AngelLestat

The days for ULA could be closer to the end.

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I always predict that ULA projects were a complete waste of money.  But with so many senators and generals in their pocket, I always imagine that they could fight for a niche at least for 5 to 7 years more.
Now these days is not even sure what would happen with ULA in the next 2 years.

They were ok since 1990 with 800 millions each year from the Pentagon just to maintain infrastructure and then extra money for each launch.
But spacex appeared from nothing and in few years make the ground tremble. Until that point all ok.. ULA still had their friends..  But with the ukraine-russian mishap, now US wants to ban russian engines, which are the ones that ULA uses because they never bother to design their own engines.
Now spacex gain its certification to deliver US defense cargo to orbit and ULA did not submit any proposal for the next launch.
Many politics are in rage against ULA with all the millions they give to the company and now they don't even bother to find a solution.
Now ULA may lose the whole contract which will mean a huge % of their income. 
If we take all that plus the fact that the new vulcan rocket is still very behind falcon 9 capabilities, its near future is uncertain. 
Too bad for ULA fans.

Source:
http://fortune.com/2016/01/28/pentagon-congress-spacex-competition/

Edited by AngelLestat

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A defense contractor who's been doing business with the government for over 50 years, effectively (maybe not ULA but the two companies that make up ULA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, definitely are. The senators they have in their pockets have senators in their pockets. Unless the stars align and in some weird, inconceivable fashion these programs are going to be really monitored for financial accountability and effectiveness they will not go out of business. Period. Some contract will pop up and ULA will get launch assignments.

 

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ULA's days are not numbered; though the in the short term the extension on the RD-180 ban does hurt ULA. 

Firstly the issue regarding RD-180 RP-1/LOX engines are a problem for continued use of the Atlas-V rocket system. Keep in mind however that ULA also flies the Delta-4 series of rockets which uses LH2/LOX burning RS-68 engines. That line is unaffected by the issues regarding the RD-180.

Secondly ULA is already in consort with Blue Origin and Areojet to develop replacements for the RD-180; the BE-4 and AR-1 engines respectively. BE-4 was selected as primary and AR-1 as back up and either engine should be ready for flight by either the end of this year or the following year.

Finally the ULA is developing the Vulcan launch system to compete with Space-X; replacing both Atlas-V and Delta-IV launchers.

Simply put; while the short term problems with the Atlas-V propulsion system will be thorn in the side of ULA until replacements are ready it is unlikely this will represent a fatal blow to the company. They will likely still be a part of the commercial launching industry for years to come.

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26 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

A defense contractor who's been doing business with the government for over 50 years, effectively (maybe not ULA but the two companies that make up ULA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, definitely are. The senators they have in their pockets have senators in their pockets. Unless the stars align and in some weird, inconceivable fashion these programs are going to be really monitored for financial accountability and effectiveness they will not go out of business. Period. Some contract will pop up and ULA will get launch assignments.

 

Yes, they will not go under until we has more launch providers on the Spacex scale at least.
Add that ULA has their own niches, love the centaur modification who goes away with helium as pressure gas and their plans around this system

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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

And you can see me posting in that topic too.. the same I did with all previous ULA and spacex topics.  That topic was about spacex landing their 1st stage and how reusability achievement could impact in the the future vulcan plans with their partial reusability. 
This topic takes into account more news and political climate related to the last words from John McCain and Kevin McCarthy in conjunction with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James saying that her office may terminate a contract with ULA for $800 million annually. And you need to read the whole note to understand how serious is this.

1 hour ago, Kerbart said:

A defense contractor who's been doing business with the government for over 50 years, effectively (maybe not ULA but the two companies that make up ULA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, definitely are. The senators they have in their pockets have senators in their pockets. Unless the stars align and in some weird, inconceivable fashion these programs are going to be really monitored for financial accountability and effectiveness they will not go out of business. Period. Some contract will pop up and ULA will get launch assignments.

Ha, Is not the first time I read you using the "period" and in those times the period became into a comma. They have a great support for sure, but sometimes when a ship is sinking, it reach the point where everybody leave it before they sink with it. 

1 hour ago, Exploro said:

Firstly the issue regarding RD-180 RP-1/LOX engines are a problem for continued use of the Atlas-V rocket system. Keep in mind however that ULA also flies the Delta-4 series of rockets which uses LH2/LOX burning RS-68 engines. That line is unaffected by the issues regarding the RD-180.

Why they didn't use those in the november proposal?

