Author Topic: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007  (Read 11323 times)


Offline edkyle99

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More cash, even though the company only performed two orbital space launches.  It seems, oddly enough, that the fewer space launches Orbital performs, the more revenue it generates.  One reason is that the profits in its launch business are coming from suborbital missile defense targets.  

It seems that "suborbital" is where the money is.  Is Elon paying attention?

Maybe Orbital Sciences Corporation should change its name to "Suborbital Sciences Corporation."  

 - Ed Kyle

Offline EE Scott

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Orbital has seen a very healthy growth in their satellite building business.  That seems to be where their future revenue growth lies.  If the trend continues, perhaps they may shed their stagnant launch business?
Scott

Offline Danny Dot

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edkyle99 - 19/7/2007  9:18 AM

More cash, even though the company only performed two orbital space launches.  It seems, oddly enough, that the fewer space launches Orbital performs, the more revenue it generates.  One reason is that the profits in its launch business are coming from suborbital missile defense targets.  

It seems that "suborbital" is where the money is.  Is Elon paying attention?

Maybe Orbital Sciences Corporation should change its name to "Suborbital Sciences Corporation."  

 - Ed Kyle

What ever it is called, it is a great company.  I had the pleasure of working with them on the Orbital Space Plane, OSP.

Danny Deger
You can download my book on Air Force flying and working at NASA at:
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Offline vt_hokie

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Hmm, maybe I should shoot my resume over to them!   ;)  Actually, I'm starting the grad school application process, hoping to escape the real world for a couple of years, but that would be a cool company to work for!

Offline Jim

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vt_hokie - 19/7/2007  2:38 PM

Hmm, maybe I should shoot my resume over to them!   ;)  Actually, I'm starting the grad school application process, hoping to escape the real world for a couple of years, but that would be a cool company to work for!

You would be working on weapon systems,  gasp!

Offline vt_hokie

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Jim - 19/7/2007  2:45 PM

You would be working on weapon systems,  gasp!

LOL...good point!  :laugh:  You know, I was fairly conservative in my views on defense before the PNAC hawks took over in Washington.  I may not agree with our current foreign policy, but I never said we don't need a strong national defense.

But yes, I would prefer to work on peaceful applications of technology.

Offline Andy L

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Are these companies making lots of money because of the war, rather than space, like ATK, Lockheed Martin etc.

Offline edkyle99

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Andy L - 20/7/2007  3:14 PM

Are these companies making lots of money because of the war, rather than space, like ATK, Lockheed Martin etc.

The missile defense program accounts for much of it.  The missile defense budget is something like $10+ billion per year right now, and is projected to hit $14 billion in a few years.  That is more than NASA's spaceflight budget.

In terms of actual war spending, war fighting causes higher munitions spending and equipment replacement costs, etc., at the expense of new weapons systems procurement.  A big chunk of the $1 trillion that the Iraq War is going to end up costing will be spent on medical expenses and  disability payments to veterans over their lifetimes.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Andy L

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edkyle99 - 20/7/2007  4:09 PM


The missile defense program accounts for much of it.  The missile defense budget is something like $10+ billion per year right now, and is projected to hit $14 billion in a few years.  That is more than NASA's spaceflight budget.

 - Ed Kyle

Thanks, and I can understand that the missile defense budget is more important than anything given the evil threat that we're fighting against.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #10 on: 07/21/2007 06:14 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 20/7/2007  5:09 PM

The missile defense budget is something like $10+ billion per year right now, and is projected to hit $14 billion in a few years.  That is more than NASA's spaceflight budget.

Wow, I didn't realize that!  Kind of puts things in perspective...

Personally, I don't see how a missile defense system is more important than safeguarding our ports and securing our borders.  The Cold War relics continue to draw insane funding while we have to worry about lunatics blowing themselves up on subways, attacking us in our own home towns, etc.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #11 on: 07/21/2007 09:51 PM »
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vt_hokie - 21/7/2007  1:14 PM

Quote
edkyle99 - 20/7/2007  5:09 PM

The missile defense budget is something like $10+ billion per year right now, and is projected to hit $14 billion in a few years.  That is more than NASA's spaceflight budget.

Wow, I didn't realize that!  Kind of puts things in perspective...

Personally, I don't see how a missile defense system is more important than safeguarding our ports and securing our borders.  The Cold War relics continue to draw insane funding while we have to worry about lunatics blowing themselves up on subways, attacking us in our own home towns, etc.

According to this document:  

http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/0605unifiedsecuritybudget.pdf

the U.S. "Homeland Security" budget is $58 billion per year, of which perhaps
$2 billion is spent on "Port Security" (though other reports give a lower number, probably because it depends on how the Coast Guard budget gets wrapped around "Port Security".

