Author Topic: Antares General Discussion Thread  (Read 258342 times)

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #740 on: 10/25/2017 09:22 PM »
I knew that Orbital ATK would think about launching more Cygnus spacecrafts atop Atlas V; it was a matter of time.

After OA-7, Antares would have launched seven times plus the Orb-3 failure in 2014. Compared to 73 successes out of the previous 74 Atlas V flights, I think one of the reasons that the latter would be used for Cygnus is because of its higher success rate.
Don't discount the effects of flight frequency.

It's a huge cost to have a LV supply chain, support and dev costs spread over few launches. At a time where even with ULA's incredible history with Atlas V, they are fighting the costs battle tooth and nail.

It's just too expensive to keep alive your own LV, it may seem.

add:
(I'd suspected when they flew first on Atlas that this would happen. Also have been quite skeptical of RD-181 not due to costs but due to other issues with RD-191/193, and Angara's delays/issues.) And having been skeptical before that of AJ-26's unique history of storage/test.

Cheap Russian ORSC kerolox and cheap Ukrainian booster stage fabrication just isn't enough for this market, I'm afraid.
« Last Edit: 10/25/2017 09:27 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #741 on: 10/26/2017 05:14 AM »
Why?  What's going on with Antares?

Is it more cost-effective for OA to supplement Cygnus/Antares launches with Cygnus/Atlas V launches?

Is an outside vendor's "ride" less expensive than purchasing their own rocket?

I don't think Orbital ever really embraced Antares... They had to pretty much be dragged into COTS and CRS as NASA was desperate for another COTS entry besides SpaceX. NASA were so desperate that they even bent over backwards and built the integration and processing hangar at Wallops for Orbital. Orbital (and then OrbitalATK) went ahead with it because there was some slight profit to be had... But with the mishap and more competition, I think the end of Antares may be near. Especially if OrbitalATK doesn't even want to use it for their *own* missions to ISS.

Offline Nate_Trost

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #742 on: 10/26/2017 04:23 PM »
How many Antares have Orbital committed to integrate at this point? I'm presuming they'll fly all the first and second stages they bought, but how many is that? The tea leaves sure sound like the number won't be more than what they've already contracted.
« Last Edit: 10/26/2017 04:23 PM by Nate_Trost »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #743 on: 10/26/2017 08:32 PM »
None past November's, that I'm aware of launch contracts for.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #744 on: 10/27/2017 12:21 AM »
So you draw the conclusion that Antares launcher offering will end in the not to distant future.
It's NASA that prefers launching Cygnus on Atlas V above Antares, because of the higher payload capability.
OATK stil has to launch OA-8 to OA-11 right for COTS1 extended?. OA-8 will launch on Antares and I expect at least one more. Some of them will launch on Atlas V.

Secondly, both Atlas V and Antares use RD-18x engines, not so much difference there. I agree with the launch cost spiraling out of control. Does someone know how many tanks OATK has laying around?
I think that OATK will launch those; Or Yuzhnoye buys them back for Cyclone-M.

So is the conclusion that Antares 200 will use up the existing amount of tanks. Antares 300 won't be developed, instead it will be replaced by a NGL version.
What is comparable to Antares?:
A) Castor 600 + Castor 30XL
B) Castor 300+ Castor 300 + Castor 30XL
C) Castor 300 + Castor 120 + Castor 30XL
D) Castor 600 + BE-3UEN  uperstage (Centaur V?)
E) Castor 300 + BE-3UEN
Added: (also proposed before)
A-) Castor300 + Castor30XL + Newton3/4 (new upper-stage)
Or Bradford / Rutherford,  enz. (You get it?)  Could become Athena vII.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2017 12:43 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #745 on: 10/27/2017 02:16 AM »
So you draw the conclusion that Antares launcher offering will end in the not to distant future.
No, draw the conclusion that Antares is unlikely to fly beyond November.

Quote
It's NASA that prefers launching Cygnus on Atlas V above Antares, because of the higher payload capability.
Don't know. Might be that larger Cygnus is a better trade for many reasons including those unrelated to NASA. Might be to close out the contract soonest with the least risk.

Quote
OATK stil has to launch OA-8 to OA-11 right for COTS1 extended?. OA-8 will launch on Antares and I expect at least one more. Some of them will launch on Atlas V.
They don't have to launch on Antares. They just have to be launched.

Quote
Secondly, both Atlas V and Antares use RD-18x engines, not so much difference there.
No, big difference. Very different engines, flight histories, cost structures, vendor/client relationships.

Quote
I agree with the launch cost spiraling out of control. Does someone know how many tanks OATK has laying around?
I think that OATK will launch those; Or Yuzhnoye buys them back for Cyclone-M.
Launch costs not just the vehicle direct costs. Don't know where Antares program is headed. New owner may not have decided (or can't act).

