Poll

Is the upcoming Vulcan LV a "new LV" or an upgraded Atlas V?

The Vulcan is an upgraded Atlas V--the USAF will say so and it's using the same Centaur stage after all!  
The Vulcan's a new LV no matter what the USAF or ULA says.  It's too different to be an upgraded Atlas V!  
I'm not sure.  
The Vulcan will only truly be a new LV when it ditches the Centaur stage for the ACES second stage.

Author Topic: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle  (Read 483370 times)

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1000 on: 05/21/2015 07:58 am »
Which makes a hypothetical mockery of the air force's "goal" of introducing competition into the EELV program. How can a competitor compete if their competition has insider access?
There's no hypothetical about it.

That would be a mockery of the idea of competition if the information was only supplied to existing  suppliers on the EELV programme, as that would be ULA only.  :(

Note the USAF did something similar with Shuttle and their return-to-launch-site abort requirement.
However while they never said why they wanted it all responders to the STS programme were aware it was a requirement.
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Offline Jim

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1001 on: 05/21/2015 10:37 am »

Note the USAF did something similar with Shuttle and their return-to-launch-site abort requirement.
However while they never said why they wanted it all responders to the STS programme were aware it was a requirement.


Because it was in the requirements documents.  Reasons for requirements don't have to be passed on to the contractors.  But it was in this case.  The USAF orginally had one orbit satellite deploy or retrieve missions from VAFB. 
« Last Edit: 05/21/2015 10:42 am by Jim »

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1002 on: 05/21/2015 01:38 pm »
Ouch....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-doesn39t-see-business-case-yet-for-rd-180-412598/

Quote
Boeing’s president of network and space systems says he’s yet to see the business case for developing an alternative rocket engine to the Russian-built RD-180 that powers the Atlas V rocket, even as lawmakers press the US military to develop an American-made alternative by 2019.

and the Zinger...

Quote
Cooning says the air force could lean more heavily on the Delta Heavy for space launches, even though that launch vehicle is more expensive than the Atlas. “We could do all the mission for national security space on the Delta, and you’d end up using more Delta Heavies than you historically would if you had a mix of Atlas and Delta,” he says.
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1003 on: 05/21/2015 02:22 pm »
Without Boeing support, it would not appear possible for Vulcan to progress to flight.

Odd to announce Vulcan where such support is not present from one 50% player/owner on your board of directors.
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1004 on: 05/21/2015 02:23 pm »
That seems like a wager that the government will always pay any amount to necessary. Either that no serious competition will materialize or that redundancy will be able command a very high price. Not a good wager IMHO.

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1005 on: 05/21/2015 02:25 pm »
Ouch....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-doesn39t-see-business-case-yet-for-rd-180-412598/

Quote
Boeing’s president of network and space systems says he’s yet to see the business case for developing an alternative rocket engine to the Russian-built RD-180 that powers the Atlas V rocket, even as lawmakers press the US military to develop an American-made alternative by 2019.


He is talking about the USAF program to replace it and not the BE engine.  Nowhere does he says the he or Boeing doesn't support Vulcan nor can that be inferred from his comments.
« Last Edit: 05/21/2015 02:28 pm by Jim »

Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1006 on: 05/21/2015 06:53 pm »
He is talking about the USAF program to replace it and not the BE engine.  Nowhere does he says the he or Boeing doesn't support Vulcan nor can that be inferred from his comments.
Motivation?

Is it because there's no other consumers for the engine than ULA and they've already made other arrangements?

Offline McDew

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1007 on: 05/21/2015 07:29 pm »
Ouch....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-doesn39t-see-business-case-yet-for-rd-180-412598/

Quote
Boeing’s president of network and space systems says he’s yet to see the business case for developing an alternative rocket engine to the Russian-built RD-180 that powers the Atlas V rocket, even as lawmakers press the US military to develop an American-made alternative by 2019.

Tory Bruno was the guest speaker today at the Washington Space Business Roundtable luncheon.  SpaceNews asked him to address this report during the Q&A.  My notes are as follows:
1. Yes, the report is correct, the business case for Vulcan does not currently close.  Still working the details, including business risk items.
2. Owners have only authorized the program one quarter at a time and he has to go back each quarter for additional funding.
3. Business case is contingent on getting relief to continue to use additional RD-180's until Vulcan is ready.
4. Without relief on using more RD-180's, can not bridge the program until the Vulcan is ready and they will not complete the Vulcan development

« Last Edit: 05/21/2015 07:32 pm by McDew »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1008 on: 05/21/2015 08:03 pm »
Sounds like the fat lady is warming up in the wings.

But what's the song she'll sing?

   "Breaking up is hard to do?"

   "End of Assured Denial to Space Policy"

   "Can't kick that Russian Engine habit?"

   "Smart nation/provider, stupid choices"

   "Made in the USA ... really matters"

  "You're stuck for life ... get over it"

  "Ignore that SX over there ..."

