Author Topic: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS  (Read 9953 times)

Offline dark.blue.nine

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Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« on: 08/10/2013 05:28 PM »
Does anyone have a link to a reference for the cost of an Antares or Cygnus (or both) under Orbital's CRS contract with NASA?   I know that the contract is worth $1.9 billion for 8 missions to ISS, or $238 million per mission.  But I'm trying to find the split between the two vehicles within the $238 million figure.

Alternately, does anyone have a link to a cost/price for an Antares or Cygnus for any other (non-CRS) launch or mission?  I'm not aware of any, but I may have missed something.

Thanks much for any help.

Offline Jim

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #1 on: 08/10/2013 06:02 PM »
Doesn't exist in open literature.  The only way is to find the Antares cost.

Offline dark.blue.nine

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #2 on: 08/10/2013 06:47 PM »
Doesn't exist in open literature.  The only way is to find the Antares cost.

Thanks, Jim.  I'm not having any luck finding a price for Antares.  If anyone knows or (especially) can provide a link to a figure, I'd appreciate the clue-by-four.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #3 on: 08/11/2013 04:30 PM »
Doesn't exist in open literature.  The only way is to find the Antares cost.

Thanks, Jim.  I'm not having any luck finding a price for Antares.  If anyone knows or (especially) can provide a link to a figure, I'd appreciate the clue-by-four.

The inaugural flight for Antares (A-One) was an additional money to COTS. I think it was around 95M. But I can't remember. Look it up. Do consider that it did include additional worl. I would take it as an upper bound.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #4 on: 09/19/2013 07:10 PM »
You are assuming that NASA paid for all the work covered under that modification... as Sportin' Life would have said... 8)
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #5 on: 09/19/2013 10:30 PM »
You are assuming that NASA paid for all the work covered under that modification... as Sportin' Life would have said... 8)
Don't tease me! We were trying to get an approximate estimation of a "bare" price for launch. I.e. no integration, a single launch analysis, etc. Or the complete package. From the last statement of ILS, I understand their standard service is around USD 95M (1.5B value contracts for 16 launches). I would guess that, even as heavily subsidized as Proton-M is, it would cost more than an Antares launch.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #6 on: 09/20/2013 12:49 AM »
An you think anyone from Orbital will give you the internal costing data? The odds for the frog making it to orbit are better.

Edit: I'm not trying to be mean, but that's internal financial data that any launch provider would have kittens if the actual data was in the open. Interesting that Antonio's pointed out NASA may not have paid for everything. I suspect if he provided those numbers instead of the frog he would be in the flame trench come November.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2013 01:43 AM by kevin-rf »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #7 on: 09/20/2013 04:16 AM »
Antares has to be able to compete with Atlas V and Falcon 9. That sort of puts a certain cap on its price. And that's exactly why I used the Proton-M as an upper bound. I don't think that saying if it's under 100M is sucha  critical information. After all, you could be talking about the barebones service or a fully burdened with integration, analysis and mission specific mods. The beauty of this is that's so custom than a quoted price alone is sort of meaningless.

Offline Confusador

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #8 on: 09/20/2013 07:23 AM »
I'm not having any luck finding a price for Antares.
We were trying to get an approximate estimation of a "bare" price for launch. I.e. no integration, a single launch analysis, etc. Or the complete package.
An you think anyone from Orbital will give you the internal costing data?

No, they don't.  Obviously.  But in most industries, the base pricing data would be readily available (even if not publicized by the manufacturer).  Space is very strange in that regard, I assume because of how low the volumes are.  Even with SpaceX pushing for more transparency, you still only get a very rough idea of what it would cost to put something in orbit.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #9 on: 09/20/2013 12:00 PM »
You have the base pricing for the 787?
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Offline Confusador

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #10 on: 09/20/2013 01:18 PM »
You have the base pricing for the 787?
Um, yes: http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/prices/.  There are a lot of industries where prices aren't so public, though, but even then they're usually not hard to find by asking around.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #11 on: 09/20/2013 01:33 PM »
That is the list price for the 787, something no one pays. It is often estimated that most of the early 787 adopters paid close to half that. A few of Export-Bank loans that have been published have indicate the "sale" price was closer to $100-$130 million. Some have estimated Air India actually paid a bit less than $100 million.

Which my point, the list price is not the real price and is not what it costs Boeing to produce a 787, nor is it the fully burdened cost to Boeing.

Rockets are just as murky.   
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #12 on: 09/20/2013 02:45 PM »
An you think anyone from Orbital will give you the internal costing data? The odds for the frog making it to orbit are better.

Edit: I'm not trying to be mean, but that's internal financial data that any launch provider would have kittens if the actual data was in the open. Interesting that Antonio's pointed out NASA may not have paid for everything. I suspect if he provided those numbers instead of the frog he would be in the flame trench come November.

