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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Orbital ATK - Antares/Cygnus Mission Section => Topic started by: rayleighscatter on 01/14/2016 09:18 PM

Title: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/14/2016 09:18 PM
So Orbital ATK has hinted in the past few years of a larger solid rocket in the 2020 timeframe. With the recent USAF contract providing seed money for a rocket with a Common Booster Segment first stage, GEM strap on boosters, and a BE3 upper-stage there seems to be more meat to the proposals.

Visiting Wallops Flight Facility earlier this summer I got pictures of these and was a little confused why they might be there. They are too small for Minotaur/Antares and too large for any of the sounding rockets. I now wonder if they may have been brought up for possible use at one point now with this now proposed unnammed rocket.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: DaveS on 01/14/2016 09:30 PM
Based on the stencil in the second photo, I'm thinking these are just retired Delta II GEM transportation hardware. Also based on this photo (http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/images/large/2014-3596.jpg) of one of the GEM-46s for the SMAP Delta II, I'm definitively convinced that this is just old discarded Delta II GSE.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/14/2016 09:34 PM
Based on the stencil in the second photo, I'm thinking these are just retired Delta II GEM transportation hardware. Also based on this photo (http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/images/large/2014-3596.jpg) of one of the GEM-46s for the SMAP Delta II, I'm definitively convinced that this is just old discarded Delta II GSE.
It is old Delta II GSE but I'm not sure about discarded. If it was set for disposal they could have saved a lot of money and done that down in Florida. And if they were just destined for storage they would have gone to an Orbital ATK facility (they have a lot of nice empty desert to spare). For it all to come to Virginia it must have (at least at one point) been considered for actual use.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: DaveS on 01/14/2016 09:37 PM
Based on the stencil in the second photo, I'm thinking these are just retired Delta II GEM transportation hardware. Also based on this photo (http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/images/large/2014-3596.jpg) of one of the GEM-46s for the SMAP Delta II, I'm definitively convinced that this is just old discarded Delta II GSE.
It is old Delta II GSE but I'm not sure about discarded. If it was set for disposal they could have saved a lot of money and done that down in Florida. And if they were just destined for storage they would have gone to an Orbital ATK facility (they have a lot of nice empty desert to spare). For it all to come to Virginia it must have (at least at one point) been considered for actual use.
The problem of reusing it the GSE is that it was manufactured for a specific size flight hardware, in this case the Delta II GEM-46. It won't fit anything else unless it is also 46" in diameter.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/14/2016 09:42 PM
Which is what I was getting at in the original post. I wonder if they were originally thinking of using GEM-46 boosters in this future rocket. They've obviously gone with a larger booster now but there had been hints of a smaller solid rocket (like the all solid Antares) that could have used them. I wonder if the proposal has just evolved larger in the last year or two.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: arachnitect on 01/14/2016 11:05 PM
I'm thinking these are for GEM-40 not GEM-46.

Either way, probably not big enough for OrbATK's "common booster segment"

As for what this stuff is doing at WIFF? No idea. (Conestoga II?)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/15/2016 12:58 AM
I'm thinking these are for GEM-40 not GEM-46.

Either way, probably not big enough for OrbATK's "common booster segment"

As for what this stuff is doing at WIFF? No idea. (Conestoga II?)
the trailers from Japan as well as the ones assigned to CCAFS were to my knowledge sent back to ATK following the decommissioning of those launch sites and processing facilities. These particular ones match the hardware used by ULA at CCAFS. The VAFB ones are currently in use in there processing hanger. The chocks would be the processing stand and the trailers are what takes the GEMs to the pad. Now the GSE S/Ns are visible and if we had the corresponding data we could determine the Launch Site and GEM model. AFAIR, the Chock and trailers for GEM-46 would have said Delta IIH, not Delta II, so that means these are for GEM 40 or an earlier DII SRM
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Proponent on 01/18/2016 10:50 AM
From Parabolic Arc: "Orbital ATK Pursuing New Solid Fuel Launch Vehicle" (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/orbital-atk-pursuing-solid-fuel-launch-vehicle/#more-57293).  The GEM 63X and a Blue Origin BE-4U are mentioned, though it's not exactly stated how they fit in.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: daveklingler on 01/20/2016 02:14 AM
Does a "Common Booster Segment" first stage denote an Ares I or Liberty Rocket 2.0, only the extra boosters give the second stage enough delta vee to compete favorably with Delta IV?

It's interesting that the BE-3U gives ATK the missing piece it needs to enter the EELV launch market.  Development money for the BE-3U might also give it both the near-term availability and pricing to accelerate its use in the Vulcan, as well.  Effectively the existing contractors combine forces with Jeff Bezos and government money to create competition for SpaceX, except that then the government throws in some sugar to help SpaceX compete right back.

I'm pounding my forehead to try to wrap my mind around all of this.  Great Beal's Ghost!
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 02/25/2016 10:24 AM
I think the CBS (Common Booster Segment) is a carbonfiber-epoxy filament wound replacement for the RSRM (Reusable Solid Rocket Motor) rocket segments. From what I've read about the Brazilian VLS and VLM rockets, carbonfiber filament wound booster casings are much faster and cheaper to fabricate than metal (steel) casings. The investment in the development of these expendable composite solid rocket segments could have a very fast return on investment. (possibly one SLS mission)
Most likely the SLS solids will be replaced from 5segment RSRM's to 5 (or less, because they are larger) segment CBS engines. And I think Orbital ATK will use 2,5 (or less possibly 1 or 1,5) segment CBS as Castor 900 on Athena III (Athena is LM & ATK's commercial equivalent offer to the Minotaur rocket family. It uses Castor engines instead of military surplus Minuteman and Peacekeeper stages [surplus= stages that are close to or past their storage time]).

I do want to note that ATK could also have made these changes within the developement of the Five segment RSRM's. But SLS is a cost plus, old space Jobs program.  ::)

Edit: Could the LC-43 launch site location be a good location for the Athena III, it is on the launch site 46 the Minotaur and Athena launch site at Cape Canaveral. A new launch site has to be build. For possible liquid upper-stages on the Athena family the facilities at LC-17 (Delta II) or LC-36 (BlueOrigin) could be used.
I've added a map I picked from a document about commercial development on the Cape, and I've edited it. 
And a links to Info about Athena III from 2007 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/atkcots.html), 2013 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/athena.html) and a presentation (https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/Athena%20Launch%20Vehicle%20Family-Kehrl_PR.pdf) from 2014.

@Kraisee, sorry I used your picture.
Have I put it correctly now?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 02/25/2016 02:53 PM
I think the CBS (Common Booster Segment) is a carbonfiber-epoxy filament wound replacement for the RSRM (Reusable Solid Rocket Motor) rocket segments. From what I've read about the Brazilian VLS and VLM rockets, carbonfiber filament wound booster casings are much faster and cheaper to fabricate than metal (steel) casings. The investment in the development of these expendable composite solid rocket segments could have a very fast return on investment. (possibly one SLS mission)
Most likely the SLS solids will be replaced from 5segment RSRM's to 5 (or less, because they are larger) segment CBS engines. And I think Orbital ATK will use 2,5 (or less possibly 1 or 1,5) segment CBS as Castor 900 on Athena III (Athena is LM & ATK's commercial variant of the Minotaur rocket family. It uses Castor engines instead of military surplus Minuteman and Peacekeeper stages [stages that are close to or past their storage time]).

I do want to note that ATK could also have made these changes within the developement of the Five segment RSRM's. But SLS is a cost plus, old space Jobs program.  ::)

Edit: Could the LC-43 launch site location be a good location for the Athena III, it is on the launch site 46 the Minotaur and Athena launch site at Cape Canaveral. A new launch site has to be build. For possible liquid upper-stages on the Athena family the facilities at LC-17 (Delta II) or LC-36 (BlueOrigin) could be used.
I've added a map I picked from a document about commercial development on the Cape, and I've edited it. 
And a links to Info about Athena III from 2007 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/atkcots.html), 2013 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/athena.html) and a presentation (https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/Athena%20Launch%20Vehicle%20Family-Kehrl_PR.pdf) from 2014.
Back in the Shuttle days, ATK developed a Filament wound Composite SRM.  It never flew, though, as it was intended for polar Shuttle missions.  I believe a set is now on display with the Pathfinder Shuttle mockup in Huntsville.

ATK did propose filament wound cases for SLS, in the form of the Dark Knight Advanced Booster.  I could certainly imagine some connection between Dark Knight and CBS.  Dark Knight is supposedly 40% less expensive and 24% more reliable than RSRM.  In the near term, though, it will be a while before they fly out the existing supply of RSRM cases.

I wouldn't call Athena the commercial variant of the Minotaur.  The Minotaur-C is the commercial variant of the Minotaur.  They both use the Castor 120, which is based on the Peacekeeper stage, though.  None of the Athenas have any connection to Minuteman.

Athena III is a paper rocket in search of a market right now.  DoD did say there might be additional contracts with other offerors, so I suppose LM might get some money for Athena III from that.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/the-dark-knights-atks-advanced-booster-revealed-for-sls/
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/25/2016 03:04 PM
Edit: Could the LC-43 launch site location be a good location for the Athena III, it is on the launch site 46 the Minotaur and Athena launch site at Cape Canaveral. A new launch site has to be build. For possible liquid upper-stages on the Athena family the facilities at LC-17 (Delta II) or LC-36 (BlueOrigin) could be used.
I've added a map I picked from a document about commercial development on the Cape, and I've edited it. 
And a links to Info about Athena III from 2007 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/atkcots.html), 2013 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/athena.html) and a presentation (https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/Athena%20Launch%20Vehicle%20Family-Kehrl_PR.pdf) from 2014.
I agree about the potential synergy between an SLS booster and a potential smaller, EELV class launch vehicle.  This R&D "Common Booster Segment" program may be a way to start developing the improved SLS booster.

If it does develop its EELV class rocket, however, Orbital-ATK will not name it "Athena". 

"Athena" is a Lockheed Martin launcher family that seems to be forever two years from service.    Lockheed Martin has plans for Athena 1/2 launches, but only from Kodiak.  Athena 3 was last reported to only be "under study" by Lockheed Martin several years back.

Plans have been made by Orbital ATK to launch a Minotaur IV from Cape Canaveral SLC 46.  If it develops an EELV-class rocket, SLC 46 won't suffice, as you observed.  LC 39B is one possibility.  SLC 37B might be vacant in a few years, along with SLC 6 on the west coast.  Etc. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 02/25/2016 06:23 PM
I think Minotaur IV; V and VI are comparable to Athena Ic and IIc. Indeed Minotaur 1 is not comparable; Orbitals Pegasus has the same capability. Wasn't Athena form Lockheed Martin and ATK. link (https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Athena_MPG_01-23-12.pdf)
In this presentation (http://smdsymposium.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Kaufman-Nano-Launch-Vehicle-presentation.pdf) on page 3, it is shows clearly that Minotaur IV;V are comparable to Athena IIc.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/25/2016 07:00 PM
I think Minotaur IV; V and VI are comparable to Athena Ic and IIc. Indeed Minotaur 1 is not comparable; Orbitals Pegasus has the same capability. Wasn't Athena form Lockheed Martin and ATK. link (https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Athena_MPG_01-23-12.pdf)
In this presentation (http://smdsymposium.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Kaufman-Nano-Launch-Vehicle-presentation.pdf) on page 3, it is shows clearly that Minotaur IV;V are comparable to Athena IIc.
"Comparable" in the broad sense that they aim for the same general payload ranges, but there are many detail differences and they are "owned" by different companies.

Minotaur 4 through 6 use, or propose to use excess Peacekeeper missile motors (SR-118, SR-119, SR-120) topped by smaller commercial motors (Orion 38, Star 48, Star 37, etc.).  Orbital-ATK has the contract to prepare and launch these Minotaurs, which I believe are constrained to government use.

The Athenas used Castor 120, a commercial derivative of SR-118 though with many changes.  The new Athenas will also use Castor 30, which was not used on the old Athena launch vehicles.  Lockheed developed the original Athena and Lockheed Martin is working on the re-development.  ATK had the contract to sell Castor motors to Lockheed Martin for its Athena launch vehicles, which made it a sub-contractor.  Athena is meant to handle commercial payloads.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 02/25/2016 07:20 PM
I agree edkyle
Minotaur rockets (accept for Minotaur-C's) are US government only. I think launching an ICBM that is going to expire it's shelf live, is the cheapest method to get rid of it. Especially when a useful payload is carried/ launched.   
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 02/25/2016 07:49 PM
I agree edkyle
Minotaur rockets (accept for Minotaur-C's) are US government only. I think launching an ICBM that is going to expire it's shelf live, is the cheapest method to get rid of it. Especially when a useful payload is carried/ launched.   

ATK was a supplier of motors to both Orbital (directly and via the US Government) and LM, but Minotaur and Athena should not be called variants of each other.  They are two separate vehicle families in about the same payload range that share some motors.  Later, Orbital and ATK merged, but that does not change the relationship of the vehicles.

Here's a scorecard:
SR-118: used in Peacekeeper, Minotaur.
Castor 120: derived from SR-118 design, used in Minotaur-C, Athena.
Castor 30: derived from Castor 120 design, used in Antares, new Athena
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 02/25/2016 09:18 PM
Is it true that there are four different RSRM segments: the top segment with closed top and pyrogen igniter, full and half middel segments and segments with nozzle? Should these same four segment have to be developed for CBM, or is it beter to not develop the half segment?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: baldusi on 02/25/2016 10:02 PM
IIRC, the advanced composite replaced the five segment steel booster with just three segments. An interesting possibility is to use just top and bottom, and customize the thrust law by the middle geometry. This would reduce the differences for different applications: two segments for EELV Medium, three segments for Heavy and three segment for SLS. And you would need just four solid geometries.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: okan170 on 03/03/2016 05:27 PM
Someone on Reddit uploaded a pdf with General Greaves' EELV talking points.  Included in the pdf was an (unfortunately small) image which may provide a look at the Orb-ATK proposal.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/03/2016 05:40 PM
Someone on Reddit uploaded a pdf with General Greaves' EELV talking points.  Included in the pdf was an (unfortunately small) image which may provide a look at the Orb-ATK proposal.
An NSS "family picture" of currently paper rockets ... note all in pic have "smallish" US ... and that in theory any of the "large" US related, funded proposals, could make use of any of them in a pinch.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: baldusi on 03/03/2016 06:59 PM
Those clearly are the three composite segments that ATK was touting for the Advanced Boosters.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/03/2016 07:12 PM
Those clearly are the three composite segments that ATK was touting for the Advanced Boosters.
Any guesses on payloads to GTO and LEO if topped with 50t BE3U US?. Don't forget SRBs are also an option, most likely the same ones as Vulcan will use.

Blue will most likely use a versus of US for its orbital LV plus it will share a lot of New Shepards tooling so production volumes should be high enough to keep price low.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/03/2016 08:39 PM
Those clearly are the three composite segments that ATK was touting for the Advanced Boosters.
And if I'm seeing things correctly, there are two for a first stage and one for a second stage.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Oli on 03/03/2016 09:22 PM

I'd say ~8t to GTO and with 2 additional 2-segment boosters ~16t to GTO. Plus intermediate versions with Vulcan solids.

 :)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ethan829 on 03/03/2016 09:57 PM

Someone on Reddit uploaded a pdf with General Greaves' EELV talking points.  Included in the pdf was an (unfortunately small) image which may provide a look at the Orb-ATK proposal.
Neat, that was me! Hopefully we'll get a better render soon.

And if I'm seeing things correctly, there are two for a first stage and one for a second stage.
Huh, I hadn't considered that it might be a three-stage design. I figured it would be like Ares I or Liberty.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/03/2016 10:17 PM

I'd say ~8t to GTO and with 2 additional 2-segment boosters ~16t to GTO. Plus intermediate versions with Vulcan solids.

 :)
The fine numbers all depend on the size of the upper stage.  But even with a 30 tonne upper stage this rocket should beat Delta 4 Heavy to GEO/GTO if two Stage Zero boosters are added.  It would be mid-EELV (~Atlas 421/431) range in the three-stage in-line form suggested in the image upthread. 

It is the Heavy version that I find compelling.  Heavy has always been so much more complex and costly than Medium, even going back to the Titan 4 days.  This concept may offer a lower-cost modular solution to the Medium/Heavy problem.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/03/2016 10:26 PM
Huh, I hadn't considered that it might be a three-stage design. I figured it would be like Ares I or Liberty.
Even Liberty would have needed a third (liquid) stage to do GTO missions.  Much better to split the solid motors into two stages, which gives a smaller, more optimum liquid insertion stage.  The launch vehicle ends up grossing only 70% as much at liftoff.

Europe (Arianespace and ILS) should probably pay more attention to this rocket than Falcon Heavy.  It is the original solid core Ariane 6 redux, and expanded.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: LastStarFighter on 03/03/2016 10:37 PM
I think the CBS (Common Booster Segment) is a carbonfiber-epoxy filament wound replacement for the RSRM (Reusable Solid Rocket Motor) rocket segments. From what I've read about the Brazilian VLS and VLM rockets, carbonfiber filament wound booster casings are much faster and cheaper to fabricate than metal (steel) casings. The investment in the development of these expendable composite solid rocket segments could have a very fast return on investment. (possibly one SLS mission)
Most likely the SLS solids will be replaced from 5segment RSRM's to 5 (or less, because they are larger) segment CBS engines. And I think Orbital ATK will use 2,5 (or less possibly 1 or 1,5) segment CBS as Castor 900 on Athena III (Athena is LM & ATK's commercial equivalent offer to the Minotaur rocket family. It uses Castor engines instead of military surplus Minuteman and Peacekeeper stages [surplus= stages that are close to or past their storage time]).

I do want to note that ATK could also have made these changes within the developement of the Five segment RSRM's. But SLS is a cost plus, old space Jobs program.  ::)

Edit: Could the LC-43 launch site location be a good location for the Athena III, it is on the launch site 46 the Minotaur and Athena launch site at Cape Canaveral. A new launch site has to be build. For possible liquid upper-stages on the Athena family the facilities at LC-17 (Delta II) or LC-36 (BlueOrigin) could be used.
I've added a map I picked from a document about commercial development on the Cape, and I've edited it. 
And a links to Info about Athena III from 2007 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/atkcots.html), 2013 (http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/athena.html) and a presentation (https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/Athena%20Launch%20Vehicle%20Family-Kehrl_PR.pdf) from 2014.

@Kraisee, sorry I used your picture.
Have I put it correctly now?

