Author Topic: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION  (Read 59493 times)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #80 on: 11/08/2017 06:04 AM »
A BE-3 based upper stage with enough propellant may only need the first stage SRB for LEO missions.
A Castor 1200 with a two BE-3U upper stage should be good for around 10,000kg.
 I made a lot of conservative assumptions based on the shuttle RSRM and S-IVB mass fractions and assumed the BE 3-U has an ISP of around 435 though the engine can probably do better than this so in reality it probably would be better.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 06:12 AM by Patchouli »

Offline hkultala

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #81 on: 11/08/2017 06:17 AM »
A BE-3 based upper stage with enough propellant may only need the first stage SRB for LEO missions.
A Castor 1200 with a two BE-3U upper stage should be good for around 10,000kg on the low end I made a lot of conservative assumptions based on the shuttle RSRM and S-IVB mass fractions and assumed the BE 3-U has an ISP of around 435 though the engine can probably do better than this.
Everything sized around the Castor 600 would be about 5tons.

Something being possible and something being economical and smart thing to do are two totally different things.

Your hyphotherical 2*BE-3 upper stage would need huge tanks and would weight a lot. It would be a terrible upper stage for HEO missions due the very high inert mass.

And having two separate liquid-fueled upper stages for different missions would raise costs.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.


What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 06:22 AM by hkultala »

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #82 on: 11/08/2017 06:55 AM »
Though even a single BE-3U is oversized for a small upper stage.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 07:27 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #83 on: 11/08/2017 09:30 AM »
There have been several DLR studies for expendable rockets with a solid first stage and cryogenic upperstage. One of the studies: VENUS (VEga New Upper Stage) studied multiple configurations for future vega rockets. The VEGA-F configuration used a P120-P160 first stage and a Vince powered upperstage. The conclusion with that configuration was that the acceleration levels would be very high, because the 2th stage + payload & fairing are very light (<40mT).
That's why I don't think a configuration with Castor600 or Castor1200 and a cryogenic upper-stage would work.
Because BE-3U (530kN [120k lbf] in vacuum) is roughly 3x as powerful as Vince (180kN [40 470 lbf], the cryogenic upper-stage could be much larger and heavier. Thus I think that a Castor 300 + enlarged Cryostage could work, but the cryo stage wouldn't be the same stage as for the other NGL configurations.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.

What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
I agree with this, with the side note that two different liquid upper-stages; deep cryo (LOX LH2) and soft cryo (LOx RP-1), could also bring benefits. (A LOxLCH4 / LOxLC3H8 cryo stage would be even beter).
I think that two different lengths of cryogenic stages could work economically. But OATK want's to use their solids.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 09:45 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #84 on: 11/08/2017 10:07 AM »
Orbital ATK Successfully Tests First Motor Case for Next Generation Launch Vehicle

NGL System Achieves Critical Milestone with Completion of Structural Acceptance Test

Dulles, Virginia 7 November 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced it has successfully completed an important milestone in developing advanced solid rocket propulsion and other technologies to be used in a new generation of intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicles. The company is in early production of development hardware for its Next Generation Launch (NGL) system, and on October 27 successfully completed the structural acceptance test on the first motor high-strength composite case for this program.

The applied structural loads during the test demonstrated over 110 percent of maximum expected motor operating pressure and 110 percent of operational/flight and pre-launch compressive/tensile line loads. This full-scale motor case segment will be cast with inert solid rocket propellant in early 2018 and shipped to the launch site for check-out of ground operations.

“NGL is one of Orbital ATK’s top growth initiatives,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “This milestone clearly shows the progress being made by the hundreds of engineers and technicians in Utah and Arizona who are developing the NGL system.”
 
Orbital ATK’s NGL rocket family will be capable of launching the entire spectrum of national security payloads, as well as science and commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by the company’s current Pegasus®, Minotaur and AntaresTM space launch vehicles. The NGL vehicles will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with other company programs, including smaller space launch vehicles as well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic missile systems.

