History, Politics And Current Affairs

Opinions expressed here are personal views of contributors and do not necessarily represent the companies, organizations or governments they work for. Nor do they necessarily represent those of the Board Administration.
It is currently Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:01 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 217 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 5612
ByronC wrote:
Yes. The only people who really care about on-time launches tend to be governments. Who are still buying from ULA.

I don't think you can count US government support of ULA in the cost-effectiveness or timeliness of launches. Since ULA has had an effective monopoly up to at least 2015, and an actual monopoly to 2008, much of that history cannot be evaluated as a competitive market. There is still so much politics and egos involved that it is hard to distinguish real performance from bad data.

And I am familiar with the NASA probe program, which are launched on ULA vehicles. Most of them are years late, partly as a result of funding, partly because the probe is late in preparation, and partly because there has always been a long queue for launches.

_________________
(English doesn't) just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.--James D. Nicoll


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: The People's Republic of Kalifornia
ByronC wrote:
Yes. The only people who really care about on-time launches tend to be governments. Who are still buying from ULA.


The USAF has already awarded SpaceX two GPS contracts. Plus SpaceX is launching the X-37B this week. Plus they launch those payloads without using Russian rocket engines, which is a hot topic.

ByronC wrote:
Interesting. Source? (Genuinely curious. I'm not that familiar with the business side of space launch.)
From what I've heard, SpaceX is going to continue to rack up late fees on most contracts, so I'd doubt they've already hit caps. But I (or my source) could be wrong.



https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21984.msg1716663#msg1716663


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:49 pm
Posts: 3560
Location: CIVLANT
All this talk about ULA vs SpaceX (FWIW, I'm a big fan of SpaceX) got me to take a look at it.

Here is what ULA thinks of itself (absolutely ZERO self serving article, :roll: )

"Formed in December 2006, United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a 50-50 joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company. ULA brings together two of the launch industry’s most experienced and successful teams – Atlas and Delta – to provide reliable, cost-efficient space launch services for the U.S. government. U.S. government launch customers include the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other organizations.

Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicles have supported America’s presence in space for more than 50 years, carrying a variety of payloads including weather, telecommunications and national security satellites that protect and improve life on Earth, as well as deep space and interplanetary exploration missions that further our knowledge of the universe.

With three families of launch vehicles – Atlas V, Delta II, and Delta IV– ULA continues the tradition of supporting strategic U.S. space initiatives with advanced robust launch solutions to provide assured access to space and 100 percent mission success.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Alabama, and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Culture ( I really love this self sering Bull sh!t, especially after I've had my third single malt :lol: :lol: :lol: )

One team focusing the talents and energies of our people to deliver excellence in everything we do.

Perfect Product Delivery (see Culture. Give me a break will you? Who authorizes this tripe?)

Perfect Product Delivery is our relentless pursuit of perfection to achieve excellence in everything we do. It applies our passion for mission success to continuously improve every process and product, to completely meet the needs of every customer and it inspires all employees to dedicate our innovative talents to deliver program success and develop a world-class work environment.

United Launch Services
United Launch Services, LLC (ULS) is a subsidiary of United Launch Alliance, LLC. On behalf of ULA, ULS contracts for launch services using the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles.

_________________
"If you think they’re going to give you THEIR country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. ;)


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: The People's Republic of Kalifornia
KDahm wrote:
Admittedly, I don't very deep knowledge about the field. But aren't delays of years for satellite launches routine? I mean, schedule slippage in the Shuttle program was so normal, I don't think anything launched within a few months of when it was originally scheduled. The Russian launches are similar. Between delays in getting the satellites ready, delays in building and launching the earlier loads, 'surprise' DOD cargos, and a routinely over-ambitious schedule, nothing goes as planned.

Incidentally, using some ratios with Falcon Heavy and Saturn V, I estimate that the Falcon 9 can put between 11,000 and 14,000 lbs into lunar orbit. So is there anything really useful that could be done with that load that's worth buying a launch on a used booster?


