Author Topic: End of U.S. Launch Year  (Read 23849 times)

Online edkyle99

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End of U.S. Launch Year
« on: 12/21/2007 03:44 AM »

Delta 331, the GPS 2R-18 mission, closed out the orbital launch year for the United States.  The flight was the 8th and final Delta 2 launch of the year and the 19th and final U.S. orbital launch attempt of 2007, one more than during 2006.  Only 17 of the 19 U.S. launches were complete successes.  

Cape Canaveral hosted 10 launches, half of which were Delta 2 flights.  KSC handled three shuttle human space launches.  Vandenberg AFB performed four launches, including three by Delta 2 vehicles.  


2007 U.S. Launches by Vehicle (Launches(Failures))

Delta 2                8(0)
Atlas 5                4(1)
STS                         3(0)
Delta 4               1(0)
Minotaur 1      1(0)
Pegasus XL    1(0)
Falcon 1             1(1)

2007 U.S. Launches by Site

Cape Canaveral, Florida          10(1)  
Vandenberg AFB, California              4(0)
Kennedy Space Center, Florida    3(0)
Wallops Island, VA                                       1(0)  
Kwajalein, RMI                                                  1(1)  
 
2007 U.S. Launches by Launch Provider

United Launch Alliance                 13(1)
United Space Alliance/STS         3(0)
Orbital Sciences                                      2(0)
SpaceX                                                              1(1)

BTW, United Launch Alliance fell well short of its plans for the year.  One year ago the consortium announced that it expected to perform 21 launches during the year, including 12 Delta 2, 6 Atlas 5, and 3 Delta 4 missions!  Now ULA says that it expects to perform 23 launches in 2008.

- Ed Kyle


Offline zappafrank

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #1 on: 12/21/2007 05:02 AM »
What about SeaLaunch?

They are an an American company but with Ukranian rockets, that should count in the totals.

Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #2 on: 12/21/2007 05:07 AM »
Quote
zappafrank - 20/12/2007  12:02 AM

What about SeaLaunch?

They are an an American company but with Ukranian rockets, that should count in the totals.

Sea Launch is an international partnership that is only 40% U.S.-owned.  It uses Russo-Ukrainian launch vehicles (that are composed of a majority of Russian content by value) that fly off of a Norwegian platform.  

Boeing, the U.S. Sea Launch partner, does payload integration.  The Ukrainio-Russian-Norwegian personnel do the launches.  The Zenit 3SL launch vehicle fits into the Commonwealth of Independent States launch totals.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Analyst

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #3 on: 12/21/2007 06:34 AM »
Nice overview, Ed. Wonder what happens to the numbers when Delta II isn't flying anymore.

Analyst

Offline William Graham

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #4 on: 12/21/2007 11:18 AM »
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Analyst - 21/12/2007  7:34 AM

Nice overview, Ed. Wonder what happens to the numbers when Delta II isn't flying anymore.

Analyst

EELV launch rates will probably shoot up.

Offline Jim

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #5 on: 12/21/2007 11:59 AM »
Quote
GW_Simulations - 21/12/2007  7:18 AM

Quote
Analyst - 21/12/2007  7:34 AM

Nice overview, Ed. Wonder what happens to the numbers when Delta II isn't flying anymore.

Analyst

EELV launch rates will probably shoot up.

Nope, the EELV costs will limit the number of new projects as well as Constellation costs

Offline Lee Jay

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #6 on: 12/21/2007 01:12 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 20/12/2007  9:44 PM
BTW, United Launch Alliance fell well short of its plans for the year.  One year ago the consortium announced that it expected to perform 21 launches during the year, including 12 Delta 2, 6 Atlas 5, and 3 Delta 4 missions!

What are the reasons for the discrepancy between planned and executed launches?


Offline William Graham

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #7 on: 12/21/2007 01:53 PM »
Quote
Lee Jay - 21/12/2007  2:12 PM

Quote
edkyle99 - 20/12/2007  9:44 PM
BTW, United Launch Alliance fell well short of its plans for the year.  One year ago the consortium announced that it expected to perform 21 launches during the year, including 12 Delta 2, 6 Atlas 5, and 3 Delta 4 missions!

What are the reasons for the discrepancy between planned and executed launches?


Damage to LC-37B ruined the Delta IV's year. The January Zenit failure resulted in delays to Atlas, due to similar engines used on the two vehicles. Atlas' year was then completely wrecked by its own failure in June. The delays to the Delta IIs were mostly spacecraft related (I think).

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Jim - 21/12/2007  12:59 PM
Nope, the EELV costs will limit the number of new projects as well as Constellation costs

Surely if launch rates increase, costs will decrease.

Online edkyle99

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #8 on: 12/21/2007 03:45 PM »
Quote
Analyst - 21/12/2007  1:34 AM

Nice overview, Ed. Wonder what happens to the numbers when Delta II isn't flying anymore.

Analyst

Delta II and Shuttle will probably stop flying about the same time.  They accounted for 58% of U.S. launches this year.  

EELV launch rates will increase a little, but not by much.  There were five EELVs this year.  My understanding is that the rate is supposed to climb, but only to eight or so per year.

There is talk of a new Delta II-class vehicle that could appear after 2010.  Orbital is looking at a "Taurus II".  ATK appears to be proposing an all-solid vehicle with the same payload capability for the Planetspace COTS proposal.  And, of course, SpaceX is working on Falcon 9, which extends beyond Delta II-class.  I believe that at least one of these, but probably only one ultimately, will make it.  These could account for a few launches annually, but probably less than half a dozen.  COTS could end up leading to a steady launch rate, but this is far from guaranteed.

Meanwhile, the Minotaur/Taurus/Pegasus/Falcon 1 category should continue to provide three to six flights per year.

My guess is that U.S. launch totals will fall by about half after 2010 for a few years, plummeting to a dozen or fewer.  We may see a year with less than ten U.S. orbital flights, which hearkens back to the bad old post-Challenger days.  We will almost certainly finally see a year with more orbital launches by China and/or Europe than by the U.S., which will move the U.S. firmly, if not temporarily, out of the realm of "space power" in my opinion.    

