Author Topic: Funding for a domestic liquid engine in the National Defense authorization bill  (Read 156899 times)

Offline wannamoonbase

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It will be open competition.  The selection criteria can be gamed to almost guarantee who you want to win.
- more then 10 years experience
- financial depth to with stand problems
- experience with engine thrust above 1 million pounds

They can probably list 2 dozen things that drive this to What they want.

SpaceX would have a case and look legit doing it.
Blue Origin does not.  Until they have flown an engine.
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Online woods170

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Note: The poor RS-68 gets little respect in all this booster engine discussion.  But it is kind of a beast.
Airforce engine. They won't let anyone touch it, outside of ULA.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2014 09:39 am by woods170 »

Online woods170

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Section 1604 of the National Defense Authorization bill which was passed by the House (and which should also be passed by the Senate this week) contains language that says that the engine has to be available to all domestic space launch providers:

[...]

http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-S1847.pdf


The clause as foreseen by JBF is indeed there with TrevorMonty being spot-on. This clause will keep ULA, Blue and (likely) SpaceX away from this 220 million US$. Why develop an engine if next you have to sell it to your competitors. Crony capitalism Good business demands you keep it ALL to yourself, including the launcher, not just the engine.
Some examples to support this theory:
- ULA won't let anyone else buy the RD-180. It's exclusive to them.
- SpaceX doesn't sell their engines to others. They're exclusively for SpaceX.
- Blue is developing the BE-4 in exclusive partnership with ULA. Similar arrangement to the current RD-180 situation.

IMO it's a safe bet the only bidder for this money will be Aerojet, if at all. Perhaps we will be surprised by some unexpected new entrant going for this money.

I disagree.  First of all, Blue Origin has already made a deal to sell engines to ULA, which is a rival for launcher sales.
When was the last time Blue launched something into orbit? They are not an orbital launch service provider, let alone a competitor for lauches to ULA.


Whether a company that builds both engines and launchers is willing to sell the engines separately depends on a lot of factors.  There are reasons for them not to, to help their own launcher business.  But there can be more compelling factors that outweigh that.  If the government is going to pay for the development of a new engine, that's a pretty strong incentive to sell to the competition.
No, it isn't. Otherwise RS-68, J-2X, and RS-25 would be up for sale to anyone. They aren't.


Anyway, there's nothing in the bill that says how much they have to sell for.  They can price them high enough that it puts competing launchers at a serious disadvantage.
Nice get-away.

I think Blue Origin at least will go for this money, and possibly SpaceX too.
No, they won't. What letter of the word 'exclusively' do you not understand? SpaceX doesn't sell parts, they sell services. That's what the whole block-buy protest is about. SpaceX won't be the engine provider for someone else's rocket.
Additionally: the minute SpaceX decides to go for this money, they will have to do this particular engine development program under full public scrutiny. Not gonna happen under the current work-ethos as established by ol' Elon.
Also, the next engine under development by SpaceX is raptor. Much bigger and much more powerfull than anything needed as an RD-180 replacement. Not gonna fit the profile, regardless of the cromnibus lacking any specifics on engine power and performance.


Blue is developing BE-4 exclusively with ULA. Going for this 220 million means that they either have to break up the current BE-4 arrangement with ULA and let lot's of outsiders in (not gonna happen: Blue is way too secretive for that), OR, develop yet another engine, outside the current BE-3 and BE-4, this time under full public scrutiny (not gonna happen: Blue is way too secretive for that).
« Last Edit: 12/11/2014 09:41 am by woods170 »

Online woods170

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24 (D) be developed using full and open com-
25 petition; and

Would like to see this a full and Open competition....have doubts it will be.

Even in a full and open competition it is possible that only one or two companies make bids. In which case you would still end up with not having a lot of choice despite it being a full and open competition.

I'll give you an example from the automotive industry:
A few years ago the Dutch government issued a full and open competition for the supply of thousands of new police cars.
Despite the fact that there are over two-dozen car manufacturers in Europe alone, and despite the fact that the competion was full and open, only three (3) manufacturers made bids.
Reason: the very specific requirements laid down in the competition. Those were written in such a way that basically only Volkswagen was able to fullfill all the requirements. Not surprisingly, they won the bid.