Nothing to do with Cyclone-M.

Quote
So is the conclusion that Antares 200 will use up the existing amount of tanks. Antares 300 won't be developed, instead it will be replaced by a NGL version.
Not known. One advantage of launching on Atlas might be to sort things out while keeping CRS commitments.

Quote
What is comparable to Antares?:
...
Wrong question at this point.

Better question - does Northrup Grumman want an "in house" launch service provider? If so, serving with what pads/propulsion/purpose? What does it do otherwise?

Then you can understand what comes next.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #746 on: 10/27/2017 03:54 AM »
So yeah, probably at least a couple more launches.

But I think OrbitalATK primarily likes keeping Antares around as a bargaining chip. And having low cadence launch vehicles seems to be Orbital's weird specialty...
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #747 on: 10/27/2017 03:55 AM »
I like Antares launches because they're only like 2 or 3 hours' drive from where I live. They're the only real "big boy" launches I've ever seen.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #748 on: 10/27/2017 02:29 PM »
None past November's, that I'm aware of launch contracts for.
Three through 2019, including OA-8.  Then six more 2019-2024, though some or all of those could go on Atlas 5.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/10/10/wallops-launch-base-receives-final-hardware-delivery-for-next-cygnus-mission/

Orbital ATK ordered eight RD-181 engines in 2015.  That's enough for four Antares launches, including one that has already flown.  The company has an option to buy as many as 30 engines.

 - Ed Kyle
The SFN article below said that OA-8 through OA-12 are baselined for Antares.

Quote
“The first mission type is a pressurized cargo mission on Antares, very similar to what we’re flying on OA-8 to OA-11,” DeMauro said in a July 11 interview. “Those will have a little bit more cargo capacity, but it’s an Antares-based mission.”

NASA has authorized the first of the six Cygnus flights planned from 2019 through 2014. Named OA-12, that mission will launch on an Antares booster from Wallops Island with pressurized cargo.

“We have six missions that have been contracted for on CRS-2,” said Frank Culbertson, a former astronaut and president of Orbital ATK’s space systems group. “The first one has been given a go-ahead for activity, so we are doing long-lead purchasing, beginning the process to … start building the structure. That one should launch in, we hope, 2019.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/08/03/orbital-atk-kicks-off-follow-on-station-cargo-contract-targets-next-antares-launch-in-october/

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #749 on: 10/28/2017 02:48 AM »
Note this was a pre-merger article, more than a month ahead of the merger. And that the launch of OA-8 also was delayed to the following month.

When I read it more critically, it reads more like a business continuity piece meant to insure that the CRS contracts would continue to be serviced. No talk of expansion of capabilities, new vehicles, or the like.

You also couldn't tell if the advanced purchases were both vehicles or just in reference to Cygnus.

Acquirers often cancel supply contracts for follow on business, because given the greater heft of the combined firm they can usually get a better deal.

So I'm still not convinced that the Antares manifest will stick that long. Perhaps fly out of the existing inventory, but without other payloads beyond Cygnus, and no follow on announcements for "Antares 300" ... seems like a "one trick pony" to me. Too easy to pull the plug after the following four and get a bulk deal for Atlas V.

Then you don't carry the risk of a low/no growth business.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #750 on: 11/13/2017 08:21 PM »
Frank DeMauro said that OA's plan is to continue flying Cygnus on Antares, and that they currently have orders out to OA-13.

Quote
DeMauro said there are no plans to return to the Atlas 5 for the foreseeable future, as the company completes its original Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract and starts a follow-on award called CRS-2. “Our baseline plan is to continue to fly Cygnus on Antares,” he said. “We are ready to respond to our customer’s needs, if they should require something different, but for all of the rest of CRS-1 and so far for the CRS-2 missions we’re planning to do them on Antares.”

After this launch, Orbital ATK has three missions remaining on its CRS contract, OA-9, 10 and 11. No firm launch dates have been set, but DeMauro said OA-9 could launch as soon as the first quarter of 2018. OA-10 would then likely follow in the fall of 2018 and OA-11 in early 2019. DeMauro said later that NASA has ordered two Cygnus missions so far under its CRS-2 contract, OA-12 and 13.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-looks-to-antares-to-handle-cargo-resupply-missions/

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #751 on: 11/13/2017 09:19 PM »
It was reported that OA-5 and OA-8 both had slight overperformance putting their payloads into higher orbits than planned so models will be adjusted, which will also allow for slightly greater payload mass.

Offline Tomness

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #752 on: 11/13/2017 10:48 PM »
Frank DeMauro said that OA's plan is to continue flying Cygnus on Antares, and that they currently have orders out to OA-13.