It's also possible they will use SLC-39B. Positives are NASA is maintaining it, it has LH2/LOX available, flame duct is plenty big enough and NASA wants a shared use pad. Negatives are having to share the pad, probably renting up VAB space and crawlers are expensive. Not that I think it's a good option but just thought I'd throw it out there.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: baldusi on 03/03/2016 10:41 PM
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/03/2016 10:50 PM
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
That's why this may work.  The Heavy design, which would fly rarely, doesn't have to compromise the Medium, because it might lift the Medium.  A key would be to use the same upper stage for both.

I can see Orbital/ATK's strategy here.  The Medium would be able to lift payloads that are out of Falcon 9 Upgrade's reach.  The Heavy would be simpler than Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: LastStarFighter on 03/03/2016 11:33 PM
Very curious to see if/how they fixed the problems ARES-1 had with environments. If I remember correctly that vehicle would shake everything to pieces. Maybe this doesn't experience the same level of vibration though.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Stan-1967 on 03/03/2016 11:35 PM
It would be very interesting to see how the commercial market chooses and values a "cost optimized" FH vs. something like this ORB-ATK vision, that while very likely not cheaper than FH, but arguably more simple and reliable.  I hope we get to find out.

As to the previous question of how many Delta IV heavy missions are out there?   Tough to say, D-IV is mainly US government captive rocket design, made special for a very few number of payloads.   However if this ORB-ATK vehicle is as speculated, it is competing for the segment out of reach of F9-FT, as point out elsewhere.  It will also have to compete against Ariane 6-4, Vulcan, & maybe Proton?

There is an Airbus-Safran .ppt in the NSS archives that puts the market for +6.2t to GTO/GSO at around 6 launches per year through 2020.  I don't think that is an "outlier" market that will be satisfied with a vehicle not optimized for their payloads.

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 03/03/2016 11:49 PM
Can a 10' diameter road transportable solid with say 6-8 monolithic strap on solids compete in the medium lift market?  I know it might take a three stage with strap on's to lift something.  Just wondering.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/04/2016 01:18 AM
Can a 10' diameter road transportable solid with say 6-8 monolithic strap on solids compete in the medium lift market?  I know it might take a three stage with strap on's to lift something.  Just wondering.
OrbitalATK did mention using Vulcan SRBs on the LV. At this assume LV pictured with up to 6 SRBs. Should be able to cover most of the market. The SRBs are in-house so considerably cheaper than when they will be when fitted to Vulcan.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/04/2016 03:46 AM
Very curious to see if/how they fixed the problems ARES-1 had with environments. If I remember correctly that vehicle would shake everything to pieces. Maybe this doesn't experience the same level of vibration though.
Fixes were identified for Ares 1 thrust oscillation.  The shorter solids used in this design should have higher resonant frequencies, and ,since this is a new design, resonances could be de-tuned from the outset. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lobo on 03/04/2016 06:16 PM
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
That's why this may work.  The Heavy design, which would fly rarely, doesn't have to compromise the Medium, because it might lift the Medium.  A key would be to use the same upper stage for both.

I can see Orbital/ATK's strategy here.  The Medium would be able to lift payloads that are out of Falcon 9 Upgrade's reach.  The Heavy would be simpler than Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, very interesting.  I think the key is if they can manufacture the expendable booster casings and segments for price points that can be competitive with SpaceX's reusable boosters. 
If they really are -much- cheaper than metal casings, there may be something to that.
Because even if FH is more complex, given it's more simple propellants (vs. LH2 on D4H) that's probably a cost that will be incurred during development, but not sure it'll make reoccuring costs much more once flying.  Especially if the mission profile allows for recovery of the cores. 

But, to consider.  FH with all 3 cores recovered would probably only have a performance similar to a single core of this Orb-ATK LV.  Performance that will require a heavy version of the Orb-ATK solid LV would probably require at least an expendable FH central core.  So the price points might be single-core solid LV vs. FH with all 3 recoverd cores.  Or tri-core solid LV vs. FH with expendable central core.

Could be interesting. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/05/2016 06:40 PM
Solids do have their advantages, none of fuelling issues that have scrubbed F9 launches recently. They can sit on pad for hours waiting for range or weather to clear.

Still have to maintain the LOX/LH US.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kasponaut on 03/06/2016 10:30 PM
When will Orbital ATK present all the details about this new launch vehicle?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Arcas on 03/06/2016 10:49 PM
Solids do have their advantages, none of fuelling issues that have scrubbed F9 launches recently. They can sit on pad for hours waiting for range or weather to clear.

Still have to maintain the LOX/LH US.
True, but this is true of normal LOX as well, you just vent the offgas and top it off. With Falcon 9 v1.2, you had the oxygen warming up without boiling, which made it hard to remove the warm stuff and pump in fresh cool stuff.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/06/2016 11:03 PM
Ed, how many missions require Delta IV Heavy performance? Optimizing for the expensive case is sacrificing the bulk of launches. They have to beat Falcon 9 FT and Vulcan 50x on competitive bids.
That's why this may work.  The Heavy design, which would fly rarely, doesn't have to compromise the Medium, because it might lift the Medium.  A key would be to use the same upper stage for both.

I can see Orbital/ATK's strategy here.  The Medium would be able to lift payloads that are out of Falcon 9 Upgrade's reach.  The Heavy would be simpler than Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, very interesting.  I think the key is if they can manufacture the expendable booster casings and segments for price points that can be competitive with SpaceX's reusable boosters. 
If they really are -much- cheaper than metal casings, there may be something to that.
Because even if FH is more complex, given it's more simple propellants (vs. LH2 on D4H) that's probably a cost that will be incurred during development, but not sure it'll make reoccuring costs much more once flying.  Especially if the mission profile allows for recovery of the cores. 

Keep in mind (just considering solids only of this hypothetical vehicle, not the hypothetical LRE US) the low fixed costs of LV/facilities, the amount risked as a "speculative" service provider means they can "cherry pick" opportunities, they can bid on less desirable (to say SX/ULA) payloads, and in general they can be a "spoiler" provider that does not have to have any certain minimum of launches to keep "alive" the launcher.

Quote

But, to consider.  FH with all 3 cores recovered would probably only have a performance similar to a single core of this Orb-ATK LV.  Performance that will require a heavy version of the Orb-ATK solid LV would probably require at least an expendable FH central core.  So the price points might be single-core solid LV vs. FH with all 3 recoverd cores.  Or tri-core solid LV vs. FH with expendable central core.

We don't know the "recycle" time/economics yet. There have been recent hints that this might be quite different then we were led to believe with Shuttle. If "once in a blue moon" FH NSS launches w/o reuse from F9 payload business contributing, then a solid vehicle that is gradually produced/stacked economically might compete favorably. It gets around the "minimum number of launches" per annum issues that ULA has.

Now, the part I completely don't buy is the hydrolox US. OA has no experience with LH - they chickened out of it before with Antares (which was wise in retrospect), and I can't see them outsourcing this need, much less having the launch frequency to "keep alive" a hydrolox US in house.

Best I could see is sharing it with Antares, but once you'd have two LV (Antares LV + solid LV), there would be enormous pressure to have just one LV, so one would be back to all the same problems as before, which is why they didn't do a solid Antares nor a LH US for it.

So all this seems to be is a backup LV paper concept for if ULA trips and falls flat on its face ;)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kryten on 03/06/2016 11:19 PM
Now, the part I completely don't buy is the hydrolox US. OA has no experience with LH - they chickened out of it before with Antares (which was wise in retrospect), and I can't see them outsourcing this need, much less having the launch frequency to "keep alive" a hydrolox US in house.

Best I could see is sharing it with Antares, but once you'd have two LV (Antares LV + solid LV), there would be enormous pressure to have just one LV, so one would be back to all the same problems as before, which is why they didn't do a solid Antares nor a LH US for it.
Do you think it's possible they could use a common US with the Blue orbital LV?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/07/2016 01:08 AM
Now, the part I completely don't buy is the hydrolox US. OA has no experience with LH - they chickened out of it before with Antares (which was wise in retrospect), and I can't see them outsourcing this need, much less having the launch frequency to "keep alive" a hydrolox US in house.

Best I could see is sharing it with Antares, but once you'd have two LV (Antares LV + solid LV), there would be enormous pressure to have just one LV, so one would be back to all the same problems as before, which is why they didn't do a solid Antares nor a LH US for it.
Do you think it's possible they could use a common US with the Blue orbital LV?

ULA has been working toward a common US  before for Delta/Atlas/Vulcan. The plan for Vulcan is to start with Centaur, shared with Atlas. Those are your current examples.

If we were to see this proposed LV as a backup for Atlas/Vulcan, it would make most sense to piggyback that effort for a stage. But that would imply a lot of things I'd not like to defend.

And, Bruno has said that BE-3U an candidate for that as well.

Now ... in theory you could share US with various vehicles. BE-3 is already in use as a suborbital booster, and from it we can abstract much about BO's "use case" for a hydrolox stage.

We already know OA's desired "use case" is NSS payloads - is it likely that BO's hydrolox stage will be useful in achieving that, from what is at hand already? No - the point of BO's vehicle strategy appears to be different - they are making trades that appear to favor exclusively a human transport vehicle. Perhaps that may change, but currently nothing in the slightest suggests that is a consideration. Not even a shroud for an SC.

Does it take long to achieve a capable US for NSS payloads? Yes - it was the chief advantage that LMT had from the start with Atlas V (by taking it wholly, heritage included, from prior vehicles), and the largest technical deficit to surmount with Delta (largely from scratch + Delta III, and they never really did finish it). Its the weakest part of SX's story right now, and their first F9 LOM. If you share US with another LV/provider, why would it be in their interest to underwrite say multiple restarts, longer lived stages for coasts between burns, precision orientation for complex orbital injections, disposal, prop boil off reduction, ... All of these provide a competitive advantage for NSS launch services.

Makes more sense for BO to provide engines, possibly under a similar arrangement that ULA desires for BE-4, to share development, operation, and manufacturing/test/certification overhead.

Now, lets say OA does this with BO somehow, perhaps as a "stage vendor" around BO's engine. If BO accepts these stages, how much is compromised for BO's usage case? Does it incent BO to use some of those above mentioned features to compete with ULA/OA for launches?

US are very, very "usage case" specific. Once you get the economics working for them, you don't want to change them for fear of either putting at risk missions or wrecking the economics of your LV. Even having two different US might not be economic, because of the N x M problem of N stages with M different things/issues to contend with.

Which is why Antares has a solid second stage ... easiest way to finesse this with a new LV ... don't mess with added capabilities, just fly your manifested missions ASAP with something almost "off the shelf", and let a new program deal with added cost/capability/US.

Or Falcon 9, which is reuse as much of the booster components to do a US out of, incrementally stretching/proving new capabilities as needed to address more manifested missions, and living with the propulsion compromises.

So how does BO do a stage that they can use ... that is of any use to an OA EELV solid LV? It isn't clear.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: sdsds on 03/07/2016 01:34 AM
The idea of strapping stage 0 solids onto this and getting "heavy" performance is fascinating. Is there a logical west coast pad to support that configuration?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 03/07/2016 09:33 PM
If they are going for an all solid lower stages, why not have a hypergolic upper stage.  That way they could have a quick and easy launch of an emergency Air Force satellite if need be.  It would be like the old Titan III except only the upper stage being hypergolic.  It might not be as cost effective, but it would be off the shelf easier than liquid for emergency launches. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/07/2016 10:01 PM
I read this statement as Blue providing not just engine but whole US. Given a low flight rate, buying an US makes more sense than developing and building their own.
For less demanding LEO missions OrbitalATK may still use a solid US eg Castor.


“We are proud to provide the BE-3U high energy upper stage solution for Orbital ATK’s next generation launch vehicle,” Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin’s president, said in an email to SpaceNews. - See more at: http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-spacex-win-air-force-propulsion-contracts/#sthash.v2IhyUKh.dpuf
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kasponaut on 03/14/2016 03:26 PM
I must ask again  :)
When will Orbital ATK present all the details about this new launch vehicle?
Anyone?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: arachnitect on 03/14/2016 08:23 PM
I must ask again  :)
When will Orbital ATK present all the details about this new launch vehicle?
Anyone?

On an earnings call with investors, OrbATK implied they're planning on making a yes/no commitment in the first half of 2017. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38298.msg1498832#msg1498832)

I doubt we'll see anything official before then.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kasponaut on 03/17/2016 08:08 AM
Hopefully we don't have to wait that long 😉
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 03/26/2016 02:01 PM
Now, the part I completely don't buy is the hydrolox US. OA has no experience with LH - they chickened out of it before with Antares (which was wise in retrospect), and I can't see them outsourcing this need, much less having the launch frequency to "keep alive" a hydrolox US in house.

That isn't true, Orbital ATK makes composite structures for the Delta IV:

Quote
Orbital ATK also supplied a combined eighteen Delta IV and GEM-60 key composite structures, which provide lower weight and higher performance. The largest composite structures are four to five meters in diameter, range from one to eight meters in length, and are produced using either advanced wet winding or hand layup, machining and inspection techniques at Orbital ATK’s manufacturing facilities in Iuka, Mississippi, and Clearfield, Utah.

Additionally, Orbital ATK manufactured the propellant tank for the Delta IV upper stage roll control system at the company’s Commerce, California, facility, and it designed and manufactured the nozzle for Delta IV's RS-68A engine at its Promontory, Utah, facility. Orbital ATK also designed and produced the nozzle's thermal protection material, which is capable of shielding the nozzle from the extreme heat of launch, when external temperatures can exceed 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150724005291/en/Orbital-ATK-Integral-Successful-ULA-Delta-IV
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/26/2016 04:30 PM
Yes, but I don't think any of the things OA makes for the Delta 4 are in contact with LH2.  To the extent that propellants are involved, I think they are all solid or hypergolic.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/26/2016 08:05 PM
Yes, but I don't think any of the things OA makes for the Delta 4 are in contact with LH2.  To the extent that propellants are involved, I think they are all solid or hypergolic.
Actually yes there are some parts (tubing) within RS-68A leading to and then across the nozzle extension and back that are in contact with LH2 and LO2
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/26/2016 10:28 PM
Yes, but I don't think any of the things OA makes for the Delta 4 are in contact with LH2.  To the extent that propellants are involved, I think they are all solid or hypergolic.
Actually yes there are some parts (tubing) within RS-68A leading to and then across the nozzle extension and back that are in contact with LH2 and LO2

Boy are we chasing down the rathole ...

RS68 has a channel wall LH2 cooled combustion chamber that attaches to an ablative lower nozzle that ATK makes for the AR RS68A. And, it is the material that ATK makes to fabricate the nozzle from, to AR's detail, that is the chief advantage for the engine from thermal/structures point of view.

We can continue down this rathole as much as you'd like. BTW, Dr. Antonio Elias himself said what I said on this forum years back about the Taurus II, later renamed Antares, and now Antares 200. Take it up with him, not me.

He spoke of the various options (including certain Russian and American engines) for kerolox/hydrolox stages. The key reason they went with a solid US was that they were taking enough of a gamble on the LRE first stage and didn't want to risk more.

It would appear he was validated in this more than he would have liked to have been.

Now, I can also add that ATK has a few LRE engines in its portfolio as well, including one intended for a lunar ascent use. And I know they have "played" with hydrolox in some interesting ways, so they are not totally ignorant.

And they did talk about Liberty with a hydrolox second stage, largely from Ariane V sourced components.

From Atlas V inception a larger hydrolox stage specifically designed for EELV has been on the boards, while much of the same Centaur has been around preexisting EELV for decades. While tweaked significantly, ULA is still attempting to modernize/replace Centaur to this day for excellent reasons.

Now tell me where you suddenly get the same class/quality/reliability/performance/capability stage for OA?

Its not in the company. It's a hard, costly, and risky development to pull off for the best.

Are we done?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/26/2016 11:02 PM

He spoke of the various options (including certain Russian and American engines) for kerolox/hydrolox stages. The key reason they went with a solid US was that they were taking enough of a gamble on the LRE first stage and didn't want to risk more.
I wouldn't necessarily read that to mean they didn't think they could do it. At the time Orbital was competing in a very crowded field so by using an existing option on the US the perceived development risk, and possibly more likely the perceived schedule risk was reduced making their bid more attractive to NASA.

Commercial crew is a good example of this. Any major space company could probably manage (and how many proposed) spaceplanes, but in the end capsules presented less risk from NASA's POV.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 03/26/2016 11:25 PM
So ATK manufacturs the ablative nozzle of the RS-68A. And Orbital ATK got the contract to develop the nozzle extension (ablative) for blueorigin BE-3U. I think it would be logical when Orbital ATK would use the BE-3U on their launch vehicles. Both on their new solid rocket as on Antares.
For Antares I think there wasn't an HyLox engine that matched their needs. The upperstage would need about 200kN (45 000 lbf) engine. So Orbital choose for an cheap solution they could offer themselfs,  castor 30 (xl). BE-3U can trottle down and meets te requirements.
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180. Multiple upper-stage options; castor30xl (with in orbit stage), BE-3U upper-stage.  Another option is that BlueOrigin first orbital launch vehicle will replace Antares. And the new solid rocket for heavier payloads (> 10mT; 22 000lb).
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: arachnitect on 03/26/2016 11:48 PM
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180.

"Antares 300" is an RD-181 optimized version of Antares already in the pipeline.

I think the chances of OrbATK buying a booster engine from AJR are approximately 0%.

But we are OT.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/26/2016 11:53 PM

He spoke of the various options (including certain Russian and American engines) for kerolox/hydrolox stages. The key reason they went with a solid US was that they were taking enough of a gamble on the LRE first stage and didn't want to risk more.
I wouldn't necessarily read that to mean they didn't think they could do it.

What LV designer doesn't think that they can do anything? ;)

Management pushes back on schedule/budget/risk all the time.

Its irrelevant if they think they can do something.

Again, go back and read the posts Antonio wrote. He's great and I miss his posts because you really see the delineation on decisions.

Quote
At the time Orbital was competing in a very crowded field so by using an existing option on the US the perceived development risk, and possibly more likely the perceived schedule risk was reduced making their bid more attractive to NASA.

As with any customer. And the field hasn't got any less crowded, likely even more before we have the next LV fallout.

And it wasn't just NASA - both Orbital and ATK pre merger had larger, wider ambitions of who/what to serve as a provider.

Quote
Commercial crew is a good example of this. Any major space company could probably manage (and how many proposed) spaceplanes, but in the end capsules presented less risk from NASA's POV.

No its not a good example at all. Schedule pressure, operational need, means to address with an offering for any spacecraft depend not only on legacy of the components but testing/validation/certification of the system as used in the same role/capacity/function, sometimes near exactly.

