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Thread: DIY space program

  1. #1
    I plan to fly into space in my own space rocket!

    ok, some call me crazy, so let me tell you how this all came around....

    Our MODEL rocket club MARS Club had someone ask in one of the meetings about strapping model rocket engines to a kitchen chair and going for a ride.

    Safety concerns being what they are, we suggested that this was not wise. I commented that the closest way of doing so was the mercury redstone.

    and he asked why we couldnt build one of those.....

    I went and looked at the redstone site, got lots of detailed history about the redstone, and was interested. note that the redstone is only 80 INCHES in diameter and only 100 FEET long.

    I thought that this might be possible to build, from a modelers standpoint, but just too big to get off the ground easily.

    then I found the Little Joe.

    Now here is a rocket that could be built in a two car garage. replace the gross metal parts with composite materials, and swtich to hybrid engines instead of solid.

    all possible.

    so I thought "why not?"

    from the modelers standpoint I am building the following prototypes in the following scales 1/18, 1/6, 1/2, 1/1. note that this comes from 4" action figures, 12" action figures, half size, and full size.

    the first two scales are incredibly easy to build, use commonly available engines, and will allow us to test some theories before we spend big money on the 1/2 scale. Also I dont consider money spent on the smaller scales a loss as I build model rocket that size anyway.

    so, what are you building?

  2. #2
    forgot to add the project gallery

    1/18th scale litle joe prototype

    Note: I wanted to pick a model that had been used, so I could have an idea of weight and other specifics, and I wanted a design that is known to work. Plus points for the joe is that it does not require a launch tower, was planned for manned flight (Gagarin changed things) and it does not have diffcult or complex(&#33 designs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    496
    First off, I don't doubt it can be done; the endeavour is indeed wonderful, spledid, stupendous, and all that jazz.

    My first question: How much? $$$

  4. #4
    Originally posted by aeolus@Apr 13 2005, 10:39 PM
    First off, I don't doubt it can be done; the endeavour is indeed wonderful, spledid, stupendous, and all that jazz.

    My first question: How much? $$$
    what is money?

    I actually get negative responses because they thing that it is too costly.

    but then I ask what costs so much.

    with this being an offshoot of my hobby, cost and value get confused

    but I can give you a couple of dollar figures to start with.

    just for the 1/18th scal model that is shown on the website mentioned in my second post. I'll post an estimate for the full scale one later

    nosecome module (free, but if you grab one from a model kit it'll cost you about $12-20)

    outer body tube ????? (was sheet of posterboard I had laying around from another project)

    mototr mount 1/2 of $6 (tube comes in XX inches and I didnt need it all, so I got another motor mount for a different rocket)

    Fins free (leftover wedding invite paper from freinds sisters wedding)

    glue ???????????????????? (in modeling i buy glue by the gallon, so the 2 ounces I've used does not compare)

    Engine (it depends, I can fly this on most 38mm engines, which (usually require a HPR certification) cost about $15-40 per engine. but I might be able to fly it on some smaller engines

  5. #5
    Originally posted by aeolus@Apr 13 2005, 10:39 PM
    First off, I don't doubt it can be done; the endeavour is indeed wonderful, spledid, stupendous, and all that jazz.

    My first question: How much? $$$
    ok, a silly arse guess as to the costs of a full scale of the little joe 10.

    my life, my soul, my future

    ok, let me get a little more practical

    I plan on biulding it using fiberglass and carbon fiber composites. Unlike NASA, I plan to shop around and grab stuff as cheap as possible, usually thru Ebay.

    so how much does Carbon fibe costs? soo many variables affect that, and we need to test what type of carbon works best.

    where carbon is nto needed, we plan on using glass. another set of varriables to determine costs.

    overall capsule deign costs - none. NASA already did that for us.

    launchpad costs. little joe did not use a launch pad, although it did have an umbillical arm, so maybe $50?

    mission control? we got a camper that we are convering for storage. launch controll for the models, plus a place for vid equipment, radio equip[ment and such, so how do I factor in that costs? we got it, we was planning on using it for model launches, and we can use it for the manned launches....

