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solution for t/Space's obstacle?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:33 pm
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solution for t/Space's obstacle? 
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Post solution for t/Space's obstacle?   Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:33 pm
If the burden of paperwork required by NASA really would throw off t/Space of the CEV competition - should they compete for the ASP by the orbital part of their concept then?

The burden of paperwork wouldn't be required for the ASP and they say they can build a CEV - which means that they can build an ASP-vehicle too.

Could they manage to participate regarding their financial ressources? Would it be an obstacle if they would build the lunar lander for NASA?

A real problem could be that Elon Musk is involved in t/Space as member of a board. What do you think about that?

Does anyone know if they already are thinking about the ASP or if they have been thinking about it?

Do the properties of their concept allow for separation into an ASP-part and the later lunar part to be based on the result(s) of the ASP-part?

Will all members of the consortium be willing or sufficiently interested in doing so?

The concept won't be for the paper basket then.

Is that apossible solution for them? They have a concept...



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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:07 pm
There is an obvious fundamental difference between CEV and ASP, namely one is a contract for work for which T/space will get paid even if they are late delivering and there are likely to be stage payments for accompishing specific tasks. The other is a competition which T/Space will have to finance itself with no guarantee that it will win.

I think that SpaceX would not compete in any T/Space effort for the ASP as it would conflict with its own. T/Space is also a group of companys whose members are relatively small and do not have a mass of resources that would allow them to take on to many projects, eg Scaled's involvement with virgin and any possible work on a lunar lander will probably occupy them fully.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:44 pm
The t/Space concept is also far to complex. Even the orbital part is not due to be completed before the ASP is long over. Also, the requirements are not really all that similar.

Now, with all that said, SpaceX might well call upon the experience of some of the other companies involved in t/Space for their ASP entry, but I doubt they would really be all that similar.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:24 am
Don't the teams have to finance the fly off vehicle themselves at least? I supposed that is the case.

As far as I remeber twelve companies are involved in t/Space. Assumed each of them contributes 4 million $ to the funds than they have 48 million $. I could imagine that they get additional funds from sponsors and that Scaled Composites/Mojave Aerospce Venture add significant shares of profits from the Virgin Galactic-deal.

It's clear to me that the will have to modify the vehicles - smaller size, less cabailities and so on. But they have a concept and it perhaps can be adjsuted to the ASP. It would be a pity if they didn't get a chance to make it reality and prove it to work.

And this idea could be one element of two that together may provide sufficient financial ressource - the other element I will mention here in short by EDIT.

The purpose of these ideas simply is to stimulate the search for a way by which they could go on working, constructing, building and succeeding.



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EDIT: The second element I have posted here: xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=12161#12161 . To repeat it - it's a first theoretical idea this moment - meant as a germ for something more realistic. Their concept mustn't go into the paperbasket - something good and excellent should be made of it. It should have significant impacts on the reality of space vehciels, missions and trips. because it's a very good concept.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:25 pm
Assumed they modify their CXV really for the ASP - would the 6 million dollars they already got for the study phase disqualify them? If NASA would decide to buy a CXV from t/Space would a modified vehicle for the ASP be disqualified because they sold the original version to NASA und this way got governmental money involved in their funds? Or would Bigelow consider this money to be private sales success simply?

To get something ready quickly really seems to be not a problem for them - given the drop tests and the splash-down tests. The costly challenges seem to be other things - to achieve the orbit, the cooling system...



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Post Re: solution for t/Space's obstacle?   Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:09 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
A real problem could be that Elon Musk is involved in t/Space as member of a board. What do you think about that?
Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Hmmm. Musk and the old TRW folks got into it over some pressure-fed design or other, so I couldn't say. It is worth bringing up. I think t/Space's biggest problem is a lack of funding, and a lack of interest. They need to reach out to established outfits like Antonov--but refuse to do so.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:24 pm
http://transformspace.com/index.cfm?fus ... sion%20Inc

No Musk in that list. I believe he quit t/Space earlier this year. The SpaceX logo was present only on the first t/Space submission to NASA, the subsequent materials do not bear the image.

And yes, I would guess that the use of the t/LAD or the CXV capsule design as drop-tested with study funds would jeapordize eligibility for ASP.


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Post Re: solution for t/Space's obstacle?   Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:41 pm
publiusr wrote:
I think t/Space's biggest problem is a lack of funding, and a lack of interest.

That’s a pretty lethal combination for an aerospace company!


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:20 pm
Publi is just smack-talking sore 'cuz he got snubbed by Gump when he tried to get them to chase his idea about using the Antonov bird as an air-launch platform.

I'll bet that the t/Space folks will manage to keep getting small-scale funding from NASA, and as long as the partners' principle businesses remain on-track, it could very well lead to more significant private financial backing and the fielding of flight hardware some day.

However, that scenario effectively eliminates any shot at ASP both on consideration of rules and deadline. Doesn't matter in the long run, anyway... without a deep-pocketed angel on the order of Gates et. al., I am convinced that ASP is unwinnable for all practical purposes. I'd be shocked if Musk, Rutan, Carmack, rp, or any other real spacecraft builder didn't agree.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:30 am
Can't agree with you on that one Saw... The real problem for t/Space is that they don't have any hardware and that's probably why Musk got out. He's very much got a business plan and is sticking to it. He's developed hardware, has a development plan moving from small to large scale rockets (with human rating being taken account of) and then moving into fully developed human rated equipment and he's reduced cost so much that if he succeeds then I think he could drive the big guys out of most of their markets.

t/Space only have conceptual stuff and that's not going to get them much now. If NASA had played ball and awarded a decent development contract then they perhaps might have had a shot, but now!! :cry: They might still get small contracts but NASA has gone for the big contractors and even restricted them by specifying shuttle-derived hardware for the future direction of space exploration a la the Bush vision. The only way t/Space will move significantly on their vision (which by the way I really like) is through a private sponsor with deep very deep pockets (or perhaps several getting together). I'd open a book on that (perhaps a pole) with odds of maybe 1:100 within 2 years.

