Author Topic: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll  (Read 75827 times)

Offline jongoff

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #140 on: 02/05/2008 03:24 AM »
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Lampyridae - 4/2/2008  8:02 PM

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antonioe - 5/2/2008  7:59 AM

Assuming launch costs are one-half to one-third of his human transportation costs (typical of commercial GeoCom missions - government missions usually average one-fourth to one-fifth) that means that Bigelow must somehow get between $1.6B to $2.8B a year in revenue, plus whatever it takes to maintain his orbital hotel, to break even.  Say, 80 to 140 Dennis Titos a year.


For comparison, Virgin Galactic is expected to pull in $0.3B annually. I expect one or two other competitors may break into the market (Blue Origin, Arianespace) so the annual business would cap at maybe $0.9B. Maybe. So the maximum market size is around $1B a year, which jibes with other figures I've heard (up to $1.5B). Note that there is a conspicuous absence of regular tourist Soyuzes (ISS traffic notwithstanding). There is also a conspicuous absence of 2 people willing to fork out $0.1B each for a lunar flyby. Space nuts with money are more willing to spend it developing hardware, not buying tickets. If I had a $1B or two I'd invest it in Orbital or SpaceX. Or try and create another orbital market.

I can see Bigelow going the "Mir hotel" route and having maybe 12 astronauts a year staying 6 months each... tickets on the Soyuz at $40M each and 6 months' hotel time of maybe $100M each. Although I don't think that this is a sound business case... it will be interesting to see what COTS II produces. Or the Indian manned program, for that matter.

A couple of points to remember:

1) As Bigelow has mentioned many times his business model is *not* space tourism.  While he's perfectly willing to lease his facilities out to someone who wants to use them as a space hotel, that's not his customer base.

2) Bigelow has mentioned also on several occasions that his target price for a short visit is in the $8-12M per person range, not the $20-40M range.  Before Bigelow mentioned this number publicly, I also heard the same price range target in private conversations with some people involved on the then LM side of the venture (though I got the feeling that they wouldn't complain at all if they could get more per seat, they said that they could at least get the plan to close with seat prices in the range Bigelow is shooting for).

3) For many businesses flight rate really matters.  There just aren't very many seats available on Soyuz even if people were paying $50M a seat.  For non-tourism businesses, frequent access is even more important.  If Bigelow really is getting to the point of monthly visits to the station, that will make at least some of the markets (microgravity research related ones) come closer to making sense--frequent access for frequent iterations are critical.

4) For Space Tourism, being able to a) not have to take 6 months off for training, and b) not have to go to Russia for training and launch, had a large impact on the interest in potential customers both in the US and internationally.  If there were a domestic launch service, with a more realistic and streamlined training schedule, they'd likely get a lot more demand than Soyuz even if their prices were the same.



All that said, I think Atlas V barely works for getting Bigelow started.  He really needs to push the ticket price down into the sub $5M per person range before things start really taking off.  Which means that while he may use Atlas V for initial flights, they're going to have to work hard to keep that market.  SpaceX is probably going to take a lot longer than they expect, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had crew/cargo systems demonstrated and in operations by the time Bigelow is starting to ramp up his operation.  And at a demand for almost 100 passengers per year, you might even get into the realm of providing the kind of market that could close the business case for low-end RLVs (think 2-3 seaters).  Of course, from what I've heard, the Atlas V guys have a few interesting aces up their sleeves for dropping launch costs if they can get the flight rate Bigelow's talking about...

Also, a lot does depend on how much of a market Bigelow can really create at the $8-12M range.  Is that low enough that with frequent access he can start attracting microgravity R&D like he hopes?  Will he be able to talk aspiring space nations into using his station and US vehicles for their manned space ambitions?  Are there other customers who could come on line?  

Lastly, is his team going to be able to even get the actual Sundancer/Nautilus stations designed and successfully built and launched within the budget he has set aside?  Can he get a domestic passenger capsule provider that can meet his needs?

I'm guardedly optimistic, but only time will tell.

~Jon

Offline CommSpaceAdvocate1

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #141 on: 02/05/2008 10:50 AM »
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Jim - 4/2/2008  11:23 AM

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Second Stage - 4/2/2008  12:16 PM

1.  But I didn't think the ATV or HTV were viable COTS participants as it would be perceived by the politicians to just be shifting the national dependency from Russia to the Europeans or Japanese.