Quote

Secondly ULA is already in consort with Blue Origin and Areojet to develop replacements for the RD-180; the BE-4 and AR-1 engines respectively. BE-4 was selected as primary and AR-1 as back up and either engine should be ready for flight by either the end of this year or the following year.

That requires money and time (which if they lose this contract not sure they will have), and all that for what?    To launch an old rocket like the Atlas?   
It will be able to compete with spacex?   Now they need to take the decision of use their own money to solve their issues and still being in a big risk to lose the majority of the launches due cost.

Quote

 

Finally the ULA is developing the Vulcan launch system to compete with Space-X; replacing both Atlas-V and Delta-IV launchers.

Simply put; while the short term problems with the Atlas-V propulsion system will be thorn in the side of ULA until replacements are ready it is unlikely this will represent a fatal blow to the company. They will likely still be a part of the commercial launching industry for years to come.

 

Which is still several years behind on development, and behind in capabilities. With a lot of development funding they are not sure to get.
Also, forget that they will be able to compete in the commercial industry.  That war is already lost. Their only friends is the army and even them are looking spacex with good eyes.

1 hour ago, magnemoe said:

Yes, they will not go under until we has more launch providers on the Spacex scale at least.
Add that ULA has their own niches, love the centaur modification who goes away with helium as pressure gas and their plans around this system

Why not?  they were ok all this time with just 1 provider..   
By the way.. what it got of special that helium as pressure gas solution?  You are mention that as it were a huge tech breakthrough.   Is not the most common thing in all upper stages? 

Edited by AngelLestat

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No, most upper stages use Helium as a Pressurant and Helium likes to escape.  It is a "breakthrough" as in no one has done it before, but they are still pressurizing with other gasses and using essentially a IC engine to power the upper stage and do the pressurizing.

 

Also ULA is not going to go away anytime soon.  While they will lose some business and maybe lose their 800 Million subsidy they will survive.

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RS-68 isn't Russian.

If you know atkin's laws, developing a new launcher is either the worst decision, or an okay one. The same holds true for engines. Developing an engine, and then building one, is essentially the largest cost (mostly labor costs, they're very complex and take quite a lot of man hours to construct). That's one of the reasons that the Delta IV (which uses RS-68s, home grown engines) is more expensive than the Atlas V, which uses engines derived from a late 70s/80s design. A lot of the R&D was already done, in fact, the Atlas III used the RD-180. So it was already developed, the only thing needed beyond that was to purchase units and integrate them into the rocket. Still expensive, but considerably less so than the RS-68s.

ULA also didn't exist in the 90s...

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53 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

And you can see me posting in that topic too.. the same I did with all previous ULA and spacex topics.  That topic was about spacex landing their 1st stage and how reusability achievement could impact in the the future vulcan plans with their partial reusability.

To remind you the topic is with regard to ULA's problems with the RD-180 supply and to possible impact Congressional action might have for continued Atlas-5 launches (as it is the only ULA vehicle really impacted by that). Vulcan is not even mentioned in the article posted....and Vulcan is not even slated to be lofted by RD-180's anyway.

53 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

Why they didn't use those in the november proposal?

I'm not ULA so I can't answer that question. However Delta-IV's can do the job and in fact have flown similar launches for the Air Force in the past.

53 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

That requires money and time (which if they lose this contract not sure they will have), and all that for what?    To launch an old rocket like the Atlas?   
It will be able to compete with spacex?   Now they need to take the decision of use their own money to solve their issues and still being in a big risk to lose the majority of the launches due cost.

BE-4 was already in development by Blue Origin for that companies own launchers when ULA partnered with them to further develop the engine.

 

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4 hours ago, AngelLestat said:

I always predict that ULA projects were a complete waste of money.  But with so many senators and generals in their pocket, I always imagine that they could fight for a niche at least for 5 to 7 years more.
Now these days is not even sure what would happen with ULA in the next 2 years.

They were ok since 1990 with 800 millions each year from the Pentagon just to maintain infrastructure and then extra money for each launch.
But spacex appeared from nothing and in few years make the ground tremble. Until that point all ok.. ULA still had their friends..  But with the ukraine-russian mishap, now US wants to ban russian engines, which are the ones that ULA uses because they never bother to design their own engines.
Now spacex gain its certification to deliver US defense cargo to orbit and ULA did not submit any proposal for the next launch.
Many politics are in rage against ULA with all the millions they give to the company and now they don't even bother to find a solution.
Now ULA may lose the whole contract which will mean a huge % of their income. 
If we take all that plus the fact that the new vulcan rocket is still very behind falcon 9 capabilities, its near future is uncertain. 
Too bad for ULA fans.

