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United Launch Alliance introduces Vulcan next generation launcher

MihoshiK

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After going to the Astrobotic site, I see most things have not changed. USAF requirement, NASA launch facility - it's all there. As a taxpayer, I had no input.
Sure you did. You got to vote. That's how these things work.
 

edwest

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Vote? On this? No. The military and NASA take the money and do what they want. The Pentagon doesn't call me for my input either. The US citizen is totally disconnected from 'commercial space.'
 

MihoshiK

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Vote? On this? No. The military and NASA take the money and do what they want. The Pentagon doesn't call me for my input either. The US citizen is totally disconnected from 'commercial space.'
Don't be dumber than you have to be mate. NASA and the Pentagon take their orders from politicians, you vote for the politicians.
No shit you don't get a direct say in how your country is run. You live in a Federal Republic, not a Direct Democracy.
Mob rule is a terrible system by which to run a country.

*Edited a typo.
 
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edwest

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Vote? On this? No. The military and NASA take the money and do what they want. The Pentagon doesn't call me for my input either. The US citizen is totally disconnected from 'commercial space.'
Don't be dumber than you have to be mate. NASA and the Pentagon take their orders from politicians, you vote for the politicians.
No shit you don't get a direct say in how your country is run. You live in a Federal Republic, not a Direct Democracy.
Mob rule is a terrible system by which to run a country.

*Edited a typo.


No thanks for your stupid reply. Stay civil mate. I don't care about politicians. They don't "run" anything in the US.
 

Byeman

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After going to the Astrobotic site, I see most things have not changed. USAF requirement, NASA launch facility - it's all there. As a taxpayer, I had no input.

What the heck are you talking about? What USAF requirement? Astrobotic has nothing to do with the USAF. Also, there is no NASA launch facility involved.
 

MihoshiK

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After going to the Astrobotic site, I see most things have not changed. USAF requirement, NASA launch facility - it's all there. As a taxpayer, I had no input.

What the heck are you talking about? What USAF requirement? Astrobotic has nothing to do with the USAF. Also, there is no NASA launch facility involved.
He's the kind of guy who thinks that since he pays taxes he must have a direct say in each government project that strikes his fancy. That should tell you everything you need to know.
 

Moose

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We’ve updated the Payload Fairings of the World infog to include Vulcan. More whales...

Why did SpaceX go with such a small fairing when both the Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy have large fairings?
SpaceX had to develop their own from just general industry knowledge, and it was originally sized for earlier blocs of F9. Going huge right away would have been more difficult and expensive, at a time when they needed the money and effort elsewhere. The money they've put into fairing development has gone into developing reuse instead of stretching or increasing diameter, and their long-term hope for large payloads is Starship anyway.

ULA's fairings on the other hand come from 2 established producers. Atlas uses fairings produced by RUAG, who've made fairings for Arianespace for decades, and Boeing has built their aluminum fairings forever. So acquiring larger fairings for their rockets was essentially just as easy as putting the right money in the right place. SpaceX has reportedly made attempts to buy the Atlas V-size RUAG fairings off the shelf but has run into issues closing the deal.
 

Tuna

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Why did SpaceX go with such a small fairing when both the Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy have large fairings?

What Moose said, and also the SpaceX fairing was sized to fit the payloads that were contracted with them. If you have a payload that needs a bigger one, they'd be happy to serve you, assuming you're willing to pay the cost of developing a bigger fairing. (Which they would then also use with their other payloads.)
 

Byeman

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Why did SpaceX go with such a small fairing when both the Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy have large fairings?

Because Atlas V and Delta IV were designed to EELV (DOD) standards. SpaceX chose a fairing size that would encompass most commercial spacecraft.
 

Byeman

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ULA's fairings on the other hand come from 2 established producers. Atlas uses fairings produced by RUAG, who've made fairings for Arianespace for decades, and Boeing has built their aluminum fairings forever. So acquiring larger fairings for their rockets was essentially just as easy as putting the right money in the right place. SpaceX has reportedly made attempts to buy the Atlas V-size RUAG fairings off the shelf but has run into issues closing the deal.


not quite so, Atlas V first used its own 4m fairing and so did Delta IV. Also, a composite 5m fairing flew on Delta IV Heavy before the 5m aluminum one.
 

fredymac

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I confess to being underwhelmed. It feels like something that could have been recorded in the 90s. Since they are eschewing reusability, any cost competitiveness will have to come from manufacturing. Something like Relativity Space is doing. I have a feeling that Boeing/Lockheed have told ULA they won't receive the backing to master reusable rockets so they are only getting the money to produce a conventional alternative if Spacex/Blue Origin fail. My bet is ULA won't be around in 10 years or less (assuming political lobbying has its limits).
 

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Flyaway

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Flyaway

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Concurrent with this announcement, the SMC Launch Enterprise, in collaboration with the NRO, will order the first three missions assigned under Phase 2. ULA has been assigned USSF-51 and USSF-106 scheduled for launch in the second quarter fiscal year 2022 and fourth quarter fiscal year 2022, respectively. SpaceX has been assigned USSF-67, scheduled for launch in fourth quarter fiscal year 2022. Future launch services will be placed on subsequent Task Orders by mission and will be publicly announced upon issuance. Task orders for the launch service support and launch service contracts will be issued to ULA for $337 million and SpaceX for $316 million for launch services to meet fiscal year 2022 launch dates.
 

fredymac

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GEM63xl solid rocket static test. Vulcan can use up to 6 of these. They produce around 1/2 million pounds thrust each. According to Wikipedia, Vulcan prices range from $82M (no solids) to $200M (six solids). That makes the unit price around $20M give or take.


 

FighterJock

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GEM63xl solid rocket static test. Vulcan can use up to 6 of these. They produce around 1/2 million pounds thrust each. According to Wikipedia, Vulcan prices range from $82M (no solids) to $200M (six solids). That makes the unit price around $20M give or take.



I was wondering how Vulcan compares to the Delta IV Heavy the last of the Delta rocket family in terms of payload carrying capability? Would there be a future Heavy lift variant of the Vulcan to replace the Delta IV Heavy?
 

fredymac

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I was wondering how Vulcan compares to the Delta IV Heavy the last of the Delta rocket family in terms of payload carrying capability? Would there be a future Heavy lift variant of the Vulcan to replace the Delta IV Heavy?


Vulcan heavy is close to Delta IV heavy in terms of pounds to LEO/GEO. I thought I saw a $350M price tag for Delta IV heavy at one time. And then Spacex showed up and ULA cut the price down to "just" $300M (apparently by cutting labor costs). At one time ULA was highlighting a new upper stage that could be left parked in orbit and refueled but they have done no work on it for a long time (just like the detachable engine pod). I really wonder if ULA has a business plan if Spacex/Blue Origin succeed because they are not showing any of the necessary R&D needed to do so.
 

blackstar

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I was wondering how Vulcan compares to the Delta IV Heavy the last of the Delta rocket family in terms of payload carrying capability? Would there be a future Heavy lift variant of the Vulcan to replace the Delta IV Heavy?


Vulcan heavy is close to Delta IV heavy in terms of pounds to LEO/GEO. I thought I saw a $350M price tag for Delta IV heavy at one time. And then Spacex showed up and ULA cut the price down to "just" $300M (apparently by cutting labor costs). At one time ULA was highlighting a new upper stage that could be left parked in orbit and refueled but they have done no work on it for a long time (just like the detachable engine pod). I really wonder if ULA has a business plan if Spacex/Blue Origin succeed because they are not showing any of the necessary R&D needed to do so.


There's more to this than cost. Everybody focuses on the cost of the launches and misses the issue of capabilities. Falcon 9 still lacks capabilities that ULA's rockets have, which are necessary for some payloads.
 

fredymac

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There's more to this than cost. Everybody focuses on the cost of the launches and misses the issue of capabilities. Falcon 9 still lacks capabilities that ULA's rockets have, which are necessary for some payloads.


With regards to Vulcan (zero launch record and higher cost) what would those capabilities be? Spacex is already working on a vertical integration tower and will probably have a modified fairing to meet all technical/programmatic requirements.

I would be surprised if Blue Origin does not eventually travel down the lawsuit path to get New Glenn into the military launch market. And then 2 competitors capable of offering low costs will be facing ULA.
 
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