Author Topic: USAF RFP for new EELV Launch Service Agreements (2017-10-05)  (Read 20592 times)

Offline gongora

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$20m is a huge amount for the AF to award SpaceX for a simple "study." For comparison, that's about 25% of what the AF has paid SpaceX for previous launches and contracts.

You made me go look at the SpaceX contracts again (like I didn't have enough to do today, thanks alot).  I see about $600M total in publicly known DoD contracts now, which includes four launches (DSCOVR, STP-2, and 2xGPS) and the Raptor development funds.

Offline vaporcobra

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$20m is a huge amount for the AF to award SpaceX for a simple "study." For comparison, that's about 25% of what the AF has paid SpaceX for previous launches and contracts.

You made me go look at the SpaceX contracts again (like I didn't have enough to do today, thanks alot).  I see about $600M total in publicly known DoD contracts now, which includes four launches (DSCOVR, STP-2, and 2xGPS) and the Raptor development funds.

I was messing around with .csv export on the FPDS.gov database, definitely worth a look if you have time. Also if you don't have time! Make time for the wonder that is spreadsheets ;)

I got about the same amount from the DoD, and if I remember correctly about $5.3B of funding/contracts from the federal government as a whole. 
« Last Edit: 02/20/2018 08:32 PM by vaporcobra »

Offline Lar

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I think Vc meant 25% of what the AF paid Sx for*one* launch....

If we get a few more posts we can carve them out to a new thread.... for now I am not sure this isn't the best place?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
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Offline gongora

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I think Vc meant 25% of what the AF paid Sx for*one* launch....

If we get a few more posts we can carve them out to a new thread.... for now I am not sure this isn't the best place?

FutureSpaceTourist dug up another thread earlier that had been dormant for a while, it doesn't really matter to me which thread gets used: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40721.msg1790777#msg1790777

Offline su27k

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http://spacenews.com/air-force-stakes-future-on-privately-funded-launch-vehicles-will-the-gamble-pay-off/

Quote
The Air Force signed cost-sharing partnerships with ULA, SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The original request for proposals noted the Air Force wants to “leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers.”

The next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes.

“We are on schedule to make LSA awards in July 2018,” a spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told SpaceNews.

Offline rockets4life97

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http://spacenews.com/air-force-stakes-future-on-privately-funded-launch-vehicles-will-the-gamble-pay-off/

Quote
The Air Force signed cost-sharing partnerships with ULA, SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The original request for proposals noted the Air Force wants to “leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers.”

The next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes.

“We are on schedule to make LSA awards in July 2018,” a spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told SpaceNews.

If the development of AR-1 is being scaled back (discussion in the ULA thread about the BE-4 vs AR-1 competition), does this indicate the Air Force will continue to fund raptor development?

Offline gongora

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http://spacenews.com/air-force-stakes-future-on-privately-funded-launch-vehicles-will-the-gamble-pay-off/

Quote
The Air Force signed cost-sharing partnerships with ULA, SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The original request for proposals noted the Air Force wants to “leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers.”

The next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes.

“We are on schedule to make LSA awards in July 2018,” a spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told SpaceNews.

If the development of AR-1 is being scaled back (discussion in the ULA thread about the BE-4 vs AR-1 competition), does this indicate the Air Force will continue to fund raptor development?

Raptor and AR-1 have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Offline vaporcobra

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http://spacenews.com/air-force-stakes-future-on-privately-funded-launch-vehicles-will-the-gamble-pay-off/

Quote
The Air Force signed cost-sharing partnerships with ULA, SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The original request for proposals noted the Air Force wants to “leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers.”

The next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes.

“We are on schedule to make LSA awards in July 2018,” a spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told SpaceNews.

If the development of AR-1 is being scaled back (discussion in the ULA thread about the BE-4 vs AR-1 competition), does this indicate the Air Force will continue to fund raptor development?

Raptor and AR-1 have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Well, I wouldn't go quite that far :) the cancellation of one certainly doesn't necessarily mean anything for the others, but both Raptor and AR-1 R&D have cost-share partnerships with the Air Force under the same LSA.

One thing I'm not certain about in the above article, however, is Sandra's comment that "the next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes." If I understood this RFP correctly, the AF would actually be looking to fund three EELV prototypes - they've already funded prototypes of propulsion systems, systems now deep into hot-fire testing.

I believe this was where we were anticipating potential proposals for OATK's NGL, Vulcan, FH/BFR/Raptor US, and perhaps even New Glenn.

