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Author Topic: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?  (Read 1995 times)

Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 11:59:09 am »
Good.
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Offline Mark Nankivil

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 12:24:01 pm »
I'll second that!  Mark

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 04:43:08 pm »
I'll second that!  Mark

Thirded. Geopolitics aside, it's best to know how to do this sort of thing yourself.
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Offline merriman

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 05:10:42 pm »
How is Bezos' BE-4 coming along?

David
We're the extra fuel they may need, Stanton...

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 07:57:44 pm »
SpaceX

Offline TomS

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 08:18:28 pm »
How is Bezos' BE-4 coming along?

David

BE-4 only replaces RD-180 if and when Vulcan replaces Atlas. You can't just swap it into existing rockets because it burns methane, not kerosene.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 11:48:42 pm »
SpaceX

They're unlikely to sell their engines to a competitor.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 04:44:12 am »
SpaceX

They're unlikely to sell their engines to a competitor.

That's not what he's saying.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 04:45:21 am »
How is Bezos' BE-4 coming along?

David

BE-4 only replaces RD-180 if and when Vulcan replaces Atlas. You can't just swap it into existing rockets because it burns methane, not kerosene.

I thought the AR-1 was designed to also be a 2 for 1 swap on Atlas?   ???
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 05:37:48 am »
SpaceX

They're unlikely to sell their engines to a competitor.

That's not what he's saying.

Maybe not, but at the moment he's just illustrating the drawback of overly-terse answers.

Offline TomS

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 05:42:56 am »
I thought the AR-1 was designed to also be a 2 for 1 swap on Atlas?   ???

Yes, it is.  AR-1 is the only potential direct "drop-in" replacement for the RD-180 in development, AFAIK, and it seems to be an open question whether it's actually going to happen.  Aerojet Rocketdyne certainly doesn't seem inclined to spend its own money on AR-1 now that ULA has decided on BE-4 for Vulcan.  (Yes, ULA claims AR1 is a backup for Vulcan, but swithcing means tearing up most of the design work and starting over, since methane tankage and kerosene tankage are not interchangeable.

BE-4 is ticking along, but it only replaces RD-180 if Vulcan actually replaces Atlas.  I'm not holding my breath on that either.  It seems like Vulcan keeps sliding right at about one year per year.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2018, 06:07:44 am »
The AR-1 is reportedly 18 months behind the BE-4.

I thought the AR-1 was designed to also be a 2 for 1 swap on Atlas?   ???

Yes, it is.  AR-1 is the only potential direct "drop-in" replacement for the RD-180 in development, AFAIK, and it seems to be an open question whether it's actually going to happen.  Aerojet Rocketdyne certainly doesn't seem inclined to spend its own money on AR-1 now that ULA has decided on BE-4 for Vulcan.  (Yes, ULA claims AR1 is a backup for Vulcan, but swithcing means tearing up most of the design work and starting over, since methane tankage and kerosene tankage are not interchangeable.

BE-4 is ticking along, but it only replaces RD-180 if Vulcan actually replaces Atlas.  I'm not holding my breath on that either.  It seems like Vulcan keeps sliding right at about one year per year.

Offline Moose

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Re: Supply of RD-180 rocket engines to the US to be cut off?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2018, 07:29:46 am »
The next LSA phase was supposed to have a selection by now, which may/should tell us more about where things are going.
Quote
Industry consultant Charles Miller, president of NexGen Space, speculated that ULA may have left the decision up to the Air Force. “My guess is that Tory is basically letting the Air Force choose his engine for him,” Miller told SpaceNews. ULA could have offered two options for Vulcan, one with the Aerojet engine and one with the Blue Origin engine.

Miller said he is fairly certain that Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket will be a player in national security launch. “The Air Force will want to use New Glenn. It is going to buy New Glenn services once it’s flying and reliable.”
An interesting theory I've come across is that the USAF may select AR-1 for Vulcan in the belief that New Glenn will eventually arrive with BE-4 even if BO looses out on Vulcan, and thus provide the redundancy of 3 vehicle families (Falcon, Vulcan, NG) with 3 separate engine lines. I think they'd have to deal with some pushback if they went this route, but it would certainly preserve/support the widest industrial base possible.