Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
DocM

SpaceX Updates (Thread 4): F9, FH & Dragon

458 posts in this topic

DocM, do you really believe such figures??? :) you have gotten so many high-tech from CCCP/Russia. he-he-he, you'll be very excited to figure out how USA has been deeply dependent upon Russia ;)   

 

 Hey SarK0Y are you Russian? Or eastern European of some sort?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whooaaaaa....

http://m.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/elon-musks-spacex-granted-injunction-in-rocket-launch-suit-against-lockheed-boeing/2014/04/30/4b028f7c-d0cd-11e3-937f-d3026234b51c_story.html

Elon Musk?s SpaceX granted injunction in rocket launch suit against Lockheed-Boeing

A U.S. Court of Federal Claims judgeissued an injunction late Wednesday prohibiting a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing from proceeding with plans to buy Russian-made rocket engines.

Judge Susan G. Braden?s ruling came after SpaceX, a California-based rocket company, sued the federal government Monday, protesting the Air Force?s award of a lucrative space contract, saying itshould have been competitively bid.

In the suit, SpaceX criticizes United Launch Alliance (ULA) for using Russian engines in some of its rockets, which SpaceX founder Elon Musk said might be a violation of U.S. sanctions and was unseemly at a time when Russia ?is the process of invading Ukraine.?

Musk alleged that the deal would benefit Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy prime minister who heads the Russian defense industry and is named by the U.S. government in the sanctions.

In reaction to the sanctions, Rogozin tweeted: ?After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest the U.S. delivers its astronauts to the ISS [international Space Station] with a trampoline.?

Braden?s ruling prohibits ULA from making payments to the Russian engine manufacturer.

The contract, for 36 rockets to launch defense payloads, such as satellites, was awarded to ULA ? a 50-50 venture of Boeing and Bethesda-based Lockheed ? on a sole-source basis in December. By 2030, the Pentagon expects to spend almost $70 billion on the program.

At a news conference last week announcing the suit, Musk, the entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal and Tesla Motors, said SpaceX could provide rockets at considerably lower cost than ULA. Since then, he has gained the support of some members of Congress, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who have called for increased competition in the awarding of large multiyear contracts.

?This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us,? Musk said at the news conference. ?We?re just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that?s fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn?t make sense.?

In a statement issued this week, ULA said it is ?the only government certified launch provider that meets all of the unique .?.?. requirements that are critical to supporting our troops and keeping our country safe.?

A rigorous acquisitions process ?saved the government and taxpayers approximately $4 billion while keeping our nation?s assured access to deliver critical national security assets safely to space,? the company said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent.  It's about time the US stopped relying on old Russian tech that tends to blow up on launch thanks to some cretin hammering a part in upside down. :p


 Hey SarK0Y are you Russian? Or eastern European of some sort?

 

Basing entirely on his use of English, I'd say certainly eastern European at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair the "old Russian tech" in question is pretty much state of the art.

Maybe the powers that be might want to think about making nice with the Russians - to buy time being the least of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair the "old Russian tech" in question is pretty much state of the art.

Maybe the powers that be might want to think about making nice with the Russians - to buy time being the least of it.

 

Better and cheaper to just help SpaceX ramp up development and get their crewed launcher ready for missions. Especially as, judging by that trampoline comment, the Russians might just decide to cut off US access.

 

IMO, it was incredibly stupid of the US to retire the Shuttle before they had a replacement ready to go.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the replacements could have started entering service by now if the program had been sufficiently funded :P But no... more money had to flow to either Russia or the SLS pork system :P

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the replacements could have started entering service by now if the program had been sufficiently funded :p But no... more money had to flow to either Russia or the SLS pork system :p

 

Don't forget all the backhanders, like the one that had to have taken place for that ULA bulk buy deal. Glad a judge see's SpaceX's point on that. Clearly something dodgy going on there.  Goddam crooked politicians...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair the "old Russian tech" in question is pretty much state of the art.

Maybe the powers that be might want to think about making nice with the Russians - to buy time being the least of it.

State of the current art? No, Russian engines are staged combustion but there's more interesting stuff going on,

Raptor will be a Full-Flow Staged Combustion methalox, something Russia and the US has played with but never flown. Pumps gassified props into the chamber, not liquids. Starts propellant injector tests next month.

Or how about the reciprocating pump driven hydrogen upper stage engine being developed by XCOR and Boeing? No turbomachinery, just a very light and cheap piston pump.

Another is the ORBITEC Liquid Vortex engine, which while early on could well allow light alloy combustion chambers by keeping high temps away from the chamber walls. Flew in 2013 and is still in dev.

For in-space the U of Washington and a private plasma physics lab are late in development of a pulsed fusion rocket. They are in level 2+ of NASAs NIAC program and preparing to go to prototype..

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure. Lots of interesting stuff going on. Lots to look foward to. But nothing is currently flying that's as impressive as the RD-180 IMO.

Well except the RD-171 ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, gotta admit the RD-180 is a serious powerhouse of an engine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That it is, but in DC it's political dynamite.

There is also the Russian NK-33, which Aerojet Rocketdyne refurbs into the AJ-26 used in Orbital's Antares.

Orbital announced yesterday that in the wake of their merger with ATK, and because of the Crimea issue which could easily cause supply trouble with their Ukrainian built first stage, they are exploring an ATK solid first stage for Antares.

In short, Russian goods are being dropped like hot coals - and not just rocket hardware. Companies in these parts considering doing business there are pulling back,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How likely is it that this will bring extra funding for the CCP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the mood on Capitol Hill anything is possible. There is $54 million in discretionary funds voted by the House committee, and they just voted $220 million/year for deving the RD-180 replacement. I'd be flat shocked if contingency plans for accelerating CCP were not being made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But to who will go the 220 million next year ?