LV's "live" a much shorter operational life (unless you reuse them ;) ). The issues with boosters are very different than US, which are a bit of a hybrid with some kind of short lived SC (sorta but not really).
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kryten on 03/27/2016 02:19 AM
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180.
The ban is on use of any Russian designed or built engine for national security launches; it's not relevant to Antares, which is at most targeting a few commercial launches as well as CRS. Besides, AR-1 isn't going to be available anytime 'soon', and quite possibly never will be.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/27/2016 03:21 AM
For Antares I think there wasn't an HyLox engine that matched their needs. The upperstage would need about 200kN (45 000 lbf) engine. So Orbital choose for an cheap solution they could offer themselfs,  castor 30 (xl). BE-3U can trottle down and meets te requirements.
I also expect Antares 200 to be replaced soon by Antares 300 with a AR-1 as first stage engine. Because the RD-181 (Export version of the RD-191) will be banned just like the RD-180.
There has been considerable discussion on what liquid engine we would select for the Enhanced configuration liquid upper stage.  Having lost my own personal battle for an RL10-based upper stage (probably for good reason...) I am happy to report that we are negotiation with the Russian government for usage approval of the RD-0124 (http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd0124.htm), the current (relatively new) Soyuz upper stage engine.

Antonio Elias said that Orbital had been working towards using the RD-0124 in the Antares High Energy Second Stage, but that they were starting with Castor 30. Later on, they decided growing the Castor to the 30XL was enough for CRS, so the HESS was shelved, pending a customer that needed it. Also, this was before the merger, so Castor 30 was not an internal product then.

Antares 300 is already announced, and is powered by RD-181, same as Antares 200, but the tanks have been lengthened to take better advantage of the engine. The ban isn't relevant to Antares, because it only applies to national security launches.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 04/01/2016 07:13 PM
Does anyone have a sketch of what this rocket might look like?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/01/2016 09:17 PM
Does anyone have a sketch of what this rocket might look like?

Up thread, here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.msg1499163#msg1499163

and here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.msg1499218#msg1499218
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: docmordrid on 04/03/2016 10:55 AM
Someone on Reddit uploaded a pdf with General Greaves' EELV talking points.  Included in the pdf was an (unfortunately small) image which may provide a look at the Orb-ATK proposal.

Link?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ethan829 on 04/03/2016 01:13 PM
Link?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ula/comments/48q34n/lt_gen_greaves_eelv_talking_points_february_2016/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/ula/comments/48q34n/lt_gen_greaves_eelv_talking_points_february_2016/)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kryten on 04/03/2016 01:19 PM
Link?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ula/comments/48q34n/lt_gen_greaves_eelv_talking_points_february_2016/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/ula/comments/48q34n/lt_gen_greaves_eelv_talking_points_february_2016/)
Uploaded and attached;
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ZachS09 on 04/04/2016 01:41 AM
Does anyone have a sketch of what this rocket might look like?

Up thread, here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.msg1499163#msg1499163

and here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.msg1499218#msg1499218

Remind me if this question was answered:

What specific solid motors would have been used in this design? Castor 120...Castor 900...maybe Castor 30...
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/04/2016 01:52 AM

What specific solid motors would have been used in this design? Castor 120...Castor 900...maybe Castor 30...


This WILL use:

Quote
GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the Common Booster Segment (CBS) solid rocket motor[\quote] http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/orbital-atk-pursuing-solid-fuel-launch-vehicle/#more-57293
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 04/04/2016 07:40 PM
Rons, I'm sorry, but I think your interpretation is false.   

The article wrote:
The contract funds Orbital ATK for “the development of prototypes of the GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the Common Booster Segment (CBS) solid rocket motor, and an Extendable Nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U upper stage engine.” - See more at: http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/orbital-atk-pursuing-solid-fuel-launch-vehicle/#more-57293

This is a list of three different developments. The Orbital ATK Solid rocket will use the Common Booster Segment. I think a version of CBS is Castor 900, but I could be wrong. Possibly a version of the solid rocket uses the GEM 63XL strap-on boosters, but they are developed for ULA's Vulcan rocket.
We'll have to wait until Orbital ATK reports what their new solid rocket really is. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kryten on 04/04/2016 08:08 PM
Rons, I'm sorry, but I think your interpretation is false.   

The article wrote:
The contract funds Orbital ATK for “the development of prototypes of the GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the Common Booster Segment (CBS) solid rocket motor, and an Extendable Nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U upper stage engine.” - See more at: http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/orbital-atk-pursuing-solid-fuel-launch-vehicle/#more-57293

This is a list of three different developments. The Orbital ATK Solid rocket will use the Common Booster Segment. I think a version of CBS is Castor 900, but I could be wrong. Possibly a version of the solid rocket uses the GEM 63XL strap-on boosters, but they are developed for ULA's Vulcan rocket.
We'll have to wait until Orbital ATK reports what their new solid rocket really is.
The DoD's own summary of the contract (http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/642983) clearly states GEM-63XL is for Orb-ATK NGLV as well as Vulcan:
Quote
This other transaction agreement requires shared cost investment with ATK Launch Systems Inc. for the development of prototypes of the GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the Common Booster Segment (CBS) solid rocket motor, and an Extendable Nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U upper stage engine. These rocket propulsion systems are intended for use on an Orbital ATK next generation launch vehicle.  The GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor is also intended for use on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/04/2016 08:31 PM
Rons, I'm sorry, but I think your interpretation is false.   

The article wrote:
The contract funds Orbital ATK for “the development of prototypes of the GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the Common Booster Segment (CBS) solid rocket motor, and an Extendable Nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U upper stage engine.” - See more at: http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/01/18/orbital-atk-pursuing-solid-fuel-launch-vehicle/#more-57293

This is a list of three different developments. The Orbital ATK Solid rocket will use the Common Booster Segment. I think a version of CBS is Castor 900, but I could be wrong. Possibly a version of the solid rocket uses the GEM 63XL strap-on boosters, but they are developed for ULA's Vulcan rocket.
We'll have to wait until Orbital ATK reports what their new solid rocket really is. 
Castor 900 uses SLS type steel casings and CBS is longer Composite casing being Developed and previously referred to NASA and USAF as Advanced Solid Rocket Booster for future use in SLS Block-IIB and other vehicles. Castor 900 and similar versions of the Family were introduced during development of the 2nd Generation Athena Launcher Family.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/04/2016 09:21 PM
Want happens if OA don't proceed with this LV. Do they have to refund DOD the money?.

 OA has a market for all three developments besides solid Antares. Blue will use the BE3U for their orbital LV and NASA will most likely used Advanced booster at some stage in very distant future.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 04/04/2016 09:58 PM
Want happens if OA don't proceed with this LV. Do they have to refund DOD the money?.

 OA has a market for all three developments besides solid Antares. Blue will use the BE3U for their orbital LV and NASA will most likely used Advanced booster at some stage in very distant future.
At the moment, only FY15 money is obligated.  Presumably, DoD will only obligate funding for the portion of the work OA intends to do, and if the project gets cancelled next year, DoD won't fund the out-years.

Quote
Air Force fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $46,968,005 are being obligated at the time of award.  ATK Launch Systems Inc. is contributing $31,130,360 at the time of award.  The total potential government investment, including all options, is $180,238,059.  The total potential investment by ATK Launch Systems Inc., including all options, is $124,830,693.

I posted a number of quotes from the last OA earnings call in the other thread:
Quote
In our Flight Systems Group, the company and the US Air Force are in the first phase of a potential four year, jointly funded development program aimed at creating a new all-domestic intermediate and large-class space launch vehicle family.

Our objective is to develop a modular vehicle system capable of launching national security payloads and what is known as the EELV or Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle as well as scientific and commercial satellites and to conduct initial launches using this new system by the end of the decade.

As part of the Defense Department's next-generation launcher program, which started last year, we are combining the world-leading solid rocket propulsion technology from our legacy ATK business with the launch vehicle systems engineering and operations experience from our heritage Orbital unit to compete in a market area that was not directly addressable by either companies prior to last year's merger.

Our investments in 2016, as well as those of the Air Force, will cover the initial phase of design and development work with a decision in the first half of 2017 concerning the remaining activity to actually build and test this new launch vehicle family.
Quote
With regard to the Flight Systems initiative, on the new launch vehicle to be developed jointly with the Air Force, if that goes forward from the decision point next year, then that has the potential to generate revenue, certainly by 2018, possibly by the end of 2017 beginning on how it is structured.

At present, during the first phase of the work, the Air Force and the company are jointly funding early-stage research and development. The Air Force is investing approximately $50 million and the company is investing about $30 million this year. The $50 million from the Air Force though does not generate revenue if it is structured as a co-operative R&D program. If that were to change in the future periods, then we could see revenue generated in that initiative by the second half of 2017, although at present, we do not plan for that to occur.
Quote
There is certainly some important carryover from Ares 1 with regard to the solid rocket propulsion. It also benefits from and in turn provides benefits to NASA's space launch system which is in a sense a descendant of the Ares 1 project and to some other NASA and Defense programs as well. So there is a fair amount of carryover from a prior work that ATK conducted back five years or longer ago.

The design of our system does include in most of its specific configurations a liquid upper stage and we have studied several - I guess, I would say, three engine alternatives for that upper stage. We have a current preferred approach and two alternatives. Again, for competitive reasons, I'd prefer not to get into those just yet. But the system does involve a liquid upper stage.

Well, there has been a great deal of discussion about launch vehicle reusability, particularly over the last six months. I think the it's still too early to say whether in the real world of launch rates and refurbishment cost and payload penalties and so on that relate do reusability, whether it's going to make economic sense to reuse some or large part of the launch vehicle. Well, it maybe intuitively appealing to make references to we don't throw [away] airplanes and so on. Our rockets and airplanes are quite different machines and a past experience with launch vehicle reusability has been mixed at best in terms of achieving sustainable cost reductions. And so, I am a skeptic with regard to many of the claims that have been made for cost reductions related to reusability and in the case of our specific program, we are designing it to be cost competitive with not only the current pricing, but even somewhat lower pricing that may emerge in the future. But, you are correct, our system does not contemplate reusability and we will have to wait and see whether that's a good judgment or not.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: block51 on 04/06/2016 07:27 PM
I have some answers on those carts at Wallops.

These are GEM 40 motor carts. Some how they ended up at WFF from KSC along with some other hardware. A few years back then NSROC II contract was tasked a few years back to see if they could be used with CASTOR IVB motors that MDA was looking to give to NASA. The MDA later decided not to move forward with getting rid of the motors and the GEM 40 carts have since been sitting in front of building F7. A large test fixture for load testing the carts was designed and is shown in the attached photos. I also included a photo of a spreader beam that was used for lifting of the GEM 40.

Short story: The hardware is all surplus GEM 40 stuff and the sounding rocket operations contract had been tasked with figuring out how to use it with CASTOR IVBs that the MDA ultimately decided not to give up to NASA.The big steel beam/load test fixture is now rusting away outside on another part of WFF.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 04/20/2016 03:25 AM
mainstream media article on subject:

Space companies feud over what to do with rockets in ICBM stockpile

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2016/04/18/4d649cb2-057b-11e6-b283-e79d81c63c1b_story.html
That's talking about using ICBM hardware for civil space, which is Minotaur, not OA's proposed EELV design.

There were a pair of duelling op-eds from OA and VG in SpaceNews about the subject, along with comments from Gen. Hyten trying to stake out a middle ground. The WaPo article looks like it's based on the same source material.

http://spacenews.com/hyten-tries-to-find-sweet-spot-on-surplus-icbm-issue/
http://spacenews.com/op-ed-ending-ban-on-retired-icbms-would-allow-u-s-companies-to-reclaim-small-satellite-launch-market/
http://spacenews.com/op-ed-dumping-excess-boosters-on-market-would-short-circuit-commercial-space-renaissance/
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: catdlr on 04/20/2016 04:33 AM
mainstream media article on subject:

That's talking about using ICBM hardware for civil space, which is Minotaur, not OA's proposed EELV design.



Ah yes!!! OK, I'll delete my post
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: wolfpack on 04/21/2016 08:33 PM
Related?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40112.0
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/26/2016 05:05 AM
The latest Aviation Week says OATK's proposed rocket would use Common Booster Cores that produce 1.1 million pounds of liftoff thrust and an LH2 stage powered by a BE-3U/EN engine.  It says that "cores" are involved in the basic rocket, which seems to support the two-stage idea.  It also says that two or more cores would be strapped to the basic core if more lift were needed.  In addition, GEM-63 motors will be offered as an option to augment the Common Booster Core.

The first Common Booster Core static test is planned for 2018 and the first flight for 2019.Work will be performed in Magna, Utah, Iuka, Mississippi, and Chandler, Arizona. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: FinalFrontier on 04/26/2016 05:52 AM
The stick is back

The zombie that never died.

If this get's built they need to paint a zombie version of areas one as a decal on the first stage.  8)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: baldusi on 04/26/2016 11:23 AM
Actually, this is not the stick. It looks more like Ariane 6. 1.1Mlbf are roughly 1/3 of SSRB. So I would take a guess and say those are two segment solids. Or may be even single segment two in line. Nothing like the stick.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/26/2016 12:07 PM
Nobody can deny that this rocket plays to ATK's strengths - but does it play to the market strengths?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: baldusi on 04/26/2016 12:17 PM
Nobody can deny that this rocket plays to ATK's strengths - but does it play to the market strengths?
You mean if it caters to the market's desires, right? The demand doesn't have strengths, it has demands, it is the supply's job to cover those demands.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Proponent on 04/26/2016 05:01 PM
I can see some parts of the US government thinking this rocket is a pretty good idea, even if it might tend to fall a little flat on a purely commercial basis.  The military will want to keep the the solid-rocket-motor industry turning over.  And NASA will push the benefits of someone else using the VAB.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/26/2016 06:49 PM
Interesting that the 1.1 million pound thrust number given in AWST roughly corresponds to the 1,134,183 lbf given as the "average thrust" for a 1.5 segment SRM in the ATK solid motor handbook.  Note, however, that the liftoff thrust for 1.5 segment was higher than the "average thrust" at roughly 1.25 million pounds. 

Meanwhile, the images seem to suggest something roughly the size, perhaps a bit longer than, a single-segment SRM, with two segments for Stage 1 and one for Stage 2.  You can fit a New Shepard Propulsion Module neatly into the fairing.

This all suggests a low-end Medium class EELV lifter (i.e. Atlas 401 class) in base form.

Apologies for re-posting my comparison image here, but I think it may help in discussion.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/26/2016 08:34 PM
Interesting that the 1.1 million pound thrust number given in AWST roughly corresponds to the 1,134,183 lbf given as the "average thrust" for a 1.5 segment SRM in the ATK solid motor handbook.  Note, however, that the liftoff thrust for 1.5 segment was higher than the "average thrust" at roughly 1.25 million pounds. 

Meanwhile, the images seem to suggest something roughly the size, perhaps a bit longer than, a single-segment SRM, with two segments for Stage 1 and one for Stage 2.  You can fit a New Shepard Propulsion Module neatly into the fairing.

This all suggests a low-end Medium class EELV lifter (i.e. Atlas 401 class) in base form.

Apologies for re-posting my comparison image here, but I think it may help in discussion.

 - Ed Kyle
yes, 1-Stage consist of two CBS's and the 2-Stage consist of one CBS. CBS in past investor conference calls was formerly known initially as the Dark Knight Advanced Solid Rocket Booster Segment and in 2014 and 2015 was known as the Dark Knight Advanced Common Booster Segment. In 2016 they are now known as the just the Common Booster Segment, which is a composite segment that is lengthened from the SLS steel Segment length to decrease the integration and processing time because they are longer which means less booster segments SLS Block-IIB and what is now OA Next Gen launcher family. Yes, CBS Composite casings are 1.5 Steel STS/SLS casings long.

OA EELV Next Gen Vehicle based on available data from trade studies/media and recent Conference calls to date:
0-Stage: None (Lite Version) or 0-6 GEM-63XL SRM's (All Medium to Heavy Versions)
1-Stage: 2-4 CBS's (Medium to Heavy Versions)
2-Stage: 1 CBS (All Versions)
3-Stage: None (Suborbital Version) or Castor-30 Family (Orbital Lite Version) or LO2/LH2 Upper Stage with 1 BE-3U/EN LRE (Medium to Heavy Versions)
x-Stage: Additional upper/kick stages are available from OA's Minotaur launcher family based on customer's needs

Edited based on additional info from Ed's PM to me

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/26/2016 09:02 PM

You mean if it caters to the market's desires, right? The demand doesn't have strengths, it has demands, it is the supply's job to cover those demands.

Whilst you're semantically right, some LVs are stronger in certain market environments than others - the commercial requirements have changed through the evolution of spaceflight.

Satellites might get smaller, but there's likely going to be more of them. The LEO market has the potential to rise, but so does the BLEO market.  You can thus see the advantages of linguistic parallelism when grappling with this problem.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ArbitraryConstant on 04/27/2016 04:48 AM
OA EELV Next Gen Vehicle based on available data from trade studies/media and recent Conference calls to date:
0-Stage: None (Lite and some Medium versions) or 0-6 GEM-63/GEM-63XL SRM's (Some Medium Versions) or 4 CBS's (Heavy Version)
Is acceleration or max-q a problem with these heavier versions? The thrust with all those solids sounds formidable. Do we know what the thrust is per CBS? Do they change the manufacturing to trade burn time for thrust based on which stage and configuration?

Interesting about the solid upper stage option. That sounds like quite a good optimization for lower energy launches compared to EELV considering OATK has such a well established selection of these. The ULA option of "another RL-10" seems like a poor cost optimization for what should be a less challenging launch.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 05/09/2016 10:32 PM
Some information from the quarterly earnings conference call May 5.  Short answer is that work now is modest; the go/no-go decision comes next year.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/edited-transcript-oa-earnings-conference-200923610.html
Quote
There were no really major developments in the first quarter on that [launch vehicle] program. We did -- as I mentioned back a couple of months ago, Orbital ATK and the Air Force started at the beginning of the year the first phase of what could be about a four year, jointly funded development program that would be aimed at creating a new, all US-based intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicle. Our objective in pursuing this, if it goes through the full development cycle, would be to introduce a modular vehicle capable of launching not only defense-related satellites in the larger class, but also scientific and commercial satellites. And it would be competitive, both domestically and internationally.

Our investments this year, and those of the Air Force, will cover the initial phase of design and early development work, and the decision in the first half of next year will be made concerning whether the remaining activity to complete development, to produce and introduce this new vehicle, will proceed. There will be -- it represents a relative -- not an insignificant, but a relatively modest investment over the next couple quarters, which, if the market indicators and the product performance continue to move in a favorable direction, could lead to a decision sometime about this time next year or a little later relating to the remaining work to actually build and test the vehicle.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: okan170 on 05/24/2016 07:05 PM
More info in tweet:
https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/735180704233971712

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ThisIsGroundControl on 05/24/2016 09:20 PM
More info in tweet:
https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/735180704233971712
Looks like we're finally getting some solid information about this rocket.

