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Thread: StratoLaunch Updates [Roc taxi test] 385' wingspan

  1. #16
    Super MURCer Evildead666's Avatar
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    Looking forward to it
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Thought it was big before? Try 1,300,000 lbs.

    For comparison, a fully loaded Boeing 737-200 weighs 115,000 lbs - just a tad more than this behemoths weigh increase.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...orward-383992/

    Stratolaunch marches forward

    Stratolaunch is making steady progress on its satellite-launching aircraft design, and intends to reach major milestones "in the summer timeframe," according to CEO Gary Wentz.

    On 26 March the company announced finishing the second of two large hangars at Mojave, California, in which the one-off aircraft will largely be assembled. The massive aircraft design, to be the largest ever built, is designed to carry rockets to altitude before launch. Small parts of the wings, including the centre wing spars, are currently in production, with an eye towards full-scale production beginning in several months.

    "We're going to press for a critical design review by the end of the year, so we're continuing forward," says Wentz in an interview with Flightglobal.

    The aircraft design has undergone a notable change in recent weeks, with concepts showing a significantly lengthened, streamlined front end on both of its two fuselages. Wentz further cites an increase in gross takeoff weight by 100,000lb (45,000kg), to 1.3 million lb. As a result, minor changes were made to the wings and twin fuselages.

    "The tails came in a little heavier than we expected, so to move the center of gravity forward on the aircraft we had to extend out the cabin," says Wentz. "I think it was just the early design estimate was lighter, it was multiple factors, the weight, and centre of gravity of the engines and where we placed them resulted in a change to our initial estimate."

    The rocket design suffered a setback when contractor SpaceX bowed out due to anticipated production difficulties. It was replaced by competitor Orbital Sciences, which has yet to establish a baseline design. The companies have yet to settle on many major issues, including whether the rocket will be solid- or liquid-fueled, or even whether to build an all-new engine versus adapting an existing design. Discussions are ongoing.

    "We're not in a position to talk about the specific configurations at the moment but it's looking very promising," says Wentz "We anticipate within the next few months being able to announce settling a contractwe're really just trying to optimize their concepts, we're looking at solids and liquids."

    "As late as last week I saw varied geometric configurations for the [spacecraft's] wings," he adds. The planned rocket will be capable of launching 6,100kg (13,500lb) into orbit, and requires wings to steer the rocket from its horizontal launch position and point it near-vertically towards space.

    "Since we don't have a firm proposal from Orbital Sciences yet we're not sure exactly when the preliminary design review (PDR) will fall out for the launch vehicle. We'll conduct a systems design review in April, then we'll press to PDR, I suspect it will be early next year."
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 30th March 2013 at 01:28.
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    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
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    On the other hand a loaded 747-8 takes off at around 987,000lb
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    True - but that 1.3M pounds is off the hook, and it needs a runway like used for the Shuttle.
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 30th March 2013 at 10:03.
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  5. #20
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Mordrid View Post
    True - but that 1.3M pounds is off the hook, and it needs a runway like used for the Shuttle.
    The Antonov AN-225 has a max take off weight of just over 1,410,000 lbs and that currently is the biggest.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225_Mriya

    So if this is the Stratolauch empty weght, then WOW.
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  6. #21
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Let's not forget it's also supposed to have a big cargo module for transporting stuff other than rockets. No word on its dimensions though.
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  7. #22
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Orbital Sciences had a model of their StratoLaunch booster at this years Space Symposium. No word yet on specs, engines etc. Probably coming soon....



    Big version....
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  8. #23
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    ATK = Alliant TechSystems, builder of the space shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRB), the Space Launch System SRB's, military missile technologies, spacecraft systems & structures etc.

    In short, StratoLaunch and Orbital Sciences just partnered with an aerospace biggie.

    The odds are the Pegasus II's first / stages will be based on the Space Launch System's SRB hardware; composite casings (vs. steel on the shuttle), electronically controlled thrust vectoring vanes (vs. hydraulic on the shuttle), and a new high performance fuel grain and core shape.

    Lots of movement besides this, so more news is likely.

    http://atk.mediaroom.com/2013-08-13-...olaunch-System

    ATK Awarded Contract by Orbital Sciences to Support Stratolaunch System

    ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) has received a contract from Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) to provide first and second stage propulsion for the Air Launch Vehicle (ALV) that Orbital is designing and building for Stratolaunch Systems Corporation as part of a revolutionary air-launched space transportation system. The contract from Orbital includes the design, development and flight hardware for initial Stratolaunch missions.

    "ATK is pleased to receive this award for the development and production of first and second stage propulsion for the Stratolaunch ALV," said Blake Larson, president of ATK Aerospace Group. "Our innovative propulsion concept combines both proven and state-of-the-art technologies that will provide a high-performing, cost-effective solution for the ALV."