 - Ed Kyle

Offline WHAP

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #9 on: 12/22/2007 02:09 AM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 20/12/2007  9:44 PM
BTW, United Launch Alliance fell well short of its plans for the year.  One year ago the consortium announced that it expected to perform 21 launches during the year, including 12 Delta 2, 6 Atlas 5, and 3 Delta 4 missions!  Now ULA says that it expects to perform 23 launches in 2008.

Next year will probably be more of the same.  I think there are 6 Atlas V and 3 Delta IV - even with 3 launch pads, that's a lot of Delta II's to make up the rest.  Launcher issues had some effect this year (the 2 Delta IV's at least - I haven't looked at the Delta II's closely to see if launcher or payload issues were worse), but the manifest is typically driven by the spacecraft, and that won't likely change next year.  But here's hoping that it does...
ULA employee.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Offline WHAP

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #10 on: 12/22/2007 02:18 AM »
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GW_Simulations - 21/12/2007  7:53 AM
Damage to LC-37B ruined the Delta IV's year. The January Zenit failure resulted in delays to Atlas, due to similar engines used on the two vehicles. Atlas' year was then completely wrecked by its own failure in June. The delays to the Delta IIs were mostly spacecraft related (I think).

In the end, Atlas' year (with respect to # of launches) was unaffected by the issue (I still don't call it a failure) in June.  The two spacecraft that weren't launched (L-28 and ICO) were not ready to launch this year, so the count would be unchanged.
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Offline William Graham

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #11 on: 12/22/2007 07:59 AM »
Quote
WHAP - 22/12/2007  3:09 AM

Quote
edkyle99 - 20/12/2007  9:44 PM
...ULA says that it expects to perform 23 launches in 2008.
...Next year will probably be more of the same.  I think there are 6 Atlas V and 3 Delta IV - even with 3 launch pads, that's a lot of Delta II's to make up the rest...

ULA launch schedule for 2008 (taken from the US Launch Schedule thread):

Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (GMT)
26 February - NRO L-28 (SDS?) - Atlas V 411 - Vandenberg - 10:15-14:15 - TWINS-B/SBIRS???
13 March - GPS IIR-19 - Delta II 7925 - Canaveral - (GPS-IIRM-6)
21 March - ICO-G1 - Atlas V 421 - Canaveral
16 April? - GeoEye-1 - Delta II 7920 - Vandenberg
17 April? - STSS ATRR - Delta II 7920 - Vandenberg
15 May - NRO L-26 - Delta IV-H -  Canaveral
16 May - GLAST - Delta II 7920H - Canaveral
May - WGS-2 - Atlas V 421 - Canaveral
15 June - Jason 2 - Delta II 7320 - Vandenberg
June - GPS-IIR-20 - Delta II 7925 - Canaveral - (GPS-IIRM-7)
18 July - STSS Demo - Delta II 7920 - Canaveral
20 July - GOES-O - Delta IV-M+(4,2) - Canaveral
July - DMSP-5D3-18 - Atlas V 401 - Vandenberg
August - NRO L-25 - Delta IV-M - Vandenberg
September - WGS-3 - Delta IVM+(5,4) - Canaveral
28 October - LRO/LCROSS - Atlas V 401 - Canaveral
October - GPS-IIR-21 - Delta II 7925 - Canaveral
1 December - SDO - Atlas V 401 - Canaveral
TBD - COSMO-3 - Delta II 7420-10 - Vandenberg
Obviously at least two of those launches will be moved.

That's 19 launches, consisting of 6 Atlas,  4 Delta IV, and 9 Delta II. No idea what the other four are. Probably Delta IIs.

Offline WHAP

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #12 on: 12/22/2007 01:52 PM »
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GW_Simulations - 22/12/2007  1:59 AM

ULA launch schedule for 2008 (taken from the US Launch Schedule thread):

Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (GMT)
...
1 December - SDO - Atlas V 401 - Canaveral...

I believe SDO has already moved into 2009, so that makes only 18.  The others all look reasonable, but anything more than a few months out has some schedule risk.
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Offline William Graham

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #13 on: 12/22/2007 02:31 PM »
Quote
WHAP - 22/12/2007  2:52 PM

Quote
GW_Simulations - 22/12/2007  1:59 AM

ULA launch schedule for 2008 (taken from the US Launch Schedule thread):

Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (GMT)
...
1 December - SDO - Atlas V 401 - Canaveral...

I believe SDO has already moved into 2009, so that makes only 18.  The others all look reasonable, but anything more than a few months out has some schedule risk.

I think it was delayed and then moved back up. Not sure though. I'm going by NASA's schedule for this one.

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #14 on: 12/31/2007 01:09 AM »
The state of US space program is more clear when you break own  launches by commercial vs government.
shuttle 3 govt flights
Atlas 5  4 govt flights
Delta 4H 1 govt flight
Delta 2   5 govt flights 3 commercial flights
Pegasus 1 govt
Minotaur 1 govt
Falcon 1 failed
Sea launch (if you want to count it) 1 failed
That's a total commercial launch manifest of 3.
The difference between growth and bumping along the bottom is commercial launches.
ESA made much of the fact that through 2007 Ariane captured 80% of the commercial launch market.
Ultimately it comes down to one thing.
Costs

Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #15 on: 12/31/2007 03:39 AM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 30/12/2007  8:09 PM

The state of US space program is more clear when you break own  launches by commercial vs government.
shuttle 3 govt flights
Atlas 5  4 govt flights
Delta 4H 1 govt flight
Delta 2   5 govt flights 3 commercial flights
Pegasus 1 govt
Minotaur 1 govt
Falcon 1 failed
Sea launch (if you want to count it) 1 failed
That's a total commercial launch manifest of 3.
The difference between growth and bumping along the bottom is commercial launches.
ESA made much of the fact that through 2007 Ariane captured 80% of the commercial launch market.
Ultimately it comes down to one thing.
Costs

I would suggest that it comes down to more than one thing.  Costs, yes, but also government subsidies for the commercial launches that help determine the prices paid for launch by both civil and commercial satellite owners.  And the varying relative value of currencies and wages and health care and retirement and worker safety programs, etc., since the commercial market is international.  

