Author Topic: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne  (Read 10391 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #20 on: 09/30/2018 09:09 pm »
Not everyone needs to be an apex predator to survive and thrive, so Aerojet Rocketdyne may do just fine carving out their own niche in the aerospace world.

But they can lost a very import part of that niche in the aerospace world...

First with Vulcan choice the engine BE-4...second, the present of OmegA, is not sure...and the future of SLS in 10 years is doubt...thats mean, they maybe lost all options in comercial launchers vehicule, and that is important gross part of her revenue...

It's a huge leap to go from an engine manufacturer to a launch services provider, and they currently have no relevant experience in launch services that would give them an advantage over the incumbents and up-and-coming competitors.

However they do have lots of experience with high-tolerance, high-quality aerospace systems, and if they are flush with cash it would make sense to broaden their portfolio of products and services - like what many companies have done in order to isolate their businesses from the vagaries of any one market segment.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline brickmack

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #21 on: 09/30/2018 09:33 pm »
Well AR did try to aggressively take over ULA but Boeing and Lockheed Martin said no and resulted in AR losing its AJ60A contract to OATK and them not being selected for anything so far on Vulcan.

AR won the upper stage engine contract for Vulcan. Also, GEM-63 was selected for Vulcan only days after that incident, it seems very unlikely that ULA would have been able to solicit that and OATK be able to respond in such a short time. More likely, Aerojet already expected to lose the Vulcan booster contract (and probably the Atlas booster contract as well, since there is a large performance and cost advantage to GEM-63 and it helps buy down risk for Vulcan), on top of their very shakey AR-1 bid and not-quite-certain RL10C-X bid, and panicked. If they'd won the Vulcan booster bid, they might not have attempted the buyout.

Online ncb1397

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #22 on: 09/30/2018 10:25 pm »
Vulcan - 2x RL-10
SLS - 4x RS-25, 1-4x RL-10
Mars 2020 - descent engines
LOP-G - AEPS
Psyche - NEXT-C
OmegA - 2x RL-10
CST-100 - Bantam
XS-1 - 1x AR-22'
New Shephard - CCE engine
development contracts - X3, AR-1

Aerojet Rocketdyne dying is just wishful thinking. They are currently profitable with revenue equivalent to SpaceX's projected 2019 revenue.

Offline JH

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #23 on: 09/30/2018 10:33 pm »
However they do have lots of experience with high-tolerance, high-quality aerospace systems, and if they are flush with cash it would make sense to broaden their portfolio of products and services - like what many companies have done in order to isolate their businesses from the vagaries of any one market segment.

https://spacenews.com/with-debt-down-and-cash-up-aerojet-rocketdyne-hunting-for-acquisitions/

Offline Lar

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #24 on: 09/30/2018 10:39 pm »
Anyone who wants to survive now needs to be ready to reduce costs and prices by an order of magnitude or more. That isn't accomplished by raiding pensions or cutting people either.... it takes good engineering.
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Offline Craftyatom

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #25 on: 10/01/2018 01:44 am »
Vulcan - 2x RL-10
SLS - 4x RS-25, 1-4x RL-10
Mars 2020 - descent engines
LOP-G - AEPS
Psyche - NEXT-C
OmegA - 2x RL-10
CST-100 - Bantam
XS-1 - 1x AR-22'
New Shephard - CCE engine
development contracts - X3, AR-1

Aerojet Rocketdyne dying is just wishful thinking. They are currently profitable with revenue equivalent to SpaceX's projected 2019 revenue.
I agree that they have quite the portfolio, and the company is in no danger of dying anytime soon.  What I'm personally more interested in are the long-term prospects.  The RL10 is about to have the BE-3U as competition, and if it can't hold its own and gets supplanted (which would admittedly take a lot of time and effort, especially on SLS), AJR could lose one of its big money-makers.  OmegA and AR-1 are up in the air at the moment, and while I'm confident XS-1 will be built, I'm not confident it's ever going to fly enough to require the purchase of another AR-22.

That leaves the NS abort motor, the Starliner engines, and various electric thrusters as solid sources of repeating revenue.  That's more than enough to keep a company afloat, but far less than they're used to.  Essentially, I think they either need to land some significant contracts in the next five years (certainly possible) or end up shrinking as a company.  An AJR that focuses on large, high-efficiency electric thrusters would be an excellent company, but that would also likely mean that the old liquid and solid propulsion divisions would wither, from what little I know.

Anyone who wants to survive now needs to be ready to reduce costs and prices by an order of magnitude or more. That isn't accomplished by raiding pensions or cutting people either.... it takes good engineering.
True on long timescales, but not so much on short ones.  AR-22 is exactly the kind of contract, imo, that epitomizes this: "We have the money, there's some proven technology lying around with a low lead time, and these guys are mainstays of the industry, so let's not bother with anything too new-fangled and difficult."  If Boeing had to draw up XS-1 again five years from now, however, I'm fairly certain the engine choice would be different.  That's why I'm more interested in what AJR is going to be like five years from now than, say, next year.
All aboard the HSF hype train!  Choo Choo!