To ULA ???

They should give it to SpaceX to speed up Raptor developement.

Or a Commercial Engine Developement Plan 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the engine choice is a domestically produced RD-180 or the AJ-1E6 then Aerojet Rocketdyne would do it.

Using the methane/LOX fueled Raptor, should SpaceX choose to sell it to ULA which they may not, would require Atlas V tank changes. Doing that essentially means designing a new rocket.

I think a domestic RD-180 or AJ-1E6 are the most likely because they are RP-1/LOX engines and should not need a change to Atlas V's tanks. KISS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KISS is obviously not in the Congress/NASA dictionaries :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the domestic RD-180 or AJ-1E6 are the most likely.

But are these not produced in licence from the Russians ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RD-180's are imported by a US based joint venture of Aerojet-Rocketdyne and Energomash named RD AMROSS. Part of the JV deal was the issuing of a license to Rocketdyne allowing them to produce RD-180's in the US. So far that option has not been exercised, but nothing prevents it.

Aerojet-Rocketdyne's AJ-1E6 would be a 2 chamber staged combustion engine similar to RD-180 but supposedly domestic in design. It was originally proposed for a Block 2 SLS liquid booster. Later it was suggested as an RD-180 replacement.

There was a rumor that AJ-1E6 would be based on 2 joined and up-powered AJ-26's, which are US refurbed Russian NK-33's, but I've not seen proof. If so then the Orbital-ATK merger may have blown up the economics because the AJ-26 market just evaporated - Orbital will likely switch Antares from AJ-26 to a solid ATK first stage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry i was not clear enough.

My point is, If these engines are produced in license and payment is required and these payments are stopped by a Judge ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By a Federal Claims Court judge, whose jurisdiction includes claims due to improper government actions.

In the US the judiciary is a co-equal branch with the legislative and execitive branches, and it holds jurisdiction over their actions. If a judge rules against the legislative or executive branches actions all they can legally do is appeal to higher courts. The US Supreme Court is the ultimate arbitrator.

In this case the claim is against the US Air Force, part of the executive branch, for improperly awarding a contract (EELV launch block buy) and for violating the President's own embargo policy against Russian individuals allied with Putin. One of those individuals is the CEO of Energomash, the producer of RD-180.

The contradoction between executive policy (embargo) and action (purchasing RD-180's for the USAF EELV program) is a basis for the claim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it just me or isn't the 1 Billion dollar a year payment to ULA, for this sort of stuff? RnD and facility maintenance? 

 

Shouldn't the government be telling ULA to build/design their own engines?

 

However, Doc you said that ULA has 2 years worth of RD-180's left. Hopefully the issue with Russia will be over by then. Also the FH should be flying by then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YES AND YES, but they didn't. The US taxpayer gets hosed again.

ULA has about 20 RD-180's warehoused, and was to get a few more this fall but was enjoined by the court in the EELV case from buying more, so the upper limit right now is 20 Atlas V launches.

Now subtract 4 for the 2 development flights each of the SNC Dream Chaser and Boeing CST-100 commercial crew spacecraft. 16 left, about half of the block buy.

If the RD-180 supply chain dries up, for whatever reason, it may be 4-5 years before a replacement is available.

See where I'm going? They may have to sequester those 4 Atlas V's assigned to commercial crew development flights for use with national security flights.

Boeing has already stated they've put out feelers to SpaceX exploring the possibility of flying CST-100 on Falcon 9. The Delta IV is too expensive to human rate and it would take years.

SNC hasn't said as much, but they do stress that Dream Chaser is launcher agnostic and could also fly on Falcon 9.

Without Atlas V both would have to design a new upper stage to vehicle adapter - the Atlas V upper stage is 3 meters and Falcon 9's is 3.7 meters. Wind tunnel testing etc. pushes their schedules to the right into 2017-2018 or so.

Falcon 9 and Dragon 2/DragonRider may fly SpaceX crews in late 2015 or early 2016 even without a program acceleration.

This gets more interesting the deeper you dig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So no Atlas V, No Soyuz.

 

That leaves

Falcon Human rated late 2015.

Antares, Is there any plan to human rate it?

Ariane, is it human rated? I know it was planned but not sure if it ever was.

Delta IV, very expensive and time consuming to get human rated.

GSLV, human rated to NASA standards is a fair way off.

HII, Is there any option to Human rate it?

 

Looks like Falcon is the only option if they dont make up with Russia or get some new engines for Altas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So no Atlas V, No Soyuz.

That leaves

Falcon Human rated late 2015.

Yup.

Antares, Is there any plan to human rate it?

Very unlikely, plus it's likely moving to a solid first stage which limits launch abort options. When a solid blows most launch abort systems would have trouble outrunning the fireball. This is one of the things that killed Ares-1.

Ariane, is it human rated? I know it was planned but not sure if it ever was.

That is being looked at as part of the European Dream Chaser exploration SNC is doing with ESA and DLR (German space agency.)

Delta IV, very expensive and time consuming to get human rated.

Yup, plus after the merger Aerojet Rocketdyne set on laying off >250 of their people. A-R makes the Delta IV's RS-68 engine.

GSLV, human rated to NASA standards is a fair way off.

India's manned program includes man-rating but dunno if it's to current NASA levels. Doubt it.

HII, Is there any option to Human rate it?

No, but JAXA is planning the H-X which will be man-rated. Tjere are 3 spacevraft configirations in competition; 2 capsules, one of which.is a ringer for the current Dragon, and a Dream Chaser like lifting body. They're targeting 2022 for first flight.

Looks like Falcon is the only option if they dont make up with Russia or get some new engines for Altas.

Starting to look that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.