Uhhh... You don't know how CLOSE I've been to being in that predicament ...

RIBBIT...
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #13 on: 09/20/2013 03:03 PM »
May I suggest some aloe vera for that "sun burn"...
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Confusador

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #14 on: 09/21/2013 02:01 AM »
That is the list price for the 787, something no one pays. It is often estimated that most of the early 787 adopters paid close to half that. A few of Export-Bank loans that have been published have indicate the "sale" price was closer to $100-$130 million. Some have estimated Air India actually paid a bit less than $100 million.

Which my point, the list price is not the real price and is not what it costs Boeing to produce a 787, nor is it the fully burdened cost to Boeing.

Rockets are just as murky.

We get all of that.  And we definitely don't care what the cost to (in this case) Orbital is.  But you asked whether I had the base price - the one that you start negotiations at - is.  And I do.  Just like I can give you the base price of the servers we buy from IBM, even though that's not what we actually spend.  And I have the base price for a Falcon 9, but again I'm not under the delusion that anyone actually pays it.  All those of us outside the industry would like are some ballpark figures, but the rocket industry is weird about them.  Not that the companies have any obligation to us, of course, but I don't understand why people think the question is strange.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #15 on: 09/21/2013 03:02 AM »
Because placing a satellite in orbit is less like buying car and more like hiring a landscaper to redo your front yard. In the end you have a yard full of rose bushes, but the work cost more than the bushes. Every yard is different and gets charged a different amount.

The true price of a launch is the rocket plus engineering cost plus payload processing costs plus plus launch costs plus mission assurance (cost of the engineers who double check the engineers) plus range costs plus satellite cost plus insurance costs plus ground station costs and the list goes on. Some of those fees go to the launch provider, some do not and every satellite is different with different fees and sets of fees going to the launch provider. There is no standard payload, so no standard cost. Every launch starts as a negotiation of the work needed and the price is generated from that.

btw. There was a great article in todays Wall Street Journal about Boeing trying to determine the price for the new 777-X family. It is fascinating, they are actually taking into account the potential fuel savings and the premium a customer would pay them. Spoiler, the new 777-9X might list for more than a new 747-8i. $400 million.

Btw. Antonioe has made several posts on what is involved in the cost. I for one recommend looking up every post and reading them. The content is mind blowing. He does Orbital and NSF a great service by posting here.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #16 on: 09/21/2013 05:35 PM »
And that's why you have rules of thumb to do back of the envelop cost calculations. Even for landscaping. You can do it by fitting to a budget, and then calculating your soil movement, grass renovation, flower and type amount, etc. Or, you can look at a garden, and do some quick numbers on surface and termination and estimate a quick price. Quick calculations usually get you to +/- 20%. More professional assessment can get you to +/-3%. I've seen a multi million bridge tender won by 300USD. Government tenders are that cutthroat.
Or course that a LV has a multitude of dimensions and is an extremely customized market. But not that different of doing an IC fab, an anechoic chamber or a nuclear plant. And those estimations are done all the time.
BTW, eventually, some GAO report or some NASA project appendix will show some expected cost for Antares.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #17 on: 09/21/2013 09:57 PM »
A very important element of cost is the calendar; the cheapest launch is the one you buy for XX months from now plus or minus two months (the way the commercial operators buy Ariane slots) - the most expensive is "August of 2016 BUT if we miss that Mars window it will be May of 2018"...
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #18 on: 09/21/2013 10:26 PM »
I know that the contract is worth $1.9 billion for 8 missions to ISS, or $238 million per mission.  But I'm trying to find the split between the two vehicles within the $238 million figure.

That's like saying you paid $20 for a ticket on a train and asking how to split that between the locomotive and the passenger cars.  As a passenger, you can't buy a ticket that uses one but not the other, so to you there's no breakdown, they are a package deal.  To the railway company, there is some cost to produce the locomotive and some cost to produce the passenger cars, but there are lots of other costs, such as the salary of the conductor and the track.  Plus, what the railway company charges you as the customer isn't necessarily particularly related to how much it cost them, it can be more closely related to what they can get you to pay.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #19 on: 09/21/2013 10:57 PM »
Reminds me of something a comedian once said. When sitting in your seat on a cross country flight, you can feel very smug in knowing no two people on the flight paid the same price for the flight.
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Antares/Cygnus Cost Split Under CRS
« Reply #20 on: 09/22/2013 06:05 PM »
Plus, what the [launch vehicle or satellite supplier] company charges you as the customer isn't necessarily particularly related to how much it cost them, it can be more closely related to what they can get you to pay.


The good news: this is TRUE.

The bad news: sometimes, that number is lower than your direct costs, but it helps meet the payroll so you accept that loss (the trick is to make the AVERAGE positive...)
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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