Discussion:
Delta IV vs. Atlas V
(too old to reply)
ed kyle
2003-07-31 14:18:36 UTC
Permalink
Here is a compilation of planned (as of July 31, 2003) Delta IV and
Atlas V launches for the next few years. This list assumes that
three GOES launches will be transferred from Delta III to Delta IV.

Delta IVM(+) Delta IVH Atlas V-4XX Atlas V-5XX
2003* 1 - 1 1
2003 1 - - -
2004 2** 1 1** -
2005 2 2 1** 1
2006 1 - 1 3**
2007 1** - 4 1
2008 2** - 1 1
2009 1 - 2 0
2010 2 - - -

TOTAL 13 3 11 7

* Completed to date
** Includes one NASA or commercial launch - all others launches
are EELV missions for U.S. Air Force.

Observations:

1. 2004 looks like a slow year for Atlas V, but Delta IV
operations become comatose after 2005.

2. There are no Heavy missions planned after 2005.

3. Current plans show an average of only about 4 launches per year
for Delta IV and Atlas V combined.

4. Both of these rockets cannot survive under existing market
conditions.

- Ed Kyle
Brett Buck
2003-07-31 14:33:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
2. There are no Heavy missions planned after 2005.
I think I may be in a position to influence that...
Post by ed kyle
3. Current plans show an average of only about 4 launches per year
for Delta IV and Atlas V combined.
4. Both of these rockets cannot survive under existing market
conditions.
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources. All that a viable commercial market
does is reduce the price.

Brett
Paul Blay
2003-07-31 14:47:52 UTC
Permalink
"Brett Buck" wrote ...
Post by Brett Buck
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources.
There's been talk about how 'required' that required access is.

It puts Boeing in an interesting position though. Suppose they say
"We're not interested in doing Delta IV anymore, it doesn't pay." to the
US Gov. is the government going to have to come back with Big Money(TM)
to tempt them?
Brett Buck
2003-07-31 15:09:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Blay
"Brett Buck" wrote ...
Post by Brett Buck
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources.
There's been talk about how 'required' that required access is.
There is no, none, zero, nada, debate about required military access
to space. In fact, we can't build the payloads nearly fast enough to
supply the rapidly expanding need.

Whether dual-string capability is required, or merely highly
desirable, could potentially be debated, but I bet they won't make that
mistake again.

The fact that the "ban" on bidding was not total suggests that the
punishment is intended as a motivation to Boeing to correct their ways.
It could easily have been a death blow. And if the squealing gets loud
enough, I would anticipate the "ban" being modified.

Another complicating factor is the Russian-supplied parts on the
Atlas. That significantly improves the situation for the Delta.

I don't see how it's in anyone's interest to kill off the Delta IV
completely. I bet even Vance Coffman would agree if you asked him off
the record.
Post by Paul Blay
It puts Boeing in an interesting position though. Suppose they say
"We're not interested in doing Delta IV anymore, it doesn't pay." to the
US Gov. is the government going to have to come back with Big Money(TM)
to tempt them?
In time-honored tradition. But I doubt that we are talking "big"
money in terms of government contracts. Big compared to "cheap access to
space" delusions, but that's largely a figment of people's imaginations
anyway.


Just my opinion, of course. But I wager that Boeing and Lockheed
will still be in the launch business in 10 years.

Brett
Brian Thorn
2003-08-01 02:29:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brett Buck
Whether dual-string capability is required, or merely highly
desirable, could potentially be debated, but I bet they won't make that
mistake again.
We don't have true dual-string capability... both vehicles are
dependent on the RL-10 engine. There's been some work on a different
upper stage engine to provide true dual-string, but in today's
unprofitable market, I wouldn't bet on it ever getting off the ground.

Brian
Damon Hill
2003-08-01 06:25:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Brett Buck
Whether dual-string capability is required, or merely highly
desirable, could potentially be debated, but I bet they won't make that
mistake again.
We don't have true dual-string capability... both vehicles are
dependent on the RL-10 engine. There's been some work on a different
upper stage engine to provide true dual-string, but in today's
unprofitable market, I wouldn't bet on it ever getting off the ground.
The RL60 will begin testing this summer. Don't know the status of
the MB-60/MB-35.

--Damon
jeff findley
2003-08-01 19:54:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
We don't have true dual-string capability... both vehicles are
dependent on the RL-10 engine. There's been some work on a different
upper stage engine to provide true dual-string, but in today's
unprofitable market, I wouldn't bet on it ever getting off the ground.
Luckily, the RL-10 is a fairly mature engine design. If there are
problems, you'd think it would be due to recent design, manufacturing,
or operational changes.

Jeff
--
Remove "no" and "spam" from email address to reply.
If it says "This is not spam!", it's surely a lie.
Brett Buck
2003-08-01 22:27:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by jeff findley
Post by Brian Thorn
We don't have true dual-string capability... both vehicles are
dependent on the RL-10 engine. There's been some work on a different
upper stage engine to provide true dual-string, but in today's
unprofitable market, I wouldn't bet on it ever getting off the ground.
Luckily, the RL-10 is a fairly mature engine design. If there are
problems, you'd think it would be due to recent design, manufacturing,
or operational changes.
All of which are occurring on a regular basis. This *is* a common
risk area, but having one doesn't mean that it's OK to have dozens.

Brett
Dholmes
2003-08-02 13:54:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brett Buck
Post by Paul Blay
"Brett Buck" wrote ...
Post by Brett Buck
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources.
There's been talk about how 'required' that required access is.
There is no, none, zero, nada, debate about required military access
to space. In fact, we can't build the payloads nearly fast enough to
supply the rapidly expanding need.
Whether dual-string capability is required, or merely highly
desirable, could potentially be debated, but I bet they won't make that
mistake again.
The fact that the "ban" on bidding was not total suggests that the
punishment is intended as a motivation to Boeing to correct their ways.
It could easily have been a death blow. And if the squealing gets loud
enough, I would anticipate the "ban" being modified.
Another complicating factor is the Russian-supplied parts on the
Atlas. That significantly improves the situation for the Delta.
I am surprised the Atlas V was allowed to compete for government launches
because of this.
Russians get mad and boom we lose a good portion of our launch capability.
Post by Brett Buck
Post by Paul Blay
It puts Boeing in an interesting position though. Suppose they say
"We're not interested in doing Delta IV anymore, it doesn't pay." to the
US Gov. is the government going to have to come back with Big Money(TM)
to tempt them?
Depends.
Is China making threating noises towards Tiawan, are the Russians backing
them?
Or something else along those lines.
Post by Brett Buck
In time-honored tradition. But I doubt that we are talking "big"
money in terms of government contracts. Big compared to "cheap access to
space" delusions, but that's largely a figment of people's imaginations
anyway.
Just my opinion, of course. But I wager that Boeing and Lockheed
will still be in the launch business in 10 years.
Brett
Damon Hill
2003-08-02 18:16:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dholmes
Post by Brett Buck
Another complicating factor is the Russian-supplied parts on the
Atlas. That significantly improves the situation for the Delta.
I am surprised the Atlas V was allowed to compete for government
launches because of this.
Russians get mad and boom we lose a good portion of our launch
capability.
I think LockMart has a Plan B in case those engines suddenly become
unavailable, though it may take time to implement. That batch of
NK-33s that Aerojet now owns, lock, stock and barrel, might actually
fly after all. Ironic, isn't it?

--Damon, who hopes that doesn't turn into a Plan Nine
Rand Simberg
2003-07-31 15:23:57 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 15:47:52 +0100, in a place far, far away, "Paul
Post by Paul Blay
"Brett Buck" wrote ...
Post by Brett Buck
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources.
There's been talk about how 'required' that required access is.
It puts Boeing in an interesting position though. Suppose they say
"We're not interested in doing Delta IV anymore, it doesn't pay." to the
US Gov. is the government going to have to come back with Big Money(TM)
to tempt them?
I think that they were making exactly that threat to avoid getting
slapped over the corporate espionage, but the Air Force called their
bluff.
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
Brett Buck
2003-07-31 15:43:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rand Simberg
Post by Paul Blay
It puts Boeing in an interesting position though. Suppose they say
"We're not interested in doing Delta IV anymore, it doesn't pay." to the
US Gov. is the government going to have to come back with Big Money(TM)
to tempt them?
I think that they were making exactly that threat to avoid getting
slapped over the corporate espionage, but the Air Force called their
bluff.
If they genuinely thought they were getting off entirely (given the
unambiguous violation and it's impressive scope), that was absurd. But
it's not a binary system - there are degrees of "slapping", and I
wouldn't assume that there wasn't some reduction in penalty as a result.

