Sadly, the "mainstream" (i.e. contractors) are pushing the EELV frauds.
The smart money is on real heavy lift.
Sadly, the "mainstream" (i.e. contractors) are pushing the EELV frauds.
The smart money is on real heavy lift.
That's a good question, but the BA himself posted started this thread in this forum. However, he hasn't posted anything yet as he said he would. I wonder if any of this discussion has changed his mind on the issue.Originally Posted by junkyardfrog
Really, the whole idea of private enterprise in space is against the mainstream because there quite simply is no mainstream. SpaceShipOne blew open the floodgate, and now no one can predict where the mainstream will go. We're flying blind in territory that until the X Prize was won, your average schoe on the street would have thought was nothing more than a pipe dream of some pimple faced kid in his parent's basement.Originally Posted by Jpax2003
The space libertarians are dropping like flies. Musk got himself sued (settled now)--and now the other shoe has dropped:
This is why you must'nt get too attached to these low fund upstarts. They make false promises, reduce NASA support, and leave you hanging. They are true-believer purists of the free-traitor ilk giving our jobs away over seas, or they are oldheads who have given up on NASA and try to find options, when they really need to influence NASA more. HLLV should be the rallying point as I see it.
CEV doesn't impress me.
A lot of people have bashed the Shuttle over the years. But parallel staging and side-payload mount architecture reduces pitch-loads and bending moments. Thus, the most serious of all private orbital craft concepts looks like STS/Buran, albeit a smaller, all-hybrid design:
Well the X Prize is over but the X Cup has taken its place and will hopefully keep pushing commercial projects into space whilst keeping it safe. It had ~24 teams IIRC, which means 24 companies striving to get into space. This could be great or horrific, it will also hopefully work to kill Virgin Galactics USP so they will have to take it another step. A competitive market would drive the industry like it has the mobile (cell) phone industry, games industry and computer industry.Originally Posted by Doodler
They just need better press.
You're still in the one-launcher-fits-all category. I fully agree that a heavy lift vehicle is necessary for space infrastructure, but you cannot defend, in my eyes, the use of a heavy lift vehicle as a people mover. Neither Buran nor the STS is remotely effective for something as pedestrian as crew changes at space stations. There's still PLENTY of room for a smaller, lighter, high capacity people mover. You don't do crew swaps with the back seat of an 18-wheeler, you do it with a van or a bus.Originally Posted by publiusr
I also don't think you're giving these new upstarts anywhere near due credit for having gotten as far as they did with as little as they have. If they can prove, at the cottage industry level, that this new system is sustainable or, God forbid, they go with a full on light orbiter, then its a whole new ballgame.
Look back at the first cargo planes that flew and compare what they had available compared to the big boys flying today. You're looking at SS1 and SS2 like they're the end all be all of what they can do, and its a false argument. When the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, no one could have conceived of a plane anything like the 747 or A380, or the C-5 Galaxy, yet here they are.
Yes, there will be failures, and a lot of these companies in the early running won't make it, there's not enough demand to support that many players in the field, but a few will break through, because there is demand, maybe not demand for their current capabilities, but there is a demand for launch capacity free of bureaucratic micromanagement, and that's the opening that can bring in more support to them to make the next steps.
I think we still need NASA for expensive publically funded basic research. Most commercial operations can not afford the time or money for big time research that does not show immediate benefits. What we need for a viable space economy is a relatively safe high-density propellant/propulsion system that will allow for both large or small craft to reach orbit while allowing low-velocity de-orbit reducing the dangers of re-entry heating.
You don't believe that open access to space wouldn't bring universities directly into play? What's to stop them from chartering a flight on their own? Private industry can still play a role here through grants and such.
Certain designs just make sense. The Space Dev "Shuttle" is a miniature Ener-Buran stack--and looks to do well.
AERA is new on the scene, and Bill Sprague is the last of the big pressure-fed believers now that Truax is in bad health.
Yeah, it looks like a contender, though I'm not sure if it would be a great contender for the $50 million. Depending on how they address re-entry heat shielding, it may not turn around fast enough safely.Originally Posted by publiusr
publiusr, I'm sorry but some of your posts bother me a bit, and reminds me why the public Space Frontier Foundation bulletin board is such a useless mess. I think you make some very valid comments, but I don't like the general tone of them, which is what I always seem to run across when I read space policy debates. What bothers me is the zealotry, negativity, and the personal sniping at the people who don't follow whatever version of the "One True Vision" that will fix everything. For instance, regarding the comment you made: "Remember that the next time an idiot tells you we don't need heavy-lift," I think that arguments are generally much more effective when you don't resort to calling your opponents "idiots."
