Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle (as announced/built) - General Discussion Thread 3  (Read 151916 times)

Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6198
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2310
  • Likes Given: 782
Recovering investment is not really on SpaceX's mind.  It's not like SpaceX is going to issue dividends or buy back stock.  And as far as I can tell, it has no loans.

Pre-spending front-loaded progress payments is technically very much like a loan that has to be paid back...

~Jon

Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6198
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2310
  • Likes Given: 782
Conversation seems to be veering from its intended purpose and back into the realm of Business case, Competition, and Alternatives.

Sorry.

~Jon

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7603
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1186
  • Likes Given: 7941
Because no one was in a position to pressure them to drop their prices, so schedule acceleration was enougn to attract customers. They're running a business, not a charity.
A fact some people don't seem to understand very well.
Quote from: docmordrid
If some competitor (Blue?) does get into that position a very cheap launch cost lets them lower their launch price just sufficient to keep the new competitor at bay and no more, leaving max profit and room to drop it again  if necessary.

Econ 101
Another fact some people don't seem to understand very well.

In 2003 10s of tonnes of Payload to LEO --> 10 (100) s of $m

In 2018 10s of tonnes of Payload to LEO --> 10 (100)s of $m

Any talk of SX launching a BFR payload to LEO for the cost of an F1 is exactly that. Talk. Nothing more and nothing less.

And ULA know it.
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 john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7603
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1186
  • Likes Given: 7941
I just want to know what the heck Tory is or is not seeing that he still hasn't down selected. Are the parents holding him back to smooth out some political sharp edges or is there something he's still not seeing in the test data?

The moment that announcement is made, or either Blue or AJ can attest they have successfully completed the requisite tests, someone loses DoD funding.  No benefit to ULA from getting in the middle of that food fight--so why should they?  (Although I hope and expect ULA is well apprised of progress by both Blue and AJ, and are making plans accordingly, if not in public.)
Indeed. While either might be selected it also allows ULA to negotiate a better deal for Vulcan.

And given how much stuff ULA buys in getting those deals on everything ULA buys are going to be a pretty important process if Bruno wants to be competitive in anything but NSS launches.

From earlier in this thread AIUI Vulcan booster is running on a parallel track to the US so negotiations there can also be done separately from Vulcan, although I'd expect OATK would like to like AR1 with RL10 acceptance 

The question is of course how comparable are the development schedules of AR1 and Blue's engine?

If they're neck and neck then it really is a two horse race but if Blue really are as far ahead as people think then AR-1 is basically a stalking horse to get a better deal off Blue.

I agree that the first to demonstrate a complete flight length burn (full length, full throttle profile) has basically won.
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 john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7603
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1186
  • Likes Given: 7941
SpaceX has explicitly stated that they need to recover their investment into reuse tech before they begin knocking down prices.
No surprise. That's how most conventional (IE non government contractors) do things.
Quote from: rcoppola
Block-5 should speed up that recovery. So maybe we'll start to see SpaceX apply even more downward pricing pressure in the launch market sometime in 2019.
Run that by me again? A new generation of tech development will cause them to lower their prices faster without competitive pressure from other companies?

This makes sense to you?
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 MaxTeranous

  • Member
  • Posts: 60
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 12
Because no one was in a position to pressure them to drop their prices, so schedule acceleration was enougn to attract customers. They're running a business, not a charity.
A fact some people don't seem to understand very well.
Quote from: docmordrid
If some competitor (Blue?) does get into that position a very cheap launch cost lets them lower their launch price just sufficient to keep the new competitor at bay and no more, leaving max profit and room to drop it again  if necessary.

Econ 101
Another fact some people don't seem to understand very well.

In 2003 10s of tonnes of Payload to LEO --> 10 (100) s of $m

In 2018 10s of tonnes of Payload to LEO --> 10 (100)s of $m

Any talk of SX launching a BFR payload to LEO for the cost of an F1 is exactly that. Talk. Nothing more and nothing less.

And ULA know it.

ULA should also know that as soon as Blue get an orbital class launcher going they will put the price of launch through the floor. Bezo's business plan every time is to absolutely minimize prices to grab market share, and he'll do it again as soon as he can. Hell, it's worked for him so far!

As you say, competition, but not from SpaceX, from Blue. When Blue start offering launches at $10 mil, SpaceX is putting itself into position to compete still. It may not like it (less dev money for Mars), but it probably can. Vulcan (or any non reusable rocket for that matter), no chance. That's what ULA are facing in the next 5 years, and that's what they're being an Ostrich about.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4711
  • Liked: 2616
  • Likes Given: 1407
SpaceX has explicitly stated that they need to recover their investment into reuse tech before they begin knocking down prices.
No surprise. That's how most conventional (IE non government contractors) do things.
Quote from: rcoppola
Block-5 should speed up that recovery. So maybe we'll start to see SpaceX apply even more downward pricing pressure in the launch market sometime in 2019.
Run that by me again? A new generation of tech development will cause them to lower their prices faster without competitive pressure from other companies?