Stage 1 is either a 2-segment (Intermediate - Castor 600 or C600) Common Boost Segment (CBS) or a 4-segment (Heavy - C1200) CBS.  Both the Intermediate and Heavy stages appear to support 1-6 GEM 63XL strap-on boosters (similar to Vulcan).  I'm having trouble reading for sure, but it looks like the CBS will have a Electro-Hydraulic Actuation (EHA) TVC.  Both the CBS and the GEM 63XL are part of the AF public-private contract award.

Stage 2 is a single-segment CBS, or C300.  1-2 and 2-3 interstages are composite structures

Stage 3 is a BE-3U powered LH2/LOX stage with 120k lbf thrust.  The BE-3U will use a deployable extension for the nozzle, as expected based on AF award.  BE-3U will support deep throttling and multiple restart capability.

Payload Fairing is 5.25m diameter x 15m length with some sort of acoustic damping capability.  The 2 LVs on the right seem to have different fairing shape and 2-3 interstage taper.  I wonder if one's just an old render.

Naming convention seems to be NGL (Next Generation Launcher?) 501 for the basic intermediate LV, where the 2nd number is the number of GEM-63XL strap-ons.  I'm guessing the 3rd digit is for the 3rd stage, with 1 BE-3U.  Not sure how they'll distinguish for the Heavy configuration, maybe a 6 instead of 5 for the first digit?

Takeaway box gets to their design approach: "NGL: Modular Design Enables Tailoring to Specific Mission Requirements"
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kabloona on 05/24/2016 10:01 PM
Quote
The 2 LVs on the right seem to have different fairing shape and 2-3 interstage taper.  I wonder if one's just an old render.

The main graphic on the left also shows a taper on the 2-3 interstage. Compare it with the 1-2 interstage which clearly has a different (right cylindrical) shape.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/25/2016 06:18 AM
Here's an enhanced version of the image. Here's what I could read.

Solid Boost/Liquid U.S. Solution
(Common Boost Segment - 501 Baseline LV)

Strap on Boosters
* GEM63XL
* 1-6 each

Stage 1 (medium - intermediate 2 segment)
* CASTOR 600 (C600)
* EHA TVC and aft skirt

Stage 1 (heavy - 4 segment)
* CASTOR 1200 (C1200)
* EHA TVC and aft skirt

Common Boost Segment (CBS)

Interstage Adaptors
* Composite structures

Stage 2
* CASTOR 300 (C300)

Aft Stage Adaptor
* AS stage adaptor

BE-3UEN Extendable Nozzle (EN)

Stage 3 - Upper Stage
* 5.25 m dia LOX/LH2 upper stage
* BE-3U LOX/LH2 120 klbf (534 kN) thrust
* Deep throttleable restart capability
* Deployable extended nozzle

Integrated Avionics
* Flight control GNC
* Stage control
* FTS telemetry

Launch Vehicle Adaptor

Payload Fairing
* 5.25 m x 15 m length
* Acoustic damping system

Spacecraft

NGL 501
NGL 521

NGL Modular Design Enables Tailoring to Specific Mission Requirements
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/25/2016 06:59 AM
So do we think Caster 300 is one segment, C600 is two segments, and C1200 is four segments of the same SRM?  That is, you could mix and match segments between them (obviously the nozzle section stays at the bottom :)  ).  But the SRM also has to have a pressure bulkhead at the top, too...?

If they aren't interchangeable, what's "Common" about them?

Common Scenario:  The factory just cranks out segments like lifesaver candies, and they get stacked with a nose and tail?  4 segments for a heavy (plus 0-6 GEM), 2 segments for a medium, and 1 segment either way for 2nd stage?


Or, the Not-So-Common scenario, the top segment has to be special (ie, the top segment has to have the pressure bulkhead included), so the C300 is unique.  If the bottom segment has to include the nozzle, then the C600 is unique also, and only the C1200 can have two extra generic segments installed?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/25/2016 09:30 AM
So do we think Caster 300 is one segment, C600 is two segments, and C1200 is four segments of the same SRM?  That is, you could mix and match segments between them (obviously the nozzle section stays at the bottom :)  ).  But the SRM also has to have a pressure bulkhead at the top, too...?

The slide says that C600 is two segment and C1200 is four segment.

Quote
If they aren't interchangeable, what's "Common" about them?

Probably the casings, like in the Space Shuttle SRB's. The core tooling and nozzle are probably different. The forward dome, aft dome and TVC are probably the same.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: MarekCyzio on 05/25/2016 12:32 PM
Roll control? Wondering how it will be done with this rocket...
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/25/2016 01:45 PM
Roll control? Wondering how it will be done with this rocket...
My guess would be roll control thrusters either on the upper stage or on the interstage below the upper stage.  Just a guess though.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/25/2016 01:47 PM
For me, the surprise was the four-segment first stage for Heavy missions.  That is an entirely different rocket than the Medium version with its two-segment first stage.  Heavy and Medium will need significantly different launch pad setups, maybe even different launch platforms.  My guess is that in the end one might be developed but not the other.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/25/2016 07:35 PM
For me, the surprise was the four-segment first stage for Heavy missions.  That is an entirely different rocket than the Medium version with its two-segment first stage.  Heavy and Medium will need significantly different launch pad setups, maybe even different launch platforms.  My guess is that in the end one might be developed but not the other.

 - Ed Kyle

Do we know if the side GEMs fit on both the medium and the heavy? 
The heavy will be closer/close to the Stick?

And do the side GEMs provide as big a benefit if the first stage is essentially fixed duration, no throttling?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/25/2016 07:46 PM
If they aren't interchangeable, what's "Common" about them?

Probably the casings, like in the Space Shuttle SRB's. The core tooling and nozzle are probably different. The forward dome, aft dome and TVC are probably the same.

If that turns out to be the case (no pun intended, but there it is), I don't see this vehicle getting the economies of scale needed to compete.

Nor do I really think it's a wise use of money to _start_ another EELV, when the existing two families are already going to be leaning heavily on commercial sales to keep their launch rate up.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/25/2016 07:50 PM
If they aren't interchangeable, what's "Common" about them?

Probably the casings, like in the Space Shuttle SRB's. The core tooling and nozzle are probably different. The forward dome, aft dome and TVC are probably the same.

If that turns out to be the case (no pun intended, but there it is), I don't see this vehicle getting the economies of scale needed to compete.

Nor do I really think it's a wise use of money to _start_ another EELV, when the existing two families are already going to be leaning heavily on commercial sales to keep their launch rate up.
In addition to the upper stage being shared with other Blue projects, the economies of scale would come, eventually, from from sharing the booster segments with SLS.  That would mean shared engineering, production, and launch processing resources and personnel.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/25/2016 07:53 PM
For me, the surprise was the four-segment first stage for Heavy missions.  That is an entirely different rocket than the Medium version with its two-segment first stage.  Heavy and Medium will need significantly different launch pad setups, maybe even different launch platforms.  My guess is that in the end one might be developed but not the other.

 - Ed Kyle

Do we know if the side GEMs fit on both the medium and the heavy? 
The heavy will be closer/close to the Stick?

And do the side GEMs provide as big a benefit if the first stage is essentially fixed duration, no throttling?
I've yet to see any drawings of the Heavy configuration. 

The first and GEMs stage will likely "throttle", via. propellant grain shaping.  They will provide all the thrust they can muster at first, then probably tail off for Max-Q and toward the end-of-burn.  See the SRB and GEM-60 thrust profiles below for examples.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/25/2016 08:11 PM
I might have missed it while reading, but what is the casing material for "this beastie", fully composite?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/25/2016 11:22 PM
I might have missed it while reading, but what is the casing material for "this beastie", fully composite?
I can only offer this scaled comparison of the NGLS drawings versus an STS SRB.  The SRB segments appear, to me, to be shorter than the NGL "Common Booster Segment(s)". 

This, of course, assumes that the NGL drawing extracted from the skewed view of the initial overhead presentation is to scale!  After adding the original poor-resolution image extracted from another presentation to the drawing, I'm beginning to wonder.  The US Flag should have a width to height ratio of 1.9, which is closer to the original, shorter, rocket image that, itself, suggests standard SRB-length segments.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/26/2016 03:49 AM
Do we know if the side GEMs fit on both the medium and the heavy? 
The heavy will be closer/close to the Stick?

And do the side GEMs provide as big a benefit if the first stage is essentially fixed duration, no throttling?
I've yet to see any drawings of the Heavy configuration. 

The first and GEMs stage will likely "throttle", via. propellant grain shaping.  They will provide all the thrust they can muster at first, then probably tail off for Max-Q and toward the end-of-burn.  See the SRB and GEM-60 thrust profiles below for examples.

 - Ed Kyle

I guess my thought, and it was just a fuzzy guess, was that when you mounted SRBs to an Atlas V, the liquid engines could be throttled a bit to reduce the acceleration at inappropriate times (ie maxQ and near SRB burnout?).  This throttling, then, would yield more fuel in the tank for later in the flight. 

I haven't actually checked...does the first stage of an Atlas burn any longer or stage any higher/faster when the solids are used?  I guess it depends on whether the strap-ons are being used for a high energy mission or a heavy lower energy mission.

The throttling you mentioned for SRBs is cast into the solid, so the first stage without an add-on must act exactly like a first stage with add-on(s).  Unless you assume the burn profile is tailored each mission, which I wouldn't doubt is possible but do doubt could ever be cost-effective.  And my question was, does this inflexible burn pattern limit the usefulness of the strap-ons?  It seems like a slightly different burn pattern would be useful to take advantage of the strap-ons.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/26/2016 04:30 AM
Do we know if the side GEMs fit on both the medium and the heavy? 
The heavy will be closer/close to the Stick?

And do the side GEMs provide as big a benefit if the first stage is essentially fixed duration, no throttling?
I've yet to see any drawings of the Heavy configuration. 

The first and GEMs stage will likely "throttle", via. propellant grain shaping.  They will provide all the thrust they can muster at first, then probably tail off for Max-Q and toward the end-of-burn.  See the SRB and GEM-60 thrust profiles below for examples.

 - Ed Kyle

I guess my thought, and it was just a fuzzy guess, was that when you mounted SRBs to an Atlas V, the liquid engines could be throttled a bit to reduce the acceleration at inappropriate times (ie maxQ and near SRB burnout?).  This throttling, then, would yield more fuel in the tank for later in the flight. 

I haven't actually checked...does the first stage of an Atlas burn any longer or stage any higher/faster when the solids are used?  I guess it depends on whether the strap-ons are being used for a high energy mission or a heavy lower energy mission.

The throttling you mentioned for SRBs is cast into the solid, so the first stage without an add-on must act exactly like a first stage with add-on(s).  Unless you assume the burn profile is tailored each mission, which I wouldn't doubt is possible but do doubt could ever be cost-effective.  And my question was, does this inflexible burn pattern limit the usefulness of the strap-ons?  It seems like a slightly different burn pattern would be useful to take advantage of the strap-ons.
All other OrbitalATK launchers including sounding rockets are commonly tailored for each mission. Surplus GS motors are not mission tailored and is only adjusted in OA's commercial made upper stages on those missions
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/26/2016 04:36 AM
If that turns out to be the case (no pun intended, but there it is), I don't see this vehicle getting the economies of scale needed to compete.

Nor do I really think it's a wise use of money to _start_ another EELV, when the existing two families are already going to be leaning heavily on commercial sales to keep their launch rate up.
In addition to the upper stage being shared with other Blue projects, the economies of scale would come, eventually, from from sharing the booster segments with SLS.  That would mean shared engineering, production, and launch processing resources and personnel.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, I think the Blue Origin upper stage will not be a problem on cost.
SLS doesn't help much on costs, I think.  In the timeframe of interest, SpaceX plans to be launching 30+ times a year, and ULA even plans 12-16 launches including commercial flights.  In that context, 2 additional SRBs, or 4 if it's a busy year, isn't going to shift the cost curve.  It may keep people busy where they would otherwise have been idled.  I guess one assumption here is that Orbital-ATK employees would handle launch processing for SLS SRBs? 

In that regard, I can see why NASA might welcome the Orbital-ATK LV.  If it shifts a cost curve, it would be on the SLS side, not the Orbital-ATK side.  But I'm mystified by the Air Force support...they don't get anything but a billion-ish dollar bill, and then another launch vehicle to get pressured to support by throwing launches at it.  Or, if DoD doesn't throw launches at it, Orbital-ATK adds another LV to its impressive collection of vehicles that haven't launched in a few years but are still available if anyone wants to order one.

I still think, and I'm greatly in the minority here apparently, that the Air Force would do / have done better to fund the AR-1 the way Congress told them.  Rather than developing this LV from scratch, Antares could easily be adapted into an EELV-competitor using an AR-1, and perhaps a BE-3 upper stage option.  Commonalities with the CRS-2 hardware would have helped economies of scale.  But that Humpty Dumpty looks sadly scrambled now.

I wonder if the Air Force will try to modernize the Minuteman solids...there's a bit of talk about spending a fair amount sprucing up the aging deterrence weapons.  Seems like a better use of Air Force-to-ATK money than this, IMO.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/26/2016 04:50 AM

The throttling you mentioned for SRBs is cast into the solid, so the first stage without an add-on must act exactly like a first stage with add-on(s).  Unless you assume the burn profile is tailored each mission, which I wouldn't doubt is possible but do doubt could ever be cost-effective.  And my question was, does this inflexible burn pattern limit the usefulness of the strap-ons?  It seems like a slightly different burn pattern would be useful to take advantage of the strap-ons.
All other OrbitalATK launchers including sounding rockets are commonly tailored for each mission. Surplus GS motors are not mission tailored and is only adjusted in OA's commercial made upper stages on those missions

So you think the burn profile of the CBS would be changed if a mission involved add-on solids, or even between a heavy LEO with add-on solids vs a light, high-energy mission with add-on solids?  A custom booster for each mission?  That seems like the opposite of "Common".

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/26/2016 04:52 AM
And didn't you indicate earlier that the CBS were steel casing Dark Knight 1.5x-length segments?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/26/2016 05:25 AM
And didn't you indicate earlier that the CBS were steel casing Dark Knight 1.5x-length segments?
yes but composite casings as they are not intended for reuse in OA's plans
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/26/2016 05:28 AM
If that turns out to be the case (no pun intended, but there it is), I don't see this vehicle getting the economies of scale needed to compete.

Nor do I really think it's a wise use of money to _start_ another EELV, when the existing two families are already going to be leaning heavily on commercial sales to keep their launch rate up.
In addition to the upper stage being shared with other Blue projects, the economies of scale would come, eventually, from from sharing the booster segments with SLS.  That would mean shared engineering, production, and launch processing resources and personnel.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, I think the Blue Origin upper stage will not be a problem on cost.
SLS doesn't help much on costs, I think.  In the timeframe of interest, SpaceX plans to be launching 30+ times a year, and ULA even plans 12-16 launches including commercial flights.  In that context, 2 additional SRBs, or 4 if it's a busy year, isn't going to shift the cost curve.  It may keep people busy where they would otherwise have been idled.  I guess one assumption here is that Orbital-ATK employees would handle launch processing for SLS SRBs? 

In that regard, I can see why NASA might welcome the Orbital-ATK LV.  If it shifts a cost curve, it would be on the SLS side, not the Orbital-ATK side.  But I'm mystified by the Air Force support...they don't get anything but a billion-ish dollar bill, and then another launch vehicle to get pressured to support by throwing launches at it.  Or, if DoD doesn't throw launches at it, Orbital-ATK adds another LV to its impressive collection of vehicles that haven't launched in a few years but are still available if anyone wants to order one.

I still think, and I'm greatly in the minority here apparently, that the Air Force would do / have done better to fund the AR-1 the way Congress told them.  Rather than developing this LV from scratch, Antares could easily be adapted into an EELV-competitor using an AR-1, and perhaps a BE-3 upper stage option.  Commonalities with the CRS-2 hardware would have helped economies of scale.  But that Humpty Dumpty looks sadly scrambled now.

I wonder if the Air Force will try to modernize the Minuteman solids...there's a bit of talk about spending a fair amount sprucing up the aging deterrence weapons.  Seems like a better use of Air Force-to-ATK money than this, IMO.
Answer to USAF decision on Minuteman is to replace the entire 1950s programme with this: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39622.0
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/26/2016 05:37 AM

The throttling you mentioned for SRBs is cast into the solid, so the first stage without an add-on must act exactly like a first stage with add-on(s).  Unless you assume the burn profile is tailored each mission, which I wouldn't doubt is possible but do doubt could ever be cost-effective.  And my question was, does this inflexible burn pattern limit the usefulness of the strap-ons?  It seems like a slightly different burn pattern would be useful to take advantage of the strap-ons.
All other OrbitalATK launchers including sounding rockets are commonly tailored for each mission. Surplus GS motors are not mission tailored and is only adjusted in OA's commercial made upper stages on those missions

So you think the burn profile of the CBS would be changed if a mission involved add-on solids, or even between a heavy LEO with add-on solids vs a light, high-energy mission with add-on solids?  A custom booster for each mission?  That seems like the opposite of "Common".


It is common in all regards except misture ratio is modified during the pour. This allows for instance a reduction in thrust during Max-Q  followed by higher thrust afterwards. You need to think outside the box more as a lot can be done with solids rangeing from Mixture ratios, to burn time, time between burns. there is a lot they can do. Minotaur Family is OA's Prime example of this and Pegasus is best example of reliable cost. yes cost can be brought down and that is willingness and dialogue between Manufacturer/LS Provider and clients  that is finally happening, albeit slowly.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 05/26/2016 03:12 PM
Let me first note that all this is speculation from my side.

So the second stage is the one segment Castor 300; the first stage is either the two segment Castor 600 or the four segment Castor 1200. The Lockheed Martin and ULA Athena 3 concept would use a Castor 900, could a three segment CBM be a Castor 900?.
Could the Castor 1200 be the same size as the SLS five segment RSRB?
Isn't it more logical to make a heavy with a Castor 900-Castor 300 and BE-3UEN?
That will be less of a pencil rocket.

If it would be a composite casing I know the following about the production process.
Most likely they will go for carbon fiber composite casing segments that are filament wound around a mandrel. This mandrel has to be segmented otherwise it can't be taken out of the produced casings. I think they design a mandrel system that can be assembled in four configurations:
- Castor 300, single segment, on one side the nozzle on the other side the top bulkhead with igniter.
- Lower segment, on one side the nozzle on the other side a segment connection interface.
- Top segment, on one side the top bulkhead with igniter on the other the segment connection interface.
- Middle segment, on both sides a segment connecting interface.
With building blocks for 1) the nozzle, 2) top bulkhead and 3) a connection interface all configurations can be build on the same tooling. They only assemble the mandrel differently. I think Orbital ATK will make one or two winding machines for both the SLS and Solid EELV.
The segments have different casting configurations, for this different casting molds are required. I don't know enough about the casting process to make a conclusion on how they will do this.   