  6. #6
    I too have thought about doing space DIY style. More specifically, Open Source style since I also have a programming background. So, as any self-respecting OSS project would, I created a website to try and attract volunteers. The initial response was good, but quickly tapered off.

    In hindsight there are a few reasons why this idea isn't ready yet. The biggest one is tools and infrastructure. OSS development works because the necessary tools (text editor, compiler, computer) are all readily available and affordable for almost everyone and because the internet allows for easy collaboration and self-tutoring. Open Engineering doesn't yet have much in the way of freely and readily available design tools. Or even a set of standard file formats for sharing designs. And certainly no how-to material. And that really hurts.

    Naturally the solution is to create the necessary software etc, which I'm attempting to do. But my real job is slowing me down and, like I said, I haven't had much luck attracting people. Partly because I haven't pushed it enough, and partly because people with the necessary engineering skills, software skills, spare time and willingness are few and far between.

    If you know anybody that's truly interested I'm still working on the project and could use some help. At the very least I need help deciding if I should call it "Terran Space Agency" or "Terran Space Foundation". TSA is now a US. government entity that I don't think I want to be confused with. OTOH, it looks like they might be scrapped sometime in the future. So who knows.

    BTW, the mailing list and jabber server are down because I got tired of maintaining them and nobody was using them. If you're interested email be at bfoz@bfoz.net and I'll set it up again.

    Here's the website again:
    Terran Space

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    32
    tater1337, wonderful idea, and I know you can do it. Just don't tell anyone else or they will stop you from "endangering the publilc" or some such thing. We need more like you in this nation.....

  8. #8
    lets see if I can butcher this post to my liking

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 12:32 AM
    I too have thought about doing space DIY style. More specifically, Open Source style since I also have a programming background. So, as any self-respecting OSS project would, I created a website to try and attract volunteers. The initial response was good, but quickly tapered off.

    In hindsight there are a few reasons why this idea isn't ready yet. The biggest one is tools and infrastructure. OSS development works because the necessary tools (text editor, compiler, computer) are all readily available and affordable for almost everyone and because the internet allows for easy collaboration and self-tutoring. Open Engineering doesn't yet have much in the way of freely and readily available design tools. Or even a set of standard file formats for sharing designs. And certainly no how-to material. And that really hurts.

    Naturally the solution is to create the necessary software etc, which I'm attempting to do. But my real job is slowing me down and, like I said, I haven't had much luck attracting people. Partly because I haven't pushed it enough, and partly because people with the necessary engineering skills, software skills, spare time and willingness are few and far between.
    I'm a bit confused. where in the mercury redstone program was there an on-board computer? since the little joe uses the mercury type capsule, I'd see little reason to toss a computer there, and also see little need for such things as text editors for the 15 minute flight

    but I do see your points, and will refute them later in this post.

    oh wait this is later in the post.

    as for engineering tools, I plan on stealing a lot from the model rocket community and the KISS priciple. the little joe worked, so there is little reason to re-engineer it. parts that DO need to be re-engineer will be done as we go. here are a few bits we need.

    glass and carbon composite materials.
    http://www.aircraft-spruce.com/
    http://www.accur8.com/favorite.htm
    http://www.shadowaero.com/VIDEOS.htm

    rocket simulations
    http://www.apogeerockets.com/rocksim.asp
    http://www.pyramiddesign.us/aokwom/

    hybrid engine info
    http://www.pratthobbies.com/
    http://www.nowhybrids.com/
    http://www.pratthobbies.com/categories.asp?cat=2


    As you can see, the tools are already there, and there are more places than this to look for them. Its a matter of knowing what to look for and how to tie it all together.

    also, looking in the NASA archives for info about the redstone (search for mercury familairization(?) manual) will get you a PDF with ALL the systems onbaord the mercury capsule, no need to design your own, just use theirs (thats what NASA was meant to be used for&#33


    If you know anybody that's truly interested I'm still working on the project and could use some help. At the very least I need help deciding if I should call it "Terran Space Agency" or "Terran Space Foundation". TSA is now a US. government entity that I don't think I want to be confused with. OTOH, it looks like they might be scrapped sometime in the future. So who knows.
    TSA is the one Reagan started right?

