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texl1649
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:43 pm

Centaur second stage used by ULA is kinda pathetic, in truth. Well, not pathetic, but antiquated by any measure.

https://youtu.be/OislF7OG_BI
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:47 pm

An old design is not inherently bad. It still provides a huge amount of performance.

It's also getting replaced in the medium term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_ ... lved_Stage
 
ThePointblank
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:27 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
An old design is not inherently bad. It still provides a huge amount of performance.

It's also getting replaced in the medium term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_ ... lved_Stage


The RL10 engine is also incredibly efficient with a very high specific impulse rate in a vacuum, as it was designed to be an upper stage engine from the beginning, compared to SpaceX's Merlin Vacuum engine. This is partially the result of the fact that the RL10 engine is a expander cycle liquid hydrogen/LOX engine, and the increased specific impulse performance of LOX/LH2 makes it an intrinsically better propellant for an upper stage engine.
 
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Tugger
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:00 pm

Next launch attempt for Delta IV Heavy - NROL-44 is Sunday Sep. 27 at 12:10am EDT (4:10am UTC). Current forecast is 60% chance, cloud cover being the main issue.

Tugg
 
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Francoflier
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:00 am

Another scrub today a few seconds before launch...

Are they ever going to launch this thing?
 
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Nomadd
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:25 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
An old design is not inherently bad. It still provides a huge amount of performance.
It's also getting replaced in the medium term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_ ... lved_Stage

Nope. The ACES stage is no longer in the works. But they are using some of it's technologies for the new Centaur stage.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:48 am

Francoflier wrote:
Are they ever going to launch this thing?


A rocket that launches successfully isn't going to earn you any more money :old:
 
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Francoflier
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:05 am

Well, Delta IV finally lifted off and put NROL-44 in orbit... Over 3 months late.
Better late than a hole in the ground I guess.

Videos available on YT. I always like watching that RL-10 nozzle extending after stage separation.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:37 am

I understand that the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy cost much less than the rockets from ULA. Do the ULA vehicles have any advantages over the Falcon products? (Beyond being a second source.)
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:48 am

kitplane01 wrote:
I understand that the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy cost much less than the rockets from ULA. Do the ULA vehicles have any advantages over the Falcon products? (Beyond being a second source.)


I haven't time to really look it up, so don't quote me...

Differences are the payload dimensions - while FH and F9 have a 5.2 meter fairing, Delta Heavy IV has a 5 meter one. But the Delta Heavy can transport longer payloads. A longer fairing is in the works by the Holy Spatial Order of the Muskovites, though.

Also something SpaceX isn't providing yet: Vertical assembly of the payload. SpaceX wants to offer that at Vandenberg AFB in the future.

Something else is better acceleration of the upper stage.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:54 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I understand that the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy cost much less than the rockets from ULA. Do the ULA vehicles have any advantages over the Falcon products? (Beyond being a second source.)

I haven't time to really look it up, so don't quote me...
Differences are the payload dimensions - while FH and F9 have a 5.2 meter fairing, Delta Heavy IV has a 5 meter one. But the Delta Heavy can transport longer payloads. A longer fairing is in the works by the Holy Spatial Order of the Muskovites, though.
Also something SpaceX isn't providing yet: Vertical assembly of the payload. SpaceX wants to offer that at Vandenberg AFB in the future.
Something else is better acceleration of the upper stage.

SpaceX is working on both the longer fairing and vertical integration facility as part of their latest AF contract. It's why the first flight was over $300 million.
It's true the Centaur is a great upper stage, but the numbers NASA used to claim much better interplanetary performance for the DH over the FH were based on old, heavily sandbagged figures that FH has greatly exceeded in real life. So, the two are actually pretty close in BEO capabilities. If you expend the center core of FH, it can outperform DH in all scenarios, and would still be much, much cheaper.
But, to show you how good the Centaur is, FH has twice the LEO lift of a DH, but about the same to high energy targets because the Centaur is so much higher performance than the Falcon 2nd stage. Calling Centaur pathetic is absurd.
Like the 747 and 380, DH is done. They have parts for remaining NROL launches, but production is over for most components and it's not starting up again. Vulcan will be handling the heavy lifting for ULA now.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:04 pm

ULA also have some process tweaks where they're updating the flight plan parameters up until a few minutes before launch to squeeze out as much performance as they can. So they end up with cases where interplanetary probes have had extra reaction mass available compared to what was expected as the booster did more work. The pair of videos that Destin at SmarterEveryDay with Tory Bruno touch on some of the advantages that ULA have over SpaceX. Just like aviation there's overlap but each company excels in specific areas that aren't direct competitors.