I expect that Orbital ATK has used this technology on multiple projects already. I think they even configure different casing lengths with this method (Orion 50; Castor 120/30; GEM family).

On development cost. The AR-1 development will cost at least 1 billion. All high power liquid high performance engine development programs have development costs above a billion dollars. I expect OrbitalATK can develop the CBS system for a lot less then 0,5 billion. And the cost of launching SLS will go down when it is developed and used.
I read about Brazilian VS sounding rocket metal casing production and the development of the carbon composite S50 (German casing). The S40/ S43 casings took more than a month to produce, the composite S50 casings can be produced in about a week or so. This saves a lot of production costs. I think the same is true for the RSRM and CBS segments. I even expect the production of CBS segments to be a lot cheaper than the refurbishment of RSRM segments.
The CBS can be produced using robots and without air supply systems. The insulation of the RSRM segments have to be  removed and replaced by hand. Also the workers have to use external air supply because of the Chlorine oxides and hydrogen chlorides that have been produced during the burning of the AP propellant.
I think the CBS development could earn itself back very quickly also when only SLS launches are taken into consideration. For AR-1 that has a doubtful use, because SpX is developing Raptor and BO is developing BE-4 on their own funding. I think it is certain it will not repay itself.
I also hope (not my concern since I'm from Europe) that Nasa will take in consideration BE-4 and Raptor as replacement of the leftover RS-25 STS engines. When considering the billion dollar production restart program of RS-25 engines. I wonder what a billion dollar Big Fat Rocket COTS program can lead to. (sorry for being partially off topic ) 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: abaddon on 05/26/2016 03:33 PM
My guess is that in the end one might be developed but not the other.
Interesting.  Do you also have a guess which one it would be?  I am having a hard time myself deciding which market segment is a better opportunity.  The medium market seems awfully crowded.  But there are very few launches in the really heavy-lift area and we will have  Falcon Heavy and Vulcan domestically and add Ariane 6 commercially there already.  I am leaning slightly towards the heavy market but really have no idea.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: GreenShrike on 05/26/2016 04:14 PM
Isn't it more logical to make a heavy with a Castor 900-Castor 300 and BE-3UEN?

Depends on what thrust levels they require for the heavy's operation. AIUI, solid booster burn time increases with diameter, but thrust increases by motor height. As a very simplistic example, SLS' 5-segment boosters have about 20% more thrust than the 4-segment Shuttle boosters, and are about 20% longer. Thus, a Castor-600 to Castor-1200 upgrade might mean that the heavy would have possibly double the takeoff thrust of the medium.

I would assume that a Castor-900's smaller 50% increase over the 600 would be insufficient for their needs -- which thinking about the Falcon Heavy and Delta IV Heavy makes some sense as both those triple the medium version's takeoff thrust with their tri-barrel designs.


That will be less of a pencil rocket.

Does this matter? SpaceX doesn't seem to have any issue balancing F9 broomsticks on their tails.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/26/2016 05:20 PM
Let me first note that all this is speculation from my side.

So the second stage is the one segment Castor 300; the first stage is either the two segment Castor 600 or the four segment Castor 1200. The Lockheed Martin and ULA Athena 3 concept would use a Castor 900, could a three segment CBM be a Castor 900?.
Could the Castor 1200 be the same size as the SLS five segment RSRB?
Isn't it more logical to make a heavy with a Castor 900-Castor 300 and BE-3UEN?
That will be less of a pencil rocket.

If it would be a composite casing I know the following about the production process.
Most likely they will go for carbon fiber composite casing segments that are filament wound around a mandrel. This mandrel has to be segmented otherwise it can't be taken out of the produced casings. I think they design a mandrel system that can be assembled in four configurations:
- Castor 300, single segment, on one side the nozzle on the other side the top bulkhead with igniter.
- Lower segment, on one side the nozzle on the other side a segment connection interface.
- Top segment, on one side the top bulkhead with igniter on the other the segment connection interface.
- Middle segment, on both sides a segment connecting interface.
With building blocks for 1) the nozzle, 2) top bulkhead and 3) a connection interface all configurations can be build on the same tooling. They only assemble the mandrel differently. I think Orbital ATK will make one or two winding machines for both the SLS and Solid EELV.
The segments have different casting configurations, for this different casting molds are required. I don't know enough about the casting process to make a conclusion on how they will do this.   

I expect that Orbital ATK has used this technology on multiple projects already. I think they even configure different casing lengths with this method (Orion 50; Castor 120/30; GEM family).

On development cost. The AR-1 development will cost at least 1 billion. All high power liquid high performance engine development programs have development costs above a billion dollars. I expect OrbitalATK can develop the CBS system for a lot less then 0,5 billion. And the cost of launching SLS will go down when it is developed and used.
I read about Brazilian VS sounding rocket metal casing production and the development of the carbon composite S50 (German casing). The S40/ S43 casings took more than a month to produce, the composite S50 casings can be produced in about a week or so. This saves a lot of production costs. I think the same is true for the RSRM and CBS segments. I even expect the production of CBS segments to be a lot cheaper than the refurbishment of RSRM segments.
The CBS can be produced using robots and without air supply systems. The insulation of the RSRM segments have to be  removed and replaced by hand. Also the workers have to use external air supply because of the Chlorine oxides and hydrogen chlorides that have been produced during the burning of the AP propellant.
I think the CBS development could earn itself back very quickly also when only SLS launches are taken into consideration. For AR-1 that has a doubtful use, because SpX is developing Raptor and BO is developing BE-4 on their own funding. I think it is certain it will not repay itself.
I also hope (not my concern since I'm from Europe) that Nasa will take in consideration BE-4 and Raptor as replacement of the leftover RS-25 STS engines. When considering the billion dollar production restart program of RS-25 engines. I wonder what a billion dollar Big Fat Rocket COTS program can lead to. (sorry for being partially off topic ) 
RS-25 Programme restart contracts have already been signed as NASA MSFC declared the RS-25 the only capable winner in the competition for core stage engines.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 05/27/2016 11:11 AM
Is my understanding correct that the number after Castor is the stage mass in 1000 pound. So Castor 300 weighs 300,000lb, Castor 600 600,000lb and Castor 1200 1200,000lb. The 4 segment STS RSRB contain 1,100.000 lb propallent and have a take off weight of 1,300,000lb.
   
Orbital ATK now goes for a three stage (Solid Solid Liquid) configuration. Could they also go for a two stage configuration: Castor 600; 900 or 1200 with different sized of BE-3UEN upper-stages. This alternative will demand more dV from the upper-stage but one (heavy) stage is eliminated. The downside of this is that the accelerations (G-forces) will increase. And the BE-3U stages will have to be a lot larger (same diameter but longer).
Does someone have an idea on the time it will take to develop the CBS's. Can the OrbitalATK solid EELV serve as gap-filling measure for the transition form Atlas 5 to Vulcan? Or is it available at the same time, or later than the transition period.   

Edit: these CBS segments will contain a little bit less propellant then the P120C/ESR stages.
ESR's will be D 3,4m by L 14m.
Will they have a 12ft (3,66m) diameter and a length of about 32,5ft (~10m)? 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/27/2016 05:02 PM
Here is my suggested analysis of the NGL images.  It appears to me that what Orbital ATK may be doing with Common Boost Segment is creating a standard-length segment.  Shuttle SRB used three different segment lengths, one for the aft, one forward, and two in the center. 

The NGL 500-series drawings suggest the possibility for common segment lengths, all based roughly on the longest Shuttle SRB cylindrical segment casing that was part of the aft segment.  Another factor consistent with this SRB-segment length are the supposed gross weights of the motors suggested by the Castor names, as discussed upthread.  This does not tell me whether the segment casings are steel or composite, nor does it tell us if the propellant is PBAN or HTPB.  I would not be surprised by any of these outcomes.

I'll add that the NGL 521 drawing looks more "finished" than the 501 drawing.  I suspect that the 521 is closer to the appearance of a real NGL rocket.

I've added a suggested Heavy.  One assumes common segment lengths.  The second assumes the development of shorter center segments like those used by SRB.  Both illustrate the problem presented by the longer first stage.  A Medium pad would not work for the Heavy - unless they brought back the "Milkstool" idea!

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lobo on 05/28/2016 12:25 AM

But, to consider.  FH with all 3 cores recovered would probably only have a performance similar to a single core of this Orb-ATK LV.  Performance that will require a heavy version of the Orb-ATK solid LV would probably require at least an expendable FH central core.  So the price points might be single-core solid LV vs. FH with all 3 recoverd cores.  Or tri-core solid LV vs. FH with expendable central core.

We don't know the "recycle" time/economics yet. There have been recent hints that this might be quite different then we were led to believe with Shuttle. If "once in a blue moon" FH NSS launches w/o reuse from F9 payload business contributing, then a solid vehicle that is gradually produced/stacked economically might compete favorably. It gets around the "minimum number of launches" per annum issues that ULA has.

Now, the part I completely don't buy is the hydrolox US. OA has no experience with LH - they chickened out of it before with Antares (which was wise in retrospect), and I can't see them outsourcing this need, much less having the launch frequency to "keep alive" a hydrolox US in house.

Best I could see is sharing it with Antares, but once you'd have two LV (Antares LV + solid LV), there would be enormous pressure to have just one LV, so one would be back to all the same problems as before, which is why they didn't do a solid Antares nor a LH US for it.

So all this seems to be is a backup LV paper concept for if ULA trips and falls flat on its face ;)

Good insight as always Space Ghost.

Yes, I don't think a true heavy lift payload will be needed often, and it does look like they are thinking of a long stick "heavy" version in those cases.  As FH would need to be expending cores to get that upper range performance, And DH or the heavier Vulcan's would be all expendable (except maybe a recovered main engine), it's possible it could play there.  Especially if a lot of the development costs were covered by NASA visa vi SLS. 

it's interesting. 

I can't comment on the hydrolox upper stage.  They may feel that's necessary to get the performance needed.  BO seems to be doing ok with hydrolox stages and the BE-3 engine.  Sounds like recently there's been some conflicting info that OrbATK is looking to buy maybe the whole stage and engine from BO?
That could be how they get around not really having experience in hydrolox.

After all, with Antares both the booster core and engine have been outsourced to two different suppliers, and only the upper stage is made in house.
With such a new solid LV, the booster and 2nd stage would be done in house, with just the upper stage with engine being outsourced, as a single piece.  So not really anything different than what's being done now.  Just that the stage and engine would be domestic supplied rather than foreign supplied.
I'd imagine if ULA uses the BE-3, they'll make their own ACES type stage in house and just buy the engine.  But BO has demonstrated a hydrolox booster stage with their BE-3 engine, so I imagine they could do a hydrolox upper stage with the engine too, based on their experience with New Shepard.

 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/28/2016 02:00 PM
The NGL 500-series drawings suggest the possibility for common segment lengths, all based roughly on the longest Shuttle SRB cylindrical segment casing that was part of the aft segment.  Another factor consistent with this SRB-segment length are the supposed gross weights of the motors suggested by the Castor names, as discussed upthread.  This does not tell me whether the segment casings are steel or composite, nor does it tell us if the propellant is PBAN or HTPB.  I would not be surprised by any of these outcomes.

 - Ed Kyle 
Stephen Clark has written a story about Orbital-ATK's Next Generation Launcher, with some answers to these questions.  First, he confirms that the segment casings are composite.  Second, he reveals that the NGL 501 - the base model - will get 5.5 metric tons to GTO.  Third, he notes that in addition to LC 39B, Orbital/ATK is considering VAFB SLC 2 as a launch site.  Fourth, he reports that NGL will cost less than AR-1 to develop.  Finally, he says that Orbital ATK will need 5 to 6 flights per year to make the system pay.  The company plans to decide next year.
http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/27/details-of-orbital-atks-proposed-heavy-launcher-revealed/

To this I would add the following table, which lists three potential contenders for future EELV work in the Medium and Heavy classes.  Clark suggests that the Pentagon would like to have two viable contenders for EELV.  I would suggest that there might end up being two contenders in each category (Medium and Heavy), which does not mean that we would only end up with two launch vehicle families or providers.  Keep in mind when you are circling your two choices in each category that only one of these six listed launch vehicles (Falcon 9) currently exists!

            SpaceX           ULA               Orbital-ATK

MEDIUM      Falcon 9         Vulcan Centaur    NGL-Intermediate

HEAVY       Falcon Heavy     Vulcan-Aces       NGL-Heavy



 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/28/2016 10:11 PM
  Third, he notes that in addition to LC 39B, Orbital/ATK is considering VAFB SLC 2 as a launch site. 


Reading that article, it seems Liberty also planned to use LC-39B. 
Did that plan include using the (now SLS) MLP and CTs? 
But presumably stacked in a different high bay than SLS? 
Does not having an MLP handy (say, if the Orbital-ATK solid is being stacked and sent to the pad) interfere with stacking operations for the other rocket (SLS)? 
Would you stack the EELV off to the side, on top of one of the SLS SRB exhaust ports on the MLP, and then work to adapt the launch umbilicals to this location? 
Or just hang it over the larger middle opening? 
Presumably the Orbital-ATK umbilicals are integrated into the NASA mobile launcher? 
And either a milkstool or a separate set of upper stage umbilicals for the medium as compared to heavy?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/28/2016 10:26 PM
  Third, he notes that in addition to LC 39B, Orbital/ATK is considering VAFB SLC 2 as a launch site. 
Reading that article, it seems Liberty also planned to use LC-39B. 
Did that plan include using the (now SLS) MLP and CTs? 
But presumably stacked in a different high bay than SLS? 
Does not having an MLP handy (say, if the Orbital-ATK solid is being stacked and sent to the pad) interfere with stacking operations for the other rocket (SLS)? 
Would you stack the EELV off to the side, on top of one of the SLS SRB exhaust ports on the MLP, and then work to adapt the launch umbilicals to this location? 
Or just hang it over the larger middle opening? 
Presumably the Orbital-ATK umbilicals are integrated into the NASA mobile launcher? 
And either a milkstool or a separate set of upper stage umbilicals for the medium as compared to heavy?
Next Generation Launcher would not use the SLS launch platform.  The unused, but still extant STS/Apollo platforms offer an alternative starting point.  In addition, NGL would be stacked in High Bay 1.  SLS is using High Bay 3.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/29/2016 12:25 AM
still extant STS/Apollo platforms offer an alternative starting point

Those are still around?  Didn't NASA call for bids for those, as long as the winner removed them from the premises?  Did no one bid, or did NASA change its mind?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: the_roche_lobe on 05/29/2016 03:01 AM
Quote
nor does it tell us if the propellant is PBAN or HTPB

Is it certain they will use one of these? Is there any chance a higher ISP propellant might be used?

P
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/29/2016 04:36 AM
still extant STS/Apollo platforms offer an alternative starting point

Those are still around?  Didn't NASA call for bids for those, as long as the winner removed them from the premises?  Did no one bid, or did NASA change its mind?
Stephen Clark reported in an earlier story that NGL would use one of the old MLPs.  To my knowledge the old MLPs are still there.  One was recently used as a test load for CT-2 to carry to LC 39B. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 05/29/2016 04:55 AM
Why didn't they use this idea of a 3 stage Ares I, thus having a shorter rocket and still lift the Orion spacecraft?  One J2 powered upper stage might have worked, at that time, or a cluster or RL-10's.  This would be using off the shelf parts and cut costs and time.  Yes it would be 3 stages, but would use segments from the Ares V booster. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 05/29/2016 09:58 AM
@Spacenut
I think OATK NGL expecially the heavy version is accactly how a three stage Ares1 would look like.
They chose the BE-3U (EN) because it has a beter matching trust level for a three stage launcher. It has a very wide thrust range and is multiple times restable. And BE-3U will most likely be cheaper than two RL-10's. It surely is cheaper than four RL-10's (same thrust level, 120k lbf) or one J2x (has twise as much thrust). Two BE-3U might be cheaper than one J2x
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/29/2016 11:08 AM
Maybe its just me, but I just dont see how this rocket would be economicaly viable.

DoD will launch less payloads per years in 2020s
It will have to complete with SpaceX, ULA, and BO (which may also compete for DoD launches)
This rocket doesnt appear to be cheap: lots of solids + hydrogen upper stage + no reuse of parts.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/29/2016 12:19 PM
Maybe its just me, but I just dont see how this rocket would be economicaly viable.

DoD will launch less payloads per years in 2020s
It will have to complete with SpaceX, ULA, and BO (which may also compete for DoD launches)
This rocket doesnt appear to be cheap: lots of solids + hydrogen upper stage + no reuse of parts.
For OA their 3 stage solid booster may will be competitive with Vulcan booster and maybe F9E, it is definitely a lot less complex. Why should Blue US being any more expensive than F9 US to build. Both Merlin and BE3 use modern manufacturing techniques. Hydrogen US can use autogenous pressurization, eliminating expensive He systems.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/29/2016 03:28 PM
Maybe its just me, but I just dont see how this rocket would be economicaly viable.

DoD will launch less payloads per years in 2020s
It will have to complete with SpaceX, ULA, and BO (which may also compete for DoD launches)
This rocket doesnt appear to be cheap: lots of solids + hydrogen upper stage + no reuse of parts.
For OA their 3 stage solid booster may will be competitive with Vulcan booster and maybe F9E, it is definitely a lot less complex. Why should Blue US being any more expensive than F9 US to build. Both Merlin and BE3 use modern manufacturing techniques. Hydrogen US can use autogenous pressurization, eliminating expensive He systems.

BE-3 stage is likely to be cheaper than historical hydrogen engines, but I seriously doubt, that it  cost will be anywhere close to F9 second stage, which has advantage in manufacture (same tooling for 1st and 2nd stage, almost same engines for both F9 stages) + mass production of engine + absence of hydrogen related issues.

Also, BO will certainly include some of their development costs + profit in a cost that OA would have to pay for that stage.

Until your new EELV has a decent history of successful launches, you are also unlikely to be a viable bidder for high value cargo (DOD, NASA or commercial) - especially if you are more expensive (compared to F9).

With so many players, USAF/DOD will also not be motivated to throw money at marginal player(s) to stay in the game, since they will have redundancy even with remaining 2-3 players - no need for another one.

From investor/shareholder point of view, I see a market, where prices are going down, number of competitors going up and (at least for now) number of launches +- stable. Thats not a good environment if you want actual return on your investment as well as desire to minimize risk.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: baldusi on 05/29/2016 06:33 PM
If they can get two flights of CRS-2/yr, then they only need to win 3 launches per year of anything else to close the deal. They sell 3 to 4 GEO sats per year. So if they can get all that revenue they could close the case.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/29/2016 08:22 PM
If they can get two flights of CRS-2/yr, then they only need to win 3 launches per year of anything else to close the deal. They sell 3 to 4 GEO sats per year. So if they can get all that revenue they could close the case.