I also wouldn't necessarily call the move a "bluff". If they truly
got bounced out of all bidding of the next several block buys, they
would probably cut the business loose in a heartbeat. The existing
punishment hits them hard, but isn't a kill shot. And the punishment
has a lot of room for variations down the road, to get the desired result.

Look at the punishment as, effectively, a fine.

Brett
TKalbfus
2003-07-31 16:11:03 UTC
Permalink
I read somewhere that in order to make a reliable boost phase interceptor, you
need to launch 1,000 ABM satellites loaded with missiles in low Earth orbit in
order to catch them in the 3-minute window of opportunity. This would require
ten times our current launch capacity, hence the need for heavy lift launchers
for the foreseeable future. That is if George Bush is serious about Missile
Defense, and wants to do more than throw a bone for Defense contractors.
ed kyle
2003-07-31 20:54:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brett Buck
Post by ed kyle
3. Current plans show an average of only about 4 launches per year
for Delta IV and Atlas V combined.
4. Both of these rockets cannot survive under existing market
conditions.
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources. All that a viable commercial market
does is reduce the price.
Wouldn't lower launch costs benefit national security?

Boeing has offloaded it's BLS commercial launches to Sea Launch
- and right now Sea Launch has a larger backlog than Delta IV.
If Boeing brought those payloads to Cape Canaveral it would
double the Delta IV launch rate (to 4/year) and cut the
per-launch cost for all customers. That's still probably not
enough, though. Arianespace is losing money at it's current
4-6/year Ariane 5 launch rate. Ariane 4 made money at
8-12/year.

Combine the Delta IV and Atlas V manifests, keeping one of the
two rockets, and bring at least some of the Zenit/Proton
commercial launches home. Then you would have a viable,
commercially-competitive U.S.-based space launcher that could
serve the government more efficiently.

- Ed Kyle
ed kyle
2003-08-01 13:30:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
Post by Brett Buck
Post by ed kyle
3. Current plans show an average of only about 4 launches per year
for Delta IV and Atlas V combined.
4. Both of these rockets cannot survive under existing market
conditions.
Both will almost certainly survive to provide redundant access for
military payloads. Commercial viability was/is essentially moot - they
are required national resources. All that a viable commercial market
does is reduce the price.
Wouldn't lower launch costs benefit national security?
I don't see how it matters. I contend the cost, at least in the
order of magnitude it is now, is pretty much beside the point for
government customers. Doubling launch costs from $100 million to $200
million for a $7 or $8 billion program in order to effectively guarantee
access (through redundancy) is pretty much a no-brainer.
The companies I've most recently worked for survived on about
$100 million per year gross income. Each employed a few hundred
people.

It's all relative I suppose, but $100 million could buy some
air power, or some ground armor, or big guns (the stuff that
wins wars), or a lot of cruise missiles. If $100 million seems
like chump change, maybe the total program costs are too high!
Post by ed kyle
Boeing has offloaded it's BLS commercial launches to Sea Launch
- and right now Sea Launch has a larger backlog than Delta IV.
If Boeing brought those payloads to Cape Canaveral it would
double the Delta IV launch rate (to 4/year) and cut the
per-launch cost for all customers.
I don't follow this at all - switching a few launches from Sea Launch
to Delta doesn't lower the cost of Delta to any consequential degree,
but it does cut into the profit margin, if not cause a loss, on each
launch.
It makes the idle Delta factory (designed to build 60 core stages per
year) and launch processing functions (could launch dozens per year)
twice as productive as they would be otherwise. Breaking even on the
commercial launches would be worth it, because vehicle reliability
would improve with the number and rate of launches. Improved
reliability would benefit national defense.
Second idea - winnowing out one of the launchers - defeats the goal
of having redundancy in launch vehicles.
True, but propping up two launchers prevents either from having a
chance to compete commercially. National defense benefits at the
expense of citizen quality-of-life. (Lower commercial launch costs
provide access to telecommunications services, etc.) In addition,
when the Pentagon drives up launch costs, as it is doing here,
NASA and NOAA get stuck with the bill because they must use these
vehicles too.

- Ed Kyle
Sander Vesik
2003-08-01 14:42:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
True, but propping up two launchers prevents either from having a
chance to compete commercially. National defense benefits at the
expense of citizen quality-of-life. (Lower commercial launch costs
provide access to telecommunications services, etc.) In addition,
when the Pentagon drives up launch costs, as it is doing here,
NASA and NOAA get stuck with the bill because they must use these
vehicles too.
They shoudl just lobby to be able to subcontract Arianespace 8-P
Post by ed kyle
- Ed Kyle
--
Sander

+++ Out of cheese error +++
ed kyle
2003-08-01 18:19:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
True, but propping up two launchers prevents either from having a
chance to compete commercially. National defense benefits at the
expense of citizen quality-of-life. (Lower commercial launch costs
provide access to telecommunications services, etc.) In addition,
when the Pentagon drives up launch costs, as it is doing here,
NASA and NOAA get stuck with the bill because they must use these
vehicles too.
They shoudl just lobby to be able to subcontract Arianespace.
Perhaps this will come, but ESA would probably have to give
U.S. vehicles some launch contracts, or at least a chance to
win some launch contracts, in return. In the mean time, Europe
can smile knowing that the U.S. Air Force is buying Ariane
payload fairings for Atlas V launches, etc. (along with Russian
rocket engines and, for Delta IV, Japanese propellant tanks).

- Ed Kyle
Brett Buck
2003-08-01 22:26:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
Second idea - winnowing out one of the launchers - defeats the goal
of having redundancy in launch vehicles.
True, but propping up two launchers prevents either from having a
chance to compete commercially. National defense benefits at the
expense of citizen quality-of-life.
You have to first make certain of *persistence of life* before you
can worry about quality of life.

Brett
Dholmes
2003-08-02 13:54:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
Here is a compilation of planned (as of July 31, 2003) Delta IV and
Atlas V launches for the next few years. This list assumes that
three GOES launches will be transferred from Delta III to Delta IV.
Delta IVM(+) Delta IVH Atlas V-4XX Atlas V-5XX
2003* 1 - 1 1
2003 1 - - -
2004 2** 1 1** -
2005 2 2 1** 1
2006 1 - 1 3**
2007 1** - 4 1
2008 2** - 1 1
2009 1 - 2 0
2010 2 - - -
TOTAL 13 3 11 7
* Completed to date
** Includes one NASA or commercial launch - all others launches
are EELV missions for U.S. Air Force.
I would not bet on the accuracy more then 2-3 years in the future.
Post by ed kyle
1. 2004 looks like a slow year for Atlas V, but Delta IV
operations become comatose after 2005.
Is that not when they took away 7 launches from Delta and gave them to
Atlas?
If it is then that will correct itself after 2009 or 2010.
Post by ed kyle
2. There are no Heavy missions planned after 2005.
The Heavy could adjust depending on OSP or cargo needs.
If the OSP comes in over 20 tons with cargo it would be the only launcher
available.
On the other hand it helps explain why Atlas Heavy was abandoned.
Post by ed kyle
3. Current plans show an average of only about 4 launches per year
for Delta IV and Atlas V combined.
The simplest solution would be to replace 1 shuttle ISS mission with 2-6
cargo launches from Delta or Atlas rockets
Add to this satellites have traditionally gotten bigger as time goes on
which will slowly increase the market for these big launchers.
Post by ed kyle
4. Both of these rockets cannot survive under existing market
conditions.
They might survive but costs will be higher.
The next size below these launchers like the Zenit, Suyoz and Delta 2 all
seem very active from the lists I have seen.
Brian Thorn
2003-08-02 17:04:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dholmes
Post by ed kyle
1. 2004 looks like a slow year for Atlas V, but Delta IV
operations become comatose after 2005.
Is that not when they took away 7 launches from Delta and gave them to
Atlas?
Yes, the first switch was for a 2005 launch. But it will probably have
to switch back to Delta IV due to LM's not having a Vandenberg pad
ready in time.
Post by Dholmes
If it is then that will correct itself after 2009 or 2010.
Or much sooner. There are still 10-15 EELV launch contracts due to be
awarded later this year. Boeing will certainly get some of them, all
they have to do to get out of their legal problems is demonstrate that
the corruption has been cleaned up. It appears as though they've
already taken adequate measures to that end.
Post by Dholmes
The simplest solution would be to replace 1 shuttle ISS mission with 2-6
cargo launches from Delta or Atlas rockets
Replace one $500 million Shuttle mission with 6 $150 million Delta
IVs?

