Author Topic: NextSpaceFlight lists 10 planned launches for Vulcan in 2023  (Read 7079 times)

Offline seb21051

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That implies another 18 BE-4 engines from BO, unless they implement SMART very quickly. How realistic is it to expect BO to be able to deliver engines that soon?

1. Peregrine - Net Feb
2. USSF-106 - Net March
3. USSF - 87 - Net March
4. CRS SNC-1 - Net May
5. CRS SNC-2 - Net June
6. USSF - 112 - Net June
7. CRS SNC-3 - Net July
8. CRS SNC-4 - Net Sept
9. CRS SNC-5 - Net Dec
10. Kuiper - Net Dec

« Last Edit: 01/19/2023 12:26 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline deadman1204

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That implies another 18 BE-4 engines from BO, unless they implement SMART very quickly. How realistic is it to expect BO to be able to deliver engines that soon?

1. Peregrine - Net Feb
2. USSF-106 - Net March
3. USSF - 87 - Net March
4. CRS SNC-1 - Net May
5. CRS SNC-2 - Net June
6. USSF - 112 - Net June
7. CRS SNC-3 - Net July
8. CRS SNC-4 - Net Sept
9. CRS SNC-5 - Net Dec
10. Kuiper - Net Dec
Yea, this isn't gonna happen lol

Offline whitelancer64

First of all, the Demo launch of DreamChaser is missing, which is supposed to be the second launch of the Vulcan rocket.

Secondly, SNC is absolutely NOT going to have 5 DreamChaser launches to the ISS this year. That's entirely placeholder and should be treated as such. I would expect -maybe- one CRS mission late this year after the DreamChaser Demo mission is completed.

Thirdly, the USSF launches are out of order.  -106 and -87 are supposed to be Q3. (Per Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Vulcan_launches

I think these launch dates are either VERY out of date or are simply placeholders pending the announcement of actual launch dates.
« Last Edit: 01/18/2023 09:21 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline Skyrocket

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That implies another 18 BE-4 engines from BO, unless they implement SMART very quickly. How realistic is it to expect BO to be able to deliver engines that soon?

1. Peregrine - Net Feb
2. USSF-106 - Net March
3. USSF - 87 - Net March
4. CRS SNC-1 - Net May
5. CRS SNC-2 - Net June
6. USSF - 112 - Net June
7. CRS SNC-3 - Net July
8. CRS SNC-4 - Net Sept
9. CRS SNC-5 - Net Dec
10. Kuiper - Net Dec



Why on earth should there be five CRS SNC (Dream Chaser Cargo) launches?

Online gongora

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Online launch manifest needs to be updated again, news at 11.

Seriously, it's obvious most of those missions aren't flying this year regardless of how many engines are available.  Only one of the SNC missions would be manifested this year, the USSF missions aren't flying this year.

Offline seb21051

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So, with all that said, how many launches could one reasonably expect for 2023?

Online gongora

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Probably not more than two

Offline whitelancer64

So, with all that said, how many launches could one reasonably expect for 2023?


I'd guess 5 at most. A lot is riding on the first launch of Vulcan.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline seb21051

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Probably not more than two

Ok, you think the Peregrine and SNC-1?

Offline DanClemmensen

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This is ridiculous. I'm willing to believe that Vulcan will become a great LV in time, but no modern orbital LV has launched more than twice in its first year, and the last time ULA launched more than 10 in a year was 2016.

It appears that modern LVs generally take at least 5 years to launch the first 10 vehicles. Launch is a learning process.

Online gongora

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Probably not more than two

Ok, you think the Peregrine and SNC-1?

Yes, if Dream Chaser is ready this year (they seem to be making progress).

Offline whitelancer64

This is ridiculous. I'm willing to believe that Vulcan will become a great LV in time, but no modern orbital LV has launched more than twice in its first year, and the last time ULA launched more than 10 in a year was 2016.

It appears that modern LVs generally take at least 5 years to launch the first 10 vehicles. Launch is a learning process.

Atlas V launched 3 times within its first year. August 21, 2002, May 14, 2003, and July 17, 2003. Atlas V's 10th launch was June 15, 2007. That 5 year period also saw the final 11 launches of the Atlas II and III.

Electron's first launch was May 25, 2017, its 10th launch was December 6, 2019. It is a much smaller rocket of course, and it did launch 6 times in 2019.

Falcon 9 demo launch was June 4, 2010. Its 10th flight was July 14, 2014, a period of just over 4 years. This includes a major upgrade of the LV from the v1.0 to the v1.1

ULA has a lot of pressure on to make sure Vulcan performs. They really need it to be a very reliable workhorse ASAP to secure their future. They need to get it certified for their NSSL launches and start flying them.