Offline Lar

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #26 on: 10/01/2018 02:11 am »
Anyone who wants to survive now needs to be ready to reduce costs and prices by an order of magnitude or more. That isn't accomplished by raiding pensions or cutting people either.... it takes good engineering.
True on long timescales, but not so much on short ones.  AR-22 is exactly the kind of contract, imo, that epitomizes this: "We have the money, there's some proven technology lying around with a low lead time, and these guys are mainstays of the industry, so let's not bother with anything too new-fangled and difficult."  If Boeing had to draw up XS-1 again five years from now, however, I'm fairly certain the engine choice would be different.  That's why I'm more interested in what AJR is going to be like five years from now than, say, next year.
Sure. But I'm talking about not next quarter, not next year, but next decade. ULA is in a similar situation, they may well be fine for next quarter and next year, but they better have a seriously good plan.
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Offline Patchouli

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #27 on: 10/01/2018 04:20 am »
Vulcan - 2x RL-10
SLS - 4x RS-25, 1-4x RL-10
Mars 2020 - descent engines
LOP-G - AEPS
Psyche - NEXT-C
OmegA - 2x RL-10
CST-100 - Bantam
XS-1 - 1x AR-22'
New Shephard - CCE engine
development contracts - X3, AR-1

Aerojet Rocketdyne dying is just wishful thinking. They are currently profitable with revenue equivalent to SpaceX's projected 2019 revenue.
The RL-10  is one of the best upper stage engines out there if they can reduce it's cost it could continue to be a viable option for LV manufactures for some times.
They have some other interesting IP such nuclear thermal rockets which could be useful in deep space and the X-51 scramjet which could land some valuable military contracts.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2018 04:25 am by Patchouli »

Offline hkultala

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #28 on: 10/01/2018 05:33 am »
Vulcan - 2x RL-10
SLS - 4x RS-25, 1-4x RL-10
Mars 2020 - descent engines
LOP-G - AEPS
Psyche - NEXT-C
OmegA - 2x RL-10
CST-100 - Bantam
XS-1 - 1x AR-22'
New Shephard - CCE engine
development contracts - X3, AR-1

Aerojet Rocketdyne dying is just wishful thinking. They are currently profitable with revenue equivalent to SpaceX's projected 2019 revenue.
The RL-10  is one of the best upper stage engines out there if they can reduce it's cost it could continue to be a viable option for LV manufactures for some times.

It's still far from the "perfect upper stage engine".

In addition of it being overpriced it's also underpowered for many common tasks.

Delta IV and Atlas V performance is severely reduced by the single upper stage engine causing bad gravity losses, and those are rockets that stage quite late. For rockets which stage earlier it would be even worse.

But because it's so overpriced, in Delta IV & Atlas V, instead of putting more RL-10s to get better T/W, they are putting more SRBs to stage even later when the performance with one RL-10 is not enough.


What I don't understand is that why did they abort RL-60 development? That would have been much better upper stage engine for Delta IV and Atlas V also, would often have saved at least one SRB, and increased the maximum capasity of DIVH by many tonnes. Because they were expecting someone else to pay their development work and that someone else disappeared?

« Last Edit: 10/01/2018 05:44 am by hkultala »

Online woods170

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #29 on: 10/01/2018 07:03 am »
Well AR did try to aggressively take over ULA but Boeing and Lockheed Martin said no and resulted in AR losing its AJ60A contract to OATK and them not being selected for anything so far on Vulcan.

Emphasis mine.

That is incorrect. The Centaur V upper stage will be equipped with two RL-10 engines which, in case you had failed to recognize, are manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Once ACES gets phased into the Vulcan design the number of RL-10 engines will rise to four (4) per upper stage.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2018 07:09 am by woods170 »

Online woods170

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #30 on: 10/01/2018 07:13 am »
Vulcan - 2x RL-10
SLS - 4x RS-25, 1-4x RL-10
Mars 2020 - descent engines
LOP-G - AEPS
Psyche - NEXT-C
OmegA - 2x RL-10
CST-100 - Bantam
XS-1 - 1x AR-22'
New Shephard - CCE engine
development contracts - X3, AR-1

Aerojet Rocketdyne dying is just wishful thinking. They are currently profitable with revenue equivalent to SpaceX's projected 2019 revenue.
I agree that they have quite the portfolio, and the company is in no danger of dying anytime soon.  What I'm personally more interested in are the long-term prospects.  The RL10 is about to have the BE-3U as competition...

The first head-to-head competition between BE-3U and RL-10 was completed recently and was a clear win for RL-10 (Aerojet Rocketdyne): https://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-selects-aerojet-rocketdynes-rl10c-for-newly-christened-omega-rocket/
« Last Edit: 10/01/2018 07:14 am by woods170 »

Online woods170

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #31 on: 10/01/2018 07:17 am »
Anyone who wants to survive now needs to be ready to reduce costs and prices by an order of magnitude or more. That isn't accomplished by raiding pensions or cutting people either.... it takes good engineering.