    [See more details of Stratolaunch's air launched rocket system at: http://stratolaunch.com/ ]

    This new work expands ATK's already strong partnership with Orbital, dating back to the development of Orbital's original air-launched vehicle, Pegasus®, which also uses ATK solid rocket motors for stage propulsion.

    "Our design solution for the ALV will take full advantage of ATK's experience with large diameter solid rocket motors, like those built for the Space Shuttle and for the Titan IVB launch vehicle. The stages for ALV will also use high-strength, low-weight graphite composite cases, advanced propellants, and heritage materials from ATK's extensive line of commercial solid rocket motors," said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager of ATK's Defense and Commercial Division.

    "Solid rocket motors use stable propellants and have proven highly reliable in a wide variety of systems. They are highly engineered systems that are designed for simplified operations, and minimize ground support infrastructure requirements," Lehr added.

    ATK has manufactured more than 1600 commercial solid rocket motors to date for a wide variety of launch vehicles including Delta II and Delta IV, as well as Orbital's Pegasus®, Taurus®, Minotaur® and Antares®tm space launch vehicles. ATK first entered the commercial launch vehicle market back in 1987 when it developed its first commercial composite motor, the GEM-40, which is still being used today as part of the Delta II launch vehicle. ATK's commercial product line includes GEM, CASTOR®, and Orion solid rocket motors.

    About Stratolaunch Systems

    Founded in 2011 by philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul G. Allen, Stratolaunch Systems is developing an air-launch system that will revolutionize space transportation by providing orbital access to space at lower costs, with greater safety and more flexibility. The system will allow for maximum operational flexibility and payload delivery from several possible operational sites, while minimizing mission constraints such as range availability and weather.

    The system is made up of three primary elements: a carrier aircraft that is being designed by Scaled Composites, a multi-stage rocket system that is being developed by Orbital, and a payload to be delivered into orbit. Initial efforts will focus on unmanned payloads, with human flights following as safety, reliability and operability are demonstrated. Stratolaunch is based in Huntsville, Ala., with assembly facilities in Mojave, Calif. More information about Stratolaunch Systems can be found at http://stratolaunch.com/.

    About Orbital

    Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found on the Internet at http://www.orbital.com, on Twitter @OrbitalSciences, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OrbitalSciencesCorp

    About ATK

    ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.
    >
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  9. #24
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    ATK = Alliant TechSystems, builder of the space shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRB), the Space Launch System SRB's, military missile technologies, spacecraft systems & structures etc.

    In short, StratoLaunch and Orbital Sciences just partnered with an aerospace biggie.

    The odds are the Pegasus II's first / stages will be based on the Space Launch System's SRB hardware; composite casings (vs. steel on the shuttle), electronically controlled thrust vectoring vanes (vs. hydraulic on the shuttle), and a new high performance fuel grain and core shape.

    Lots of movement besides this, so more news is likely.

    http://atk.mediaroom.com/2013-08-13-...olaunch-System

    ATK Awarded Contract by Orbital Sciences to Support Stratolaunch System

    ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) has received a contract from Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) to provide first and second stage propulsion for the Air Launch Vehicle (ALV) that Orbital is designing and building for Stratolaunch Systems Corporation as part of a revolutionary air-launched space transportation system. The contract from Orbital includes the design, development and flight hardware for initial Stratolaunch missions.

    "ATK is pleased to receive this award for the development and production of first and second stage propulsion for the Stratolaunch ALV," said Blake Larson, president of ATK Aerospace Group. "Our innovative propulsion concept combines both proven and state-of-the-art technologies that will provide a high-performing, cost-effective solution for the ALV."

    [See more details of Stratolaunch's air launched rocket system at: http://stratolaunch.com/ ]

    This new work expands ATK's already strong partnership with Orbital, dating back to the development of Orbital's original air-launched vehicle, Pegasus®, which also uses ATK solid rocket motors for stage propulsion.

    "Our design solution for the ALV will take full advantage of ATK's experience with large diameter solid rocket motors, like those built for the Space Shuttle and for the Titan IVB launch vehicle. The stages for ALV will also use high-strength, low-weight graphite composite cases, advanced propellants, and heritage materials from ATK's extensive line of commercial solid rocket motors," said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager of ATK's Defense and Commercial Division.

    "Solid rocket motors use stable propellants and have proven highly reliable in a wide variety of systems. They are highly engineered systems that are designed for simplified operations, and minimize ground support infrastructure requirements," Lehr added.

    ATK has manufactured more than 1600 commercial solid rocket motors to date for a wide variety of launch vehicles including Delta II and Delta IV, as well as Orbital's Pegasus®, Taurus®, Minotaur® and Antares®tm space launch vehicles. ATK first entered the commercial launch vehicle market back in 1987 when it developed its first commercial composite motor, the GEM-40, which is still being used today as part of the Delta II launch vehicle. ATK's commercial product line includes GEM, CASTOR®, and Orion solid rocket motors.