    Rutan Had to work with them I believe

  9. #9
    Originally posted by Alaskan@Apr 14 2005, 12:51 AM
    tater1337, wonderful idea, and I know you can do it.
    so do I, and I like the idea, so I am doing it. not a matter of how much $$$, just a matter of when.


    Just don't tell anyone else or they will stop you from "endangering the publilc" or some such thing.
    then we go somewhere else. I am sure that Canada wouldn't mind hosting a launch, or maybe mexico. we even have designs for launching in international waters, but I think that plan will sink

    As Ky Michealson showed us, when he put his amatuer rocket into space, the difficulties are there, but so are ways around them


    We need more like you in this nation.....
    Oh there is more than just me. I know of two other groups that have the same Idea that I believe have a better chance of doint it than half of the entrants that were in the X-prize competition, ans they have actually built and flown rockets.

    model rockets of course, but they flew more than most of those X-prize entries

  10. #10
    This is so awesome! I've dreamed of doing something similar, even had a name for the rockets, but you've done some serious thinking. Will you make it? Who knows, but sometimes it's the journey that counts the most. I can't wait to see how it goes.

  11. #11
    What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Perhaps I should have asked that first. When you say "fly into space" are you talking about a sub-orbital hop or an orbital flight?

    Originally posted by tater1337+Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (tater1337 &#064; Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I&#39;m a bit confused. where in the mercury redstone program was there an on-board computer? since the little joe uses the mercury type capsule, I&#39;d see little reason to toss a computer there, and also see little need for such things as text editors for the 15 minute flight
    [/b]


    I don&#39;t know if I&#39;d call the Redstone system a computer, but it did have a guidance system. If you&#39;re only going sub-orbital and to a very low altitude you can get away without a guidance system (assuming AST approves it). But if you go anywhere near thin air, aerodynamic stability won&#39;t do you any good.

    At the very least you&#39;ll need something very reliable to trigger parachutes. AST is primarily concerned with where/how the vehicle comes down because they&#39;re responsible for the people/property on the ground. You&#39;re allowed to blow yourself up, just nobody else.

    The text editor was an example of a tool used in software development. I wasn&#39;t suggesting that you would need it in flight.

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM

    as for engineering tools, I plan on stealing a lot from the model rocket community and the KISS priciple. the little joe worked, so there is little reason to re-engineer it. parts that DO need to be re-engineer will be done as we go. here are a few bits we need.

    glass and carbon composite materials.
    http://www.aircraft-spruce.com/
    http://www.accur8.com/favorite.htm
    http://www.shadowaero.com/VIDEOS.htm

    rocket simulations
    http://www.apogeerockets.com/rocksim.asp
    http://www.pyramiddesign.us/aokwom/

    hybrid engine info
    http://www.pratthobbies.com/
    http://www.nowhybrids.com/
    http://www.pratthobbies.com/categories.asp?cat=2


    As you can see, the tools are already there, and there are more places than this to look for them. Its a matter of knowing what to look for and how to tie it all together.
    Suppliers aren&#39;t tools (although they can be in a sense). Neither of those simulators are tools for any sort of serious design work, at least not the type for the scale you&#39;re talking about. You don&#39;t have a single cad program in there and nothing for structural analysis. You could do it all on paper, but why?

    The stuff you&#39;ve listed will do fine as long as you stay inside the amateur classification. Once you&#39;re outside of that its a whole new world. I&#39;m pretty sure the amateur regs disallow manned vehicles.

    BTW, a hybrid the size of a little joe definately won&#39;t get you to orbit. I did a good bit of hybrid research in college and they just don&#39;t have the Isp to make it practical. I once did up some numbers to see what kind of hybrid would be required to launch 1kg to a low orbit. The overall vehicle came out close to 100,000kg (i forget the exact number, but it was too big to be manageable).

    BTW2, engineering, by definition, is not "do as you go". Engineering is "do before you go", unless you screw up the first time.