And national policy decisions that force costs up, exemplified by the strange decision to keep and fund two EELV programs when the market should only bear one - and the equally strange decision to develop an unnecessary third national launch system for human missions when two EELV programs already exist that could do the job - or the odd decision made by the U.S. Government to cease production of its most successful and cost-effective launch vehicle, Delta II - the one that performed the only U.S. commercial launches in 2007.

And brute force international politics.  For example, political decisions have kept U.S.-built comsats off of China's launch vehicles for years now.  The world launch scene would look much different today otherwise.

In the end, orbital space flight largely remains under government control.  Government budgets determine how many launches there will be - even of commercial satellites.  Budgets are determined by national defense needs and by a desire to enhance national prestige.      

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #16 on: 12/31/2007 05:02 AM »
A lot of what you say is true.
National governments do set a lot of the ground rules.
But commercial launches owe allegiance to no one and will go (generally) with the lowest price.
The inability of US launchers to attract commercial customers has got to be worrying.
What is being done about it?
I don't mean COTS. As people are fond of pointing out here SpaceX is at best a long shot.
It's the majors who are bleeding here. Ariane 5 had 6 launches at $211M each
All commercial.
As ESA said they have 80% of the c ommercial market.
(figures from http://www.astronautix.com/articles/costhing.htm)
that's a lot of bucks ULA is not getting.
What are their plans to get some of this in future, or don't they care?

Offline William Graham

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #17 on: 12/31/2007 09:27 AM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 31/12/2007  2:09 AM
shuttle 3 govt flights
Atlas 5  4 govt flights
Delta 4H 1 govt flight
Delta 2   5 govt flights 3 commercial flights
Pegasus 1 govt
Minotaur 1 govt
Falcon 1 failed
Sea launch (if you want to count it) 1 failed
That's a total commercial launch manifest of 3.

Shuttle, Delta IV and Minotaur are not available to commercial customers. Failures caused commercial launches scheduled for Atlas V, Falcon 1 and Sea Launch to be delayed. Pegasus has always had a low launch rate, and payload issues affected the Delta II.

Offline Analyst

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #18 on: 12/31/2007 12:09 PM »
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GW_Simulations - 31/12/2007  11:27 AM

Shuttle, Delta IV and Minotaur are not available to commercial customers. Failures caused commercial launches scheduled for Atlas V, Falcon 1 and Sea Launch to be delayed. Pegasus has always had a low launch rate, and payload issues affected the Delta II.

- True for Shuttle and Minotaur. But you have to ask why?
- Delta IV is not offered commercially because Boeing did not want it (for the reasons Ed mentioned).
- Atlas V commercical launches are not delayed by failures. I assume payload issues. Besides, there are not many commercials Atlas V launches planned (for the reasons Ed mentioned).
- Falcon 1 doesn't count until they have demonstrated repeated successful launches.
- Sea Launch is not offering a US vehicle. It is a Russian/Ukraine vehicle.
- Only partially true for Pegasus (late 1990ies).
- What commercial Delta II launch was delayed by payload issues? I don't know one. GLAST, GPS and USAF/NRO do not count.

Analyst

Offline JIS

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #19 on: 12/31/2007 02:14 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 31/12/2007  4:39 AM

Quote
Frediiiie - 30/12/2007  8:09 PM

The state of US space program is more clear when you break own  launches by commercial vs government.
shuttle 3 govt flights
Atlas 5  4 govt flights
Delta 4H 1 govt flight
Delta 2   5 govt flights 3 commercial flights
Pegasus 1 govt
Minotaur 1 govt
Falcon 1 failed
Sea launch (if you want to count it) 1 failed
That's a total commercial launch manifest of 3.
The difference between growth and bumping along the bottom is commercial launches.
ESA made much of the fact that through 2007 Ariane captured 80% of the commercial launch market.
Ultimately it comes down to one thing.
Costs

I would suggest that it comes down to more than one thing.  Costs, yes, but also government subsidies for the commercial launches that help determine the prices paid for launch by both civil and commercial satellite owners.  And the varying relative value of currencies and wages and health care and retirement and worker safety programs, etc., since the commercial market is international.  

Atlas 5 option could be more interresting in the future with ever falling USD.

Quote
And national policy decisions that force costs up, exemplified by the strange decision to keep and fund two EELV programs when the market should only bear one

This looks as a standard DoD policy - see F-35 engines or refueling tankers.

Quote
- and the equally strange decision to develop an unnecessary third national launch system for human missions when two EELV programs already exist that could do the job

Ares/Orion is replacement of STS so it doesn't change status quo. Also human rated EELV doesn't exist today.

Quote
- or the odd decision made by the U.S. Government to cease production of its most successful and cost-effective launch vehicle, Delta II - the one that performed the only U.S. commercial launches in 2007.

It increases flight rate of EELV and deletes Delta II related fixed costs.

Quote

And brute force international politics.  For example, political decisions have kept U.S.-built comsats off of China's launch vehicles for years now. The world launch scene would look much different today otherwise.

In the end, orbital space flight largely remains under government control.  Government budgets determine how many launches there will be - even of commercial satellites.  Budgets are determined by national defense needs and by a desire to enhance national prestige.      

 - Ed Kyle

It's not about national prestige. American commsats don't fly american rockets because they can get better deal somewhere else.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #20 on: 12/31/2007 02:24 PM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 30/12/2007  12:02 AM

A lot of what you say is true.
National governments do set a lot of the ground rules.
But commercial launches owe allegiance to no one and will go (generally) with the lowest price.
The inability of US launchers to attract commercial customers has got to be worrying.
What is being done about it?
I don't mean COTS. As people are fond of pointing out here SpaceX is at best a long shot.
It's the majors who are bleeding here. Ariane 5 had 6 launches at $211M each
All commercial.
As ESA said they have 80% of the c ommercial market.
(figures from http://www.astronautix.com/articles/costhing.htm)
that's a lot of bucks ULA is not getting.
What are their plans to get some of this in future, or don't they care?

Arianespace launch prices aren't published, to the best of my knowledge, so I have no way of knowing if that $211 million (US or Eurodollars, there is a BIG difference these days) is accurate.  Regardless, commercial customers only pay for a portion of the cost to fly each of those Ariane 5 rockets.  European governments subsidize the program to the tune of perhaps $100 million or more (US$) per flight.  You need to add the $100-ish million subsidy to the $211 million (or $309 million US dollars if the $211 million is in Euros) to find out how much the launch really costs.