Quote
DeMauro said there are no plans to return to the Atlas 5 for the foreseeable future, as the company completes its original Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract and starts a follow-on award called CRS-2. “Our baseline plan is to continue to fly Cygnus on Antares,” he said. “We are ready to respond to our customer’s needs, if they should require something different, but for all of the rest of CRS-1 and so far for the CRS-2 missions we’re planning to do them on Antares.”

After this launch, Orbital ATK has three missions remaining on its CRS contract, OA-9, 10 and 11. No firm launch dates have been set, but DeMauro said OA-9 could launch as soon as the first quarter of 2018. OA-10 would then likely follow in the fall of 2018 and OA-11 in early 2019. DeMauro said later that NASA has ordered two Cygnus missions so far under its CRS-2 contract, OA-12 and 13.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-looks-to-antares-to-handle-cargo-resupply-missions/

I take that as with over preformance.. they can do the Atlas profile with current Antares.. if they do decieced to get the up thrust with extended tanks.. they could do more such as the Super Cygnus if Nasa wanted it or might have to do that under Atlas..

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #753 on: 06/11/2018 08:57 PM »
They snuck another third stage option in at some point. Northrop Grumman's factsheet shows the options of the Star 48, Orbit Adjust Module (used to be called bi-propellant third stage), and now also shows an Orion 38 motor.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #754 on: 06/12/2018 04:42 PM »
They snuck another third stage option in at some point. Northrop Grumman's factsheet shows the options of the Star 48, Orbit Adjust Module (used to be called bi-propellant third stage), and now also shows an Orion 38 motor.
This new fact sheet also shows incremental improvement in performance, especially to LEO.  200 km x 38 deg payload is now about 7.8 tonnes, compared to 6.6 tonnes.  LEO x 51.6 deg is 7.4+ tonnes compared to the previous 6.3 tonnes.  500 km sun synchronous orbit payload is now 3 tonnes for the 231 variant (OAM third stage).  Antares 232 (STAR 48BV third stage) is listed at 1.6 tonnes to escape velocity (better than Delta 2H, better than the old Atlas Centaurs of the 1970s and 1980s, and better than China's CZ-3A).  The old number was about 1.45 tonnes.  Etc.

The new Orion 38 motor is not listed for escape missions.  Perhaps it is aimed at elliptical earth orbit science missions?

These improvements are likely the upgrades mentioned recently for CRS-2, derived from increasing intertank and forward skirt structural margins, improving the Castor 30XL mass ratios, and so on.  This was identified as the "Antares 230+" series by Orbital ATK last month. 

Northrop Grumman has a potent bantam-weight rocket on its hands here, if it can keep costs in line.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/12/2018 07:01 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #755 on: 06/12/2018 09:01 PM »
Speaking of which, can anyone help decipher the Antares 23x+ characteristic energy versus payload chart?  Where would GTO be, for example?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/12/2018 09:06 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #756 on: 06/12/2018 09:18 PM »
Speaking of which, can anyone help decipher the Antares 23x+ characteristic energy versus payload chart?  Where would GTO be, for example?

 - Ed Kyle
I've never done this for a bound orbit, but using the definition that c3 = 2x specific orbital energy, we get

c3 = 2 * (v^2/2- u/r)

For GTO, v = 1596 m/s at the top of the orbit (if a 250 km perigee), r = 42157 km, and u for Earth is 3.986e14, then plugging in we get -16.4 km^2/sec^2.

EDIT: spelling
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 02:35 AM by LouScheffer »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #757 on: 06/13/2018 03:02 AM »
Speaking of which, can anyone help decipher the Antares 23x+ characteristic energy versus payload chart?  Where would GTO be, for example?

 - Ed Kyle
I've never done this for a bound orbit, but using the definition that c3 = 2x specific orbital energy, we get

c3 = 2 * (v^2/2- u/r)

For GTO, v = 1596 m/s at the top of the orbit (if a 250 km perigee), r = 42157 km, and u for Earth is 3.986e14, then plugging in we get -16.4 km^2/sec^2.

EDIT: spelling
OK.  So maybe roughly 2.1 tonnes to GTO for Antares 233 and 2.5 tonnes for Antares 232?  Not too shabby for a Kerosene/LOX-Solid-Solid.  Better than Delta 2 and GSLV Mk 2.  About the same or slightly better than Ariane 40 and Atlas G/Centaur and Soyuz 2-1b/Fregat from Baikonur. 

 - Ed Kyle 
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 03:17 AM by edkyle99 »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #758 on: 06/13/2018 04:08 AM »
Bit light for most GTO missions but might be enough to deliver a OA's Mission Extension Vehicle to GTO.

Offline deruch

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Re: Antares General Discussion Thread
« Reply #759 on: 06/13/2018 12:09 PM »
Some additional pain from the higher latitude of the MARS launch site.  Maybe enough performance to try for a GPS launch without direct injection, though?
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

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