[FPSPACE] Speaking of Atlas V

Christopher Gorski cpgorski at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 13:02:19 EDT 2014

Speaking of the Atlas V and the commercial crew project:

Has anybody heard anything about mitigation strategies for parts for the
Atlas V?   My understanding is that Boeing's CST-100 was supposed to use a
human-rated Atlas V as a launcher, but I think a lot of the reason this
week's announcement got press is ongoing political tension with Russia
right now, and that brings us back to the RD-180 problem.  Winning the US
commercial crew launch contract and requiring Russian parts to do the job
seems a little problematic!

I caught most of yesterday's announcement press conference on video stream,
and a good bit (though not all) of the Q&A that followed, but all I really
heard them say was "the proposal included a mitigation strategy".

Anybody have any idea what that might look like?  For the total contract
value of around $4 Bn, I'm guessing it doesn't involve tooling up for
domestic manufacture (or at least, I heard that this would be exorbitantly
expensive).  I suppose it's possible to depend on a different human-rated
rocket (Delta IV?), but if any significant amount of work was done on that
process for Atlas, I'd think throwing that away and starting over would be
a huge budget line item as well.

Anyone have more insight into this than I do?

Just curious,

--Christopher Gorski
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