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#51 2005-11-18 06:41:18

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I do remember the gas station in space reference and quite some discusion about it in another thread. If the fuel still comes from Earth we will still need to get delivery costs down and the fuel type per boil off system makes the station more difficult at first to build as well as more costly.

A converted ISS platform would more than just for some science could make most or more of these dreams a reallity. But it will take business and people to make at first what appears to be a resupply of food and materials for endless work senerio. Sort of a star trek society. To build the infrastucture of the future.

With Falcon 1 still struggling to get off the launch pad and niether T/space or even SaceDev with even a complete prototype ship ready for launch it looks like it will be a while.

Kistler if they could get the cash could finish there first rocket but they would need to have a first time cargo delivery contract and lots of funds left over to get the next one build in order to be able to continue there efforts.

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#52 2005-11-19 12:47:25

BWhite
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From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I do remember the gas station in space reference and quite some discusion about it in another thread. If the fuel still comes from Earth we will still need to get delivery costs down and the fuel type per boil off system makes the station more difficult at first to build as well as more costly.

Mike Griffin  speaks to the subject at hand:

NASA's architecture does not feature a fuel depot. Even if it could be afforded within the budget constraints which we will likely face – and it cannot – it is philosophically the wrong thing for the government to be doing. It is not "necessary"; it is not on the critical path of things we "must do" to return astronauts to the Moon. It is a highly valuable enhancement, but the mission is not hostage to its availability. It is exactly the type of enterprise which should be left to industry and to the marketplace.

So let us look forward ten or more years, to a time when we are closer to resuming human exploration of the Moon. The value of such a commercially operated fuel depot in low Earth orbit at that time is easy to estimate. Such a depot would support at least two planned missions to the Moon each year. The architecture which we have advanced places about 150 metric tons in LEO, 25 MT on the Crew Launch Vehicle and 125 MT on the heavy-lifter. Of the total, about half will be propellant in the form of liquid oxygen and hydrogen, required for the translunar injection to the Moon. If the Earth departure stage could be refueled on-orbit, the crew and all high-value hardware could be launched using a single SDHLV, and all of this could be sent to the Moon.


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#53 2005-11-19 21:22:35

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Thanks for the reference BWhite I am posting it to the Human thread as well for the ISS sections contained within it.

I am a little disappointed that if Nasa wants the private comunity of rocket manufacturers to try to develope such an item that they would seem to not be interested in such a item. Since basically every time the ISS needs a boost in orbit from a progress it is already setting themselves up for such a long term need.

If they had the large fuel tank one would not need to send more progress ships to boost the station and would only need a fresh one once the engines were no longer safe to use.

Also with no customers to sell the fuel to why would the private industry even try to builds such a floating gas station..

If fuel is available then much larger ships can be sent into orbit and fueled while in orbit for such journeys to Mars much more easliy than trying to build it capable enough to lift the fuel all in one shot.

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#54 2005-11-20 04:32:43

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I am a little disappointed that if Nasa wants the private comunity of rocket manufacturers to try to develope such an item that they would seem to not be interested in such a item.

I think you misinterpreted his comment.

He means that he *is* interested, but that it's not 100% neccesary to have in place to go back to the moon. But if it were there, they'd surely use it.
He's just saying: we're going back, but on a cramped budget, and so with no 'luxuries, niceties'
Like, we're building a road from A to B, but we don't build truck-shops along that road, we'd really like those, they'd make life simpler, safer, chaper, in the long run, but we just don't have the money. But if anyone else would like to build them, man, be sure we truckers would stop an come in, massively.
He's inviting private industry. Saying, 'hey, it'd be really nice to have that piece of equipment in place, you know...  Really, really nice. But we we won't have it, because it's not in our contract. But it would be really really nice. Look what it'd save us in the long run, (cfr. his comment that it would effectively save them the equivalent of a launch per mission, a saving that indicates what a third party could charge them(!)) we'd be crazy not to use it... ...if it were there. It's not there.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#55 2005-11-21 04:45:59

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

SpaceDev business looking better by the day...
http://www.spacedev.com/newsite/templat … hp?pid=541
From the blurb:

a $2.7 million contract by the Air Force to begin work on a large hybrid rocket motor.  SpaceDev is to design, develop and test a small common booster capable of producing about 100,000 pounds of thrust, almost nine times that of the SpaceDev rocket motor technology used in Paul Allen’s SpaceShipOne which won the $10 million Ansari X Prize last year.  Test firings of the prototype rocket motor are to begin next year.