Source:
http://fortune.com/2016/01/28/pentagon-congress-spacex-competition/

Vulcan is actually about as powerful as Falcon 9 w/o using ACES due to it's higher performance upper stage. It might carry less to LEO, but the Centaur's high ISP engine makes up for that when it comes to most launches using HLVs (GEO sats)

3 hours ago, Exploro said:

ULA's days are not numbered; though the in the short term the extension on the RD-180 ban does hurt ULA. 

Firstly the issue regarding RD-180 RP-1/LOX engines are a problem for continued use of the Atlas-V rocket system. Keep in mind however that ULA also flies the Delta-4 series of rockets which uses LH2/LOX burning RS-68 engines. That line is unaffected by the issues regarding the RD-180.

Secondly ULA is already in consort with Blue Origin and Areojet to develop replacements for the RD-180; the BE-4 and AR-1 engines respectively. BE-4 was selected as primary and AR-1 as back up and either engine should be ready for flight by either the end of this year or the following year.

Finally the ULA is developing the Vulcan launch system to compete with Space-X; replacing both Atlas-V and Delta-IV launchers.

Simply put; while the short term problems with the Atlas-V propulsion system will be thorn in the side of ULA until replacements are ready it is unlikely this will represent a fatal blow to the company. They will likely still be a part of the commercial launching industry for years to come.

OrbitalATK also proposed a solid-two stage Atlas Core replacement, but considering they're now pursuing their own launcher off this via DOD funding, I think ULA shunned that one.

2 hours ago, AngelLestat said:

And you can see me posting in that topic too.. the same I did with all previous ULA and spacex topics.  That topic was about spacex landing their 1st stage and how reusability achievement could impact in the the future vulcan plans with their partial reusability. 
This topic takes into account more news and political climate related to the last words from John McCain and Kevin McCarthy in conjunction with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James saying that her office may terminate a contract with ULA for $800 million annually. And you need to read the whole note to understand how serious is this.

Ha, Is not the first time I read you using the "period" and in those times the period became into a comma. They have a great support for sure, but sometimes when a ship is sinking, it reach the point where everybody leave it before they sink with it. 

Why they didn't use those in the november proposal?

That requires money and time (which if they lose this contract not sure they will have), and all that for what?    To launch an old rocket like the Atlas?   
It will be able to compete with spacex?   Now they need to take the decision of use their own money to solve their issues and still being in a big risk to lose the majority of the launches due cost.

Which is still several years behind on development, and behind in capabilities. With a lot of development funding they are not sure to get.
Also, forget that they will be able to compete in the commercial industry.  That war is already lost. Their only friends is the army and even them are looking spacex with good eyes.

Why not?  they were ok all this time with just 1 provider..   
By the way.. what it got of special that helium as pressure gas solution?  You are mention that as it were a huge tech breakthrough.   Is not the most common thing in all upper stages? 

ULA is still linked to Boeing and LockMart, and both have deep connection to Congressmen and the government. They are also deeply connected to the Pentagon. It'll take a lot for ULA to be completely forfeited- Atlas V and Delta IV have a pretty much untainted track record (there were a few partial failures), and ULA has a reputation for making every launch a success. That makes it better for a customer with a very expensive playload where it would be disasterous to lose it due to sheer cost (like KH 11s). 

ULA has been slowly phasing out Delta IV because it costs an arm and a leg, even more so than the already-high-end Atlas V rocket. They're planning on retiring it in a few years, and refused to compete in protest of the now-ended RD-180 engine ban. Now that the engine ban is over, ULA can relax a bit, and has bought a few dozen more engines.

Now that the engine ban is over, they now have time, with a new few dozen engines bought from Russia. Money, is harder- if they manage to secure enough contracts, or get money from one of their parent companies (something I think will almost certainly happen), they can build Vulcan. The real question is if they can do it while competing against SpaceX and keeping Vulcan costs down by half of Atlas V (what ULA is aiming for)

ULA actually does get a few Commerical launches every now and then. And you can't take them out of the competition yet- the DOD's two-launcher EELV requirement is one reason.

