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#76 2007-07-20 18:44:49

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Scaled Composites crosses the board ...

http://www.space.com/news/070720_scaled_bought.html

Northrop Grumman Corp. agreed July 5 to increase its stake in Scaled Composites - the builder of the Ansari X-Prize Cup-winning SpaceShipOne and a host of record-breaking aircraft - from 40 percent to 100 percent, Northrop Grumman spokesman Dan McClain confirmed July 20.

Congratulations guys!


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#77 2007-07-24 21:16:37

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 18,181

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

Yes a win for Northrop Grumman Corp. but this may cause a ripple effect for spaceshiptwo....

TGV Rockets succeeds in recent test fire

The tests involved a 30,000-pound throttle-able long-life rocket that runs on JP-8 jet fuel rather than rocket fuel.

The main purpose of the rockets is to test the feasibility of the engine technology for the military that will allow a reusable rocket about the size of a mobile home to reach space in short order, complete its task and return home in one piece, all in an affordable manner.

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#78 2007-07-29 17:59:31

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

That is kind of interesting. Isn’t Northrop Grumman Corp. a pretty big company? They must have saw some value in the company, “Scaled Composites”.

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#79 2007-07-29 19:23:17

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
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Posts: 824
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

That is kind of interesting. Isn’t Northrop Grumman Corp. a pretty big company?

$30 billion market cap.  120,000 employees.  Pillar of the military industrial complex.

They must have saw some value in the company, “Scaled Composites”.

Yes it's puzzling, isn't it.  I wonder what they'd use a suborbital transport for?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUSTAIN_%28military%29


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#80 2007-07-29 19:32:04

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

That is kind of interesting. Isn’t Northrop Grumman Corp. a pretty big company?

Yes it's puzzling, isn't it.  I wonder what they'd use a suborbital transport for?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUSTAIN_%28military%29

It sounds interesting but why not just have them pre deployed near the destination. Also how big a crew could the suborbital transport fleet carry? I’m sure it would be expensive so I wouldn’t expect a lot of vehicles.

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#81 2007-07-29 20:37:24

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

It sounds interesting but why not just have them pre deployed near the destination.

<cigar chompin'>'cause today's targets ain't destinations, they're networks.  And the nodes are mobile.

2 hours to combat.  Anywhere on Earth.  Almost makes you feel sorry for da bad guys.  Almost.</cigar chompin'>

Also how big a crew could the suborbital transport fleet carry?

<gamer>Just two.  But that's all they'll need, 'cause they'll be wearing powered armor and carrying man-portable rail guns.  Game over dude.  Game freakin' over.</gamer>  (Actually, I think it is 6-8).

I’m sure it would be expensive so I wouldn’t expect a lot of vehicles.

These are guys who fired 400 missiles costing $2 million a piece to quote shock and awe unquote.  And suborbitals are way cheaper if you're only going to use them once.


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#82 2007-07-29 20:48:39

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Posts: 2,401
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

It sounds interesting but why not just have them pre deployed near the destination.

<cigar chompin'>'cause today's targets ain't destinations, they're networks.  And the nodes are mobile.

2 hours to combat.  Anywhere on Earth.  Almost makes you feel sorry for da bad guys.  Almost.</cigar chompin'>

Also how big a crew could the suborbital transport fleet carry?

<gamer>Just two.  But that's all they'll need, 'cause they'll be wearing powered armor and carrying man-portable rail guns.  Game over dude.  Game freakin' over.</gamer>  (Actually, I think it is 6-8).

I’m sure it would be expensive so I wouldn’t expect a lot of vehicles.

These are guys who fired 400 missiles costing $2 million a piece to quote shock and awe unquote.  And suborbitals are way cheaper if you're only going to use them once.


Okay, you have me sold. Who is working on the power armor?

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#83 2007-07-29 21:32:22

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Okay, you have me sold. Who is working on the power armor?

I've only seen powered exoskeletons so far ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 195437.htm

... but it won't be long now big_smile


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#84 2014-01-28 19:48:12

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

Sure got problems with some of the threads since the crash...we did have a good thread going on FAA safety for the tourist and commercial business but this one will have to do.