Okaaaya, start speculating what this baby will make possible. big_smile


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#56 2005-11-21 05:02:20

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

BTW, on their website, under the hybrid rocket section, they mention

The Isp of a LOX/HTPB hybrid motor is comparable to solid propellant motors and LOX/kerosene rocket boosters. The propellant mass fraction of a hybrid motor is typically 20% to 30% less than these competing systems. However, new developments in hybrid motor fuels and oxidizer injection techniques show great promise for closing the gap on mass fraction.

Great promise, hmmm... anyone knows what they're talking about?


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#57 2005-11-21 06:57:28

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I am a little disappointed that if Nasa wants the private comunity of rocket manufacturers to try to develope such an item that they would seem to not be interested in such a item.


I think you misinterpreted his comment.

He means that he *is* interested, but that it's not 100% neccesary to have in place to go back to the moon. But if it were there, they'd surely use it.

Sorry Rxke you are correct as to what is written but that said the view of just going to the moon in a minimal way of saying or of what could mean little more than flags and foot prints all over again.

SpaceshipOne used laughing gas as the oxidizer (NO2) with the rubber compound (HTPB)for its flights. This can be turn on and off by the control of the oxidizer not like the SRB's of the shuttle. While preformance may be there interms of ISP it I think weighs more to get the same altitude of burn.

The developement of the hybird motors for the Air force has been ongoing for about a little under a year with its intent to be used in the Small launch iniative or Darpa Falcon projects.

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#58 2005-11-29 08:38:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Well if the Alternative space companies are going to make it, more of this needs to happen.
[url=http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov05/373937.asp]Bill envisions liftoff for Sheboygan
With lake to east, affinity for rocketry, city may have makings for spaceport[/url]

I know that I would have not expected for Wisconsin to have an Aerospace Authority but if that is what will work lets go with it.

Spaceport could be in the stars for Sheboygan

Or this even further far fetched idea:
Sheboygan Space Station?

There are huge possibilities in the area of private sector development in the aerospace industry. It's a multi-billion dollar industry at this time. Wisconsin has a unique opportunity to participate in that because of the launch window that's off of Spaceport Sheboygan."

If the bill passes, the Wisconsin Aerospace Authority would be able to issue industrial bonds to build a spaceport.

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#59 2005-12-01 11:35:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

This sort of goes with the one above in that another state is looking into what they can do to attract space rocket manufactures and more to there sites.

Former Florida Navy Base May Become Spaceport


The Florida Space Authority, an economic development agency at Cape Canaveral, will discuss making the former Navy base a spaceport in a Dec. 7 teleconference.

The proposal would also require approval of the Jacksonville Airport Authority, which has controlled the airport portion of the base since Cecil Field Naval Air Station closed in 1999.

Under the plan, spacecraft carrying “space tourists'' would piggyback on large planes. The actual engine firings and sonic booms would take place over the ocean, airport authority officials said.

What this is giving us are alternative launch sites that are lots lower in cost than the established ones of today. But as Space-x is finding out that you must have the infrastructure to support the product that you are launching.

All in all this is a good thing still the same.

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#60 2006-01-24 22:28:53

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

It was only a few months ago when Rocket racing league’ gets its start X Prize founder, Indy car backer unveil new venture

It now appears that Nasa is finally doing the right thing with aiding developement based from what they have already made.

[url=http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/jan/HQ_06034_Rocketplane_partners.html]NASA Loans Engine to Industry Partner
NASA is loaning a rocket engine to Rocketplane Limited, Inc. of Oklahoma City as part of an innovative industry partnership program.
[/url]

the company signed a Space Act Agreement for use of an RS-88 engine in tests of its Rocketplane XP vehicle for three years. The company will provide NASA with design, test and operational information from the development.