ULA factory tour
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0fG_lnVhHw

General ULA discussion including business philosophy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQaPOIQLEUo

And as noted Vulcan is the replacement for not just Delta IV but also Atlas V.
 
CRJockey
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:12 pm

Tugger wrote:
Next launch attempt for Delta IV Heavy - NROL-44 is Sunday Sep. 27 at 12:10am EDT (4:10am UTC). Current forecast is 60% chance, cloud cover being the main issue.

Tugg


Out of sheer lack of knowledge on my side:

Why is cloud cover, or other non-TS weather phenomena, holding up rocket launches? Curious to know, thanks.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:37 am

CRJockey wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Next launch attempt for Delta IV Heavy - NROL-44 is Sunday Sep. 27 at 12:10am EDT (4:10am UTC). Current forecast is 60% chance, cloud cover being the main issue.
Tugg

Out of sheer lack of knowledge on my side:
Why is cloud cover, or other non-TS weather phenomena, holding up rocket launches? Curious to know, thanks.

It's the stuff associated with thick cloud cover. Lightning, wind shear, icing, giant alien spaceships hiding in the clouds...
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:00 am

CRJockey wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Next launch attempt for Delta IV Heavy - NROL-44 is Sunday Sep. 27 at 12:10am EDT (4:10am UTC). Current forecast is 60% chance, cloud cover being the main issue.

Tugg


Out of sheer lack of knowledge on my side:

Why is cloud cover, or other non-TS weather phenomena, holding up rocket launches? Curious to know, thanks.


https://www.patrick.spaceforce.mil/About-Us/Weather/ does provide some answers. Motivate your mouse to click on "Launch Forecast FAQ."
 
ThePointblank
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:13 pm

Eric Berger over at Ars Technica is reporting an increasingly strained relationship between ULA and Blue Origin over Blue Origin's delays in delivering an engine:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07 ... happy-one/

It seems unlikely that everyone in the space community will be celebrating. Bezos made his fortune at Amazon through competitive pricing and timely delivery of goods to his customers worldwide. But so far at least, his Blue Origin space company has been a less reliable vendor.

This has been especially of concern to United Launch Alliance, which is relying on Blue Origin-built engines for its new Vulcan rocket. The US Space Force is also watching, as it is counting on the Vulcan booster to help launch some of its most precious satellites into orbit. Blue Origin's powerful BE-4 rocket engine, which burns methane and liquid oxygen, is years late.

Privately, multiple sources say, the relationship between Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance is not good. "There is great concern about this engine development," one person in the industry said. "It's much more than Tory Bruno is showing publicly. There is great concern that Blue is not putting enough attention and priority on the engine."
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:02 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Eric Berger over at Ars Technica is reporting an increasingly strained relationship between ULA and Blue Origin over Blue Origin's delays in delivering an engine:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07 ... nhappy-one


I think Elon could sell a few engines. At ULA prices, of course. Thrust-wise, the engines are quite comparable, 2.4 vs. 2.2 meganewtons of sea level thrust.
 
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zululima
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:19 am

flyingturtle wrote:
I think Elon could sell a few engines. At ULA prices, of course. Thrust-wise, the engines are quite comparable, 2.4 vs. 2.2 meganewtons of sea level thrust.


Oh, I didn't realize it was as easy as a simple swap-in replacement. :roll:

In the real world, rockets are designed around their engines and using Raptors would entail an entire redesign of already-in-production Vulcan. Better to just turn up the heat on Blue. I don't understand why they are so slow about everything; they certainly have the money to throw at any problems.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:09 am

zululima wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
I think Elon could sell a few engines. At ULA prices, of course. Thrust-wise, the engines are quite comparable, 2.4 vs. 2.2 meganewtons of sea level thrust.


Oh, I didn't realize it was as easy as a simple swap-in replacement. :roll:

In the real world, rockets are designed around their engines and using Raptors would entail an entire redesign of already-in-production Vulcan. Better to just turn up the heat on Blue. I don't understand why they are so slow about everything; they certainly have the money to throw at any problems.


Hey, but... at the ULA prices I mentioned, maybe with a $20 stupidity surcharge, SpaceX would be willing to redesign the Vulcan.

Yeah, Mr. Bezos is crazy rich. He could basically buy a few engineers from SpaceX, and allow for a similar, solution-oriented company culture.
 
FGITD
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:09 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
zululima wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
I think Elon could sell a few engines. At ULA prices, of course. Thrust-wise, the engines are quite comparable, 2.4 vs. 2.2 meganewtons of sea level thrust.


Oh, I didn't realize it was as easy as a simple swap-in replacement. :roll:

In the real world, rockets are designed around their engines and using Raptors would entail an entire redesign of already-in-production Vulcan. Better to just turn up the heat on Blue. I don't understand why they are so slow about everything; they certainly have the money to throw at any problems.


Hey, but... at the ULA prices I mentioned, maybe with a $20 stupidity surcharge, SpaceX would be willing to redesign the Vulcan.

Yeah, Mr. Bezos is crazy rich. He could basically buy a few engineers from SpaceX, and allow for a similar, solution-oriented company culture.


From what I’ve read, that’s basically what Bezos and Blue are already doing. Except the engineers go to SpaceX first for the experience and innovation, then to blue for a better work/life balance.

But it’s a legitimate problem with them. They’re so secretive and so slow about every single thing they do. And it’s now clearly not a case of them just waiting to lift the curtain and surprise everyone with ready to go products.

It’s one reason why I’m glad they didn’t get the lunar lander contract. It’ll be 2050 before they even release a drawing of a prototype.
 
zanl188
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:36 am

Starliner rolls out for 2nd test flight

https://youtu.be/OgvJ1bGTZPw
 
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Stitch
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Jul 30, 2021 4:29 pm

And said Starliner flight has now been delayed due to the ISS orientation issues due to the Russian Nakua module thruster misfire:

https://www.upi.com/News_Photos/view/up ... l-Florida/
 
texl1649
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:06 pm

Stitch wrote:
And said Starliner flight has now been delayed due to the ISS orientation issues due to the Russian Nakua module thruster misfire:

https://www.upi.com/News_Photos/view/up ... l-Florida/

It’s a bit ironic for starliner to be delayed because of another craft’s thrusters firing wildly out of control/not realizing where it was in the docking/first parts of it’s mission. :wink2:
 
mxaxai
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:45 pm

Starliner launch has been postponed again, this time because
Boeing wrote:
Boeing engineers monitoring the health and status of the vehicle detected unexpected valve position indications in the propulsion system.

https://starlinerupdates.com/nasa-boein ... er-launch/

Next attempt is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, 04-08-2021, depending on the outcome of today's assessment.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:59 am

Every time this happens, I just get more ticked off about Sierra Nevada being sidelined because NASA wanted a 'sAfE cOntRaAtOr'...

Image

We could have had a modern and reliable space capsule AND a spaceplane with return to runway capability (and potentially faster reusability) by now.

But nOoOo, let's go for the 'safe' bet instead. :gnasher:
Now we have one and a half capsules that do exactly the same thing for the price of three.


Anyhow, rant over... I hope they launch this thing tomorrow and that it works this time at l(e)ast.
 
mxaxai
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:01 pm

Francoflier wrote:
Anyhow, rant over... I hope they launch this thing tomorrow and that it works this time at l(e)ast.

No launch today and no new schedule is expected while testing and analysis is ongoing.

At least it's confirmed to be not related to software.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:17 pm

Eric Berger over at Ars Technica has a story on the likely reason why Blue Origin's BE-4 engines are late and thus holding up development of ULA's Vulcan launcher:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08 ... heres-why/

After more than four years of frustrating delays, Blue Origin is finally making significant progress toward completing development of its powerful BE-4 rocket engine. At present, engineers and technicians with the company are assembling the first two flight engines at Blue Origin's main factory in Kent, Washington.

