Author Topic: Discussion/Comparison of the new generation of American heavy lift launchers  (Read 28995 times)

Offline Paul451

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TBH is "Omega" any more real that Liberty/NGL?
They are building first stage hardware, so that is pretty real. No so sure on the hydrolox stage.
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point

Looking at its history, (then) ATK has only really offered Liberty/NGL/Omega as a proposal for someone else to fund. I've seen no suggestion that their management wants to develop a launcher out of their own pocket. After NASA rejected Liberty for CRS, eventually they got the USAF to fund this early design work; but given the number of new launchers being worked on, I suspect that was more to do with protecting OATK's solids work than looking for another NS launcher. So I doubt any additional funding will follow. The proposed launch date, therefore, should be read as "if we receive full funding", and no-one is reaching for their wallet.

By contrast, ULA management seems to believe they need to develop Vulcan, and that they need to fund it in-house; their biggest hold-up is that Boeing/LM aren't very enthusiastic.

Offline Coastal Ron

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The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point

Looking at its history, (then) ATK has only really offered Liberty/NGL/Omega as a proposal for someone else to fund. I've seen no suggestion that their management wants to develop a launcher out of their own pocket. ... The proposed launch date, therefore, should be read as "if we receive full funding", and no-one is reaching for their wallet.

By contrast, ULA management seems to believe they need to develop Vulcan, and that they need to fund it in-house; their biggest hold-up is that Boeing/LM aren't very enthusiastic.

Very important points you highlight:

- ULA is committed to building Vulcan and can't really turn back.

- Orbital ATK is not yet committed to building Omega, and can turn back.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online john smith 19

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TBH is "Omega" any more real that Liberty/NGL?

They are building first stage hardware, so that is pretty real. No so sure on the hydrolox stage.
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point - maybe even more real since Orbital ATK has firmly decided and announced about all of its propulsion options while we're still waiting to hear about BE-4 versus AR-1.  Contract competition will weed out all but two of the three or more competitors in a year or two, but until then it is all real.

 - Ed Kyle
I thought that was decided. ULA are going BE-4? As for "engine selection"  was RL-10 ever in doubt, given they make it?.

ATK's whole history of this concepts "We'll do it if someone else picks up the tab."   :(
TBH in hindsight I'm thinking this might have been a bit of a bargaining chip to force ULA into choosing RL10 for the Vulcan US (what is now known to be Centaur 5).
Basically "If you don't buy any RL10s we might as well build our own ELV and use them on it" or words to that effect.
But we've been here before with Liberty. NASA said no and it was DOA. This time the USAF have coughed up some cash so it's still (just about) on.  I seriously wonder if that would have been the case if the USAF hadn't done so.
It's got the look of another ATK "paper rocket."  :(
Bruno knows if ULA is to remain viable as a commercial entity Vulcan has to happen but OmegA looks like another piece of ATK grant farming to me. 



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.

Offline TrevorMonty

RL10 is built by ARJ not ATK. ATK only do solids.

The OA is definitely investing a lot of money in OMEGA but as pointed out can still pull out.

Online edkyle99

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TBH is "Omega" any more real that Liberty/NGL?
They are building first stage hardware, so that is pretty real. No so sure on the hydrolox stage.
The way I see it, Omega is as real as Vulcan at this point

Looking at its history, (then) ATK has only really offered Liberty/NGL/Omega as a proposal for someone else to fund. I've seen no suggestion that their management wants to develop a launcher out of their own pocket. ... By contrast, ULA management seems to believe they need to develop Vulcan, and that they need to fund it in-house; their biggest hold-up is that Boeing/LM aren't very enthusiastic.
Let's not kid ourselves.  If Vulcan is not funded by Uncle Sam, it won't be built.  The same is true of Omega.  It might also be true for the future of Falcon Heavy.  United Launch Alliance is not necessarily any more a permanent fixture than was United Space Alliance.  There are multiple places in this country where giant rocket factories once operated.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/02/2018 11:39 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Paul451

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[...]

You're doing that thing you do, again. There's a huge difference bewteen getting a launch contract and getting your entire development specifically funded. Pretending they are the same makes honest discussion impossible.

Offline envy887

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[...]

You're doing that thing you do, again. There's a huge difference bewteen getting a launch contract and getting your entire development specifically funded. Pretending they are the same makes honest discussion impossible.
Vulcan got a very significant amount of direct government funding, mostly for propulsion development.

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