Author Topic: March 5, 2014 Hearing on National Security Space Launch Programs (Musk and Gass)  (Read 114660 times)

Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6262
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2430
  • Likes Given: 805

If the common upper stage is such a good idea, and is common to both designs, why has it not been done already?


Time and money.  ULA has only existed for 7 years.  Also, items like common avionics come first.

Once again, not knowing the nitty-gritties of their corporate finance, all the indications I've seen are that ULA doesn't actually have a lot of free cash available for upgrades. And they limited cash they have had has gone to things like replacing obsolete avionics (I think part of the common avionics upgrades includes replacing vendors who've now gone out of business).

~Jon

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9176
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 339

I was aware of the several areas of commonality that you refer to.  Theoretically, that would have resulted in lower costs, making the arbitrary inflation of the block buy even more questionable ...

No, those are outside the block buy timeframe

I don't understand.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32547
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11333
  • Likes Given: 334

I was aware of the several areas of commonality that you refer to.  Theoretically, that would have resulted in lower costs, making the arbitrary inflation of the block buy even more questionable ...

No, those are outside the block buy timeframe

I don't understand.

The cut in for those mods is after all the vehicles of the block buy have flown (and even then some more)

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9176
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 339

I was aware of the several areas of commonality that you refer to.  Theoretically, that would have resulted in lower costs, making the arbitrary inflation of the block buy even more questionable ...

No, those are outside the block buy timeframe

I don't understand.

The cut in for those mods is after all the vehicles of the block buy have flown (and even then some more)

Jeezy peezies.  It's going to take that long to implement commonality?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7786
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1288
  • Likes Given: 8724
I was hearing that a big cost driver is the propulsion. The rocket engines they get from Aerojet/Rocketdyne (or whatever they're calling the combination now) have been going up in price much faster than inflation. Part of why monopoly/monopsony arrangements suck (even if the technical quality of the engines is great).
It always struck me as odd that XCOR were funded to work on an LO2/LH2 engine when PWR was part of the same group IE that they were buying the RL10 from another part of the same group.  :(

That suggested there was something seriously amiss with engine pricing.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2014 06:15 am by john smith 19 »
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7786
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1288
  • Likes Given: 8724
The cut in for those mods is after all the vehicles of the block buy have flown (and even then some more)
You mean not even the common avionics suite will fly until after the block buy?
« Last Edit: 04/11/2014 09:04 am by john smith 19 »
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5647
  • Liked: 1173
  • Likes Given: 710
Space News is providing ULA's and SpaceX's answers to each others written questions (attached).

In my view, ULA answers SpaceX's questions competently; neither side scores a knock-out blow.

ULA's questions, on the other hand, seem almost to have been written by SpaceX's marketing department: they allow SpaceX to score some significant points in its replies.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2014 02:22 pm by Proponent »

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Space News is providing ULA's and SpaceX's answers to each others written questions (attached).

In my view, ULA answers SpaceX's questions competently; neither side scores a knock-out blow.

ULA's questions, on the other hand, seem almost to have been written by SpaceX's marketing department: they allow SpaceX to score some significant points in its replies.

Makes for great press but isn't a professional way to run a business. ;D
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline MP99

Space News is providing ULA's and SpaceX's answers to each others written questions (attached).

In my view, ULA answers SpaceX's questions competently; neither side scores a knock-out blow.

ULA's questions, on the other hand, seem almost to have been written by SpaceX's marketing department: they allow SpaceX to score some significant points in its replies.

Makes for great press but isn't a professional way to run a business. ;D

Agreed. Both of them come across as petulant teenagers.

Honestly - "sic"?!

cheers, Martin

Tags: