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#1 2004-01-30 22:15:11

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

In the shuttle variant thread, RobertDyck wrote this:

What if you launch a Shuttle Derived Vehicle that has the external tank, SRBs, 3 main engines, OMS pods for orbit circularization, but no cargo bay at all. Just put a fairing around a station module. Pack a module with equipment that would normally be launched in a logistics module, that would double the mass without increasing aerodynamic drag. Stack two modules on top of each other. Total launch mass to orbit: 5 times what the shuttle orbiter can deliver.

and Michael Bloxham wrote this:

Exactly. Ditch the ISS, build the Shuttle C, launch a one piece ISS2 (i.e Skylab).

These comments lead me to a question.

How much would it cost to build a space hotel using:

One shuttle C launch lifting a Tranhab based habitat? Add multiple universal docking ports to allow Progress & Soyuz (and later CEV) docking. Could shuttle C lift two TransHab modules linked by a hard shell passageway that had the docking ports?

I envision a barbell design. Two Transhabs linked by a tube with the docking ports at the center of the barbell. Yet I am sure there are other, better ideas.

I contemplate this "station" could accomodate four tourists and two crew members. Access (initially) via Soyuz - two guests and one cosmonaut to run the Soyuz. Build to allow modular expansion.

Could this be done for less than $400 or $500 million?

NASA is paid in cash for launch services yet once delivery is complete the station is owned 100% privately.

= = =

Funding. Conseco has paid $120 million to name Mile High Stadium in Denver. How much would Hyatt or Hilton or that guy who runs Virgin Airlines pay to establish a branch hotel in LEO? Every TV ad, every magazine article could remind people that "our" hotel chain operates a branch in LEO.

Earn a billion (or ten billion) frequent flyer miles and win a trip. :-)


Personal seat licenses are a staggering concept.

Its Super Bowl weekend in the USA. Take a look at the NFL concept of personal seat licenses. You pay a large sum of money upfront for the privilege of being guaranteed an opportunity to buy tickets at face value. What a deal!

If a Fortune 500 corporation "invested" 10% of the cost to deploy the LEO hotel they receive (in addition to 10% ownership) the right to purchase (at actual cost) a set number of trips which could be sold or given to key customers, etc. . .

$50 million of equity investment in the LEO hotel partnerhip also buys "first refusal" rights to a set number of rides up to the station. Distribute as "perks" for sought after business deals. (If two oil companies are in bidding war trying to persuade an Arab prince to sign petroleum deal and one offers the prince or his son a trip to LEO? . . .)

Ten companies do this and voila! $500 million in working capital, plus the naming rights to the hotel.

= = =

Low cost access to space requires demand for trips to LEO. Costs will not fall until demand rises.

Build one of these things and Hilton will want one to balance the Hyatt marketing coup. Then Elon Musk has users for a man-rated Falcon EELV.

And!  - -  NASA gets paid $250 to $300 million to launch yet another shuttle C, increasing the operational tempo of Kennedy Space Center and defraying the costs of finishing ISS.

And!  - -  If an ISS shuttle C payload fairing were manufactured to sufficient specifications, it could be sold to the group to further defray ISS assembly costs.

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#2 2004-01-31 07:13:48

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

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Do you know The Space Island Group ?

their ideas are a bit similar...


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

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#3 2004-01-31 07:39:29

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

*I can't get too excited about this.  The rich get richer, most people wouldn't be able to afford it (at least not for a long, long time), there'd be so much schmoozing going on behind the scenes between the fat cats (public and private interests), all it would take is one catastrophe or enough law suits ("I jammed my thumb on the lift, I want $500,000,000 in compensation")...I can just see it now. 

Sorry, Bill; I don't mean to rain too much on your idea.