“By sharing a skilled workforce, facilities and subsystems across multiple programs, we’ve designed NGL to be affordable and reliable,” said Lehr. “For example, NGL uses common avionics that have flown on more than 100 missions with 100 percent success.”

The next phase of the program is expected to begin when the Air Force awards the Launch Services Agreement in mid-2018, which would entail full vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; Kennedy Space Center, Florida; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #85 on: 11/08/2017 05:12 PM »
There have been several DLR studies for expendable rockets with a solid first stage and cryogenic upperstage. One of the studies: VENUS (VEga New Upper Stage) studied multiple configurations for future vega rockets. The VEGA-F configuration used a P120-P160 first stage and a Vince powered upperstage. The conclusion with that configuration was that the acceleration levels would be very high, because the 2th stage + payload & fairing are very light (<40mT).
That's why I don't think a configuration with Castor600 or Castor1200 and a cryogenic upper-stage would work.
Because BE-3U (530kN [120k lbf] in vacuum) is roughly 3x as powerful as Vince (180kN [40 470 lbf], the cryogenic upper-stage could be much larger and heavier. Thus I think that a Castor 300 + enlarged Cryostage could work, but the cryo stage wouldn't be the same stage as for the other NGL configurations.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.

What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
I agree with this, with the side note that two different liquid upper-stages; deep cryo (LOX LH2) and soft cryo (LOx RP-1), could also bring benefits. (A LOxLCH4 / LOxLC3H8 cryo stage would be even beter).
I think that two different lengths of cryogenic stages could work economically. But OATK want's to use their solids.

An upper stage properly sized for the BE3-U would be about 60% the size of a S-IVB but it can throttle deeply so in theory could be made to work on a smaller stage but you'd have a high mass penalty of a too large engine.
The RL-10 or Vinci looks like the best option though I wonder could a couple of Rutherfords  work for a third stage?
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 05:13 PM by Patchouli »

Online gongora

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #86 on: 12/14/2017 01:53 AM »
Surprising news!

OrbitalATK is considering the AerojetRocketdyne RL10 or ArianeGroup Vinci rocket engine for its Next Generation Launcher upper stage after rejecting Blueorigin's BE-3U. Decision expected in Q1 2018.

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/orbital-atk-pick-upper-stage-engine-ngl

Offline AncientU

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #87 on: 12/14/2017 02:22 AM »
There have been several DLR studies for expendable rockets with a solid first stage and cryogenic upperstage. One of the studies: VENUS (VEga New Upper Stage) studied multiple configurations for future vega rockets. The VEGA-F configuration used a P120-P160 first stage and a Vince powered upperstage. The conclusion with that configuration was that the acceleration levels would be very high, because the 2th stage + payload & fairing are very light (<40mT).
That's why I don't think a configuration with Castor600 or Castor1200 and a cryogenic upper-stage would work.
Because BE-3U (530kN [120k lbf] in vacuum) is roughly 3x as powerful as Vince (180kN [40 470 lbf], the cryogenic upper-stage could be much larger and heavier. Thus I think that a Castor 300 + enlarged Cryostage could work, but the cryo stage wouldn't be the same stage as for the other NGL configurations.

OATK wants to use their own solids as much as possible, not want to buy liquid engines from other companies just because it's possible.

What might make sense is to always have solid first and second stage. Then have two different third stages, solid for LEO and (single) BE-3U based for HEO.
I agree with this, with the side note that two different liquid upper-stages; deep cryo (LOX LH2) and soft cryo (LOx RP-1), could also bring benefits. (A LOxLCH4 / LOxLC3H8 cryo stage would be even beter).
I think that two different lengths of cryogenic stages could work economically. But OATK want's to use their solids.

