Author Topic: Starliner on Vulcan  (Read 25143 times)

Offline Ike17055

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Starliner on Vulcan
« on: 04/16/2016 06:35 pm »
Have any renderings of this combo been produced? Can we assume this configuration would involve no SRBs? Given the past discussion of adding a segment to the crew access tower once Vulcan comes on line, are we correct to assume the new combo will be taller than original configuration on AV.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #1 on: 04/17/2016 06:32 pm »
Have any renderings of this combo been produced? Can we assume this configuration would involve no SRBs? Given the past discussion of adding a segment to the crew access tower once Vulcan comes on line, are we correct to assume the new combo will be taller than original configuration on AV.

Quote from: @torybruno
@JRSFN Vulcan Centaur would require a 422 configure. A Vulcan ACES would need a Vulcan 40X (baseline ACES)

I've seen a render of this configuration. I'll see if I can find it here on NSF.
edit: Here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35754.msg1361695#msg1361695

As for CAT, AR-1 powered Vulcan would require a lift. BE-4 powered Vulcan-Centaur might not. I'm guessing (?) Vulcan-ACES will require changes.

I believe there's a non-trivial possibility that CST-100 will never fly on Vulcan, especially Vulcan-ACES.

Vulcan cancellation, delays, and/or parallel Atlas V operations could keep CST-100 on Atlas until ISS retirement.

Vulcan-ACES will come online around 2023/2024 when ISS retirement may be imminent. Will there really be a market for LEO transportation services then?
« Last Edit: 04/17/2016 06:34 pm by arachnitect »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #2 on: 04/17/2016 09:56 pm »
I understand that Vulcan/Centaur interstage and ACES wide body are designed so that the payload plane is kept constante between versions.

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Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #3 on: 05/24/2022 02:46 pm »
Even though this thread is six years old, a SpaceNews report now says that certifying the soon-to-be-launched Vulcan rocket for crewed launches is a long way off, meaning that currently planned Starliner launches are only being launched from the Atlas V.

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #4 on: 05/24/2022 03:50 pm »
This thread is a bit of a time warp!
Who could have predicted that Starliner would be delayed this much, and that extending Atlas-V production would become politically impossible, leading to potentially just a handful of Starliner-Atlas flights?
And of course ACES is sadly not happening any more.
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #5 on: 05/24/2022 03:57 pm »
Even though this thread is six years old, a SpaceNews report now says that certifying the soon-to-be-launched Vulcan rocket for crewed launches is a long way off, meaning that currently planned Starliner launches are only being launched from the Atlas V.

This is partly why I think there's a better than even chance that Starliner might switch to New Glenn as an LV rather than Vulcan.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #6 on: 05/24/2022 04:00 pm »
there is no need to rush manrating since there are 6 Atlas vehicles and that should last a couple of years without new contracts.  Different story if there are new contracts.

Offline lrk

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #7 on: 05/24/2022 04:26 pm »
And of course ACES is sadly not happening any more.

Many of the ACES changes (wide tanks, RL-10 upgrades, H2/O2 RCS, lower boiloff insulation, etc.) have been brought forward into Centaur V.  As I understand it, propellant transfer and unlimited duration via an internal combustion engine for power generation are the main components of ACES that are on hold, but these could potentially be done in the future if there was demand.

Offline lrk

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #8 on: 05/24/2022 04:29 pm »
Can we assume this configuration would involve no SRBs?

It seems with what we know now about the payload of Vulcan and CST-100 mass that at least 2 SRBs will be needed.  I wonder if more than 2 would actually be required, if a sub-optimal trajectory is needed to avoid abort black zones like with Atlas. 

