRo ship should be able to disembark the launcher sets at the Vandenberg wharf.

Might consider doing the same for the East Coast. So the Rocketship will be use only as an inshore shuttle boat between Decatur and a Gulf port.

Don't think the current ULA logistics system can support the upcoming surge in transits with the Kuiper launches.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Maybe ULA can lease a large RoRo ship to carry several Vulcan-Centaur launcher sets from a Gulf port to the West Coast. After the Rocketship shuttled the launcher sets from Decatur to the Gulf port. The RoRo ship should be able to disembark the launcher sets at the Vandenberg wharf.

Might consider doing the same for the East Coast. So the Rocketship will be use only as an inshore shuttle boat between Decatur and a Gulf port.

Don't think the current ULA logistics system can support the upcoming surge in transits with the Kuiper launches.
It's a long way by river from Decatur to New Orleans. This transshipment trick may help a lot for the VSFB trip, though. More generally, there are professionals that know how to solve this problem. I was just wondering if anyone already knows what ULA has in mind. If Kuiper is willing to start with their non-polar satellites first, then even the single RocketShip may be adequate.

Offline Jim

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When the Amazon bulk Vulcan purchase was announced, Tory Bruno said that they were planning to acquire a second RocketShip. 


This

Offline Jim

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Maybe ULA can lease a large RoRo ship to carry several Vulcan-Centaur launcher sets from a Gulf port to the West Coast. After the Rocketship shuttled the launcher sets from Decatur to the Gulf port. The RoRo ship should be able to disembark the launcher sets at the Vandenberg wharf.

Might consider doing the same for the East Coast. So the Rocketship will be use only as an inshore shuttle boat between Decatur and a Gulf port.

Don't think the current ULA logistics system can support the upcoming surge in transits with the Kuiper launches.

There will be two Rocketships.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Maybe ULA can lease a large RoRo ship to carry several Vulcan-Centaur launcher sets from a Gulf port to the West Coast. After the Rocketship shuttled the launcher sets from Decatur to the Gulf port. The RoRo ship should be able to disembark the launcher sets at the Vandenberg wharf.

Might consider doing the same for the East Coast. So the Rocketship will be use only as an inshore shuttle boat between Decatur and a Gulf port.

Don't think the current ULA logistics system can support the upcoming surge in transits with the Kuiper launches.

There will be two Rocketships.
OK, with that as the only solution, we get 60/yr at CCSFS, and subtract about 3 at CCSFS for every one at VSFB. This works until the cadence increases and is consistent with the build capacity at Decatur, I think. They will need the second RocketShip only if ULA starts launching more than that.

Online Zed_Noir

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.....
There will be two Rocketships.
OK, with that as the only solution, we get 60/yr at CCSFS, and subtract about 3 at CCSFS for every one at VSFB. This works until the cadence increases and is consistent with the build capacity at Decatur, I think. They will need the second RocketShip only if ULA starts launching more than that.
Think it will be less than 60/yr. There will be down time for maintenance and inspections.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Sorry, folks. I was angsting over nothing. ULA will not produce more than 25 Vulcans/yr in the near term:
In response to Tory’s tweet of 4 Centaur Vs on production:
Quote
With ULA consolidating Delta & Atlas factory space into production for one vehicle, what kind of production rate are you targeting for Vulcan? I think you mentioned it in your tour with @smartereveryday, but I don't recall what number you had in mind
Quote
25 per year

They apparently will not need anything but their single RocketShip for awhile, even if they send all eight remaining Kuiper Atlas Vs and two Starliner Atlas Vs to Florida next year.

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