To be clear: I do think 5 is a stretch. It assumes everything goes perfectly on the first launch (probably not, considering how much new stuff is being debuted) and the subsequent launches.  I think at least 3 is very possible, 4 may be pushing it (but ULA really does need to get those NSSL launches going).
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline DanClemmensen

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This is ridiculous. I'm willing to believe that Vulcan will become a great LV in time, but no modern orbital LV has launched more than twice in its first year, and the last time ULA launched more than 10 in a year was 2016.

It appears that modern LVs generally take at least 5 years to launch the first 10 vehicles. Launch is a learning process.

Atlas V launched 3 times within its first year. August 21, 2002, May 14, 2003, and July 17, 2003. Atlas V's 10th launch was June 15, 2007. That 5 year period also saw the final 11 launches of the Atlas II and III.

Electron's first launch was May 25, 2017, its 10th launch was December 6, 2019. It is a much smaller rocket of course, and it did launch 6 times in 2019.

Falcon 9 demo launch was June 4, 2010. Its 10th flight was July 14, 2014, a period of just over 4 years. This includes a major upgrade of the LV from the v1.0 to the v1.1

ULA has a lot of pressure on to make sure Vulcan performs. They really need it to be a very reliable workhorse ASAP to secure their future. They need to get it certified for their NSSL launches and start flying them.

To be clear: I do think 5 is a stretch. It assumes everything goes perfectly on the first launch (probably not, considering how much new stuff is being debuted) and the subsequent launches.  I think at least 3 is very possible, 4 may be pushing it (but ULA really does need to get those NSSL launches going).
Sorry, I was going from a graph in another post and I may have misinterpreted it. Note, however, that this thread is about calendar year 2023, not about the first 365 days after the first launch. Note also that Jim says the min launch interval fro Atlas V is one month, so it would be reasonable to assume Vulcan will take about that since they launch from the same pad(?) and it is unlikely that they will launch Vulcan from Vandenberg this year.

Offline deadman1204

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Aren't they still waiting on the full engine qualifications to be done by blue before the first launch?
Then after the first two, won't there be about 13 mountains of paperwork to do for the space force to finish qualifying the rocket before it get launch anything for them?

Offline DanClemmensen

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Vulcan Centaur will apparently launch from the same two launch complexes that are used by Atlas V:  CCSFS SLC-41 and VSFB SLC-3E.

Jim says Atlas V can launch once a month. Is this pad turnaround or Atlas V turnaround? If pad turnaround, then will this also be the number for Vulcan Centaur?

What about launch complex reconfiguration between Atlas and Vulcan? We know Atlas will continue to fly, with 19 more missions. We also know that Vulcan booster is methalox while Atlas is kerolox. Are there two different launch pads at each complex, or do they use the same literal pad?

We have seen that methane GSE can require some testing and debugging for a large rocket, notably Starship. It's probably easier than Hydrogen a lot easier than hydrogen, but it's still going to be new. If Vulcan needs to roll back a few times we should not be surprised: it's normal and presumably it's in the schedule.


Online gongora

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Same pad, but different mobile launch platforms for the different rockets.  They've already done some tanking tests with the Vulcan pathfinder, so not starting from scratch there.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Same pad, but different mobile launch platforms for the different rockets.  They've already done some tanking tests with the Vulcan pathfinder, so not starting from scratch there.
If there is room to stack a Vulcan and an Atlas at the same time, one on each ML, then this might reduce pad "conversion", not increase it.

Offline whitelancer64

Same pad, but different mobile launch platforms for the different rockets.  They've already done some tanking tests with the Vulcan pathfinder, so not starting from scratch there.

If there is room to stack a Vulcan and an Atlas at the same time, one on each ML, then this might reduce pad "conversion", not increase it.

ULA has rebuilt the SPOC (Spaceflight Processing Operations Center) building into a second vehicle integration facility for Vulcan at their launch site in Florida to essentially double their possible flight rate.

Edit to add:

Vulcan: Launch platform rolls to pad for first time
January 29, 2021

https://blog.ulalaunch.com/blog/vulcan-centaur-launch-platform-rolls-to-pad-for-first-time
« Last Edit: 01/19/2023 04:48 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline abaddon

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Here's a link to a post I made with a graph of "EELV" launch cadence over the first five years since maiden launch, launch aligned, for HII, Atlas V, Delta IV, Ariane V, and Falcon 9: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46338.msg2450278#msg2450278.  I'm reattaching the graph for reference here, as it seems relevant.
« Last Edit: 01/20/2023 03:53 pm by abaddon »

Offline seb21051

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So, it all comes down to whatever the best production rate BO can manage for their BE-4s. And in the longer term, for both of the affected LVs.

 

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