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posted by martyb on Saturday January 19 2019, @10:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the Pareto-Principle dept.

Boeing-Lockheed's Vulcan rocket design 'nearly fully mature'

A joint venture between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp will conduct the final design review for its new flagship Vulcan rocket within months, it said on Wednesday, as the aerospace company heads for a showdown with Elon Musk's SpaceX and others in the launch services market.

The final design review is a crucial milestone as the company, United Launch Alliance (ULA), tries to move into full production ahead of a first flight in spring 2021 after slipping from its initial 2019 timetable.

"The design is nearly fully mature," ULA systems test engineer Dane Drefke told Reuters during a tour of Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

[...] ULA has started cutting and building hardware and has begun structural and pressure testing at its Decatur, Alabama factory. Engineers were also modifying the Florida launch pad and tower to accommodate Vulcan.

Previously: SpaceX BFR vs. ULA Vulcan Showdown in the 2020s
Blue Origin Wins Contract to Supply United Launch Alliance With BE-4 Rocket Engines
The Military Chooses Which Rockets It Wants Built for the Next Decade

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19 2019, @03:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19 2019, @03:14PM (#788648)

    Theory: Is it more reliable to quickly design a rocket and tune the design by actually flying or slowly design one and tune it by extended analysis?

    Possible Outcomes:
    Both are about the same: Quick wins
    Flying is better: Quick wins
    Analysis is better: Old school gets to keep business as usual
    No statistically significant conclusion: Both sides learn and step up their game.

    Given the likely number of flights, the last seems most likely.
    My guess is old school space finds a way to stay around, but only by learning a new game with the new concept of price to performance ratio.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19 2019, @06:03PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19 2019, @06:03PM (#788712)

    And they have to compete against NewGlen. and even if they win a contract, Blue Origin also wins because they sold them the engine. ignoring Falcon Heavy for the moment, how does that work out?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday January 19 2019, @07:45PM

      by takyon (881) <> on Saturday January 19 2019, @07:45PM (#788743) Journal

      There is room for 1-2 inefficient companies simply because the U.S. government and Air Force want redundant capabilities.

      So even if Boeing's Starliner costs more than Falcon 9 + Crew Dragon, for example, they will both get contracts.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday January 19 2019, @07:58PM

    by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday January 19 2019, @07:58PM (#788745)

    ....until the antennas look like little pointy ears....

    Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.