They dont provide downmass, so I doubt, that OA will on average get more than 1.5 missions per year.

Getting extra 4-5 launches per year (to achieve 6/year that they said is needed to close the case) wont be easy with increased competition.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: a_langwich on 05/29/2016 11:20 PM
If they can get two flights of CRS-2/yr, then they only need to win 3 launches per year of anything else to close the deal. They sell 3 to 4 GEO sats per year. So if they can get all that revenue they could close the case.


1.  If they switch flights to the new LV for CRS-2, assuming NASA will sign off on the switch, then they hurt the business case they had for distributing the startup cost of the RD-181 over a guaranteed number of engines.  Possibly breaching the terms of that contract.

2.  The ol' "they can force their satellite clients to use their LV" business case.  No, they probably can't, and the effort to do so may hurt the satellite sales part of the business while not helping the launcher side.

If a satellite customer is not sold on your launcher, you honor their wishes but are happy to at least be able to sell them a satellite.  If a launch customer wants to buy a satellite from someone else, you sell them what you can (the launch).

If O-ATK are going to close the business case, they are going to have to compete with SpaceX, just like ULA will be aiming to do.  And the powerpoint version better look like it can beat all, because that's as good as it gets.  It's a really poor idea, I think, when you are deciding whether to go/no-go on a new product, to merely hope to capture a bit of 3rd place in the market if it is successful.  Especially in a market where it is not certain the 2nd place provider will be sustainably busy.  When those inevitable DDT&E surprises occur--oh, look, our ground systems are going to cost as much as the entire rest of the rocket development!--you don't want to be sliding backward from last place.

Hopefully, too, the Air Force decision doesn't get driven by a sunk cost fallacy after making some questionable decisions to start something they really didn't need to start.  I'd trust David Thompson's decision-making about what's good for O-ATK; I'm not as sure about the Air Force decision-making about what's good for the American people or their budget.

I wonder if the financial case for the heavy version isn't more attractive than the case for the medium?  Sure seems like pouring two more segments ought to be cheaper than 18 more Merlin 1Ds, etc.  But that's a hella risky market to be playing in--Delta IV Heavy hasn't exactly been burning up the launch pads at what, one launch a year?  And Falcon Heavy repeatedly being delayed, in part I think because Falcon 9 has been so successfully expanding into the heart of the commsat market.

Still, the more push there is toward cislunar space, moon/Mars missions, and support for SLS-associated Big Hardware missions, the more heavy launchers might see big new opportunities.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/29/2016 11:46 PM
Here is my attempt at a quickie side-by-side scaled comparison of the potential future EELV competitors.    Only one of these is currently flying.  (I would like to see them all fly.)  Also, keep in mind that one of the Medium competitors, Vulcan-Centaur, will be replaced by Vulcan-Aces a few years after it begins flying.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: arachnitect on 05/30/2016 10:43 PM
If O-ATK are going to close the business case, they are going to have to compete with SpaceX, just like ULA will be aiming to do.  And the powerpoint version better look like it can beat all, because that's as good as it gets.  It's a really poor idea, I think, when you are deciding whether to go/no-go on a new product, to merely hope to capture a bit of 3rd place in the market if it is successful.  Especially in a market where it is not certain the 2nd place provider will be sustainably busy.

I assume OrbATK has no intention of competing against 2 other providers. I think they are positioning to be the DOD's "assured access" provider if ULA gets out of the DOD launch business.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Thorny on 05/30/2016 11:07 PM
Stephen Clark reported in an earlier story that NGL would use one of the old MLPs.  To my knowledge the old MLPs are still there.  One was recently used as a test load for CT-2 to carry to LC 39B. 
MLP-2 was on the Crawler in December.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/31/2016 01:03 AM
Stephen Clark reported in an earlier story that NGL would use one of the old MLPs.  To my knowledge the old MLPs are still there.  One was recently used as a test load for CT-2 to carry to LC 39B. 
MLP-2 was on the Crawler in December.
Yep that is the MLP and CT they request along with HB-2
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: bstrong on 05/31/2016 02:22 AM
Here is my attempt at a quickie side-by-side scaled comparison of the potential future EELV competitors.    Only one of these is currently flying.  (I would like to see them all fly.)  Also, keep in mind that one of the Medium competitors, Vulcan-Centaur, will be replaced by Vulcan-Aces a few years after it begins flying.

 - Ed Kyle

Nice visualization. As long as your talking about "potential future" rockets, you might want to add F9 and FH with a Raptor US.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lobo on 06/01/2016 10:30 PM
Maybe its just me, but I just dont see how this rocket would be economicaly viable.

DoD will launch less payloads per years in 2020s
It will have to complete with SpaceX, ULA, and BO (which may also compete for DoD launches)
This rocket doesnt appear to be cheap: lots of solids + hydrogen upper stage + no reuse of parts.

Maybe the goal wouldn't be to capture the DoD market, but just utilize NASA/SLS funds and any DoD investment funding that's out there, and develop a more capable LV than Antares that's 100% US-made (to avoid any issues that have been around Atlas V) for their own Cygnus launches, and also to compete for domestic and international commercial and government work.  To sort of beat ArianeSpace to an Ariane 6 like LV. 

Now you have a launcher that can compete in EELV-class payloads for BLEO payloads (which Antares really can't do, especially from MARS), based out of the Cape for more optimal trajectories, that has a lot of the development tab possibly picked up by NASA and DoD, and is all domestically sourced.
I think Bezos wants to hip check Musk when he can, so there could be incentive to offer BE-3 (and possibly a whole upper stage) to OATK for a price point to help them compete.  And Bezos gets a customer that helps the economics of scale for the BE-3.   (Which ULA switching to a Vulcan/ACES could do too if they select the BE-3)

And if they could succeed at that, the US could possibly have 3 competitive EELV medium and heavy class LV's that could complete well on the international market and give other national launchers difficulty getting more business than their own governmental payloads.  There may be a big enough pie internationally for all 3 to succeed.

Just a thought anyway.

 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: redliox on 06/01/2016 11:33 PM
Is there a breakdown on how much Orbital ATK's new rocket could lift?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/02/2016 12:23 AM
Is there a breakdown on how much Orbital ATK's new rocket could lift?
All I've seen is 5.5 tonnes to GTO for the 501 model and EELV Heavy class for the Castor 1200 powered version.

Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/02/2016 05:29 PM
Is there a breakdown on how much Orbital ATK's new rocket could lift?
All I've seen is 5.5 tonnes to GTO for the 501 model and EELV Heavy class for the Castor 1200 powered version.

Ed Kyle
That was 5.5 for medium ie Castor 600 with no Gem SRBs. Add a few Gems and the medium can handle most GTO missions.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/05/2016 02:12 AM
Orbital planning new rocket to compete for U.S. military launches (http://www.reuters.com/article/space-orbital-rocket-idUSL5N18L67O)
Quote from: Irene Klotz
The company plans to buy the rocket's second stage from Jeff Bezos' space company, Blue Origin.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/05/2016 02:52 PM
Orbital planning new rocket to compete for U.S. military launches (http://www.reuters.com/article/space-orbital-rocket-idUSL5N18L67O)
Quote from: Irene Klotz
The company plans to buy the rocket's second stage from Jeff Bezos' space company, Blue Origin.
Irene simply got that wrong.  Other reports from the same Space Congress presentation, including the photo of the presentation slides upthread, showed it to be the third stage.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/05/2016 05:00 PM
Orbital planning new rocket to compete for U.S. military launches (http://www.reuters.com/article/space-orbital-rocket-idUSL5N18L67O)
Quote from: Irene Klotz
The company plans to buy the rocket's second stage from Jeff Bezos' space company, Blue Origin.
Irene simply got that wrong.  Other reports from the same Space Congress presentation, including the photo of the presentation slides upthread, showed it to be the third stage.

Should have been "buy the US from BO". Yup.

Note - not "buy engine". Which makes sense, because ATK's abilities to do a fast turn on the solids, along with BO's existing hydrolox engine and stage combined with the need for a US for "big brother".

And I believe that OA is doing the nozzle extension for this BO stage. So likely BO's US will fly first on a OA "PPH" (per Ariane 6 earlier design nomenclature), gain flight history, as BE4 flies first on Vulcan, and then "big brother" flies after New Shepard's suborbital business debut. Economic production sharing to two vehicles for BO stage/engine.

Still an open question ULA's ACES choice.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 06/07/2016 11:13 PM
For Antares OATK buys both the engine and the tank. (Russian engines, Ukrainian tank)
So buying a whole stage from BlueOrigin is not so different then the current practice of Orbital ATK.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/07/2016 11:39 PM
They buy derivative Zenit stages/tanks as an overseas outsource provider because of lower labor costs and experience with Russian engine LV's.

BO is not such. OA has limited experience with LREs and their stages. But will need to gain operations with hydrolox, which isn't risk free. Proving a hydrolox US is much harder than a ground start booster for BO, and must be a significant part of the trade.

So the deal with BO is more like ULA's deal with BO - ULA/OA goes first in proving BE4/US flight on their dime with a BO flight system, then BO pulls that back into its LV.

Not the same for Antares booster. Totally different risk/reward.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/08/2016 03:38 AM
OA maybe getting good price from Blue to fly an unproven stage. Blue will most likely provide ground crew for launch processing and launch.
Blue may end up flying their LV first, as both companies are talking about 2019-2020  maiden launches for their new LVs.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 08/11/2016 12:41 AM
The big news in the OA conference call this quarter was the $400M accounting error on the US Army ammo contract, but there was some space news.  The ELV schedule is pretty much the same as last quarter.
Quote
In the Flight Systems Group, the Company and the Air Force continued to work in the first phase of what might develop as a four-year long joint development program aimed at fielding a new intermediate and large-class launch vehicle. Our investments this year, which are being strongly supplemented by the Air Force, are focused on the initial design and early development work. And in the second quarter, we complete the vehicle’s core preliminary design review in June. A joint Air Force and Orbital ATK decision about moving the program into full development is expected in mid-2017, based on our progress between now and then, and a variety of other factors.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/17/2016 05:39 PM

The latest
Orbital-ATK's EELV-class NGL Family was discussed briefly during the August 10 Investor Relations Earnings Conference Call. A go/no go decision to proceed target timeline was set for Mid-2017 (Narrowed down to May through July 2017 timeframe) (See second PDF for Reference) .

In other related news that also applies to ULA Atlas and Vulcan and recently LM Athena 2cS launcher families: Completed GEM 63 Solid Rocket Motor Family Preliminary Design Review (see first PDF for reference).

Webcast Link: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=81036&eventID=5235190
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Skyrocket on 08/17/2016 09:01 PM

In other related news that also applies to ULA Atlas and Vulcan and recently LM Athena 2cS launcher families: Completed GEM 63 Solid Rocket Motor Family Preliminary Design Review (see first PDF for reference).

Webcast Link: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=81036&eventID=5235190

Has the Athena-2cS  design switched from Orion-50SXLG to GEM-63 strap-ons?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/17/2016 09:08 PM

In other related news that also applies to ULA Atlas and Vulcan and recently LM Athena 2cS launcher families: Completed GEM 63 Solid Rocket Motor Family Preliminary Design Review (see first PDF for reference).

Webcast Link: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=81036&eventID=5235190

Has the Athena-2cS  design switched from Orion-50SXLG to GEM-63 strap-ons?
They have not selected it. They are studying it as an option. As a prospective customer it was given the opportunity to participate in the PDR.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 08/26/2016 03:46 PM
With these solids, would it be possible to parachute them back down for reuse?  Or is refurbishment of these smaller stages still about break even in cost?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/26/2016 05:28 PM
With these solids, would it be possible to parachute them back down for reuse?  Or is refurbishment of these smaller stages still about break even in cost?

Composite solids of any type are currently capable of single use. major technological and material science advancements would be needed to reuse solid motors. those with Steel casings are the only ones that are capable of reuse but US industry is working quickly to phase those out to cut costs and increase profits.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 08/29/2016 08:35 PM
The whole point of a modern composite solid fueled rocket is to be the epitome of expendable vehicles.

When you reuse them, you weaken the argument for such.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 08/29/2016 09:00 PM
What if you had a steel liner like an old Volkswagon engine.  (Steel liners in an aluminum block).   Might add a little weight, but wouldn't be burned with the steel liners. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 08/29/2016 09:43 PM
Your cost triples, your GTOW rises another 3/4, your payload to orbit is a third. And on inspection you might have a burn thru and no reuse. And likely you can't launch NSS payloads.

Other than that, good.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kabloona on 08/31/2016 06:45 PM
What if you had a steel liner like an old Volkswagon engine.  (Steel liners in an aluminum block).   Might add a little weight, but wouldn't be burned with the steel liners.

The problem isn't the material so much, it's the geometry. Monolithic composite cases are "wrapped" over a mandrel covered with a layer of insulation, and the insulation bonds to the composite overwrap, then the mandrel is removed and the propellant grain is cast inside, through the hole left in the aft end of the case for the nozzle attachment.

After the SRM is fired, you're left with a one-piece case with a lot of charred insulation inside, and there's no way to get the charred insulation out and new insulation inside because you can't take the case apart, and you have only limited access to the inside of the case through the hole in the aft end.

Then if you try to make the case segmented, you end up losing the weight advantage of composites. So you're stuck with a single-use composite case.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/02/2016 01:48 PM
I expect the September 1 Falcon 9/AMOS 6 explosion to influence Orbital ATK's decision about whether to proceed with its new rocket. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ZachS09 on 09/02/2016 02:07 PM
I expect the September 1 Falcon 9/AMOS 6 explosion to influence Orbital ATK's decision about whether to proceed with its new rocket. 

 - Ed Kyle

Why would the AMOS 6 pre-static fire failure have anything to do with Orbital ATK's newest launch vehicle?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/02/2016 02:26 PM
Why would the AMOS 6 pre-static fire failure have anything to do with Orbital ATK's newest launch vehicle?
As I see it, the AMOS 6 failure shifts the playing field.  It increases SpaceX costs.  It increases insurance costs for satellite owners.  It delays Falcon Heavy.  It raises reliability questions about the entire Falcon family design.  Orbital ATK's NGL is aimed at the same market as Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy and Vulcan, another rocket that will have to go through growing pains.  Orbital ATK's decision makers, who will soon decide whether to proceed, have a different set of considerations now than they did last week.

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Patchouli on 09/03/2016 06:17 AM
As I see it, the AMOS 6 failure shifts the playing field.  It increases SpaceX costs.  It increases insurance costs for satellite owners.  It delays Falcon Heavy.  It raises reliability questions about the entire Falcon family design.  Orbital ATK's NGL is aimed at the same market as Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy and Vulcan, another rocket that will have to go through growing pains.  Orbital ATK's decision makers, who will soon decide whether to proceed, have a different set of considerations now than they did last week.

 - Ed Kyle 
Spacex most likely will have returned to normal operations and gotten Falcon Heavy flying long before NGL is ready.

The only way I can see Orbital ATK catching up is if they keep the first stage closely derived from a SLS booster and the second stage was derived from something existing or close to finished.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/03/2016 09:45 PM
Orbital ATK's NGL is aimed at the same market as Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy and Vulcan, another rocket that will have to go through growing pains.
You mean ... like ... Antares? When exactly is return to flight?

The only way I can see Orbital ATK catching up is if they keep the first stage as closely derived from a SLS booster ...
Then they'd have to explain ... why SLS boosters were so expensive, while convincing that NGL boosters could be so cheap to be competitive.

In either case, the pivotal issue for NGL/Vulcan is the split of NSS launches among 2-3 providers and enough fill in at market commercial launches to sustain vehicle costing over 10 years.

The true issue is two losses in less than a year. If they roll into being the same issue for both, SX's credibility for launch will take a major hit.

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/03/2016 10:03 PM
Orbital ATK's NGL is aimed at the same market as Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy and Vulcan, another rocket that will have to go through growing pains.
You mean ... like ... Antares? When exactly is return to flight?
Antares will likely fly before the next Falcon 9.  But yes, like Antares.  These big new U.S. liquid rockets seem to have a habit of cantankerousness and explosions, which is why the U.S. needs alternatives.  Solid propellant is the most disparate back-up possible to pressurized, turbopump-fed liquids.

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Jim on 09/03/2016 10:16 PM
We haven't had all solid vehicles backing up for the last 50 years, why start now.

We have enough vehicles the way it is

It isn't an all solid vehicle anyways
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lars-J on 09/04/2016 12:23 AM
Orbital ATK's NGL is aimed at the same market as Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy and Vulcan, another rocket that will have to go through growing pains.
You mean ... like ... Antares? When exactly is return to flight?
Antares will likely fly before the next Falcon 9.  But yes, like Antares.  These big new U.S. liquid rockets seem to have a habit of cantankerousness and explosions, which is why the U.S. needs alternatives.  Solid propellant is the most disparate back-up possible to pressurized, turbopump-fed liquids.

 ;D Ed never disappoints.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/04/2016 01:57 AM
Orbital ATK's NGL is aimed at the same market as Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy and Vulcan, another rocket that will have to go through growing pains.
You mean ... like ... Antares? When exactly is return to flight?
Antares will likely fly before the next Falcon 9.
Please note its September. They have not even announced a date, weeks away. Manifests haven't been updated.

Bet you a cup of coffee, redeemable at any Starbucks. Like the ones in Lompoc, where I'll be for next Atlas and Falcon launches on the manifest. (WFF and CCAFS not for the foreseeable.) Seems like still a horse race.

Quote
But yes, like Antares.  These big new U.S. liquid rockets seem to have a habit of cantankerousness and explosions, which is why the U.S. needs alternatives.  Solid propellant is the most disparate back-up possible to pressurized, turbopump-fed liquids.
I've seen many cantankerous solids too.

And ... for NSS launches, you'll need one of those LREs you disdain on top of those solids ... to have the performance and capabilities that ULA/SX require as well to get them there. Unless you want a 7 stage monstrosity that could never be performant ...

But having seen the situation, yes, agree that there's a place for NGL. And that it can be done. Just that am dubious of the economics and the shift underway in global launch that might "cut the legs out from under it". Keep in mind the paucity of Antares launches/payloads.

As any rational person might.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/04/2016 02:48 AM
We haven't had all solid vehicles backing up for the last 50 years, why start now.

We have enough vehicles the way it is
Do we?  Right now the U.S. has Atlas 5, which itself had to be taken out of service earlier this year, and a very occasional Delta 4.  Both will be retired in a few years.  Their replacement, Vulcan, is as much TBD as Orbital ATK's NGL.  Falcon 9 is out of service, probably for many months, and more pertinently has only proven to be "Proton reliable" to date (i.e., not good enough for EELV reliability standards).  Antares is still out of service and has limited utility regardless.   

