Military Review

Fast and guaranteed: the US wants to change the world of rocket and space launches again

68

All at once



Recently, US developers have made at least several significant steps in the development of the rocket and space industry. In November, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket flew for the first time using the same first stage for the seventh time. In the same month, the private company Rocket Lab was able to return the first stage of its small Electron rocket to Earth for the first time. So far, in experimental form: the rocket landed in the water using a parachute system. In the standard version, it is supposed to be caught in the air using a helicopter.

On July 20, Astra Space made the first launch of its "super-cheap" launch vehicle with the uncomplicated name Rocket, capable of placing up to 500 kilograms of payload into a 150-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit with an estimated launch price of about $ 2,5 million (which is several times cheaper than the same Electron / Electron). The rocket made its second launch on November 29. And although both launches were de facto unsuccessful, this is a serious claim for success.


It is noteworthy that with such competition, other developers do not sit idly by. The best proof of this is the sudden presentation of an unmanned spacecraft. Ravn X from the small company Aevum of Huntsville, Alabama. The presented sample, as far as we can tell, is a mock-up.

As for Aevum itself, it was founded in 2016. Until recently, they tried not to advertise the development of the device. However, both the general concept and some technical details of the promising model have now become known.

The Ravn X is a reusable drone that will carry an outboard rocket, which in turn is supposed to launch a small payload into a low reference orbit. The twin-engine UAV, the first stage of the system, weighs 55 pounds (000 tons), is 25 feet (80 meters) long and has a wingspan of 24 feet (60 meters). That is, it is roughly comparable in size to the American A-18 Vigilante carrier-based bomber. As The Drive rightly notes in its material "Aevum's Space Launch Plane Is A-5 Vigilante Sized, Its Claims Are Even Bigger", visually the device is similar to the concept of the unmanned slave Loyal Wingman, which is now being developed by Boeing. And which has recently started running on the runway (the first flight may take place before the end of this year).


The rocket, which the drone is supposed to carry, will be two-stage: according to the data presented, the system will be able to put loads weighing up to 500 kg into low reference orbit (LEO). That is, it can be classified as a light launch vehicle. It also includes, for example, the Russian Rokot, which is capable of transporting cargo weighing more than two tons to LEO. Note also that the Soyuz-2 belongs to the middle class, and the above-mentioned Falcon 9 - to the heavy one.

De facto, the concept proposed by Aevum involves the creation of a three-stage system, where the UAV itself (as the first stage) will be, as well as a rocket suspended under it, which has two stages. The Ravn X will take off and land just like a regular plane, using the runway. They want to launch the rocket at an altitude of about 9-18 thousand meters.

Attempt number X


At first glance, such a system (being rather complicated and expensive) will not be able to compete with reusable rockets or cheap disposable light / ultralight launch vehicles. However, as far as can be judged, this is not required.

The advantages of the system lie in a different plane. Preparing for a launch vehicle is a long and complex undertaking, depending on a variety of factors, including weather conditions at the launch site. Therefore, the Pentagon has long wanted to get a carrier that could launch a payload into space, no matter what. One such solution could be the brainchild of Aevum.

"With our autonomous technologies, Aevum will reduce lead times from years to months, and when our customers demand minutes,"

- the company says. According to the concept, with the help of Ravn X it is possible to provide space launches of small satellites every 3 hours.


Aevum works closely with the US Department of Defense. Moreover, it is known that the first mission that they want to carry out within the framework of this cooperation will be called ASLON-45: it will be carried out in the interests of the US Space Force.

The device should make its first flight very soon - in 2021. Then he must perform the first launch with a payload that will be used for military purposes.

The announced timeline seems overly ambitious, especially considering how complex the scheme the developers have chosen. Apparently, in this way Aevum wants to attract the attention of customers and (in the future) expects to get a part of the market for rocket and space services. However, in the current situation (which we partially mentioned above), this seems to be an almost impossible task.

But in the military sphere, the Ravn X has, to put it mildly, few competitors. Previously, the Pentagon has repeatedly tried to get a cheap and unpretentious means of launching payloads into orbit, but these attempts de facto ended in nothing. Back in 2013, DARPA announced the XS-1 program, the goal of which is to provide an inexpensive, reusable tool for the frequent and quick launch of small vehicles into orbit. In January 2020, Boeing abruptly pulled out of the Phantom Express reusable spaceplane development program.

"Following a detailed review, Boeing is ending its Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) program immediately," said spokesman Jerry Drelling. "We will now redirect our investments from XSP to other Boeing programs that span the maritime, air and space sectors."


It is also worth mentioning that earlier the US Department of Defense (DARPA) launched the ALASA program: the F-15 Eagle fighter was supposed to act as a launch platform. It was supposed to launch a rocket that would launch small spacecraft into orbit. Unsuccessful tests led to the fact that the program was curtailed in 2015.


At the same time, the United States is not abandoning the Boeing X-37 experimental orbital aircraft: the last launch of the device was performed in May 2020 using the Atlas-5 launch vehicle.

Despite a number of official statements that relate to the goals and objectives of the spacecraft, the final purpose of the program remains unknown. Perhaps the Aevum project will answer some of the questions related to the "most secret spacecraft."
Author:
Photos used:
Ravn X / © Aevum, Boeing
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  1. Nazar
    Nazar 10 December 2020 04: 34
    +14
    There is such an expression - "there is a hangover at someone else's feast", I mean that the US is frolicking as much as they can, the Chinese have just drilled a hole in the moon, scored sand there, and we ... are watching all this with interest recourse
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. bandabas
        bandabas 10 December 2020 10: 12
        0
        In which city of the USSR you lived I do not know, but you have problems with spelling. Probably the shops haven't opened yet?
      2. Temples
        Temples 10 December 2020 10: 14
        -1
        It is as private as the private construction of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP.
        Show the kid and say that he himself came up with no tricky business.
        I'm surprised only by one thing - why is this private trader not a black man? request

        The next private conqueror of space will definitely be a black homosexual raising eight adopted children of Arabs.