I just want to get us out of LEO.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#4 2004-01-31 08:07:58

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I see your point, Cindy, it would certainly be a 'rich man's diversion' for quite a while.
    But then air travel was the same for a while after it was pioneered but now most people in the western world have travelled by air at least once in their lives.
    I think the ideas Bill outlined might work and I think they could lead ultimately to more and more ordinary people getting a chance to fly in space - if not in the near term, then in few decades from now.
    You have to start somewhere.    smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#5 2004-01-31 08:31:40

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I see your point, Cindy, it would certainly be a 'rich man's diversion' for quite a while.
    But then air travel was the same for a while after it was pioneered but now most people in the western world have travelled by air at least once in their lives.
    I think the ideas Bill outlined might work and I think they could lead ultimately to more and more ordinary people getting a chance to fly in space - if not in the near term, then in few decades from now.
    You have to start somewhere.    smile

*Mmmmm, yes Shaun, I see your point.

But what is airline travel today?  For the U.S. and some Western (and other) nations, a target for terrorism complete with long and extensive luggage and physical searches, diversions, cancellations.  A space hotel and the means to get to it/them are the next logical target (I'm sure there must be at least one very wealthy Middle Easterner who would be willing to pay someone's way into the hotel to cause disruption, injury -- maybe even death).

I'm keeping my focus stream-lined and on target for a manned mission to Mars.

Maybe my thinking on this is faulty (could be, who knows?) but except for possible computer attacks (?) being on Mars is out of the reach/clutches of terrorism.  I'm all in favor of staying waaaaaay ahead of the goons. 

Just an opinion...

--Cindy

::EDIT:: Geez, I dislike being THIS cynical, but another foreseeable "downside" (been there, done that):  Fat cats "cook the books" or spend investors' money on lavish parties and all kinds of private goodies, and when it all comes crashing down (not literally), who pays the tab?  The taxpayers...whose hard-earned tax dollars to bail out the fat cats (who'll undoubtedly float away on golden parachutes in the meantime...so what else is new?) probably could have paid for 30 round-trips to Mars ala Mars Direct.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#6 2004-01-31 10:02:43

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Sorry, Bill; I don't mean to rain too much on your idea.

Hey, no problem.

My idea fits into my fear that Delta IV & Atlas V are too small to do a Mars mission before say 2040 or 2050. Keeping the shuttle infrastructure working means MarsDirect remains an option sooner rather than later.

Stop making shuttle tanks and no MarsDirect unless Energia is re-built or we get an Ariane 12 or something.

Space Island Group might make a good ally for finishing ISS with shuttle C.

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#7 2004-01-31 11:11:38

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,252

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

One question, power? Energy to run these things?

So, thinking, how do you get NASA to develop a SDV? No private space station gimicks. The self interest needs to be more immediate. What's in it for them?

Hubble PR is kind of an issue right now. It shouldn't be, but it is. So what if we suggested NASA make a deal? Hubble folks get on board with the prid quo pro that the money that would have been used for Hubble repair is used to develop an SDV. Bam! 400 million dollars to divert into developing an SDV. Now, we need a bit more... so we get a private launch business to partner to develop the SDV- help defray the cost- but they do it for themselves for a guareented number of future SDV sales.

After SDV is ready, use savings to build new HUbble, or spend a lot of money developing a way to fix it- maybe even before it fails.

Big gamble though.  big_smile

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#8 2004-01-31 11:40:21

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I did a simple spreadsheet calculation of shuttle-C lift masses. To make the calculations simple, I assumed the same launch thrust as the current Shuttle, same launch mass, same engines, and same orbital destination: ISS. This permits simply swapping orbiter and cargo for engine pod, fairing and more cargo. I assumed a 3 tonne fairing because Titan 4B had a fairing that mass with the same diameter as Shuttle's cargo bay, and the same payload mass. I assumed the same cargo diameter as Shuttle's fuselage so the aerodynamic stress would be roughly the same. I assumed a recoverable engine pod so that it is just as reusable as the current shuttle.

I included a parafoil identical to X-38, ablative heat shield, and single board computer that is assumed to be running the same automated re-entry and landing software as X-38. This included 3 SSME engines, their gimbal to steer, APU to power the gimbal, helium tanks to flush fuel out of the external tank, and both entire OMS pods. I didn't calculate RCS thrusters, but this engine pod would require much smaller thrusters than those required to manoeuvre the orbiter.

The result was 91.9 tonne lift capacity to ISS; that's 5.7 times as much as Shuttle's 16.05 tonnes. That may be reduced a bit by the mass of RCS thrusters and structural reinforcement of the attachment of the engine pod to avoid twisting. The Shuttle has a 2-point attachment at its base and single point at its nose. You would need something to replace the nose attachment. You might also need an adapter to hold the cargo; this design wouldn't have a cargo bay with all its trunions, instead it would mount cargo directly onto the engine thrust support structure just like traditional expendable rockets mount cargo on top of the upper stage. Would you need an adapter to hold the cargo in place? As a wild guess, would 1.9 tonnes accommodate the RCS thrusters, torsion mount for the engine pod, and cargo adapter? If so, that still leaves 90 tonnes of cargo to ISS.

Your idea of a space hotel is a good one, Bill. For Mars enthusiasts it gives us a heavy lift launch vehicle.

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#9 2004-01-31 14:13:55

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

If Space Island Group (for example) assembled a consortium of investors to deploy a space hotel based on a single shuttle C launch they could specify that the main tank remain attached to the payload since assemblies made from the main tank are their primary focus.

Thanks to Rxke for reminding me of Space Island - - I had forgotten about them since they seem pre-occupied with using surplus main tanks. But if they spearheaded a space hotel investment group based on a shuttle C launch, they could obtain at least one main tank for their other plans.

And, perhaps become a valuable ally in the political wars to deploy shuttle derived launchers.

= = =

Concerning tourism demand, I suspect that if couples could fly to LEO together, demand would soar amongst the billionaire travel crowd. wink, wink, hint, hint. . . :;):

To start with, passenger flights could be via Soyuz (ideally from Kouru to allow the shuttle C hotel to be launched to 28 degrees inclination) yet a 7 person CEV would be an ideal vessel if Boeing chose to sell a commercial/export version.

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#10 2004-01-31 14:37:20

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Concerning tourism demand, I suspect that if couples could fly to LEO together, demand would soar amongst the billionaire travel crowd. wink, wink, hint, hint. . . :;):

*Here I go again...(sorry Bill...not intentional parade-raining, just honest response):

I don't see how this will assist manned space exploration -- private or public -- (except possibly the development of some technology...well, perhaps even the sinking of the Titanic helped technology improve a bit).

If the wealthy want to develop this, fine...with their money and their loss if it fails (instead of the taxpayer getting screwed...again). 

The primary attraction I have had for Mars Direct is its low cost; budget conscious.  Plus the fact that its goal seems (in my opinion anyway) more humanistic in orientation -- perhaps inclusive would be a better word -- whereas what we're discussing here seems absolutely EXclusive.

I don't like it.

I'm having, I admit, a bit of a difficult time following the TECHNICAL aspects.  These technologies can't be developed otherwise?  Won't be developed otherwise?  How do we know?

I don't want a merry-go-round in LEO for a bunch of rich snobs nibbling caviar and sipping champagne.  I want to see scientists and astronauts heading out to Mars, period.

See, my main difficulty is the perception I have that some folks here dislike the $ and etc. spent on the ISS but you're interested in a space hotel.  Sorry...doesn't compute.

Help me to see how the former might benefit the latter...so far, we're -not- on the same page.

Do we want tourism or exploration?  I want exploration. 

I'm concerned about exploration becoming DEPENDENT upon tourism.  I don't like that idea.

--Cindy  smile

::EDIT::  Returning to the air travel analogy:  The Concorde.  It was developed for the wealthy and remained exclusively for the wealthy (long -after- the establishment of air flight, domestic carriers, etc.).  Now it's retired, etc., etc.  How did the Concorde benefit anyone but the wealthy, its investors, etc.?  It was exclusive.  What ultimate good did it do except for the convenience of the wealthy who could afford it?