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #9 on: 05/24/2022 04:39 pm »
there is no need to rush manrating since there are 6 Atlas vehicles and that should last a couple of years without new contracts.  Different story if there are new contracts.
Seems like thereís less chance of more contracts if Vulcan isnít already crew-rated.
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #10 on: 05/24/2022 04:48 pm »
Even though this thread is six years old, a SpaceNews report now says that certifying the soon-to-be-launched Vulcan rocket for crewed launches is a long way off, meaning that currently planned Starliner launches are only being launched from the Atlas V.
There are 7 remaining Starliner flights: CFT and Starliners 1 through 6, and there are exactly 7 of the remaining 23 Atlas V allocated for them. With CFT this year and one Starliner per year starting in 2023, Starliner 6 will fly in 2028. If Boeing wants to compete for the last few CCP flights or if they want to fly non-CCP flights, then will need to qualify on Vulcan. Otherwise not.  Boeing might decide to retire Starliner since it is designed with the expensive single-use SM. It competes against the somewhat cheaper Crew Dragon now and the potentially cheaper Dream Chaser and Starship by 2028.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #11 on: 05/24/2022 05:18 pm »
there is no need to rush manrating since there are 6 Atlas vehicles and that should last a couple of years without new contracts.  Different story if there are new contracts.
Seems like thereís less chance of more contracts if Vulcan isnít already crew-rated.
It would just mean the cost of human-rating Vulcan would be part of any new contract.
Either you pay the cost of human-rating Vulcan now for a prospective future contract (that may never appear), or you pay the cost of human rating Vulcan when that contract is won (and ideally have that cost paid for under that contract).

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #12 on: 05/24/2022 07:10 pm »
there is no need to rush manrating since there are 6 Atlas vehicles and that should last a couple of years without new contracts.  Different story if there are new contracts.
Seems like thereís less chance of more contracts if Vulcan isnít already crew-rated.
It would just mean the cost of human-rating Vulcan would be part of any new contract.
Either you pay the cost of human-rating Vulcan now for a prospective future contract (that may never appear), or you pay the cost of human rating Vulcan when that contract is won (and ideally have that cost paid for under that contract).
So again, youíre reinforcing my point: Seems like thereís less chance of more contracts if Vulcan isnít already crew-rated.
Because not only will you have to include that in the bid, but there will also be the uncertainty of not yet having crew-rated it and the time lag of needing to first get it crew rated.
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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 yg1968

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #13 on: 05/24/2022 08:21 pm »
Per Steve Stich (see below), the Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) will have a certification mechanism and as part of that Starliner could be certified on Vulcan, if the CLD provider chooses that transportation system.

At 44-45 minutes of the video below (it's funny how the best questions are often at the end of a press conference), Steve Stich made an interesting comment about certification of commercial crew transportation systems for the purposes of Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD), he said that they are working with the CLD program on different models as to how to certify these vehicles for CLD purposes, he added that it is up to the CLD providers what transportation systems that they propose:

Yesterday's press conference:


« Last Edit: 05/24/2022 08:24 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #14 on: 05/24/2022 08:29 pm »
there is no need to rush manrating since there are 6 Atlas vehicles and that should last a couple of years without new contracts.  Different story if there are new contracts.

On that issue, there was a commercial crew transportation services RFI (see the thread linked below) but it's not clear to me if that will go forward.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55039.msg2348652#msg2348652
« Last Edit: 05/25/2022 12:14 am by yg1968 »

Offline edzieba

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #15 on: 05/24/2022 10:26 pm »
there is no need to rush manrating since there are 6 Atlas vehicles and that should last a couple of years without new contracts.  Different story if there are new contracts.
Seems like thereís less chance of more contracts if Vulcan isnít already crew-rated.
It would just mean the cost of human-rating Vulcan would be part of any new contract.
Either you pay the cost of human-rating Vulcan now for a prospective future contract (that may never appear), or you pay the cost of human rating Vulcan when that contract is won (and ideally have that cost paid for under that contract).
So again, youíre reinforcing my point: Seems like thereís less chance of more contracts if Vulcan isnít already crew-rated.
Because not only will you have to include that in the bid, but there will also be the uncertainty of not yet having crew-rated it and the time lag of needing to first get it crew rated.
Neither launch vehicles launching crew vehicles at the moment were human-rated before the contracts were awarded. It's not an impediment unless there is such a glaring issue with the proposal that it would never be awarded a contract in the first place.

