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#26 2005-05-26 09:21:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

This good news UPDATE: Interim Ground Rules Proposed For Civilian Spaceflight Industry

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to publicly unveil a special permit aimed at helping the reusable suborbital rocket industry grow, while speeding up the development of passenger-carrying spaceships.

The “experimental-class” permit rules are to be open for public comment and discussed May 26 at an open meeting of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Permit guidelines
In part, the FAA “Guidelines for Experimental Permits for Reusable Suborbital Rockets” apply to a person proposing to launch or reenter a reusable suborbital rocket solely for the following reasons:

Conducting research and development to test new design concepts, new equipment, or new operating techniques;

Showing compliance with requirements as part of the process for obtaining a license; or

Crew training prior to obtaining a license for a launch or reentry using the design of the rocket for which the permit would be issued.

The wide-ranging guidelines to be issued allow the FAA to issue a permit to an applicant, under a set of terms, including:

The FAA has found that the applicant is capable of conducting its proposed launch or reentry without jeopardizing public health and safety, the safety of property, or any national security or foreign policy interest of the United States;

The FAA issues an experimental permit authorizing an unlimited number of launches or reentries for a particular suborbital rocket design;

One permit may be issued to an applicant to operate multiple vehicles of a particular reusable suborbital rocket design;

The FAA will identify in the experimental permit the type of changes that the “permittee” may make to the reusable suborbital rocket design without invalidating the permit.

The duration of an experimental permit will be one year from the date the permit is issued. A permittee may apply to renew its permit.

Now what would be the guidlines for orbital flight?

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#27 2005-06-02 11:57:14

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Canadian Arrow
Private Spaceflight Group Chooses Canadian Launch Site

I think they are still looking at 2007 flights.

Edit this is a much better write up:
[url=http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8064306/] Rocketeers pick Canadian launch site
PlanetSpace plans tests at Ontario lakeshore[/url]

Lots of clear detail as to the launch site and recovery location for flights.

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#28 2005-06-23 06:10:23

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

No Wings? No Chutes? No Problem 
Well not quite

At least three space tourism startups are building spacecraft that forgo the wing-and-parachute landing systems used by space shuttles and space capsules in favor of retrorockets. These rockets will slow down the new spacecraft enough to land gently on their feet, UFO-style.

While Armadillo Aerospace has not had much in the news its team has pressed onward with its rocket hoping it make it cheaper to use.

Ironically, the U.S. government had the most advanced soft lander program in the world in the mid-1990s. The Delta Clipper, or DC-X, was an experimental vehicle ordered by the Department of Defense but later handed over to NASA. In one test, it climbed to 8,200 feet and traveled downrange before turning back and landing near the launch site.
But an explosion after a landing in 1996 destroyed the vehicle and NASA did not have the budget to rebuild the spacecraft, so the program was canceled.

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#29 2005-09-27 20:28:25

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

We have not heard much since the last anouncement of bankruptcy bail out.

Kistler Future Uncertain as Main Backer Withdraws

Kistler Aerospace Corp.’s largest creditor and main financial backer is “radically reducing” his investment in the Kirtland, Wash.-based reusable rocket company.

Kistler emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March with the help of Bay Harbour Management LLC, a New York-based corporate bailout specialist that agreed to provide $15 million to restart Kistler’s K-1 reusable rocket development program.

More recently, Kistler has shifted its focus to the government market, repackaging the K-1 as a reusable cargo ship for the international space station.
“I’m not in the business of throwing money down a rat hole while the government tries to organize itself to decide whether or not it can accomplish what the president directed it to do,”

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#30 2005-09-28 17:37:22

ftlwright
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Registered: 2004-11-17
Posts: 61

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

Space tourism will be successful only until DeathTrapOne clips the front of "WhiteFright", killing all aboard.

There's a reason why SpaceX and TGV are shying away from the whole tourist angle:  the userbase is too dang small.  Space tourism is dependent not only upon those who can afford a $200k three minute thrill ride, but also that they would be interested.  Further, its more likely that the suborbital firms will exhaust their userbase long before they have the launch frequency to drive down the price.  I really hope SpaceX is able to pull it off; they have the best chance of making a dent in the current aerospace market.

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#31 2005-10-03 12:46:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Here is another attempt to garner interest in space.
Rocketeers on your mark, get set, ignition.... we are go for a shot to orbit. Or how about lapse around the moon.

[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9572408/]Rocket racing league’ gets its start
X Prize founder, Indy car backer unveil new venture[/url]

051003_rocket_racing_hmed_10a.hmedium.jpg

The man behind the $10 million X Prize for private spaceflight is joining forces with a venture capitalist who's also an Indy car backer to establish a NASCAR-like racing league for rocket-powered aircraft.

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and race car capitalist Granger Whitelaw took the wraps off the Rocket Racing League during a Monday news conference, just days before a rocket plane demonstration that could serve as a model for the races.

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#32 2005-10-17 21:09:41

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

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


Fan of Red Oasis

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#33 2005-10-19 21:00:30

Josh Cryer
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Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

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

I had to dig deeper to see how they could possibly do it using a lottery and found this cute snippit in the legal stuff:

8. The odds of winning the Prize will depend on the total number of eligible entries received.  The Company reserves the right to substitute the Prize with another prize if, for any reason, the Prize cannot be obtained by the Company.

So, in other words, the company needs to get $100 billion worth of (paying) submissions, or 1 billion (paying) entries (give or take a few tens of millions to cover company operating costs) before it can possibly come up with the prize.

They have a year to do it. Can they? It's bloody unlikely. There probably aren't a billion people in the world who care about space, much less have $100 to drop on a pipe dream.

This other part might be of note (following US contest rules, they have to do this, as I understand it):

9. No purchase is necessary to enter the Contest. Enter the Contest by composing a letter of no less than 100 words in length describing why it has always been your dream to go to the moon.  Your Contest entry must be dated and must include your name, address and telephone number.   Your Contest entry must be mailed to the Company at P.O. Box 72082, R.P.O. Kanata North, Kanata, Ontario, Canada, K2K 2P4.

Might be worth entering, if only to get the "smaller" prize of going to that space acedemy or whatever.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#34 2005-10-20 01:39:58

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

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

They have a year to do it. Can they? It's bloody unlikely. There probably aren't a billion people in the world who care about space, much less have $100 to drop on a pipe dream.

Those "collectables" look like they are worth about 49 cents each, so if they can get 1.1 million people to buy them, they can fund the ticket and still make out like bandits.    I'd love to know how many takers they've had.


Fan of Red Oasis

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#35 2005-10-20 06:01:01

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Yup the attroneys had fun putting in the fine print on this contest but it is sort of typical.

As for spending a $100 to get a chance for a $1billion dollar ride, Yes I would if I had it to spare.

Up here during the summer we have Motorcycle raffles that are usually with a limited number of chances going for $25 a chance. These are real expensive bikes around $25,000 that are part of the prize.

So a chance for a moon ride just might work if there can be garnered another chance for the same to occur shortly there after. I look at how long it took for the first ISS tourist and now we hear the claims that if they had the vehicles they could fill them. So itmay take a while but it just may not be out of the relm of possibility some where down the line.

As for a lesser prize, so long as it is worth the $100 you contributed, sounds like a break even event.

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#36 2005-10-20 16:02:59

Josh Cryer
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Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

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

Oops, I thought it was $100 BILLION not $100 MILLION. It's definitely doable, then. What confused me I guess were the trailing zeros on the figure on that announcement page.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#37 2005-11-11 11:03:40

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9998774/]Romanian, Canadian rocketeers join forces
ARCA partners with PlanetSpace and wins military-related contract[/url]

fledgling aerospace company in Romania, spawned by the $10 million X Prize competition for private spaceflight, says it has won a government contract in its home country and also has forged a partnership with a Canadian-American rocket venture.

"The system is called STRACAAT, and it will be used to simulate an airborne target at high speeds [and] low altitudes, such [as] attack airplanes or helicopters," ARCA said.

The Romanian Space Agency's description of the project said the system would provide practice in "combating terrorist or classical aerial threats."

ARCA also said it was developing a new low-cost suborbital launch vehicle called Stabilo. Rocket engine tests were scheduled for March, with the first unmanned test launch to suborbital space altitudes — that is, in excess of 62 miles, or 100 kilometers — planned within 12 months.

It would appear then that if more of the alternative x companies made joint ventures that some new corporations could possibly do the impossible...

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#38 2005-11-17 07:42:24

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Next For SpaceDev -- Crew Shuttle To Space Station

Interesting take on how SpaceDev believes it can get a space place to the ISS...