        The Pentagon's ears stick out of all the cracks.
      3. Vadim237
        Vadim237 10 December 2020 11: 49
        0
        These "Analytics" as they were "Analytics" and they will remain, with pessimists and skeptics of progress there will be nowhere and nothing.
      4. Old Orc
        Old Orc 10 December 2020 12: 43
        -4
        In principle, a private trader cannot be more effective than the state. Private space is a bakery, NASA is a supermarket. The bakery will only survive in one case if it moves under the wing of the supermarket. But that doesn't mean a Supermarket can't survive without a bakery. Without NASA and Defense, all private traders and Musk will go broke in a year.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 10 December 2020 12: 54
          +12
          In principle, a private trader cannot be more efficient than the state.
          Truth? The Boeing Company is a private company, and UAC is the state. How to be here?
          1. Old Orc
            Old Orc 10 December 2020 19: 39
            0
            Why do you think that "UAC" is a state. "UAC" is the same private trader under the guise of a state. but the Ministry of Aviation Industry of the USSR is a state. and now compare.
            1. Undecim
              Undecim 10 December 2020 20: 20
              +4
              And you yourself will compare how many and what kind of aircraft Boeing produced, and how many enterprises of the USSR Ministry of Aviation Industry.
              1. Old Orc
                Old Orc 10 December 2020 21: 41
                +2
                At the very least, he covered all the needs of the USSR of the countries which the USSR helped and provided the Friendly countries. Approximately 1/3 of the world, excluding military orders.
                1. Undecim
                  Undecim 10 December 2020 21: 46
                  -1
                  Your minimum is from a flashlight. Give the numbers.
                  1. Old Orc
                    Old Orc 10 December 2020 21: 51
                    +1
                    Answer with your numbers, but at least the USSR Ministry of Aviation Industry pulled the Tu 144 and the Boeing 2707 could not even with the support of the US Government
                    1. Old Orc
                      Old Orc 10 December 2020 22: 01
                      +1
                      Hastily found across the USSR
                      1. Undecim
                        Undecim 11 December 2020 03: 40
                        +2
                        Boeing, starting in 1957, when the Boeing 707 went on sale until 2019, has produced 19 commercial aircraft (models 564, 707, 717, 720, 727, 737, 747,757, 767, 777).
                        How much was built in the USSR during this time, count yourself.
                        https://russianplanes.net/registr
                      2. Old Orc
                        Old Orc 15 December 2020 11: 21
                        +1
                        Thanks for the site. very curious. According to their summary table, in the period from 1963-1990 aircraft factories in the USSR produced 20 aircraft
            2. Artunis
              Artunis 11 December 2020 13: 03
              0
              How many and which ones I will not say, but the fact that before the collapse of the USSR it occupied 40% of the world's passenger and cargo air transportation is a fact precisely recorded by history.
              1. Undecim
                Undecim 11 December 2020 13: 34
                +2
                How many and which I will not say
                Why write a comment?
        2. sleeve
          sleeve 23 February 2021 09: 45
          -1
          I directly see the celebration of private initiative in Boeing. On every corner initiative ...
    2. Siberian54
      Siberian54 10 December 2020 20: 24
      0
      In the USSR, you were more likely to live as a child, or maybe not at all - About bread, after a corn plant, only with a spotted one, and then at the end when the industry was destroyed, there were restrictions on bread and in general Soviet food was strongly skewed towards meat, and not chickens, but pork with beef. Queues, and the scanty number of stores in comparison with the Russian Federation and the simultaneous end of work shifts immediately created "traffic jams" in stores like cars are now on our streets. Once again about bread - a Soviet loaf - ONE KILOGRAM COST 16-24 KOPEYKI. -400-430 GRAMS AT THE PRICE OF 24-29 RUBLES ..
      1. The comment was deleted.
        1. Siberian54
          Siberian54 11 December 2020 13: 25
          0
          west of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.Pensioner.clothes-if laziness then a "Bolshevik" in all stores, a sheepskin coat, jeans (he was young) with a push in the regional center (350 km night on the train 7 rubles there back) the day of shopping the next morning at home had time, take children to the circus ..
    3. Boris Chernikov
      Boris Chernikov 11 December 2020 11: 59
      -7
      and what prevents to create a state. company?)
    4. AllXVahhaB
      AllXVahhaB 11 December 2020 12: 24
      +1
      Quote: Imobile
      I wrote about 12 years ago that private space will destroy the state space in view of its effectiveness. and gave an example from life. When I lived in the city of the USSR, we had a bakery and a creamery. And about 2-3 thousand people worked for them. Takh redneck was barely enough for 30 thousand constant queues. They gave 1 loaf and a loaf in hand, and then 0.5 to the end of the USSR. And creamery - attention 1 store in the city. They brought 0.5 cans of sour cream (sometimes a little more) and 2 cans of milk. True, they sent cheese to Moscow, which I have not seen. But judging that they were carried on a heel, which most of them was worn for repair, the volumes there are small. So now two private traders bake bread, 3-5 people work there and they are ready to bake at least 100 thousand loaves and more (the more demand, the more supply will be there.
      How many have I heard in my address. And that the kindergarten is these ships (the Musk was not yet known about) and they would not take off, and private space is simply impossible.
      I wonder where is that miracle of Analytegi? Make up an excuse for themselves and shout that the earth is flat?

      I wonder what city do you live in? Thousand per 10 population? In Yekat, all private small bakeries, as well as stores, went bankrupt, they were replaced by chain hypermarkets such as Lenta, which have their own bakeries ...
      1. Imobile
        Imobile 11 December 2020 21: 56
        -2
        was 30t, now 10
      2. zwlad
        zwlad 15 January 2021 07: 15
        0
        On the contrary, we have a bunch of private bakeries in Saransk.
        1. AllXVahhaB
          AllXVahhaB 16 January 2021 16: 46
          0
          So what am I talking about? Private bakeries can only exist in small towns. When the scale increases, everything small is crowded out, only if it is not some kind of niche exclusive. Space, well, does not fit here in any way ...
          1. Asad
            Asad 17 January 2021 07: 09
            0
            Come on! In Novosibirsk, bakeries are opening at every step, and soon the pubs will catch up!
            1. AllXVahhaB
              AllXVahhaB 19 January 2021 16: 38
              0
              Quote: ASAD
              Come on! In Novosibirsk, bakeries are opening at every step, and soon the pubs will catch up!