Of course the U.S. government does the same thing.  It is reportedly paying something like $0.8 billion or so per year for EELV "infrastructure".  Dividing that by the five EELV launches performed in 2007 gives $160 million per launch, just for the infrastructure!  Building and launching the rockets cost extra - a lot extra!

So the ugly truth here is that governments, at least Western governments, subsidize each of these so-called "commercial" launches with massive sums of Dollars and Euros.  The taxpayers are the ones stuck with the losses.  It appears that the U.S. government has decided to cut its losses on the commercial flights, leaving that part of the suffering to European taxpayers.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline JIS

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #21 on: 12/31/2007 02:48 PM »
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edkyle99 - 31/12/2007  3:24 PM

Eurodollars

??? I wasn't aware of this currency.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #22 on: 12/31/2007 02:59 PM »
Quote
JIS - 31/12/2007  10:14 AM

Quote
And national policy decisions that force costs up, exemplified by the strange decision to keep and fund two EELV programs when the market should only bear one

This looks as a standard DoD policy - see F-35 engines or refueling tankers.

The dual engine source for the F-35 was porked down the DOD's throat by congress over DOD objections.

The F-35 is to replace AF F-16's, A-10's, Navy F-18's, and Marine Harriers. The last time they did that was the F-111, and we all know how many of those the Navy bought.

The refueling contract is still being competed and the AF has said it is winner take all, they will not buy two different airframes to replace the aging mixed fleet.

How this applies to spaceflight I do not know... The DOD wants assured acess to space and that justifies the extra cost that they are not willing to see in the F-35 or refueling programs.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #23 on: 12/31/2007 03:14 PM »
Quote
JIS - 31/12/2007  9:48 AM

Quote
edkyle99 - 31/12/2007  3:24 PM

Eurodollars

??? I wasn't aware of this currency.

Oops.  I meant to say Euros, but there is such a thing as a "Eurodollar", believe it or not.

http://wfhummel.cnchost.com/eurodollars.html

 - Ed Kyle

Online edkyle99

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RE: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #24 on: 12/31/2007 05:35 PM »
FYI, I have now updated the all-time Space Launch Report summaries, incorporating 2007 results,  at:

http://geocities.com/launchreport/logsum.html
http://geocities.com/launchreport/logdec.html
http://geocities.com/launchreport/lvsum.html

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Antares

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #25 on: 12/31/2007 06:54 PM »
There are so many half-truths in this thread I don't even know where to start.

D-IV, Taurus, etc not being available to commercial customers: Not true.  If someone came along and wanted to launch on them, they certainly would not be turned away.  They just aren't marketed to commercial customers.  If you think I'm splitting hairs, this is a precise industry where we use precise words.  Learn them.

EELV Launch Capability "ELC" infrastructure subsidy: Not true.  Read the fine print.  As part of the ELC contract, USAF requires reimbursement on commercial EELV launches.  It doesn't help the price, but the subsidy isn't without strings.

EELV vs Ariane market share: Naive.  Since the number of employees are not prescribed by politics a la STS, EELV is about as cheap as it can get.  ULA/Boeing/LockMart aren't going to go chop prices and lose money.  They might try to politic for lower ESA subsidies and to pursue enhancements to make a better product, but the price in USD is not going down.  Maybe the exchange rates can help like they are for the airliner market.

And, WHAP has already corrected the mischaracterization of Atlas's schedule being "wrecked."
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Offline William Graham

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #26 on: 12/31/2007 07:19 PM »
Quote
Antares - 31/12/2007  7:54 PM
If someone came along and wanted to launch on them, they certainly would not be turned away.

In the case of Minotaur, I believe this is illegal under US law. See the OSC Q&A thread.

Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #27 on: 12/31/2007 11:56 PM »
Quote
JIS - 31/12/2007  9:14 AM

Quote
edkyle99 - 31/12/2007  4:39 AM
In the end, orbital space flight largely remains under government control.  Government budgets determine how many launches there will be - even of commercial satellites.  Budgets are determined by national defense needs and by a desire to enhance national prestige.      

 - Ed Kyle

It's not about national prestige. American commsats don't fly american rockets because they can get better deal somewhere else.

They can get a better deal somewhere else because the U.S. Govt. can no longer afford to compete  in the launch subsidy game.  And why do those foreign entities pour out public monies to fly rockets?  Phrases like "assured access" come into play, code words for national defense needs.  And yes, national prestige.  The countdowns from Kourou's Jupiter Control Center, broadcast across the planet, are proudly spoken in French.

As for the U.S., the decision to give up on commercial launch means fewer launches and decreased U.S. prestige in the technology arena.  Some of those American comsats might not come back to fly on EELVs even if the dollar fell enough to make it affordable, so comfortable have they become with prestigious Arianespace.  

 - Ed Kyle

Offline meiza

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #28 on: 01/01/2008 12:12 AM »
It's a fact that Europe wants an independent spaceflight capability.
Arianespace would make so few flights with the pure defence and science payloads that it would be a costly system per flight if it only flew those. I don't know about the exact subsidy structure, and someone can clarify, but I'd assume that the whole budget wouldn't be that much better (and could be worse) if the commercial missions with subsidies wouldn't be flown.

Offline Jim

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #29 on: 01/01/2008 12:48 AM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 31/12/2007  7:56 PM
 broadcast across the planet, are proudly spoken in French.
 Some of those American comsats might not come back to fly on EELVs even if the dollar fell enough to make it affordable, so comfortable have they become with prestigious Arianespace.  

 - Ed Kyle

Not true.  Money talks.  "Comfortable" doesn't do anything for the bottom line.  Plus there are more disadvantages vs "comfortability"

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #30 on: 01/01/2008 01:17 AM »
The $211M per flight figure for Ariare 5 is given at  
http://www.astronautix.com/articles/costhing.htm
I have no idea how accurate it is.
As well the cost is split 3 ways as Ariane 5 has been launching 3 sats per flight.
that's $70M per sat.
But you're right. All these figures can get very rubbery depending on the specifics of the flight, the subsidy, the number of sats per launch. The mass fraction of each sat and so on.
But in the end none of this really matters.
If I am going to launch a sat. I go out and get a quote from each of the rocket suppliers.
The quote includes real costs, subsidies and any schedule restrictions due to govt launches.
Fitting in with other sats on the same launch
And anything else the parties think important.
Then based on their quotes, my needs and so on, I negotiate a deal.
My board are going to be unimpressed if I don't get a good price.
And that's where Ariane 5's 80 percent market share becomes a damning metric.
This is a real commercial outcome which shows the US launch market is loosing heaps of business to its competitors.
This is real income lost.
Are there any plans to turn this around?????