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#11 2004-01-31 17:12:06

jadeheart
Member
From: barrow ak
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 134

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Wow, I can't remember ever seeing Cindy in such a pessimistic mood.  While her populist, non-elitist leanings warm my heart, I still feel that there would be intermediate- to long-term advantages to space tourism, even if it was only for the rich for awhile.

There is the potential for LEO snobbery to turn off the common folk to the idea of space in general... but don't underestimate the force of perceived self-inadequacy.  Many of the common folk, while disdainful of the rich elite, also aspire to be rich and elite.  As long as it was entirely privately financed (with no tax loopholes and gov't subsidies, which means we'll need to oust the cut-taxes-and-spend Repubs for awhile) I don't think the general public will have a problem with Bill's Ritz in Space.

And here's how it may help space exploration indirectly:  If enough rich fat cats spend time at the hotel they may get interested enough in space to help fund further exploration (I realize that most of them will probably only be interested in funding further hotels, but a few may take a bigger perspective.)

The more people in space the better.  I too am more interested in exploration over tourism, but if we are really interested in exploration and COLONIZATION, then the tourism will help in this regard.

And I don't see a contradiction between the ISS and the hotel.  The ISS is wasting NASA money that should be going toward exploration.  The hotel would be wasting fat cat money on entertainment for fat cats.  Ideally it wouldn't detract from exploration.

And I also agree with others here that the space tourism industry, as it burgeoned, would become more accessible to those who aren't fabulously rich. 

But no subsidies, NONE, or Cindy will be proven right.

With all that said, does anybody know what kind of market exists for such an industry?  Sure, we had 2 gazillionaires go up to ISS, but is there enough interest in other multimillionaires to continuously sustain a space tourism economy?  I'm not sure there is.  2 individuals don't even come close to making it sustainable.


You can stand on a mountaintop with your mouth open for a very long time before a roast duck flies into it.  -Chinese Proverb

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#12 2004-01-31 17:54:50

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

To address Cindy's concerns,

NASA has limited funds and congress doesn't see the value of providing extensive funding to NASA. The military can get 29 times as much as NASA, but space exploration is considered a luxury that should be capped if not cut in times of deficit. In the time that the military went from $288 billion to $451 billion, NASA's budget went from $14.7 billion to $15.5 billion. We know that NASA promotes economic growth in high-tech sectors, but we need a highly visible pay-off. The high-precision satellite positioning system developed for NASA's science satellite called Gravity Probe-B has been used for GPS satellites. GPS is now used for everything from cruise missile guidance, to trans-oceanic airline flights, to rescue workers, or simply private boats and hikers in remote areas. There are many other technological developments, but we an orbital hotel would provide something dramatic. As for launch costs, the more traffic you have to space the lower the cost per launch.

I have heard several aerospace engineers call for NASA to get out of the space launch business all together so private companies can compete. But if private companies cannot out-compete NASA as it is now, then private business without NASA participation would only increase the cost per kilogram to orbit. We don't need NASA to stand aside, we need private industry to provide reliable launch capability at reduced price. The European Space Agency provided slightly reduced access to orbit, and captured the majority of the market. The Atlas V and Delta IV were developed to compete with the Ariene IV and V launch vehicles. If that competition didn't exist, then the US space industry wouldn't have progressed. Elon Musk is trying to start a launch company that will provide lower access to orbit, at least for small payloads. We need more like him.