Brian
Dholmes
2003-08-03 18:50:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
Post by ed kyle
1. 2004 looks like a slow year for Atlas V, but Delta IV
operations become comatose after 2005.
Is that not when they took away 7 launches from Delta and gave them to
Atlas?
Yes, the first switch was for a 2005 launch. But it will probably have
to switch back to Delta IV due to LM's not having a Vandenberg pad
ready in time.
Post by Dholmes
If it is then that will correct itself after 2009 or 2010.
Or much sooner. There are still 10-15 EELV launch contracts due to be
awarded later this year. Boeing will certainly get some of them, all
they have to do to get out of their legal problems is demonstrate that
the corruption has been cleaned up. It appears as though they've
already taken adequate measures to that end.
Post by Dholmes
The simplest solution would be to replace 1 shuttle ISS mission with 2-6
cargo launches from Delta or Atlas rockets
Replace one $500 million Shuttle mission with 6 $150 million Delta
IVs?
The number would depend on what is being launched and how.
The 6 came from a quick calculation using 6 of the smallest Deltas or
Atlases launching equivalents of the Russian Progress craft.
It could easily be a lot less depending on what is being launched.
For example a single 20+ ton part could take just 1 Delta heavy or one
shuttle launch.
One interesting twist would be to use the shuttles solid rocket boosters on
the heavies for extra lift.
Brian Thorn
2003-08-03 04:04:56 UTC
Permalink
One Heavy mission should be cargo-equivalent to one STS flight,
not counting the mass of the needed orbital maneuvering stage.
With the stage, you would need no more than two Heavies to
replace the cargo of an STS mission.
So you need three Heavies to replace a Shuttle mission. Or two Heavies
and a Medium if they go the capsule route for OSP. This still doesn't
look like much of a bargain. Why not just build another Shuttle?
Post by Dholmes
Add to this satellites have traditionally gotten bigger as time goes on
which will slowly increase the market for these big launchers.
The Heavy launchers can only compete commercially if they are
used to launch two or more satellites at a time.
Same as Ariane 5, which is a money-losing operation with only a single
customer onboard, hence Arianespace's desperate deal with Starsem for
the Soyuz.
The commercial
sat market was interested in Delta IV Heavy at one time (a
single Delta IV-H could put two Zenit or Proton class payloads
into GTO), but costs must now have risen too much to hold their
interest.
With NASA evidently leaning toward Atlas these days (Pluto, GOES), it
will be interesting to see LM's proposal for the OSP launch vehicle.
Atlas V-Heavy may yet see the light of day. And since Atlas V is
evidently coming in somewhat cheaper than Delta IV, it will be
interesting to see if LM tries to challenge Arianespace in the
dual-launch market.
I remain convinced that unless the government bulks up it's
currently thin launch requirements, one of these launchers will
be driven out of business.
It will have to be Zenit 3SL. The U.S. government won't put payloads
on a SeaLaunch no matter how much Boeing tries to persuade them its
really a US launch vehicle (Boeing's word is pretty much worthless
these days) and the Air Force will put enormous pressure on Boeing to
keep Delta IV alive ("kill Delta IV and the next round of tankers will
go to Airbus.") After Boeing's corruption penalties, there is no way
LM's Atlas V will be killed off. That leaves SeaLaunch. That ain't
fair, but such is life.
It will simply cost too much to
keep them flying if each machine only flies two or three times
a year. NASA and OSP may be needed to save one of these rockets.
Zenit is busy with commercial launch business that Boeing has
decided to let slip away. Soyuz and Delta II are both busy
with government launches, but Delta II's days are numbered once
the U.S. Air Force moves it's GPS launches to the EELVs. That
day will arrive in not too many more years.
Will Boeing revive its old Delta IV-Lite concept and gather all of the
Air Force's and NASA's remaining medium-class payloads under the Delta
IV banner? There has to be a point coming soon where maintaining two
production lines (Delta II and Delta IV) is going to be more expensive
than simply launching Medium-class missions on an overpowered Delta
IV. Add in the cost savings from maintaining only one launch facility
at the Cape, and I'm surprised Boeing didn't make that decision a few
years ago. Now that Delta IV is flight-proven, I expect such an
announcement in the near future.

Arianespace made a similar decision years ago vis a' vis Ariane 4 and
Ariane 5, and is now regretting it... bringing in Soyuz to launch
light, one-off payloads. But a Delta IV Medium or Lite is somewhat
smaller than Ariane 5, so the economic difference may be smaller for
Boeing, and the Decatur plant certainly has capacity to spare.

Brian
Cardman
2003-08-03 10:17:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
One Heavy mission should be cargo-equivalent to one STS flight,
not counting the mass of the needed orbital maneuvering stage.
With the stage, you would need no more than two Heavies to
replace the cargo of an STS mission.
So you need three Heavies to replace a Shuttle mission.
One thing to remember is that NASA are in their own market, which is
quite separate to the commercial one, where we also know that they
like reusable rockets.

So they could certainly choose to have made a RHLV that can do these
Shuttle replacement cargo launches all at once, but I have a feeling
that they would go with two smaller HLVs in order to increase the
launch rate.

Sure NASA will be making use of the commercial expendable rockets to
begin with, but that is because they don't have their reusable rocket
yet, where even the new engines are not yet complete.
Post by Brian Thorn
Or two Heavies and a Medium if they go the capsule route for OSP.
That seems likely, but 2012 is an awfully long time to wait. Still by
that time NASA could well stick it on their own reusable rocket
anyway.

I am just wondering if they should stick this OSP on their reusable
heavy anyway, when then you have one rocket instead of two. HLV is
30t, half HLV is 15t and OSP is about 7t.

Go with a 15t launcher and you just need an extra 7t of sometime to
stick on it for a manned flight. That or simply reducing the boosters
and fuel to compensate.

Over capacity seems good to me if they want to go that little bit
further in the future.
Post by Brian Thorn
This still doesn't look like much of a bargain.
NASA pays for all their ground crew mostly anyway, where in this
situation you are just making more use of them. And certainly smaller
rockets and a smaller and easier manned craft would help to reduce the
size of the ground support.
Post by Brian Thorn
Why not just build another Shuttle?
As then we would be in exactly the same position that we are in now.

One point is that with a HLV cargo rocket we can blast cargo out of
Earth's gravity well, but you sure as hell won't do that with a
Shuttle #2 attached.

Sure doing that with a reusable rocket is not too helpful, but you
could just schedule such a trip for near the end of the engines life.

Also you do really need to break the cargo from the manned craft, when
all the equipment to support manned and then for the cargo structure
takes up most of the cargo mass. Just like with now.

Cardman.
Anonymous
2003-08-03 16:31:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cardman
Sure NASA will be making use of the commercial expendable rockets to
begin with, but that is because they don't have their reusable rocket
yet, where even the new engines are not yet complete.
NASA makes use of commercial LVs because it's required by law to use them.
Only payloads that require shuttle capabilities fly on shuttle.
Post by Cardman
That seems likely, but 2012 is an awfully long time to wait.
Which is why the IOC date has been moved up by two years minimum.
Post by Cardman
Still by
that time NASA could well stick it on their own reusable rocket
anyway.
NASA won't have a new reusable rocket by 2012.
Post by Cardman
I am just wondering if they should stick this OSP on their reusable
heavy anyway, when then you have one rocket instead of two. HLV is
30t, half HLV is 15t and OSP is about 7t.
HLV to ISS orbit is NOT 30t without some expensive development work. What
the hell is "half an HLV"? And you're dreaming if you think OSP will come in
at 7t.
Post by Cardman
NASA pays for all their ground crew mostly anyway, where in this
situation you are just making more use of them. And certainly smaller
rockets and a smaller and easier manned craft would help to reduce the
size of the ground support.
NASA only pays for shuttle ground crew and whatever crew will be required
for processing of the OSPs themselves. Integration and launch of OSPs will
be handled by the launch service provider's launch crew and that will be
factored into the launch service cost.
Post by Cardman
One point is that with a HLV cargo rocket we can blast cargo out of
Earth's gravity well, but you sure as hell won't do that with a
Shuttle #2 attached.
Depends. Shuttle has launched interplanetaries using IUS. If Shuttle II
(whenever - if ever - that finally appears) has 50K lb capacity, it could
certainly do the job.
Cardman
2003-08-04 00:47:41 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 16:31:48 GMT, "Anonymous"
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
Sure NASA will be making use of the commercial expendable rockets to
begin with, but that is because they don't have their reusable rocket
yet, where even the new engines are not yet complete.
NASA makes use of commercial LVs because it's required by law to use them.
Only payloads that require shuttle capabilities fly on shuttle.
Well I don't know about that, when last I heard they were simply
banned from launching commercial stuff on the Shuttle.