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #31 on: 01/01/2008 01:32 AM »
I should add that the whole point of ULA was gto turn this around.
It hasn't

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #32 on: 01/01/2008 04:32 AM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 31/12/2007  8:17 PM
... that's where Ariane 5's 80 percent market share becomes a damning metric.
This is a real commercial outcome which shows the US launch market is loosing heaps of business to its competitors.
This is real income lost.
Are there any plans to turn this around?????

It may be income lost, but that income doesn't cover costs.  Each launch loses money, remember?  That means that it is a *good* thing that the U.S. launch market is not handling these launches and losing money on them.  

The only way to "turn this around" would be for the U.S. Government to fork over even more billions of taxpayer money than it already is, in the form of direct or indirect subsidies, to the folks who build and fly these launch vehicles.  

Oddly enough, that free money would filter down the EELV supplier chain to end up in unexpected places like Russia (RD-180 engines), Japan (Delta IV tanks and engine parts), and Europe (payload fairings, etc.).

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #33 on: 01/01/2008 06:58 AM »
So it's a "good thing" that the US doesn't do commercial launches as they loose money?
I was wondering what the US launchers - essentially ULA - are going to do to turn this situation around.
You're saying "nothing"?
Seriously?
I appreciate a lot of this is an economic and marketing problem rather than strictly an engineering problem.
but I was hoping that there might be something in the pipeline someone could give a hint about.
Surely the inductry can't be happy to just let this issue slide.

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #34 on: 01/01/2008 06:58 AM »
So it's a "good thing" that the US doesn't do commercial launches as they loose money?
I was wondering what the US launchers - essentially ULA - are going to do to turn this situation around.
You're saying "nothing"?
Seriously?
I appreciate a lot of this is an economic and marketing problem rather than strictly an engineering problem.
but I was hoping that there might be something in the pipeline someone could give a hint about.
Surely the inductry can't be happy to just let this issue slide.

Offline JIS

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #35 on: 01/01/2008 06:58 AM »
Quote
kevin-rf - 31/12/2007  3:59 PM

Quote
JIS - 31/12/2007  10:14 AM

Quote
And national policy decisions that force costs up, exemplified by the strange decision to keep and fund two EELV programs when the market should only bear one

This looks as a standard DoD policy - see F-35 engines or refueling tankers.

.....

How this applies to spaceflight I do not know... The DOD wants assured acess to space and that justifies the extra cost that they are not willing to see in the F-35 or refueling programs.

F-35 has two similar engines from two different producers F135 and F136.
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Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #36 on: 01/01/2008 05:23 PM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 1/1/2008  1:58 AM

So it's a "good thing" that the US doesn't do commercial launches as they loose money?
I was wondering what the US launchers - essentially ULA - are going to do to turn this situation around.
You're saying "nothing"?
Seriously?
I appreciate a lot of this is an economic and marketing problem rather than strictly an engineering problem.
but I was hoping that there might be something in the pipeline someone could give a hint about.
Surely the inductry can't be happy to just let this issue slide.

ULA was formed to perform EELV launches for the U.S. Government.  As I understand the process, commercial flights are sold by Boeing and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, who then subcontract the launch services to ULA.  Boeing has only sold Delta II commercial launches to date - and Delta II will soon be phased out.

It is not a good thing that the U.S. is unable to compete in the commercial launch arena, but that is the way things are in the free trade era.  Ultimately, Europe and even Russia may have trouble competing with low-wage China and India for this business.  Subsidies, the pouring of billions of free taxpayer dollars into the coffers of U.S. military-industrial-complex giants who don't need the money, are the only way to keep the U.S. in the game.  

In my opinion, it isn't worth it.  In my opinion, the U.S. should spend what is necessary for national and civil defense space needs and let the free market handle the rest.  

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Antares

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #37 on: 01/01/2008 07:36 PM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 31/12/2007  8:32 PM
I should add that the whole point of ULA was to turn this around.
It hasn't
No.  If you think that, you need to read more threads.  ULA was meant to decrease the fixed costs of having two separate rivals, effectively to decrease the amount that has to be spent on the "ELC" subsidy contract.  It was to save the taxpayers more money while keeping both fleets alive, not to make EELV more price competitive with foreign launchers.  Without ULA, one of the fleets would likely have quit.  For Boeing and Lockheed shareholders, rockets just don't return the profit margins that the other lines of business do.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #38 on: 01/02/2008 01:54 AM »
Quote
JIS - 1/1/2008  2:58 AM

Quote
kevin-rf - 31/12/2007  3:59 PM

Quote
JIS - 31/12/2007  10:14 AM

Quote
And national policy decisions that force costs up, exemplified by the strange decision to keep and fund two EELV programs when the market should only bear one

This looks as a standard DoD policy - see F-35 engines or refueling tankers.

.....

How this applies to spaceflight I do not know... The DOD wants assured acess to space and that justifies the extra cost that they are not willing to see in the F-35 or refueling programs.

F-35 has two similar engines from two different producers F135 and F136.