IMO, the get-away for this engine-development will be item B from the bill. The requirements for this engine will be set by the national security community. IMO, The result will be that only a very limited number of engine makers will be able to bid on this engine-development work.

The phrase "full and open competition" does not automatically equate to "lot's of interested companies making bids".
« Last Edit: 12/11/2014 09:52 am by woods170 »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Section 1604 of the National Defense Authorization bill which was passed by the House (and which should also be passed by the Senate this week) contains language that says that the engine has to be available to all domestic space launch providers:

[...]

http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-S1847.pdf


The clause as foreseen by JBF is indeed there with TrevorMonty being spot-on. This clause will keep ULA, Blue and (likely) SpaceX away from this 220 million US$. Why develop an engine if next you have to sell it to your competitors. Crony capitalism Good business demands you keep it ALL to yourself, including the launcher, not just the engine.
Some examples to support this theory:
- ULA won't let anyone else buy the RD-180. It's exclusive to them.
- SpaceX doesn't sell their engines to others. They're exclusively for SpaceX.
- Blue is developing the BE-4 in exclusive partnership with ULA. Similar arrangement to the current RD-180 situation.

IMO it's a safe bet the only bidder for this money will be Aerojet, if at all. Perhaps we will be surprised by some unexpected new entrant going for this money.

I disagree.  First of all, Blue Origin has already made a deal to sell engines to ULA, which is a rival for launcher sales.
When was the last time Blue launched something into orbit? They are not an orbital launch service provider, let alone a competitor for lauches to ULA.

They haven't launched anything to orbit yet.  That doesn't change the fact that launching things to orbit is their whole reason for existing.

Whether a company that builds both engines and launchers is willing to sell the engines separately depends on a lot of factors.  There are reasons for them not to, to help their own launcher business.  But there can be more compelling factors that outweigh that.  If the government is going to pay for the development of a new engine, that's a pretty strong incentive to sell to the competition.
No, it isn't. Otherwise RS-68, J-2X, and RS-25 would be up for sale to anyone. They aren't.

You totally missed the point.  The point is that if the government is willing to fund the development on the condition it's made available to others, that's a strong incentive to make it available to others.  Obviously government funding that doesn't come with that condition doesn't provide an incentive to sell it to others.

I think Blue Origin at least will go for this money, and possibly SpaceX too.
No, they won't. What letter of the word 'exclusively' do you not understand?

Gratuitously insulting language that doesn't even make sense in the context you're using it doesn't help your case.

SpaceX doesn't sell parts, they sell services.

That something hasn't happened in the past doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.  The key is to understand why it hasn't happened in the past and what conditions might change to make it happen in the future.  Having a lot of money on offer from the government is a big change in the conditions.  It's foolhardy to believe a company's behavior can't possibly change when a lot of money is suddenly on the line that wasn't before.

That's what the whole block-buy protest is about. SpaceX won't be the engine provider for someone else's rocket.

That's not what the block buy protest is about.  It has nothing to do with whether SpaceX would sell engines to another company if given large sums of money to do so.

Additionally: the minute SpaceX decides to go for this money, they will have to do this particular engine development program under full public scrutiny. Not gonna happen under the current work-ethos as established by ol' Elon.

SpaceX has accepted a huge amount of government scrutiny for COTS, CRS, CCDev, CCiCap, and CCtCap, not to mention the Air Force EELV certification program.  So the idea that Elon would walk away from government money because he doesn't want government scrutiny is clearly nonsense.

Also, the next engine under development by SpaceX is raptor. Much bigger and much more powerfull than anything needed as an RD-180 replacement. Not gonna fit the profile, regardless of the cromnibus lacking any specifics on engine power and performance.

I partly agree with you on that, which is why I said SpaceX might go for the money, not that it definitely would.  But it's possible that SpaceX would take on the RD-180 replacement development in addition to Raptor.  It depends on the money.