This makes sense to you?

Replied here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44391

Most of this discussion has nothing to do with the current Vulcan design.

Offline Sam Ho

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
  • Liked: 223
  • Likes Given: 66
From earlier in this thread AIUI Vulcan booster is running on a parallel track to the US so negotiations there can also be done separately from Vulcan, although I'd expect OATK would like to like AR1 with RL10 acceptance 
Why would OATK prefer that?  The GEM-63XL should work just fine with any combination of booster and upper stage engines.  I would think that any remaining interest in the Vulcan engine competition would be in picking up economies of scale if Vulcan and NGL share an upper stage engine.

Online russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4761
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 1219
  • Likes Given: 598
From earlier in this thread AIUI Vulcan booster is running on a parallel track to the US so negotiations there can also be done separately from Vulcan, although I'd expect OATK would like to like AR1 with RL10 acceptance 
Why would OATK prefer that?  The GEM-63XL should work just fine with any combination of booster and upper stage engines.  I would think that any remaining interest in the Vulcan engine competition would be in picking up economies of scale if Vulcan and NGL share an upper stage engine.
Aerojet Rocketdyne would likely prefer all of its products used and so would the Northrop Grumman merger with OATK (Legacy TRW with OATK propulsion products). ;)

TRW Background Note: TRW's auto and aerospace divisions were split off with ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF = Zeppelin Foundation) in 2015 acquiring the non aerospace portion of TRW. Also 2015 TRW Aerospace was dissolved directly into Northrop Grumman.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 09:51 PM by russianhalo117 »

Online TrevorMonty

From earlier in this thread AIUI Vulcan booster is running on a parallel track to the US so negotiations there can also be done separately from Vulcan, although I'd expect OATK would like to like AR1 with RL10 acceptance 
Why would OATK prefer that?  The GEM-63XL should work just fine with any combination of booster and upper stage engines.  I would think that any remaining interest in the Vulcan engine competition would be in picking up economies of scale if Vulcan and NGL share an upper stage engine.
Aerojet Rocketdyne would likely prefer all of its products used and so would the Northrop Grumman merger with OATK (Legacy TRW with OATK propulsion products). ;)

TRW Background Note: TRW's auto and aerospace divisions were split off with ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF = Zeppelin Foundation) in 2015 acquiring the non aerospace portion of TRW. Also 2015 TRW Aerospace was dissolved into directly into Northrop Grumman.
OA better off with their SRB for ELV as its all inhouse. For RLV they need a liquid engine like AR1.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2783
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2907
  • Likes Given: 2249
Tory Bruno is at CU Boulder right now. Student asked him a question about ACES. His response:
Quote from: Tory Bruno
ACES - we donít even have requirements , or a PDR yet.

FWIW.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4711
  • Liked: 2616
  • Likes Given: 1407
Tory Bruno is at CU Boulder right now. Student asked him a question about ACES. His response:
Quote from: Tory Bruno
ACES - we donít even have requirements , or a PDR yet.

FWIW.

Which explains why it's notionally 7 years away. They haven't advanced it past the concept stage, and need that time (plus funding) to get to operational capability.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9718
  • UK
  • Liked: 1858
  • Likes Given: 183
Lengthy new article via CBS/SN with ULA fighting their corner against Space X.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/03/20/ula-touts-new-vulcan-rocket-in-competition-with-spacex/
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 08:09 PM by Star One »

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4711
  • Liked: 2616
  • Likes Given: 1407
Tory Bruno is at CU Boulder right now. Student asked him a question about ACES. His response:
Quote from: Tory Bruno
ACES - we donít even have requirements , or a PDR yet.

FWIW.

Which explains why it's notionally 7 years away. They haven't advanced it past the concept stage, and need that time (plus funding) to get to operational capability.

If you're interested in the remark, the video can be found at:

 https://www.facebook.com/cuengineering/videos/10159770315150538/

(Question is at 36:47).

Thanks. Tory actually says that they have to finish the basic Vulcan first so that he can move resources to ACES, and that they are still in the tech development phase and want to hear more about potential customers needs.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2783
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2907
  • Likes Given: 2249
Tory Bruno is at CU Boulder right now. Student asked him a question about ACES. His response:
Quote from: Tory Bruno
ACES - we donít even have requirements , or a PDR yet.

FWIW.

Which explains why it's notionally 7 years away. They haven't advanced it past the concept stage, and need that time (plus funding) to get to operational capability.

If you're interested in the remark, the video can be found at:

 https://www.facebook.com/cuengineering/videos/10159770315150538/

(Question is at 36:47).

Thanks. Tory actually says that they have to finish the basic Vulcan first so that he can move resources to ACES, and that they are still in the tech development phase and want to hear more about potential customers needs.
Highlights mine.