Offline gongora

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One thing I'm not certain about in the above article, however, is Sandra's comment that "the next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes." If I understood this RFP correctly, the AF would actually be looking to fund three EELV prototypes - they've already funded prototypes of propulsion systems, systems now deep into hot-fire testing.

I believe this was where we were anticipating potential proposals for OATK's NGL, Vulcan, FH/BFR/Raptor US, and perhaps even New Glenn.

I don't think that article is particularly well-written, it mixes together two separate programs.

Offline vaporcobra

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One thing I'm not certain about in the above article, however, is Sandra's comment that "the next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes." If I understood this RFP correctly, the AF would actually be looking to fund three EELV prototypes - they've already funded prototypes of propulsion systems, systems now deep into hot-fire testing.

I believe this was where we were anticipating potential proposals for OATK's NGL, Vulcan, FH/BFR/Raptor US, and perhaps even New Glenn.

I don't think that article is particularly well-written, it mixes together two separate programs.

Sandra is typically awesome, but definitely some problems in this particular article. I can sympathize, everyone makes mistakes ;D

Regardless, LSA awards in July for this RFP is extremely exciting.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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On the political side, specifically funding was written increasingly carefully to channel funds to AR-1 on the behest of lobbyists (and since it was too obvious and also likely that BE-4 would still win out, that was carefully factored in to a limited degree).

It is quite understandable the confusion here, since the AF earlier on used the broadly worded legislation to also allow Raptor/US and solid booster matching funding. Which the annoyed those lobbyists, thus they applied the spurs to the above mentioned politicians.

Who are still rather PO'ed about BE4, Raptor, and NGL, in that order.

(What I've enjoyed about this is being able to use the lobbyists own inept arguments to provide counter incentives. For example, at one point Raptor's early success meant by those arguments that ULA should be compelled by the AF to seek a means to use Raptor, which wasn't what they intended at all but nevertheless what was the obvious implication of what they were saying. At another point, one could also argue for a solid booster for Vulcan (which was not one of the two configurations possible). In part this stupidity amplified the legislative changes which again were even more stupid and craven by the (ir)relevant politicians to force the current situation, which is simply to pass more dollars for doing even less to AJR.)

Looking forward to AR-1 down select to get on with Vulcan BE-4 so all of that stuff can end, at least for Vulcan. (It will still go on, as Ed Kyle will tell you how much more profitable AJR is, and they are, because they are quite good at acquiring "stupid" money (which does not care about returns on outlays), although not so good at getting anything with competitive booster propulsion out of it.)

Offline rockets4life97

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http://spacenews.com/air-force-stakes-future-on-privately-funded-launch-vehicles-will-the-gamble-pay-off/

Quote
The Air Force signed cost-sharing partnerships with ULA, SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The original request for proposals noted the Air Force wants to “leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers.”

The next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes.

“We are on schedule to make LSA awards in July 2018,” a spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told SpaceNews.

If the development of AR-1 is being scaled back (discussion in the ULA thread about the BE-4 vs AR-1 competition), does this indicate the Air Force will continue to fund raptor development?

Raptor and AR-1 have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Sorry. My mistake. I was reading the comment as the Air Force will select 2 and their are 3 options. If you take one away, you get 2 competitors for 2 options.

Offline gongora

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http://spacenews.com/air-force-stakes-future-on-privately-funded-launch-vehicles-will-the-gamble-pay-off/

Quote
The Air Force signed cost-sharing partnerships with ULA, SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The original request for proposals noted the Air Force wants to “leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers.”

The next step is to select three companies this summer to move forward with enginet prototypes.

“We are on schedule to make LSA awards in July 2018,” a spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told SpaceNews.

If the development of AR-1 is being scaled back (discussion in the ULA thread about the BE-4 vs AR-1 competition), does this indicate the Air Force will continue to fund raptor development?

Raptor and AR-1 have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Sorry. My mistake. I was reading the comment as the Air Force will select 2 and their are 3 options. If you take one away, you get 2 competitors for 2 options.

This goes back to the article mixing up different programs.  The "select 2 of 3" is from the follow-on program to the earlier propulsion development contracts, which is to develop new launch vehicles (or upgrade existing launch vehicles) to fulfill the DoD launch requirements.  As far as we know this would probably be Falcon, Vulcan, and NGL (and maybe New Glenn).  Raptor might not even factor into that round at all.

