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[US VP] Pence Is Said to Lead U.S-Brazil Talks on Rocket Launch Site

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DocM    15,196
Posted (edited)

SpaceX doesn't sound as interested as Boeing, Lockheed, and small launcher companies Vector (KSC LC-48) & Microcosm/Scorpius. 

 

More bad news for Europe's ArianeSpace.

 

Bloomberg....

 

Quote

Pence Is Said to Lead U.S-Brazil Talks on Rocket Launch Site

 

(Bloomberg) -- Talks over U.S. commercial use of a rocket launch site in Brazil are advancing and will take center stage during Vice President Mike Pences visit to Brasilia next week, according to three people familiar with the matter.

While a final agreement is unlikely during his visit, progress has been made in discussions to give U.S. personnel access to the Alcantara base in the north-eastern state of Maranhao, while ensuring sovereignty safeguards to Brazil. Both sides have made concessions and things are moving forward in a positive way, the people said, asking not to be named because talks arent public. Discussions are now focused on the financial end of the deal and on technological details, they added.

Alcantaras proximity to the equator makes it cheaper to launch rockets. The base could generate revenue of up to $1.5 billion per year, according to the Brazilian defense ministry. All previous attempts at commercially exploring the base have failed. In 2015 Brazil ended a partnership with Ukraine to develop a launch vehicle at Alcantara, citing Ukraines financial problems. A previous cooperation with the U.S. was rejected by Congress for alleged national sovereignty violations.
 >
U.S. administration officials familiar with preparations for Pences visit said strategic cooperation on a space partnership between the U.S. and Brazil will be an important part of the trip and a topic of a working lunch Pence will have with President Michel Temer. Pence heads the National Space Council and is seeking to expand the councils work with international space partnerships. 

>

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision    2,534

Easier to launch, yes. Getting equipment, personnel and hardware there for each launch is more expensive and time-consuming. Can the process and procedures be streamlined? Sure, but any savings that might be garnered by launching from those locations are utterly cancelled out by the sheer effort alone.

 

That's why SpaceX isn't interested. It doesn't make financial sense.

 

And besides, the only reason to launch from a location like this is to "maximize performance and overcome deficiencies and  in the platform". For the smaller vehicles (like Ariane V) it's a godsend and quite necessary, so whatever.

 

SpaceX isn't interested likely because they don't need to do this.

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DocM    15,196

Boeing/Lockheed/ULA are in a hole and they know it. 
 

They desperately need to maximize Vulcan-ACES performance for cis-lunar and Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) station operations. This due to  competition from Falcon Heavy, BFR (9 meter), New Glenn, and later BFR 2 (12-15 meter) and New Armstrong.

 

Problem: this is a short-term heavy lift solution - they also need an affordable (read: reusable) super-heavy lifter.  Which the Space Launch System is not.

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,534

Yup. SLS might have four flights (not nine) before the parts shortage kicks in on the SSME components. Then they'll have to wait a few years until the factory that builds more is able to actually produce.

 

It's all of the smaller components that are needed for SSME's ... there aren't enough for nine flights. Remember, they need to be able to do swap-outs after test fires, and they've burned through a quarter of the remaining stock already on some of the components. Running the SSME at 112~117% is rough on some of those parts ...

 

So yeah. Unless a stash of components miraculously appears ...

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DocM    15,196
Posted (edited)

And the new RS-25/SSME 

 

1) won't be reusable, even though the Shuttle ones are. No use in a future reusable vehicle.

 

2) won't go into production until 2028-2029 at the earliest.

 

ULA is in a helluva fix, and the only short term way out is to put ULA stickers on a Blue Origin vehicle.  That or ULA becomes a launch services company, booking for others & selling ACES. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,534

Ooh, hadn't heard that late for full-swing. Wow. By then the RBFR will be flying. As it stands now the BFR can do any and all jobs that SLS was slated for -- and is full reuse. Zero waste. And it'll be flying first.

 

OldSpace better enjoy this last five years of doing anything on their own merits. After that they are completely without oars on the northern tributary of Feces River.

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DocM    15,196

There are actually two RS-25 contracts; 6 engines for the mid-20's, and the big one for series production starting in 2027-ish with an order of 10 (all of which we know will move right.)

 

This all assuming SLS survives the arrival of the commercial super-heavies. You just know many in the media, and away from the NASA Centers states, will be going "W-T-F ?!?!"

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Unobscured Vision    2,534

Utter madness for reopening the factory for that little gain. More of the same BS that we've seen in this project full of BS and WTF.

 

"Drain the swamp", huh ... 'k. Guess we've set our expectations far too high.

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