Science

SpaceX’s biggest rival ULA shows its future plans to cut rocket launch cost by 70%

According to ULA, its Delta IV rocket is capable of lifting a payload weighing 32 tonnes while its arc rival SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy has been built to lift off payload weighing around 72 tonnes.

SpaceX's arcrival ULA plans to cut cost by 70%, showcased its future plans and technologies

SpaceX is right now the cheapest alternative charging less than 25% of what its nearest rival quotes for each launch. SpaceX marked the launch of its dream project ‘Falcon Heavy’ on Feb 9 and has since launched its rockets four times till date in 2018 alone. SpaceX is flourishing and accelerating towards its goal of colonization Mars and making space exploration a less expensive affair. But, there is an imminent threat to the ongoing business at SpaceX from its rival United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing in 2005. ULA has claimed by the end of 2023 to 2024, it will be able to cut the total cost of a rocket launch by over 70%.

SpaceX became one of the successful firms after it redefined the definition of ‘reusability’ on Feb 6 when two of three boosters strolled down from the low-earth orbit to the ground landing on their perfect spot. SpaceX with its innovative technology and reusability charges only 25% of what other space agencies levy and therefore, many firms have started developing their own technology mimicking it. ULA which was formed in 2005 has one of the largest rocket in the world i.e. Delta IV Heavy which costs around $350 million per launch while SpaceX charged $90 million for its Feb 9 launch. This is due to the fact that no components of this rocket are reusable [of ULA]. But it will change soon. ULA has claimed that it will be phasing out these rocket launchers soon giving way to more efficient and cheaper rockets.

ULA’s answer to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is Vulcan which is presently at developing stage. ULA plans to roll out the Vulcan by mid-2020 which will have a reusable rocket which will cut the cost of launch by 70% bringing down the total to around sub $100million figure. But that’s not all because ULA has plans to give a tough challenge to SpaceX with its few technologies and innovation expected to roll out in 2023. According to ULA, its Delta IV rocket is capable of lifting a payload weighing 32 tonnes while its arc rival SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy has been built to lift off payload weighing around 72 tonnes. The upcoming Vulcan rocket will have a capacity of 40 tons which is although lower than its rival’s capability, there are other features that will give an edge to other firms.

According to Business Insider, SpaceX uses RP-1 Kerosene as fuel in its upper stage which tends to freeze at an extremely low temperature such as in space in few hours. On the contrary, ULA is developing its upper stage which will be powered by cryogenic oxygen and hydrogen which can withstand extreme temperature for prolong period. Moving further, ULA will roll out ACES by 2023 which stands for Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage that can be stationed in the orbit to be used for other purposes. Its SMART (sensible, modular, autonomous return technology) will be rolled out in the consecutive year. SMART will enable ULA to recover first-stage engines thereby lowering the overall cost of the mission. The SMART module is also equipped with self-stabilizing aeroshell to counter instability as well as parachutes that will slow down its velocity. ULA is also experimenting with catching the module in the air by a helicopter which will prevent any damage from the collision on water or due to contact with salty water.

).push({}); } if ( td_screen_width >= 1019 && td_screen_width < 1140 ) { /* landscape tablets */ document.write(''); (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); } if ( td_screen_width >= 768 && td_screen_width < 1019 ) { /* portrait tablets */ document.write(''); (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); } if ( td_screen_width > 320 && td_screen_width < 768 ) { /* portrait tablets */ document.write(''); (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); } if ( td_screen_width <= 320 ) { /* Phones */ document.write(''); (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); }

Around the World

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

You Might Also Like