Whether it's the Bob Zubrinites, or the Rand Simbergites, or HLLVites, or whatever, I don't think anyone has the "solution" to bringing humans into space in numbers and to stay. It reminds me too much of the field I'm currently on my way out of (hypersonics). I just saw a presentation the other day where an engineer from India gave a slick sales speech about how his group of University researchers have figured out the solution to SSTO with their turbojet/scramjet/rocket vehicle design, and that everyone else has just been blind or stupid to not see what to him is the obvious path we should have taken. It was a marvelous work of PowerPoint engineering, but I'd be much more impressed if they actually built the thing and actually proved we were all wrong. If space is ever going to be truly opened, it will be a very organic process with lots of missteps and mistakes, and the end result won't be anything that anyone could have planned in advance.
I generally think people are a little premature when they say that Falcon I or V is going to do this or that to the launch vehicle market, or that SS1 is going to make space tourism a reality, because none of it has been demonstrated yet. Musk hasn't even launched the first Falcon I, and the long term propects for his business plan are basically unknown at this point. Same with Branson, Bigelow, Rutan, and all the other players. I can't really get excited about space hotels until there's at least a prototype of one in orbit, transport vehicles on the assembly line, and people buying tickets. The trick is to get the markets established, even if only tenuously, then figure out what vehicle designs are needed to solve the immediate problems at hand. I think HLLV's make a lot of sense as far as going to the Moon or Mars is concerned, but frankly I don't see it happening politically or economically. The capital investment to build the support infrastructure for HLLV is just too much for the private sector right now, and NASA is just being very NASA about the VSE plans, which at this point don't include a new launcher for CEV. If a space-based market is possible, then like any other industry it will start small and grow, and if the market demands it we'll have HLLV. In the meantime we'll have to deal with the NASA we have with all its bureaucratic flaws and momentum. At least it's doing something different than just extending the Shuttle for another two decades, and there's going to be a lot of retiring over the next decade, so there's a hope for a fresher and less entrenched way of thinking at NASA. Maybe stronger support for HLLV at NASA will develop, who knows.
I understnd your point. If you think something is wrong--you need to speak out on it tho'. This may come off as negative and fractious, but it has to be done. The Soviet Chief Designers also fought like cats and dogs, but by and large, they were defeered to by others. Here, people care little about space and expect everyone to get in lock step--all the more reason I have to make sure heavy-Lift advocacy has its place.
Take a look at the Space Review. Heavy-Lift advocacy is growing. Without rockets--nothing else matters. We have focused too much on payloads, while rocket designers have been forgotten. That needs to be rectified.
Heavy-lift is the tide that floats all boats. It's why we use tankers and no row-boats, after all.
Launch site secured for space tourists
And possibly more importantly for the safety aspects:The race to launch the first commercial passenger spacecraft is gaining pace as one of the Ansari X Prize competitors, AERA Corporation, signed an agreement with the US Air Force on Monday to use the launch services at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is the first space tourism company to do so and claims it may be ready to offer tourist flights as early as 2006.
And the price of a flight is down to "$98,000" against VG $200,000. It's looking good for getting into commercial space 8)The US Federal Aviation Administration recently released its draft regulations for licensing and regulating commercial passenger spacecraft. The FAA will hold a public hearing on those guidelines in Washington, DC, US between 29 and 31 March.
Biull Sprague used to work with Bob Truax--father of the Sea Dragon concept. He is all that is left of the Pressure-fed advocacy movement--apart form using them in puny upper stages.
I think that working together is the biggest problem. The moon program was dropped, when I think Kennedy suggested a moon base to follow up on the Apollo missions. He didn't really get along so well it seems. However, I think Tumlinson gives a glimpse of a space station that can be put to work on getting to Mars while us Earthlings develop ways to utilize the benefits of space economically.Originally Posted by Rick Tumlinson
I think the profits should be taxed. But then I would put a tax on your second child (if the father didn't sterlize himself) and repeal the child tax credit entirely. The taxes raised should be used to fund the health care and pension systems of everyone on Earth, including those brave enough to work in space.Originally Posted by Rick Tumlinson
Rick needs to support heavy space industry by getting on board the HLLV bandwagon instead of trying to kill heavy-lift. There is no reason he cannot be a pal and push for large scale space manufacturing pods as a payload for heavy-lift. One firm is pushing this, at least:
Dale Reed--the father of the Lifting Body--has died.
