I listened to the annoucement of the Vulcan NGLS booster from ULA.

The graphics released and show at SpaceFlightNow.com show a line. "350% more lift" but I could not figure out where that is coming from. enter image description here

First issue is, 350% improvement is 3.5 times more than "what"?

The CEO said they get about 30% more boost from core engine changes plus 20% from 6th booster. Where is the rest of the increase from?

The 30% engine boost would likely be 2 X BE4's vs a RD-180. 1.1 Millions lbs thrust vs 800,000 lbs thrust.

The 20% increase from 6th booster makes sense. If you had 5 and add a 6th that is about a 20% increase.

But the overall 350% compared to what? And from what improvements?

I will assume he is suggesting with the new upper stage, perhaps to BLEO or GTO/GSO orbits. But they never explain what this all really means.

  • $\begingroup$ Neither the infographic nor your relay of the CEO's claims say what any of these improvements are ostensibly relative to, so what are we actually talking about? $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2015 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove Step 1. Relative to what? I shall edit it in). $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Apr 13, 2015 at 22:53
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Another of the infographics shows the ACES upper stage being 75% more awesome (presumably relative to Centaur?). Going to 6 boosters makes the booster thrust 20% greater but that's not a 20% overall improvement. There is some super creative math going on here, for sure. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2015 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ They say "350%" more lift, not "350% more thrust." Either their terminology is imprecise, or they're actually talking about lifts, which would be consonant with the usage in the rest of the infographic. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2015 at 11:05


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