HEFT reported that it would cost too much to develop the high thrust kerolox engine needed for the Shuttle-Derived alternative HLV. The only way to fund it would be for NASA to share costs with the Pentagon, but the Pentagon is not interested.vulture4":2gb7bvst said:Both SpaceX and Boeing have proposed evolutionary variants of the Delta and Falcon up to 100mt to LEO. I don't think it's coincidence that even though the designs are completely different both use all-liquid propulsion. So if NASA was really interested in actually launching a heavy payload they could just issue an RFP for an HLLV and leave the design up to the contractor. But that's not the goal here at all. NASA is being forced by Congress to create jobs at MSFC and in Utah. Whether the rocket ever carries a payload is unimportant.
As for "creating jobs in Utah", etc., a kerosene rocket would create those jobs (probably even more of them) somewhere else and would cost more money. I just don't understand the oft-repeated ATK hatespeak.
According to HEFT, the SRBs would cost far less than the core and its RS-25 engines. For the 70 tonner, the core cost to first flight (not including the cost of the first flight!) would be $5.6 billion, twice as much as the SRB cost. A kerolox stage would cost more than either. A cryo upper stage would cost nearly as much as the SRBs. Those relatively affordable SRBs produce 6.4 million pounds of thrust. Where else could NASA get so much power for that amount of money?
- Ed Kyle