Safety Is Next Step In NASA Commercial Crew Work when talking about vehicles like Dreamchaser, and others to be used as a space taxi to the ISS.


Waypoint 2 Space Earns FAA Safety Approval to Provide Spaceflight Training Programs

--Waypoint 2 Space, a leading provider of spaceflight training for the commercial space industry, today announced it has received FAA safety approval for its highly anticipated training services that will begin late spring of 2014. The FAA safety approval solidifies Waypoint 2 Space’s commitment to establishing the safest and highest training standards for the industry.

•Level 1 – Spaceflight Fundamentals: A one-week, fully immersive introduction course designed for anyone interested in training like an astronaut. This program includes launch and reentry G-forces, micro gravity, mission control operations, space suit operations, crew resource management and more.
•Level 2 – Sub-Orbital Training: Three days in a rigorous, sub-orbital space environment training designed for a specific flight profile and vehicle. Participants will learn and experience how limited exposure to weightlessness and G-forces associated with rocket powered flight affect the body. This training prepares participants to take full advantage of the three to four minutes of weightlessness during flight.
•Level 3 – Orbital Training: Beginning 2015, this eight-week course consists of rigorous training for the orbital space environment on launch and orbital vehicle operations, intra-vehicular activity occurring during a stay on an orbital vehicle of 10 days or more. This tailored program expands to 12 weeks with Extra Vehicular Activity training. Over the course of this program, participants will gain confidence as they experience a multitude of test scenarios, including spatial disorientation, emergency depressurization procedures, vehicle malfunctions and contingency operations.

Last edited by SpaceNut (2014-01-28 19:54:20)

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#85 2015-05-02 21:10:30

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

I will venture to say that the news of Blue Origin first test flight is due to it being only sub orbital...

Spacetoday

Blue Origin announced late Wednesday that it completed the first test flight of its suborbital New Shepard vehicle, flying the vehicle to the edge of space but failing to recover part of the vehicle. The company launched New Shepard from its test site in West Texas, flying the vehicle to a peak altitude of more than 93.5 kilometers and achieving a top speed of Mach 3. The vehicle's crew capsule, which carried no people on this test flight, separated from the propulsion module and parachuted back to Earth, as planned. The propulsion module was intended to make a vertical landing under its rocket engine but suffered a hydraulic failure that prevented it from being recovered, it is working to improve the vehicle's hydraulic systems and is working on two more propulsion modules. The company has not given a timetable for when it expects to begin commercial flights.

This is the company that is also designing the BE4 engine for the ULA's next generation rocket...

blueorigin_launch-620x395.jpg

“INTERESTED IN RESERVING A WINDOW SEAT?” blares the Blue Origin page.

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#86 2015-05-02 21:46:34

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

Flat FAA AST Budget Could Slow Growth for Commercial Space Industry

This week the House Appropriations’ Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittee passed their Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 spending bill. The legislation includes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), which is a part of the Department of Transportation. The bill did not approve FAA AST’s $1.5 million requested budget increase for FY 2016, keeping FAA AST’s budget flat relative to their FY 2015 budget.


Just this week, Blue Origin conducted a successful development flight of their New Shepard launch vehicle, and SpaceX conducted its fifth operational launch in four months. To continue on the current trajectory of the sector, we must ensure that the FAA AST has the resources it needs to work with the industry in a manner that will continue to promote growth, and improve public and occupant safety.

If any thing this is what is slowing any commercial space efforts...

The commercial space industry and government are partners in the economic development of space, and CSF looks forward to working with Congress to support this increase as it improves this bill through the legislative process.”

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#87 2015-05-28 20:55:15

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

Boeing’s CST-100 approved for its first commercial crewed flight to ISS – UPDATE

Under the $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract NASA has awarded to Boeing, the company is required to ferry crews to and from the orbiting laboratory, NASA is banking on this effort to allow them to maintain their responsibilities to the ISS as the agency works to send crews to distant destinations. Under the tCap phase of CCP, Boeing is required to conduct at least two (with as many as six possible) service flights to the ISS.

