Author Topic: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007  (Read 11268 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #20 on: 08/21/2007 01:45 AM »
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yinzer - 20/8/2007  9:06 PM

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aero313 - 20/8/2007  5:06 PM

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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?

Not at all.  Is it more similar to the Taurus, or are they all completely different from each other?

no, A Taurus is a Pegasus with no wings and the launch aircraft is replaced by a Castor 120

Offline aero313

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #21 on: 08/21/2007 02:24 AM »
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Jim - 20/8/2007  9:45 PM

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yinzer - 20/8/2007  9:06 PM

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aero313 - 20/8/2007  5:06 PM

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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?

Not at all.  Is it more similar to the Taurus, or are they all completely different from each other?

no, A Taurus is a Pegasus with no wings and the launch aircraft is replaced by a Castor 120

Yup. Nothing to it.

Well except for adding a vectored nozzle on the Pegasus stage 1, and beefed up skirts on the motors due to the more severe aerodynamic loads, and a bigger payload fairing, and a different avionics section structure (since the Pegasus third stage couldn't carry the heavier payload), and the hot fire of the Pegasus first stage in the PK forward skirt, and the different stage 1/2 separation system, and the different flight controls, and the extremely severe launch pad acoustics that required requalification (and often redesign) of virtually every Pegasus-heritage component, and the hand-tuned box isolation systems, and the different payload integration method (due to the requirement to operate from an austere launch site but maintain high payload cleanliness)...

Then of course there was the unique ground segment, including the self-contained control vans (a DARPA requirement), the mobile crane stacking of a 120,000 lb solid rocket motor, the launch site environmental approvals, the range approval of completely different launch site operations plans, getting approval from the people's republic of Santa Barbara County to use portable diesel generators...

Need I go on again?

Note from these two examples that when someone claims that the growth from, say, a Falcon 1 to a Falcon 9 is a simple path with no risk, they're either extremely naive or blowing smoke.  These changes weren't made for the sake of making changes (keep in mind that Taurus was internally funded, so it wasn't a case of feeding off the government), there were real technical reasons.

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #22 on: 08/21/2007 02:52 AM »
An interesting read on Loral's history.  Bernard Schwartz should've stuck with defense!   ;)

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #23 on: 08/23/2007 07:03 PM »
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aero313 - 20/8/2007 9:24 PM

getting approval from the people's republic of Santa Barbara County to use portable diesel generators...

You forgot their concern about the quantity of gaseous nitrogen that we were using... what would happen if all that nasty gaseous nitrogen were to be suddenly released into the delicate Santa Barbara County environment?
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Propforce

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #24 on: 08/23/2007 07:24 PM »
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antonioe - 20/8/2007  5:22 PM

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...)

Back in 2003, I struggled briefly with an ethical dilema on whether to purchase OSC stock shortly before the official announcement of OSC winning the GMD BV+ contract.  As an "insider", I knew the contract was awarded to OSC but has not yet made public, and I knew this would be a significant revenue infusion into OSC.  I decided not to buy the stock for fear of 'complications' with ethics, but obviously that  ethical issue didn't bother many as the ORB stock jumped from $6/share to $9/share and eventually to $14/share !!  :laugh:

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #25 on: 08/24/2007 12:43 AM »

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Propforce - 23/8/2007 2:24 PM

Back in 2003, I struggled briefly with an ethical dilema on whether to purchase OSC stock shortly before the official announcement of OSC winning the GMD BV+ contract. As an "insider", I knew the contract was awarded to OSC but has not yet made public, and I knew this would be a significant revenue infusion into OSC. I decided not to buy the stock for fear of 'complications' with ethics, but obviously that ethical issue didn't bother many as the ORB stock jumped from $6/share to $9/share and eventually to $14/share !! :laugh:

You did the right thing; money helps, don't get me wrong, but there are more important things in life.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline aero313

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #26 on: 08/26/2007 09:04 PM »
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antonioe - 23/8/2007  3:03 PM

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aero313 - 20/8/2007 9:24 PM

getting approval from the people's republic of Santa Barbara County to use portable diesel generators...

You forgot their concern about the quantity of gaseous nitrogen that we were using... what would happen if all that nasty gaseous nitrogen were to be suddenly released into the delicate Santa Barbara County environment?

Don't forget that they were also concerned about the condensate that would be generated by the payload environmental control unit and originally wanted that WATER collected and processed as a hazardous waste!

Offline Propforce

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #27 on: 08/26/2007 10:20 PM »
Where is the OSC pad at VAFB?  Is that the SLC 8 ?

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #28 on: 08/26/2007 11:23 PM »
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Propforce - 26/8/2007  6:20 PM

Where is the OSC pad at VAFB?  Is that the SLC 8 ?

For which vehicles?

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital making some nice cash - reports Second Quarter 2007
« Reply #29 on: 08/27/2007 12:34 AM »

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Propforce - 26/8/2007 5:20 PM

Where is the OSC pad at VAFB? Is that the SLC 8 ?
Pegasus does not use a "Launch Complex" - the L-1011 simply lands at the old shuttle runway, the LV is trailered in, and mating and final pre-takeoff preparations occur at the taxiway near the RW30 departure end.

Taurus uses a plain concrete pad in the area historically known as "LC-576E", a series of about 11 abandoned pads, silos, etc. that were used from 1959 to the mid 60's for the Atlas LV, in its various forms. The pad Taurus uses actually surrounds a silo that was once used for the testing of silo-protected Atlases (remember?...) so we have to be very careful were we step. There are no "facilities" per se at the site: Taurus brings everything it needs, down to the trailer-mounted Launch Control Room. Setting up the (buried) fiber optic line from the pad instrumentaiton box to the trailer some 3 km away was quite an adventure, given the indian burial sites that dot the landscape of the former Navy gunnery range that is today VAFB. Here's a picture of a Taurus on the pad. Note the fencing around the old silo.  Everything is road-transportable, including the launch stool.  The "umbilical tower" is, of course, single use... (aero313: can you verify all of this? My memory is not that good...).

BTW I can post these pictures because I used them at a "Responsive Space" (ha!...) conference in Long Beach a few years ago, so it has been shown to the public.

The Minotaur launches to orbit from VAFB use SLC-8, which the team considers "luxurious accomodations" :laugh: Note in the linked pictures the use of the same expendable tower as taurus.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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