The RS-88 engine is capable of 50,000 pounds of thrust. It was designed and built by The Boeing Company’s former Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power unit for use on Lockheed Martin's Pad Abort Demonstration vehicle. In 2003, NASA tested the RS-88 in a series of 14 hot-fire tests, resulting in 55 seconds of successful engine operation.

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#61 2006-01-31 09:32:25

PurduesUSAFguy
Member
From: Purdue University
Registered: 2004-04-04
Posts: 237

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

While I would love nothing more then to see two privately financed manned spacecraft, I am a bit affraid that T/Space and SpaceDev might end up killing each other and leaving us with none, there is only so much venture capital in the world willing to risk investment in space, and I'm afraid two comapnies competing for it might not be a good thing.

Anyone want to place bets?

SpaceDev has a reputation for actually making money and providing actual useable products to the marketplace, but they have never done anything on this scale before.

T/Space on the other hand is basically an alliance of AltSpace start ups trying to become a major player. AirLaunch LLC has a contract to develop their QuickReach 1, C-17 droped, booster for DARPA, and Scaled composites is riding high off of Space Ship one. Also apperantly White Knight II is being built large enough to not only take the suborbital space ship II up to orbit, but to carry T/Spaces designed booster and capsule to orbit

I honestly don't know who to root for.

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#62 2006-01-31 21:57:28

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

"I'm afraid two comapnies competing for it might not be a good thing."

Sort of the same game, but with the current sharks of Boeing and Lockheed at the top of the food chain...

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#63 2006-02-02 08:54:23

PurduesUSAFguy
Member
From: Purdue University
Registered: 2004-04-04
Posts: 237

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

"I'm afraid two comapnies competing for it might not be a good thing."

Sort of the same game, but with the current sharks of Boeing and Lockheed at the top of the food chain...

Okay, I phrased that poorly, I just don't want to end up with no Alt.space manned launcher...the LockMart/Boeing duopoly needs to be challenged.

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#64 2006-02-02 13:10:05

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I do agree that a challenge must be made to some how fix the issue caused by the pork building giants...

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#65 2006-02-16 07:16:31

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

It does not appear that we are ever going to see results from the altern-x crowd at this rate of constant delay from SpaceX to launch the Falcon. It would also appear that there is trouble on the front for the New Mexico spaceport as well. Starchaser ends talks for LC rocket factory

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#66 2006-02-16 21:53:05

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Now here is a twist in that the very group that has brokered several flights to the ISS aboard the Rusian Soyuz is now getting into the game of space flight.

New group to develop passenger spaceship; Space Adventures teams up with X Prize backers, Russian space agency A mockup

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#67 2006-02-28 08:19:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

It appears that the face of the altern-x group is about to change for Rocketplane's Majority Owner Buys Kistler . They have the cash to finish Kislter`s ship and to improve on its design.

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#68 2006-02-28 08:34:21

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Wow...
Who'd have thought... Kistler getting a chance again?


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#69 2006-04-03 20:29:16

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Rivals race for UAE launch space; Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures eye Ras Al-Khaimah as potential base for suborbital tourism flights

The venture says the Ras Al-Khaimah spaceport development project will cost at least $265 million

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#70 2006-07-08 17:48:07

Stormrage
Member
From: United Kingdom, Europe
Registered: 2005-06-25
Posts: 274

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I'm not worried has much has you guys are. Infact i say we should have alot of companies come (although not too many of those crazy schemes. We don't need to see the space version of Dot com bubble bursting on us).

We all know it takes money to go to space. That includes researching,implementing and hiring the technical staff with the know how.

We don't need small companies who want to borrow money. What we need is companies like Intel and AMD who will spend millions every year researching how to make the CPU board so small (Last i heard AMD found a way to write on a 30nm boards and since the current boards are 90nm this would be a siganificat speed boost). My CPU that was top of the line 5 years ago isn't even sold anymore because it is obselete.