    About Stratolaunch Systems

    Founded in 2011 by philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul G. Allen, Stratolaunch Systems is developing an air-launch system that will revolutionize space transportation by providing orbital access to space at lower costs, with greater safety and more flexibility. The system will allow for maximum operational flexibility and payload delivery from several possible operational sites, while minimizing mission constraints such as range availability and weather.

    The system is made up of three primary elements: a carrier aircraft that is being designed by Scaled Composites, a multi-stage rocket system that is being developed by Orbital, and a payload to be delivered into orbit. Initial efforts will focus on unmanned payloads, with human flights following as safety, reliability and operability are demonstrated. Stratolaunch is based in Huntsville, Ala., with assembly facilities in Mojave, Calif. More information about Stratolaunch Systems can be found at http://stratolaunch.com/.

    About Orbital

    Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found on the Internet at http://www.orbital.com, on Twitter @OrbitalSciences, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OrbitalSciencesCorp

    About ATK

    ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.
    >
    Dr. Mordrid
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    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  10. #25
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Enter the Thunderbolt, and the upper stage is getting the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10C-1 liquid hydrogen engine, akin to that in the Centaur upper stage on Atlas V. With an advanced (rumored composite) Orbital ATK first stage this thing's going to live up to its name.



    http://www.rocket.com/article/aeroje...-launch-system

    Aerojet Rocketdyne to Provide Upper-Stage Propulsion for Revolutionary Eagles Launch System

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.,*May 19, 2014*(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --*Aerojet Rocketdyne, a*GenCorp(NYSE:GY) company, has received a contract fromvStratolaunch Systems Corporation*(SSC) to provide six RL10C-1 production engines, with an option to provide an additional six RL10C-1 production engines at a later date, for the third stage of a revolutionary commercial air-launch system. The inaugural launch of Thunderbolt, the air-launch vehicle designed and developed for*SSC, is scheduled for 2018.

    "Aerojet Rocketdyne*is pleased to provide RL10C-1 production engines for the Stratolaunch air-launch vehicle," said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at*Aerojet Rocketdyne. "The RL10 family of engines has a long history of reliability and dependability. This contract expands our reach into commercial ventures and builds greater volume, providing more affordable propulsion to all of our customers."

    The design concept for The Eagles Launch System involves the launch of an unmanned rocket dubbed Thunderbolt, carrying a commercial or government payload from beneath the fuselage of a giant carrier aircraft. According to the concept, the carrier aircraft will be powered by six Boeing 747 class jet engines and have a wingspan greater than the length of a football field. Upon reaching a prescribed altitude, the rocket will be dropped from the aircraft, at which point two stages of solid rocket boosters will fire and propel the rocket skyward. Once the solid rocket boosters are expended, two Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engines will ignite to ultimately place the satellite into proper orbit.

    The RL10C-1 is a liquid-fuel cryogenic rocket engine designed and developed from the RL10 family of upper-stage engines, which have accumulated one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments in the history of space propulsion. The RL10 has helped place numerous military, government and commercial satellites into orbit over the last five decades, and powered scientific space-probe missions to nearly every planet in our solar system. This new application for the RL10 family opens a new era within a commercial venture that will again be a platform for demonstrated reliability and mission success.

    Aerojet Rocketdyne*is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets.*GenCorp*is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information aboutAerojet Rocketdyne*and*GenCorp*can be obtained by visiting the companies' websites atwww.Rocket.com*and*www.GenCorp.com.
    Dr. Mordrid
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  11. #26
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    https://twitter.com/Pat_DefDaily/sta...84849354149888

    Quote of the day, at Stratolaunch: Kevin Mickey (from Scaled): We expect to fly this in 2016.
    Me: This whole thing?
    Mickey: This whole thing
    https://twitter.com/Pat_DefDaily/sta...43736546516993

    It is amazing to see stratolaunch's 300 foot wide aircraft in person. Truly a feat of engineering
    https://twitter.com/Pat_DefDaily/sta...59529657909251

    @Rand_Simberg we were not allowed to take photos. I'll probably write story about how far it is completed.
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  12. #27
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Short YouTube of Roc's first taxi test

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  13. #28
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    40 knot taxi test of Roc.

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  14. #29
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    On one hand it is amazing how long it takes to get this, but at the same time it is amazing what they can do in designing and making an entirely new plane in such a relative short time.

    Must be weird for the pilots, to sit so much off-center. All the markings at the airports are optimized for pilots sitting near the center-line of the plane.
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  15. #30
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    Twin fuselage & twin boom planes go back many years on this side of the pond. In modern years the White Knight Two (WK2) carrier plane for SpaceShip Two, WK2 built by Scaled Composites - now a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman.

    Roc was built by Scaled Composites spinoff The SpaceShip Company, which also builds SpaceShip Two. After SS2 they plan on building a suborbital point to point intercontinental transport.

    WK2
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