The company aspires to deliver these two flight engines to United Launch Alliance before the end of this year, although that increasingly appears to be a "stretch" goal. Delivery may slip into early 2022. And in order to make this deadline, Blue Origin plans to take the somewhat risky step of shipping the engines to its customer before completing full qualification testing.

This delivery has been a long time coming. United Launch Alliance, or ULA, first agreed to buy the engines from Blue Origin back in 2014. It was a bold bet by ULA, a blueblood in space launch, on a new entrant to the market. But with the BE-4 engine, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos was promising a relatively low-cost, high performing engine with a power output comparable to a Space Shuttle main engine. At the time of this initial agreement, Blue Origin said the BE-4 would be "ready for flight" by 2017.

The BE-4's delayed development has, increasingly, been the subject of keen interest. This is partly because ULA has been working on its new Vulcan rocket for a number of years, and that rocket is important to the future of the company. The military is also eager for this delivery, as ULA is a primary provider of launch services to the Department of Defense alongside SpaceX. They hope Vulcan provides lower cost launch services with engines manufactured in the United States. Finally, many in the space community are genuinely curious about the cause of the delay.

Despite this widespread interest, however, Blue Origin has said almost nothing publicly about the engine development. Therefore, this story attempts to provide some context for why the BE-4 engines are late. It is based on anonymous sources at the company's headquarters as well as industry officials, some of whom would likely be fired if they were named.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:32 am

Ongoing issues with Starliner's service module being worked on by Boeing, which is pushing back the launch date:

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/sta ... 8131360770

Teams continue to work on Starliner's service module propulsion system inside of @ULALaunch's Vertical Integration Facility.

@BoeingSpace has been able to command seven of 13 valves open that previously were in the closed position. Learn more: https://go.nasa.gov/3iwTwYU
 
FGITD
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:27 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Ongoing issues with Starliner's service module being worked on by Boeing, which is pushing back the launch date:

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/sta ... 8131360770

Teams continue to work on Starliner's service module propulsion system inside of @ULALaunch's Vertical Integration Facility.

@BoeingSpace has been able to command seven of 13 valves open that previously were in the closed position. Learn more: https://go.nasa.gov/3iwTwYU


It’s concerning that they don’t have any idea what could have caused this, and for the moment still don’t really have a viable fix. I just don’t see it launching any time soon.

Although it’s always good to point out that for the success SpaceX has enjoyed, their prototype literally blew up during a ground test, so maybe some stuck valves aren’t the end of the world
 
aumaverick
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:36 pm

FGITD wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Ongoing issues with Starliner's service module being worked on by Boeing, which is pushing back the launch date:

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/sta ... 8131360770

Teams continue to work on Starliner's service module propulsion system inside of @ULALaunch's Vertical Integration Facility.

@BoeingSpace has been able to command seven of 13 valves open that previously were in the closed position. Learn more: https://go.nasa.gov/3iwTwYU


It’s concerning that they don’t have any idea what could have caused this, and for the moment still don’t really have a viable fix. I just don’t see it launching any time soon.

Although it’s always good to point out that for the success SpaceX has enjoyed, their prototype literally blew up during a ground test, so maybe some stuck valves aren’t the end of the world


Yes, but the process for SpaceX has always been designed with a degree of failure built in. While not the end of the world, 13 stuck valves that are not responsive (and 6 of which are still stuck despite many methods and attempts at opening) on a HR-rated rocket meant to be a proving flight for a manned flight is not good.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Aug 13, 2021 5:02 pm

Starliner is further delayed.

"We've determined #Starliner will return to our factory for deeper-level troubleshooting of four propulsion system valves. With
@NASA
, we've decided to stand down for this launch window to make way for other national priority missions."


https://twitter.com/BoeingSpace/status/ ... 0779420678

https://starlinerupdates.com/starliner- ... lve-issue/
 
ThePointblank
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Aug 13, 2021 7:55 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
Starliner is further delayed.