Let me tell you a story for WHY the Pentagon has a two-launcher requirement- Titan IV. The Titan IV cost a huge amount of money to launch, and it also had a bad safety record. During these hiatuses in launches due to launch failures, the DOD could not launch anything, and this could undermine the security of the DOD's space presence. It isn't hugely difficult to sabatoge a launch- all you need is a employee who leaves a stray towel or debris. As the DOD didn't like this situation, they demanded that they use two launchers for most of their space missions...and the rest is history.

And the IVF tech is great because you can use it for a reusable space tug/refuelling station, as it can be kept in orbit for as long as you want (or as long as the fuel will last)- not limited by the helium, which boils off even easier than Hydrogen.

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4 hours ago, B787_300 said:

No, most upper stages use Helium as a Pressurant and Helium likes to escape.  It is a "breakthrough" as in no one has done it before, but they are still pressurizing with other gasses and using essentially a IC engine to power the upper stage and do the pressurizing.

Ahh you are talking about the new vulcan upper stage, I thought it was about delta or atlas upper stage.  The tech for that you mention is called IVF? or something like that. 

Quote

Also ULA is not going to go away anytime soon.  While they will lose some business and maybe lose their 800 Million subsidy they will survive.

How can you be sure?  I give them 5 or 7 years before, but with these news even 2 years seems uncertain. 

2 hours ago, Exploro said:

To remind you the topic is with regard to ULA's problems with the RD-180 supply and to possible impact Congressional action might have for continued Atlas-5 launches (as it is the only ULA vehicle really impacted by that). Vulcan is not even mentioned in the article posted....and Vulcan is not even slated to be lofted by RD-180's anyway.

??  why you make that quote?  is confusing..  By the way.. I made the topic!   and is about the future of ULA as company, which of course, any impact on its income also have repercussions in their  vulcan development..  You think that if spacex fails the next 2 launches it would not have an impact with their MCT plans? 

Quote

I'm not ULA so I can't answer that question. However Delta-IV's can do the job and in fact have flown similar launches for the Air Force in the past.

They already said they have no interest in continue with delta4 because the difference in cost would be even higher vs spacex.  

 

1 hour ago, fredinno said:

ULA has been slowly phasing out Delta IV because it costs an arm and a leg, even more so than the already-high-end Atlas V rocket. They're planning on retiring it in a few years, and refused to compete in protest of the now-ended RD-180 engine ban. Now that the engine ban is over, ULA can relax a bit, and has bought a few dozen more engines.

The news is about that many congressmen are pushing to return that ban with very solid arguments than even ULA friends are taking them into account.
The first question you need to ask... why US is paying a lot just to have their personal lauch providers?

Because if they are in a conflict with russia or an russia allied, they can not said.. "sell me few engines so I can launch a sat to make your life harded", its complete pointless.

Quote

The real question is if they can do it while competing against SpaceX and keeping Vulcan costs down by half of Atlas V (what ULA is aiming for)

there are many delays in the vulcan design, is not comparable with spacex and many investors already know this

Quote

ULA actually does get a few Commerical launches every now and then. And you can't take them out of the competition yet- the DOD's two-launcher EELV requirement is one reason.

I am not saying they will disappear tomorrow.. only that their future is uncertain and not look too good

Quote

Let me tell you a story for WHY the Pentagon has a two-launcher requirement- Titan IV. The Titan IV cost a huge amount of money to launch, and it also had a bad safety record. During these hiatuses in launches due to launch failures, the DOD could not launch anything, and this could undermine the security of the DOD's space presence. It isn't hugely difficult to sabatoge a launch- all you need is a employee who leaves a stray towel or debris. As the DOD didn't like this situation, they demanded that they use two launchers for most of their space missions...and the rest is history.

If you have 4 or 6 is better, but that does not change the fact that ULA can not compete in price with spacex, so spent much time with a launch budget that you will lose is not fun. It may won some launches due its record and contacts.  but no enough to keep with the competence.

Quote

And the IVF tech is great because you can use it for a reusable space tug/refuelling station, as it can be kept in orbit for as long as you want (or as long as the fuel will last)- not limited by the helium, which boils off even easier than Hydrogen.

Yeah, I though they were talking about something else.

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15 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

The news is about that many congressmen are pushing to return that ban with very solid arguments than even ULA friends are taking them into account.
The first question you need to ask... why US is paying a lot just to have their personal lauch providers?

Because if they are in a conflict with russia or an russia allied, they can not said.. "sell me few engines so I can launch a sat to make your life harded", its complete pointless.

