Register here

Author Topic: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher  (Read 15520 times)

Offline fredymac

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1095
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #45 on: May 14, 2018, 12:59:36 pm »
There wonít be ďmanyĒ if the competition keeps lowering prices while simultaneously racking up ever increasing market share.  The cost to design and qualify two highly divergent designs in something as fundamental as the interface to the main engines (and the load bearing/transfer structure) canít be trivial.

Ariane can rely upon a captive European launch market (ESA, military) but ULA wonít have that backstop if their prices are grossly noncompetitive.  Blue Origin canít be expected to stay silent in such a scenario.  Given the time needed to perfect detachable engine pod and recovery technology, ULA should have already conducted preliminary tests just as Spacex did with the Grasshopper flights.  Even CGI simulations showing design effort would alleviate suspicions that they arenít trying.

Offline Byeman

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 699
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2018, 05:02:23 pm »
two highly divergent designs in something as fundamental as the interface to the main engines (and the load bearing/transfer structure) canít be trivial.


They aren't divergent much less highly. 

Offline fredymac

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1095
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2018, 01:01:16 am »
When you mount the engines in a separate pod they become like a lower stage and will probably interface in a similar way with load bearing structures on both sides of the divide.  Looking at pod mounted jet engines on an airliner you also see an intermediate load transfer structure.  Just as a casual observer there are a lot of details that come mind.  Much more so than say strapping three Falcon 9's together.  At a minimum, the mechanical arrangement is more complex and I don't see how that doesn't impact load transfer.  Of course, if ULA just released some high level drawings that would settle the matter.

Offline Byeman

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 699
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2018, 07:41:46 am »
When you mount the engines in a separate pod they become like a lower stage and will probably interface in a similar way with load bearing structures on both sides of the divide.  Looking at pod mounted jet engines on an airliner you also see an intermediate load transfer structure.  Just as a casual observer there are a lot of details that come mind.  Much more so than say strapping three Falcon 9's together.  At a minimum, the mechanical arrangement is more complex and I don't see how that doesn't impact load transfer.  Of course, if ULA just released some high level drawings that would settle the matter.

First stages are already designed that way.  Engine thrust structures are already "separate pods".   They are attached to the booster tanks.

You can see on this Altas V.  It is bolted to the tank on the right
https://goo.gl/images/2uT3rP

Here is the same thing for Falcon 9

https://goo.gl/images/KZvZrx




Offline Hobbes

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 567
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2018, 09:57:34 am »
Those are attached permanently. A structure that's designed to separate cleanly at supersonic speed (including clean breaks in the cryogenic propellant lines) is a bit more difficult than that.

Offline sferrin

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 10450
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2018, 10:02:25 am »
Those are attached permanently. A structure that's designed to separate cleanly at supersonic speed (including clean breaks in the cryogenic propellant lines) is a bit more difficult than that.

Just a bit.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline fredymac

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1095
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2018, 10:58:11 am »
Whatever structure holds the engines has to absorb their thrust load.  If that structure is now divided into two, both elements of that structure must be able to take that load.  Either way, once the engines are mounted in a separate, self contained housing, they no longer have access to transmit their loads so an intermediate assembly now has to couple to the engine pod and then pass the load upwards.

I would think the space to hold the avionics, parachute, hypersonic decelerator, and possibly a set of thrusters for attitude control during re-entry would be visibly noticeable.  Throw in the helicopter recovery and the approach Spacex and Blue Origin chose is easier to appreciate.  Also, how is that helicopter going to reach the downrange recovery point?  Flying back all that way while lugging an engine pod isn't feasible so add a recovery ship to the picture.  All of this is possible but not without active R&D and testing.

Offline merriman

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • David Douglass Merriman lll
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2018, 12:15:04 pm »
Those are attached permanently. A structure that's designed to separate cleanly at supersonic speed (including clean breaks in the cryogenic propellant lines) is a bit more difficult than that.

Just a bit.

To be fair, weren't' most of these engineering problems solved in the 50's as the ATLAS was developed from the B versions on? But, as a later post outlined -- the logistics of recovery itself might be a show-stopper. ULA is working too hard to be at variance with the propulsive landing method of recovery.

ULA: take a tip from our Chinese friends -- follow Musk's lead.

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

Offline sferrin

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 10450
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2018, 02:22:05 pm »
ULA: take a tip from our Chinese friends -- follow Musk's lead.

David

ULA would find themselves in court.  China. . .seems to get away with it with impunity.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline TomS

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2529
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2018, 02:39:57 pm »
ULA: take a tip from our Chinese friends -- follow Musk's lead.

David

ULA would find themselves in court.  China. . .seems to get away with it with impunity.

SpaceX actually doesn't patent most of its tech for this very reason.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-patents-2012-11
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 02:41:48 am by TomS »

Offline DrRansom

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 463
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2018, 04:18:25 pm »
Two questions:

1 - does the Falcon heavy have the same payload capacity as the proposed Vulcan rocket? If the Vulcan can get a niche at the high-mass range, above a Falcon 9 blk 5 and below a theoretical BFR then there may be a market.

2 - is there any sign that that ULA is seriously planning to build a Vulcan? Everything so far looks like this is a paper project, which ULA is pursuing solely for appearance's sake.

Offline sferrin

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 10450
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2018, 05:38:26 pm »
Two questions:

1 - does the Falcon heavy have the same payload capacity as the proposed Vulcan rocket? If the Vulcan can get a niche at the high-mass range, above a Falcon 9 blk 5 and below a theoretical BFR then there may be a market.

2 - is there any sign that that ULA is seriously planning to build a Vulcan? Everything so far looks like this is a paper project, which ULA is pursuing solely for appearance's sake.

Falcon Heavy is about double Vulcan.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Byeman

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 699
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2018, 11:20:39 am »

2 - is there any sign that that ULA is seriously planning to build a Vulcan? Everything so far looks like this is a paper project, which ULA is pursuing solely for appearance's sake.

They have been doing pad and VIF mods for it.  There are test articles for it.

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/855031915270635522

Offline Byeman

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 699
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2018, 11:24:52 am »
Those are attached permanently. A structure that's designed to separate cleanly at supersonic speed (including clean breaks in the cryogenic propellant lines) is a bit more difficult than that.

Not really, been done before even under thrust


Offline Byeman

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 699
Re: United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher
« Reply #59 on: May 18, 2018, 11:25:08 am »
Those are attached permanently. A structure that's designed to separate cleanly at supersonic speed (including clean breaks in the cryogenic propellant lines) is a bit more difficult than that.

Not really, DTDT even under thrust