"We've determined #Starliner will return to our factory for deeper-level troubleshooting of four propulsion system valves. With
@NASA
, we've decided to stand down for this launch window to make way for other national priority missions."


https://twitter.com/BoeingSpace/status/ ... 0779420678

https://starlinerupdates.com/starliner- ... lve-issue/

I'm reading issues with minister ingression with the propulsion system on Starliner, based upon comments made at the earlier press conference:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/boeing-say ... 1628873905

Boeing said its preliminary analysis indicated that moisture in the spacecraft’s propulsion system somehow resulted in corrosion on 13, or more than half, of certain valves and prevented them from opening properly, according to John Vollmer, a company executive who oversees the Starliner.


And it looks like Starliner's launch is likely going to get pushed to next year:

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/ ... 67850?s=19

Boeing's John Vollmer on launching Starliner in 2021: "It's probably too early to say whether it's this year, or not. I would certainly hope for as early as possible, and if we could fly this year it would be fantastic."

Translation: Not 2021.
 
Sooner787
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Fri Aug 13, 2021 10:10 pm

Hell, the boys in Chicago need to sell their whole space operation to Space X / Musk
and move along. They're obviously not up to the task anymore :(
 
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Francoflier
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:23 am

ThePointblank wrote:
And it looks like Starliner's launch is likely going to get pushed to next year:


Step 1: extend hand in front of head
Step 2: place palm over face
Step 3: ffs...


I wonder if ULA gets compensated for readying a booster on the pad for nothing. That can't be cheap.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:02 pm

Sooner787 wrote:
Hell, the boys in Chicago need to sell their whole space operation to Space X / Musk
and move along. They're obviously not up to the task anymore :(

What would they have to sell?
 
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Nomadd
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:16 pm

SpaceX had a lot of valve issues in the early Starship days. Nothing like sitting on the roof for eight hours, waiting for them to drive down and hit a sticky valve with a hammer. ​They'd usually get it going the same day or the day after and have the problem analyzed and a permanent solution in place within a week.
​If you asked Boeing management why they need a year to fix a similar problem the answer would be "Because it's always been that way".

​Until the old guard can figure out that throwing a thousand people, eighteen months of time and a billion dollars at a simple problem doesn't make anything more reliable, it will continue. And until they figure out that taking a year to do the paperwork on a component and failing to take the amazingly obvious step of testing it under all possible environmental conditions is stupid beyond the ability of science to accurately measure, the problems will continue.
They need to trade a few of the engineers whose sole ability is generating paperwork for a few good garage mechanics.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:39 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I understand that the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy cost much less than the rockets from ULA. Do the ULA vehicles have any advantages over the Falcon products? (Beyond being a second source.)


I haven't time to really look it up, so don't quote me...

Differences are the payload dimensions - while FH and F9 have a 5.2 meter fairing, Delta Heavy IV has a 5 meter one. But the Delta Heavy can transport longer payloads. A longer fairing is in the works by the Holy Spatial Order of the Muskovites, though.

Also something SpaceX isn't providing yet: Vertical assembly of the payload. SpaceX wants to offer that at Vandenberg AFB in the future.

Something else is better acceleration of the upper stage.

The same contracts that are paying for the longer fairing is also covering vertical integration. The cost is spread across two AF Falcon Heavy launch contracts, which is why they were priced so high.
 
FGITD
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:52 pm

Nomadd wrote:
SpaceX had a lot of valve issues in the early Starship days. Nothing like sitting on the roof for eight hours, waiting for them to drive down and hit a sticky valve with a hammer. ​They'd usually get it going the same day or the day after and have the problem analyzed and a permanent solution in place within a week.
​If you asked Boeing management why they need a year to fix a similar problem the answer would be "Because it's always been that way".

​Until the old guard can figure out that throwing a thousand people, eighteen months of time and a billion dollars at a simple problem doesn't make anything more reliable, it will continue. And until they figure out that taking a year to do the paperwork on a component and failing to take the amazingly obvious step of testing it under all possible environmental conditions is stupid beyond the ability of science to accurately measure, the problems will continue.
They need to trade a few of the engineers whose sole ability is generating paperwork for a few good garage mechanics.


But how are you supposed to take a project that would create jobs for 5 years and stretch it to 10 years if you solve the problems right away?! And think of the billions in overruns lost!