That is partly the reason for the ELC payments by the USAF to ULA. They don't know the exact order that satellites will go to ULA. So the ELC covers any changes for out or order boosters.

The F9 should do about 5910 kg to TLI and 4270 kg to TMI. You could easily do a lander with that amount of payload.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: The People's Republic of Kalifornia
OSCSSW wrote:
[color=#0000BF]All this talk about ULA vs SpaceX (FWIW, I'm a big fan of SpaceX) got me to take a look at it.

Snip.


I know that a lot of SpaceX fans are critical of ULA. However, ULA has given NASA and the USAF exactly what they asked for.

The EELV program was supposed to achieve a more reliable expendable booster at a lower price point than previous LV (Delta-II, Atlas, and Titan-IV).

The EELV program has delivered on the goals the USAF set for it back in the 90's. A Titan-IV launch back in the late 90's was approaching about $350M which is over $700M in today's dollars.
ULA has 100+ launches with zero mission failures. When the US Gov wants to put a critical payload into orbit, they turn to ULA. Saving a hundred million dollars on launch costs are not important when you are launching $2B nuclear-powered rover to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD909ZLd-cs

The challenge for ULA is that SpaceX has come along and Musk has basically upset the cart for space launch worldwide. You have a new launch provider, redefining what low-cost means and you have the booster engine for your main LV coming from Russia.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:54 pm
Posts: 1084
Location: Kerosycronous Orbit
OSCSSW wrote:
Perfect Product Delivery

ULA has never had a rocket explode on the pad, or in flight, and all of their payloads have hit orbits that were considered acceptable by the customer. They are not cheep, but they hit their target, and for the missions asked of them, they do very well.

_________________
Everyone who uses a computer frequently has had, from time to time, a mad desire to attack the precocious abacus with a axe. -John Drury Clark Ignition!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 1119
Another successful launch and landing.



Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 5612
nomad990 wrote:
Another successful launch and landing.

Straying a little into finger-breaking territory, but not asking questions:

Think about what this demonstrated capability for a 20 foot CEP on the landing would mean for ICBM launches using similar software.....

_________________
(English doesn't) just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.--James D. Nicoll


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 228
KDahm wrote:
nomad990 wrote:
Another successful launch and landing.

Straying a little into finger-breaking territory, but not asking questions:

Think about what this demonstrated capability for a 20 foot CEP on the landing would mean for ICBM launches using similar software.....


I don't think they apply very much. In order to get that 20 foot CEP they have to massively slow down during reentry making it childs play to intercept the missile. (A fighter with heat seeking missiles could do it.) But the bigger problem is that you will need multiple orders of magnitude more fuel for the missile so that it has fuel during reentry. Not worth it.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: The People's Republic of Kalifornia
Calder wrote:
KDahm wrote:
nomad990 wrote:
Another successful launch and landing.

Straying a little into finger-breaking territory, but not asking questions:

Think about what this demonstrated capability for a 20 foot CEP on the landing would mean for ICBM launches using similar software.....


I don't think they apply very much. In order to get that 20 foot CEP they have to massively slow down during reentry making it childs play to intercept the missile. (A fighter with heat seeking missiles could do it.) But the bigger problem is that you will need multiple orders of magnitude more fuel for the missile so that it has fuel during reentry. Not worth it.


You would also need grid fins to steer the warhead and get your target to paint themselves with radar reflecting paint.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:48 am
Posts: 7161
Location: BB-61 (the ship, not the state)
KDahm wrote:
nomad990 wrote:
Another successful launch and landing.

Straying a little into finger-breaking territory, but not asking questions:

Think about what this demonstrated capability for a 20 foot CEP on the landing would mean for ICBM launches using similar software.....

This isn't remotely the same. A typical airplane has a CEP of a lot less than 20 ft when taxiing into its parking spot, but that doesn't mean it can deliver iron bombs with the same accuracy.

_________________
Intelligence can be identified by its rejection of self-deception; by its willingness to admit that it might be wrong; by its insistence upon evidence rather than mere impression; by reasoning that cannot easily be assailed. - Orson Scott Card


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:42 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: The People's Republic of Kalifornia
SpaceX releases a blooper reel of the many times the Falcon didn't land before they got it right.

