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Ariane V Vs Atlas V  
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5193 times:

I would like to compare this two amazing rockets, maybe some space experts could help me out.
Why the Atlas uses the Russian RD-180? It seems the Atlas can lift more mass into LEO then the Ariane V.

But the Ariane V can lift more into GTO. Why?

From Wiki:

Ariane V Height 58.3 m (191.2 ft)
Diameter 3.81 m (12.49 ft)
Mass 334,500 kg (737,400 lb)
Stages 2
Capacity
Payload to LEO 9,370–29,400 kg[1] (20,650–64,820 lb)
Payload to
GTO 4,750–13,000 kg[1] (10,470–28,660 lb)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites SLC-41, Cape Canaveral
SLC-3E, Vandenberg AFB
Total launches 37
(401: 17, 411: 3, 421: 3, 431: 2)
(501: 4, 521: 2, 531: 2, 541: 1, 551: 3)
Successes 36
(401: 16, 411: 3, 421: 3, 431: 2)
(501: 4, 521: 2, 531: 2, 541: 1, 551: 3)
Partial failures 1 (401)[2]
First flight 401: 21 August 2002
411: 20 April 2006
421: 10 October 2007
431: 11 March 2005
501: 22 April 2010
521: 17 July 2003
531: 14 August 2010
541: 26 November 2011
551: 19 January 2006

Atlas V

Size
Height 46–52 metres (151–171 ft)
Diameter 5.4 metres (18 ft)
Mass 777,000 kilograms (1,710,000 lb)
Stages 2
Capacity
Payload to LEO G: 16,000 kg
ES: 21,000 kg
Payload to
GTO G: 6,200 kg
G+: 6,950 kg
GS: 6,100 kg
ECA: 10,500 kg
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites ELA-3, Guiana Space Centre
Total launches 67
(G: 16, G+: 3, GS: 6)
(ECA: 39, ES: 3)
Successes 63
(G: 13, G+: 3, GS: 6)
(ECA: 38, ES: 3)
Failures 2 (G: 1, ECA: 1)
Partial failures 2 (G)
First flight G: 4 June 1996
G+: 2 March 2004
GS: 11 August 2005
ECA: 11 December 2002
ES: 9 March 2008

The Ariane V as commercially developed rocket has amounted 63 successfull flights. The Atlas is a younger rocket has fullfilled already 36 successfull flights.(notable Curiosity)

Which rocket will be further improved, maybe over 15000kg to GTO, which one has more future?

Thanks for any information.


“Faliure is not an option.”
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

You have the specs backwards. Ariane V is the one on the bottom.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5153 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):

You have the specs backwards. Ariane V is the one on the bottom.

Ops yes sorry, copied it the wrong way. Bad i can't edit it anymore so i post it again:

Ariane V
--------------------------------------------------------------
Size
Height 46–52 metres (151–171 ft)
Diameter 5.4 metres (18 ft)
Mass 777,000 kilograms (1,710,000 lb)
Stages 2
Capacity
Payload to LEO G: 16,000 kg
ES: 21,000 kg
Payload to
GTO G: 6,200 kg
G+: 6,950 kg
GS: 6,100 kg
ECA: 10,500 kg
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites ELA-3, Guiana Space Centre
Total launches 67
(G: 16, G+: 3, GS: 6)
(ECA: 39, ES: 3)
Successes 63
(G: 13, G+: 3, GS: 6)
(ECA: 38, ES: 3)
Failures 2 (G: 1, ECA: 1)
Partial failures 2 (G)
First flight G: 4 June 1996
G+: 2 March 2004
GS: 11 August 2005
ECA: 11 December 2002
ES: 9 March 2008


**************************************************
Atlas V

Height 58.3 m (191.2 ft)
Diameter 3.81 m (12.49 ft)
Mass 334,500 kg (737,400 lb)
Stages 2
Capacity
Payload to LEO 9,370–29,400 kg[1] (20,650–64,820 lb)
Payload to
GTO 4,750–13,000 kg[1] (10,470–28,660 lb)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites SLC-41, Cape Canaveral
SLC-3E, Vandenberg AFB
Total launches 37
(401: 17, 411: 3, 421: 3, 431: 2)
(501: 4, 521: 2, 531: 2, 541: 1, 551: 3)
Successes 36
(401: 16, 411: 3, 421: 3, 431: 2)
(501: 4, 521: 2, 531: 2, 541: 1, 551: 3)
Partial failures 1 (401)[2]
First flight 401: 21 August 2002
411: 20 April 2006
421: 10 October 2007
431: 11 March 2005
501: 22 April 2010
521: 17 July 2003
531: 14 August 2010
541: 26 November 2011
551: 19 January 2006



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5063 times:

The max performance figures you list for Atlas V apply to the Atlas Heavy, a proposed variant with 2 Common Core Boosters strapped to the sides of the central CCB, in the manner of Delta IV Heavy. But Atlas Heavy has not been developed, and it appears unlikely to ever be developed.