As for the solid question (obviously an EELV NGL will never be "all solid"), why not start now?  The technology has improved with composites and more efficient propellants.  They have proven to be very reliable, and in this business, where some U.S. government payloads can cost multiple billions of dollars, unreliability has a big cost.  Falcon 9's incident could end up being, what, a half-billion dollar exercise?

To set the record straight, given assumptions about my beliefs by others in this thread, I do not "disdain" liquids, nor am I automatically enamored of every solid design.  I am merely interested in a bit of real technology diversity among the launch fleet.  It might actually get us nearer to that "assured access" idea.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/04/2016 05:55 PM
We haven't had all solid vehicles backing up for the last 50 years, why start now.

We have enough vehicles the way it is
Do we?  Right now the U.S. has Atlas 5, which itself had to be taken out of service earlier this year, and a very occasional Delta 4.
Which still do the job.

Quote
Both will be retired in a few years.
When multiple replacements have accumulated significant flight history.

Quote
Their replacement, Vulcan, is as much TBD as Orbital ATK's NGL.
BE4 looks likely to make it to the test stand this year.

NGL's propulsion is still paper.

Quote
Falcon 9 is out of service, probably for many months, ...
Musk claims Vandenberg launches within a month.

Quote

... and more pertinently has only proven to be "Proton reliable" to date (i.e., not good enough for EELV reliability standards).
That is an over claim. You're getting ahead of yourself, in order to justify a position. Their position is that they mishandled a payload, not a launch failure.

Quote
Antares is still out of service and has limited utility regardless.
And we need them to do another limited utility LV (to begin with, it needs to start out that way)?

Quote
As for the solid question (obviously an EELV NGL will never be "all solid"), why not start now?  The technology has improved with composites and more efficient propellants.  They have proven to be very reliable, and in this business, where some U.S. government payloads can cost multiple billions of dollars, unreliability has a big cost.
NGL will be end-end multibillion dollar. If like Antares, budget in at least one RTF too.

Quote
Falcon 9's incident could end up being, what, a half-billion dollar exercise?
There's the causality losses of LV, pad, and SC. They claim they'll continue flying on 39A/4E.  So a 3+ month delay is what they say at the moment.

From their side, sounds like you are way over estimating it.

Quote
I am merely interested in a bit of real technology diversity among the launch fleet.
Please enlighten us exactly what this definition entails. To many here, they aren't all that different. It would help your position to be better understood objectively, rather than always going to the subjective "feel".

Quote
It might actually get us nearer to that "assured access" idea.
This I can agree with you on.

Also, the strongest arguments for NGL are ones you don't state in your post.

America has a history of advanced solids, and while Europe/Japan are currently taking the lead in low cost monolithic solid boosters, an appropriate modular solid design could be competitive against global similar LV's, advancing an American strength further.

However, if it were to be based on earlier SLS costed designs, the cost structure would not be competitive with Europe/Japan, and would simply act to prop up a potentially "sinking ship", and while politically feasible/desirable, would actually weaken America's technology base. Somewhat like what I think has happened to the AR-1 engine program, using dumb politicians. So there's a downside here.

Vulcan/BE4 strengthens America's technology base, potentially eliminating a dependency and making a vehicle far better than Atlas.

The turning point for Vulcan/BE4 is a full scale engine on a test stand. It's likely that there's also a Raptor in the same condition. The argument for NGL is there at the moment but not long lived.

Your attempts to play "chicken little" to amplify an opening is ... ridiculous.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/04/2016 08:06 PM
BE4 looks likely to make it to the test stand this year.

NGL's propulsion is still paper.
Unlike BE-4, BE-3 has actually flown.  The solid motors still have to be developed, but they derive from SRB related research, such as the Filament-Wound Case motor testing completed during the mid-1980s.  Clearly there is much work to do, but the same is true of Vulcan.
Quote
Quote
Falcon 9 is out of service, probably for many months, ...
Musk claims Vandenberg launches within a month.
The launch site is ready, but we're not going to see a launch from there in one month. 
Quote
Quote
... and more pertinently has only proven to be "Proton reliable" to date (i.e., not good enough for EELV reliability standards).
That is an over claim. You're getting ahead of yourself, in order to justify a position. Their position is that they mishandled a payload, not a launch failure.
Anyone can do the math.  Compare the gold standards (Atlas 5 and Ariane 5-ECA and even Delta 4M) against Falcon 9 and Proton M and you will clearly see why I am saying what I am saying.  Falcon 9 can still improve these numbers if its basic issues are rooted out.
Quote
Quote
I am merely interested in a bit of real technology diversity among the launch fleet.
Please enlighten us exactly what this definition entails. To many here, they aren't all that different. It would help your position to be better understood objectively, rather than always going to the subjective "feel".
Solid propellant is obviously a much different technology than cryogenic liquid propellant.  It will have a completely different industrial base.  A problem with one is not going to shut down the other.
 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/05/2016 12:27 AM
NGL's propulsion is still paper.
The solid motors still have to be developed, but they derive from SRB related research, such as the Filament-Wound Case motor testing completed during the mid-1980s.  Clearly there is much work to do, but the same is true of Vulcan.
That was the 1980's. A third of a century ago. Vulcan/Falcon are a bit more recent.

Quote
Quote
Quote
Falcon 9 is out of service, probably for many months, ...
Musk claims Vandenberg launches within a month.
The launch site is ready, but we're not going to see a launch from there in one month.
Source? I'm still hearing Vandenberg launches (plural) are still on schedule. Ready for that cup of coffee in Lompoc?
Quote

Quote
Quote
... and more pertinently has only proven to be "Proton reliable" to date (i.e., not good enough for EELV reliability standards).
That is an over claim. You're getting ahead of yourself, in order to justify a position. Their position is that they mishandled a payload, not a launch failure.
Anyone can do the math.  Compare the gold standards (Atlas 5 and Ariane 5-ECA and even Delta 4M) against Falcon 9 and Proton M and you will clearly see why I am saying what I am saying.  Falcon 9 can still improve these numbers if its basic issues are rooted out.
Know you have little use for SX, but they claim to be doing just that. Have no idea why they would do anything but. And the reasons for Proton M (or for that matter Zenit) reliability aren't in any way comparable.
Quote
Quote
Quote
I am merely interested in a bit of real technology diversity among the launch fleet.
Please enlighten us exactly what this definition entails. To many here, they aren't all that different. It would help your position to be better understood objectively, rather than always going to the subjective "feel".
Solid propellant is obviously a much different technology than cryogenic liquid propellant.  It will have a completely different industrial base.  A problem with one is not going to shut down the other.

So what you're on about is "complementary and independent" propulsion systems. In this case, just booster propulsion systems, as you'll still need a LRE US, so you're not entirely independent.

Now part of the justification with Shuttle RSRB's was that. And the filament wound development mentioned above was contemporaneous. So why didn't the improvement factor into improving RSRB scale boosters in the same way it did other SRB applications?

We've been down this road before. Do we really need to do it again? It would seem that the advantage you seek has been tried before, and the benefit wasn't comprehensive enough.  What's there to make it any better now, when our demand for solid fueled munitions is tremendously less ... than then?

Thank you though for explaining your position better. Disagree with your position, both on SX/ULA and solids here simply because they are insufficient, not because you are unreasoned.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: sdsds on 09/05/2016 07:57 AM
the reasons for Proton M (or for that matter Zenit) reliability aren't in any way comparable.
Sorry, but why aren't the reasons comparable? Because one launch system is relatively new and the other old? But couldn't the same cause create unreliability in both? Just as an example, maybe both suffer from a relatively unseasoned workforce, like the Proton guy who installed the part upside down? Do we know yet that it wasn't an upside down part that caused the SpaceX on-pad failure? ;-)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/05/2016 02:27 PM
Anyone can do the math.  Compare the gold standards (Atlas 5 and Ariane 5-ECA and even Delta 4M) against Falcon 9 and Proton M and you will clearly see why I am saying what I am saying.  Falcon 9 can still improve these numbers if its basic issues are rooted out.
Know you have little use for SX, but they claim to be doing just that. Have no idea why they would do anything but. And the reasons for Proton M (or for that matter Zenit) reliability aren't in any way comparable.
I have to respond to this incorrect assumption that I have "little use" for SpaceX.  I'm as thrilled as anyone by this innovative company's achievements.  I am only pointing out that Falcon 9 is still on a multi-year learning curve and is not as reliable as other rockets that depend on lessons learned over decades.  Atlas and Titan and Centaur, the Atlas 5 progenitors, all had long, problem-filled childhoods.

 - Ed kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/05/2016 05:51 PM
the reasons for Proton M (or for that matter Zenit) reliability aren't in any way comparable.
Sorry, but why aren't the reasons comparable?
Suggest you consider Ed Kyle's comment closely first, before answer this. Tells you much ...

Anyone can do the math.  Compare the gold standards (Atlas 5 and Ariane 5-ECA and even Delta 4M) against Falcon 9 and Proton M and you will clearly see why I am saying what I am saying.  Falcon 9 can still improve these numbers if its basic issues are rooted out.
Know you have little use for SX, but they claim to be doing just that. Have no idea why they would do anything but. And the reasons for Proton M (or for that matter Zenit) reliability aren't in any way comparable.
I have to respond to this incorrect assumption that I have "little use" for SpaceX.  I'm as thrilled as anyone by this innovative company's achievements.
You misunderstand my reference.

Was not to achievements - ULA and OA have more practical ones at the moment, but to their resolve/commitment to reliable launch as lacking. That comes across in your presumption of feckless launch service providing that others besides me have brought to attention.

FWIW, share your anxiety at times, and have to consciously reign it in all the time. They are hypersensitive to it. Even so much as a glance in a direction triggers the "systems engineering contamination" fear of injury to their "agile superpower". It's painful. Really, really hard to discern certain boundaries at the moment, for all concerned. Grates instead of "great". And even with that one can be considered as a source of negativity/"cloud".

Quote
  I am only pointing out that Falcon 9 is still on a multi-year learning curve and is not as reliable as other rockets that depend on lessons learned over decades.
You make/made the mistake I made/make.

(Sdsds - here)
We worked the issues to arrive at a series of "recipies" to capture those lessons, the "institutional knowledge", as a means to feed the next iteration of "waterfall", to make things reliable. This meant/forced a certain architecture, where you belled major risk with major changes, and minor changes afterward, as a means to narrow down quickly to a concise means for reliable launch. And it works quite well in its intentionally narrow context.

But the LV's have parts of the past that stay stuck in the past. For example, Proton M like Delta II has aspects that depend on high labor and low automation. Delta II could have been redone, iteratively into the present but was not. Eventually abandoned. But if you have cheap labor still (Russian), you simply "back fill" like you did before with labor checking labor. However, the quality of such labor isn't like before, because now just about everyone depends on implicit technology, so you address this shortfall with "labor checking labor checking labor ...", which is insufficient because it still misses - you need to revise for explicit modern redesign.

But that's not all. Agile works very differently when you apply it at scale to a whole LV, so your means to correct cannot be a recipe but instead is more like solving a huge parametric equation. The current wave of managers half get this - they are still allergic to even the slightest hint of "waterfall/process", so they don't adapt to need fast enough. Some of the youngest/smartest managers are beginning to catch on and address this change, solely because they need to, to survive (again like in the gestation of the original LV "learning the lessons").

Crisply, its 'reinventing learning the lessons', which sounds trite but isn't.

In other words, the lessons are still the lessons, but matching them to the context is a lot harder, because what once was solid is now fluid, of what you are "measuring" against.

Quote
Atlas and Titan and Centaur, the Atlas 5 progenitors, all had long, problem-filled childhoods.
We have a form of "childhood's end" with Falcon (and quite possibly Vulcan).

Suggest more a problem-filled  "adulthood" is the issue. So your metaphor doesn't work. You'll only see this if you get into the trenches and see what they are up against, instead of attempting to "force map" it into past perspective.

The downsides is that it either all succeeds or fails at the end of the process. Which was totally unacceptable in the past.

Will it be acceptable now?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/05/2016 07:31 PM
I have to respond to this incorrect assumption that I have "little use" for SpaceX.  I'm as thrilled as anyone by this innovative company's achievements.
You misunderstand my reference.

Was not to achievements - ULA and OA have more practical ones at the moment, but to their resolve/commitment to reliable launch as lacking. That comes across in your presumption of feckless launch service providing that others besides me have brought to attention.
The statement that I possess a "presumption of feckless launch service providing" is not correct.  I believe that all of these providers - SpaceX, Orbital ATK, ULA, etc. - aim for perfection.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/05/2016 09:43 PM
I have to respond to this incorrect assumption that I have "little use" for SpaceX.  I'm as thrilled as anyone by this innovative company's achievements.
You misunderstand my reference.

Was not to achievements - ULA and OA have more practical ones at the moment, but to their resolve/commitment to reliable launch as lacking. That comes across in your presumption of feckless launch service providing that others besides me have brought to attention.
The statement that I possess a "presumption of feckless launch service providing" is not correct.  I believe that all of these providers - SpaceX, Orbital ATK, ULA, etc. - aim for perfection.

 - Ed Kyle
Nice to hear it.

Not possible to do this without that.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Dante80 on 10/05/2016 09:59 AM
Anyone can do the math.  Compare the gold standards (Atlas 5 and Ariane 5-ECA and even Delta 4M) against Falcon 9 and Proton M and you will clearly see why I am saying what I am saying.  Falcon 9 can still improve these numbers if its basic issues are rooted out.

Here is something for historic reference. By the time Ariane 5 flew half as many times as Falcon 9 (14), it had 2 catastrophic failures and two partial failures on its record (V-88, V-101, V-142 and V-157).

Ariane 5 went on to be one of the most succesful launchers (especially as far as the commercial marketshare aspect of launch is concerned).

I don't have a specific point for saying that, just thought the reference was interesting.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 10/05/2016 02:23 PM
Falcon 9 has had only one incidence with the FIRST stage, and they have engine out capability.  Their problems are with the second stage.   Solids are better for FIRST stages.  So, the FIRST stage isn't the problem either way, except for Orbitals Russian engines.  It was a segment flaw that burned through on the solid that blew up the first shuttle. 

Falcon needs to fix their second stage or agree to use Centaur or some other second stage. 

An all solid first and second stage might be fine, but they will still need a hydrolox third stage of some kind.  All will be expensive, and all expendable. 

Eventually reusable will have to come into play to cut costs over time.  Other than composite solids, seems like solids have about maxed out their performance and cost.  Liquids are improving by being able to throttle, land, and will eventually be reusable thus much lower in cost.   


----



This is where it was getting off topic, but the next six posts didn't even mention the vehicle in this thread title. Back on topic from this point onwards - Andy, Mod.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 11/08/2016 08:42 PM
From the OA non-earnings conference call today:
Quote
In our Flight Systems Group the Company and the Air Force are in the first year of what may become a potential multiyear jointly funded development program aimed at creating a new intermediate and large class space launch vehicle family.

Our objective in this initiative is to develop a modular vehicle capable of launching national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites with benefits to other parts of our business.

The company's investments in 2016 along with those of the Air Force cover the initial phase of design work with the go no go decision in mid to late 2017 concerning the remaining activity to develop build and test this new launch vehicle family.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/4021177-orbital-atks-oa-ceo-dave-thompson-q3-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/13/2016 11:48 PM
From the OA non-earnings conference call today:
Quote
In our Flight Systems Group the Company and the Air Force are in the first year of what may become a potential multiyear jointly funded development program aimed at creating a new intermediate and large class space launch vehicle family.

Our objective in this initiative is to develop a modular vehicle capable of launching national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites with benefits to other parts of our business.

The company's investments in 2016 along with those of the Air Force cover the initial phase of design work with the go no go decision in mid to late 2017 concerning the remaining activity to develop build and test this new launch vehicle family.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/4021177-orbital-atks-oa-ceo-dave-thompson-q3-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript
The accompanying IR presentation
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: smfarmer11 on 11/28/2016 06:10 PM
For me, the surprise was the four-segment first stage for Heavy missions.  That is an entirely different rocket than the Medium version with its two-segment first stage.  Heavy and Medium will need significantly different launch pad setups, maybe even different launch platforms.  My guess is that in the end one might be developed but not the other.

 - Ed Kyle

Since they are using a mobile launcher, could they potentially do what they did for the later Saturn 1B missions, and just put the Shorter Rocket on a stand. Or just have the Hydrolox upper stage umbilicals on the tower be able to be raised or lowered?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/29/2016 08:21 PM
For me, the surprise was the four-segment first stage for Heavy missions.  That is an entirely different rocket than the Medium version with its two-segment first stage.  Heavy and Medium will need significantly different launch pad setups, maybe even different launch platforms.  My guess is that in the end one might be developed but not the other.

 - Ed Kyle

Since they are using a mobile launcher, could they potentially do what they did for the later Saturn 1B missions, and just put the Shorter Rocket on a stand. Or just have the Hydrolox upper stage umbilicals on the tower be able to be raised or lowered?
we do not know at this time and information that is available to answer that question is not yet able to be discussed on the public threads. Should be several big information drops between late Q2-2017 and Q1-2018 if they decide to proceed with their plans.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/10/2017 01:43 PM
New Jeff Foust article on state of Orbital's devdelopment:

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-expects-decision-on-new-rocket-by-early-2018/ (http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-expects-decision-on-new-rocket-by-early-2018/)

Here's an excerpt:

Quote
Orbital ATK has released few details about what is known only as its “Next-Generation Launcher.” The vehicle would use solid-fuel lower stages based on space shuttle solid rocket motor segments developed by the company, as well as solid strap-on boosters. A liquid-oxygen, liquid-hydrogen upper stage would use a version of Blue Origin’s BE-3 engine that company is currently flying on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: ZachS09 on 03/10/2017 02:00 PM
I thought Liberty was scrapped. Why use an image of a two-stage rocket if the Next-Generation Launcher has three stages?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/10/2017 02:23 PM
I thought Liberty was scrapped. Why use an image of a two-stage rocket if the Next-Generation Launcher has three stages?

Sorry, SN are just using a Liberty image to illustrate the article while making the point that the Next Generation Launcher has a number of similarities.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/10/2017 02:57 PM
I had a Zenit, or Cyclone, second stage on top of shuttle SRB segments in mind, but if Jeff Bezos wants to get into the liquid stage market, why not?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Jim on 03/10/2017 04:05 PM
I had a Zenit, or Cyclone, second stage on top of shuttle SRB segments in mind, but if Jeff Bezos wants to get into the liquid stage market, why not?