You just keep trying until you get it right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvim4rsNHkQ


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 5612
Catchy music. Another good choice would have been Yakety Sax.

And, yes, there are differences between a zero-zero landing and a RV CEP. But the same sort of control software and guidance hardware can be used for the latter. As the hardware gets smaller and lighter, there is the potential to need less boom for the same target.

_________________
(English doesn't) just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.--James D. Nicoll


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 228
KDahm wrote:
And, yes, there are differences between a zero-zero landing and a RV CEP. But the same sort of control software and guidance hardware can be used for the latter. As the hardware gets smaller and lighter, there is the potential to need less boom for the same target.


Except we have been trying to tell you that they have almost nothing to do with each other.

Ballistic missiles don't carry enough fuel to have a powered landing. Their propellent fraction is just too damn high for them to even consider doing this not to mention I don't think you can start and stop ignition of a solid fuel missile in the first place. Long before a ballistic missile begins reentry it has already used up all of it's fuel. It has extremely limited ability to change where it is going to land. It also has no sensors for guiding it where to land and sure as hell doesn't have a mission control guiding it in to land near it.

A Space X booster on the other hand is undergoing a powered landing and is taking directions from a mission control that can guide it to its final destination.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 5612
Totally misunderstanding my point.

I'm not suggesting a landing. I'm not suggesting mission control guided course corrections. I'm not suggesting sufficient propellant to make severe course corrections. Slowing down too much makes it dead meat for the defenses anyway.

What I am saying is that there is a sufficiently small on-board computer that can provide fast enough calculations that minor corrections are possible. I'm talking about the warhead RV itself can make some minor adjustments on the way down, to correct for things like upper atmosphere winds or uneven drag. I'm thinking about getting the device into position within something like 100 or 200 m, or less, so that a smaller warhead can be used.

All of that requires good characterization on how the RV will react to different forces from various thrusters, good precision on attitude sensors, an accurate INS and possibly GPS, and precise control of the thrusters. It requires a small, lightweight, robust computer that can make adjustments in real time without overshoot, undershoot, or resonant cycling. It's like balancing a bowling ball on top of a pogo stick - a deceptively easy looking problem.

_________________
(English doesn't) just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.--James D. Nicoll


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:48 am
Posts: 7161
Location: BB-61 (the ship, not the state)
KDahm wrote:
What I am saying is that there is a sufficiently small on-board computer that can provide fast enough calculations that minor corrections are possible. I'm talking about the warhead RV itself can make some minor adjustments on the way down, to correct for things like upper atmosphere winds or uneven drag. I'm thinking about getting the device into position within something like 100 or 200 m, or less, so that a smaller warhead can be used.

What you are describing is called a MARV. It was invented sometime in the 60s. SpaceX has added useful practice in terms of actually landing rockets. AFAIK, they haven't made major breakthroughs in control theory, and they definitely haven't done much for relevant hardware development.

_________________
Intelligence can be identified by its rejection of self-deception; by its willingness to admit that it might be wrong; by its insistence upon evidence rather than mere impression; by reasoning that cannot easily be assailed. - Orson Scott Card


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:49 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:35 am
Posts: 5338
Location: Sweden
So I watched this presentation held by Musk a few days ago.

Quite interesting. So the ITS has been replaced by the somewhat smaller BFG, 12 vs 9 meter diameter. The reason seems to be mostly that it's easier to make it economically viable with more potential for earth to orbit launches, Lunar missions and earth to earth passenger flights.

With the Mars timeline now standing at two BFG cargo flights in 2022 and two cargo-two passenger BFG flights in 2024 it is getting closer. I realize that there are numerous things that could go wrong but if they can pull this off somehow...

That a "Moonbase Alpha" as Musk called it is now apparantly in the works is also very interesting as is the vision of earth to earth passenger flights.
30 minutes for most locations on earth and 60 at most with prices comparable to full fare in economy class with airlines (he clarified the pricing after the presentation).