As indicated upthread, so no "actually", was correct from the start.
1) Joint Venture "horizon" problem - you're only financed for what might bring in immediate revenue. ACES has no demand for development/"sales" (he says "no customers"). Thus no money to develop (or fund necessary test flight(s)). Why it perpetuates but doesn't get done.
Once they get done with Vulcan, there's yet no follow on commitment to ACES, as there wasn't with Atlas when Vulcan wasn't present, but there WAS a need for a larger US. Likewise SMART.
2) He says "no PDR".
3). He says "no requirements". Which is what customers (stakeholders actually) tell you.

Yes, like any good CEO he blathers happily about it so you'll feel good. They all do that. What you're supposed to do. The guy makes you feel like you're being listened to, when he's actually quite aware of putting off the commitment. It's his job.

But listen for the key points and don't get distracted with the music. Reality is what it is. Just like with Musk going on about reuse bottoming costs when it's nowhere near the rate to achieve payback, which is something Bruno also goes into in that video too.

Selling capabilities is not "selling on whim", like a new smartphone case or color if it were to be.

Stay locked on reality and listen for the key words/points. And yes I do that for a living. Doesn't make you popular but effective.

Online TrevorMonty

ACES is required for Distributed Launch for which there is no current market. When they have requirement to deliver large payloads to BLEO on reqular basis that is when ACES will be needed.

In mean time ULA have their hands full with Vulcan and Centuar V development.

Offline rst

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 324
  • Liked: 105
  • Likes Given: 0
ACES is required for Distributed Launch for which there is no current market. When they have requirement to deliver large payloads to BLEO on reqular basis that is when ACES will be needed.

And yet Tory has prioritized it over SMART, which would help make them more competitive in the active market for commercial launches, where they need sales to stay viable.  To some of us in the peanut gallery, this is ... puzzling.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5233
  • Likes Given: 1690
ACES is required for Distributed Launch for which there is no current market. When they have requirement to deliver large payloads to BLEO on reqular basis that is when ACES will be needed.

And yet Tory has prioritized it over SMART, which would help make them more competitive in the active market for commercial launches, where they need sales to stay viable.  To some of us in the peanut gallery, this is ... puzzling.

Not it isn't. ULA is still not convinced about the economies of reuse working out the way SpaceX predict them to work out.
However, ULA is not a bunch of idi*ts. They are smart (pun intended) enough to hedge their bets by coming up with the SMART concept. Just in case...
But their primary focus on cost reduction, and being more competitive, revolves around developing a single launcher solution (Vulcan, doing away with the older Atlas and Delta) that can fly mass to orbit as efficiently as possible. Hence Centaur V, given that current Centaur is just about the most efficient upper stage in existence. Centaur V is sufficiently pre-molded to "easily" evolve into ACES.

In short, Bruno et al. think they can be competitive via Vulcan/Centaur V and remain so via evolving into Vulcan/ACES.
SMART only comes into play if the prior options fail to adequately compete with SpaceX and others. Hence why SMART has lowest priority.
« Last Edit: 03/22/2018 07:12 AM by woods170 »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7603
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1186
  • Likes Given: 7941

As indicated upthread, so no "actually", was correct from the start.
1) Joint Venture "horizon" problem - you're only financed for what might bring in immediate revenue. ACES has no demand for development/"sales" (he says "no customers"). Thus no money to develop (or fund necessary test flight(s)). Why it perpetuates but doesn't get done.
Once they get done with Vulcan, there's yet no follow on commitment to ACES, as there wasn't with Atlas when Vulcan wasn't present, but there WAS a need for a larger US. Likewise SMART.
2) He says "no PDR".
3). He says "no requirements". Which is what customers (stakeholders actually) tell you.

Yes, like any good CEO he blathers happily about it so you'll feel good. They all do that. What you're supposed to do. The guy makes you feel like you're being listened to, when he's actually quite aware of putting off the commitment. It's his job.

But listen for the key points and don't get distracted with the music. Reality is what it is. Just like with Musk going on about reuse bottoming costs when it's nowhere near the rate to achieve payback, which is something Bruno also goes into in that video too.

Selling capabilities is not "selling on whim", like a new smartphone case or color if it were to be.

Stay locked on reality and listen for the key words/points. And yes I do that for a living. Doesn't make you popular but effective.
Pity.

Not sounding good for IVF being tested anytime soon.  :(

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 docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5023
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 2141
  • Likes Given: 1
March 14, 2018

Space News....

Quote
>
ULA will also handle marketing of the Vulcan rocket in-house. The first launch of that rocket is planned for mid-2020, but Bruno said the company has not yet sold a Vulcan mission.
>

If they've been trying to sell Vulcan since its intro in 2015 and are 0 for 3 years selling commercial launches, and have said they need them to close the business case....
« Last Edit: 03/22/2018 09:18 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Tags: