31
March
2015

The Problem With the America's Russian Rocket Phase-out

The Problem With the America's Russian Rocket Phase-out

Nor does the Pentagon really want a fast-tracked rocket engine, says Marco Caceres, senior analyst and director of space studies at aerospace consultancy Teal Group. "The engine is the core of your rocket, and the majority of things that go wrong in a rocket have to do with the engines," he says, "You really don't want to rush this."

Moreover, the Pentagon plan intends to spread the cost of technology development out via public-private partnerships, each of which would require roughly a dozen private sector space launches each year to remain viable. That launch demand doesn't yet exist, nor does a spike in demand appear on the horizon.

All that places SpaceX in a particularly good position to take on a lot, if not all, of the military's space launches toward the end of this decade, at least until other launch technologies can be adequately matured. Barring a change in Congress's stance on RD-180 imports or some kind of mishap that jeopardizes its certification, SpaceX might not just break ULA's military launch monopoly—it may become the monopoly.

"Overall, SpaceX is starting to look very all-American and very attractive, and ULA looks weak without its Delta IV," Caceres says. "All along ULA has had its eggs in one basket, but that only works as long as you've got a monopoly."

Tags Atlas V, RD-180, United Launch Alliance Media Outlet: The Washington Post Featured Analyst Marco A. Caceres

Teal Group offers online access to all our products through the web. Contact our Sales Staff to obtain a user ID and password for online access. Instructions for accessing the Online Demo are found below. You will only have access to the Online Demo product. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the reports on the online access site.

logon demoDEMO INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Log on using Demo User ID 2306 and Demo Password teal.
  2. A list of Teal Group Products will appear on the next screen.
  3. You will have access to the online demo and you will be able to see what is available in other services. Accessible reports will appear as clickable text in red under the Title of the Briefing. You will not be able to access reports in unsubscribed services. These report titles will appear as normal text in black.
  4. Click on "Online Demo". The various briefing titles will appear. Click on a section and the sample reports in that section will appear. At this point you can click on the sample report to access the file.

 

To inquire about online access and site licenses please contact Mr. Tim Storey.