An upper stage properly sized for the BE3-U would be about 60% the size of a S-IVB but it can throttle deeply so in theory could be made to work on a smaller stage but you'd have a high mass penalty of a too large engine.
The RL-10 or Vinci looks like the best option though I wonder could a couple of Rutherfords  work for a third stage?

Nice call.
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Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #88 on: 12/14/2017 03:52 AM »
The Vinci option maybe there as bargaining chip against AJR. Has good reliability record and built by allies so DoD certification may not be big issue.

The NGLV will be competing with Ariane 6 for commercial launches, not sure how Ariane Aerospace view that.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #89 on: 12/14/2017 04:54 AM »
Rutherfords are not exactly Hydrolox engines. At least so far.

An argument for Vinci over RL10 would be to offer a dissimilar engine that is flying a lot (with someone else). Taking the backup launcher idea and running with it.

Offline woods170

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #90 on: 12/14/2017 09:50 AM »
The Vinci option maybe there as bargaining chip against AJR. Has good reliability record and built by allies so DoD certification may not be big issue.

The NGLV will be competing with Ariane 6 for commercial launches, not sure how Ariane Aerospace view that.

The fact that Vinci is built by allies of the USA does exactly nothing to aid certification for US NSS use: from a USA point-of-view it is a foreign-designed, -built and -tested engine.
What also won't help is that Vinci is developed exclusively with ESA money. ESA might object to Vinci being used on a US launcher for US NSS purposes.

Quote from: ESA Director General
The ESA itself is not a civilian agency. It is an agency for peaceful purposes and may have programmes with a security component. If and when Europe needs space as an enabling tool for its security and defence policy, ESA will be prepared to develop the required programmes.”

Additionally: NASA was initially interested in using Vinci on the EUS for SLS (2014). But that plan went nowhere when NASA and ESA couldn't agree on the specific terms-of-use and the general certification requirements for Vinci.
So, what makes people think that the certifying agencies for US NSS launches will be able to come to an agreement with ESA?
« Last Edit: 12/14/2017 09:57 AM by woods170 »

Offline woods170

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #91 on: 12/14/2017 10:02 AM »
Rutherfords are not exactly Hydrolox engines. At least so far.

An argument for Vinci over RL10 would be to offer a dissimilar engine that is flying a lot (with someone else). Taking the backup launcher idea and running with it.

Vinci is still in development and won't start flying until 2020 (on Ariane 6). Also, it won't fly often; just 8 to 12 times per year on A6.
On the other hand: RL10 (derivatives) have been flying for 4+ decades and consistently launch a dozen times per year (or more) on NSS-certified launch vehicles already.
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".
« Last Edit: 12/14/2017 10:03 AM by woods170 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #92 on: 12/14/2017 11:14 AM »
Reposted:
Surprising news!

OrbitalATK is considering the AerojetRocketdyne RL10 or ArianeGroup Vinci rocket engine for its Next Generation Launcher upper stage after rejecting Blueorigin's BE-3U. Decision expected in Q1 2018.

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/orbital-atk-pick-upper-stage-engine-ngl

Wonder what Orbital saw in Blue's engine that they didn't like?  Does this reduce Blue's chances on Vulcan, too?
This is like Liberty Launcher Lite?

How real is this thing anyway?

BTW IIRC neither BE-3 or Vince has any flight history.
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 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.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #93 on: 12/14/2017 12:41 PM »
The Vinci option maybe there as bargaining chip against AJR. Has good reliability record and built by allies so DoD certification may not be big issue.

The NGLV will be competing with Ariane 6 for commercial launches, not sure how Ariane Aerospace view that.

The fact that Vinci is built by allies of the USA does exactly nothing to aid certification for US NSS use: from a USA point-of-view it is a foreign-designed, -built and -tested engine.
What also won't help is that Vinci is developed exclusively with ESA money. ESA might object to Vinci being used on a US launcher for US NSS purposes.

Quote from: ESA Director General
The ESA itself is not a civilian agency. It is an agency for peaceful purposes and may have programmes with a security component. If and when Europe needs space as an enabling tool for its security and defence policy, ESA will be prepared to develop the required programmes.”