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#88 2015-06-27 15:27:52

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Headlines in today’s news off the internet:

“Air Force Mulls Plans to Replace Russian Rocket Engines”.  The gist says they may well replace Atlas-V entirely.  It says USAF admits there is no capability remaining in the US to produce an engine equivalent to the Russian RD-180 on the Atlas-V.  They’re accepting proposals from 4 companies,  that finally includes Spacex for Air Force military launches.  All the proposals sound like new rocket engines “from scratch” or even entirely new rockets.  Apparently Falcon-9 is big enough to handle over 2/3 of USAF needs,  and Falcon-Heavy will be able to handle all of them.  ULA has got to be very worried now,  especially with Orbital ATK proposing a complete new rocket. 

“Destination Mars:  NASA Asks Where Astronauts Should Land”.  This refers to an upcoming meeting in Houston this October to discuss the topic.  No mention of who the attendees might be.  The article mentions ice to support astronaut crews.  It sounds fairly good,  excepting a quote from a high NASA official that uses the word “architect” as a verb.  Makes you wonder why this hasn’t been discussed before,  starting long ago.  So,  if you really believe NASA will send crews to Mars before the 2030’s run out,  I have this nice bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.  Or some nice beachfront property in Atlantis,  with a beautiful ocean view (straight overhead). 

“Traces of Methane in Mars Meteorites Suggest Possibility of Life”.  Headline sensationalizes what was really reported:  crushing Mars meteorites releases surprising amounts of methane,  origin unknown.  Article suggests that such methane could support underground microbial life,  much like here.  My,  my!  How the world turns.  Perhaps those really were fossil microbe traces in the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite,  after all.  It may have been quite unjustified of the scientific establishment to drive out the two scientists who published that report. 

“Japan Plans Rock-Collecting Trip to Martian Moon”.  Overstated headline is for an article about JAXA just beginning to consider whether to attempt such a mission with its Hayabusa technology.  They don’t even know which one to target yet.  That technology doesn’t include a deep-drilling rig,  so don’t get your hopes up that we might discover the water needed on Phobos to support propellant manufacture there.  Experience on Mars suggest that ice is only stable underneath several inches of regolith cover at 0.38 gee.  It may well take more cover at lower gee.  The vapor pressure must not blow the loose regolith cover into space.  The weight of cover per unit area must equal or exceed the vapor pressure of the subliming ice.  Even then,  buried ice is not stable over geologic time,  as the porosity allows torturous intergranular pathways for vapor to escape,  albeit more slowly due to flow friction.  (So why should it be surprising that comets have turned out to be less icy than we wanted to believe before the probes finally arrived?  More like “slightly-frosty dirtballs” than “dirty snowballs”?  Mining asteroids for volatiles may not prove to be a viable business model.  It’ll take deep drilling to find out!) 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#89 2015-06-27 17:46:03

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

GW Johnson wrote:

USAF admits there is no capability remaining in the US to produce an engine equivalent to the Russian RD-180 on the Atlas-V.

The condition before the US accepted a Russian engine was transfer of technology so a US manufacturer could make a copy, should something happen. Well, something happened. And no US manufacturer can make a copy? ULA could be in deep trouble. Congress or the military or some government pencil pusher could sue ULA.

GW Johnson wrote:

Or some nice beachfront property in Atlantis,  with a beautiful ocean view (straight overhead).

Your analogy is nice, but to be anal technical, Atlantis was based on the ancient empire we now know as Minoa. It was based on Crete with a religious and technical outpost on Thera (now known as Santorini). They used geothermal heat from the massive lava lake underground beneath the island in the centre of the lagoon. But that island was the top of the magma dome for a giant caldera. Then it exploded, creating a 60 metre high tsunami that wiped out coastal settlements of the Aegean and much of the Mediterranean. Minoa had colonies on all Greek islands, and a few on the southern most cost of mainland Greece, Aegean cost of Turkey, and even one on the southern most coast of Italy. All coastal, all devastated. Atlantis didn't sink under the ocean; the ocean rose up and swallowed it. Minor distinction, but it means the land is no longer under water.

GW Johnson wrote:

“Traces of Methane in Mars Meteorites Suggest Possibility of Life” ... Allan Hills 84001 meteorite

Well said!

