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Old 09-11-2017, 08:25 PM
frognbuff frognbuff is offline
Aggressor Aerospace
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 220

Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Not replaced YET, but Bezos is developing the BE-4 methane/LOX engine to replace the Russian RD-180's...

I'm not sure they'll incorporate it into the existing design of the Atlas V... the methane/LOX propellant combination would have somewhat different tank volume requirements from the present LOX/RP-1 combination used with the RD-180's.

I think (last I read) the present plan is to basically fly out the Atlas V's and when the BE-4 is ready, come out with a larger Atlas V replacement designed around the BE-4's, for methane and LOX. Basically it's a re-engined version of the Atlas V Phase II proposals that would have enlarged Atlas V by using the larger Delta IV diameter tanks feeding a pair (4 chambers) of RD-180's... Part of that plan is to develop the ACES upper stage as a larger, more capable replacement for the current Centaur upper stage (IIRC).

Later! OL J R : )

There are no plans for an Atlas V variant that uses Delta IV tooling feeding two RD-180s. The Vulcan does, however, use the Delta IV tooling for the LOX/Methane combo - because the volume requirements are not "somewhat" different, they are vastly different.
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