Offline saliva_sweet

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1009 on: 05/21/2015 08:15 pm »
4. Without relief on using more RD-180's, can not bridge the program until the Vulcan is ready and they will not complete the Vulcan development

A strong statement they won't be making any friends with. Basically an ultimatum. They must be pretty desperate.

Offline AncientU

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1010 on: 05/21/2015 08:19 pm »
Ouch....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-doesn39t-see-business-case-yet-for-rd-180-412598/

Quote
Boeing’s president of network and space systems says he’s yet to see the business case for developing an alternative rocket engine to the Russian-built RD-180 that powers the Atlas V rocket, even as lawmakers press the US military to develop an American-made alternative by 2019.


He is talking about the USAF program to replace it and not the BE engine.  Nowhere does he says the he or Boeing doesn't support Vulcan nor can that be inferred from his comments.

Vulcan's business case doesn't close, according to Tory and this article, nor does the case to re-engine the Atlas V.  Sounds like business as usual with the RD-180, or no business -- period.
(There is even less case for the USG program to develop an engine, but the Boeing comments were broader than that.)
« Last Edit: 05/21/2015 08:21 pm by AncientU »
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Offline sdsds

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1011 on: 05/21/2015 09:58 pm »
He is talking about the USAF program to replace it and not the BE engine.

Vulcan's business case doesn't close, according to Tory and this article, nor does the case to re-engine the Atlas V.  Sounds like business as usual with the RD-180, or no business -- period.

Blue, ULA and USAF could be getting clever, leaving the solution for Congress to "discover." By supporting development of a methalox replacement instead of a kerolox replacement (paying down some risk and bringing in the schedule), Congress might be able to close the Vulcan business case.
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Online edkyle99

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1012 on: 05/21/2015 10:44 pm »
3. Business case is contingent on getting relief to continue to use additional RD-180's until Vulcan is ready.
4. Without relief on using more RD-180's, can not bridge the program until the Vulcan is ready and they will not complete the Vulcan development
Vulcan shakedown.  Deeply disappointing.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/21/2015 10:44 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1013 on: 05/21/2015 10:46 pm »
Blue, ULA and USAF could be getting clever, leaving the solution for Congress to "discover." By supporting development of a methalox replacement instead of a kerolox replacement (paying down some risk and bringing in the schedule), Congress might be able to close the Vulcan business case.

I keep hoping that ULA's position is part of a strategy to get the Air Force (with Congressional blessing) to agree to locking in a certain amount of launches for ULA launchers during the Vulcan development, regardless whether it's Atlas V or Delta IV-M.

If it's not part of some grand plan, then the comments from Boeing would be evidence of a huge disconnect between ULA and at least one of it's parents.  And that could bode for some big changes afoot...
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Offline AncientU

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1014 on: 05/21/2015 11:29 pm »
3. Business case is contingent on getting relief to continue to use additional RD-180's until Vulcan is ready.
4. Without relief on using more RD-180's, can not bridge the program until the Vulcan is ready and they will not complete the Vulcan development
Vulcan shakedown.  Deeply disappointing.

 - Ed Kyle

Quote
America’s #1 Space Launch Provider
Quote
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 90 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37055.msg1347221#msg1347221

The face ULA wants the Nation to see... quite a contrast.  Despite the rhetoric, they are simply in it for the bucks.  Nothing wrong with that... but wrapping themselves in the flag should be seen as the crass commercial advertising that it is.
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Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1015 on: 05/21/2015 11:54 pm »
Tory Bruno was the guest speaker today at the Washington Space Business Roundtable luncheon.  SpaceNews asked him to address this report during the Q&A.  My notes are as follows:
1. Yes, the report is correct, the business case for Vulcan does not currently close.  Still working the details, including business risk items.
2. Owners have only authorized the program one quarter at a time and he has to go back each quarter for additional funding.
3. Business case is contingent on getting relief to continue to use additional RD-180's until Vulcan is ready.
4. Without relief on using more RD-180's, can not bridge the program until the Vulcan is ready and they will not complete the Vulcan development

A bit of clarification if you have it. Does the Business case gap for Vulcan include later stage development or does the business case gap include the new core/BE-4?

Seems to me that ULA is stating that they cant develop a new launcher if Congress shuts them out of the booster competition before Vulcan is ready.  Besides the gross politicization of the RD-180 purchases nothing else in the launch sector has changed (Russia hasnt stopped shipping them, they need the hard currency as is). U.S. access to space will be harmed if this ban is not lifted until Vulcan is ready, as the military wont have two providers for assured access.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1016 on: 05/22/2015 12:03 am »

The face ULA wants the Nation to see... quite a contrast.  Despite the rhetoric, they are simply in it for the bucks.  Nothing wrong with that... but wrapping themselves in the flag should be seen as the crass commercial advertising that it is.

If there's "nothing wrong with it" why do you even bring it up?  Every company that exists, exits to make money, whether for their employees, or their multi-billionaire owners.  Especially if it's a publicly traded company with stockholders, as LMT and BA are.  LMT and BA control what goes back to those companies, NOT ULA.  Elon Musk wants to make just as much money.  That's why he's fighting to get all the DoD business.  He even sued the USAF.  He already has a good chunk of NASA work (government $$ as well).  If all he really wants to do is go to MARS, then spend another 5 or 10 billion of his own money and just do it.  His net worth will still be more than any LMT or BA CEO that ever lived.