This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.

Remember when Boeing tried to challenge SpaceX to a “let’s see who gets there first” race?
 
ThePointblank
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 8:04 pm

Francoflier wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
And it looks like Starliner's launch is likely going to get pushed to next year:


Step 1: extend hand in front of head
Step 2: place palm over face
Step 3: ffs...


I wonder if ULA gets compensated for readying a booster on the pad for nothing. That can't be cheap.

They can repurpose the first stage, but the second stage is unique to Starliner, with a dual engined Centaur upper stage.
 
meecrob
Posts: 354
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Sun Aug 15, 2021 11:59 pm

FGITD wrote:
This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.


You might be right that there is more to it, but those valves are flight-critical. Like you wouldn't take off in a plane knowing you do not have full control authority.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3856
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Mon Aug 16, 2021 12:51 am

meecrob wrote:
FGITD wrote:
This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.


You might be right that there is more to it, but those valves are flight-critical. Like you wouldn't take off in a plane knowing you do not have full control authority.

From what I understand, they are flight critical in that they need to open prior to launch. What was happening was that the valves were sticking, and were refusing to open.

What is being said is that there was moisture ingression which is leading to the valves sticking; this could be an actual design issue with the valves, or an issue with procedures, or how the spacecraft is packaged and handled while on the pad.
 
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Nomadd
Posts: 547
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Mon Aug 16, 2021 1:36 am

FGITD wrote:
This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.

The big problem is the same as their airliner development and production problems. Figuring out how such bonehead issues happen in the first place. And that seems to be beyond them.
 
FGITD
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:04 am

meecrob wrote:
FGITD wrote:
This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.


You might be right that there is more to it, but those valves are flight-critical. Like you wouldn't take off in a plane knowing you do not have full control authority.


Absolutely and you cannot discredit them for taking the steps necessary to ensure it flies right. but I’m mostly curious about the timing and how everything proceeded. Remember, this thing was due to launch the day before it scrubbed because of the sticky valves.

Did the problem already exist and they hoped to fix it in time? Could it have happened after launch, despite everything being all good at launch time? (More doubtful about that one) Was it a handling issue that could have been prevented?
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3856
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:10 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
And it looks like Starliner's launch is likely going to get pushed to next year:


Step 1: extend hand in front of head
Step 2: place palm over face
Step 3: ffs...


I wonder if ULA gets compensated for readying a booster on the pad for nothing. That can't be cheap.

They can repurpose the first stage, but the second stage is unique to Starliner, with a dual engined Centaur upper stage.

Tory Bruno, CEO of ULA has said on Twitter that yes, the first stage of Atlas will be repurposed and used for the upcoming Lucy asteroid mission:

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/14 ... 1244626957
Yes. In fact, we will be using the booster for Lucy, allowing it to stay in the VIF



FGITD wrote:
meecrob wrote:
FGITD wrote:
This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.


You might be right that there is more to it, but those valves are flight-critical. Like you wouldn't take off in a plane knowing you do not have full control authority.


Absolutely and you cannot discredit them for taking the steps necessary to ensure it flies right. but I’m mostly curious about the timing and how everything proceeded. Remember, this thing was due to launch the day before it scrubbed because of the sticky valves.

Did the problem already exist and they hoped to fix it in time? Could it have happened after launch, despite everything being all good at launch time? (More doubtful about that one) Was it a handling issue that could have been prevented?

I suspect they need to do a root-cause analysis to determine the timeline of events, but I suspect that sitting out in the mid-summer Florida weather with all that humidity, and sitting on the pad for a few days waiting for the issues with the Russian Nanuka module to be resolved and waiting for a storm to pass through didn't help things. It could be something as simple as affixing the protective covers on the spacecraft much earlier, or packing more desiccant with the spacecraft would resolve the issues, or it could require a major hardware redesign.
 
estorilm
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:34 pm

Nomadd wrote:
SpaceX had a lot of valve issues in the early Starship days. Nothing like sitting on the roof for eight hours, waiting for them to drive down and hit a sticky valve with a hammer. ​They'd usually get it going the same day or the day after and have the problem analyzed and a permanent solution in place within a week.
​If you asked Boeing management why they need a year to fix a similar problem the answer would be "Because it's always been that way".

