Author Topic: Antares General Discussion Thread  (Read 261731 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #660 on: 09/29/2015 01:48 am »
Did Aerojet already pay the russians for the engines? It seems they got screwed pretty hard, they are now stuck with some old engines in inventory that are known to fail.
Without an investigation conclusion, all that is "known" is that a turbopump failed on one of ten AJ-26 engines that flew.  The failure may or may not have been caused by the engine itself.

Aerojet itself had "an exclusive license for NK-33 and AJ26 in the U.S." and was "responsible for U.S. marketing and sale of the engines, modifying the NK-33 into the AJ26, and support of these engines on vehicles launched from the U.S."  It has never been clear to me that Aerojet actually "owned" the engines.  Russia's United Engine Corporation might have actually owned them, with Aerojet serving as a licensed distributor or some-such.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/29/2015 01:54 am by edkyle99 »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #661 on: 09/29/2015 09:07 pm »
Did Aerojet already pay the russians for the engines? It seems they got screwed pretty hard, they are now stuck with some old engines in inventory that are known to fail.
Without an investigation conclusion, all that is "known" is that a turbopump failed on one of ten AJ-26 engines that flew.  The failure may or may not have been caused by the engine itself.

Oh, I think there's a glaring root cause that's present but unadmitted. And I think it jives with the test stand explosion too. Not happy about the lack of transparency on failures, but can also see the point about the leakage of data including proprietary/other information. Both firms have had a less than spectacular history of communicating failures. Not that all of it needs to be public either, but it doesn't add confidence to either the way this thing is left hanging. Both actually need a better appearance in the public eye, currently looks more like a "shiner". Both neglect this.

Quote
Aerojet itself had "an exclusive license for NK-33 and AJ26 in the U.S." and was "responsible for U.S. marketing and sale of the engines, modifying the NK-33 into the AJ26, and support of these engines on vehicles launched from the U.S."  It has never been clear to me that Aerojet actually "owned" the engines.  Russia's United Engine Corporation might have actually owned them, with Aerojet serving as a licensed distributor or some-such.

So called "pass thru" ownership/title, where a broker/agent never takes title. Also done in order to handle securitization / "chain of custody" issues.

Then there is foreign IP handling, which often depends on an agreed upon process as well.

The most interesting part of this is who has ended up with the engines, and who payed who in settlement. Looks like they won't be repatriated, as Soyuz 2.1v is now the only vehicle that in theory could make use of them (but in fact likely will not). "Green weenie", anyone?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #662 on: 09/29/2015 09:57 pm »
Oh, I think there's a glaring root cause that's present but unadmitted. And I think it jives with the test stand explosion too. Not happy about the lack of transparency on failures, but can also see the point about the leakage of data including proprietary/other information. ...
Should we trust a company that apparently can't find the cause of its last failure (*) with more public funding for more launches?

(*) If it won't announce a root cause, what else can we assume?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Prober

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #663 on: 09/30/2015 02:58 am »
Did Aerojet already pay the russians for the engines? It seems they got screwed pretty hard, they are now stuck with some old engines in inventory that are known to fail.
Without an investigation conclusion, all that is "known" is that a turbopump failed on one of ten AJ-26 engines that flew.  The failure may or may not have been caused by the engine itself.

Aerojet itself had "an exclusive license for NK-33 and AJ26 in the U.S." and was "responsible for U.S. marketing and sale of the engines, modifying the NK-33 into the AJ26, and support of these engines on vehicles launched from the U.S."  It has never been clear to me that Aerojet actually "owned" the engines.  Russia's United Engine Corporation might have actually owned them, with Aerojet serving as a licensed distributor or some-such.

 - Ed Kyle

Was under the impression that Kistler had made some purchases with Aerojet handling refurb and upgrade.  But don't have the paperwork to prove it.  Then when Kistler ran into money problems they sold/transferred to Aerojet?

