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Guest: Tory Bruno; Topics: ULA rockets, reusability, future launches and plans, ULA rocket engines, human flight, cyber defense and much more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Tory Bruno back to the program for a one hour discussion about ULA, its plans, projects, R&D, rockets, missions and more. We started the discussion with Mr. Bruno telling us about upcoming missions and ULA launches including the Parker Solar Probe planned to launch on a Delta 4 heavy with a launch window from August 6-19 of this year. Mr. Bruno not only described the mission but also talked about the unique characteristics and capabilities of the Delta 4 Heavy rocket. You do not want to miss this discussion. Note that the Delta 4 Heavy was talked about in other parts of today's program.
I asked our guest to clarify the Delta rockets actually being retired. First, the final Delta II launch will take place in September at Vandenberg AFB with the NASA ICESat-2 spacecraft. The Delta 4 medium will be retired after a few more flights in a few more years. Given the unique capabilities of the Delta 4 Heavy with high energy orbits, large payloads and high velocity missions, there are no plans for retiring this rocket. That said, the Delta 4 Heavy is used for specific types of missions which are not as common place as most missions. Again, don't miss what our guest said about the Delta 4 Heavy.
Mr Bruno talked about the Vulcan rocket plus he received several listener email questions pertaining to Vulcan, its engines, capabilities, timelines, and reusability. Vulcan was a big part of our discussion and we kept coming back to Vulcan throughout the entire hour long discussion. Also talked about was rocket reusability in general, different reusable rocket strategies and economics along with market competition.
Another topic of interest came up when Tory received a listener question asking for a comparison regarding space innovation technologies with traditional aerospace such as represented by ULA and NewSpace or the new commercial players. Our guest said a lot on the innovation subject so again, listen carefully to his reply.
Several other topics and listener emails came up and were addressed by our guest but I want to highlight one question which I asked our guest. Many Space Show listeners have referenced the ULA XEUS Lunar Lander project. I asked Tory if ULA had plans to more actively promote the project. We then learned that ULA had cancelled the project in favor of their other projects mentioned on the program. I suspect this will come as a surprise to that that frequently reference and support the idea of the ULA XEUS Lunar Lander.
A Seattle listener asked our guest if he had foreign rocket competition. The short answer is yes but he went into detail talking some specifics about several foreign launchers. A most interesting mini-discussion so don't miss it. Tory was also asked about switching some of the FAA responsibilities to the Dept. of Commerce. He said the key thing was the support of space and commercial space, not the agency. Listen to all of what he said on this topic.
.I asked our guest for a status report on the ULA CisLunar 1000 Project. Our guest described how the project was expanding. This is an exciting project so don't miss all of what he said about it. Listener Jack sent in a note asking about human certification for the Atlas 5. Tory said that most of the certification was going toward supporting the CST-100 and the escape system. He said that Atlas was already mostly human compliant so it did not need that many changes, modifications, or upgrades. We then talked about the RL 10 upper stage rocket engine, newer versions such as the RL10C, then Tory talked about the RD180 engine.
Burton from Canada sent is a multi-question email regarding the ACES upper stage, the Centaur-V and various versions and combinations. I read the full email on air so you can hear his questions in detail. Tory responded to all of his questions. As we were drawing to a close, Linda asked if ULA had a department of forecasting. As it turns out, ULA does have departments looking at the future and translating that analysis to the present for current planning. Tory described this process within ULA and I found it to be most interesting. The final question came from Beverly who wanted to know if cyber defense at ULA was a big deal, was it a problem with the company and did Tory think the issue was or has been overblown given the news reporting on the subject. For sure do not miss what Tory said about hacking, cyber defense, working with the FBI and others> Tory told us about cyber protection clauses in contracts which are mandatory, and ULA resources and time being committed to the problem. As we were ending on this topic, I asked if there had been or if there were ongoing attempts to hack into the company. He said yes. This is really an important question and a very important and sobering answer. I appreciate Tory being direct with us in responding to Beverly as I know much on this topic is classified.
Please post your comments/questions for this show on TSS blog. You can reach Tory Bruno through me or ULA.