I doubt that is true for a manned launch, when NASA said themselves
that they will use the commercial rockets until they move on to
reusable rockets. They may be commercial reusable rockets though...
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
That seems likely, but 2012 is an awfully long time to wait.
Which is why the IOC date has been moved up by two years minimum.
Last I heard was that it was revised back by two years, which means
that you may be thinking of the old date.
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
Still by
that time NASA could well stick it on their own reusable rocket
anyway.
NASA won't have a new reusable rocket by 2012.
Well they are working on the engines right at this minute, where all
they will need is a rocket to attach them to.

That should be done well before 2012.
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
I am just wondering if they should stick this OSP on their reusable
heavy anyway, when then you have one rocket instead of two. HLV is
30t, half HLV is 15t and OSP is about 7t.
HLV to ISS orbit is NOT 30t without some expensive development work.
I am just quoting Shuttle like cargo capacity, which would fall under
the HLV class.
Post by Anonymous
What the hell is "half an HLV"?
Half capacity of my larger HLV rocket.
Post by Anonymous
And you're dreaming if you think OSP will come in at 7t.
NASA quoted 5 to 7 tons for this project, which seems about right for
a four seater space craft not much bigger than a van.

They have to launch it on one of these commercial rockets you know,
which restricts the launch mass.
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
NASA pays for all their ground crew mostly anyway, where in this
situation you are just making more use of them. And certainly smaller
rockets and a smaller and easier manned craft would help to reduce the
size of the ground support.
NASA only pays for shuttle ground crew
And by 2012 there will be none of those, when there will be no more
Shuttle. Either 2012 or if another Shuttle is lost.
Post by Anonymous
and whatever crew will be required for processing of the OSPs themselves.
Yes a small crew, but they will need a recovery team to get their
reusable rocket back.
Post by Anonymous
Integration and launch of OSPs will
be handled by the launch service provider's launch crew and that will be
factored into the launch service cost.
I have always had the impression that NASA wanted to do these launches
on their own ground supervised by their own crew. After all a manned
launch is not best left to commercial cost savings.
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
One point is that with a HLV cargo rocket we can blast cargo out of
Earth's gravity well, but you sure as hell won't do that with a
Shuttle #2 attached.
Depends. Shuttle has launched interplanetaries using IUS. If Shuttle II
(whenever - if ever - that finally appears) has 50K lb capacity, it could
certainly do the job.
And still with a massive overhead for such a large vehicle.

Cardman.
Colonel K
2003-08-04 03:25:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cardman
Well I don't know about that, when last I heard they were simply
banned from launching commercial stuff on the Shuttle.
There's more to it than that. Look at how NASA gets its science satellites
into space.
Post by Cardman
Last I heard was that it was revised back by two years, which means
that you may be thinking of the old date.
No. I assure you I have my dates right.
Post by Cardman
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
Still by
that time NASA could well stick it on their own reusable rocket
anyway.
NASA won't have a new reusable rocket by 2012.
Well they are working on the engines right at this minute, where all
they will need is a rocket to attach them to.
"All they need is a rocket to attach them to"? Are you new to this subject?
Post by Cardman
That should be done well before 2012.
Not even remotely likely, even if they started now.
Post by Cardman
Post by Anonymous
And you're dreaming if you think OSP will come in at 7t.
NASA quoted 5 to 7 tons for this project, which seems about right for
a four seater space craft not much bigger than a van.
If someone at NASA quoted that figure, they were very much mistaken. Very
much.
Post by Cardman
They have to launch it on one of these commercial rockets you know,
which restricts the launch mass.
Oh yes, I'm very much aware of what it'll launch on ;-)
Post by Cardman
Post by Anonymous
NASA only pays for shuttle ground crew
And by 2012 there will be none of those, when there will be no more
Shuttle. Either 2012 or if another Shuttle is lost.
I suppose we'll have to wait and see, but I have a strong feeling your
timetable needs significant adjustment.
Post by Cardman
Post by Anonymous
and whatever crew will be required for processing of the OSPs themselves.
Yes a small crew, but they will need a recovery team to get their
reusable rocket back.
All part of the same team, just as it is with shuttle today.
Post by Cardman
Post by Anonymous
Integration and launch of OSPs will
be handled by the launch service provider's launch crew and that will be
factored into the launch service cost.
I have always had the impression that NASA wanted to do these launches
on their own ground supervised by their own crew. After all a manned
launch is not best left to commercial cost savings.
I'll restate: OSP will be integrated onto the LV by the launch service
provider. The LSP launch crew will launch the rocket, not NASA. There will
be NASA oversight, a NASA closeout crew and an OSP control center, but up
until spacecraft separation OSP is considered a payload.
Post by Cardman
Post by Anonymous
Post by Cardman
One point is that with a HLV cargo rocket we can blast cargo out of
Earth's gravity well, but you sure as hell won't do that with a
Shuttle #2 attached.
Depends. Shuttle has launched interplanetaries using IUS. If Shuttle II
(whenever - if ever - that finally appears) has 50K lb capacity, it could
certainly do the job.
And still with a massive overhead for such a large vehicle.
But it can get you there.