Thats the kinda future for the space industry. Science isn't enough. Science isn't going to make companies spend billions. NASA might come up with some technology but don't forget. They have a limited budget and when their money guzzlers (Shuttle, ISS) end new one will turn up (Moon Mission). $16 Billion isn't enough. I mean look at the cuts they have made. Good projects like Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program which survived on less then $1.6M for 7 years (not each year). They made 14 peer-reviewed articles and gained attention by the press for NASA. Those kinda program get cut. If NASA made companies fight aggresively for their contracts like the military do (Two companies are spending alot of money on making their prototype JSF even though only one will get the contract. The other will just end up with the debt).

I was going to write more but it is late at night and i don't think Tea is the best drink to stay awake with. I will hopefully write more tomorrow morning on the subject.


"...all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by."

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#71 2006-09-28 06:05:40

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

SpaceDev Founder Jim Benson Launches Civilian Spaceflight Venture, Benson Space Company

Benson Intends to Be First-to-Market for Commercial Suborbital Flights

Benson Space Co. (www.bensonspace.com)

SPACESHIP DREAM CHASER REVIVED

060622_spaceship_hmed_11a.jpg

Once upon a time, back in the 1980s, NASA had a concept for a "lifting body" spaceship known as the HL-20, which could have been used as a smaller-scale backup for the space shuttle.

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#72 2006-09-29 06:24:00

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Rocket man says he'll beat Branson

Steve Bennett, a Salford University lecturer, spoke at the unveiling of the prototype for a new generation of space transport.

The Skybolt rocket, which stands 36ft tall, turned heads as it crawled through heavy traffic on the A6 yesterday.

I am not good with currency conversions so I will leave that up to others. Yes it is still suborbital though if they do get to the 83 mile mark that is an improvement over SS1. It does look as thou things are moving forward fast with all those that are looking to provide a joy ride but it is a good first step.

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#73 2006-09-29 20:01:13

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

The race is on at least to suborbital U.K.'s Starchaser Racing Virgin to Space

The U.K.-based rocket manufacturing company Starchaser unveiled Thursday its first prototype rocket at Salford University.

Called SKYBOLT, the unmanned rocket is designed to carry science experiments up to 83 miles (130 km) into space.

The unveiling happened the same day Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic revealed the interior concept of its SpaceShipTwo at Wired Magazine's NextFest in New York City.


But with anything new there are bound to be some chances of failure along the way. Scientists await news of SpaceLoft XL rocket's payloads


Eight companies and organizations awaited word Thursday on the fate of their payloads inside a rocket launched Monday from Spaceport America.

On board were 50 payloads. Some were science experiments; others were in a way the maiden flight of brand new businesses.

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#74 2006-11-15 21:41:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Starchaser And PTC Renew Partnership For Space Success; Starchaser Uses Pro/ENGINEER to Drive Product Innovation for Its Space Initiative

today announced that Starchaser Industries, a privately held high tech company, renewed its commitment to Pro/ENGINEER, the PTC integrated CAD/CAM/CAE solution, for another three years.

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#75 2007-04-19 20:01:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,181

Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Gladstone man shooting for the stars

Tim Reed pays 250K for a ticket to orbit Earth, for a promotional ticket on a spacecraft destined for outer space in hopes of becoming the first civilian to orbit the Earth in a private spacecraft. To date, fewer than 10 civilians have paid to enter space and all have reached space with governmental bodies such as NASA. His launch off the coast of California is tentatively set for early 2009 the vehicle he will go up in, the Neptune I, is still in the testing stage and he will orbit the Earth 100 times in a week’s time before his return to Earth.

To date, the other nine tickets are still available.

Orbital Fares and the Free Ticket to Orbit Option

He learned that IOS, which is based in Mojave, Calif., was issuing 10 promotional tickets for its first 10 flights. That meant Reed could purchase a ticket for $250,000 rather than the normal ticket price of $2 million. In addition, he would get his $250,000 refunded two years after his flight. Reed accepted the offer and even structured his contract so his $250,000 went toward a stake in Astro Expeditions, which acts as IOS’s marketing company.

Interorbital Systems (IOS)

stage-and-a-half-stage-to-orbit

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