    <!--QuoteBegin-tater1337
    @Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM
    also, looking in the NASA archives for info about the redstone (search for mercury familairization(?) manual) will get you a PDF with ALL the systems onbaord the mercury capsule, no need to design your own, just use theirs (thats what NASA was meant to be used for&#33

    TSA is the one Reagan started right?

    Rutan Had to work with them I believe
    [/quote]

    I know the manual you&#39;re talking about and it doesn&#39;t have the level of detail required to send parts to a machinist, or even to create a hand layup. You&#39;ll still need to do a good bit of design work. AST will want a lot of documentation before they let you light it off. Pointing them to a 30 year old fam-manual just won&#39;t cut it.

    I don&#39;t know about the Reagan-era TSA that you&#39;re referring too. I&#39;m talking about the Transportation Security Administration that we have now.

    I don&#39;t know how much Rutan, or anyone else, had to work with the TSA. I don&#39;t think they have jurisdiction over this. AFAIK you only need to deal with AST, which is the part of the FAA that deals with launch licenses and such. But you should be familiar with them from your model rocketry work.

    I&#39;m not trying to discourage you. In fact I wish you the best. But, from here at least, it seems that you&#39;re lacking a lot of practical info. Info that gets people killed, or not. Hopefully I&#39;m wrong and hopefully you&#39;ll learn fast enough. Many have gone before you and learned, the hard way, that model rocketry does not scale up beyond a certain point. Despite how much we all want it to.

    If you want to get up to speed quickly, I suggest looking at the Armadillo Aerospace development logs if you haven&#39;t already. For those that don&#39;t know (that shouldn&#39;t be many here)...Armadillo is the pet project of John Carmack and he has basically the same goal (and was an x-prize entrant).

    Good luck&#33;

  12. #12
    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 13 2005, 06:23 PM

    then we go somewhere else. I am sure that Canada wouldn&#39;t mind hosting a launch, or maybe mexico. we even have designs for launching in international waters, but I think that plan will sink

    As Ky Michealson showed us, when he put his amatuer rocket into space, the difficulties are there, but so are ways around them
    Be careful. The FAA is very aggressive about tracking down illegal launches. You&#39;ll need licenses for anything that falls outside the amateur class. And the HPR stuff that is amateur still needs paperwork. While the FAA doesn&#39;t charge for a launch license, the effort that is required to fill out the paperwork runs at US&#036;100,000 - US&#036;200,000 and takes about 6 months (per launch).

    As for going someplace else, there are international treaties in place that assign responsibility for launch vehicles. Specifically, a country is responsible for the launches of its citizens regardless of where they actually launch from. The US and Canada are very strict about this. Canada is actually more strict on this matter. The only viable/legal work-around is to not have US or Canadian citizenship.

    I&#39;ve talked to the AST about potential launch sites and their recommendation was ocean launch for anything that falls outside of the amateur class. That was before SS1, and they&#39;re now more receptive to winged vehicles, but AFAIK still finicky about pointy rocket type vehicles.

  13. #13
    after previewing this reply, I can tell that I can&#39;t really eplain all that is going on in just a forum thread. please be aware the any obvious details are most likely skipped, and that the un-obvius details have probably been skipped also.

    but I like the very last line

    Originally posted by bfoz+Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bfoz &#064; Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Perhaps I should have asked that first. When you say "fly into space" are you talking about a sub-orbital hop or an orbital flight?
    [/b]

    ha&#33; I&#39;ll be happy if we get the dang thing in the air first things first, get the scaled down prototypes build, flown and tested, then the full scale, then see what we get for altitude.

    sub sub-orbital maybe?

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM
    I&#39;m a bit confused. where in the mercury redstone program was there an on-board computer? since the little joe uses the mercury type capsule, I&#39;d see little reason to toss a computer there, and also see little need for such things as text editors for the 15 minute flight
    I don&#39;t know if I&#39;d call the Redstone system a computer, but it did have a guidance system. If you&#39;re only going sub-orbital and to a very low altitude you can get away without a guidance system (assuming AST approves it). But if you go anywhere near thin air, aerodynamic stability won&#39;t do you any good.
    yes, but the little joe didnt have any active guidance, just really really big fins.

    if we actually get high egnough where the air gets too thin for the stability to be a problem, I got a few ideas to test out (most likeley on the 1/2 scale)
    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM

    At the very least you&#39;ll need something very reliable to trigger parachutes. AST is primarily concerned with where/how the vehicle comes down because they&#39;re responsible for the people/property on the ground. You&#39;re allowed to blow yourself up, just nobody else.