              Well, yes, chains like Paul Bakery or Chocolates? Or, directly, private?
              1. Asad
                Asad 19 January 2021 16: 41
                -1
                Networks too, but small
                1. AllXVahhaB
                  AllXVahhaB 19 January 2021 16: 55
                  0
                  What does small mean? called as?
              2. sleeve
                sleeve 23 February 2021 09: 48
                -1
                Private ... Straight straight. Well, there are those mentioned. Moreover, this Paul is in vanishingly small quantities.
  • passerby
    passerby 10 December 2020 04: 37
    +10
    But we have Rogozin's poems ...
    1. carstorm 11
      carstorm 11 10 December 2020 04: 43
      0
      they will develop everything faster by orders of magnitude because the state has released and this is actively engaged in private traders. which compete with each other. it can not be in any other way.
      1. Tsoy
        Tsoy 10 December 2020 05: 53
        +9
        they will develop everything faster by orders of magnitude because the state has released and this is actively engaged in private traders. which compete with each other. it can not be in any other way.


        This is true, but the state supports startups at the initial stage. The same guys with the drone. There is no system, it may not work at all, but the Pentagon placed one order for stimulation. This will never happen in Russia. Roskosmos will not let anyone near the trough, especially the Moscow Region.
        1. carstorm 11
          carstorm 11 10 December 2020 06: 21
          +2
          support is a matter of course. but it is also necessary to fight for it showing the result. that's the point. without competition, development is very expensive and very slow or not at all. all the more so in our time when even one day of delay can be critical. everything has accelerated very much.
        2. Vadim237
          Vadim237 10 December 2020 11: 51
          0
          "This will never happen in Russia." In Russia, at least eight private offices work in the space sector.
          1. carstorm 11
            carstorm 11 10 December 2020 16: 22
            0
            Come on?))) And what did they develop?) What and with whom are they competing?)
            1. Vadim237
              Vadim237 10 December 2020 23: 48
              0
              Equipment, microsatellites "Kosmokurs" generally gathered in Nizhny Novgorod, a cosmodrome for space tourists to build, create a rocket and a ship for tourists to fly to LEO, let's see what they will have in 2026.
            2. Vadim237
              Vadim237 11 December 2020 00: 27
              +1
              But this event of our private cosmos in 2014https: //hi-news.ru/technology/pervyj-rossijskij-chastnyj-sputnik-mesyac-posle-zapuska.html for most citizens remained invisible then there were other news in the top
          2. Tsoy
            Tsoy 11 December 2020 08: 13
            +2
            "This will never happen in Russia." In Russia, at least eight private offices work in the space sector.


            For me, private space in the Russian Federation ended on Dauria. Not bad they overturned and filed a lawsuit. Their CEO, who moved to the United States the other day, goes to the stock exchange with a new startup. An estimated 1.5 billion investments can attract, if, of course, local laws bypass. Another great example is C7. We smelted a sea launch under guarantees, and as a result, a pile of scrap metal with no prospects. Well, maybe someday they will make a PH for it, but they will rather sell it on pins and needles.
      2. Boris Chernikov
        Boris Chernikov 11 December 2020 11: 59
        -6
        and they also saw the loot so well ..
    2. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx 10 December 2020 05: 28
      +2
      To develop something, you have to be an expert in business. If he was taught journalism, the astronaut will not come out of him, although poetry is not an example:

      Here it is necessary to settle the entire "kagal" closer to the starting point and set the task - you look, the matter will go.
      1. pmkemcity
        pmkemcity 10 December 2020 09: 24
        +2
        Quote: ROSS 42
        "Kagal" closer to the starting point

        The duties of Kagal are to monitor the correct receipt of taxes and fees, both state, city and zemstvo, and especially Jewish (box collection), in the storage and spending of kagal sums, in the care of the elderly, crippled and poor Jews, in monitoring the prevention of vagrancy.
      2. karima
        karima 11 December 2020 09: 50
        0
        Quote: ROSS 42
        Here it is necessary to settle the whole "kagal" closer to the place
        And they dumped there, closer to the place, and, apparently, they are doing very well.
    3. krops777
      krops777 10 December 2020 15: 25
      +2
      But we have Rogozin's poems ...