​Until the old guard can figure out that throwing a thousand people, eighteen months of time and a billion dollars at a simple problem doesn't make anything more reliable, it will continue. And until they figure out that taking a year to do the paperwork on a component and failing to take the amazingly obvious step of testing it under all possible environmental conditions is stupid beyond the ability of science to accurately measure, the problems will continue.
They need to trade a few of the engineers whose sole ability is generating paperwork for a few good garage mechanics.

Valve issues are one thing - you iron them out during testing. By the time you've purchased a ride on a multi-million dollar rocket to test your capsule and system you're READY to go. You've tested and cycled everything 1000 times before.

Guess what? They were "ready" to launch (AND DID) these same valves two years ago during BOE-OFT. If that launch had worked correctly, they might be flying astronauts in this thing. It was only due to all their other failures that this second test flight and revisions happened, and now they've luckily discovered these issues before they placed people onboard.

Boeing has demonstrated a complete inability to deliver with Starliner. SOME DAY they'll get it right, but it seems pointless now. Every time they fire the thing up, something else happens; parachutes, guidance and propulsion software, a TON of propellant valves.. none of these are minor issues either. ALL of them are LOC / loss-of-crew-potential issue. They still face significant problems after a major "stand-down" where they SHOULD have been pouring over every inch of the thing for the past year! Then they stack it and it's broken again?

So embarrassing - If I worked on the program I'd be packing my bags and submitting my application to SpaceX (and I was about as far from a SpaceX fanboy as you could get initially..)
 
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flyingturtle
Posts: 6191
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm

Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:19 pm

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08 ... competent/

Excerpts:

In leaked email, ULA official calls NASA leadership “incompetent”

"Large NASA taxpayer investments are being thrown away due to the cozy relationship established by Trump political hacks throughout NASA," Sabathier wrote on April 23. "The US Government’s deep space exploration program is at risk: This large program which is the baseline for deep space exploration is being threatened due to political favors being offered to Elon Musk."

And Sabathier painted Elon Musk as a backer of Republicans who used his influence to get NASA contracts.

Owww. If the reality distortion field at ULA is that strong... I have no hope left for that quasi-government company.
 
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Nomadd
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:26 pm

Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:34 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/in-leaked-email-ula-official-calls-nasa-leadership-incompetent/

Excerpts:

In leaked email, ULA official calls NASA leadership “incompetent”

"Large NASA taxpayer investments are being thrown away due to the cozy relationship established by Trump political hacks throughout NASA," Sabathier wrote on April 23. "The US Government’s deep space exploration program is at risk: This large program which is the baseline for deep space exploration is being threatened due to political favors being offered to Elon Musk."

And Sabathier painted Elon Musk as a backer of Republicans who used his influence to get NASA contracts.

Owww. If the reality distortion field at ULA is that strong... I have no hope left for that quasi-government company.

It's one numbnuts emailing a Machinists union rep. I wouldn't take it too seriously.
 
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flyingturtle
Posts: 6191
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Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:02 pm

Nomadd wrote:
It's one numbnuts emailing a Machinists union rep. I wouldn't take it too seriously.


The "numbnut" belongs to the ULA top ranks. And no matter the addressee, it's telling regarding the mindset of the sender.
 
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BirdBrain
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:54 pm

Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:38 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Owww. If the reality distortion field at ULA is that strong... I have no hope left for that quasi-government company.


I think he forgot to mention that SpaceX uses Black Magic and obvious help from little green men. Not forgetting Elon is an alien himself. /s
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 420
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: United Launch Alliance - Tests, Launches, News, Developments

Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:47 pm

Nomadd wrote:
FGITD wrote:
This is b-a-d bad for Boeing. It’s one thing to delay the launch a few days or weeks to get the problem sorted. But this is now like taking a car back to the factory because allegedly a tire is leaking. There has to be more to it than some unresponsive valves.

The big problem is the same as their airliner development and production problems. Figuring out how such bonehead issues happen in the first place. And that seems to be beyond them.


Interestingly, if you talk with people inside the organization, they can give you the hair, teeth and eyeballs of the problem.

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