Even if you watch that video "in from the cold" you see this story.
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline sdsds

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #664 on: 09/30/2015 05:21 am »
"Orbital will give back title to Aerojet for 10 engines scheduled for delivery under the previous deal."

It would only take three of those to power a fully reusable Kistler K-1 first stage. Astronautix says staging was to have been, "at an altitude of 43.2 km and a velocity of 1.22 km/sec." Is that within the envelope SpaceX has demonstrated? If so, K-1 may have simply been ahead of its time....
-- sdsds --

Offline Jim

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #665 on: 09/30/2015 12:49 pm »

Should we trust a company that apparently can't find the cause of its last failure (*) with more public funding for more launches?

(*) If it won't announce a root cause, what else can we assume?

 - Ed Kyle

We is not applicable.  It is the company's customers that make the call.   NASA and the DOD are the US gov't agents (and by default, the US public's also) for dealing with this company.  They make the call. 

This is no different than any other case where propriety or restricted data is involved.  The landscape has changed.  NASA is a user and not an operator.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #666 on: 09/30/2015 03:54 pm »
Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #667 on: 09/30/2015 04:34 pm »
Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

You'll just have to get used to it. Just because we are a customer (indirectly) does not give us complete access to everything.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #668 on: 09/30/2015 04:42 pm »
Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

You'll just have to get used to it. Just because we are a customer (indirectly) does not give us complete access to everything.

You sound like woods170 when he complains about my constant harping on the transparency of BE-4 program becoming visible.

It would appear that I have a lot of things to get used to. Next it will be Jim complaining about my comments on the RD180 ban, insisting that  it will be eventually be undone by invisible, unmentionable, tireless forces...

I apologize for always being ... inconvienent ...

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #669 on: 09/30/2015 04:55 pm »
No need to apologize, I have the same talent.  ;D But an overall re-calibration of our expectations are in order, and it is something I'm trying to get used to as well.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #670 on: 09/30/2015 05:08 pm »
I want more than we're getting, and I don't think that's unreasonable.

I doubt the investigation actually contains anything sensitive*, but even if that's the case I at least want somebody to sit in front of a microphone and say that the investigation is complete, parties cannot agree on root cause, but agree on corrective actions, etc.

"Saving face" has no place in engineering.

*there's almost nothing secret about AJ-26, except why it blows up repeatedly.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #671 on: 09/30/2015 05:28 pm »
I want more than we're getting, and I don't think that's unreasonable.

Do you make the same demand for corporations in every other field? Or is it just aerospace (or more specifically launch providers) that need to show everything to you?

Offline woods170

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #672 on: 09/30/2015 05:45 pm »
Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

Welcome to the wonderful world of proprietary. Indeed, it is a logical consequence of government agencies becoming customers in stead of operators. Root cause transparency is the least of the worries for NASA and DoD.

Offline woods170

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #673 on: 09/30/2015 05:55 pm »
Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

You'll just have to get used to it. Just because we are a customer (indirectly) does not give us complete access to everything.

You sound like woods170 when he complains about my constant harping on the transparency of BE-4 program becoming visible.

It would appear that I have a lot of things to get used to. Next it will be Jim complaining about my comments on the RD180 ban, insisting that  it will be eventually be undone by invisible, unmentionable, tireless forces...

I apologize for always being ... inconvienent ...
Being inconvenient is not the problem. In fact, it is a good thing to be inconvenient to other folks every now and then. Keeps everyone on it's toes.
That said: the world is constantly changing. So is the spaceflight landscape. Contrary to what some folks believe this is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be right now, but completely wrong tomorrow. Has happened before, will happen again.

With regards to some folks' opinions on the RD-180 ban (or lifting of said ban): politics is not even remotely similar to working hardware for spaceflights.

Naturally, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But some folks are well advised to not expect their opinion to be always correct. In fact, that little property is exactly why an opinion is called an opinion.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #674 on: 09/30/2015 06:02 pm »
I doubt the investigation actually contains anything sensitive*,
*there's almost nothing secret about AJ-26, except why it blows up repeatedly.