To continue the airline analogy: when airplanes were first developed they were an intriguing curiosity only. They didn't have any practical applications. Then the military used them for reconnaissance since they were more practical than balloons. Then they appeared at air shows for "barn storming" demonstrations, but still didn't have any practical application and were too expensive for average civilians. The military tried to stop opponent observation planes, so the first fighter planes were developed. This evolved until mail could be delivered via airplane. Then some rich people wanted to ride on the planes, and get to their destination much more quickly than could be achieved via train. The airlines wanted reduced fares to make their service available to more passengers, but aircraft were too small for many paying passengers, and the operating cost was too high. At that time only the "rich snobs" could afford air travel. Aircraft became more reliable, with greater operating time and less service time between flights. They were able to operate in adverse weather, further increasing the number of days per year they could carry paying passengers.  They became more fuel efficient and larger until the DC-3 was developed. That aircraft was the first one that was commercially viable for any passengers other than "rich snobs".

Today, ask yourself if spacecraft can carry passengers 26 days out of every month. Can it operate with multiple flights per day? Can it fly so often it is in the air, or in space, 50% of the time during an operational 24-hour day? I believe the Space Shuttle flew a 12-day mission only 6 times per year, and that is with a fleet of 4 orbiters. That is an average of 1.5 missions per year per spacecraft, or 18 days in space out of 365. That operational tempo is nowhere near what is expected from a commercially viable aircraft. To use a cliché, you have to walk before you can run. The spacecraft industry hasn't even learned to walk yet, it is still crawling. If we can start to "walk" by providing regular flights for the "rich snobs" to a Club Med in orbit where they can "nibble caviar and sip champagne" then we will have improved technology to equivalent of the days before development of the DC-3. Once a heavy lift launch vehicle is developed for construction of a space hotel, it can also be used for the heavy industry of asteroid mining, building a lunar base, or a manned mission to Mars. The yet-to-be-developed passenger industry to space will develop reliable human access to low Earth orbit at an operational tempo that is cost effective. Right now we don't have that at all.

I agree with Bill, an orbital space hotel would be a great place for a rich couple to honeymoon.

Another and more immediate way of looking at this: George W. Bush has asked NASA to build a permanent base on the Moon with preparation for a mission to Mars, but hasn't provided any real additional money to do it. The 2004 NASA budget of $15.5 billion has been confirmed, which is higher than the $15.0 billion budget for 2003, but the only additional money is $1 billion spread over 5 years. That's barely above inflation. So NASA has to get money from somewhere. It either has to get contractor costs under control to develop new space hardware at dramatically reduced prices, or find an alternate source of funds. When I say "dramatically reduced" I mean on par with 1960's levels plus cumulative inflation. Today's prices are way over that. The Space Shuttle was built for $10.1 billion including engines, external tank, SRBs, conversion of manufacturing and launch facilities from Apollo/SaturnV, and construction of the first 3 orbiters. Contractors asked $11 billion to $13 billion for OSP before any (expected) cost overruns. Can NASA get those costs under control? They have been trying since the advent of the "Shuttle Era", and they haven't done so yet. So where does the extra funding come from? Getting a space hotel operation to pay for development of a heavy lift launch vehicle would be such an alternate source of funding.

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#13 2004-01-31 20:05:31

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

*Gee...so many things I could say, but it's pointless (from all aspects). 

We're not going to see eye-to-eye on this. 

Jadeheart, you're right:  Many (most?) common people would like to be wealthy and elite.  I myself would like to have a heftier bank account, a bit more security.  But that doesn't mean everyone sells out their principles should they suddenly find themselves in such a position (though yes, many would).  And, to be quite fair, some rich people are generous, altruistic, involved in humanitarian concerns, etc.  (Yes, I'm sure you already know this...I'm simply making a couple of acknowledgements).

Just trying to be fair here.

I still liken the hotel scenario as being to space exploration what the Concorde was to the airline industry (created for the wealthy only, retired as same..."retired" as in "going nowhere now").  Maybe I'm wrong.

And I don't believe for 1 second if something goes haywire, the taxpayer WON'T be stuck with the burden (like always...and probably 30 Mars Direct round-trips worth to boot...and then see how happy and excited Joe and Jane Taxpayer are NOW to get on with Mars, uh-huh).  The hotel thing seems like a big White Elephant in the making. 