I'm just tired of all the anti-ULA, SpaceX-is-wonderful rhetoric.  You should be slamming LMT and BA, not ULA.
ULA still has a charter they have to live to. 
« Last Edit: 05/22/2015 12:14 am by Newton_V »

Offline a_langwich

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1017 on: 05/22/2015 12:05 am »
Ouch....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-doesn39t-see-business-case-yet-for-rd-180-412598/

Quote
Boeing’s president of network and space systems says he’s yet to see the business case for developing an alternative rocket engine to the Russian-built RD-180 that powers the Atlas V rocket, even as lawmakers press the US military to develop an American-made alternative by 2019.


He is talking about the USAF program to replace it and not the BE engine.  Nowhere does he says the he or Boeing doesn't support Vulcan nor can that be inferred from his comments.

Vulcan's business case doesn't close, according to Tory and this article, nor does the case to re-engine the Atlas V.  Sounds like business as usual with the RD-180, or no business -- period.
(There is even less case for the USG program to develop an engine, but the Boeing comments were broader than that.)

Put some context here..."Vulcan's business case doesn't close" IF ULA can't bridge the development and certification period reasonably profitably to help fund it.  In other words, you've got to have the cash flow to fund both ongoing operations and new vehicle development, and ULA doesn't have a pocket billionaire or the ability to stiff its shareholders.

So if it appears Congress wants to stick it to ULA and force them to be uncompetitive by using Delta (the way many on this forum appear to wish), then either USAF will have to suck it up and not compete a bunch of contracts to keep Delta busy and high-volume (thereby wasting vast amounts of USAF money), or USAF will have to heavily fund Vulcan development (the very opposite of the point of competing contracts, and likely to endanger Vulcan's future competitiveness because USAF can't keep its hands off requirements if it does), or USAF will have to settle for no assured access, or USAF will have to keep ULA and Delta on life support as it has been for years.  All of those options are shabby alternatives to pushing the deadline back.  Poorer for DOD, USAF, the American taxpayer, and all of us space fans who retain a speck of impartiality and want the best possible launch vehicles from all providers going forward.

IF USAF decided getting the AR-1 finished was a priority, and mounted an all-out crash program to make sure that happened--and they've already wasted a precious year not doing anything or spending money they had for just that purpose--and if Aerojet Rocketdyne also burned up the wood in an all-out crash program as well, perhaps the 2019 deadline could be reachable re-engining the Atlas V.  (Even so, whether that's a worthy objective depends on how cost-effectively AR can produce the engine for future vehicles, which is a large open question.)  But it appears DOD, USAF, OMB, and NASA are all hesitant to fund AR-1 development, and instead feel like a few more tech development projects testing injectors or turbopumps or friction-stir welding another tank design will somehow be better uses of the money. 

I'm all for tech development, but when you need payloads launched you've got to have a real piece of hardware, and that means funding development of a whole vehicle.  Or let ULA fund development, but they have to have ongoing revenue to do that.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1018 on: 05/22/2015 12:36 am »
Quote
So if it appears Congress wants to stick it to ULA and force them to be uncompetitive by using Delta (the way many on this forum appear to wish), then either USAF will have to suck it up and not compete a bunch of contracts to keep Delta busy and high-volume (thereby wasting vast amounts of USAF money), or USAF will have to heavily fund Vulcan development (the very opposite of the point of competing contracts, and likely to endanger Vulcan's future competitiveness because USAF can't keep its hands off requirements if it does), or USAF will have to settle for no assured access, or USAF will have to keep ULA and Delta on life support as it has been for years.

It's not that complicated, and no one has said or implied that USAF will have to "heavily fund" Vulcan development. ULA is merely saying they need the RD-180 ban relaxed so they can keep Atlas V revenue coming in until Vulcan is certified.

Offline a_langwich

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Re: ULA's new Vulcan Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1019 on: 05/22/2015 01:05 am »
Quote
So if it appears Congress wants to stick it to ULA and force them to be uncompetitive by using Delta (the way many on this forum appear to wish), then either USAF will have to suck it up and not compete a bunch of contracts to keep Delta busy and high-volume (thereby wasting vast amounts of USAF money), or USAF will have to heavily fund Vulcan development (the very opposite of the point of competing contracts, and likely to endanger Vulcan's future competitiveness because USAF can't keep its hands off requirements if it does), or USAF will have to settle for no assured access, or USAF will have to keep ULA and Delta on life support as it has been for years.

It's not that complicated, and no one has said or implied that USAF will have to "heavily fund" Vulcan development. ULA is merely saying they need the RD-180 ban relaxed so they can keep Atlas V revenue coming in until Vulcan is certified.

Perhaps you misunderstood, those were alternatives if the ban were not relaxed, and they aren't as palatable.

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