1.  There is nothing preventing them from being used.  It is only Russian hardware that is the concern.  They just didn't fit the COTS I criteria.  ULA has already done some studies

Just to be clear, the ATV uses Russian hardware, and also uses Russian services (e.g., docking on the Russian segment), so access to ATV is limited by the Iran-Syria Non-proliferation Act (ISNA) just as much as access to the Progress.

Meanwhile, NASA's recently announced schedule for COTS II here:
http://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/issresupply/schedule.htm

shows "Contract Award" on "11/28/08" providing any companies proposing ATV essentially 3 years and 1 month from estimated ATP to the hard ISNA-created deadline for delivery (1/1/2012).

- CSA1



Offline marsavian

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #142 on: 02/05/2008 10:58 AM »
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Zap83 - 4/2/2008  4:52 PM

...but if Atlas 5 begins to be used at that rate, the costs for each launch would be driven down. Anyone have any reasonable estimate as to how significant a price drop that would be? ...

...but it seems somewhat relevant due to the fact that one of the cons of ARCTUS is that EELV's are expensive (although when looking at the per ton costs it is certainly not terrible).


A higher rate wouldn't drive the price down.  Instead, it would give ULA the option to lower the price should they so choose.   There would have to be external pressure for the price to be "driven down"...in other words a cheaper alternative for Bigelow would have to be out there and that means Falcon-9 would have to succeed.  With Falcon-1, Dragon, and Falcon-9, they've got a lot on their plate.  I'm having a hard time believing they can pull it all off given the schedule they're shooting for.

The real con for ARCTUS, just as it was/is for t/space, SpaceDev, Andrews, and (probably) Planet Space is their need to raise money...just like RpK had to do.  NASA's seen that movie before and it ended badly.  Having taken over the helm, SPACEHAB's CEO has yet to demonstrate that he can raise money any better than RpK.

True but is a lot if any required above the COTS I award for ARCTUS, a modified Centaur ? Also I doubt Lockheed Martin having got a foothold in COTS with ATLAS V would let ARCTUS fail over money, if necessary they would just buy SPACEHAB the same way ATK is planning to buy PlanetSpace. If ARCTUS is selected it will get built, one way or another.

Offline CommSpaceAdvocate1

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #143 on: 02/05/2008 11:05 AM »
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jongoff - 4/2/2008  10:24 PM

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Lampyridae - 4/2/2008  8:02 PM

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antonioe - 5/2/2008  7:59 AM

Assuming launch costs are one-half to one-third of his human transportation costs (typical of commercial GeoCom missions - government missions usually average one-fourth to one-fifth) that means that Bigelow must somehow get between $1.6B to $2.8B a year in revenue, plus whatever it takes to maintain his orbital hotel, to break even.  Say, 80 to 140 Dennis Titos a year.


All that said, I think Atlas V barely works for getting Bigelow started.  He really needs to push the ticket price down into the sub $5M per person range before things start really taking off.  

....

Also, a lot does depend on how much of a market Bigelow can really create at the $8-12M range.  ....

I'm guardedly optimistic, but only time will tell.

~Jon

Although I am a commercial space advocates, I am in the same boat as Antonio.  

The Bigelow business case does NOT close using Atlas Vs.  Bigelow is a good businessman -- and he is not stupid.   He will not even attempt a business model that requires him to generate $2 Billion in revenue a year just to break even.

Even starting out with 6 ULA flights a year is way too risky from a business perspective.  

Bigelow is in the same boat as MirCorp.  He needs cheap access to space to close his business case.

I am not sure what Bigelow's purpose is in talking about the Atlas V, but he will not be providing funding to ULA for a large number of Atlas Vs any time soon.   The business risk is way too high.

In the meantime, it costs Bigelow essentially nothing to do a study with Lockheed and ULA, and he will learn something in the process.

- CSA1



Offline Second Stage

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #144 on: 02/05/2008 11:39 AM »
This pretty much says it all... With Bigalow flying the Atlas, NASA can now forget about having to risk everything on a new rocket.  And, with a flight rate that they are talking about in this press release, the more the merrier as all will benefit from the lower costs.  COTS money will go with whoever is flying the Atlas.

BIGELOW AEROSPACE AND LOCKHEED MARTIN CONVERGING ON TERMS FOR LAUNCH SERVICES

Atlas V Would Be Booster for Bigelow-Built Commercial Space Complexes

LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 1, 2008 –Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services are engaged in discussions and converging on terms to supply Atlas V launch vehicles to provide crew and cargo transportation services to a Bigelow-built space complex.

Bigelow Aerospace already has successfully launched two of its Genesis units that demonstrated the technology and feasibility of its expandable space module technology. This experience has formed the basis for a larger commercial space complex, which is now proceeding into full-scale development.