???   If if used Zenit or Cyclone, then it could not be used for gov't payload.  Bezos is not getting in the liquid stage market.  Supplying an engine is not the same as supplying a stage.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lars-J on 03/10/2017 04:42 PM
New Jeff Foust article on state of Orbital's devdelopment:

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-expects-decision-on-new-rocket-by-early-2018/ (http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-expects-decision-on-new-rocket-by-early-2018/)

Here's an excerpt:

Quote
Orbital ATK has released few details about what is known only as its “Next-Generation Launcher.” The vehicle would use solid-fuel lower stages based on space shuttle solid rocket motor segments developed by the company, as well as solid strap-on boosters. A liquid-oxygen, liquid-hydrogen upper stage would use a version of Blue Origin’s BE-3 engine that company is currently flying on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle.

I think calling it "LAST-generation launcher" would be more accurate than "Next-generation launcher". This paragraph in particular stood out:

Quote
If the program continues, Thompson said he expected the split in funding would continue at current levels, with the Air Force providing two thirds of the funding and Orbital ATK one third. He also expected the Air Force to make an “early block purchase” of some of the vehicles during the program’s development.

It's charming to see that they don't realize the market is changing around them. Or that they think the AF has no alternatives. ATK is indeed partying like its 1999.  :o
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/10/2017 04:43 PM
New Jeff Foust article on state of Orbital's devdelopment:

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-expects-decision-on-new-rocket-by-early-2018/ (http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-expects-decision-on-new-rocket-by-early-2018/)
So, Orbital ATK is going to let the Air Force makes its NGLV decision.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/10/2017 04:45 PM
It's charming to see that they don't realize the market is changing around them. Or that they think the AF has no alternatives. ATK is indeed partying like its 1999.  :o
Show me a launch vehicle that does not depend in large part on Government money, one way or another.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lars-J on 03/10/2017 04:51 PM
It's charming to see that they don't realize the market is changing around them. Or that they think the AF has no alternatives. ATK is indeed partying like its 1999.  :o
Show me a launch vehicle that does not depend in large part on Government money, one way or another.

Sure... but 2/3rd of its funds? And with a block buy? Those days are gone. This isn't 1999 anymore.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: meberbs on 03/10/2017 05:04 PM
It's charming to see that they don't realize the market is changing around them. Or that they think the AF has no alternatives. ATK is indeed partying like its 1999.  :o
Show me a launch vehicle that does not depend in large part on Government money, one way or another.

 - Ed Kyle
New Glenn.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: DarkenedOne on 03/10/2017 05:12 PM
It's charming to see that they don't realize the market is changing around them. Or that they think the AF has no alternatives. ATK is indeed partying like its 1999.  :o
Show me a launch vehicle that does not depend in large part on Government money, one way or another.

 - Ed Kyle

The government is a large part of the space launch market, so basically what your saying would include even launch contracts. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/10/2017 05:55 PM
I had a Zenit, or Cyclone, second stage on top of shuttle SRB segments in mind, but if Jeff Bezos wants to get into the liquid stage market, why not?

???   If if used Zenit or Cyclone, then it could not be used for gov't payload.  Bezos is not getting in the liquid stage market.  Supplying an engine is not the same as supplying a stage.
The articles I've read on this LV give impression Blue will be providing completed upper stage.

Probably a version of NG 3rd stage. Should be low cost option for OA as long their stage is not radically different from NG 3rd stage. 

Both booster segments and US will be drawing from existing production lines so no need for high launch rate to support large manufacturing infrastructure. They also want to use SLS pad and infrastructure between SLS launches. This is why OA can make it profitable for 2-4 launches a year.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Hauerg on 03/10/2017 06:00 PM
To me this sounds like: When the $$$ provided by the AF are gone so will be this paperrocket.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/11/2017 01:46 PM
I thought Liberty was scrapped. Why use an image of a two-stage rocket if the Next-Generation Launcher has three stages?
Let's fix this repeated mis-information with an image of Orbital's real projected NGL lineup.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kasponaut on 03/11/2017 02:00 PM
Ed, can you ad the SLS 5 segment booster to this image/drawing. I wonder what the length of those segments are compared to these and each other 😊
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/11/2017 02:13 PM
Ed, can you ad the SLS 5 segment booster to this image/drawing. I wonder what the length of those segments are compared to these and each other 😊
Here is an image I put together last year that shows the smaller NGL beside Liberty, which would have used the five segment booster.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kasponaut on 03/11/2017 02:15 PM
Thanks Ed. But what are the segment lenghts on those SLS 5 segment boosters?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/11/2017 02:19 PM
Thanks Ed. But what are the segment lenghts on those SLS 5 segment boosters?
Same as 4-segment SRB except with one added 320 inch long center segment.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Kasponaut on 03/11/2017 02:24 PM
Ok. Thank you 😊
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/11/2017 04:02 PM
Here's another illustration that shows the stages, including a wild estimate of the third stage configuration.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/11/2017 06:06 PM
I've been a proponent of a US rocket optimized for a somewhat smaller payload than the Atlas 401 for lower costs, and less rd-180 use. Looks like Ares 1 was just too big. Cut it in half, then you get a useful rocket.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/12/2017 11:13 PM
I wonder if a stretched h-2a upper stage would work out?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/12/2017 11:39 PM
I wonder if a stretched h-2a upper stage would work out?
Might not even need a stretch.  The mass seems about right. 

The problem is that Mitsubishi still has a partnership with Boeing/ULA on Delta 4 tanks.  It may end with the phase out of the Medium version, but I'm not sure.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/13/2017 04:15 PM
I wonder if a stretched h-2a upper stage would work out?
upper stage is not a lego rocket and is not ideal and OA wants a completely US manufactured rocket for various reasons.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: kraisee on 03/13/2017 11:45 PM
A. Dead. Flogging. Horse.

Rearrange.

(http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g311/Seleucus/flogging.gif)

I must agree with the previous comment that their management must be blind to the changing shape of the market today.   A breathtaking case of heads being firmly sunk into the sands of time long past.

If I were a suspicious sort, I would wonder if someone was worried about SLS's future and were proposing this as a 'partner' vehicle intended to share some of the infrastructure costs to make it more difficult to cancel.

Amazingly, that was the same (old) mutual justification that existed between the Stick (Ares-I) and the Stack (Ares-V).   And there was me thinking that old chestnut of reasoning had been thoroughly de-bunked and laid to rest.

Ross.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Zed_Noir on 03/14/2017 07:35 AM
....
Amazingly, that was the same (old) mutual justification that existed between the Stick (Ares-I) and the Stack (Ares-V).   And there was me thinking that old chestnut of reasoning had been thoroughly de-bunked and laid to rest.

Ross.

;D Zombies can not be killed. Since they are dead already. They get resurrected by periodic ingestion of grey matter Brains past their best by date. ;)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/14/2017 11:55 AM


I must agree with the previous comment that their management must be blind to the changing shape of the market today.   A breathtaking case of heads being firmly sunk into the sands of time long past.


The best plan for declining launch demand is a massive R&D project?
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: kraisee on 03/14/2017 02:28 PM


I must agree with the previous comment that their management must be blind to the changing shape of the market today.   A breathtaking case of heads being firmly sunk into the sands of time long past.


The best plan for declining launch demand is a massive R&D project?

Surely the answer to that seems to depend on whether you're an OATK shareholder or not.

Ross.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/14/2017 03:22 PM
NGL is not Ares I.  It is not Liberty.  Not even close.

Here's another way to look at things.  Liberty was an ATK proposal.  NGL has clearly been designed by the Orbital side of the house - the folks who actually build and fly rockets for a living.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: AncientU on 03/17/2017 09:14 PM


I must agree with the previous comment that their management must be blind to the changing shape of the market today.   A breathtaking case of heads being firmly sunk into the sands of time long past.


The best plan for declining launch demand is a massive R&D project?

Save the R&D. 
Already know the market is declining?  ...just get out.
(you're too late already)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/17/2017 09:52 PM


I must agree with the previous comment that their management must be blind to the changing shape of the market today.   A breathtaking case of heads being firmly sunk into the sands of time long past.


The best plan for declining launch demand is a massive R&D project?

Save the R&D. 
Already know the market is declining?  ...just get out.
(you're too late already)

From a business sense it's not a terrible idea. A lot of people thought Lockheed was done when they exited the commercial aircraft market.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/18/2017 02:06 AM
Speaking of OA shareholders, here are some quotes on NGLV from the earnings call March 8:
Quote
At this point, Orbital ATK and two other companies are involved in what the Air Force calls next-generation launch vehicle program. And under the structure of the current program, the Air Force is contributing about two-thirds of the total near-term investment and Orbital ATK and presumably the other companies are contributing about one-third.

We are so far performing very well and, from everything I can tell, the Air Force likes what we are doing and where we are headed. With regard to this go/no-go decision at the end of this year or early next year, the Air Force will have to decide on its part whether our family of vehicles is the right one or one of several that they would like to back for the long-term. And we will need to decide whether the investment case is sufficiently compelling to proceed.

And as part of all this, we would anticipate that one-third, two-third -- one-third on the Company side, two-thirds on the Air Force side -- and investment mix would likely continue. But on the Air Force side, there would also be an early block purchase of some of the vehicles that we would be developing. So we are working hard on it. It's at this point in our planning for 2017 and 2018. We assume it's ago.

If not, well in 2018 then we would maybe throttle back on our investment. We definitely would throttle back on our investment. But for the time being we are assuming it's ago. And we are very excited about it and committed to moving forward if it makes sense for the Air Force and also if it makes good business sense for us.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/03/2017 12:59 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK Completes Major Development Milestones in Next Generation Launch Vehicle Program

Company’s Partnership with U. S. Air Force Focused on New Intermediate- and Large-Class Space Launch Vehicles

New Launchers to Use Company’s Industry-Leading Solid Rocket Propulsion Technology and Other Modular Elements

Dulles, Virginia 3 April 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that it has made important progress over the past 18 months in developing advanced solid rocket propulsion and other technologies to be used in a new generation of intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicles. Through a combination of internal investment and government funding from an Air Force contract awarded in late 2015 by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Systems Directorate, the company’s Flight Systems Group recently completed design reviews, facility upgrades and tooling fabrication, and has now begun early production of development hardware for its Next Generation Launch (NGL) system.
 
The company’s modular NGL rocket family will be capable of launching a wide variety of national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by its current fleet of Pegasus, Minotaur and Antares space launch vehicles.  The NGL vehicles will operate from both east and west coast launch facilities and will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with other company programs, including its smaller space launch vehicles as well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic missile systems.

“The NGL program is a great example of how industry and government can work together to develop an American launch system to support national security space launch requirements,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “Orbital ATK is well-positioned to introduce an intermediate- and large-class family of launch vehicles by leveraging the strengths of the merged company to achieve low-cost assured space access for current and future national security payloads and other satellites.”

Through commonality of hardware and other economies of scale, Orbital ATK’s proposed launch system will also reduce the cost of other U.S. Government rocket and missile programs managed by the Air Force, Navy, NASA and Missile Defense Agency, saving taxpayers up to $600 million on these programs over a ten-year period.

Over the past 18 months, Orbital ATK has successfully completed critical design reviews for major elements of the company’s solid propulsion stages, along with preliminary vehicle-level and launch site infrastructure reviews. The company has also refurbished a 60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors. Recently, the company completed the manufacturing of prototype motor test articles to be used in verification activities this summer.

“The Orbital ATK NGL team, which now numbers several hundred engineers and technicians, has made tremendous progress since late 2015.  Building on this work, we are looking forward to providing the Air Force and other customers with a highly-reliable and cost-effective launch system within the next four years,” said Lehr.

The next phase of the program is expected to commence when the Air Force awards Launch Services Agreements in early 2018, which would entail full vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; and Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=240 (http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=240)

Edit: add image from related tweet https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/848881898764021760 (https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/848881898764021760)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 04/03/2017 01:17 PM
The only reason I see the need for a solid satellite launcher is to keep the military solid rocket people working.  All military ICBM's, IRBM's, defense missiles, etc, are solids.  If they just sit around and are not used, ATK has to lay off people.  Then if we ever get into some type of conflict, it takes time to mobilize a solid manufacturing work force.  This is why the Air Force is interested.  It keeps the solid fuel manufacturing base going. 

Basically it would be just giving them a bone every now and then, even though it is millions of dollars.  Blue Origin and SpaceX are leading the launch industry in a reusable direction.  Sure they may be able to parachute the boosters back like the shuttle boosters, but the costs to retrieve and refurbish solids is about the same as a new rocket. 
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Lars-J on 04/03/2017 04:06 PM
The only reason I see the need for a solid satellite launcher is to keep the military solid rocket people working.  All military ICBM's, IRBM's, defense missiles, etc, are solids.  If they just sit around and are not used, ATK has to lay off people.  Then if we ever get into some type of conflict, it takes time to mobilize a solid manufacturing work force.  This is why the Air Force is interested.  It keeps the solid fuel manufacturing base going. 

This is fear mongering, IMO. The same flawed argument was used with the Shuttle.

OrbitalATK is just going to have to operate as any other business / contractor. If the DoD thinks it is important enough, they will subsidize the weapons division.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/03/2017 04:15 PM
The only reason I see the need for a solid satellite launcher is to keep the military solid rocket people working.
"Through commonality of hardware and other economies of scale, Orbital ATK’s proposed launch system will also reduce the cost of other U.S. Government rocket and missile programs managed by the Air Force, Navy, NASA and Missile Defense Agency, saving taxpayers up to $600 million on these programs over a ten-year period."

The real news here is this part.  This may be infrastructure for eventual SLS SRB steel case replacement.

"The company has also refurbished a 60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors. Recently, the company completed the manufacturing of prototype motor test articles to be used in verification activities this summer."

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/03/2017 05:19 PM
The only reason I see the need for a solid satellite launcher is to keep the military solid rocket people working.
Yes. One part of the story, the overt rationalization ...

If the DoD thinks it is important enough, they will subsidize the weapons division.
... which is a long term flawed rationalization ...

The real news here is this part.  This may be infrastructure for eventual SLS SRB steel case replacement.

"The company has also refurbished a 60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors.
... and the hidden advantage for its major challenged SLS booster program.

Now, to the timing of this announcement. NGL as a backup plan to a Vulcan misstep, a variation on Athena as a backup to a ULA stumble. In advance of any announcement of BE4 full scale firing.

"We're still here, pick me!" like Donkey from Shrek.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rummy on 04/03/2017 05:23 PM
The only reason I see the need for a solid satellite launcher is to keep the military solid rocket people working.  All military ICBM's, IRBM's, defense missiles, etc, are solids.  If they just sit around and are not used, ATK has to lay off people.  Then if we ever get into some type of conflict, it takes time to mobilize a solid manufacturing work force.  This is why the Air Force is interested.  It keeps the solid fuel manufacturing base going. 

This is fear mongering, IMO. The same flawed argument was used with the Shuttle.

OrbitalATK is just going to have to operate as any other business / contractor. If the DoD thinks it is important enough, they will subsidize the weapons division.

I really don't understand how this is fear-mongering.  On the face of it, it seems like a solid launcher that leverages other DoD programs to drive down infrastructure and overhead costs would be attractive to the Air Force.  If SpaceX and Blue Origin come to dominate the commercial launch business, it seems like it would be good to have an option that is more catered towards military launches.  Am I missing something?


Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/03/2017 05:30 PM


SLS advanced SRBs segments will share same tooling. This would explain new production facility and tooling, even though it wasn't mentioned in statement. Seems for PR purposes they are keeping SLS out of it and just referring to defense.

Last OA announcement regarding NGLV said decision to proceed was a year away. Not sure what to take from this announcement.

Could be dipping their toes in water and will make the plunge if awarded launch contracts.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/03/2017 06:20 PM
Weapons don't/can't use large diameter solids for SLS/RSRB-V/Dark Knights/NGL/...

Munitions use very different solids.

But ... politicians like to blur details for the point of appearing to subsidize underutilized and extremely expensive special purpose solid motor contracts. To make them appear "cheap".  ::)
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: notsorandom on 04/03/2017 07:30 PM
Has any decision been made on replacing the SLS SRBs? Has NASA even made any decisions on when they may even look into that option? I know they will eventually have to and that Orbital ATK is in a good position to do well when it happens. However that could be years away from now and isn't a 100% sure bet. It doesn't seem like SLS is really subsidizing the NGLV, more like the NGLV will be helping them win a potential SLS booster contract if and when the time for that comes.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: spacenut on 04/03/2017 07:41 PM
Aren't ICBM's and Trident missiles fairly large solids?  I know the Shuttle solids were 12' in diameter or about 3.7m.  I also know some were 10' in diameter or a little over 3m in diameter from the Titan days.  I shouldn't have just said to keep the military production working.  I wasn't thinking about the SLS solids having some of the same components thus economy of scale to keep costs down.   
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/03/2017 08:28 PM
Aren't ICBM's and Trident missiles fairly large solids?  I know the Shuttle solids were 12' in diameter or about 3.7m.  I also know some were 10' in diameter or a little over 3m in diameter from the Titan days.  I shouldn't have just said to keep the military production working.  I wasn't thinking about the SLS solids having some of the same components thus economy of scale to keep costs down.   
Missile motors in the US are limited around 92 inches maximum in diameter.
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Rummy on 04/03/2017 11:26 PM
Aren't ICBM's and Trident missiles fairly large solids?  I know the Shuttle solids were 12' in diameter or about 3.7m.  I also know some were 10' in diameter or a little over 3m in diameter from the Titan days.  I shouldn't have just said to keep the military production working.  I wasn't thinking about the SLS solids having some of the same components thus economy of scale to keep costs down.   
Missile motors in the US are limited around 92 inches maximum in diameter.

But wouldn't they both come out of the same facility?  Use similar techniques?  Use similar raw materials?  Sharing overhead and making more economical purchases can add up.

Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: rayleighscatter on 04/03/2017 11:55 PM

"The company has also refurbished a 60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors. Recently, the company completed the manufacturing of prototype motor test articles to be used in verification activities this summer."

 - Ed Kyle

And a picture to go with this part of the release...
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/04/2017 12:00 AM
Aren't ICBM's and Trident missiles fairly large solids?  I know the Shuttle solids were 12' in diameter or about 3.7m.  I also know some were 10' in diameter or a little over 3m in diameter from the Titan days.  I shouldn't have just said to keep the military production working.  I wasn't thinking about the SLS solids having some of the same components thus economy of scale to keep costs down.   
Missile motors in the US are limited around 92 inches maximum in diameter.

But wouldn't they both come out of the same facility?  Use similar techniques?  Use similar raw materials?  Sharing overhead and making more economical purchases can add up.

Learn one thing, just one tiny thing about space - everything is special one does.

And once its special ... things aren't similar. That's the only "simple" there is ... about space.  :o
Title: Re: Proposed Orbital ATK Solid Rocket
Post by: gongora on 04/04/2017 01:20 AM
New thread for this topic:
Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42663.0)