    The text editor was an example of a tool used in software development. I wasn&#39;t suggesting that you would need it in flight.
    for parachute deployment, I plan on using something, but I am not sure calling it a computer would be the correct thing. I mean do you microwave your food in a computer?
    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM

    as for engineering tools, I plan on stealing a lot from the model rocket community and the KISS priciple. the little joe worked, so there is little reason to re-engineer it. parts that DO need to be re-engineer will be done as we go. here are a few bits we need.

    glass and carbon composite materials.
    http://www.aircraft-spruce.com/
    http://www.accur8.com/favorite.htm
    http://www.shadowaero.com/VIDEOS.htm

    rocket simulations
    http://www.apogeerockets.com/rocksim.asp
    http://www.pyramiddesign.us/aokwom/

    hybrid engine info
    http://www.pratthobbies.com/
    http://www.nowhybrids.com/
    http://www.pratthobbies.com/categories.asp?cat=2


    As you can see, the tools are already there, and there are more places than this to look for them. Its a matter of knowing what to look for and how to tie it all together.
    Suppliers aren&#39;t tools (although they can be in a sense). Neither of those simulators are tools for any sort of serious design work, at least not the type for the scale you&#39;re talking about. You don&#39;t have a single cad program in there and nothing for structural analysis. You could do it all on paper, but why?
    I was trying to point out that most of those sites have how-to&#39;s rather than that they are suppliers.

    the simulators are there to give some background as to what the systems will do, or what systems were in use for the early space program.

    what do I need a cad program for?

    structual analysis programs cannot accurately predict how real world systems turn out. in a perfect world the end product would match the analysis, but you still have to structuraly test to make sure the end product matches the minimums you decided on.

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM

    The stuff you&#39;ve listed will do fine as long as you stay inside the amateur classification. Once you&#39;re outside of that its a whole new world. I&#39;m pretty sure the amateur regs disallow manned vehicles.
    the 1/18th is either mid power or high power rocketry, depending on what i stick in for an engine.

    the 1/6th scale will either be level 1 or 2 high power rocketry.

    I have not eve guessed at what the 1/2 scale would end up, but that most likely will be either level 3 high power or it&#39;ll go off the scale and will be the first to need outside liscencing.

    I&#39;ll worry about that AFTER I get the 1/6th scale flown. no need to worry about such things until they are apparent.

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM


    BTW, a hybrid the size of a little joe definately won&#39;t get you to orbit. I did a good bit of hybrid research in college and they just don&#39;t have the Isp to make it practical. I once did up some numbers to see what kind of hybrid would be required to launch 1kg to a low orbit. The overall vehicle came out close to 100,000kg (i forget the exact number, but it was too big to be manageable).
    agreed, known.

    but I gotta start somewhere, and a lil joe lets me test out a functional capsule, which then can be used on a redstone sized booster, or goodness fordbid, ant atlas.

    but going with the little joe has plusses. we&#39;ll have the gound support set up, tracking will be laid out, and all the little detail stuff will show itself that has gone thru the cracks in the 40 years since anyone has done this.

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM


    BTW2, engineering, by definition, is not "do as you go". Engineering is "do before you go", unless you screw up the first time.
    hmmmmm, I think it depends on the engineer

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM


    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 13 2005, 06:21 PM
    also, looking in the NASA archives for info about the redstone (search for mercury familairization(?) manual) will get you a PDF with ALL the systems onbaord the mercury capsule, no need to design your own, just use theirs (thats what NASA was meant to be used for&#33

    TSA is the one Reagan started right?