K
Dholmes
2003-08-03 18:50:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
One Heavy mission should be cargo-equivalent to one STS flight,
not counting the mass of the needed orbital maneuvering stage.
With the stage, you would need no more than two Heavies to
replace the cargo of an STS mission.
So you need three Heavies to replace a Shuttle mission. Or two Heavies
and a Medium if they go the capsule route for OSP. This still doesn't
look like much of a bargain. Why not just build another Shuttle?
Politics mostly.
Too old and too expensive. An unmanned version might have a chance.
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
Add to this satellites have traditionally gotten bigger as time goes on
which will slowly increase the market for these big launchers.
The Heavy launchers can only compete commercially if they are
used to launch two or more satellites at a time.
Same as Ariane 5, which is a money-losing operation with only a single
customer onboard, hence Arianespace's desperate deal with Starsem for
the Soyuz.
The commercial
sat market was interested in Delta IV Heavy at one time (a
single Delta IV-H could put two Zenit or Proton class payloads
into GTO), but costs must now have risen too much to hold their
interest.
With NASA evidently leaning toward Atlas these days (Pluto, GOES), it
will be interesting to see LM's proposal for the OSP launch vehicle.
Atlas V-Heavy may yet see the light of day. And since Atlas V is
evidently coming in somewhat cheaper than Delta IV, it will be
interesting to see if LM tries to challenge Arianespace in the
dual-launch market.
I remain convinced that unless the government bulks up it's
currently thin launch requirements, one of these launchers will
be driven out of business.
It will have to be Zenit 3SL. The U.S. government won't put payloads
on a SeaLaunch no matter how much Boeing tries to persuade them its
really a US launch vehicle (Boeing's word is pretty much worthless
these days) and the Air Force will put enormous pressure on Boeing to
keep Delta IV alive ("kill Delta IV and the next round of tankers will
go to Airbus.") After Boeing's corruption penalties, there is no way
LM's Atlas V will be killed off. That leaves SeaLaunch. That ain't
fair, but such is life.
Possible but you can not really claim Atlas is American built either.
Plus it would be hard bring that kind of pressure.
Especially after China launches later this year.
More likely the US would buy a bunch of Delta 4 rockets maybe put Delta 2
launches on Delta 4 rockets.
Maybe even subsidize moving launches from SeaLaunch to Delta 4.
Post by Brian Thorn
It will simply cost too much to
keep them flying if each machine only flies two or three times
a year. NASA and OSP may be needed to save one of these rockets.
Zenit is busy with commercial launch business that Boeing has
decided to let slip away. Soyuz and Delta II are both busy
with government launches, but Delta II's days are numbered once
the U.S. Air Force moves it's GPS launches to the EELVs. That
day will arrive in not too many more years.
Will Boeing revive its old Delta IV-Lite concept and gather all of the
Air Force's and NASA's remaining medium-class payloads under the Delta
IV banner? There has to be a point coming soon where maintaining two
production lines (Delta II and Delta IV) is going to be more expensive
than simply launching Medium-class missions on an overpowered Delta
IV. Add in the cost savings from maintaining only one launch facility
at the Cape, and I'm surprised Boeing didn't make that decision a few
years ago. Now that Delta IV is flight-proven, I expect such an
announcement in the near future.
Delta 4 and Atlas 5 even scaled down would be too big and because of this
would IMO still bring no cost saving.
I doubt satellites will all get that big for at least 5-10 years. Also Sea
launch is competitive in this market.
Of course if they decide they really need more Delta 4 then it is possible.
Post by Brian Thorn
Arianespace made a similar decision years ago vis a' vis Ariane 4 and
Ariane 5, and is now regretting it... bringing in Soyuz to launch
light, one-off payloads. But a Delta IV Medium or Lite is somewhat
smaller than Ariane 5, so the economic difference may be smaller for
Boeing, and the Decatur plant certainly has capacity to spare.
Brian
Brian Thorn
2003-08-03 20:48:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dholmes
Possible but you can not really claim Atlas is American built either.
Yes, you can... and Lockheed-Martin has already done so, with notably
greater success than Boeing Sea Launch. Atlas 5 has some foreign
components (notably the engines) that's a far cry from Sea Launch,
which is entirely foreign except for some marketing by Boeing.
Post by Dholmes
Plus it would be hard bring that kind of pressure.
No, it wouldn't. Boeing needs the US military alot more than the US
military needs Boeing. Boeing already lost the huge JSF contract, now
they've lost the lion's share of the EELV contract. The KC-767 is
still not a done-deal, the V-22 is still listed as day-to-day, and
they really want the Air Force to buy more C-17s, even though that
plane has never lived up to expectations. No, Boeing is in deep, deep
trouble. This definitely is a buyers market, and the Air Force knows
it.
Post by Dholmes
Especially after China launches later this year.
China launching humans later this year will be a non-event, as far as
the US government is concerned. They tweaked the design of Russia's
35-year-old Soyuz, and the first Chinese astronauts will no doubt be
congratulated in orbit by the Russian and American already in orbit.
Nope, it won't even appear on Washington's radar. Sputnik, this ain't.
Post by Dholmes
More likely the US would buy a bunch of Delta 4 rockets maybe put Delta 2
launches on Delta 4 rockets.
Delta 4 and Atlas 5 even scaled down would be too big and because of this
would IMO still bring no cost saving.
Not when you consider Boeing and the Air Force have to maintain four
launch facilities currently... one each for Delta II and Delta IV at
Vandenberg, and one each for Delta II and Delta IV at Cape Canaveral.
Cutting that number in half *must* look interesting, from a cost
standpoint, particularly at that rust-magnet Cape Canaveral. Consider
also that Boeing has to maintain production lines in two different
states, with two completely different armies of employees, and the
economics of transitioning everything to Delta IV only looks better
and better in the future. And when they have their arms twisted to
keep Delta IV in production... no, I don't think Delta II will survive
much longer.

Brian
Dholmes
2003-08-04 01:58:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
Possible but you can not really claim Atlas is American built either.
Yes, you can... and Lockheed-Martin has already done so, with notably
greater success than Boeing Sea Launch. Atlas 5 has some foreign
components (notably the engines) that's a far cry from Sea Launch,
which is entirely foreign except for some marketing by Boeing.
No engines mean no rocket. Just my opinion but I do not think either
qualify.
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
Plus it would be hard bring that kind of pressure.
No, it wouldn't. Boeing needs the US military alot more than the US
military needs Boeing. Boeing already lost the huge JSF contract, now
they've lost the lion's share of the EELV contract. The KC-767 is
still not a done-deal, the V-22 is still listed as day-to-day, and
they really want the Air Force to buy more C-17s, even though that
plane has never lived up to expectations. No, Boeing is in deep, deep
trouble. This definitely is a buyers market, and the Air Force knows
it.
I do not see it.
If the Air Force did all of what you suggest Boeing goes to congress screams
bloody murder and threatens to move overseas.

Why use a nuclear bomb when all it takes is a piece of candy?
Buy 10 Delta 4 class rockets if Boeing gets rid of SeaLaunch and both are
happy.
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
Especially after China launches later this year.
China launching humans later this year will be a non-event, as far as
the US government is concerned. They tweaked the design of Russia's
35-year-old Soyuz, and the first Chinese astronauts will no doubt be
congratulated in orbit by the Russian and American already in orbit.
Nope, it won't even appear on Washington's radar. Sputnik, this ain't.
Post by Dholmes
More likely the US would buy a bunch of Delta 4 rockets maybe put Delta 2
launches on Delta 4 rockets.
Delta 4 and Atlas 5 even scaled down would be too big and because of this
would IMO still bring no cost saving.
Not when you consider Boeing and the Air Force have to maintain four
launch facilities currently... one each for Delta II and Delta IV at
Vandenberg, and one each for Delta II and Delta IV at Cape Canaveral.
Cutting that number in half *must* look interesting, from a cost
standpoint, particularly at that rust-magnet Cape Canaveral. Consider
also that Boeing has to maintain production lines in two different
states, with two completely different armies of employees, and the
economics of transitioning everything to Delta IV only looks better
and better in the future. And when they have their arms twisted to
keep Delta IV in production... no, I don't think Delta II will survive
much longer.
I am sure both would love to consolidate but the max even for the new
heavier Delta 2 is 2 tons to GTO.
The smallest Delta 4 is 4 tons to GTO.
That is a factor of 2, something IMO has to give before that works.
If they did away with the second stage it would lower the Delta 4 some but I
do not think enough.
Brian Thorn
2003-08-04 20:41:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dholmes
No engines mean no rocket. Just my opinion but I do not think either
qualify.
So you see no difference at all between the Zenit and the Atlas? I
guarantee you, Congresscritters do. And they see enough "American" in
Atlas 5 to give it their blessing.
Post by Dholmes
I do not see it.
If the Air Force did all of what you suggest Boeing goes to congress screams
bloody murder and threatens to move overseas.
My point is that they wouldn't have to do *all* of that. Just one of
them would hurt Boeing pretty badly. The Air Force doesn't have to cut
all of the Boeing orders to make an impact. They could simply split
the next tanker order between Boeing and Airbus. Boeing would not like
that at all, but it would be very difficult for them to go to Congress
screaming bloody murder about getting a 50-aircraft order. The Marines
could threaten to cut way back on V-22 orders and instead make a big
helicopter purchase from Sikorsky.

The ways the Pentagon can put pressure on Boeing are more or less
endless.
Post by Dholmes
I am sure both would love to consolidate but the max even for the new
heavier Delta 2 is 2 tons to GTO.
The smallest Delta 4 is 4 tons to GTO.
That is a factor of 2, something IMO has to give before that works.
I do admit that the smallest Delta IV is going to be seriously
overpowered for a Delta II-class mission. The question is whether it
is easier to accept a more expensive, bigger rocket, or continued
production of more or less unrelated boosters in two states operating
from two different launch complexes. I think the two values are close
enough that when push comes to shove, the government will opt for
retiring Delta II and accepting paying more for Delta II-class
launches rather than lose Delta IV completely.

Brian
Dholmes
2003-08-05 11:28:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
No engines mean no rocket. Just my opinion but I do not think either
qualify.
So you see no difference at all between the Zenit and the Atlas? I
guarantee you, Congresscritters do. And they see enough "American" in
Atlas 5 to give it their blessing.
I just can not see it for a national launcher. It just seems to me to defeat
the purpose of the project.
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
I do not see it.
If the Air Force did all of what you suggest Boeing goes to congress screams
bloody murder and threatens to move overseas.
The ways the Pentagon can put pressure on Boeing are more or less
endless.
True but why do it the hard way?
Post by Brian Thorn
Post by Dholmes
I am sure both would love to consolidate but the max even for the new
heavier Delta 2 is 2 tons to GTO.
The smallest Delta 4 is 4 tons to GTO.
That is a factor of 2, something IMO has to give before that works.
I do admit that the smallest Delta IV is going to be seriously
overpowered for a Delta II-class mission. The question is whether it
is easier to accept a more expensive, bigger rocket, or continued
production of more or less unrelated boosters in two states operating
from two different launch complexes. I think the two values are close
enough that when push comes to shove, the government will opt for
retiring Delta II and accepting paying more for Delta II-class
launches rather than lose Delta IV completely.
I may respond to this later.
This has inspired me to do some research.
One thing I have found is that Delta 4 is a poor leo launcher.
Colonel K
2003-08-06 02:39:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
I do admit that the smallest Delta IV is going to be seriously
overpowered for a Delta II-class mission. The question is whether it
is easier to accept a more expensive, bigger rocket, or continued
production of more or less unrelated boosters in two states operating
from two different launch complexes. I think the two values are close
enough that when push comes to shove, the government will opt for
retiring Delta II and accepting paying more for Delta II-class
launches rather than lose Delta IV completely.
The scuttlebut arouind my building is that NASA is thinking seriously of
placing another "block" order for Delta IIs. Couple this with Boeing's
current plan to move Delta II production to Decatur and I think we'll see
them flying for quite some time to come.