Additionally: NASA was initially interested in using Vinci on the EUS for SLS (2014). But that plan went nowhere when NASA and ESA couldn't agree on the specific terms-of-use and the general certification requirements for Vinci.
So, what makes people think that the certifying agencies for US NSS launches will be able to come to an agreement with ESA?
OA wouldn't even consider Vinci if they didn't think there was good chance both parties would approve it. They went though same process with Liberty before it was shelved.

Still think OA will end up with RL10 same as Vulcan, in both cases it will be a newer lower cost version. The plus side for all three companies is higher production rate should help lower build cost.

Offline ethan829

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #94 on: 12/14/2017 12:49 PM »
BTW IIRC neither BE-3 or Vince has any flight history.

No flight history, true, but Vinci has gone through extensive test firings and flight-ready engines are in production now.

Offline woods170

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #95 on: 12/14/2017 01:19 PM »
So, what makes people think that the certifying agencies for US NSS launches will be able to come to an agreement with ESA?

OA wouldn't even consider Vinci if they didn't think there was good chance both parties would approve it. They went though same process with Liberty before it was shelved.

Not quite. Liberty was about modding the existing and operational Ariane 5 EPC into an upper stage for Liberty.
The main difference here is that Vinci is far from operational with ESA still coughing up money for its development. The latter was not the case when the A5 EPC was considered as US for Liberty.

That is a big difference because ESA right now has a lot to say about Vinci development whereas that is no longer the case for the A5 EPC.

The way ESA and Arianespace operate is that ESA is responsible for space technology during its development. That goes for funding as well as all other aspects of development. This still applies for Vinci given the way it was inherited from the A5 ME program.
Only when development is fully done is ownership and responsibility of a program transferred from ESA to Ariane group. This happened a long time ago for Ariane 5 EPC but is yet to happen for Vinci.

Offline woods170

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #96 on: 12/14/2017 01:45 PM »
BTW IIRC neither BE-3 or Vince has any flight history.

No flight history, true, but Vinci has gone through extensive test firings and flight-ready engines are in production now.
That is over-stating it. Production of flight combustion chambers has begun. But production of flight-versions of many other Vinci components is yet to start. For example, the nozzle design is still being worked-on given that it required a near-complete re-design from A5 to A6 (full fixed nozzle in stead of an extendible one).

Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #97 on: 12/14/2017 02:23 PM »
My bet is on OATK down-selecting to RL10. It fits "build American, fly American".

I would tend to agree. NASA also decided to go for the RL-10 over the Vinci, so I doubt OATK won't as well. The only thing that gives me pause is just how much better the Vinci is. The RL-10 is getting old. Perhaps OATK and ULA will convince AJR to start working on a replacement for next decade.

Anyone want to take a shot at the performance of Vinci and RL-10 NGLs? Oh and if someone would like to try their hand at a Rutherford Version, I'm certainly curious.
« Last Edit: 12/14/2017 02:38 PM by JEF_300 »

Offline brickmack

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #98 on: 12/14/2017 03:51 PM »
This is like Liberty Launcher Lite?

Liberty Heavy more like. Similar sized first stage, slightly smaller liquid upper stage, but with a solid second stage sandwiched in between, strapon boosters, and composite instead of steel casings. Its a real beast, if only it was developed 20 years ago it might have been a nice system...

Online envy887

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Re: Orbital ATK NGL Rocket UPDATES/DISCUSSION
« Reply #99 on: 12/14/2017 03:56 PM »
My guess is that the reason for this engine change is the same reason that drove ULA toward Centaur 5.  The NGL design team, preparing to respond to the EELV RFP, found that BE-3U didn't pass muster.

 - Ed Kyle

Has Blue test-fired the vacuum version yet? Seems like that version is behind both the new RL-10 and Vinci in development. That timing could be an issue for NGL.

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