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Author Topic: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher  (Read 11616 times)

Offline sferrin

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2015, 12:39:45 pm »
Good to see that Musk has driven the other non-government rocket guys to embrace re usability.


Still not a given.  Both could end up being dead ends.

Could be, but less likely than not trying at all.
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Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2015, 12:40:03 pm »
Actually I think BE-4 is a 550,000 lbf engine (about 2450 kN).  BE-3 is 110,000 lbf (490 kN).

Offline fredymac

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2015, 01:02:47 pm »
1.  And yet there are rocket engineers in both companies who think there is a chance they can succeed.

2.   Spacex is driven by a desire to break into a market and take a dominant position through superior technology. 

ULA is a bureaucratized conglomerate being forced to react in absence of a government grant of monopoly.   

3.  I only wish companies with similar mindsets as Spacex would be able to review all the technical data on scramjets and take similar risks in pushing forwards with that approach to achieve the payload mass fractions necessary to drastically reduce launch costs. 

4.  I am much more interested by the possibility of mass access to space for the average person than another grandiose mission to whatever by a tiny handful of civil servants.  Unfortunately,
5.  NASA doesn't agree.

1.  That is no different than the last 50 years.  There always have been people who thought that.  And also there was the Space shuttle.

2.  It isn't superior technology.  Just a rearrangement of existing technology.

3.  Why?  What makes you think that scramjets are the answer?

4.  Maybe space isn't for the masses.  Much like the depths of oceans.

5.  They may be right.  So be open to the possibility of being disappointed.

I am not a rocket engineer so I won’t presume to tell those who are what is and is not possible.  If professionals working in the field think it can be done, I would give them the benefit of a doubt.  If a private company is willing to risk their own money pursuing it, I applaud them and am not offended.

Any technology not in being is by definition not “existing”.  Spacex would love to find a hardware store selling re-usable rocket technology “off-the-shelf” rather than spending R&D crashing boosters into barges.

Payload mass fractions for rockets are limited by theoretical limits to specific impulse and the need to carry the oxidizer.  Scramjets are the only alternative which have been flight demonstrated and their Isp potential is massively superior.

Whether or not I or anyone else would want to visit space is our own business and not a matter for a 3rd party to decide “what is best” for us.  There have been a variety of space tourism ventures (Bigelow Aerospace comes to mind) which indicates private investors are seeing enough interest that they have spent their own money in pursuit of an eventual market.  For some reason, deep sea tourism doesn’t spark the imagination of enough people to generate the same response.

NASA is a bureaucracy and must feed its’ civil servants.   Keeping a standing army occupied is not cheap and one of the reasons the shuttle cost so much.   I have been disappointed many times in my life.  I am prepared to experience more.

Offline Byeman

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2015, 05:09:01 pm »
1.  Any technology not in being is by definition not “existing”.  Spacex would love to find a hardware store selling re-usable rocket technology “off-the-shelf” rather than spending R&D crashing boosters into barges.

2.  Payload mass fractions for rockets are limited by theoretical limits to specific impulse and the need to carry the oxidizer.  Scramjets are the only alternative which have been flight demonstrated and their Isp potential is massively superior.

3.  NASA is a bureaucracy and must feed its’ civil servants.   Keeping a standing army occupied is not cheap and one of the reasons the shuttle cost so much.   I have been disappointed many times in my life.  I am prepared to experience more.

1.  All Spacex technology existed before the company was created.  They did not development anything new. 

2,  Scramjets have little use in space launch.  Launch vehicles are out of the sensible atmosphere after two minutes.  There is nothing to gain by staying low enough for scram jet operation

3,  NASA doesn't have a standing army of civil servants. 

Offline fredymac

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2015, 02:22:18 am »
1.  Any technology not in being is by definition not “existing”.  Spacex would love to find a hardware store selling re-usable rocket technology “off-the-shelf” rather than spending R&D crashing boosters into barges.

2.  Payload mass fractions for rockets are limited by theoretical limits to specific impulse and the need to carry the oxidizer.  Scramjets are the only alternative which have been flight demonstrated and their Isp potential is massively superior.

3.  NASA is a bureaucracy and must feed its’ civil servants.   Keeping a standing army occupied is not cheap and one of the reasons the shuttle cost so much.   I have been disappointed many times in my life.  I am prepared to experience more.

1.  All Spacex technology existed before the company was created.  They did not development anything new. 

2,  Scramjets have little use in space launch.  Launch vehicles are out of the sensible atmosphere after two minutes.  There is nothing to gain by staying low enough for scram jet operation

3,  NASA doesn't have a standing army of civil servants.


Wow.

Offline Byeman

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2015, 10:13:33 am »

Wow.