It's called "information leakage". So lets say you somehow get the two to say something in agreement, that's "low level". Clearly what you asked for.

Then a reporter (or other) takes engineer (or other) out for beer, they ask how X low level item can be. Answers elliptically (without breaching agreements). Those get bounced off of a SR exec at a briefing, who either looks like at total boob by deflecting, or has to take it down a notch. This leaks a bit of data that can be used to back calculate other things that are sensitive. A "camel's nose entering the tent". You prevent these by not even letting them start. Thus, no information - where we are. Everything is proprietary.

Apart from corporate embarrassment - which is also proprietary. You'll remember the AR leaks about this earlier this year as to residue in TP bearings. We all know that the engine uses subcooled LOX as a lubricant. So the most likely root cause is contamination of the lubricant (FOD) leading to excessive wear. Which they are not saying, even though the assumed contention is between leaving a dessicant in the tank vs line debris as a source ('finger pointing"). Manufacturing vs integration/operation. Probably the "touchy stuff". Might even be both.

The payoff suggests that AR somehow breached a duty, or that contract terms rolled up responsibility to them to insure something like possibly FOD (e.g. doesn't matter source). Don't know how either would work.

If you were the customer under non disclosure, all you'd do is hold the parties to the failed duties equally, and in future you'd examine processes/procedures/qualifications such that both kinds of FOD could not happen as before. If the vendor couldn't show that, then that would rule out the vendor.

So externally we can see in subsequent bids what unrevealed items were present, by how/which vendors are awarded future launch contracts. That's about it.

Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

Welcome to the wonderful world of proprietary. Indeed, it is a logical consequence of government agencies becoming customers in stead of operators. Root cause transparency is the least of the worries for NASA and DoD.

Precisely my point in all the above.

Its understandable part of our "new world". However not addressing root cause transparently means that choosing a launch provider becomes less transparent and open to misuse/bias/conflict. Don't think it helps healthy competition either.

You'll just have to get used to it. Just because we are a customer (indirectly) does not give us complete access to everything.

You sound like woods170 when he complains about my constant harping on the transparency of BE-4 program becoming visible.

It would appear that I have a lot of things to get used to. Next it will be Jim complaining about my comments on the RD180 ban, insisting that  it will be eventually be undone by invisible, unmentionable, tireless forces...

I apologize for always being ... inconvienent ...
Being inconvenient is not the problem. In fact, it is a good thing to be inconvenient to other folks every now and then. Keeps everyone on it's toes.
That said: the world is constantly changing. So is the spaceflight landscape. Contrary to what some folks believe this is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be right now, but completely wrong tomorrow. Has happened before, will happen again.

"May you live in interesting times." How chinese.

Quote
With regards to some folks' opinions on the RD-180 ban (or lifting of said ban): politics is not even remotely similar to working hardware for spaceflights.

Yet still necessary to get to those missions in the first place ...

Quote
Naturally, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But some folks are well advised to not expect their opinion to be always correct. In fact, that little property is exactly why an opinion is called an opinion.
I think you mean "proprietary" here. But point taken.

Not to be needlessly pedantic, but its kind of nice to have a square, concrete, provable answer every now and then.

Offline woods170

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #675 on: 10/01/2015 08:05 am »
Welcome to the wonderful world of proprietary. Indeed, it is a logical consequence of government agencies becoming customers in stead of operators. Root cause transparency is the least of the worries for NASA and DoD.
Precisely my point in all the above.
Yes, and my reply served only to confirm my similar opinion.


Being inconvenient is not the problem. In fact, it is a good thing to be inconvenient to other folks every now and then. Keeps everyone on it's toes.
That said: the world is constantly changing. So is the spaceflight landscape. Contrary to what some folks believe this is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be right now, but completely wrong tomorrow. Has happened before, will happen again.
"May you live in interesting times." How chinese.
Indeed. Some of those ancient Chinese folks were very interesting, and at times very wise, characters. Fortunately, in Europe we are not as opposed to working with the Chinese as some folks in the US are. We even learn a-thing-or-two from them.


