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Blackstar

Posted by: FerrisValyn - Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:37 pm
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Space Walker
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Post Blackstar   Posted on: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:37 pm
http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_awst_story.jsp?id=news/030606p1.xml

Anyone have any thoughts on it?

there was also some stuff posted at hobbyspace about it, although he didn't think it was a reality program


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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:41 pm
I want one! :o

Seriously, I used to think the thing was called Aurora, but it sounds credible enough and it's not yet the April 1st edition. In the land of unlimited possibilities, why not?

Cheers
Max

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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:38 pm
Aurora was a different craft - there was a model that was on the market a few years back, spun as Aurora, but generally Aurora has always been regaurded as a single craft, that goes up to mach 6-7


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:39 pm
Was it ever surprising? 8)


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:03 pm
It would be nice to think that the article was true but from what I can see not a scrap of evidence exists other than the usual "a guy who worked on the project said" so I think it is unlikely.

The trouble with wanting something to be true is that you tend to see things as you want to see them rather than as they are. :(

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:00 pm
Some select quotes:

Industry engineers said this technology demonstrator
was "a very successful program.


but...

It could be a victim of shrinking federal budgets strained
by war costs, or it may not have met performance or operational goals.




Although much of the structure was honeycomb, it was "incredibly strong, and would handle very high temperatures," he noted. Inside skin surfaces "were ungodly
complicated," though.


Not that easy to work with, then

WORK ON THE ORBITER moved at a relatively slow pace until a "fuel
breakthrough" was made, workers were told. Then, from 1990 through
1991, "we lived out there. It was a madhouse," a technician said. The
new fuel was believed to be a boron-based gel having the consistency
of toothpaste and high-energy characteristics, but occupying less
volume than other fuels.


Even so, the orbiter was so tiny--even this little bit must not have gone such a long way.

Another interesting quote:

"We never did anything that was really NASP--and money was never a
problem."


Whether the Blackstar system was ever declared operational or not is
unknown, but several orbiters may have flown over the years. A former
program manager at a major aerospace company once declared, "There's
no question; Lockheed is flying a two-stage space vehicle."


But how much of one?

--how much better is it over simpler all rocket concepts?


Misc:

http://www.vetteweb.com/features/vet1101_astrovette/

MAT IRVINE
>>
>> New sig line, featuring - "New space modelling book due mid-2006!"

cool
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZadtinjoan


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:06 pm
This article pretty well dismembers the arguments for Blackstar, so I dont think we will be seeing flying anytime soon.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Black ... _Lake.html

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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:17 pm
Some of those arguements have valid points, although some are lacking - I espicially love how he is convionced that X-15, NASP, X-33, and DC-X prove you can't do successful reusable.

Sorry, but anything with Bell's name on it - take it someplace else.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:20 pm
In any case, the basic "improved XB-70 plus orbiter" design was discussed a lot here, in the TSTO forum. Most people, including me, probably would agree that it was doable, but too small to be commercially viable.
Now, for a purely military reconnaissance vehicle, that argument is of course less important. Imaging payloads can be made small, if you don't need a very large aperture telescope. For example, there are some earth observation microsats existing or planned, with quite decent capabilities. Obviously the spooks could do even better.
The main issue with TSTO vehicles remains reentry of the upper stage, and that can definitely be done, even if at great cost.

So, I still think it's possible, and I still want one.

Cheers
Max


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:30 pm
Actually I think that was one of Jeff Bell's better articles. The laws of physics do not change for DARPA. I know one thing: it puts the lie to those who say we don't spend enough on aeronautics.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:53 pm
Ah, but to be fair, Jeff Bell did not say successful RLV's were impossible. What he said was impossible was to build a reusable SSTO that would be light enough and small enough to fit under and be lifted by a modified B-70, because of the 90% fuel fraction.

By the way, I do understand where you're coming from with regard to Jeff Bell. I always try to take that guy with a grain of salt. I think he has a tendency to push out speculations like they're solid facts. He's tricky though, because he does put in some good information.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:34 pm
Another nail in the coffin:
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/576/1

And you thought Jeff Bell was harsh.

I had heard of Brilliant Buzzard before--and if there was anything to it, the craft would have had to have been top mount. Had a mini-spaceplane been bottom mounted--well, the thing would have had stilts for landing gear--esp. the nose gear. ("Forrest' Gump--t/Space style).


It may be that someone saw the wedge shaped XB-70 like intake (with sensor blisters perhaps) and thought that was the spaceplane. The delta-winged X-15 was to take off from the back of a modified XB-70.

Chances are, Blackstar/Buzzard never existed however.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:36 am
Holy Intellectual Property Rights, Batman!

This is nearly the planform and mission regime that I was intending to use in the TSTO white paper that I promised 'way back in January in that (TSTO) thread... they missed something significant, though, something that I have not yet seen in any of the other HTHL TSTO schemes, either.

...first time I've seen belly-carry, though; and that is something I will be using in my paper.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:46 pm
What did they miss?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:20 pm
Well, when Max called me out in the TSTO thread three months ago, and I started doing the back-of-the-envelope numbers, I quickly came to realize that...

Hey! No fair peeking, publi! You're just gonna have to wait like everybody else!

...Actually there are some HTHL TSTO RLV solutions which contain at least an acknowlegdement of the issue I am referring to, but I have yet to find one that offers the solution I am hoping to propose.

Much work to do still, though.


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