GW Johnson wrote:

don’t get your hopes up that we might discover the water needed on Phobos to support propellant manufacture

Aww!

GW Johnson wrote:

Mining asteroids for volatiles may not prove to be a viable business model

Sniffle

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#90 2015-06-27 19:13:10

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,806
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

Hi RobertDyck:

Yeah,  I knew about the demise of the Minoans when Thera/Santorini blew,  something like 1585-ish BC,  I think it was.  I said "straight up" because most folks still adhere to the preconceived notion that it sank.  Besides,  it makes a nice punch line to the beachfront property-for-sale joke.

Don't get me wrong about volatiles in asteroids or the Martian moons.  They might,  or might not,  have significant volatiles.  We just don't know.  But based on what little we do know (including the "slightly-frosty dirtballs" that the comets have turned out to be,  so far),  it seems to me that the odds are rather low that volatiles in usable quantities might be found there. 

As for lawsuits over lost rocket engine capability,  it was both NASA and DOD that oversaw the unfolding of this disaster.  Government was ultimately responsible,  therefore.  My grandfather told me about half a century ago that the tools for good government are tar,  feathers,  guns,  and ropes.  I have come to understand just how right he was about that.  Much more than just the loss of rocket technology capability could be fixed,  if we started using them again.  It's been the best part of a century since we last used them on bad government. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#91 2015-06-28 16:31:10

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

Again in 2003 U.S. production of RD-180 engines a major step closer as PRATT & WHITNEY NEWS RELEASE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-180

U.S. RD-180 Coproduction Would Cost $1 Billion from Aviation Week

The RD-180 sourcing plan was established over years of regulatory review once Lockheed Martin, which developed the Atlas V in the late 1990s, selected the engine as its propulsion system. To mitigate concerns about supply, the U.S. Air Force maintains a stockpile of roughly two years' worth of engines, ULA CEO Mike Gass told lawmakers this month. The stockpile was approved as a change to the U.S. policy with regard to foreign sourcing in 2000.

The policy today is three-pronged. In addition to the stockpile, the Pentagon also has a plan to “gracefully” transition to U.S. production if needed. And, finally, should the supply be interrupted, Pentagon officials can prioritize what missions would use Atlas V while a production facility is being established stateside.

The coproduction requirement for the RD-180 that was set early in the program was eventually lifted by the Pentagon in part because missions could be offloaded to the Delta IV family, Schumann says. The Pentagon has long held to a strategy of “assured access” to space by operating two distinct rocket systems.

The Delta IV was originally developed by Boeing as a competitor to the Atlas V, but both rockets were subsumed into ULA in 2006 when the government approved a monopoly for such missions in the U.S. However, the Delta IV is a less attractive option for some payloads because its RS-68 propulsion system is less effective.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/427652main_PMC_ … ussian.pdf

Long an short of it is that we have had the design plans for 11 plus years and did nothing as it was to costly to make our own version of the engine on US soil....

Then again when we said that we were stopping the shuttle in 2004 we also canned all the engine developement that was not going to be apollo on steriods which would have given them a capable replacement engine....

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#92 2015-06-28 17:57:51

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

GW Johnson wrote:

Mining asteroids for volatiles may not prove to be a viable business model

What about asteroid 3552 Don Quixote? A news article in 2013 said it's 'Sopping Wet' and has a coma.

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#93 2015-07-11 16:26:30

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

SpaceX: First flight of Dragon to be all-NASA crew

NASA astronauts, Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley, and Sunita Williams have been selected as the astronauts who will conduct the test flights of Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s crewed Dragon spacecraft.

SpaceX could have opted to just send one NASA astronaut along with one SpaceX astronaut (per the milestones listed under CCP).


http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missi … position=2

Robert-Behnken-Eric-Boe-Doug-Hurley-Sunita-Williams-astronauts-NASA-photo-posted-on-SpaceFlight-Insider-647x475.png

Doug Hurley, Robert Behnken, Sunita Williams, and Eric Boe. These four NASA astronauts have been tapped to be the first astronauts to fly on commercially-produced spacecraft.

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