Bigelow Aerospace is on schedule to provide a low-cost, low-earth orbit space complex that is accessible to the private sector for commercial activities. The Bigelow architecture can be adapted for a variety of missions and is designed to provide increased volume, enhanced safety, and reduced costs to the extent that space-based activities will become more affordable for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the public at large.

“I don’t think anyone could deny the excellent record and pedigree of the Atlas V401 as a quality choice to be upgraded to carry human passengers,” said company founder and President Robert T. Bigelow.

“The Atlas V is ideal to provide commercial crew and cargo transportation for this pioneering commercial space venture.” said David Markham, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. “Bigelow Aerospace possesses an unparalleled vision and entrepreneurial perspective that is crucial to truly opening the commercial space market to a larger segment of the population. Targeting the Atlas V for use demonstrates a commitment to flight-proven domestic launch services to ensure success.”

The Atlas booster has been used for decades to launch government and commercial payloads to a wide range of orbits and its reliability record is at the top of the space industry. As the simplest, most robust, and most reliable version of the Atlas V family, the 401 configuration has been selected by Bigelow to launch its space complex. This launch vehicle, compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration’s stringent requirements for unmanned spaceflight, will undergo modest system upgrades that will augment existing safety features prior to flying the first passengers.

During the operational phase, which is currently planned to begin in 2012, up to 12 missions per year are envisioned, increasing as demand dictates.

Offline William Barton

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #145 on: 02/05/2008 11:39 AM »
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CommSpaceAdvocate1 - 5/2/2008  7:05 AM

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jongoff - 4/2/2008  10:24 PM

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Lampyridae - 4/2/2008  8:02 PM

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antonioe - 5/2/2008  7:59 AM

Assuming launch costs are one-half to one-third of his human transportation costs (typical of commercial GeoCom missions - government missions usually average one-fourth to one-fifth) that means that Bigelow must somehow get between $1.6B to $2.8B a year in revenue, plus whatever it takes to maintain his orbital hotel, to break even.  Say, 80 to 140 Dennis Titos a year.


All that said, I think Atlas V barely works for getting Bigelow started.  He really needs to push the ticket price down into the sub $5M per person range before things start really taking off.  

....

Also, a lot does depend on how much of a market Bigelow can really create at the $8-12M range.  ....

I'm guardedly optimistic, but only time will tell.

~Jon

Although I am a commercial space advocates, I am in the same boat as Antonio.  

The Bigelow business case does NOT close using Atlas Vs.  Bigelow is a good businessman -- and he is not stupid.   He will not even attempt a business model that requires him to generate $2 Billion in revenue a year just to break even.

Even starting out with 6 ULA flights a year is way too risky from a business perspective.  

Bigelow is in the same boat as MirCorp.  He needs cheap access to space to close his business case.

I am not sure what Bigelow's purpose is in talking about the Atlas V, but he will not be providing funding to ULA for a large number of Atlas Vs any time soon.   The business risk is way too high.

In the meantime, it costs Bigelow essentially nothing to do a study with Lockheed and ULA, and he will learn something in the process.

- CSA1



The Atlas V discussion does give potential competitors a target date to meet and a calculable price to beat, if they can manage either. And emerging competition, if any, would give ULA a motivation to lower prices, if possible. That'd be purpose enough.

Offline clongton

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #146 on: 02/05/2008 11:49 AM »
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Second Stage - 5/2/2008  7:39 AM

LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 1, 2008 –Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services are engaged in discussions and converging on terms to supply Atlas V launch vehicles to provide crew and cargo transportation services to a Bigelow-built space complex.


Quote
William Barton - 4/2/2008  5:35 PM

Those flight rates sound dandy, but though the LV exists, there's still no crew vehicle to fly on it.
So ULA/LM provides the launch vehicle. Bigelow provides the destination. The announcement specifically states "crew and cargo transportation services". The question is where is the middle piece, the spacecraft to connect the Atlas and Bigelow Station?

Buried in the literature in a LM Atlas-V Family document, which is available from this site, is a brief couple of paragraphs about their ongoing relationship with SpaceDev. I have *heard* that it may be a triangle relationship which includes Bigelow. If that is true, and I do not know that to be fact, then the DreamChaser will fly on an Atlas V to Bigelow Station. If it can do that, ISS cannot be that far behind.

Regardless of that "potential", LM is in continuing discussions with SpaceDev and development of the DreamChaser is underway. How far along the entire process actually is I do not know. What I do know is that DreamChaser is no longer just a concept. Actual design engineering is underway. It may not be all that long before we see a prototype fly.