Offline envy887

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F9 with ASDS to 400 km circular LEO is 15,520 kg according to LSP. Pretty sure LSP still has pre Block 5 numbers, so 11,000 kg is way low. Block 5 with recovery is likely around 18,000 kg to a 200 km reference LEO.

The 2017 presentation also shows 15,000 kg for F9 with booster reuse.

IMO Blue will build New Glenn to service all the EELV requirements without a 3rd stage and with booster reuse, but we'll have to wait for some updated numbers to be sure on that.

Offline gongora

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F9 with ASDS to 400 km circular LEO is 15,520 kg according to LSP. Pretty sure LSP still has pre Block 5 numbers, so 11,000 kg is way low.

Ed's table is using a higher LEO orbit.

Offline envy887

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F9 with ASDS to 400 km circular LEO is 15,520 kg according to LSP. Pretty sure LSP still has pre Block 5 numbers, so 11,000 kg is way low.

Ed's table is using a higher LEO orbit.

Only for Vulcan Centaur 5.

IMO Blue will build New Glenn to service all the EELV requirements without a 3rd stage and with booster reuse, but we'll have to wait for some updated numbers to be sure on that.
I've tried modeling New Glenn, and have found that the two-stage variant has a struggle trying to achieve the Heavy-class EELV-2 geosynchronous orbit number.  That second stage is a giant thing that cuts into GEO performance.  A small third, kick stage would easily get the job done though.

 - Ed Kyle

Are you assuming the 10% dry mass and 1.0 TWR listed on your site? New Glenn will stage faster than Falcon 9, which only has a TWR of 0.75 at staging. I'm thinking NG will have an upper stage TWR around 0.7, so the stage should mass about 171 tonnes wet. Large LH2 stages get better mass ratios than small ones, so this should be approaching the S-II's 7.2% record. Call it 8%, and the dry mass would be 13.7 t.

The Silverbird calculator shows that getting 8900 kg to GSO:


Offline TrevorMonty

The GSO 6577kg requirement is probably reason for Centuar5 plus possibly NGs BE3U 2nd stage. A 3rd stage wouldn't be issue for Blue just smaller 1xBe3U version of 2nd stage, still use all same systems.

NB FH has demostrated GSO direct capabilities in its maiden flight.


Offline Navier–Stokes

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F9 with ASDS to 400 km circular LEO is 15,520 kg according to LSP. Pretty sure LSP still has pre Block 5 numbers, so 11,000 kg is way low. Block 5 with recovery is likely around 18,000 kg to a 200 km reference LEO.

The 2017 presentation also shows 15,000 kg for F9 with booster reuse.

IMO Blue will build New Glenn to service all the EELV requirements without a 3rd stage and with booster reuse, but we'll have to wait for some updated numbers to be sure on that.
Clay Mowry stated that the 2-stage New Glenn variant will be able to achieve all of the LSA reference orbits:
“If you look at LSA and all those mission profiles, we can serve all of those with a single version of New Glenn with this two-stage architecture,” Mowry said.
Based on Blue Origin's past statements about expendable New Glenn boosters, it seems like a fairly safe assumption that this performance would include booster reuse. Hopefully, we'll get some updated numbers from Blue Origin soon (I'm surprised that we don't already, given that it has been over a month since the redesign went public).
« Last Edit: 05/04/2018 01:41 AM by Navier–Stokes »

Offline envy887

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Are you assuming the 10% dry mass and 1.0 TWR listed on your site? New Glenn will stage faster than Falcon 9, which only has a TWR of 0.75 at staging. I'm thinking NG will have an upper stage TWR around 0.7, so the stage should mass about 171 tonnes wet. Large LH2 stages get better mass ratios than small ones, so this should be approaching the S-II's 7.2% record. Call it 8%, and the dry mass would be 13.7 t.
New Glenn second stage would be roughly S-IVB size rather than S-II size.  (S-IVB weighed 120 tonnes give or take, fully fueled.)   S-IVB with IU and residuals only had a 0.88-0.89 propellant mass fraction, so I feel I'm being generous with a 0.9 assumption.

For a GEO mission, the model wants the final stage to weigh less, not more.  The T/W at ignition ends up being higher than 0.75 simply because the stage and GEO payload together end up weighing about the same as the thrust of two BE-3U engines.

 - Ed Kyle

Are you constraining the staging velocity? That shifts more delta-v onto the upper stage, so it has to be bigger relative to the payload.

I highly doubt Blue is going to put 2 tonnes of avionics on a 14 tonne dry mass stage. The S-IVB was also around 8% dry mass without the IU.

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