SpaceDev said if funding is forthcoming, multiple manned suborbital test flights could launch by 2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010.

The orbital version of the SpaceDev Dream Chaser would launch vertically from a launch pad on the side of three large hybrid boosters.

It would use scaled-up versions of the rocket used on SpaceShipOne. SpaceDev believes this combination should save time and money, and could result in a safe and affordable vehicle.

Some would say those play toy engines....

They could even substitute other solid rocket engines possibly in this design...

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#39 2005-11-17 13:27:31

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

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

Next For SpaceDev -- Crew Shuttle To Space Station

Interesting take on how SpaceDev believes it can get a space place to the ISS...

SpaceDev said if funding is forthcoming, multiple manned suborbital test flights could launch by 2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010.

The orbital version of the SpaceDev Dream Chaser would launch vertically from a launch pad on the side of three large hybrid boosters.

It would use scaled-up versions of the rocket used on SpaceShipOne. SpaceDev believes this combination should save time and money, and could result in a safe and affordable vehicle.

Some would say those play toy engines....

They could even substitute other solid rocket engines possibly in this design...

The HL-20 ida might actually work.

The real prize? Selling seats to NASA for ISS cew rotation.


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

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#40 2005-11-17 14:20:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Well if the seat going rate is equitable to that of a soyuz we will only booked 2 or so for the soyuz thus far and then most likely switch over.
I wonder if this open up more space tourism business once it is online for use.

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#41 2005-11-17 14:35:39

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

Well if the seat going rate is equitable to that of a soyuz we will only booked 2 or so for the soyuz thus far and then most likely switch over.
I wonder if this open up more space tourism business once it is online for use.

I believe Griffin would be willing to pay substantially more than the cost of Soyuz (if substantially less than the projected $400 million cost per launch for CEV+CLV).

If SpaceDev can fly its variant of the HL-20 to LEO, then I'd say the chances of them selling seats to tourists come close to 100%.

Indeed, using this HL-20 variant for suborbital tourism may happen first.


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

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#42 2005-11-17 14:40:55

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

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

SpaceDev said if funding is forthcoming,

Anyone knows wether funding is forthcoming?

I mean, if funding is forthcoming, I can promise you heaven too.

Not to mock them, they did some serious stuff already, but...


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

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#43 2005-11-17 15:21:26

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

Did you go right to the source?

Link:

A predecessor to the NASA HL-20 design reached orbit and re-entered safely.  The SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ uses the same outer mold line (shape) as the HL-20 Personnel Launch System, but would fly six passengers instead of the HL-20 ten passengers, thus saving weight, which may improve handling.  SpaceDev personnel flew an HL-20 simulation in the Vertical Motion Simulator at NASA Ames, and found that landing the SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ may be very similar to landing the Shuttle.

The suborbital SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ is envisioned to use internal hybrid rocket motors and is designed to launch vertically from a simple launch pad at any commercial spaceport.  The orbital version of SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ is proposed to launch on the side of three large hybrid boosters.  Unlike the Shuttle, the orbital SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ system is not anticipated to use cryogenic propellants, thus it is anticipated that no foam insulation and no ice will hit the SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ vehicle.  SpaceDev selection criteria included basing its human space transport system on existing technology, the HL-20, and on scaled-up hybrid rocket motors. SpaceDev believes this combination should save time and money, and could result in a safe and affordable vehicle.

Subject to the availability of adequate funding, sources for which have not yet been identified, the initial SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ development plan includes milestones for multiple manned sub-orbital test flights by 2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010.  SpaceDev believes that its corporate culture and proven track record of rapidly and successfully developing innovative space technologies could provide the right environment in which SpaceDev could design and develop a complete human space flight system for a fraction of the cost of traditional Shuttle replacement programs.

Scaled up SpaceShipOne rubber rockets?


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

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#44 2005-11-17 15:39:41

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
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Re: Alternative Space ventures - are we on the road to cheaper access

I found it interesting that it was based on the HL-20 design. It seems as space ship one was stunt ship one just as Jeffery bell predicted. However, it seems that the rubber notorious oxide rocket engines seem to be useful for suborbital applications.