Ariane V was developed specifically for launching to GTO, and was optimized for that.


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1591 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4965 times:

A complete, but highly interested, space-noob here;

How does the proposed Falcon Heavy stack up to these two?



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4938 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 4):

How does the proposed Falcon Heavy stack up to these two?

The numbers vary, but they claim it should get 120,000 pounds to LEO. Probably less if they have reusable boosters. The Merlin 1D really shook up the game. People were expecting a 125,000 pound engine and it came in at 145,000. Without reusability hardware or engine out capability, the new Falcon 9 V1.1 should lift about 35,000 pounds by itself.
The max Atlas payload should be around 45,000 pounds with a 442. The numbers Autothrust listed don't include the 2 engine Centaur upper stage version.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4937 times:

If you are new to evaluating the capability of space launchers the main number to look at for an evaluation is really the overall weight of the assembly. Most of the physics are pretty fixed with such systems. You burn a given amount of fuel to move a given amount of mass a given amount of distance. The variables are really in when the stage cutoffs are and how light one can make the rocket itself. So long as someone is burning fuel and shooting out the bottom of the rocket though the general rule will be the bigger the payload and distance traveled the bigger your rocket will have to be.

User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4890 times:

Spacex shows how they think Falcon Heavy stacks up to the competition at http://www.spacex.com/falcon_heavy.php .

User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 6):
If you are new to evaluating the capability of space launchers the main number to look at for an evaluation is really the overall weight of the assembly. Most of the physics are pretty fixed with such systems. You burn a given amount of fuel to move a given amount of mass a given amount of distance. The variables are really in when the stage cutoffs are and how light one can make the rocket itself. So long as someone is burning fuel and shooting out the bottom of the rocket though the general rule will be the bigger the payload and distance traveled the bigger your rocket will have to be.

There's more than that. Fuel is a big variable. A hydrogen powered rocket is different than a kerosene powered one. Thrust is another major variable. If your initial thrust is 10% more than the weight of the rocket you're going to have larger gravity losses and lift less weight than a rocket whose initial thrust is 40% greater than it's weight. It matters on the second stage too. That's why a two engine Centaur will launch considerably morepayload to LEO than the single engine model.
Strapon boosters also change the numbers. One reason the Falcon Heavy is suppose to be so efficient is crossfeeding fuel from the boosters to the core. It lets them have an almost full center core when the side boosters separate.
A thousand ton rocket could mean anywhere from 15 tons to LEO to 30 tons, depending on the technology.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6534 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4827 times:

There is/was a debate about upgrading Ariane V or developing Ariane VI and Ariane V won so an upgrade is being done. Didn't I read somewhere that Atlas was too expensive for commercial use ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4783 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 8):
A hydrogen powered rocket is different than a kerosene powered one


Thanks all for your contribution.

The RD-180 is kerosene powered while the Vulcain isn't . Could you please elaborate what are the advantages /disadvantages from kerosene over hydrogen powered rocket?


How does it come the Ariane having almost the double of the mass but being similar from the capabilities.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1591 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4726 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 5):
The Merlin 1D really shook up the game.

Thanks Nomad!!

So what's so special about the 1D? I've read Elon Musk bills himself as the Chief Designer. Find it hard to believe someone with little experience can shake up the game

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 7):
Spacex shows how they think Falcon Heavy stacks up to the competition at http://www.spacex.com/falcon_heavy.php .

Thanks! It stacks up quite well;

VEHICLE INCLINATION ORBIT PAYLOAD TO LEO
Falcon Heavy 28.5 degrees 200 km 53,000 kg
Space Shuttle 28.5 degrees 200 km 24,400 kg
Delta IV Heavy 28.5 degrees 407 km 22,980 kg
Titan IV-B 28.5 degrees 150 km x175 km 21,680 kg
Proton M 51.6 degrees 200 km 21,000 kg
Ariane 5 ES 51.6 degrees 407 km 20,000 kg
Atlas V 551 28.5 degrees 200 km 18,810 kg
Japan H2B 30.4 degrees 300 km 16,500 kg
China LM3B 28.5 degrees 200 km 11,200 kg



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4685 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 11):
So what's so special about the 1D?

Good question specially because it is a weaker engine compared as for example Vulcain 2 or RD-180 AFAIK??


Merlin 1D
Thrust (vac.) 690 kN
Thrust (SL) 620 kN

Isp (vac.) 310 s

-----------------
Vulcain 2

Thrust (vac.) 1340 kN
Thrust (SL) 900 kN

Isp (vac.) 431


--------------
Atlas V RD-180


Thrust (vac.) 4,152 kN !
Isp (vac.) 311



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4684 times:

Disclaimer ... I have been tracking this stuff for a while but could very well be out of date or just plain wrong on some things and would appreciate any corrections.