Having trouble accepting reality?

1.  Spacex has only rearranged existing technology.   The rocket engines are not new technology.  Neither are the vehicle structures or avionics. 

2.  Skylon is a exemption since its engines transition to rocket to airbreathing and back to rocket.  It spends little time in the lower atmosphere.  Its structure does have to deal with aeroheating, which is 2nd major drawback of scramjet launch vehicles (1st drawback is operational speed, and by the time a standard launch vehicle reaches that speed, it is outside of the sensible atmosphere, where scramjets operate and so what is the point of using them)   In fact, jettison-able turbojets a better for space launch than scramjets. 

3.  NASA's contractor to employee ratio is anywhere from 10-1 to 5-1.    For example, KSC has less than 2000 civil servants but 11000 contractors.   So, my point stands, there is no standing army of civil servants.

Offline sferrin

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2015, 10:20:07 am »

Wow.

Having trouble accepting reality?

1.  Spacex has only rearranged existing technology.   The rocket engines are not new technology.  Neither are the vehicle structures or avionics. 

Which is suppose to mean what exactly?  That it's impossible for SpaceX to succeed in putting a reusable booster into service?  Hardly.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 10:32:28 am by sferrin »
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Offline mz

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2015, 03:41:38 pm »

Wow.

Having trouble accepting reality?

1.  Spacex has only rearranged existing technology.   The rocket engines are not new technology.  Neither are the vehicle structures or avionics. 

Which is suppose to mean what exactly?  That it's impossible for SpaceX to succeed in putting a reusable booster into service?  Hardly.

I think there's not that much totally new in any of Musk's businesses. Whether it's an electric car with laptop battery cells or vertical landing with relatively normal gas generator lox-kerosene rocket engines.

I think that's also a key to success. They're not exotic at all. We already have good technology, just need good execution on the assembly and the business.

Offline Rhinocrates

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2015, 05:22:17 pm »

Wow.

Having trouble accepting reality?

1.  Spacex has only rearranged existing technology.   The rocket engines are not new technology.  Neither are the vehicle structures or avionics. 

Which is suppose to mean what exactly?  That it's impossible for SpaceX to succeed in putting a reusable booster into service?  Hardly.

I think there's not that much totally new in any of Musk's businesses. Whether it's an electric car with laptop battery cells or vertical landing with relatively normal gas generator lox-kerosene rocket engines.

I think that's also a key to success. They're not exotic at all. We already have good technology, just need good execution on the assembly and the business.

That's it - vertical integration of manufacture, minimalise development costs with no new technologies - no plug nozzle, no wings, no LACE, no warp drive, no jacuzzi. Anything else has high risk and high expense needing to be amortised in launch costs, rendering the exercise futile.  The dumbest bird that flies is worth a thousand powerpoint presentations.

I remember when Steve Jobs died some historians were getting huffy about comparisons with Edison (forgetting that Edison stole a lot of ideas and DIDN't work alone, but industrialised invention), saying that he never actually invented anything himself, which completely missed the point. Monet didn't invent paint either: the invention is in HOW it's done.

Elon Musk is an interesting fellow with a real long-term vision - he's opened up a lot of his patents actually helping his rivals and competitors in various fields (if you look at the news from recent motor shows, it seems every car manufacturer including the likes of Porsche and Aston Martin are showing off electric sports cars and SUVs with imminent production promised). More than making billions, he wants to leverage change in the world and I get the impression that nothing would delight him more than see someone else come along later with better technology. What he's doing now is breaking logjams and thereby opening new markets that will make the investment in better technologies worthwhile and compelling.
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline fredymac

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2016, 10:30:41 pm »
Well the upper stage seems to be a real advance over current technology.  Of course committing real money to hardware development will determine if they are serious.


Offline sferrin

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2016, 10:47:48 pm »
Refueling in space?  I'll believe it when I see it.  (Not that I think it's impossible, just that I'm skeptical they'll go that far.)
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2016, 12:26:00 am »
Refueling in space?  I'll believe it when I see it.  (Not that I think it's impossible, just that I'm skeptical they'll go that far.)

Unless they are building hardware, they are where NASA-Marshall was in about 1961.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2016, 06:41:13 am »
Refueling in space?  I'll believe it when I see it.  (Not that I think it's impossible, just that I'm skeptical they'll go that far.)

Unless they are building hardware, they are where NASA-Marshall was in about 1961.

Did NASA ever perform refueling in space? (There was artwork I recall seeing as a kid that was old even then.)
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Offline Hobbes

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Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2016, 07:23:29 am »
Refueling is standard procedure for the ISS. These days that's mostly handled by the Russians though.