Author Topic: Discussion/Comparison of the new generation of American heavy lift launchers  (Read 31682 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?

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

Offline envy887

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Updated with recent events:
1 - Vulcan Centaur will debut in 2020 with a 562 and a 54 t upper stage prop load.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44390.msg1840531#msg1840531
2 - Vulcan Centaur Heavy (Centaur V+ Long) will have ACES prop load but without IVF and notionally debut 2023
https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/evolution/vulcan-centaur-overview-17may2018.pdf
3 - NASA LSP updated Falcon Heavy Block 5 (and possibly Falcon 9) performance numbers. Added 3,440 kg (F9 ASDS), 6,900 kg (FH reusable) and 15,340 kg (FH expendable) to a TLI at C3=-1.1 km2/s2, and 5,565 kg (FH reusable) and 2,535 (F9 ASDS) to a TMI of C3=7.0 km2/s2



==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO-1800   
==============================================================
Falcon Heavy       2018      6,900 kg*    5,565 kg*   8,000 kg
Falcon 9 Block 5   2018      3,440 kg*    2,535 kg*   5,500 kg
Falcon 9 Block 5-X 2018     ~5,500 kg     4,020 kg    8,300 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018     15,340 kg*   16,800 kg   26,700 kg
SLS Blk 1          2020?    25,900 kg    19,500 kg      N/A
Vulcan Centaur 562 2020?   ~10,800 kg   ~8,600  kg   13,300 kg
New Glenn 2 Stg    2021?   ~16,000 kg?  ~13,200 kg? ~21,400 kg?
Omega 5xx          2021?    ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg   10,100 kg
BFR                2021?         0 kg?        0 kg? ~20,000 kg?
BFR-X              2021?   ~55,000 kg?  ~35,000 kg? ~80,000 kg?
Vulcan 56x Heavy   2023?   ~13,500 kg   ~10,000 kg   16,500 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2024?    39,000 kg    32,000 kg      N/A
Omega 5xxXL        2024?   ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg  ~14,700 kg
Vulcan 56x ACES    2024?   ~14,000 kg?  ~10,500 kg? ~17,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?   ~23,000 kg?  ~20,200 kg? ~28,600 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2028?   >45,000 kg   >37,600 kg      N/A
==============================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version

*data from NASA LSP, does not include full vehicle performance

Updated 08-23-18
« Last Edit: 08/23/2018 02:17 PM by envy887 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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@envy887

Any performance numbers for Falcon Heavy with center core expended only?

Offline envy887

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@envy887

Any performance numbers for Falcon Heavy with center core expended only?

Roughly 10% less than expended, to some orbit but it's not clear which. The various FH recovery options could take a whole table themselves.

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