Shana Dale may well get her wish.
Cargo in an ARCTUS
Crew in a DreamChaser

Of course, all this could be just so much wishful thinking.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Jim

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #147 on: 02/05/2008 12:12 PM »
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Second Stage - 5/2/2008  7:39 AM

This pretty much says it all... With Bigalow flying the Atlas, NASA can now forget about having to risk everything on a new rocket.  And, with a flight rate that they are talking about in this press release, the more the merrier as all will benefit from the lower costs.  COTS money will go with whoever is flying the Atlas.


Who says?  
Predicted flight rates never come true
This does mean anything yet

Offline CommSpaceAdvocate1

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Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #148 on: 02/05/2008 07:37 PM »
Rocket Man (who appears to be a NASA insider) claims that Boeing is a COTS semi-finalist, and Andrews is not.  See:

http://rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/02/handicapping-cots.html

Has anybody else independently heard anything like this?

Can anybody confirm/refute this claim?

- CSA1

PS -- Anybody want to vote for Boeing?   :laugh:

Offline Jim

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #149 on: 02/05/2008 11:17 PM »
There is another possibility.  Boeing  and Andrews could have both made it.  Only "4" finalists was never officially confirmed

Offline Sid454

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #150 on: 02/06/2008 12:11 AM »
I voted for Orbital,Spacedev and Spacehab as Spacehab and Spacedev have very nice vehicles that provide what is needed for COTS while Orbital's Taurus II is a very good and cheap vehicle not as cheap as falcon 9 it is still a lot cheaper then an EELV plus they have the X34 program experience which is a plus.
Also the NK33 engine is man rated and can be produced in the US before the supply of 90 engines runs out.

I don't like ATK's launch vehicle all solids or the cargo vehicle too small a reentry vehicle and really it's a very inflexible design you would be better off buying ATVs from the ESA or HII's from JAXA or even making a stretched cargo Orion that rides up on the Jupiter 130.

Offline Sid454

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #151 on: 02/06/2008 12:36 AM »
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CommSpaceAdvocate1 - 5/2/2008  2:37 PM

Rocket Man (who appears to be a NASA insider) claims that Boeing is a COTS semi-finalist, and Andrews is not.  See:

http://rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/02/handicapping-cots.html

Has anybody else independently heard anything like this?

Can anybody confirm/refute this claim?

- CSA1

PS -- Anybody want to vote for Boeing?   :laugh:

Boeing could be a contender they have a launch vehicle and good one though a little expensive but they don't have an orbital vehicle.

Though before the Columbia accident when they were thinking on keeping the STS system into the 2020's they did offer to build the OV200 series shuttles so I'm sure they can make a vehicle quickly though I'm not sure if they can do it cheaply.

Though I do not agree with him on COTS being a sham for a nasa experiment it has been very cheap and very low risk.

If anything is very far from being a sham possibly getting two crewed vehicles for a mere $500M investment is an outstanding deal.

Now the X33 was a sham and so is Ares I though the concept of a shuttle derived vehicle is necessarily a bad thing just how it's being implemented esp with the burning your bridges method is a sham.

A proper shuttle derived vehicle would have enough commonality with the shuttle the new vehicle could be slowly phased in vs a disruptive switch over which creates a gap.

I know some fanboy might come and defend Ares and the mind numbing stupidity of the decisions made by the upper management at NASA but I know I'm right.

Offline Jim

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #152 on: 02/06/2008 12:49 AM »
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Sid454 - 5/2/2008  8:36 PM

1.  Boeing could be a contender they have a launch vehicle and good one though a little expensive but they don't have an orbital vehicle.

2.  A proper shuttle derived vehicle would have enough commonality with the shuttle the new vehicle could be slowly phased in vs a disruptive switch over which creates a gap.

1.  Boeing doesn't have a launch vehicle usable for COTS.   Sealaunch is not a US vehicle.

2.  Not viable for this purpose.  What does the first "C" in COTS mean?  Certainly not shuttle derived

Offline Sid454

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #153 on: 02/06/2008 12:57 AM »
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Zap83 - 4/2/2008  4:52 PM

...but if Atlas 5 begins to be used at that rate, the costs for each launch would be driven down. Anyone have any reasonable estimate as to how significant a price drop that would be? ...

...but it seems somewhat relevant due to the fact that one of the cons of ARCTUS is that EELV's are expensive (although when looking at the per ton costs it is certainly not terrible).