The DOD wanted to terminate the second engine as a cost saving measure, congress made them (and funded) continue development of the second engine. Two launchers are assured access, the second F-35 engine supplier is an attempt to keep costs down through competition.
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Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #39 on: 01/05/2008 01:59 AM »
Antares said;
"ULA was meant to decrease the fixed costs of having two separate rivals, effectively to decrease the amount that has to be spent on the "ELC" subsidy contract. It was to save the taxpayers more money while keeping both fleets alive"
That alone made the launches more compeatative. but clearly not enough.
Besides the more launches you can get the more you defray your fixes costs and lower your overall costs.
If LM & Boeing really didn't care about getting other customers they would never have bothered trying to cut costs by setting up ULA in the first place.
I'll concede all Jim wants to say about the problems of the industry making it undesirable for US launchers to stay in business. Even though it's exactly the same market (global) that ESA, India, Russia, China & Japan compete in.
What I'm saying is that something needs to be done in the interests of keeping ANY sort of US launch industry going.
What is being done?
SO far all I've heard back from the posters here is
"Nothing. It's too hard."
By the way I live in Australia and this mornings papers carried an article
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,23007241-911,00.html
where the new government here is considering dumping about $11Bil (Aust) in defence procurement contracts, (a lot of them from Boeing) because they are all years behind schedule.
No doubt it will never happen.
But it is, perhaps, indicative or a deeper malaise.
I don't think LM & Boeing can rely forever on the need for an "assured national launch capability."
What if SpaceX actually get's their act together?
It might not be just Delta II that gets retired.
Personally I would rather see a more diversified launch capability.
So I ask again. What is being done about it?

Online edkyle99

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #40 on: 01/05/2008 05:15 AM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 4/1/2008  8:59 PM
What I'm saying is that something needs to be done in the interests of keeping ANY sort of US launch industry going.
What is being done?

The U.S. Government is planning on spending $31.8 billion for 137 EELV launches by 2020, an average of $232.12 million per launch.

That's a lot of subsidy propping up ULA.  What more can be done?  This is the so-called "Free Trade" era.  Without U.S. Government contracts, there would be no U.S. launch vehicle production.  Not as long as wages are lower elsewhere.  

The high EELV costs may provide opportunity for others, like SpaceX, who think they can offer lower-cost launch services for the U.S. Government.  But, again, none will survive without selling to the U.S. Government.  SpaceX won't be able to compete with India or China on price.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #41 on: 01/05/2008 11:19 PM »
Space launch is a hi tec business. Labour costs are not that critical a factor.
More important is innovation  and finding ways of bringing costs down through the application of new technologies, system improvements, Design work that is cost conscious, and so on.

Up till now the majors won't get out of bed without a contract up front.
It's been that way since ww2, but the launch market has changed in recent times.
There is the non commercial NASA market where govt contractors bid for monumental projects like Ares 1 & V. (or parts thereof.)
Implicit in the contracts is the assumption that the designs will be world leading and cutting edge, and it doesn't matter much if the costs blow out as the government is picking up the tab. The important thing is that the work be elegant.
Then there is the commercial market where all the customer wants is to get his sat into space.
And the two markets are drifting apart.

I see several ways ahead for the majors.
1/ either or both of the majors could select and fund their own lean in house teams to  build their own  "Mac Truck" launcher to compete directly with SpaceX Sealaunch the Russians et al in the commercial market.
2/ Do system wide reviews of everything to do with Atlas & Delta to find ways to reduce costs, and improve the programs to the point where they can compete.
3/ Stay where they are and surrender a market segment that may one day move on up from being the minor part of the market to being dominant.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #42 on: 01/05/2008 11:28 PM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 5/1/2008  7:19 PM

Space launch is a hi tec business. Labour costs are not that critical a factor.


Completely wrong.   Space launch is not high tech.  It is dirty and current systems are labor intensive.   Labor costs are everything.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #43 on: 01/05/2008 11:32 PM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 5/1/2008  7:19 PM

There is the non commercial NASA market where govt contractors bid for monumental projects like Ares 1 & V. (or parts thereof.)
Implicit in the contracts is the assumption that the designs will be world leading and cutting edge, and it doesn't matter much if the costs blow out as the government is picking up the tab. The important thing is that the work be elegant.

Wrong again.  Ares are not cutting edge.  They are using old designs and old hardware andare not elegant but Kludges.   The high costs are due to the labor intensive designs

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #44 on: 01/05/2008 11:33 PM »
Since when are labor costs not the critical factor? What do you think the fixed costs are? They are the salaried employees who are needed to launch. They get paid the same if you fly or do not fly. As far as I know there is no such thing as hire a temp launch crew that you call and only pay everytime you want to fly.
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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #45 on: 01/05/2008 11:39 PM »
Quote
Frediiiie - 5/1/2008  7:19 PM

I see several ways ahead for the majors.
1/ either or both of the majors could select and fund their own lean in house teams to  build their own  "Mac Truck" launcher to compete directly with SpaceX Sealaunch the Russians et al in the commercial market.
2/ Do system wide reviews of everything to do with Atlas & Delta to find ways to reduce costs, and improve the programs to the point where they can compete.


1.  They already exist.  They are the EELV's

2.  US wages and unions drive up the labor costs.  So does the mission assurance requirements of the main customer, the US gov't.  Since the US Gov't self insures, it has the contractors do extra work.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #46 on: 01/06/2008 12:49 AM »
Quote
Jim - 6/1/2008  1:39 AM

Quote
Frediiiie - 5/1/2008  7:19 PM

I see several ways ahead for the majors.
1/ either or both of the majors could select and fund their own lean in house teams to  build their own  "Mac Truck" launcher to compete directly with SpaceX Sealaunch the Russians et al in the commercial market.
2/ Do system wide reviews of everything to do with Atlas & Delta to find ways to reduce costs, and improve the programs to the point where they can compete.


1.  They already exist.  They are the EELV's

2.  US wages and unions drive up the labor costs.  So does the mission assurance requirements of the main customer, the US gov't.  Since the US Gov't self insures, it has the contractors do extra work.
2. Given the curren exchange rates: Do you really think labor cost is more expensive in the US than in Europe? To have the mission assurance done as paid work by the contractor shoudln't make the system less competitive.

Regarding subsidies: edkyle is right. In the end the subsidizing party loses. At least US satellite makers and operators should profit from cheaper launches. If I look at launch prices vs. systems prices there should be more value in that than in the launch itself.

Frediiie, why on earth do you believe getting rid of competition (ULA merger) actually gets down costs. There is tons of theoretical and empirical data pointing in the other direction.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #47 on: 01/06/2008 04:12 AM »
Everyone on this thread is completely missing the boat.  The international "market" for satellite launch is very far from a free market in the Freidman sense.  Speaking of price as having a relationship to cost and speaking of cost competitiveness is meaningless.  Other than the US systems where all the budget numbers are public, it is almost impossible to get any sense of real cost.  