    Rutan Had to work with them I believe
    I know the manual you&#39;re talking about and it doesn&#39;t have the level of detail required to send parts to a machinist, or even to create a hand layup. You&#39;ll still need to do a good bit of design work. AST will want a lot of documentation before they let you light it off. Pointing them to a 30 year old fam-manual just won&#39;t cut it.
    no, but it shows the start, and lists all the systems that were used. we&#39;ll end ud making (at least&#33 a duplicate for our system, but the layout and such should be identical
    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM


    I don&#39;t know about the Reagan-era TSA that you&#39;re referring too. I&#39;m talking about the Transportation Security Administration that we have now.

    I don&#39;t know how much Rutan, or anyone else, had to work with the TSA. I don&#39;t think they have jurisdiction over this. AFAIK you only need to deal with AST, which is the part of the FAA that deals with launch licenses and such. But you should be familiar with them from your model rocketry work.
    yes, no, maybe.

    got to chat a little with Ky Michealson, who did the amateur space launch. he has more than a few gray hairs regarding getting clearance to launch a payload rocket.

    I expect a few more problems than he had, and I have not divulged all the information I have. cripes, I havent had time to go thru all the information I got (got model rockets to fly besides this you know ) and don&#39;t expect this to be a piece of cake.

    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM

    I&#39;m not trying to discourage you. In fact I wish you the best. But, from here at least, it seems that you&#39;re lacking a lot of practical info. Info that gets people killed, or not. Hopefully I&#39;m wrong and hopefully you&#39;ll learn fast enough. Many have gone before you and learned, the hard way, that model rocketry does not scale up beyond a certain point. Despite how much we all want it to.
    Oh don&#39;t worry. as I&#39;ve said before, the idea of me having to contact surviving relatives is somethign that keeps me awake at nights. and helps drive me to make sure I got everything covered
    <!--QuoteBegin-bfoz
    @Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM

    If you want to get up to speed quickly, I suggest looking at the Armadillo Aerospace development logs if you haven&#39;t already. For those that don&#39;t know (that shouldn&#39;t be many here)...Armadillo is the pet project of John Carmack and he has basically the same goal (and was an x-prize entrant).
    Good luck&#33;
    [/quote]

    I have, I don&#39;t like their designs. that does not mean I haven&#39;t learned a thing or two from them, It&#39;s just that I think they will have too much problems trying a SSTO design like they show.

    To sum it all up, the idea has been done, nearly 40 years ago. the technology is not hard to duplicate. and there is no reason whay one should not try.

    beats fishing by a long shot as a hobby

  14. #14
    Originally posted by tater1337+Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (tater1337 &#064; Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>after previewing this reply, I can tell that I can&#39;t really eplain all that is going on in just a forum thread. please be aware the any obvious details are most likely skipped, and that the un-obvius details have probably been skipped also.
    [/b]

    I assumed as much, but it is sometimes difficult to tell what parts are missing.

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM
    ha&#33; I&#39;ll be happy if we get the dang thing in the air first things first, get the scaled down prototypes build, flown and tested, then the full scale, then see what we get for altitude.

    sub sub-orbital maybe?
    The altitude that you&#39;ll get can be calculated to a fair degree of accuracy. You can save yourself a lot of trial and error by running a few numbers first. Unless, of course, trial and error is what you&#39;re going for.

    I should point out that, from what I&#39;ve heard, AST doesn&#39;t just look at the vehicle you&#39;re trying to license, they also look at what you&#39;ve done previously. They have a good bit a leeway in deciding who flies and who doesn&#39;t and they apparently use it to "discourage" people they consider to have a dubious track record. But maybe that&#39;s just rumor. If it is more than rumor you&#39;ll want to have your ducks in order right from the beginning.

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM
    yes, but the little joe didnt have any active guidance, just really really big fins.

    if we actually get high egnough where the air gets too thin for the stability to be a problem, I got a few ideas to test out (most likeley on the 1/2 scale)
    IIRC, it didn&#39;t get very far either.

    New ideas? That would be impressive. Care to share?

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM

    for parachute deployment, I plan on using something, but I am not sure calling it a computer would be the correct thing. I mean do you microwave your food in a computer?
    Since most microwaves have computers in them, or at least microcontrollers, its probably fair to say that we microwave food in computers.