Blue is developing BE-4 exclusively with ULA. Going for this 220 million means that they either have to break up the current BE-4 arrangement with ULA and let lot's of outsiders in (not gonna happen: Blue is way too secretive for that),

You don't know that, it's just speculation.  Until the ULA deal came to light, a lot of people would have thought Blue Origin wouldn't work with ULA.  If they'll work with ULA, it's really not that much of a stretch to believe they will also work with the Air Force.

OR, develop yet another engine, outside the current BE-3 and BE-4, this time under full public scrutiny (not gonna happen: Blue is way too secretive for that).

Blue Origin has already been applying for NASA crew contracts and working with NASA on unfunded SAAs.  So they haven't demonstrated a refusal to work with the government.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Note: The poor RS-68 gets little respect in all this booster engine discussion.  But it is kind of a beast.
Airforce engine. They won't let anyone touch it, outside of ULA.

Has anyone ever expressed interest in it, other than that monstrosity version of the Constellation booster?

It exists, works and does the job, but I don't recall anyone else pursuing hydrogen as a boost stage fuel.
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Online woods170

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Section 1604 of the National Defense Authorization bill which was passed by the House (and which should also be passed by the Senate this week) contains language that says that the engine has to be available to all domestic space launch providers:

[...]

http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-S1847.pdf


The clause as foreseen by JBF is indeed there with TrevorMonty being spot-on. This clause will keep ULA, Blue and (likely) SpaceX away from this 220 million US$. Why develop an engine if next you have to sell it to your competitors. Crony capitalism Good business demands you keep it ALL to yourself, including the launcher, not just the engine.
Some examples to support this theory:
- ULA won't let anyone else buy the RD-180. It's exclusive to them.
- SpaceX doesn't sell their engines to others. They're exclusively for SpaceX.
- Blue is developing the BE-4 in exclusive partnership with ULA. Similar arrangement to the current RD-180 situation.

IMO it's a safe bet the only bidder for this money will be Aerojet, if at all. Perhaps we will be surprised by some unexpected new entrant going for this money.

I disagree.  First of all, Blue Origin has already made a deal to sell engines to ULA, which is a rival for launcher sales.
When was the last time Blue launched something into orbit? They are not an orbital launch service provider, let alone a competitor for lauches to ULA.

They haven't launched anything to orbit yet.  That doesn't change the fact that launching things to orbit is their whole reason for existing.
No, in fact it isn't. Their whole reason for existing is Jeff Bezos' dream and Amazon.com. Had they really been interested to launch things into orbit, they would have been there already. You don't establish an aerospace company, claiming to dramatically lower cost for access to space and improved reliability, and have almost nothing to show for that target 14 years later. Even worse: first orbital flight is still projected to be at least four years away. Taking nearly two decades from founding the company to first orbital flight is bad for business. The only reason Blue hasn't fallen over is the money influx from Bezos' pocket. Blue is a pet company. Unlike Bezos' other ventures their target is NOT making lot's of money.


Whether a company that builds both engines and launchers is willing to sell the engines separately depends on a lot of factors.  There are reasons for them not to, to help their own launcher business.  But there can be more compelling factors that outweigh that.  If the government is going to pay for the development of a new engine, that's a pretty strong incentive to sell to the competition.
No, it isn't. Otherwise RS-68, J-2X, and RS-25 would be up for sale to anyone. They aren't.

You totally missed the point.  The point is that if the government is willing to fund the development on the condition it's made available to others, that's a strong incentive to make it available to others.  Obviously government funding that doesn't come with that condition doesn't provide an incentive to sell it to others.
I did not miss the point. You did. The mindset amongst the usual suspects is not to enable business for your competitors - by selling them engines - if they can use those engines themselves to out-compete their competitors.
That's why, IMO, SpaceX and ULA will not bite. They sell entire launch services, which is - in part - enabled by the rocket and it's engines. Selling their engines to the competition would directly hurt their launch business.
Viewed in this light it is easy to understand why Aerojet would, in fact, bid for this money. They are not a launch service provider. They only construct and sell engines.
Point is: engine makers will bid on this engine development. Whole-service launch providers, such as ULA and SpaceX will not bid.

