“We’ve trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle of spending a lot of money on mission assurance, which makes the assets incredibly expensive, which means the launch vehicles that support them need to have near certainty,” Griffin said. “What we should be thinking about is the overall cost of the architecture we deploy.”
Tugger wrote:Oh yes, ULA definitely deserves attention. But of course they have been "boring" and basically 100% successful for years now and not trying anything new like SpaceX. But that doesn't or shouldn't take away from the the awesomeness of the rockets they have.
My favorite is the Delta IV Heavy. There is something awesome about how it looks taking off, the engines and thrust pattern... . beautiful:
And here is a recent launch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCy401hkXuk
And this one has multiple views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEcye06SFik
DarkKnight5 wrote:I also love the DIVH. Amazing machine, even though that flare (hydrogen?) at engine ignition that scorches the bottom of the craft spooks me every time.
I agree ULA has a near spotless launch record, though I wonder if they’ll begin to push a faster launch cadence in response to SpaceX, and I wonder further what effect that might have on their reliability. None, I hope.
Like I said earlier, I’m glad they have some competition and I hope the raise their game.
parapente wrote:However it's cost is mind numbing -I am not quite sure why this should be.Yes they are disposable but then so it Falcon sometimes but the cost is still a fraction of Deltas.Does anyone know.
parapente wrote:Yup Delta4 heavy is a phenomenal rocket with (I believe) a 100% safety record.I note Spacex love to quote power stats to LEO as it's suits their engines.They turn into powder puffs in a vacuum.If you look at what the D4H can take into Geocentric orbit it's nearly as powerful as the FH.
Just that Elon always wind the PR wars!
However it's cost is mind numbing -I am not quite sure why this should be.Yes they are disposable but then so it Falcon sometimes but the cost is still a fraction of Deltas.Does anyone know.
The engine is the most expensive part of the rocket, accounting for two-thirds of the cost of a booster, Bruno said.
ULA doesn't have a customer yet for its Vulcan, but Bruno said the company was in a discussion with a number of prospects and said any customers will pay for the first launches.
"I will not fly a car," he said,
Prior to the vote, the company said its operations would not be affected by a strike. ULA confirmed that in its May 6 statement, saying it would “implement its strike contingency plans while focusing on meeting its commitments to our customers.”
While this strike is happening, ULA will need to find another way to get its rockets made and up into space.
An IAMAW representative says that the ULA employees have two main issues with the contract ULA proposed. One involves stipulations on travel between the two launch sites. ULA doesn’t launch out of Vandenberg very often, so the company maintains just a small workforce over there. So whenever there is a Vandenberg launch, employees from Florida are called to travel to Vandenberg to help with mission operations. Originally, employees only had to be in California for 30 days at a time and were then rotated out if needed.
However, IAMAW claims the new contract would allow ULA to call Florida employees back to Vandenberg after they had already returned home from a 30-day stint. “If you come back, they can send you back again,” Johnny Walker, a representative for IAMAW in Cape Canaveral, Florida, tells The Verge. “The family life is gone, and you can’t say no.”
Additionally, IAMAW says the contract gives ULA the option to sub-contract any job that it wants, meaning a full-time employee’s work could be given to an outside company at any time. The union sees that as ULA’s attempt to reduce the size of its workforce and pay lower wages. “Our guys have certification beyond belief,” says Walker. “We have a perfect record for launching rockets. We never have lost a rocket or had a failure. We were part of it being successful, and now they’re turning it around and treating us like dirt.”
Another sticking point was subcontracting. IAM members fear that ULA could use that to cut full-time jobs, according to the Orlando Sentinel. ULA, however, said it has no intention of displacing workers via subcontracting and it guaranteed that in writing as part of its “last, best and final offer.”
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