    An unmanned chute deployment at the very least requires timers or some sort of sensor (altitude, apogee, etc). Of course a pilot could do the job in a manned vehicle. But the point I was trying to make is that AST is finicky about parachutes and deployment timing. If you say that the pilot will deploy the chute the first thing they&#39;ll ask is "What if the pilot doesn&#39;t or can&#39;t?". They&#39;re worried about anything that can cause a chute to open early (long down range drift), late (lands too close) or not at all (lawn dart). i.e. anything that would cause it not to land where it should, because then it could land on somebody. The end result is that you&#39;ll need a mechanism that makes them feel good, so you can&#39;t just "plan on using something", you have to use the "right" thing. Of course, this only applies once you get out of the amateur class, but its good to think ahead.

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM
    Originally posted by bfoz@Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM


    BTW2, engineering, by definition, is not "do as you go". Engineering is "do before you go", unless you screw up the first time.
    hmmmmm, I think it depends on the engineer
    An engineer that doesn&#39;t engineer first isn&#39;t an engineer (or at least belongs on Star Trek)

    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM

    I have, I don&#39;t like their designs. that does not mean I haven&#39;t learned a thing or two from them, It&#39;s just that I think they will have too much problems trying a SSTO design like they show.

    To sum it all up, the idea has been done, nearly 40 years ago. the technology is not hard to duplicate. and there is no reason whay one should not try.
    Carmack&#39;s designs could definately use some help. But, since he can afford to blow a few million and 3 or 4 years on this he gets to take the slower learn-as-you-go approach. He&#39;s made pretty good progress and has shown a willingness to revise his plans as needed. I think he&#39;ll get there eventually, but definately not in anything that looks like what he&#39;s working on now.

    <!--QuoteBegin-tater1337
    @Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM

    beats fishing by a long shot as a hobby
    [/quote]
    That&#39;s for sure

  15. #15
    Originally posted by bfoz+Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bfoz &#064; Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    <!--QuoteBegin-tater1337
    @Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM
    ha&#33; I&#39;ll be happy if we get the dang thing in the air first things first, get the scaled down prototypes build, flown and tested, then the full scale, then see what we get for altitude.

    sub sub-orbital maybe?
    The altitude that you&#39;ll get can be calculated to a fair degree of accuracy. You can save yourself a lot of trial and error by running a few numbers first. Unless, of course, trial and error is what you&#39;re going for.

    I should point out that, from what I&#39;ve heard, AST doesn&#39;t just look at the vehicle you&#39;re trying to license, they also look at what you&#39;ve done previously. They have a good bit a leeway in deciding who flies and who doesn&#39;t and they apparently use it to "discourage" people they consider to have a dubious track record. But maybe that&#39;s just rumor. If it is more than rumor you&#39;ll want to have your ducks in order right from the beginning.

    [/b][/quote]
    altitude is something we would worry about if there was a target height to aim for. we dont have a target height. we are more interested in actually showing that it can be done.

    THEN we&#39;ll worry about reaching out for milestones

    I would assume that the AST would look favorably since most of the design components would already be tested in the 1/2 scale which could easily fall under the high power rocket regulations. this would show that we have proven performance on some parts, with ground test on other parts.

  16. #16
    Originally posted by bfoz+Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bfoz @ Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    <!--QuoteBegin-tater1337
    @Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM
    yes, but the little joe didnt have any active guidance, just really really big fins.

    if we actually get high egnough where the air gets too thin for the stability to be a problem, I got a few ideas to test out (most likeley on the 1/2 scale)
    IIRC, it didn&#39;t get very far either.

    New ideas? That would be impressive. Care to share?

    [/b][/quote]
    carbon fiber and other composites for capsule and airframe

    up-to-date electronics (not more advanced, just same equipment with less mass)

    Hybrid engines

    recoverable booster

    steerable parachutes?

    steerable engines

    control flaps on fins

    other stuff that we havent thought of yet

  17. #17
    Originally posted by bfoz+Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bfoz @ Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM

    for parachute deployment, I plan on using something, but I am not sure calling it a computer would be the correct thing. I mean do you microwave your food in a computer?
    Since most microwaves have computers in them, or at least microcontrollers, its probably fair to say that we microwave food in computers.