Too late, they already ordered another 2 dozen engines. And I don't expect it to be banned again without a fight- the people who unbanned it are still there, and their opinion likely still hasn't changed.

16 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

there are many delays in the vulcan design, is not comparable with spacex and many investors already know this

That depends on what they choose, and if Atlas has enough engines to last beyond 2019 (which it likely will due to the new orders). If the new 2 dozen engines do buy Atlas V another few years of time, the delays might be standable for ULA to hold out for. If not, then they'll have to beg their parents for money. And the latter is less likely than the former.

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27 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

If you have 4 or 6 is better, but that does not change the fact that ULA can not compete in price with spacex, so spent much time with a launch budget that you will lose is not fun. It may won some launches due its record and contacts.  but no enough to keep with the competence.

The 2-launcher requirement will almost certainly keep ULA alive, especially for the most expensive sats- and it depends if Vulcan ends up meeting expectations. Also, they have enough contracts to exist to 2019, even if they got no more contracts from the DOD.

In the worst case scenario, ULA dissolves by 2020 after Vulcan ends up in development hell, and OrbitalATK or Blue Origin enters the market. I can't say which, but I'll be betting more on Orbital. They have DOD funding right now for a new soild EELV, probably for a backup in case Vulcan fails, and are more experienced. Blue has less experience, but is the same type as SpaceX in terms of philosophy- but we also have very little clue of where they are, or what they are like.

 

Lastly, few launchers compete against SpaceX right now. That's a good reason for all the planning for new rockets right now, most aimed to reduce $$$ per launch. I'd say Elon has succeeded. I would hope ULA doesn't end up like Kistler, but if they must, they must. But I wouldn't pull them out of the gate yet.

Edited by fredinno

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8 hours ago, fredinno said:

Lastly, few launchers compete against SpaceX right now. That's a good reason for all the planning for new rockets right now, most aimed to reduce $$$ per launch. I'd say Elon has succeeded. I would hope ULA doesn't end up like Kistler, but if they must, they must. But I wouldn't pull them out of the gate yet.

Difference between Kistler and ULA is that even if ULA were to collapse, it's parent companies would be intact. Where as Kistler had to struggle to find investors to develop it's rocket systems, Boeing and Lockheed would not find themselves in a similar struggle (considering the two have other sources of revenue in aerospace and defense) if either opted to remain in the launching business following such a collapse.

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4 hours ago, Exploro said:

Difference between Kistler and ULA is that even if ULA were to collapse, it's parent companies would be intact. Where as Kistler had to struggle to find investors to develop it's rocket systems, Boeing and Lockheed would not find themselves in a similar struggle (considering the two have other sources of revenue in aerospace and defense) if either opted to remain in the launching business following such a collapse.

They would likely bail ULA out first. If that failed, (unlikely) then they would kill off ULA and end their ties to the launching business, concluding that it isn't profitable. Otherwise, I'd think there would be fights over who owns Vulcan.

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22 hours ago, AngelLestat said:

Ahh you are talking about the new vulcan upper stage, I thought it was about delta or atlas upper stage.  The tech for that you mention is called IVF? or something like that.

Yes I was.  Nothing in the Upper stages of the current Atlas or Delta is very new.

 

Also Regarding the RS68 RD180, The RD 180 is a RUSSIAN engine that is then brought to the US and used. The RS 68 is a totally American Designed and built engine.

As to why ULA did not bid with the Delta IV for the most recent contract is because the Delta IV is so much more expensive than the Atlas V and more expensive than the Falcon 9 and the way the contract was worded lowest price had a HUGE advantage over older and more reliable launchers.

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25 minutes ago, B787_300 said:

Yes I was.  Nothing in the Upper stages of the current Atlas or Delta is very new.

 

Also Regarding the RS68 RD180, The RD 180 is a RUSSIAN engine that is then brought to the US and used. The RS 68 is a totally American Designed and built engine.

As to why ULA did not bid with the Delta IV for the most recent contract is because the Delta IV is so much more expensive than the Atlas V and more expensive than the Falcon 9 and the way the contract was worded lowest price had a HUGE advantage over older and more reliable launchers.

Actually, the Centaur now has IVF.

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SpaceX still has work to do if they want to start beating ULA. The Falcon 9 has landed 1/4 times. They haven't even started to reuse the stages yet.

When CRS-11 comes along and they start trying to land to Dragon craft, then we can talk about the state of ULA. Until then, however, it's too early.