      What kind of Rogozin is here, I also attribute him to a defective manager, but when Roscosmos funding is 60 times less than NASA (about 10 billion rubles), what can we say even if Rogozin was an effective manager.
      1. Boris Chernikov
        Boris Chernikov 11 December 2020 12: 04
        -5
        even more interesting .. and what actually claims to Rogozin are there now? it is the third year in the Republic of Kazakhstan and during this time there were about 50 launches with 1 unsuccessful, in fact, the unsuccessful launch was in 2018, when it just came and was mastered ... but before that, every year we exploded 1 rocket ...
  • Aerodrome
    Aerodrome 10 December 2020 04: 41
    0
    US wants to change the world of rocket and space launches again
    how do you like that, Rogozin ...?
    1. Quadro
      Quadro 10 December 2020 08: 48
      -3
      I want a lot of things as well. For example 100 billion. How do you like that, Aerodromny?
  • Avior
    Avior 10 December 2020 05: 12
    +3
    ... Earlier, the Pentagon has repeatedly tried to get a cheap and unpretentious means of launching payloads into orbit, but these attempts de facto ended in nothing.

    The Americans have a 10 billion contract with several companies to launch on an ultralight launch schedule.
    Firefly will be launched from December 21.
  • Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 10 December 2020 05: 22
    +4
    At the same time, the United States does not abandon the Boeing X-37 experimental orbital aircraft:
    in the garden elder, in Kiev uncle.
    These are different things that do not overlap in any way, why did the author knead them into one heap?
  • Mykhalych
    Mykhalych 10 December 2020 05: 27
    -6
    Well I do not know... request However, one of the prominent Israeli scientists, Haim Eshed, directly says that Israel and the United States have long been communicating with aliens on Mars ...
    "The publication, released on December 5, caused a resonance not only in Israel, but also far beyond its borders.

    "The aliens asked not to disclose information that they are already here, since humanity is not ready yet," the Israeli professor announced.

    According to Eshed, an agreement has been concluded between the aliens and the informed representatives of the earthlings, according to which representatives of an extraterrestrial civilization are allowed to conduct experiments on our planet.

    “There is a treaty between the US government and the aliens. They signed a contract with us to conduct experiments here. They are also exploring and trying to understand the entire structure of the universe and want us to be helpers. In the bowels of Mars, there is an underground base where their representatives, as well as American astronauts are located, "said the Israeli."

    "According to Ashed, the President of the United States Donald Trump was ready to reveal the secret for everyone, but the aliens literally persuaded him not to do it:" Trump was ready to publicize the fact of the presence of aliens, but the aliens from the Galactic Federation told him to wait until the people calm down. do not want to create mass hysteria. First, they want to make us sane and understanding. "
    Haim Eshed - Graduate of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology - Eshed has served in the technology division of the IDF intelligence agency since the 1960s in research and development positions. He has been honored with three Israel Security Awards for innovation. Moreover, the themes of Eshed's works, for which he was awarded, are still classified.
    Look how they fool us, parasites ..
    1. vadim dok
      vadim dok 10 December 2020 18: 07
      +1
      So in the Russian Federation there is Professor Nightingale! He also tells fairy tales!
  • ruivit1988
    ruivit1988 10 December 2020 05: 31
    -1
    What can I say, Shoigu needs to be appointed to Roscosmos urgently.
    1. Lontus
      Lontus 10 December 2020 08: 52
      0
      Quote: ruivit1988
      What can I say, Shoigu needs to be appointed to Roscosmos urgently.

      This is what helped to destroy the USSR?
    2. qQQQ
      qQQQ 10 December 2020 09: 59
      +6
      Quote: ruivit1988
      What can I say, Shoigu needs to be appointed to Roscosmos urgently.