Hi all. I am new here, and as my screen name indicates, I am an old guy . . . 69, and a retired professional civil engineer. I think that the biggest obstical to space travel advancement will not be in overcoming the technical aspects, but rather in the present day reluctance to accept risk, where lives are concerned. Certainly the astronauts are willing to accept it, and do, but I am fairly well convinced that the public, and in particular the Congress, aren't. When I was a lad, acceptance of risk was common . . . it was accepted that people involved in not only new exploration ventures would die young, but also that a fair number of people in day to day common activities would do the same. That has all changed in my lifetime.
It was first evident when the Challenger failed in 1986, and more recently when the Columbia failed in 2003. These two missions cost the lives of 14 people, and one would think from the publicity produced that 1/3 or so of the world died. In WWII, in 3 weeks of combat on Iwo Jima, some 6,000 American troops were KIA, for the express purpose of gaining control of an island so an emergency landing field would be available for returning B-29 bombers. The simple fact was that the relative few bombers and aircrew were considered more valuable (for war concerns) than were the 6,000 ground combat troops KIA and equipment lost, and if there were people who thought it wrong, they had no public voice. It is obvious looking at media accounts of actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan that this is not only no longer the case, but worlds apart. Our public concept, and politicians concerns for votes which is driven by that concept, is that deaths just aren't acceptable, regardless of how relatively few the number. Any present director of NASA would be foolhardy to risk a career by many future ventures in which people might just be killed . . . no matter how willing the people actually taking the risks are. And even with private industry, that viewpoint won't change, as I see it. When exploring space, or first public transport in space, it is inevitable that missions will fail, and people will die because of it. If the American public can't accept that, then Congress will act to prevent future missions. This is an area where normal standards of safety simply aren't achievable.
Hear, hear!Originally Posted by LarryOldtimer
I am simultaneously amazed and apalled by the public and Congressional and NASA reaction to the Columbia accident. To have the "fleet" grounded for two years is ludicrous. We should have been flying shuttles within 6 months.
Does anyone have a perspective on the ESA/European mindset when it comes to this issue? I'm fairly certain that ESA will surpass NASA in the space science area soon, but what about manned flight and its associated risks?
"By rocket to the moon. By airplane to the rocket, by taxi to the airport, by front door to the taxi. By throwing back the blanket, hanging down the legs."
-They Might Be Giants
I think NASA's risk-averse culture is a direct result of its goals and objectives. Why is NASA here in the first place?Originally Posted by LarryOldtimer
1) To explore space.
2) To provide national prestige
3) To drive scientific and engineering advances
4) To keep a large number of skilled workers and professionals employed
Call me a cynic, but goal #1 is the weakest mandate. There is no pressure because there is no goal; we don’t really know what we are in space for in the first place. Specific programs have goals, but the general public is not science-savvy enough to know them. Hubble comes to mind; ask random people on the street, and the few that have heard of Hubble at all just think its purpose is taking the ‘space picture of the week’ on the NASA website. So, the exploration goal of NASA does not produce pressure to take risks.
Goal #2, national prestige, is a two edged sword—NASA is pressured to appear to take risks, but to not actually do anything that risks embarrassing us. Net impact on NASA is a wash—if anything it is a negative, as there is considerable pressure not to give up beating the proverbial dead horse after spending too much money on it. (The ISS is the obvious example)
Goal #3, Scientific and engineering advances are subject to the mandates of Goals #1 and #2, but you could make an argument that this is where the real risk taking is going on—NASA is famous for pushing the technology envelope. However, this has burned us badly sometimes—NASA is also famous for missing schedules, budgets, and simply canceling programs after huge investments (can we say X-33?). Because of these famous mistakes, nobody takes seriously a claim that, say, we can design a new spacecraft (the CEV), return to the Moon by 2020, eventually make it to Mars, all while still finishing the ISS and doing it all on a shoestring budget. I don’t even think many people within NASA believe it can be done, which may be the biggest problem.
Goal #4 is IMHO the biggest limitation on NASA and its taking risks. NASA is an economic boon to the communities that have support facilities, and their representatives in Congress look after their own. Contractors and sub-contractors wield a lot of political influence as well. Any change in the status-quo has to placate these parties. Literally the only time large scale change is even possible is when NASA has had a disaster and public scrutiny is on them. Consequently, parties with interest in maintaining the status quo are going to be highly risk-averse as well.
