Articles tagged with: United Launch Alliance

31
March
2015

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

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

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."

Media Outlet: The Washington Post Tags Atlas V | RD-180 | United Launch Alliance

25
November
2014

SpaceX May Upset Firm's Monopoly in Launching Air Force Satellites

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

SpaceX May Upset Firm's Monopoly in Launching Air Force Satellites

"This is huge," said Marco Caceres, senior analyst and director of space studies at Teal Group. "It would break up a monopoly and has the potential to save the taxpayer an awful lot of money."

Media Outlet: The Los Angeles Times Tags Falcon 9 | SpaceX | United Launch Alliance

29
October
2014

What Does Future Hold for Atlas V Rocket?

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

What Does Future Hold for Atlas V Rocket?

"The writing's on the wall for Atlas V as a launcher," said Marco Caceres, senior analyst and director of space studies at Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia., a firm specializing in aerospace and defense market research. "We cannot rely on the Russians over the long term. And from an economical standpoint, Atlas V is still too expensive the way it is to compete against emerging companies like SpaceX, and certainly to compete successfully in the commercial markets."

Media Outlet: Florida Today Tags Atlas V | United Launch Alliance

19
August
2014

ULA Leadership Move Could Be Precursor to Further Changes

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

ULA Leadership Move Could Be Precursor to Further Changes

 The announcement put as positive a spin as possible on Gass' departure, but reading between the lines makes it clear leaders at the parent companies felt a change was needed, said Teal Group analyst Marco Caceres.

"Gass hung his hat on ULA's track record of successful launches," Caceres said. But ULA looked complacent when matched against the dynamic Elon Musk, whose SpaceX will shortly begin competing with ULA for military space launches.

Caceres said he expects to see layoffs and a streamlining of ULA to find all possible cost savings.

"My sense is you're going to see at ULA a restructuring of some sort, because ultimately they're going to have to find a way to be a lot more competitive on price," he said.

Media Outlet: Defense News Tags Atlas V | Michael Gass | ULA | United Launch Alliance

30
June
2014

Hunt for RD-180 Replacement Begins

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

Hunt for RD-180 Replacement Begins

And the RD-180 has its supporters. "There's nothing out there that's better in terms of weight-to-power ratio than the RD-180," said Marco Caceres, an analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group. "I don't know if you can come up with an engine as powerful as the RD-180 in a short time from scratch. "It's really more about developing the least expensive engine that will make the Atlas V much cheaper commercially."

Media Outlet: Defense News Tags Atlas V | RD-180 | Russia | United Launch Alliance

13
May
2014

The Intergalactic Tug of War that has Sent US-Russian Relations Crashing Down to Earth

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

The Intergalactic Tug of War that has Sent US-Russian Relations Crashing Down to Earth

It's believed that ULA has enough RD-180s to continue to launch Atlas V's for the next two years, however if it is to continue to do so in the long-term it would need to develop a replacement engine, which Marco Caceres, director of Space Studies at the Teal Corporation, a US research agency, tells IBTimes UK could cost the military up to $1bn. "The real winner in all of this is SpaceX," says Caceres, who explains that the US airforce will now be encouraged to look at alternative options to the Atlas V, including SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. He continues: "From a business standpoint it's a silly move as they make money from the sale of the engine. On the other hand, from a pride standpoint, it doesn't surprise me that Putin would stop selling the engine altogether, in a way saying to the US: 'see how you like that'."

Media Outlet: International Business Times Tags Energomash | RD-180 | Russia | United Launch Alliance

18
March
2014

Musk Jab at Rival Shows U.S. Space Reliance on Russia

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

Musk Jab at Rival Shows U.S. Space Reliance on Russia

Two companies vying with SpaceX for a NASA commercial crew program – Boeing(BA:US) and Sparks, Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corp. – - may also find themselves relying on Russian engines, because of their plans to use Atlas V rockets, said Marcia Smith, a former director of the space studies board at the National Research Council and now editor of Arlington, Virginia-based spacepolicyonline.com. Even so, mutual dependencies in space may make this one area that’s immune to disagreements on the ground. “The Russians are making money off these sales,” said Marco Caceres of the Fairfax, Virginia-based Teal Group. “It would make sense from a political standpoint to snub us, but from a financial standpoint, it’s not so good.”

Media Outlet: Bloomberg News, Business Week Tags Atlas V | Boeing | Elon Musk | Engines | Lockheed Martin | Russia | SpaceX | Ukraine | United Launch Alliance

16
March
2014

As Ukraine Crisis Unfolds, DoD’s Options Are Limited

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

As Ukraine Crisis Unfolds, DoD’s Options Are Limited

If Russia did cut off supplies of the RD-180, it might be more symbolic than actually painful for the US, according to Marco Caceres, director of space studies with the Teal Group. “The Atlas V isn’t launching that much, so short-term impact would be minimal,” Caceres said. “The long-term impact would be that Atlas V would have to find another engine and that wouldn’t be easy.” The biggest impact might come not to US military launch, but to the corporate firms that provide it. Right now, military launch is provided either by ULA’s Atlas V or Delta IV. For years, the US has wanted to maintain two families of launch vehicles in case one failed. However, SpaceX looks poised for certification this year. The combination of having a third launch option, along with the lack of RD-180 parts, might lead to the end of the Atlas V. That may be all hypothetical, however, as Caceres doubts Russia would block sales of RD-180s, primarily because of the financial impact. “It’s not to the benefit of the Russians to do this. These are engines that bring in hard currency to Russia, the same way Russian oil and gas does,” he said. “Russia doesn’t really export much else of any consequence. ”

Media Outlet: Defense News Tags Atlas V | Engines | Lockheed Martin | Russia | SpaceX | Ukraine | United Launch Alliance

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