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Northrop Omega booster entry for EELV

fredymac

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Can't find a thread for the Northrop Omega booster entry for EELV so I'll post this here.

They just did a static fire test but the nozzle failed at around the 36:57 mark (~2 minutes into burn).


Loop of nozzle failure.

 

TomS

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Can't find a thread for the Northrop Omega booster entry for EELV so I'll post this here.

They just did a static fire test but the nozzle failed at around the 36:57 mark (~2 minutes into burn).


Loop of nozzle failure.

How about starting a new thread instead of putting non-SpaceX content in a SpaceX thread?

I'll ask a moderator to move this to its own thread.
 

TomS

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Thanks for the new thread.

Hard to say how serious this event is. NG seems to be downplaying it, obviously, and in the press confernce they say it might not have prevented a successful flight. It was pretty late in the burn and I'm wondering if the failure comes after their nominal end of flight/stage separation event. Castor 600 2-segment is supposed to burn for 114 seconds, 4-segment for 133 seconds, so this is right near the end of the planned burn in any case. Obviously not what they want to happen, but hopefully an easy fix.
 

fredymac

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My personal take on the Omega is that it is a contrived pretender for the EELV2 contract and won't continue beyond down select as I doubt Northrop will privately fund it for the commercial launch market. GBSD is the best opportunity Northrop has to find an alternative business base to replace Shuttle/SLS large solid motor production and Omega helps bridge the gap.

I would have preferred another way to sustain the industrial base. Giving Northrop a contract to use the new Adranos solid rocket fuel to prove out its performance claims over a variety of motor sizes might have resulted in a genuine advancement.

 

Flyaway

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Scott Manley’s news report on the test as well as the OmegA launcher.

 

Flyaway

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My personal take on the Omega is that it is a contrived pretender for the EELV2 contract and won't continue beyond down select as I doubt Northrop will privately fund it for the commercial launch market. GBSD is the best opportunity Northrop has to find an alternative business base to replace Shuttle/SLS large solid motor production and Omega helps bridge the gap.

I would have preferred another way to sustain the industrial base. Giving Northrop a contract to use the new Adranos solid rocket fuel to prove out its performance claims over a variety of motor sizes might have resulted in a genuine advancement.

You’d be wrong on your assumption.
NG very much know what they are doing, such as its ability to survive on a very low flight rate, coupled with proven technology and price. Plus it’s very much designed for the AF & not so much commercial give it as good as chance as anyone in the down select.
 

fredymac

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You’d be wrong on your assumption.
NG very much know what they are doing, such as its ability to survive on a very low flight rate, coupled with proven technology and price. Plus it’s very much designed for the AF & not so much commercial give it as good as chance as anyone in the down select.

Surviving on low flight rates through prices that would be unacceptable on the commercial market is not a hallmark of business expertise. "Designed for the Air Force" is a reminder of the stagnant and cost prohibitive launch situation prior to the arrival of Spacex.

I haven't found any information on Omega pricing but that itself is a clue that they aren't going to be cost competitive. An example of a price conscious launcher based on all expendable components would be Relativity Space where 3D printing is employed to drastically reduce labor costs.

Spacex and Blue Origin will offer the lowest launch costs by significant margins. By virtue of commercial market launch business, they will also offer faster responsiveness in having boosters available on short notice. "Designed for the Air Force" will have to ignore both of these factors for Northrop to win as well as turning away from the only path that affords a transformational expansion in space operations (ie, low launch cost).
 
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