For example, Proton is made by Energia, a GOR owned entity.  I doubt anyone (even in Russia) knows what the total unit cost is (including development, fixed and marginal).  They simply price it so as to keep the manifest full and cash coming in.  Profit has no meaning.

Ariane is in a similar state although slightly closer to a capitalist model.  It has all development and fixed cost completely covered, but it is not really required to be profitable.  For most of its existence, the majority owner was the french government although I believe that has recently changed.

On the other hand, the US systems are owned by private corporations which are required (by shareholders) to deliver reasonable returns.  Therefore selling at a loss is not really an option.  Right now, since price will always favor those who don't don't have to cover costs, the only way US vehicles get commercial launches is based on technical superiority (reliability).  Both DII and Atlas V can command a reliability premium in the marketplace.

If the US wants domestic launchers to gain market share there are 2 options:
1) cover US companies for losses so they can price-to-win.  This is the approach used by Ariane and Proton
2) Pressure the rest of the world to privatize their launch businesses

In the meantime, we can have the GOR and ESA subsidize the launching of the world's satellites.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #48 on: 01/06/2008 02:56 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 4/1/2008  11:15 PM

The U.S. Government is planning on spending $31.8 billion for 137 EELV launches by 2020, an average of $232.12 million per launch.

That's a lot of subsidy propping up ULA.  
 - Ed Kyle

All of that money is not going to ULA.  Jim also mentioned that the government self insures and, as a result, (my words) pays other contractors for mission assurance. I was not able to find specifics relative to EELV, but the Aerospace Corporation, for example, receives significant amounts of money from the government.  Although these contracts are included in the total program costs, they do not contribute to the development, launch operations, or infrastructure maintenance.  If anyone has insight into the value of Aerospace's contracts relative to EELV, I'd love to see it, but I was not successful with a quick Google search.
ULA employee.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #49 on: 01/06/2008 03:56 PM »
Quote
WHAP - 6/1/2008  10:56 AM
 If anyone has insight into the value of Aerospace's contracts relative to EELV, I'd love to see it, but I was not successful with a quick Google search.

Aerospace has only one contract with SMC.  It cover GSE&I for USAF space systems and not just EELV.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #50 on: 01/06/2008 06:18 PM »
Quote
quark - 5/1/2008  11:12 PM


For example, Proton is made by Energia.

Proton isnīt made by Energia, but it is made by Khrunichev.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #51 on: 01/07/2008 12:37 AM »
Quote
quark - 5/1/2008  11:12 PM

Everyone on this thread is completely missing the boat.  The international "market" for satellite launch is very far from a free market in the Freidman sense. ...

For example, Proton is made by Energia, a GOR owned entity.  I doubt anyone (even in Russia) knows what the total unit cost is (including development, fixed and marginal).  They simply price it so as to keep the manifest full and cash coming in.  Profit has no meaning.
Proton is made by Krunichev, as others have noted.  It launches Russian government payloads as well as commercial payloads, so the Russian government is clearly going to fund Proton to some extent, just as the U.S. does with its launch vehicles.

Quote
Ariane is in a similar state although slightly closer to a capitalist model.  It has all development and fixed cost completely covered, but it is not really required to be profitable.  For most of its existence, the majority owner was the french government although I believe that has recently changed.
Ariane is Europe's assured access to space, used to launch defense and civil payloads, so it is supported by European governments, just as Russia supports Proton and the U.S. supports EELVs, etc.  There are fewer European government payloads than U.S. government payloads, so Europe must aggressively sell commercial launches to keep its program viable.

Quote
On the other hand, the US systems are owned by private corporations which are required (by shareholders) to deliver reasonable returns.  Therefore selling at a loss is not really an option.  Right now, since price will always favor those who don't don't have to cover costs, the only way US vehicles get commercial launches is based on technical superiority (reliability).  Both DII and Atlas V can command a reliability premium in the marketplace.
Delta II is one of the world's two most reliable expendable launch vehicles in its payload class.  The other, which is statistically tied with Delta II for all practical purposes, is Soyuz.

I doubt that Atlas V commands premiums.  It has the same demonstrated success rate as Ariane 5 ECA (12 launches, 11 successes) and is only fractionally ahead of Proton M/Briz M statistically speaking.  All three of these are essentially tied, along with China's CZ-3(A) series and Japan's H-2(A) in demonstrated and predicted reliability.
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If the US wants domestic launchers to gain market share there are 2 options:
1) cover US companies for losses so they can price-to-win.  This is the approach used by Ariane and Proton
2) Pressure the rest of the world to privatize their launch businesses

In the meantime, we can have the GOR and ESA subsidize the launching of the world's satellites.

As I noted, the U.S. government already subsidizes EELV and other launch vehicle programs.  The U.S. government has set up excessive costs by keeping two parallel EELV programs, along with Delta II and others, alive at two launch centers.  Where Ariane has one pad, EELV has four.  Where Ariane has two upper stage options, EELV has three, etc.    

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #52 on: 01/07/2008 02:33 AM »
Well done Jim,
I'm sure  the alt space community will be pleased to know that low tech launch vehicles are possible.
I think what you meant was relatively low tech.
And sure, that was the original Ares concept.  Didn't last long, though, did it?
But Ed Kyle spelt out what needs to happen to bring costs down.
Dump one EELV
Close 1 launch centre.
Close 3 pads.
and that's a good start.
The question is, does the industry want to compete or not.

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #53 on: 01/07/2008 02:44 AM »
Pippin said
"Frediiie, why on earth do you believe getting rid of competition (ULA merger) actually gets down costs. There is tons of theoretical and empirical data pointing in the other direction."

You're perfectly correct. But when you're one of only two people in the market and there's a good chance the govt. in their infinite wisdom might reach out the mighty fickle finger and tap one of you and say
"You're out of the game",
it becomes less about classical economics and more about saving your investment (and perceptions.)
"See we're trying to do something."
That's where the majors are at. There's so much invested in their two launch systems that needs to be protected that survival is all it's about.

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #54 on: 01/07/2008 02:52 AM »
Labour Costs.
It's worth dipping back into history.
IBM, in its younger days, always paid well about the market price for the best people. Watson argued his people were his capital. And it worked for him for a long time.
IBM only came undone when the market changed. The computer business became less about intellectual capital and more about production lines.