    An unmanned chute deployment at the very least requires timers or some sort of sensor (altitude, apogee, etc). Of course a pilot could do the job in a manned vehicle. But the point I was trying to make is that AST is finicky about parachutes and deployment timing. If you say that the pilot will deploy the chute the first thing they&#39;ll ask is "What if the pilot doesn&#39;t or can&#39;t?". They&#39;re worried about anything that can cause a chute to open early (long down range drift), late (lands too close) or not at all (lawn dart). i.e. anything that would cause it not to land where it should, because then it could land on somebody. The end result is that you&#39;ll need a mechanism that makes them feel good, so you can&#39;t just "plan on using something", you have to use the "right" thing. Of course, this only applies once you get out of the amateur class, but its good to think ahead.

    [/b][/quote]
    must have forgot a simely in the microwave part but you are right.

    i plan on using a deployment system that will be tried and tested on the smaller scales in detail.

    just because I said that I am building 3 prototype and one ful scale doesnt mean I&#39;ll have only 4 flights.

    maybe 4 flights per month, with manned flights a year after we roll out the full sized bird.

    I dont need to make the AST people happy about the deployment system, i need to make ME happy about it, as I plan on (someday) being one of the flight subjects.

    and no, I aint suicidal

  18. #18
    Originally posted by bfoz+Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bfoz @ Apr 15 2005, 12:30 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
    Originally posted by tater1337@Apr 14 2005, 03:41 PM
    <!--QuoteBegin-bfoz
    @Apr 14 2005, 04:38 AM


    BTW2, engineering, by definition, is not "do as you go". Engineering is "do before you go", unless you screw up the first time.


    hmmmmm, I think it depends on the engineer
    An engineer that doesn&#39;t engineer first isn&#39;t an engineer (or at least belongs on Star Trek)
    [/b][/quote]
    or maybe the engineer is a scientist

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    880
    Good for you&#33; It sounds exciting as hell, and fishing, well there is a time and place, and you do want to check mercury levels before eating, there is risk in just about everything these days.

    If you can&#39;t pick up some old rockets from NASA (circa mercury, gemini) maybe your suppliers might be interested in picking up some of the funding through sponsorship.

    Bfoz, wasn&#39;t there anyone keen enough to point to this thread? (by they way, long time no see&#33; )

    There was another project, a virtual space agency, I can&#39;t remember who started it, but there might be some budding supervising scientists or ground staff there.

    And on a larger project like this, surely some other rocketry groups might have some interested members that might like to help???

    As far as silly goes, one of my personal heros http://aardvark.co.nz/ put the instructions on how to build a cruise missile online, I think they are still there, along with a rocket car

    Best of luck&#33; I would love to help anyway I can.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    55
    I can&#39;t imagine the kind of legal hoops you&#39;ll have to jump through to get permission to launch something bigger than a V-2 inside the continental U.S. The military will almost certainly have to be in on it in some fashion, in this day and age.

    I have to agree with others on here--if there is any way you can make a sea-based platform, it would be by far superior, especially if the launch took place off the East Coast, with nothing nearby to land on. However, I also think a sea-based platform would be much more difficult to make. It&#39;s your call.

    If I had to suggest a good platform, I&#39;d pick the Mexican coast east of Matamoros, near the mouth of the Rio Grande (I&#39;m Texan, btw). So far as I know the area is very sparsely populated, and you&#39;d have hundreds of miles of open water to your east. Of course, I&#39;m guessing the Mexican government will never grant permission to launch a missle like that from their territory. The coast east of Brownsville would be almost as good, but not quite, because of Padre Island National Seashore, though the shallow water of the Laguna Madre might make recovery operations easier. Another good spot would be near Freeport, Texas, which also has open water to its east, and is fairly lightly populated (IIRC). Another decent spots might be near the FL-GA border on the Atlantic Coast.

    Your work is cut out for you, but being something of a dreamer myself, I wish you the best of luck.

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