I think Blue Origin at least will go for this money, and possibly SpaceX too.
No, they won't. What letter of the word 'exclusively' do you not understand?

Gratuitously insulting language that doesn't even make sense in the context you're using it doesn't help your case.
This discussion is a few posts older than the ones now quoted. Had you bothered to read it in full you would have understood the 'exclusively' bit.

SpaceX doesn't sell parts, they sell services.

That something hasn't happened in the past doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.  The key is to understand why it hasn't happened in the past and what conditions might change to make it happen in the future.  Having a lot of money on offer from the government is a big change in the conditions.  It's foolhardy to believe a company's behavior can't possibly change when a lot of money is suddenly on the line that wasn't before.
That 'lot of money' is actually not all that much when placed in the broader view of government business for SpaceX. COTS/CRS is close to two billion for SpaceX . The Commercial Crew phases, particularly CCiCAP and CCtCAP, represent billions too. The 220 million for this engine development program is only a drop compared to the buckets SpaceX has already received.
Besides, you fail to comprehend the way SpaceX works. All things they have done for government, so far, have been done with specific goals in mind: Learn how to develop reliable and affordable access to space and then on to Mars. Every step so far made sense within that frame of reference. Doing an engine development program, under requirements dictated by the US security community, doesn't fit SpaceX goals. The engine will very likely not fit any SpaceX vehicle and as such is useless to them. It would be a distraction.

That's what the whole block-buy protest is about. SpaceX won't be the engine provider for someone else's rocket.

That's not what the block buy protest is about.  It has nothing to do with whether SpaceX would sell engines to another company if given large sums of money to do so.
Let me elaborate: the block buy protest is over launch services. Most people think the block buy constitutes that the US government bought three dozen rocket cores. They didn't. The US government bought launch services that will require three dozen rocket cores. And that is what SpaceX is protesting: they want the block buy to go away so that they can openly compete for the launch services the US government is seeking. Launch services is completely different from selling rockets, or parts of rockets (such as engines) for that matter.

Additionally: the minute SpaceX decides to go for this money, they will have to do this particular engine development program under full public scrutiny. Not gonna happen under the current work-ethos as established by ol' Elon.

SpaceX has accepted a huge amount of government scrutiny for COTS, CRS, CCDev, CCiCap, and CCtCap, not to mention the Air Force EELV certification program.  So the idea that Elon would walk away from government money because he doesn't want government scrutiny is clearly nonsense.
There you go again. I said public scrutiny. And that does not equate one-on-one to government scrutiny. Public scrutiny is in fact much wider than government scrutiny. A government is required to keep proprietary information, gained from SpaceX, to themselves. Public scrutiny isn't. Elon will avoid that like the plague. No sense in giving your competition information that they might use to their own advantage.


Also, the next engine under development by SpaceX is raptor. Much bigger and much more powerfull than anything needed as an RD-180 replacement. Not gonna fit the profile, regardless of the cromnibus lacking any specifics on engine power and performance.

I partly agree with you on that, which is why I said SpaceX might go for the money, not that it definitely would.  But it's possible that SpaceX would take on the RD-180 replacement development in addition to Raptor.  It depends on the money.
As a I already explained: development of this engine is a distraction and provides substantially less money than the government business they have now. I don't see them interested.
On the other hand, rocket engine business for Aerojet has been slow lately. They definitely will want this money. And it's not a distraction to them. Doing rocket engines is a core-business for them.

Blue is developing BE-4 exclusively with ULA. Going for this 220 million means that they either have to break up the current BE-4 arrangement with ULA and let lot's of outsiders in (not gonna happen: Blue is way too secretive for that),

You don't know that, it's just speculation.  Until the ULA deal came to light, a lot of people would have thought Blue Origin wouldn't work with ULA.  If they'll work with ULA, it's really not that much of a stretch to believe they will also work with the Air Force.
Your assessment that SpaceX will bid on the engine work is speculation as well. You don't know either. Me neither. Throwing in the speculation argument is moot since it applies in both directions.
If you are under the impression that the new engine program involves the contractor and USAF only you will be gravely mistaken. Lot's of other parties will be involved since the bill specifically states that the engine must be up for sale to any US launch provider. Those will want to know what they are buying, and as such will want to be 'in'  on the finer details of the engine. Blue will have to be transparent to many parties during such a engine development program. That's against their very nature.