There's also the issue that 'human-rating' (for NASA astronauts, not applicable to private astronauts as they fly at their own risk) is not something a launch vehicle provider can do in isolation. It's a process where NASA review whole stack (launch vehicle and crew vehicle) systems and architecture as well as proposed CONOPS. That's part and parcel of a contract for launching NASA crew, but trying to do speculatively is likely not even an option.

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #16 on: 05/25/2022 12:02 am »
Even though this thread is six years old, a SpaceNews report now says that certifying the soon-to-be-launched Vulcan rocket for crewed launches is a long way off, meaning that currently planned Starliner launches are only being launched from the Atlas V.
There are 7 remaining Starliner flights: CFT and Starliners 1 through 6, and there are exactly 7 of the remaining 23 Atlas V allocated for them. With CFT this year and one Starliner per year starting in 2023, Starliner 6 will fly in 2028. If Boeing wants to compete for the last few CCP flights or if they want to fly non-CCP flights, then will need to qualify on Vulcan. Otherwise not.  Boeing might decide to retire Starliner since it is designed with the expensive single-use SM. It competes against the somewhat cheaper Crew Dragon now and the potentially cheaper Dream Chaser and Starship by 2028.
That's right. Also bear in mind that of the 16 remaining non-Starliner flights involving the Atlas V, nine will be launched as part of Project Kuiper, and the last military launch aboard the Atlas V will take place later this year. Time will tell if Boeing will terminate the Starliner program after Starliners 1 through 6 are flown.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #17 on: 05/25/2022 02:25 am »
Between the contracted Dragon Crew-9 and Starliner Crew-6, they have enough flights to cover up to 2026 taking turns each. I'm assuming Starliner Crew-1 flies on November 2023. So, if Starliner would cover the November flights on 2027 and 2028, they would need to order an additional 2 Dragons. Or they could do a complete RFQ for two flights with preference for a dissimilar system... which would mean Dragon. So I'm estimating that Starliner will keep flying until ISS is retired on 2028, and unless it's clear that they will get an additional 3/4 flights, Boeing will probably not manrate Starliner/Vulcan.
Unless, they get a contract for the follow up LEO private stations and they get the best quote from Vulcan. This is important because Orbital Reef is assumed to use Starliner+DreamChaser, and they probably will want dissimilar LV, too. Since Cargo DreamChaser will already be integrated to Vulcan, it would not be ridiculous to expect Starliner to be launched by New Glenn. And if they can get that done by 2026, then they might bid those extra flights on Starliner/New Glenn. It could also happen that since Crewed DreamChaser and New Glenn are the two with highest schedule risk, Orbital Reef would contract Starliner on Vulcan for initial operations and leave Crewed DreamChaser on New Glenn. In that case, Boeing might have a chance of bidding on those extra flights.
Or it could probably happen that ISS is extended to 2030, the Axiom and Orbital Reef stations are delayed to 2031 and thus NASA does an RFQ and Starliner goes with Vulcan for lack of any available choice.
You have to remember that if Vulcan can get 15 flight by 2026, man rating will be easier and cheaper due to the flight history. At least for DoD/NASA NPD 8610.7D, they had 3, 6 and 14 successful flights certification paths for Category certificate on the Launch Vehicle. 

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #18 on: 05/25/2022 04:16 am »
Dissimilar LVs isn't critical for private stations, its nice have.


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Offline greybeardengineer

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Re: Starliner on Vulcan
« Reply #19 on: 05/25/2022 01:27 pm »
Dissimilar LVs isn't critical for private stations, its nice have.


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If the business model for the private station is leasing or renting space to commercial clients then being spacecraft agnostic will be a crucial requirement. If you deny them the use of the most popular and cost effective means of moving cargo and people up and down to try to support a corporately linked favorite solution then it will be a very hard sell.

 

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