I just think there are strong indications that we have a rapidly and ever-shrinking window of opportunity, based on the trend of world events...

But by all means, let's keep squandering time and effort down here in LEO.  sad 

--Cindy

P.S.:  Maybe I'm wrong.  But that's how I feel about it.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#14 2004-01-31 20:09:30

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I know your response was addressed to Cindy, Robert, but I'm sure she won't mind me saying I think it was a brilliantly detailed reply.
    Again I have to say I can rarely find any reason to disagree with Robert's views and Bill's ideas are so enthusiastic and forward-looking they warm my heart! I've noted how Bill has championed the cause of Shuttle Derived Vehicles in recent weeks and the logic of it seems irresistible. In fact someone gave a link to an article which suggested that even the people at NASA may be starting to see the light in this regard ... <Gasp! .. No .. you can't be serious?!!   :;): >

    So that's Bill, Robert, Jadeheart (nice post, too! ) and I, all attempting to bring Cindy around to the idea of space tourism!  Gosh ... will she or won't she?!  The tension is unbearable! Can Cindy be persuaded that private investment in private space access can be ultimately beneficial for all space endeavours and need have no effect on the government funded exploration missions we all know and love?
                                         ??? 
    But I agree with her entirely that too much government money is wasted on pigs with their snouts in the trough and Jadeheart's insistence that private and public money be strictly separated is obviously the answer.
                                               smile

Edit :: A quick re-reading of my comments above leads me to
         think they could be misinterpreted as making fun of
         Cindy. That was never the intention. I was just amused
         that so many people were trying to change one
         person's mind; almost like the script of a comedy movie.
                                                  tongue


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#15 2004-02-01 03:37:57

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

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

There *is* a huge potential market for space-tourism, gazillion of papers have been written on it, and it turns out the market would be quite big.

One little problem: launch cost is still too high to reach a viable number of applicants (tens of thousands instead of the handful of today) The magical 100$/pound figure...
And the fact that you have to do a lot of training to go up in a Soyuz, but that could change rapidly, IMO.
Getting launchcosts down is a bit of a chicken-egg problem.
Today, there is no market for heavy payload. The relatively few launches in that category (human launches would be heavy too, because of the life-support systems etc)...
are serviced by several heavy launchers, that are in fact 'over capacity)
So no-one is going to bother to try to build a cheaper launcher, the market is already saturated.

No on, except Elon Musk and his SpaceX.
That's a private company that is now in the last stages (no rocket-science pun intended) of building a medium capacity rocket. The Falcon. It is a reusable launcher, and quite a bit cheaper than the best other Government-backed (!) companies have to offer.
Proof that he's not a lunatic: his first contract is with DOD!
There are already plans (i think they're even working on the hardware already) of a heavy launcher, Falcon V.
An interesting note in all this: Although Elon has not yet talked about manned launches in public, several sources know he's planning just that with the FalconV.
Another interesting fact: Elon (dot.com millionaire) wanted to build a lander... For MARS! Really. But after a while he discovered the current launchers were laughably expensive, and decided instead to build a cheap launcher-system himself, so that, eventually, goiing to Mars would become cheaper.

... Oh yes, tourism...
SpaceX is a good candidate for private manned ORBITAL launches, not the X-Prize suborbital stuff.

And Cindy: the first tourist, Tito, was in fact a spaceguy, got rich in the very industry.
The second one, Shuttleworth, did some experiments onboard ISS, serious experiments, he is into spaceflight, too.
The first 10-50 tourist will still be 'special' people, later-on it will be the 'pampered rich'
But that's good, now you have to be 200% fit and trained to go up, a lot of good scientists aren't (heh), so they stay down, in the future, it won't be a hot-rod fighterplane pilot with a crash course in material sciences that goes up, it will be an aging, creaky but  brilliant scientist... whose sole previous flight experience is going from one science meeting to another in regular airliners.