OR, develop yet another engine, outside the current BE-3 and BE-4, this time under full public scrutiny (not gonna happen: Blue is way too secretive for that).

Blue Origin has already been applying for NASA crew contracts and working with NASA on unfunded SAAs. So they haven't demonstrated a refusal to work with the government.

Like I state earlier: Public scrutiny is much wider than government scrutiny. And as such a much bigger impact to the way Blue works.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2014 06:28 pm by woods170 »

Offline TrevorMonty

This $220m would be better spent on a lower cost RL10 replacement. At least a RL10 replacement wouldn't have any problems finding a LV. If the replacement can save $10m an engine payback would only take a couple of years plus SLS would benefit.

If they put it out to tender,  Aerojet, XCOR and probably Blue would compete.

Offline baldusi

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I think that XCOR would make a bid for sure, so would Aerojet, SpaceX and Blue Origin. The actual question is how are they going to implement it. Will it be a straight full spec buy the government, like the RS-25 or the J-2X, or are they going for a softer oversight? Because the most common way of doing this is through risk reduction activities at first. Exactly what Blue Origin and SpaceX would love to get a bite of. It's gonna be extremely difficult for Aerojet to win this if this isn't done like the J-2X program. And the funny part, is what if the "national security community" asks for hydrocarbon and oxidizer rich combustion experience? Aerojet can't really say the are above SpaceX and Blue Origin in that area.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Yes, I think there will be recriminations.  But my read of B is that it basically lets the Air Force dictate the specs of the engine.  They'll likely spec it for Atlas V and SpaceX will complain.

Although Atlas V is, for all practical purposes, being phased out in favor of the new launcher powered by the Blue Origin engine.

I think this requirement will soon go away since it will become obvious that the industry won't use it, and that the industry has moved on to engines that are better than what this government funded one would be.  Not that logic ever stood in the way of pork funding, but there is hope...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Yes, I think there will be recriminations.  But my read of B is that it basically lets the Air Force dictate the specs of the engine.  They'll likely spec it for Atlas V and SpaceX will complain.

Although Atlas V is, for all practical purposes, being phased out in favor of the new launcher powered by the Blue Origin engine.

I think this requirement will soon go away since it will become obvious that the industry won't use it, and that the industry has moved on to engines that are better than what this government funded one would be.  Not that logic ever stood in the way of pork funding, but there is hope...

I agree with you that it doesn't make sense to spend this money.  It never did.

But the first $220 million won't go away.  It is in the bill that is just being passed right now.  There might not be any money in future years, but there definitely will be this year.

Offline Prober

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woods
Quote
No, in fact it isn't. Their whole reason for existing is Jeff Bezos' dream and Amazon.com. Had they really been interested to launch things into orbit, they would have been there already. You don't establish an aerospace company, claiming to dramatically lower cost for access to space and improved reliability, and have almost nothing to show for that target 14 years later. Even worse: first orbital flight is still projected to be at least four years away. Taking nearly two decades from founding the company to first orbital flight is bad for business. The only reason Blue hasn't fallen over is the money influx from Bezos' pocket. Blue is a pet company. Unlike Bezos' other ventures their target is NOT making lot's of money.

Hold on a sec.  What Bezo's does with his own money ,and under his own timetable is his business.  He has produced tangible quality research to high standards.   The standards are at the level ULA finds it very acceptable to partner with Blue. 

