RD-180 and Air Force Competition

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by cwbullet, Apr 15, 2019.

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  1. Apr 15, 2019 #1

    cwbullet

    cwbullet

    cwbullet

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  2. Apr 15, 2019 #2

    Peartree

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    I just wonder why one of the American companies can't just reverse engineer the RD-180 and build a clone of it here. It isn't like the Russians can sue for patent infringement.
     
  3. Apr 15, 2019 #3

    Alan15578

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    It has been decades? since I have read about the RD-180. There are undoubtedly state level agreements covering our import and use of the RD-180. I thought part of the agreement was that we would get the ability to co produce the engine in the US, so no reverse engineering is required. We are "the good guys", and we would not violate our trade agreements without good reason, such as war or an unjustified trade embargo. The simple fact is that it is cheaper to import the RD-180, than to produce it in the US, or to develop and produce a made in the USA replacement.

    It is an embarrassment that we utilize Russian or Soviet engines and launch services, when our nation prides itself as the leader in Space Exploration. If congress wants to blow limited taxpayer dollars to restore national pride, at the expense of economic and capitalistic principles, they can do so. I think if the US is just patient, maintains a strong economy, and is willing to support and use private enterprise developments, national pride will be restored in due course.
     
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  4. Apr 15, 2019 #4

    aerostadt

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    Good point! If the U.S. ends up spending a lot of money, just to keep the same status, it is better to be patient and let things evolve and use funding efficiently.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2019 #5

    Mushtang

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    I'm speaking out of my rear here, fully admitting I don't know as much about these engines and programs as a lot of others here do. However...

    Things like this just make my blood boil because it highlights government waste. A private company that develops it's own rocket engines can do so far quicker and far cheaper than the government does, so why can't the government do it too?

    Not just that, but there are several existing engines that can be produced and used instead of the Russian engines and I don't understand why our rockets can't be slightly redesigned to accept those engines. The SSME was supposed to have been an example of this, being reused on the SLS (iirc), but that too was bogged down by government waste and inefficiency.

    The Saturn V's F-1 engine has been modernized successfully into the F-1B, giving a tremendous amount of power out of a very much simplified version of the engine, which seemed like an automatic selection to be used on the next rocket to be developed... and yet as far as I know it's being ignored.

    If SpaceX and someday Blue Origin can be paid to bring astronauts and cargo where NASA wants it and they can do it for half the price or less, that's where the money should go.

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but why are we paying another country to do what we should be doing better?
     
  6. Apr 15, 2019 #6

    cwbullet

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    I agree. Efficiency is important. A lot of funding is wasted. We could easily find enough to fund NASA with just waste.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2019 #7

    Nytrunner

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    Well, some steps in the right direction are being made. After all, Blue Origin just bulldozed our TARC field to build their engine factory for ULA's Vulcan
     

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