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 11):
So what's so special about the 1D? I've read Elon Musk bills himself as the Chief Designer. Find it hard to believe someone with little experience can shake up the game

The M1D is just a beautifully refined engine. Fewer parts, the best thrust to weight ratio of any kerosene engine ever made and almost every component designed for that particular engine, not bought off the shelf. The biggest difference is the turbopump. It's the one main part that was purchased from a contractor for the M1C, and is now made in house.
So, even though there's no real technological breakthroughs, being designed from scratch with the most modern materials and design technology and being fabricated and built on site makes it the best in it's class.
Musk is known for Paypal, but has several engineering degrees and knows his way around the shop. Tom Mueler is the guy behind the engines. Elon doesn't pretend to be the genius behind the details, but he is very much into design decisions and is familiar with the launcher down to the last bolt. He's not just some CEO who said "Build me a big rocket"



Quoting Aesma (Reply 9):
There is/was a debate about upgrading Ariane V or developing Ariane VI and Ariane V won so an upgrade is being done. Didn't I read somewhere that Atlas was too expensive for commercial use ?

I think Atlas is more a case of ULA oficials being happy with hosing the Air Force for absurd launch prices and not having much interest in lower margin commercial launches. Nobody really knows what their launch costs are. Just what they get for them. Just like it's hard to say how much Ariane makes because of the confusing political/corporate structure.
The Ariane V ME upgrade is tied into the Ariane VI. The new upper stage on the V will be about the same as the VI will use.
But, the cost of the upgrade and new first stage is the best example of why SpaceX is so scary. They'll spend at least $3 billion on the Arienne ME/VI upgrade/launcher. SpaceX developed the Merlin, Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule for a total of $300 million. If they stay on track, no old school organization like ULA or the conglomerate of countries and companies that make Ariane will be able to touch them.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4620 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 12):
Good question specially because it is a weaker engine compared as for example Vulcain 2 or RD-180 AFAIK??

It doesn't matter that Merlin 1D produces lower thrust than the RD-180, if it has the same ISP and better thrust/weight. You just put more of them in the 1st stage, and a high-altitude version in the 2nd. You get economies of scale in manufacturing.

Yes, LH2 engines exhibit better Isp than kerosene ones, but it comes at a cost. The fuel tank is bigger and needs insulation, which translates into weight, drag, and cost. With its small molecule size, LH2 leaks out through pores that kero wouldn't. LH2 wins on upper stages, and on core stages that get a lot of help from strap-ons that use denser fuel.


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1591 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4617 times:

Thanks Nomadd and Areopagus!

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 13):
Musk is known for Paypal, but has several engineering degrees and knows his way around the shop. Tom Mueler is the guy behind the engines. Elon doesn't pretend to be the genius behind the details, but he is very much into design decisions and is familiar with the launcher down to the last bolt. He's not just some CEO who said "Build me a big rocket"

Oh I knew that, but I always thought rocket design is in a league of it's own. Seemed quite special that such a newcomer can apparantely create such a beautifull engine out of "nothing". But your explanation makes sense.

Love the whole "Steel in - Rockets out" philosophy they have 



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4356 times:

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 14):
The fuel tank is bigger and needs insulation, which translates into weight, drag, and cost.

I'm really wondering about the Ariane having almost the double the mass of the Atlas V. Does this insulation make that much difference?



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4270 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 16):
I'm really wondering about the Ariane having almost the double the mass of the Atlas V. Does this insulation make that much difference?

Oh, no. The weight figure given above is for the Atlas V 401, which has much less capability than Ariane V. When you use the 5-meter fairing and strap on solid boosters, Atlas's weight goes up. Astronautix.com lists the Atlas V 551 mass as 587,000 kg, which is much closer to the 777,000 kg figure for the Ariane V. And the payloads to GTO are given by Astronautix as 8700 kg (Atlas V 551) and 10500 kg (Ariane V ECA).

The kero-hydrogen difference can be gauged by the difference in size between the Atlas V core (LOX/RP-1) and the Delta IV core (LOX/LH2), since the two are quite close in design concept and capability. Here are some figures from Astronautix for the core stages.

Atlas V core
diameter 3.81 m
length 32.46 m
mass 22,461 kg empty, 306,914 kg fueled

Delta IV core
diameter 5.10 m
length 40.8 m
mass 26,461 kg empty, 226,400 kg fueled

Atlas needs a more powerful engine due to the weight of the fuel, but still ends up lighter in structure. Structure is expensive, but fuel is cheap. The lighter structural weight with the associated higher mass ratio helps Atlas make up for the lower Isp.

But everything changes if you imagine using these babies as upper stages, building a new first stage to stack underneath them. The fueled Atlas core is 36% heavier than the Delta core, which means its new first stage must be that much bigger and more powerful. That is why LH2 wins big for upper stages.


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