He will be able to go, because his university bought a cheap ticket for him, online.
He will experience a begningn launch, with a flight attendant, so he doesn't have to bother about all those blinking lights etc. The five other people in his cabin might be extremely rich, but he knows he will find new things, up there, and feels more rich than them all...


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

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#16 2004-02-01 11:44:15

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

If we could launch a space hotel on one shuttle C launch, why not launch a Hubble rescue facility on one shuttle C launch?

Launch uncrewed, rendevouz with Soyuz, and go get Hubble.

Then, sell the facility to Hilton/Marriott etc. . . AFTER Hubble is rescued.

big_smile

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#17 2004-02-02 14:43:19

jadeheart
Member
From: barrow ak
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 134

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I've been watching SpaceX for a few months now.  Does anybody have any idea if/when they're going public?

And I wonder if Rutan will eventually try to develop orbit-cabable craft once he wins the X prize?   :;):


You can stand on a mountaintop with your mouth open for a very long time before a roast duck flies into it.  -Chinese Proverb

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#18 2004-02-02 19:32:48

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I know Rutan's cool and probably one of the most capable mavericks in the aero-space industry today, but there's a yawning gap between lifting three people to an altitude of 100 km and propelling them to LEO. The latter task is much more difficult.
    However brilliant Rutan may be, and I think he is brilliant, anything he comes up with will be subject to the same laws of physics as other people's ideas. Getting to LEO is simply a pig of a job!
    I don't think even Rutan will be able to perform magic in that arena.

    For what it's worth, I think space tourism is a great idea and may eventually help to get us all into space - not just the rich people. But I'm still hopeful that progress in this direction will get a boost along the way by the emergence of practical space elevator technology in about 15 years.
    Apart from the possibility of SSTO technology finally getting off the drawing board, perhaps with the help of super-composites for fuel tanks and hypersonic scramjet engine development, it may be that the space elevator is the only viable way routinely to get large payloads out of this oh-so-deep gravity well of ours.
                                             ???

[Unless Dicktice's rail gun up the side of Kilimanjaro ever proves practicable, that is!]
                                             smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#19 2004-02-02 21:10:36

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

A suborbital hop to 100km is much different than insertion into LEO; however, Burt Rutan's company built the X-38. The design came from NASA, but I'm sure the experience gave his company orbital spacecraft knownledge. Scaled Composites has built advanced composite aircraft, not big rockets. We'll see what comes of it.

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#20 2004-02-02 22:03:24

Ad Astra
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Registered: 2003-02-02
Posts: 584

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Apart from the possibility of SSTO technology finally getting off the drawing board, perhaps with the help of super-composites for fuel tanks and hypersonic scramjet engine development, it may be that the space elevator is the only viable way routinely to get large payloads out of this oh-so-deep gravity well of ours.

SSTO may be possible if engineers follow the KISS principle.  The vehicle would need to be a propellant-filled cone, similar to DC-X, but it would have to make a ballistic re-entry.  Some kind of heat shield would be deployed to protect the ascent engines, and the vehcile would either land at sea or touch down on legs with the aid of landing rockets.

Another idea might be a two-stage launcher that combines a scramjet aircraft first stage and a rocket-plane second stage, but that solution is around 25 years away'


Who needs Michael Griffin when you can have Peter Griffin?  Catch "Family Guy" Sunday nights on FOX.

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#21 2004-10-26 11:00:39

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

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Hee! Hee!

I got me my own one eyed hobo!

Go back to the very first post in this thread!

Funding. Conseco has paid $120 million to name Mile High Stadium in Denver. How much would Hyatt or Hilton or that guy who runs Virgin Airlines pay to establish a branch hotel in LEO? Every TV ad, every magazine article could remind people that "our" hotel chain operates a branch in LEO.

Earn a billion (or ten billion) frequent flyer miles and win a trip. :-)


= = =

But now, I can say we do not need shuttle C to do this.

A 5 or 6 segment Thiokol RSRM with RL-10s or RL-60s could quite probably loft a Bigelow built space hotel to a low inclination orbit quite nicely.