What I find *really* interesting in this document, in the table on page 16, is the listing of $7 billion budgeted for "Offensive Space-Based Weapons".

As far as terrorist attacks in the U.S. goes, I haven't heard of any such attacks for half a dozen years now.  That's not to say it won't happen again, and of course it *has* happened in Britain, Spain, etc.  But meanwhile, we in the U.S. seem to be keeping plenty busy killing ourselves.  

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/tables/totalstab.htm
http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/

 - Ed Kyle

Offline antonioe

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RE: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #12 on: 07/27/2007 07:58 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 19/7/2007  9:18 AM

More cash, even though the company only performed two orbital space launches.  It seems, oddly enough, that the fewer space launches Orbital performs, the more revenue it generates.  One reason is that the profits in its launch business are coming from suborbital missile defense targets.  

It seems that "suborbital" is where the money is.  Is Elon paying attention?

Maybe Orbital Sciences Corporation should change its name to "Suborbital Sciences Corporation."  

 - Ed Kyle

Well... it is true that we've "only" had 52 orbital launches since April 5, 1990 (an average of 3/year), but we've build over 100 satellites which are definitely NOT suborbital (at least not intentionally)...

Now, I must admit the Orion Launch Abort System is definitely sub-orbital...

BTW, it is easy to keep a launch vehicle product line alive on 12 launches/year... doing it with 3/year is really, REALLY tought (that's what's killing Delta II)

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #13 on: 07/27/2007 08:01 PM »
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Andy L - 20/7/2007  3:14 PM

Are these companies making lots of money because of the war, rather than space, like ATK, Lockheed Martin etc.

For 2007, less than 40% of Orbital revenues are expected to come from DoD, Intelligence Agencies, DARPA, etc.  Rest is Civilian (Commercial GeoComms, NASA, etc.)
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline spacey9

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #14 on: 08/20/2007 08:06 PM »
If a 'space' company can build a rocket, they can build a missile.  It is good to be able to be in the defense business these days and then transition to a more space pure-play company as the private/commercial space business really takes off in the next few years.  Startup as a defense company, transition to a space company.

Ken Schweitzer
http://www.PlanetSpace.com

Offline yinzer

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #15 on: 08/20/2007 11:27 PM »
Isn't Orbital's NMD booster pretty much a Pegasus XL without wings?
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Offline aero313

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #16 on: 08/21/2007 12:06 AM »
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yinzer - 20/8/2007  7:27 PM

Isn't Orbital's NMD booster pretty much a Pegasus XL without wings?

Nope.  The rocket motors are similar, but propulsion only makes up a small piece of the total system.  Different environments, different aeroheating, silo launch, TVC first stage, hot fire second stage with blow out ports in the interstage, different avionics, different fairing, different I&T flow...

Need I go on?

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #17 on: 08/21/2007 12:22 AM »
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spacey9 - 20/8/2007  3:06 PM

If a 'space' company can build a rocket, they can build a missile.  It is good to be able to be in the defense business these days and then transition to a more space pure-play company as the private/commercial space business really takes off in the next few years.  Startup as a defense company, transition to a space company.

Ken Schweitzer
http://www.PlanetSpace.com

Except, in our case, we started as a pure space company in 1982 (commercial, then NASA) and only transitioned to significant defense business after 2000, with the GMD program (we had a couple of small USAF Science and Technology small sats before GMD, but, combined, they never amounted to even 10% of our revenue.  Pegasus, ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE were the big programs during the 90's...)
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline yinzer

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #18 on: 08/21/2007 01:06 AM »
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aero313 - 20/8/2007  5:06 PM

Quote
yinzer - 20/8/2007  7:27 PM

Isn't Orbital's NMD booster pretty much a Pegasus XL without wings?

Nope.  The rocket motors are similar, but propulsion only makes up a small piece of the total system.  Different environments, different aeroheating, silo launch, TVC first stage, hot fire second stage with blow out ports in the interstage, different avionics, different fairing, different I&T flow...

Need I go on?

Not at all.  Is it more similar to the Taurus, or are they all completely different from each other?
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #19 on: 08/21/2007 01:12 AM »
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spacey9 - 20/8/2007  4:06 PM

It is good to be able to be in the defense business these days and then transition to a more space pure-play company as the private/commercial space business really takes off in the next few years.  Startup as a defense company, transition to a space company.

I guess that's kind of what Loral did, selling the defense assets and then becoming a strictly commercial company.  Of course, that didn't exactly work out too well for shareholders of the post-1996 Loral!

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