 
« Last Edit: 12/12/2014 06:23 pm by Prober »
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To advance technology in a field as expensive as space takes guts, vision, and money. Bezos tried initially to base his work off the success of the DC-X but ran into practical problems. In doing so he built of a capable team. Now they see an opportunity to use their imagination and experience and internal resources to plug a hole in ULA's plans, the vital need for a new generation US-built hydrocarbon-fueled engine, a field that Aerojet/Rocketdyne/P&W have pretty much ignored. ULA will now face outside competition from SpaceX, so it will be driven to minimize cost. Blue has a decent concept, a staged-combustion methane-fueled engine aimed at the booster stage application. It would be a positive value to the nation and some taxpayer funding is warranted to accelerate the work, but even if there is no direct DOD funding the combination of ULA's and Bezos' resources will likely allow the project to proceed.

Offline muomega0

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To advance technology in a field as expensive as space takes guts, vision, and money.
Given the need to reduce costs to space, it would make sense to have multiple awards, especially if one thinks 3 LVs are required to provide assured access to space, with upgrades and advanced, experimental vehicles in the works too.   What is more important: a new LV or crew rating a LV that will be phased out?    SLS/Orion or multiple awards with competition that includes testing and economic analysis based on manufacturing costs data or a paper trade down select with only one provider at the start?

Offline Jim

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a new LV or crew rating a LV that will be phased out?   

It is not being phased out, just a new stage will be phased in

Offline Jim

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Given the need to reduce costs to space, it would make sense to have multiple awards, especially if one thinks 3 LVs are required to provide assured access to space, with upgrades and advanced, experimental vehicles in the works too. 

No, because this is not what this is about and there is no need to start new launch vehicles.   We have enough.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2014 03:22 pm by Jim »

Offline muomega0

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Given the need to reduce costs to space, it would make sense to have multiple awards, especially if one thinks 3 LVs are required to provide assured access to space, with upgrades and advanced, experimental vehicles in the works too. 

No, because this is not what this is about and there is no need to start new launch vehicles.   We have enough.
Wrong...the current way of doing business is too expensive...old vehicles that is...Falcon 60 to 100M, Altas Delta:  568M and SLS is 3B+.  Switching an engine does not drop the costs by 400M, or does it?

So we need 3LVs for ISS (Atlas, Falcon, Russia) but only two going forward?

When you make the change to the lower or upper stage, its needs to be recertified.   So this is a new LV to many, but it may just be semantics.  What is the projected costs of this new, um old, existing lv vehicle upgrade per launch?  Do they get to recoup the private development costs? 
 

Offline Jim

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1.  Wrong...the current way of doing business is too expensive...old vehicles that is...Falcon 60 to 100M, Altas Delta:  568M and SLS is 3B+.  Switching an engine does not drop the costs by 400M, or does it?

2.  So we need 3LVs for ISS (Atlas, Falcon, Russia) but only two going forward?

3. When you make the change to the lower or upper stage, its needs to be recertified.   So this is a new LV to many, but it may just be semantics.

4.  What is the projected costs of this new, um old, existing lv vehicle upgrade per launch?  Do they get to recoup the private development costs? 
 

Wrong data and wrong conclusion

1.  Atlas does not cost 568M

2. Yes we do

3.  Not really, it is part of doing regular business.  Changes happen to vehicles all the time.  Certification is only for when the gov't user is not part of the development of the vehicle.

4.  That is up to how they want to market the vehicle.

« Last Edit: 12/12/2014 04:19 pm by Jim »

Offline muomega0

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1.  Wrong...the current way of doing business is too expensive...old vehicles that is...Falcon 60 to 100M, Altas Delta:  568M and SLS is 3B+.  Switching an engine does not drop the costs by 400M, or does it?
2.  So we need 3LVs for ISS (Atlas, Falcon, Russia) but only two going forward?
3. When you make the change to the lower or upper stage, its needs to be recertified.   So this is a new LV to many, but it may just be semantics.
4.  What is the projected costs of this new, um old, existing lv vehicle upgrade per launch?  Do they get to recoup the private development costs? 
 

Wrong data and wrong conclusion
1.  Atlas does not cost 568M
2. Yes we do
3.  Not really, it is part of doing regular business.  Changes happen to vehicles all the time.  Certification is only for when the gov't user is not part of the development of the vehicle.
4.  That is up to how they want to market the vehicle.