Colonel K
Greg D. Moore (Strider)
2003-08-06 02:59:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Colonel K
The scuttlebut arouind my building is that NASA is thinking seriously of
placing another "block" order for Delta IIs. Couple this with Boeing's
current plan to move Delta II production to Decatur and I think we'll see
them flying for quite some time to come.
What would NASA be using them for? Discovery class missions?
Post by Colonel K
Colonel K
Colonel K
2003-08-09 17:43:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg D. Moore (Strider)
Post by Colonel K
The scuttlebut arouind my building is that NASA is thinking seriously of
placing another "block" order for Delta IIs. Couple this with Boeing's
current plan to move Delta II production to Decatur and I think we'll see
them flying for quite some time to come.
What would NASA be using them for? Discovery class missions?
Sure. NASA has a bunch of smaller satellite missions that are sized for
launch on Delta II.

-Colonel K
Dholmes
2003-08-09 20:08:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Colonel K
Post by Greg D. Moore (Strider)
Post by Colonel K
The scuttlebut arouind my building is that NASA is thinking seriously of
placing another "block" order for Delta IIs. Couple this with Boeing's
current plan to move Delta II production to Decatur and I think we'll
see
Post by Greg D. Moore (Strider)
Post by Colonel K
them flying for quite some time to come.
What would NASA be using them for? Discovery class missions?
Sure. NASA has a bunch of smaller satellite missions that are sized for
launch on Delta II.
Is there any other option?
So far the only competitors in the Delta 2 weight class I can find are the
Russian Soyuz and the Chinese Long March rocket. Both of which are bigger
then Delta 2 in many ways more Delta 3 competitors.
Brian Thorn
2003-08-07 22:20:42 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 02:39:56 GMT, "Colonel K"
Post by Colonel K
Post by Brian Thorn
I do admit that the smallest Delta IV is going to be seriously
overpowered for a Delta II-class mission. The question is whether it
is easier to accept a more expensive, bigger rocket, or continued
production of more or less unrelated boosters in two states operating
from two different launch complexes. I think the two values are close
enough that when push comes to shove, the government will opt for
retiring Delta II and accepting paying more for Delta II-class
launches rather than lose Delta IV completely.
The scuttlebut arouind my building is that NASA is thinking seriously of
placing another "block" order for Delta IIs. Couple this with Boeing's
current plan to move Delta II production to Decatur and I think we'll see
them flying for quite some time to come.
Very interesting! Thanks for the update!

Brian
Mike Chan
2003-08-08 05:30:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Colonel K
Post by Brian Thorn
I do admit that the smallest Delta IV is going to be seriously
overpowered for a Delta II-class mission. The question is whether it
is easier to accept a more expensive, bigger rocket, or continued
production of more or less unrelated boosters in two states operating
from two different launch complexes. I think the two values are close
enough that when push comes to shove, the government will opt for
retiring Delta II and accepting paying more for Delta II-class
launches rather than lose Delta IV completely.
The scuttlebut arouind my building is that NASA is thinking seriously of
placing another "block" order for Delta IIs. Couple this with Boeing's
current plan to move Delta II production to Decatur and I think we'll see
them flying for quite some time to come.
Colonel K
After the last of the Atlas II's, III's, and Titans's are launched in
the next 2 or 3 years, Delta II shall continue as the US counterpart
to the Soyuz -- the only operational ELV's with a direct family
history tracing back to the dawn of the Space Age.

That they will still by flying in he 50 years after the first launch
of their R-7 and Thor progenitors will be a subject of tribute over in
ssh, but will be lamented here in ssp that nothing providing cheaper
and more reliable access to space has been developed to take their
place.
ed kyle
2003-08-09 21:49:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dholmes
I am sure both would love to consolidate but the max even for the new
heavier Delta 2 is 2 tons to GTO.
The smallest Delta 4 is 4 tons to GTO.
That is a factor of 2, something IMO has to give before that works.
If they did away with the second stage it would lower the Delta 4 some but I
do not think enough.
Delta II hasn't performed a GTO mission in quite awhile
now - it simply is no longer competitive for that type of
mission (a type pioneered by Delta). Delta II was originally
designed to launch the current class of GPS satellites, which
account for probably 40-50% of all Delta II launches at present.
But the next generation Block 2F GPS satellites, which will be
too heavy for Delta II, will be launched by EELVs starting in
FY 2006. That will leave only a few annual NASA missions for
Delta II. Some savings might come from scrapping one of the
two Delta Cape pads, but per-mission costs will rise as the
launch rate declines. Its only a matter of time before NASA
will find that it can fly cheaper with a block EELV purchase -
and don't be suprised if Boeing makes sure the pricing works
out that way so that it can rid itself of yet another McDonnell
Douglas product.

- Ed Kyle
ed kyle
2003-08-10 16:00:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
But the next generation Block 2F GPS satellites, which will be
too heavy for Delta II, will be launched by EELVs starting in
FY 2006. That will leave only a few annual NASA missions for
Delta II. Some savings might come from scrapping one of the
two Delta Cape pads, but per-mission costs will rise as the
launch rate declines. Its only a matter of time before NASA
will find that it can fly cheaper with a block EELV purchase -
and don't be suprised if Boeing makes sure the pricing works
out that way so that it can rid itself of yet another McDonnell
Douglas product.
Well, Boeing has spent a lot of money designing Delta IV and building
infrastructure for it, and that infrastructure is now seriously
underutilized. It's not impossible that it would be more profitable
for Boeing to offer a Delta IV-S that had a payload identical to the
current Delta II and consisted of a Delta IV-M with an unusually
robust payload adapter.
Boeing worked out such a design at one point. It consisted of
a Delta IV CBC first stage topped by the proven Delta II
hypergolic second stage. Payload performance would have been
roughly equal to Delta II. The effort was dropped for some
reason.

One could argue that NASA, for example, could build cheaper
payloads for Delta IV or Atlas V than for Delta II since the
mass budget would not be so tight. Mass produce one (not
both) of the bigger rockets in lots of 30-50 and the
per-mission costs should come down. Use 'em for defense, NASA
unmanned, NASA manned, and a few stray commercial missions
and you'll see a flight rate of 10-15 per year, much improved
from current plans for 2 per year for Delta IV.

- Ed Kyle
Mike Chan
2003-08-11 00:15:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
Post by ed kyle
But the next generation Block 2F GPS satellites, which will be
too heavy for Delta II, will be launched by EELVs starting in
FY 2006. That will leave only a few annual NASA missions for
Delta II. Some savings might come from scrapping one of the
two Delta Cape pads, but per-mission costs will rise as the
launch rate declines. Its only a matter of time before NASA
will find that it can fly cheaper with a block EELV purchase -
and don't be suprised if Boeing makes sure the pricing works
out that way so that it can rid itself of yet another McDonnell
Douglas product.
Well, Boeing has spent a lot of money designing Delta IV and building
infrastructure for it, and that infrastructure is now seriously
underutilized. It's not impossible that it would be more profitable
for Boeing to offer a Delta IV-S that had a payload identical to the
current Delta II and consisted of a Delta IV-M with an unusually
robust payload adapter.
Boeing worked out such a design at one point. It consisted of
a Delta IV CBC first stage topped by the proven Delta II
hypergolic second stage. Payload performance would have been
roughly equal to Delta II. The effort was dropped for some
reason.
The original EELV program called for a vehicle that could support the
full range of payloads from light (Delta II class) to the existing
medium and heavy. Boeing had a light Delta IV with current Delta II
second stage. LM had a light Altas V with an Agena second stage.
IIRC, LM had another light Atlas V with a different second stage for a
different payload class. I don't recall the reason given for dropping
the light version, but I guess that there were not enough light
payloads to make it worth the extra development dollars. Another
reason might be that the light version would not come out cheaper than
using the existing Delta II.
Post by ed kyle
One could argue that NASA, for example, could build cheaper
payloads for Delta IV or Atlas V than for Delta II since the
mass budget would not be so tight. Mass produce one (not
both) of the bigger rockets in lots of 30-50 and the
per-mission costs should come down. Use 'em for defense, NASA
unmanned, NASA manned, and a few stray commercial missions
and you'll see a flight rate of 10-15 per year, much improved
from current plans for 2 per year for Delta IV.
- Ed Kyle
The heavier but cheaper payload works if the choice of using lighter
components means the components have to be developed from scratch.
Some development and manufacturing infrastructure has grew over the
years so that some lightweight space-qualified components are not the
expensive custom one-of-a-kind pieces they once were. E.g.,
structures, communications, command and data-handling systems can be
off-the-shelf instead of having to design and build your own. The
savings of going to a heavier payload may not offset the increased
launch costs.