I found it interesting that the proposed orbital version of the design is not anticipated to used any cryogenic fuels. I didn’t that that would work but if they have a plan……

The suborbital SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ is envisioned to use internal hybrid rocket motors and is designed to launch vertically from a simple launch pad at any commercial spaceport.  The orbital version of SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ is proposed to launch on the side of three large hybrid boosters.  Unlike the Shuttle, the orbital SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ system is not anticipated to use cryogenic propellants, thus it is anticipated that no foam insulation and no ice will hit the SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ vehicle.  SpaceDev selection criteria included basing its human space transport system on existing technology, the HL-20, and on scaled-up hybrid rocket motors. SpaceDev believes this combination should save time and money, and could result in a safe and affordable vehicle.

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#45 2005-11-17 15:48:37

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Here is a better article that also references the HL-20:
Private company revives old NASA shuttle design

dn8335-1_488.jpg

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#46 2005-11-17 16:45:27

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

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

Don't get me wrong, I'm impressed by their engine work, they have proved they can build them reliably, cheaply, and relatively scalable etc... And they keep testing, improving the stuff they already have.

Those guys, IMO are near the top of alt.space, thanks to their approach so far, they have delivered sellable, ready-to-use products, etc. Think about it.

But it's the funding. The funding, always the funding.

I just want to know how seriously investors are. In the long run, their approach is probably better than Rutan's, but he got the limelight and hence the funds. But he got there partly thanks to THEIR hard work... I'm pretty sure another approach, like a cone shaped cabin, with parachutes would've done equally well with THEIR engines.

Multi-millionare engineers should sit up and take notice. I hope they do. They deserve the limelight.


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

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#47 2005-11-17 17:22:18

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

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

Here is a better article that also references the HL-20:
Private company revives old NASA shuttle design

from your link:

Benson is less equivocal. He says NASA's CEV design is "a giant, steroidal step backwards to a capsule that the astronauts really can't pilot". He argues that NASA "needs to look to smaller companies" to provide crew and cargo trips to space because they can offer them at lower cost than large aerospace companies.

I don’t like statements like this because the vehicles serve different roles. The CEV is a vehicle made so it can enter earths atmosphere from lunar velocity. It can service that ISS space station but that it is not the intended purpose. It just has the capability should the private sector fail to step up to the challenge.

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#48 2005-11-17 17:25:57

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 don’t like statements like this because the vehicles serve different roles. The CEV is a vehicle made so it can enter earths atmosphere from lunar velocity. It can service that ISS space station but that it is not the intended purpose. It just has the capability should the private sector fail to step up to the challenge.

IMHO, exactly!  Succinct and very nicely put, John.

By the way, the SpaceDev HL-20 does look a little like the vessel John Creighton first flew in FarScape.


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

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#49 2005-11-17 21:08:40

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,951

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

Rxke this is what I have been able to dig up though the goals Nasa is seeking from the private or commercial sector happens to be for cargo and not a crew taxi as it would seem that SpaceDev is targetting with this design.

Nasa Aims to Stimulate Commercial ISS resupply services

NASA intends to spend around $500 million over the next several years subsidizing development of commercial services for delivering cargo and possibly people to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA hopes the investment will allow one or more firms to demonstrate by 2010–-if not sooner—that they are capable of delivering cargo and perhaps even crew to the space station

Of course we know Griffin's stance on handing out funds just because a company says that they can do it with these in the running to provide such service.

Several U.S. entrepreneurial firms have expressed interest in the NASA-funded flight demonstration program, which was unveiled formally here Nov. 1 during an Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Industry Day.

Those firms include Constellation Services International of Woodland Hills, Calf.; SpaceDev of Poway, Calif.;[b/] Space Exploration Technologies of El Segundo, Calif.; and[b] t/Space of Reston, Va.

Also taking a look at the program are more traditional NASA contractors including Houston-based Spacehab, Chicago-based Boeing, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin and Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman.

NASA’s space station resupply needs in any given year could be anywhere from zero to 10 metric tons of cargo.

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#50 2005-11-17 22:08:45

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

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

Another link

From a link inside this link:

Once the nation's shuttle fleet is retired in 2010, Griffin said he would like to see commercial industry take over crew rotations and supply missions.

"We want to be able to buy these services from American industry," he said. "We believe that when we engage the engine of competition, these services will be provided in a more cost-effective fashion than when the government has to do it."

The space agency plans to begin seeking proposals this fall from industries to deliver cargo to orbit.


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

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