1. with or without including the fixed costs covered by DOD?   What is split between Atlas/Delta of the 38B for the additional flights?
2.
"Congress OKs bill banning purchases of Russian-made rocket engines"
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Quote
Despite lobbying from a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the Senate voted 89-11 to approve a bill Friday that would ban the Pentagon from awarding future rocket launch contracts to firms using Russian engines.
...
United Launch Alliance succeeded at weakening the bill so that it is allowed to use the Russian engines already in its inventory, which it says is enough for military launches over the next two years.
...

I see....what else could you or ULA do with the extra engines?  NASA awarded contracts to ferry crew to ISS for a total of $6.8 billion in contracts with Boeing getting the larger share, $4.2 billion and SpaceX getting $2.6 billion for doing what appears the same work. Hopefully the engines are available for non-military purposes.  1.6B--why so much more? 

3. 
Quote from: NASA
"- The launch vehicle has demonstrated reliability and well-known failure modes and operating environments,
     which facilitates an integrated abort system for a crewed system and results in a safer launch vehicle.

- Boeing proposed to pursue an alternative launch vehicle in parallel with their baseline work.

- This new launch vehicle, if used in the CTS design, provides alternatives but would negate the benefits of the
     established reliability of the existing launch vehicle
"

 A new LV!  and the new LV is not really being competitively bid, or was it?   

4. So NASA helps pay for the old reliable LV and the new LV, where the later negates all the benefits of the established reliability, but it also has no future, and DOD pays for the new engines.  Does DOD pick up the larger costs of Delta forward, since Atlas is cheaper?  What if the DOD refuses to include the margins for crew rating--separate product lines?  Falcon Heavy is also designed to meet NASA human rating standards, unlike other satellite launch vehicles

The economic numbers state otherwise. Too much capacity, not enough payloads (a broken record).  Altas and Delta and SLS have few commercial launches and are expendable. How are any of these components designed for reuse or to reduce $/kg and meet the needs of the combined NASA/DOD payload set?
Speaking of broken record.  You are bordering on trolling by posting the same thing over and over.
Repeating the same nonsense over and over doesn't make it true.    Its a policy problem and not economics issues.  The existing vehicles meet all the needs of the "combined NASA/DOD payload set" (which excludes NASA HSF, which is not driven by economics).  There is no need for the gov't to get involved.  The market will do its work.  Don't need to "do" anything with Atlas/Delta as ULA will do as it sees fit.
really?   The 'market' has NASA now paying for the  remaining parts of the old LV, the new tanks and plumbing of the new LV, and DOD for the new engines, when Ares, then SLS were there to fill this role, which are still the backups at much higher costs.  One thing is clear:SLS/Orion/existingEELV is not taking Astronauts to Mars

why certify crew to ISS on Falcon or Atlas? 
Because it is the law and a smart idea.
So NASA/DOD pay for another decade of LVs, and since this is done on the 'commercial' crew side, do they have to follow any of the guidance from the 2004 VSE Space Policy?   Perhaps the Economic Access to Space Grand Challenge will now be met..... Some of the LV groups must be sky high right now... the rest of the Grand challenges left for the future generations..  It easy to see the big changes forward at the government pace...

Quote from: 2004VSE
In the days of the Apollo program, human exploration systems employed expendable, single-use vehicles requiring large ground crews and careful monitoring. For future, sustainable exploration programs, NASA requires cost-effective vehicles that may be reused, have systems that could be applied to more than one destination, and are highly reliable and need only small ground crews. NASA plans to invest in a number of new approaches to exploration, such as robotic networks, modular systems, pre-positioned propellants, advanced power and propulsion, and in-space assembly, that could enable these kinds of vehicles. Other break through technologies, such as nuclear power and propulsion, optical communications, and potential use of space resources, will be demonstrated as part of robotic exploration missions. The challenges of designing these systems will accelerate the development of fundamental technologies that are critical not only to NASA, but also to the Nationís economic and national security
« Last Edit: 12/19/2014 05:50 pm by muomega0 »

Offline Jim

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That post wanders and rambles on, so I don't even know where to start, so I won't and I will be taking another action.

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