The flight rate for both EELV's appear to be around 4-5 per year. To
get to 10-15 would mean NASA manned / unmanned plus stray commercial
missions need to chip in 5-10 flights per year. That does not appear
likely in the next 5 years. Maybe after 2010.

The verdict on the light may come down to which is cheaper -- building
and launching 3 or so Delta II's per year, or increasing the
production and launch rate of the Delta IV by 3 or so plus the up
front money needed to develop the Delta IV light.

The Delta II version would also affect the comparison. The case might
be made for the Delta IV light if competing against a bunch of
7925H's, but not against 7320's.

Another note is that only one contractor was supposed to have won the
EELV production outright, but the Air Force wanted two finalists to
increase assured space access in case one of the designs had a problem
that grounded the fleet. The tradeoff of losing this "insurance" (the
value of which is a separate debate) vs production/operational
efficiencies of higher rates would be a large determining factor
whether to consolidate the program to a single vendor.
ed kyle
2003-08-11 13:27:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Chan
The verdict on the light may come down to which is cheaper -- building
and launching 3 or so Delta II's per year, or increasing the
production and launch rate of the Delta IV by 3 or so plus the up
front money needed to develop the Delta IV light.
The Delta II version would also affect the comparison. The case might
be made for the Delta IV light if competing against a bunch of
7925H's, but not against 7320's.
Another possiblility would be to double-up two Delta II-class
payloads on a single Medium-class EELV. That would replace two
$50-55 million (?) Delta II launches with one $75-80 million (?)
EELV flight.
Post by Mike Chan
Another note is that only one contractor was supposed to have won the
EELV production outright, but the Air Force wanted two finalists to
increase assured space access in case one of the designs had a problem
that grounded the fleet. The tradeoff of losing this "insurance" (the
value of which is a separate debate) vs production/operational
efficiencies of higher rates would be a large determining factor
whether to consolidate the program to a single vendor.
I recall reports that DoD was thinking about a downselect to
one EELV for the next round of launch contracts. These reports
came out just before Columbia was lost earlier this year.
There's been no such talk since, but I've got to believe the
idea is still strong, especially with Rumsfield calling the shots.
Which rocket would win is uncertain, but it could come down to
which state is more "Republican" (Alabama or Colorado?).

- Ed Kyle
Mike Chan
2003-08-12 02:19:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
Post by Mike Chan
The verdict on the light may come down to which is cheaper -- building
and launching 3 or so Delta II's per year, or increasing the
production and launch rate of the Delta IV by 3 or so plus the up
front money needed to develop the Delta IV light.
The Delta II version would also affect the comparison. The case might
be made for the Delta IV light if competing against a bunch of
7925H's, but not against 7320's.
Another possiblility would be to double-up two Delta II-class
payloads on a single Medium-class EELV. That would replace two
$50-55 million (?) Delta II launches with one $75-80 million (?)
EELV flight.
That'd work if the two payloads have orbits relative to each other
such that a single ELV can put both payloads into their desired orbit.
Post by ed kyle
Post by Mike Chan
Another note is that only one contractor was supposed to have won the
EELV production outright, but the Air Force wanted two finalists to
increase assured space access in case one of the designs had a problem
that grounded the fleet. The tradeoff of losing this "insurance" (the
value of which is a separate debate) vs production/operational
efficiencies of higher rates would be a large determining factor
whether to consolidate the program to a single vendor.
I recall reports that DoD was thinking about a downselect to
one EELV for the next round of launch contracts. These reports
came out just before Columbia was lost earlier this year.
There's been no such talk since, but I've got to believe the
idea is still strong, especially with Rumsfield calling the shots.
Which rocket would win is uncertain, but it could come down to
which state is more "Republican" (Alabama or Colorado?).
- Ed Kyle
It certainly will be interesting to see what comes of the new NASA
Med-Lite batch buy rumored in a couple of earlier posts, and of the
upcoming EELV Buy 3.

- Mike

ed kyle
2003-08-12 02:19:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Chan
The flight rate for both EELV's appear to be around 4-5 per year. To
get to 10-15 would mean NASA manned / unmanned plus stray commercial
missions need to chip in 5-10 flights per year. That does not appear
likely in the next 5 years. Maybe after 2010.
True. None of the world's space launchers have seen annual rates in
excess of 9/year since 2000, when Proton did 14 and Soyuz/Molniya
13 successful launches. Ariane 4 did no more than 9 per year after
1998. No U.S. launcher has bettered the 10/year mark since 1999
(Delta 2 then, launching the last of the LEO constellations).

The truth is that a handful (3-4) of rocket types account for
almost half of the space launches each year, notching 5-10 flights
each. Most of the world's rockets fly less than two or three times
per year. In 2002, 11 different launch vehicle models flew only
one time apiece. A total of 23 different types flew during that
year, performing only 65 total space launch attempts.