Which is exactly what Aerojet Rocketdyne is doing right now: http://www.rocket.com/article/successful-testing-re-generatively-cooled-rl10-thrust-chamber-assembly-validates-3-d

They are taking an already well-engineered engine and are improving on it, by applying good engineering. Two main purposes for this are:
- Driving down cost of production
- Allow for design alterations to improve performance


Folks here should realize that this thread was started 3 years ago. Today, Aerojet Rocketdyne is no closer to going out of business than it was 3 years ago.

Additionally, I like to point out that Aerojet Rocketdyne is THE largest supplier worldwide of monopropellant thrusters for the comsat industry as well as having a large portfolio of RCS systems for both cubesats and smallsats.

Their in-space propulsion portfolio is so wide that IMO I don't see them leaving the stage in the next two decades.

One of the reasons being that losing AR-1 business to Blue's BE-4 doesn't hurt their business model one iota, as evidenced by this:

https://spacenews.com/with-debt-down-and-cash-up-aerojet-rocketdyne-hunting-for-acquisitions/

Finally: people are forgetting the fact that a very significant source of revenue for Aerojet Rocketdyne comes from their line of defense systems.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2018 07:39 am by woods170 »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #32 on: 10/01/2018 07:52 am »
I think seven AR-1s in a reusable first stage with four RL-10 engine upper stage would make a great launch vehicle. With development, the second stage could also be made reusable, perhaps adding a central sea level RL-10 for landing. However, that would require a change in philosophy in how AJR works, from being a government funded subcontractor to investing their own money in a commercial venture.
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Offline testguy

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #33 on: 10/01/2018 03:46 pm »
Please realize that Aerojet is so much more than liquid engines.  I spent many years working there and understand their product lines.  Just go to their web site and see the mix.  There are only two solid rocket manufactures left, NGIS and Aerojet.  The solid market is large and will remain that way so long as we have a DoD.  Aerojet is not going anywhere in the long term although it is true that their potential market in liquids has gotten smaller, primarily because of SpaceX and Blue.  A company flush with cash should be most concerned about being acquired, especially with a real estate assets that are worth a fortune.

This threads keeps only focusing on liquids.  Aerojet is reinventing itself and will be around a very long time so long as it is not acquired.  This is not the first time I have tried to make this point.  Sorry for repeating myself.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2018 08:54 pm by testguy »

Online russianhalo117

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #34 on: 10/01/2018 04:01 pm »
Please realize the Aerojet is so much more than liquid engines.  I spent many years working there and understand their product lines.  Just go to their web site and see the mix.  There are only two solid rocket manufactures left.  Orbital - ATK and Aerojet.  The solid market is large and will remain that way so long as we have a DoD.  Aerojet is not going anywhere in the long term although it is true that their potential market in liquids has gotten smaller, primarily because of SpaceX and Blue.  A company flush with cash should be most concerned about being acquired, especially with a real estate assets that are worth a fortune.

This threads keeps only focusing on liquids.  Aerojet is reinventing itself and will be around a very long time so long as it is not acquired.  This is not the first time I have tried to make this point.  Sorry for repeating myself.
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #35 on: 10/01/2018 05:37 pm »
losing AR-1 business to Blue's BE-4 doesn't hurt their business model one iota, as evidenced by this:

The rest of your post makes sense, but then you undercut your point by saying this.

Of course it hurts them.  Any business is going to be hurt when they lose a major contract.

They have enough other business that being hurt in this one area doesn't mean that they're in trouble.  That's not the same as not being hurt "one iota" by losing a major part of their potential future business.

Offline testguy

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #36 on: 10/01/2018 06:14 pm »
Please realize the Aerojet is so much more than liquid engines.  I spent many years working there and understand their product lines.  Just go to their web site and see the mix.  There are only two solid rocket manufactures left.  Orbital - ATK and Aerojet.  The solid market is large and will remain that way so long as we have a DoD.  Aerojet is not going anywhere in the long term although it is true that their potential market in liquids has gotten smaller, primarily because of SpaceX and Blue.  A company flush with cash should be most concerned about being acquired, especially with a real estate assets that are worth a fortune.

This threads keeps only focusing on liquids.  Aerojet is reinventing itself and will be around a very long time so long as it is not acquired.  This is not the first time I have tried to make this point.  Sorry for repeating myself.
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Offline Tywin

Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #37 on: 10/01/2018 08:16 pm »
One question, talking about her satetellite division of engines and that stuff...

The OneWeb constellation, I think so the mayor contractor is Airbus...and for constellation Starlink of SpaceX, is spacex   ::) ;D...somebody know if the aerojet, have some contracts for the engine o other parts of both constellations?
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Offline Lar

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Re: The Future of Aerojet Rocketdyne
« Reply #38 on: 10/01/2018 10:06 pm »
One question, talking about her satetellite division of engines and that stuff...

The OneWeb constellation, I think so the mayor contractor is Airbus...and for constellation Starlink of SpaceX, is spacex   ::) ;D...somebody know if the aerojet, have some contracts for the engine o other parts of both constellations?
I have no hard data but SpaceX using any AJ stuff is probably not the way to bet. Their bogie (per discussion in the Starlink thread) per bird is probably south of 500K total. AJR thrusters are not likely to fit that budget. Again, just guessing
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