      Then the uniform and spacesuits will be altered several times, a lot of different chevrons and ribbons will be added. In general, as we have not flown into space, we will not fly, but it will be fun and perky.
      1. faiver
        faiver 10 December 2020 12: 47
        +5
        Then the uniform and spacesuits will be altered several times, they will add a lot of different chevrons, ribbons
        - you forgot about the chapel on the space station ...
        1. qQQQ
          qQQQ 10 December 2020 15: 02
          +2
          Quote: faiver
          Then the uniform and spacesuits will be altered several times, they will add a lot of different chevrons, ribbons
          - you forgot about the chapel on the space station ...

          I agree, I missed the most important thing.
      2. karima
        karima 11 December 2020 09: 53
        -1
        Quote: qqqq
        In general, as we have not flown into space, we will not fly, but it will be fun and perky.
        Animated films will appear. Life will be ...
      3. Drugov
        Drugov 21 February 2021 09: 23
        0
        And medals, medals are forgotten !!!
  • Tagan
    Tagan 10 December 2020 07: 26
    0
    Quote: carstorm 11
    they will develop everything faster by orders of magnitude because the state has released and this is actively engaged in private traders. which compete with each other. it can not be in any other way.

    A private trader alone will never pull a serious space program. Maybe you mean the Mask? Well, then it’s not bad to remember the origin of the resources and developments that he uses.
  • Bourgeois 1963
    Bourgeois 1963 10 December 2020 08: 59
    +7
    Musk and NASA, an example of pragmatic cooperation between a private owner and the state. Musk gained access to technology and made some money, the government reduced the cost of space and expanded the prospects for its use. Everything is in profit, credit work.
    1. Tsoy
      Tsoy 10 December 2020 10: 26
      +5
      Musk and NASA, an example of pragmatic cooperation between a private owner and the state. Musk gained access to technology and made some money, the government reduced the cost of space and expanded the prospects for its use. Everything is in profit, credit work.


      And the worst thing, he made the frozen industry move. YULA, not seeing competitors, prices simply bent space. And now, when the trough is being pushed back, they are forced to move, invest in development and production optimization.
      1. Vadim237
        Vadim237 10 December 2020 11: 57
        +5
        So our Roscosmos did not see the same competitors - for 25 years, but in 2016 the first stage of Falcon landed and everything went downhill in terms of commercial launches.
        1. Tsoy
          Tsoy 10 December 2020 16: 54
          +1
          So our Roscosmos did not see the same competitors - for 25 years, but in 2016 the first stage of Falcon landed and everything went downhill in terms of commercial launches.


          Probably went downhill a little earlier even. But this is the world of capitalism. If you can't compete, you go to the bench. As an example, McDonell Douglas vs. Boeing, Pepsi and Coca Cola and a hundred others.
  • iouris
    iouris 10 December 2020 11: 01
    +2
    That's great! Roscosmos will be able to buy the service cheaply. Saving...
    1. SaLaR
      SaLaR 10 December 2020 11: 23
      0
      Yes nuuu ...ROGOZIN'S TRAMPOLINE... the cheapest and most effective means of putting cargo into orbit ..............))))
  • Lad
    Lad 10 December 2020 15: 48
    +2
    It looks like space in Russia has replaced the outdated slogan "Let's go" for a more modern one: "Drive."
  • Aleks2000
    Aleks2000 11 December 2020 00: 43
    +2
    Expected. An old idea.

    For small rockets, use a relatively cheap unmanned aircraft instead of the 1st stage

    We have only been talking about this for 30 years, with MIG 31, and the Americans will probably do it.
    Nothing too complicated.
  • Last centurion
    Last centurion 4 February 2021 13: 30
    0
    Well, the idea of ​​a space bomber with 500 kilograms of useful warheads. Which can be simply lifted into the air during a period of instability and refueled is good. Although here it was called a type for the output of satellites. But we understand what will actually be there on Mon.
  • Keeper
    Keeper 4 March 2021 14: 51
    0
    It seems to me that the Pentagon is creating a new media face for American "private" astronautics. Look for yourself, a young man in a T-shirt and sneakers tells how he created a company in the "garage" to create cruise launch vehicles. American propaganda template about a lone genius. Apparently Musk is not the same ...