- Ed Kyle
Dholmes
2003-08-11 11:36:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed kyle
Post by ed kyle
But the next generation Block 2F GPS satellites, which will be
too heavy for Delta II, will be launched by EELVs starting in
FY 2006. That will leave only a few annual NASA missions for
Delta II. Some savings might come from scrapping one of the
two Delta Cape pads, but per-mission costs will rise as the
launch rate declines. Its only a matter of time before NASA
will find that it can fly cheaper with a block EELV purchase -
and don't be suprised if Boeing makes sure the pricing works
out that way so that it can rid itself of yet another McDonnell
Douglas product.
Well, Boeing has spent a lot of money designing Delta IV and building
infrastructure for it, and that infrastructure is now seriously
underutilized. It's not impossible that it would be more profitable
for Boeing to offer a Delta IV-S that had a payload identical to the
current Delta II and consisted of a Delta IV-M with an unusually
robust payload adapter.
Boeing worked out such a design at one point. It consisted of
a Delta IV CBC first stage topped by the proven Delta II
hypergolic second stage. Payload performance would have been
roughly equal to Delta II. The effort was dropped for some
reason.
From what I have seen about 20% more then the Delta 7925-10.
It is hard to say but the mass increase for the new GPS satellites may have
a lot to do with it.
Between 2-4 tons to GTO does not seem to be a real common satellite mass.
Post by ed kyle
One could argue that NASA, for example, could build cheaper
payloads for Delta IV or Atlas V than for Delta II since the
mass budget would not be so tight. Mass produce one (not
both) of the bigger rockets in lots of 30-50 and the
per-mission costs should come down. Use 'em for defense, NASA
unmanned, NASA manned, and a few stray commercial missions
and you'll see a flight rate of 10-15 per year, much improved
from current plans for 2 per year for Delta IV.
The big problem is competition everyone seems to have a launcher that does
around 4-8 tons to GTO.
There are at least 7 rockets/companies competing for this market with only
Arianne having a decent percentage of launches.
Using the Delta and Atlas to augment the Shuttle would help a lot.
Send a couple to the station with either parts or supplies and let the
shuttle stay in orbit longer to do the needed work.
Convincing NASA that faster is better would help as well.
Using a larger rocket would reduce trip time on interplanetary missions.
Rand Simberg
2003-08-03 21:37:26 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 18:50:18 GMT, in a place far, far away, "Dholmes"
Post by Dholmes
Post by Brian Thorn
So you need three Heavies to replace a Shuttle mission. Or two Heavies
and a Medium if they go the capsule route for OSP. This still doesn't
look like much of a bargain. Why not just build another Shuttle?
Politics mostly.
Too old and too expensive. An unmanned version might have a chance.
That would make no sense at all. There's little point to flying a
Shuttle without crew.
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
Dholmes
2003-08-04 01:58:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rand Simberg
On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 18:50:18 GMT, in a place far, far away, "Dholmes"
Post by Dholmes
Post by Brian Thorn
So you need three Heavies to replace a Shuttle mission. Or two Heavies
and a Medium if they go the capsule route for OSP. This still doesn't
look like much of a bargain. Why not just build another Shuttle?
Politics mostly.
Too old and too expensive. An unmanned version might have a chance.
That would make no sense at all. There's little point to flying a
Shuttle without crew.
The Shuttle has by far the heaviest launch capability around.
It would allow spare parts for existing shuttles or could even use parts to
old for the manned shuttles while launching parts of the ISS.
Rand Simberg
2003-08-04 02:23:01 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 04 Aug 2003 01:58:03 GMT, in a place far, far away, "Dholmes"
Post by Dholmes
Post by Rand Simberg
Post by Dholmes
Too old and too expensive. An unmanned version might have a chance.
That would make no sense at all. There's little point to flying a
Shuttle without crew.
The Shuttle has by far the heaviest launch capability around.
It's not needed.
Post by Dholmes
It would allow spare parts for existing shuttles
That wouldn't be worth the several billion it would cost to build.
Post by Dholmes
or could even use parts to
old for the manned shuttles while launching parts of the ISS.
Do you think that parts of the ISS are easily replaceable? Any time a
shuttle launches, it has to be as reliable as possible. Crew safety
is the least of the issues.
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
Mike Chan
2003-08-03 21:23:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Thorn
With NASA evidently leaning toward Atlas these days (Pluto, GOES), it
will be interesting to see LM's proposal for the OSP launch vehicle.
Atlas V-Heavy may yet see the light of day. And since Atlas V is
evidently coming in somewhat cheaper than Delta IV, it will be
interesting to see if LM tries to challenge Arianespace in the
dual-launch market.
The LV options considered for Pluto New Horizons were Atlas V 551 and
Delta IVH. IIRC, the 551 has around 75% of the IVH's capability for
Earth escape, and could be used with an earlier launch and longer
trajectory to Pluto. The choice could have been made on schedule
(they could get the spacecraft built in time for the earlier launch
date), and cost (the cost of some extra months of cruise operations is
small change compared to cost difference between the 551 and the IVH).
The biggest IVM+(5,4) has less capability than even the 531, and was
not a viable option.

There was a recent post by Kim Keller on GOES switching from Delta III
to Delta IVM+. Has there been a more recent change to Atlas??
Post by Brian Thorn
I remain convinced that unless the government bulks up it's
currently thin launch requirements, one of these launchers will
be driven out of business.
It will have to be Zenit 3SL. The U.S. government won't put payloads
on a SeaLaunch no matter how much Boeing tries to persuade them its
really a US launch vehicle (Boeing's word is pretty much worthless
these days) and the Air Force will put enormous pressure on Boeing to
keep Delta IV alive ("kill Delta IV and the next round of tankers will
go to Airbus.") After Boeing's corruption penalties, there is no way
LM's Atlas V will be killed off. That leaves SeaLaunch. That ain't
fair, but such is life.
But SeaLaunch appears to be making money in the commercial launch
market without any US govt customers. It should stay in business as
long as it is profitable. And then there was the recent release in
sci.space.news on "Arianespace, Boeing Launch Services and Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries Announce A New Launch Services Alliance." Since
Boeing is not marketing Delta IV for commercial launches, the only
card Boeing has on the table for this alliance is SeaLaunch.
Post by Brian Thorn
It will simply cost too much to
keep them flying if each machine only flies two or three times
a year. NASA and OSP may be needed to save one of these rockets.
Zenit is busy with commercial launch business that Boeing has
decided to let slip away. Soyuz and Delta II are both busy
with government launches, but Delta II's days are numbered once
the U.S. Air Force moves it's GPS launches to the EELVs. That
day will arrive in not too many more years.
Will Boeing revive its old Delta IV-Lite concept and gather all of the
Air Force's and NASA's remaining medium-class payloads under the Delta
IV banner? There has to be a point coming soon where maintaining two
production lines (Delta II and Delta IV) is going to be more expensive
than simply launching Medium-class missions on an overpowered Delta
IV. Add in the cost savings from maintaining only one launch facility
at the Cape, and I'm surprised Boeing didn't make that decision a few
years ago. Now that Delta IV is flight-proven, I expect such an
announcement in the near future.
Having GPS launches certainly helped to amortize non-recurring Delta
II production and operations costs over a larger number of launches
with the only other customer being NASA. But let's say the only
customer for Delta II class capabilities in the future will be NASA,
and the number of launches will be 2 or 3 per year (Explorer and
Discovery class missions). Is that sufficient for Boeing to spend
money developing the Lite with the idea to recover that money from
Delta II manufacturing and operations savings? And when will Boeing
see the savings? If it takes 30 launches (throwing out a number here)
to recover the development dollars, that is 10 to 15 years before any
profits.

It appears a tough sell for Boeing to get NASA to fund Delta-Lite
development to reduce future NASA Med-Lite launch costs. The Air
Force had figured that a billion or so up front EELV development
dollars plus procurement and operations costs for X EELV launches will
be cheaper then same X number of Atlas 2AS and Titan 4B launches for
some number X. (There were reliability and responsiveness reasons
also.) There will be some similar number Y for Med-Lite launches, but
NASA may find it difficult to convince Congress to give it a big chunk
of up front dollars for savings that won't come until 10 or more years
later.

IIRC, the EELV-Lite development was originally dropped because not
enough launches of that class were anticipated to make the effort pay
off. I don't see how that has changed.
Post by Brian Thorn
Arianespace made a similar decision years ago vis a' vis Ariane 4 and
Ariane 5, and is now regretting it... bringing in Soyuz to launch
light, one-off payloads. But a Delta IV Medium or Lite is somewhat
smaller than Ariane 5, so the economic difference may be smaller for
Boeing, and the Decatur plant certainly has capacity to spare.
Arianespace has to try and make money too. Keeping Ariane 4 around
for 1 per year missions was more expensive than going with Soyuz.
Dholmes
2003-08-03 18:50:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dholmes
Post by ed kyle
3. Current plans show an average of only about 4 launches per year
for Delta IV and Atlas V combined.
The simplest solution would be to replace 1 shuttle ISS mission with 2-6
cargo launches from Delta or Atlas rockets
One Heavy mission should be cargo-equivalent to one STS flight,
not counting the mass of the needed orbital maneuvering stage.
With the stage, you would need no more than two Heavies to
replace the cargo of an STS mission.
2 heavies require 6 Delta rockets. That would keep the line nice and active.
Post by Dholmes
Add to this satellites have traditionally gotten bigger as time goes on
which will slowly increase the market for these big launchers.
The Heavy launchers can only compete commercially if they are
used to launch two or more satellites at a time. The commercial
sat market was interested in Delta IV Heavy at one time (a
single Delta IV-H could put two Zenit or Proton class payloads
into GTO), but costs must now have risen too much to hold their
interest.
Or if something big comes along to lift say Mars or Luna probes, space
station components, OSP etc.
The Delta especially seems designed to scale up even larger.
Post by Dholmes
Post by ed kyle
4. Both of these rockets cannot survive under existing market
conditions.
They might survive but costs will be higher.
The next size below these launchers like the Zenit, Suyoz and
Delta 2 all seem very active from the lists I have seen.
I remain convinced that unless the government bulks up it's
currently thin launch requirements, one of these launchers will
be driven out of business. It will simply cost too much to
keep them flying if each machine only flies two or three times
a year. NASA and OSP may be needed to save one of these rockets.
Possible but national prestige and military interests require at least one
and probably two.
Zenit is busy with commercial launch business that Boeing has
decided to let slip away. Soyuz and Delta II are both busy
with government launches, but Delta II's days are numbered once
the U.S. Air Force moves it's GPS launches to the EELVs. That
day will arrive in not too many more years.
Zenit and Delta 2 both seem to be maxing out weight wise.
If the Delta 2 gets any bigger it would be competing with Atlas and Delta
base models.
Zenit is limited by it's ship launch.
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