I think NASA is starting to change a little for the better. They are experimenting with incentive programs, which by their very nature inspire risk taking. They are also effectively ceding LEO to commercial ventures and other nations’ space programs. That is as it should be—NASA is the pathfinder, and should always be a step further than the commercial ventures. Even if you don’t believe that, say, Bigelow can pull off his space hotel venture, the fact that someone is even trying (and has at least a non-zero chance of success) is a huge step forward and should be seen as proof that NASA needs to set its sights higher than LEO.
The ESA are planning their own version of the shuttle some time 'soon'. I'm unsure if the ESA are more or less risk taking than NASA but in the down time for the shuttle they've probably come on leaps and bounds in the area of having a good push.Originally Posted by Christopher Ferro
I do find NASA's concern about safety is somewhat fabricated. They don't want disasters like challenger happening because it makes big press and is a big humiliation for them but they are far more than willing to cut the X-38 programme that would mean 7 astronauts on the station at a time opposed to a maximum of 3. Simply because of costs the scientific research and the whole point of the station is a complete waste, why build the ISS if you're going to make it a pointless piece of metal in space. The astronauts up there spend their time running the station as well as monitoring the experiments meaning an additional 4 astronauts would be able to work specifically on research meaning possibly a five fold increase in research, now in my opinion screw the costs because you'll more than be rewarded down the line.
One thing I don't get is NASA is wasting money on research for growing plants in a Martian atmosphere when we should really be doing research into growing plants in space. We have a food problem HERE not on MARS, hydroponic farms in earth orbit would mean more than habitable stations. It would make the more appealing to people, I would rather have a plant using up my CO2 than a scrubber doing it and in the back of my mind be in full knowledge of the fact that if the CO2 scrubber fails and if it's the only one I'm likely to die from CO2 poisoning.
The Euros tried a mini-shuttle orbiter with Hermes, but mini-space planes are very much affected by weight creep--and the top-mount design is poor due to pitch-loads and bending moments which threaten to tear off any top mount craft of such a design--this is why Dennis Smith wanted X-37 in a shroud after all.
On the other hand, large cryogenic SSTO craft also have problems:
The Orel that you heard the Russians and Euros talking about is probably closer to the Baikal Fly-back booster to be used on Angara or Ariane 5.
The next shuttle ISS mission will have to have down-lift capability to return a few things from ISS. With a simpler Buran style orbiter, it can be exchanged with 100 ton moonship segments that can carry capsules--that are best for higher speed re-entry from the moon or outer planets.
I don't think we need He-3 just yetOriginally Posted by TriangleMan
here is more
New space race for tourists
Forget the Russians and the Americans. The new space race is between the guys from Virgin Atlantic, Amazon.com, and PayPal.
Burt Rutan, the designer of the first privately-financed manned spaceship, and Richard Branson has licensed Rutan's design and plans to offer space trips to tourists in 2008.
Personally I would go with the Amazon (Jeff Bezo) attempt as they've always got what I wanted to me in one piece. Just got a book yesterday in perfect condition, which is the kind of condition I want when being delivered in and out of 'space'.
American space tourist Gregory Olsen and a U.S-Russian crew on a two-day trip to the international space station blasted off Saturday from from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and astronaut William McArthur accompanied Olsen on the flight aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. Nine minutes after launch, the spacecraft had entered its initial designated orbit, which brought cheers of joy from onlookers.
Russian space authorities said: "The crew are feeling well. The flight is going according to plan."
However, this is not just a pleasure trip for Mr Olsen, who will take part in three experiments for the European Space Agency (ESA) during his stay.
Have i ever mentioned that im building a relgious organization, dedicated to taking over all of space, as soon as we solve for all our worlds social and economic problems?
i think i did.. anyway, i should point out.. alot of money is needed to go into it, and alot of faith.. cause we are not going to be seeing any return anytime soon.
the profit shall be in the form of colonies of Humankind threw out the solar system, so that no matter what happens to the earth, Humankind will survive.
I also think that we have become fairly cowardly about these things. But in a sense, I don't think it can be helped. I think there are two major factors in the developed countries:Originally Posted by LarryOldtimer
(1) we've gotten much better medicine against common childhood and infectious diseases; and
(2) people only have 1 or 2 children nowadays, versus considerably more a century ago.
It used to be that many children died young, and death, even at an early age, was something that happened. Now it's become fairly unacceptable.
But maybe this means that China and India will have an advantage in terms of space exploration. . .
As above, so below