[FPSPACE] Speaking of Atlas V

Christopher Gorski cpgorski at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 13:54:00 EDT 2014

Well--That makes a bit of sense, thanks, Robert!  I'm skeptical that supply
will remain uninterrupted, and it seems to be a pretty optimistic theory
that we won't see a supply interruption at all... but it's nonzero I guess,
and if we're still getting them as of now, that's something (I didn't
realize there were more in the delivery pipeline for this year).

That plus an Aviation Week article sent to me off-list that claims a
2.5-year development cycle for a replacement engine by Rocketdyne (which
also seems pretty strongly optimistic) at least seem to be two possible
paths through the drought.

Wonder how they'll play out.


On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 1:47 PM, Robert Pearlman <robert at collectspace.com>

> ULA took delivery of two more RD-180s in August, and expects three more
> later this year. Six more are due for delivery in 2015:
> http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1408/20rd180delivery/
> According to Spaceflight Now, ULA currently has 14 RD-180 engines in its
> inventory in the United States (including the two delivered in August).
> That supply is good for about two years, and ULA expects deliveries to
> continue.
> "...the company has emphasized that RD-180 engine deliveries are
> continuing unabated despite heightened tensions between Wasington and
> Moscow."
> http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41622ula-takes-delivery-of-two-rd-180-rocket-engines-from-russia
> ---
> Robert Pearlman, Editor
> collectSPACE - The Source for Space History & Artifacts
> www.collectSPACE.com
> Twitter: @robertpearlman | @collectSPACE
> Facebook: http://facebook.com/collectSPACE
> On Sep 17, 2014, at 12:29 PM, Christopher Gorski wrote:
> Just saw that go out via social media.  Though the word is, BE-4 can be
> integrated "about 4 years from now" [Bruno], so that would still be a
> schedule slip...
> still: better than nothing...  I wonder if that was what Boeing had in
> mind, though, and if this more or less means CST-100 won't be the one to
> pick up the flag...
> Thanks!
> --me
> On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 1:22 PM, Michael K. Heney <mike at heney.net> wrote:
>> Watch today's presser with Blue Origin (3pm EDT, I believe) - should be
>> info on new engine options ...
>> Quoting Christopher Gorski <cpgorski at gmail.com>:
>>  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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