5 thoughts on “The Age Of Vulcan”

  1. Question: does an LOX+CH4 explosion, which will happen sooner or later when one of these goes up, creates a significantly greater shock wave than a LOX+kerosene explosion? I suspect in commanded “destruct” cases the reaction would be more of a conflagration than a detonation. Nevertheless, I’ve experienced methane bottle detonations with resulting window breakage within a few hundred feet and should such a thing happen within a closed rocket stage …..

    1. The destruct charges are presumably designed to split the tanks rather than ignite the methane. I’d imagine an awful lot of pressure is require to explode a methane tank, and that kind of pressure rise won’t happen when the dumped methane burns in the open air.

  2. I have to say I was highly skeptical about this rocket. But Tory Bruno is certainly quite knowledgeable and dedicated. I’ll grant him that.
    It must certainly not have been easy to push this rocket forward in the ULA environment.

  3. Vulcan, like all expendable rockets. is already obsolete. And does anybody think their Rube Goldberg scheme of catching the engines mid air with a helicopter is going to work?

    1. It can probably be made to work, though I doubt as reliably as SpaceX’s barge landings. What I don’t see is how it ever winds up being economical compared to SpaceX’s approach.

      The minimum interval between launches of the same engine set is also never going to be competitive with even what SpaceX has already accomplished, never mind what the next year or two will bring. Assuming range issues are dealt with, SpaceX can, by merely warehousing recovered stages, support a far more “bursty” launch cadence should that ever be necessary. That is simply incompatible with ULA’s planned approach.

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