Per ton cost really is the only cost that truly with matters COTS as it is for cargo transport so for anything to be viable it must have a low cost per ton or it is not a viable option.

This might be partly why spacex went from the falcon 5 to falcon 9 as the larger vehicle offers a lower cost per ton.

As for the cost of an EELV yes they will drop in price with higher flight rates heck even the shuttle could have been very cheap if it had a high flight rate.

It's simple economics if you produce something in large numbers the cost for each example becomes lower due to the economics of mass production.
The cost of R&D , tooling up and having facilities lay idle becomes a smaller portion of the total cost.

Over all their cost could drop by 30 to over 40% then once the flight rate is that high they could investigate other means of cutting costs such as a reusable first stage or upper stage vehicle.

In the case of spacedev they might slowly switch over to their hybrid booster system which in theory should be very cheap to produce.

Offline Jim

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Re: COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll
« Reply #154 on: 02/06/2008 01:07 AM »
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Sid454 - 5/2/2008  8:57 PM

1.  Per ton cost really is the only cost that truly with matters COTS as it is for cargo transport so for anything to be viable it must have a low cost per ton or it is not a viable option.

2.  This might be partly why spacex went from the falcon 5 to falcon 9 as the larger vehicle offers a lower cost per ton.


1.  Has nothing to do with COTS  I and II.  It just has to work for COTS II

2.  incorrect.  5 wasn't big enough to be manned

Offline Sid454

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #155 on: 02/06/2008 01:14 AM »
The delta IV is usable and is 100% America also kinda funny ATK's launch vehicle does use part of a shuttle SRB which makes it as shuttle derived as Ares is.

The delta IV-H might be expensive but it's cost per ton isn't that bad and compares very well with most cheaper rockets.
It is the most powerful launch vehicle in service and will remain so until the falcon 9-H flies though with regen RS68s it'll reclaim the top position which it'll hold until ares V or Direct flies or spacex builds the BFR.

BTW they are a commercial company so I think that qualifies for the C in COTS the only rule is they must foot half the bill. :bleh:

Offline Jim

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #156 on: 02/06/2008 01:18 AM »
Quote
Sid454 - 5/2/2008  9:14 PM

1.  The delta IV is usable and is 100% America also kinda funny ATK's launch vehicle does use part of a shuttle SRB which makes it as shuttle derived as Ares is.

2..ATK's launch vehicle does use part of a shuttle SRB which makes it as shuttle derived as Ares is.

1.  delta IV is not Boeing's.  It is ULA's.  Hence there is no advantage to Boeing, ULA will support all users equally

2.  no,  Ares uses LC-39

Offline Jim

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #157 on: 02/06/2008 01:33 AM »
Quote
Sid454 - 5/2/2008  9:14 PM

It is the most powerful launch vehicle in service and will remain so until the falcon 9-H flies though with regen RS68s it'll reclaim the top position which it'll hold until ares V or Direct flies or spacex builds the BFR.

D-IV H is bigger than than falcon 9-H

No plans for  regen RS68s

Start backing up your claims

Offline Smoothie

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #158 on: 02/06/2008 02:05 AM »
Quote
CommSpaceAdvocate1 - 5/2/2008  3:37 AM

Rocket Man (who appears to be a NASA insider) claims that Boeing is a COTS semi-finalist, and Andrews is not.  See:

http://rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/02/handicapping-cots.html

Has anybody else independently heard anything like this?

Can anybody confirm/refute this claim?

- CSA1

PS -- Anybody want to vote for Boeing?   :laugh:

Yes Boeing is definitely a COTS 1.5 finalist.  I know nothing about Andrews.  I certainly do not think Boeing is a "ringer" by any means though.  We will have to wait for the NASA decision.

Offline Sid454

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RE: Boeing as COTS semi finalist???
« Reply #159 on: 02/06/2008 03:59 AM »
Better go look at the specs before you post yes the falcon 9-H will be the most powerful launch vehicle when it flies unless direct launcher is built instead of ares I.

Falcon 9-H 27,500Kg 28.5 degree 185 nm circular orbit
http://www.spacex.com/falcon9_heavy.php

Dela IV-H 23,000kg  to 25,800kg in a 28.5 degree 185mn circular orbit
http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/delta/delta4/delta4.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/delheavy.htm

F9-H lifts about 1700kg to 4,500Kg more.

Also possible evolutions of the delta http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/delta.htm
The original source was off Boeing's site when they were competing for the CEV contract perhaps they should have won it.

Regen engines are planned as an eventual upgrade if a customer ever wants the increased performance and might also be used on Ares V to make up the payload mass shortage.

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