BFR layout:
Image

BFR delivering large satellite to orbit:
Image

BFR Mars landing:
Image

So what does everyone think, especially those of you who has a more advanced knowledge about rockets and space?

_________________
The Night Watch - A Star Trek Story


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:53 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: The People's Republic of Kalifornia
"So what does everyone think, especially those of you who has a more advanced knowledge about rockets and space?"

A fully reusable LV able to place 150-tons into LEO would be a dramatic game changer for US spaceflight ambitions.
I am happy that they scaled it down from the ITS. The 9-meter diameter LV would fit into existing SpaceX factories.
So they can actually build this vehicle using existing resources, which is good from an economics perspective for SpaceX.


It would place the US firmly in the lead for space exploration and would allow the exploitation of Cis-lunar space by commercial companies.

Of course as usual, for Elon the 2022 date is very ambitious. I will be surprised to see first flight before 2025.
The long tent pole item for any new LV is the engine, and it looks like SpaceX is preceding well with the Raptor engine. So who knows.

The idea of using the vehicle for point to point transport on the Earth, is problematic for several reasons. I don't see this becoming a reality.

The BFR has the potential to make the SLS obsolete overnight the first time this LV flies.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:10 pm
Posts: 1815
Location: Wyoming
So it's time for the investments. By the time the beachheads have been established and risk is going down, a properly managed portfolio, to include cashing in the house and any other assets, any Joe blow could have the money to buy something more than the basic economy cabin to Mars or anywhere else for that matter.

Even better, a chartered colony company. All the socialists and libertarians know they won't have to deal with the other, and the company can make sure a balanced group is going with extra funds, as well as making sure investment happens in technologies like 3d printing that need to be developed more to enhance colony success.

There's an opportunity there, but I'm not a finance guy.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:35 am
Posts: 5338
Location: Sweden
nomad990 wrote:
Another successful launch and landing.



I'm not sure if everyone's noticed this already but Boeing actually put out a few more details on the X-37B's mission.
Quote:
Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Explained: Boeing's New Video
By Leonard David, Space.com's Space Insider Columnist | September 14, 2017 07:00am ET

A new video lays out the basics of what the Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane is doing on its latest mystery mission, which lifted off last week.

Most aspects of X-37B missions are classified, so the new video — which was produced by Boeing, the vehicle's maker — doesn't go into detail. But it does give a sense of why the Air Force values the reusable space plane so highly.

"The X-37B testbed platform is unique because we can tailor our missions to specific user needs and return experiments back for post-flight inspection," Ken Torok, director of experimental systems at Boeing, says in the video.

The video was released last Thursday (Sept. 7), the day that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched an X-37B on the program’s Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-5) mission.

Duration records

Flights of the craft in the past have repeatedly broken the program's own duration record.

The first OTV mission began April 22, 2010, and concluded on Dec. 3, 2010, after 224 days in orbit. OTV-2 began March 5, 2011, and concluded on June 16, 2012, after 468 days on orbit.

The OTV-3 mission wrapped up nearly 675 days in orbit when it landed on Oct. 17, 2014.

On May 7, 2017, OTV-4 landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility — a first for the program, as all previous missions ended with a tarmac touchdown at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The X-37B conducted on-orbit experiments for 718 days during OTV-4, extending the total number of days spent on orbit for the OTV program to 2,085 days.

The Air Force is known to own two X-37B vehicles, which constitute the space plane "fleet."

Appearing like a miniature version of NASA’s now-retired space shuttle orbiter, the reusable military space plane is 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 9.6 feet (2.9 m) tall, with a wingspan of nearly 15 feet (4.6 m).

The space drone has a payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed that can be outfitted with a robotic arm. The X-37B has a launch weight of 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kilograms) and is powered on orbit by a solar cell-laden array.

To view the just-released video, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-7VNf7DCY8

Leonard David is author of "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet," published by National Geographic. The book is a companion to the National Geographic Channel series "Mars." A longtime writer for Space.com, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. This version of this story was posted on Space.com.

_________________
The Night Watch - A Star Trek Story


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 217 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group