The launch business is still a business based around intellectual capital, so labour costs are only a problem if you've got 10 people trying to do a job that can be done by one.
I've changed my mind. Perhaps labour costs are a problem.

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #55 on: 01/07/2008 03:32 AM »
Quark said
"Everyone on this thread is completely missing the boat. The international "market" for satellite launch is very far from a free"
Perfectly true.
But all launchers are subsidised so in that sense there is some sort of equal competition.
All anyone can complain about it that "Their" subsidy is not as big as the guy in the next country. (Which is what a lot of people here are doing.)
If you're happy with this situation that's fine.
If you would like to see a real free market then you need to work towards it.
How?
First you need to recognise that there is no incentive under a subsidised system for the normal efficiencies that drive a free market. Why should Boeing or LM work to lower costs? All that would do would be to reduce their government subside (horror)
You can drive towards a free market a couple of ways.
1/ A business chooses to change their management and starts pushing for efficiencies and cost reductions. In other words they act *as if* they were in a free market. Eventually this forces competition on the market as everybody else scrambles to catch up.
Personally I can't see this happening. The long term gain wouldn't compensate for the short term pain.
2/ Government could force competition. Particularly in a situation where there are 2 or more launch suppliers, by offering incentives, spending money to find cheaper ways of doing stuff, and so on.  
I can't see this happening either.
All I can do is point out two companies.
One makes premiun champagne that sells at a profit of $1,000 a bottle.
The other makes a popular soft drink where the profit is a fraction of a cent a bottle.
Which company would you rather be?

Offline Antares

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #56 on: 01/07/2008 04:32 AM »
Frediiiie, you better be a college student or lower.

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2) What if SpaceX actually get's their act together?

3) Space launch is a hi tec business. Labour costs are not that critical a factor.

4) does the industry want to compete or not.

5) when you're one of only two people in the market and there's a good chance the govt might tap one of you and say "You're out of the game",

6) so labour costs are only a problem if you've got 10 people trying to do a job that can be done by one.
I've changed my mind. Perhaps labour costs are a problem.

7) Why should Boeing or LM work to lower costs? All that would do would be to reduce their government subside (horror)

8) A business chooses to change their management and starts pushing for efficiencies and cost reductions.

9) Government could force competition.
2) Then the more expensive of Atlas or Delta may be downselected.  In this case, free market doesn't hold because of Washington lobbying.

3) Yeah, in San Diego, Denver and Decatur the machines are so high tech and automated that the government feeds checks in one end and rockets come out the other.  Labor is only needed for the annual refill of unobtainium.

4) Of course it does, but it can't because of American labor rates.  Stop ignoring practical reality.

5) There's no chance of that as long as Assured Access is a DoD policy.

6) Atlas and Boeing have free rein to lay off people unlike NASA.  They're trying to make money for their shareholders.  You don't think they try to cut every job and penny they can, especially when the last two machinists strikes have done nothing?

7) Nice circular logic.  Any subsidy worth its ink is written to share cost-cutting benefits between the government and the contractor.  Your view is too simplistic.

8) Why don't you think this has already been done?  Again, you look at the world with your simplistic model.  It doesn't fit, therefore the world must be wrong, not your model.

9) The government did that, but the market evaporated.  Go read some more threads.

I try to give newbs the benefit of the doubt because we were all once newbs.  But your free market luddism is just ignorant.  Why are you ignoring data?

And if you're going to continue to do so, please stop hijacking threads.  My "ignore poster" finger is getting itchy again.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Antares

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #57 on: 01/07/2008 05:07 AM »
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Jim - 6/1/2008  10:56 AM
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WHAP - 6/1/2008  10:56 AM
 If anyone has insight into the value of Aerospace's contracts relative to EELV, I'd love to see it, but I was not successful with a quick Google search.
Aerospace has only one contract with SMC.  It cover GSE&I for USAF space systems and not just EELV.
Check the last annual report here: http://www.aero.org/corporation/2006AR.pdf

Or maybe it's buried in: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore//detail/10003204.2005.html
But I can't tell.

I also found www.usaspending.gov which has lots of data, but little info.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Jim

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #58 on: 01/07/2008 11:24 AM »
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Frediiiie - 6/1/2008  10:33 PM
Close 1 launch centre.
Close 3 pads.
and that's a good start.
The question is, does the industry want to compete or not.

Can't be done.  If you don't know why, then you have no credibility and your posts are meaningless

Offline TrueGrit

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #59 on: 01/07/2008 04:28 PM »
Agree, you can't shutdown Vandenbergh...  The orbits acheived from launching there are not possible from the Cape.  To suggest otherwise indicates a signifcant lack of knowledge.  SLC6 and SLC3E are cumilations of decades of DoD and NASA desire to have true west coast heavy lift capability.  There's a whole train of NASA earth sceince missions that wouldn't be possible if Vandenbergh didn't exist.

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #60 on: 01/07/2008 04:46 PM »
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Frediiiie - 6/1/2008  10:33 PM

1.  Well done Jim,
I'm sure  the alt space community will be pleased to know that low tech launch vehicles are possible.
I think what you meant was relatively low tech.
And sure, that was the original Ares concept.  Didn't last long, though, did it?


2.  Dump one EELV
Close 1 launch centre.
Close 3 pads.
and that's a good start.
The question is, does the industry want to compete or not.

1.  It IS easy to build a launch vehicle.  The hard part is to keep launching them successfully  over and over

2.  Also it is not the contractor's call.  The US gov't wants both.

Offline Frediiiie

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Re: End of U.S. Launch Year
« Reply #61 on: 01/07/2008 11:32 PM »
Antares said
"please stop hijacking threads. My "ignore poster" finger is getting itchy again. "

Sorry to upset you.
I'll stop posting.
I admit I was stirring the pot.
I hate to see the situation where the US launchers have effectively lost all commercial launchs.
I was hoping someone here would be able to tell me that A/ or B/ or C/ was being done by someone (anyone).
The only replies I got were "it's too hard."
Or there's this or that problem.
Or you don't understand.
But a positive suggestion?
Not one.
End of topic.

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