Poll

Will Antares ever launch any non-CRS missions before it is retired?

Yes, it will launch satellites/probes/etc. other than Cygnus (NASA or commercial)
12 (12.9%)
Yes, but it will only launch Cygnus (e.g. resupply to a commercial space stations)
6 (6.5%)
No, but it will continue to fly CRS missions for NASA until the end of the CRS program
50 (53.8%)
No, and CRS missions will be moved to another vehicle before the end of the CRS program
25 (26.9%)

Total Members Voted: 93

Voting closed: 03/05/2018 03:09 PM


Author Topic: POLL: Will Antares ever launch anything other than CRS missions?  (Read 5205 times)

Online IanThePineapple

IMO Antares will just die with CRS, unless NASA really wants another small lift launcher besides the Minotaur series, Pegasus, Vector/Electron and potentially Vega.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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IMO Antares will just die with CRS,
Likely.

Although ... an odd thought occurs. If Northrup Grumman didn't want to continue Antares, but wanted to still recoup dev costs post CRS, they could do a JV with suppliers to continue operation of MARS/Antares in order to explore expanding the provider business in various ways, as another means of exiting the business instead of abandoning it post CRS.

Quote
unless NASA really wants another small lift launcher besides the Minotaur series, Pegasus, Vector/Electron and potentially Vega.
The provider business has changed considerably since the CRS program.

Many vehicle alternatives, totally different pricing and means for providers (business models ...) to offer to customers, its closer to a market economy than ever before.

And yes, its also possible to barter launches as with JWST, but on smaller LV like Vega (if Ariane 5/6 becomes economically "challenged", expect Vega to be uprated (possibly three boosters and a LRE US?). Economically would work to garner enough payloads even given global launch price erosion expected.

Offline GreenShrike

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Re: Will Antares ever launch anything other than CRS missions?
« Reply #22 on: 02/03/2018 08:23 PM »
Taurus II at the time (now Antares) was always Orbital's back up option, and Orbital had since the start looked at a high-energy upper-stage so it would become a proper Delta II replacement. They went with CASTOR-30 from the start to shorten development time/costs for Cygnus as it didnt need the high energy stage to get to LEO, and as SpaceX proved itself Orbital didnt need to exercise its backup option.

Makes ones wonder what the thinking is behind NGL, then. With ULA/Vulcan, Blue/New Glenn and SpaceX/Falcon Heavy coming on-line, you can't really claim NGL is a backup option for anything. ULA and SpaceX aren't going anywhere and Bezos can sustain Blue and New Glenn through something even worse than a Falcon 1 scenario. I wonder if the push is coming more from the ATK side?

Regardless, Minotaur and some NGL variant should be able to cover anything Antares might launch outside CRS, for cheaper than Antares (I don't know where the cost for Antares is coming from vis-a-vis F9, but I presume it isn't the Castor 30 solid).

I think Antares is done when CRS is done.
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Joesph's set up a dedicate thread for discussion of the Mission Extension Vehicle:

While the first two MEVs are being used for satellite servicing, Orbital has much wider goals.  This thread explores potential uses for MEV as well as potential future development paths.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2018 09:09 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Lar

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I would like to nominate the Mission Extension Vehicle as a potential non-CRS mission.
It's a GTO/GSO launch, as many of its lucrative sats are, which fly mostly on F9, so it would likely not fly on Antares, for same.
I beleive he was suggesting a LEO checkout mission as being Antares launchable. But I would think if they did one they'd use the launcher they normally have to integrate with rather than Antares.
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Getting OT. Moved to thread, click on below:

...

Cygnus VV for the ISS is qualified to work in the KOS.

... (more in other thread)
« Last Edit: 02/05/2018 09:30 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Lobo

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Yea, seems like Antares will be retired whenever CRS is.  Possibly before if they get NGL going and it can loft Cygnus.  No need for two launchers if NASA lets them move it to NGL.  and NGL would launch from the Cape solving the issue of Antares's launch location.

But, there'd still be the issue for Orb/ATK if they can make NGL competitive in the growing market of launchers in that class?  But since they build sats, they may have a niche to sell the sat plus their own matched in-house launcher as a package?

Kind of too bad to see that nice Antares booster retired, but the solid booster of NGL would be all in-house and US made (not sure where the upper stage would be made?) 
Antares was always a little "backwards" in that it had the nice, high efficiency engines on the booster and the (relatively) lower efficiency solids on the upper stage. 

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