With regards to some folks' opinions on the RD-180 ban (or lifting of said ban): politics is not even remotely similar to working hardware for spaceflights.
Yet still necessary to get to those missions in the first place ...
Ah, I notice you didn't miss the obvious jab I was taking at Jim.


Naturally, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But some folks are well advised to not expect their opinion to be always correct. In fact, that little property is exactly why an opinion is called an opinion.
I think you mean "proprietary" here. But point taken.

Not to be needlessly pedantic, but its kind of nice to have a square, concrete, provable answer every now and then.
Agreed, but I've learned, particularly from the types of business I work in, that square, concrete, provable answers are generally in decline.

Offline Star One

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #676 on: 10/01/2015 02:48 pm »

Welcome to the wonderful world of proprietary. Indeed, it is a logical consequence of government agencies becoming customers in stead of operators. Root cause transparency is the least of the worries for NASA and DoD.
Precisely my point in all the above.
Yes, and my reply served only to confirm my similar opinion.


Being inconvenient is not the problem. In fact, it is a good thing to be inconvenient to other folks every now and then. Keeps everyone on it's toes.
That said: the world is constantly changing. So is the spaceflight landscape. Contrary to what some folks believe this is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be right now, but completely wrong tomorrow. Has happened before, will happen again.
"May you live in interesting times." How chinese.
Indeed. Some of those ancient Chinese folks were very interesting, and at times very wise, characters. Fortunately, in Europe we are not as opposed to working with the Chinese as some folks in the US are. We even learn a-thing-or-two from them.


With regards to some folks' opinions on the RD-180 ban (or lifting of said ban): politics is not even remotely similar to working hardware for spaceflights.
Yet still necessary to get to those missions in the first place ...
Ah, I notice you didn't miss the obvious jab I was taking at Jim.


Naturally, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But some folks are well advised to not expect their opinion to be always correct. In fact, that little property is exactly why an opinion is called an opinion.
I think you mean "proprietary" here. But point taken.

Not to be needlessly pedantic, but its kind of nice to have a square, concrete, provable answer every now and then.
Agreed, but I've learned, particularly from the types of business I work in, that square, concrete, provable answers are generally in decline.

Maybe that's because such answers don't always occur in real life but only in an idealised state.

Offline woods170

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #677 on: 10/01/2015 03:00 pm »
Maybe that's because such answers don't always occur in real life but only in an idealised state.

Concur. Reality s*cks.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #678 on: 10/01/2015 05:29 pm »
I want more than we're getting, and I don't think that's unreasonable.

Do you make the same demand for corporations in every other field? Or is it just aerospace (or more specifically launch providers) that need to show everything to you?

I didn't say I need to see "everything." 

I would like for there to be increased transparency in most industries, but aerospace is especially intertwined with government, so yes, I think extra attention is warranted in this case.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #679 on: 10/01/2015 06:58 pm »

Should we trust a company that apparently can't find the cause of its last failure (*) with more public funding for more launches?

(*) If it won't announce a root cause, what else can we assume?

 - Ed Kyle

It found what it believes is the root cause of the failure. It just does not have to make it public and NASA is not paying for launches. It is paying for commercial resupply of the station. It is more should they get more public funding for cargo delivery. Antares to my knowledge had no launch contracts so far.

This is more akin to cargo being lost in transit(i.e. Container falling off cargo ship, cargo plane crash) than to (passenger plane crash, cargo plane crew hurt/killed). I don't get to find out that the reason why my stuff didn't arrive is that the brakes failed on the delivery truck and it crashed into something. Or at least not without an law suit.  And that information is not helpful to me(I don't care why it didn't get there, it didn't get there!).

Anyway the root cause has been eliminated for now(next two flights are on Atlas) and the rocket is being redesigned with new engines.

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