Community > Forum > Historical Ansari X Prize > Using the X-Prize to conduct suborbital science

Using the X-Prize to conduct suborbital science

Posted by: The Legionnaire - Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:18 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 3 posts ] 
Using the X-Prize to conduct suborbital science 
Author Message
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:08 pm
Posts: 242
Post Using the X-Prize to conduct suborbital science   Posted on: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:18 pm
Currently, NASA launches a few dozen suborbital sounding rockets annually, carrying scientific payloads into space for a few minutes of microgravity and a view of the stars. Clark Lindsey of Hobbyspace.com has been a big advocate of the possibilities of using X-Prize suborbital RLVs as cheaper alternatives to the current approach.

Interestingly, in this article a scientist talks about exactly that:

"The search for these so-called Vulcanoids was elevated ... to a camera mounted on a sub-orbital [sounding] rocket. If the new data do not yield a discovery, the search won't end. Several missions over a few-week period would be needed to check all the space within which Vulcanoids could exist.
Stern [the project scientist] said their existence could be determined firmly with a few piloted, sub-orbital missions. He's considering approaching the eventual winner of the X-Prize, a competition among entrepreneurs to build a re-usable, piloted spaceship for suborbital excursions.
A handful of flights, each allowing about a minute of data-gathering time, would be needed. Stern said the X-Prize winner will have the needed capability."


In fact, I've often thought that NASA could jump on this opportunity. Why not put out a contract saying something like, 'If you can launch 100-lb microgravity payloads 20 times a year for much cheaper than the current sounding rockets, we will give you a contract." Since the dollar amounts are very small, this would be a good way for NASA to begin supporting this nascent industry, and improve its science missions as well.

What do you all think? Is this a good way for NASA to start helping the new industry? Should there be a contract or a prize? Do you think science missions will be a profitable enterprise for future X-Prize vehicles?


Last edited by The Legionnaire on Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 8:46 pm
Posts: 1215
Location: Kapellen, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Planet Earth, the Milky Way Galaxy
Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:13 pm
Quote:
Do you think science missions will be a profitable enterprise for future X-Prize vehicles?

If they combine it with offering also passenger flights.. yes it's good to make extra profit to get out of the red numbers 8)
If 1 company would need to survive only on science flights with 1 ship... I guess on times when they get less request for tests.. they mey get into difficulties, but if nasa keeps giving them contracts for the first years.. it would asure a lot of work, so also a lot of money.

Quote:
Is this a good way for NASA to start helping the new industry?

All help is welcome.. I would say let nasa give them a contract for x flights a year with science etc...

_________________
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. - Lord Kelvin, 1892


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:08 pm
Posts: 242
Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:05 pm
A few hours after I posted, Clark Lindsey wrote about the same topic, and he said:

"While Burt Rutan has indicated that he has no intention of commercializing the SS1, he said that following the X PRIZE missions he would like to carry out a series of high altitude flights to prove that such routine operations are feasible. Since there will be no passengers on board, it would seem like a good opportunity for some scientists to try to convince him to take along their experiments in place of 200kg or so of ballast."

Interesting point.


Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use