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

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#22 2004-10-26 11:14:03

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,828

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Hi Bill

had posted this under the bigelow prize:

Well I do not know much about the construction techniques to be used but it appears that others are now having the same thoughts of space hotels.

Branson aiming to build hotel in space
http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1238892004

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#23 2004-10-26 16:06:23

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

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Can't help but feel the headlines are a bit overreacting...

Branson says: "and maybe build a hotel in space."

And they make it sound like he's got the plans laid out already...


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

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#24 2004-10-27 00:29:09

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

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

Can't help but feel the headlines are a bit overreacting...

Branson says: "and maybe build a hotel in space."

And they make it sound like he's got the plans laid out already...

Specs for Rutan's SpaceShipOne:

Crew Size: 3. Basic Diameter: 1.52 m. Span: 5.00 m. Mass: 3,600 kg. Main Engine: SpaceDev Hybrid. Main Engine Thrust: 7,500 kgf. Main Engine Propellants: N2O/Solid. Main Engine Propellants: 2,400 kg. Spacecraft delta v: 1,700 m/s.

Link

Specs for Falcon V:

LEO Payload: 4,200 kg. to: 200 km Orbit. at: 28.0 degrees.

Key fact - - Falcon V can throw a SpaceShipOne to LEO.

= = =

Guess who one critical contractor was for X-38?

Scaled Composites, meaning Rutan. X-38 base mass was to be 8,163 kg.

Module: Reentry vehicle. Purpose: Manned space plane. Modules.Crew Size: 6. Length: 8.69 m. Max Diameter: 4.42 m. Overall Mass: 8,163 kg. RCS Coarse No x Thrust: Cold gas (nitrogen). L/D Hypersonic: 1.4. Electric system type: Batteries.

It looks like a Falcon V could come real close to thowing a 1/2 sized X-38 to LEO. Apply X-38 heat shield technology to SpaceShip One and stick it on top a Falcon V.

Use 2 of the SS-1 hybrid engines attached to a new vessel that is a cross between SS-1 and X-38. Therefore, if the final result weighs in at more than the 4,200 kg for Falcon V, the hybrid engines can constitute a 3rd stage and getting three people to LEO for $10M to $15M per launch seems within the realm of reason.

= = =

As for a space hotel itself, a  Thiokol SRB plus liquid upper can launch a Bigelow based inflatable hab:

Turning the SRB into a launch vehicle requires an upper stage. Horowitz said he and colleagues settled upon the J-2, an engine used on the Saturn 1B and 5. “It turns out that with the J-2 and about 200,000 pounds [90,000 kg] of LOX/hydrogen on this thing, you can launch 40,000 or 50,000 pounds [18,100 or 22,700 kg] to LEO,” he said. While the J-2 hasn’t been used since the last Saturn 1B launch in 1975, he was confident that the engine would be available, based on conversations with executives at Rocketdyne, the Boeing subsidiary that built the J-2. “They actually have 12 J-2s sitting around,” he said, and added that the company felt they could get a production line for new J-2 engines going in a couple years.

This quote was in the context of SRB for CEV, yet what about SRB for cargo only, meaning space hotel modules?

40,000 pounds to 50,000 pounds times 2 or 3 launches equals a rather nice space hotel, right?

= = =

Maybe Branson has done more planning than we know.


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

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#25 2004-10-27 05:58:24

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,828

Re: Space tourism & - a shuttle C hotel?

I agree with you Bill, that we should use what we have rather than designing alabarat vehicles for space. A merging of designs would get use there quickly in addition to finishing existing work as well would be nice if cost are kept to a minimum.

edit:
Well it does appear that what I had mentioned seems to be an acurate picture of things.

SpaceDev a California company aims to resurrect a scrapped NASA project and use the technology to build a spaceship that could carry tourists into space by 2008.

http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/s … 7DREAM.htm


102704x34.jpg

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