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2 hours ago, Sequinox said:

SpaceX still has work to do if they want to start beating ULA. The Falcon 9 has landed 1/4 times. They haven't even started to reuse the stages yet.

When CRS-11 comes along and they start trying to land to Dragon craft, then we can talk about the state of ULA. Until then, however, it's too early.

You make it sound like ULA is landing stages or otherwise competing on costs.  That isn't their game.

The original poster comes along and claims that the entire space arm of the US military industrial complex* is going to be shut down has to be taken with a grain of salt.  I imagine there are some contractors that aren't Boeing or Lockheed (in non-space aerospace), but I doubt they have much business where those aren't the primes.  The political re-alignment of such an epic scale would be hard to imagine.  Such a thing didn't happen when the cold war ended, it sounds very odd for such a thing to happen 25 years later.  So far the old "competitors" have done nothing but join forces with the Pentagon's and Congress' blessing.

* Calling ULA a johnny-come-lately is terribly disingenuous.  Boeing and Lockheed Martin took all their contacts and lobbyists inside the government and built a system to absorb large amounts of DoD & NASA space money.  The name might be new, but most of the divisions, organization, and employees are old hands at the game.

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1 hour ago, wumpus said:

The original poster comes along and claims that the entire space arm of the US military industrial complex* is going to be shut down has to be taken with a grain of salt.

huge grain of salt.  Because, as with most things written about SpaceX, there's more than a little fanboyism involved and less than a little understanding of the situation involved.

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On 30/1/2016 at 3:03 AM, fredinno said:

In the worst case scenario, ULA dissolves by 2020 after Vulcan ends up in development hell, and OrbitalATK or Blue Origin enters the market. I can't say which, but I'll be betting more on Orbital. They have DOD funding right now for a new soild EELV, probably for a backup in case Vulcan fails, and are more experienced. Blue has less experience, but is the same type as SpaceX in terms of philosophy- but we also have very little clue of where they are, or what they are like.

Lastly, few launchers compete against SpaceX right now. That's a good reason for all the planning for new rockets right now, most aimed to reduce $$$ per launch. I'd say Elon has succeeded. I would hope ULA doesn't end up like Kistler, but if they must, they must. But I wouldn't pull them out of the gate yet.

I am not pulling them out just right away..  I said that my previous prediction was 5 to 7 years before they close.. But this news makes the 5 years for granted than I give them kinda uncertain.

On 30/1/2016 at 0:05 PM, Exploro said:

Difference between Kistler and ULA is that even if ULA were to collapse, it's parent companies would be intact. Where as Kistler had to struggle to find investors to develop it's rocket systems, Boeing and Lockheed would not find themselves in a similar struggle (considering the two have other sources of revenue in aerospace and defense) if either opted to remain in the launching business following such a collapse.

It does not matter if boeing and lockheed keeps going with other projects or if they decide to create another space company.. what it matters is that ULA may be closed (we are speaking of ULA)

5 hours ago, wumpus said:

* Calling ULA a johnny-come-lately is terribly disingenuous.  Boeing and Lockheed Martin took all their contacts and lobbyists inside the government and built a system to absorb large amounts of DoD & NASA space money.  The name might be new, but most of the divisions, organization, and employees are old hands at the game.

Again, it does not matter the destiny of their parents companies.. it matters ULA destiny.
They can have all the senators they want..  but one thing is sure in the world.. everyone will do the best for himself.
This mean that if the company can not compete by a big margin, and its vulcan project seems to follow that trend (when you include the develop cost and lifetime of the business)  then it will be too risky for the same ULA (because they need to make some investments without guarantee that will keep in the business for much longer and that level of failure can impact in the reputation of their parents companies) and for the senators who will put them in a bad spot to protect a company who did not have any chance from the beginning which steal money from the taxpayers and voters.

Edited by AngelLestat

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On 1/31/2016 at 11:42 PM, fredinno said:

Actually, the Centaur now has IVF.

Source on that?  Because I have seen that no where.

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@fredinno I would like to point out that the article you linked was from 2012 and nothing has come of it yet.  At this point they will probably only put IVF on the Centaurs AFTER Vulcan is in production.

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52 minutes ago, B787_300 said:

@fredinno I would like to point out that the article you linked was from 2012 and nothing has come of it yet.  At this point they will probably only put IVF on the Centaurs AFTER Vulcan is in production.

No, it has already been done, there was a video on ULA's youtube channel about it too.

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