Air Force to phase out ULA's 1 Billion Dollar Annual Capability Payments, Leveling Playing Field with "New Competitors"

I think they can get 25%-40% of the launch share.

I agree that if Falcon and NGLS are the only two products, those figures are in the ballpark. Wildcards could easily emerge.

Lockheed/Boeing are not as optimistic about spacex reuse as you or I,

Yes, that's perhaps the only conclusion that fits the available evidence.

SpaceX will soon try 2 landing attempts in short succession. My guess is that at least one of them succeeds. They'll then have that booster flying in New Mexico for some months. They may recover a booster on land before the year is out. There could certainly be an orbital test flight of a previously used F9 before the end of 2016, before ULA has even decided on a platform.

If Lockheed and Boeing had doubts about SpaceX's reuse, those doubts could be extinguished long before they've spent real money on NGLS. The enemy gets a vote, and this could change their calculus.

they need to invest in NGLS ASAP to meet their timeline.

One would think so, which is why Bruno's statements that the decision on which platform to pursue won't be made for another 2 years is so... curious. If they wait, they'll never hit their timeline. If they go ahead right now, full steam, they risk wasting billions of their own dollars.

The BE-4 is an untested engine, from an untested company.

We should wait for more details about NGLS (incl. cost and investments, potential reusability) before passing final judgment.

The details will help clarify the situation, but Bruno has already painted NGLS in broad strokes. BE-4 engine, legacy 2nd stage, no full or easy reuse. Unless those core stats change, my estimation of NGLS's success won't change either.

I don't think that Lockheed/Boeing are stupid, they've done the math and determined that the risk/reward profile is appropriate.

Neither do I, which is why I believe they're still sitting on the fence, not yet ready to dump huge loads of money into the project.

Perhaps I'll be proven wrong, but I've yet to see reports of wide scale hiring at Blue Origin or ULA. Neither have I heard reports of their attempting to head hunt SpaceXers. Maybe my ear is too far from the wall, but I suspect I'd have heard something.

Remember, spacex's timeline is fairly rosy, all it takes is 1 failure and time frames can be shifted by at least 2 years in ULA's favor. Spacex success/domination is fairly likely in my view, however that doesn't mean ULA can't make a decent ROI on NGLS, even in the worst case for them.

ULA's timeline is, if anything, even rosier.

The NGLS timeline seems completely reliant on Blue Origin, an untested company with an untested engine. Blue Origin has never built an orbital engine, and no one in history has ever built an orbital metholox engine, let alone one with staged combustion. The scale of this challenge is only exceeded by SpaceX's Raptor.

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