That said, NASA's still got problems with the external tank and if they go for a version with the tank at the bottom instead of on the side, they've got simply oodles of work to do so there may be time for someone else to get there.

Personally I think that might be Musk's long term goal but he couldn't finance that step internally as he's done so far. He'd be moving into the big league.

On the ASP I'd have to agree with you. No chance at this stage for anyone.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:18 pm
There is a theoretical chance at least. My recent calculations in the Financial Barriers section resulted in a minimum profit of 11,000,000 dollars per years after the first five years of Virgin Galactic's suborbital operations. They then would have back their total investment into their five suborbital vehicles of 100,000,000 dollars - and they may have included into their projections another 100,000,000 dollars for infrastructure etc. The calculations also resulted ina possible maximum profit of 57,000,000 to 58,000,000 dollars per year.

Although these profits would begin to occur in late 2013 earliest - given the beginning of operations in late 2008 and achieving the profit zone in late 2013 - this could stimulate private funding and sponsoring of a ürivate orbital vehicle which then could be the CXV only since ther is no other that concrete project.

The reason is that the 11,000,000 dollars are related to the investment into the suborbital vehicles only which would mean a return on investment - ROI - of 11 % while the 57,000,000 are related to the investment into the vehicles plus that into the infrastructure summing up to 200,000,000 which would mean a ROI of 28.5 %. The 28.5 % appear to incredible to me currently - I have to think about it - so let's concentrate on the 11 %.

If investors, funders, sponsors are doing calculations too and get similar results then the visioneers, risk-seeking investors, venture capitalists and eagerly profit-seeking among them might be excited already and be looking if and when invest into the CXV - because the 11% ROI is high above the average ROI at established markets.

They only have the cahnce to get that high ROI if they invest before others do it and at the suborbital market they are behind Virgin Galactic currently. At that market there may be three or four competitors who may be successfull too and then it will take a few years until there are chance of extraordinary profits at that market again. They couldn't but invest into orbital vehicles then - there may be non-space markets where such ROIs may occur but it is not sure if all the visioneers, profit-seekers etc. will find their chances there.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:40 pm
I don't think that we disagree, bean... I was basically trying to say that if t/Space can keep getting nickel-and-dime funding from NASA for the time being, that eventually they will have an opportunity to get real money from the private sector, but that it is going to take a long time. And without that funding they will be missing at least one very significant piece of hardware, the dropship.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:46 pm
I might point out that t/Space does have hardware. They've been testing small-scale prototypes, which is more than many other companies are doing. Not as impressive as Scaled's X Prize flights or Armadillo's test runs, granted, but at least it's something. And, let's face it: small-scale prototypes have won many a government contract in the past.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:00 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
Publi is just smack-talking sore 'cuz he got snubbed by Gump when he tried to get them to chase his idea about using the Antonov bird as an air-launch platform.


Not at all. The fact is that a lack of interest in space and a lack of funding is what is keeping all private space ventures hurting.

This is how things go:

##################################################

The Alt.space people say... "Well--we believe in private enterprize...and you do too..right Mr. Venture Capitalist?

Uh..yeah?

"You hate NASA like I do--right?"

You could say that.

'You believe in lower taxes too?"

Sure...

"So, now that we're on the same page, how about investing $300 million dollar-

HA! HA! HA!--I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. Let me...get back to you on that...

************************************************
And now--all of a sudden--the folks who talked smack about how they don't need NASA or Heavy Lift, etc.-- then start asking for money--and get sore when they get rebuffed by Griffin.

I loved that recent article in AV Week (with the Honda Jet on the cover) about how the Very Light Jet folks--the same kinds that think we don't need NASA to go to space--started to complain about how NASA wasn't spending enough for disused airport infrastructure to ease the traffic control for the private jets/charters of multi-millionaires.

There is where the Alt. Space people need to have all privatization. A new automated control system plays to the strengths of the Info Tech/computer whiz gang. When they can demonstrate that they can do that without gov't--then I'll take their private spaceflight claims more seriously.

Rocketry, with its need for raw thrust, needs more of a blue-collar mindset that doesn't fit well with the ideology of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.

That is why Tito--the first 'private' astronaut--had to ride the Stalin-era R-7: a monster ICBM which was born of blood, iron, fire, and fear--built by hands scarred from the gulags.

It just seems to me that it is nothing less but unfair for my tax dollars to go to air traffic control of mini bizjets but not to real exploration. That was my beef with Gump--that he didn't want CEV/HLLV--but wants my tax dollar just the same. Some free market that is.

And so it goes.


Last edited by publiusr on Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:19 pm
Well I am sure that conversation has been held an awful lot of times, but the difference is this: The t/Space partners are not dependent on the CXV project to keep their businesses running. They each have other sources of income. They each have real-world actual-business experience which is directly applicable to their role in the t/Space venture. Taken as a whole, this means that if Griffin keeps funding their research, they can probably get conventional business funding to build the hardware at some point, and are thus spared the indignity of dealing with venture capitalists.

The big primes borrow money all the time. They don't have to go to venture capitalists. With a few years of NASA-sponsored research/study and as more of the related enabling technologies begin to flourish, (Quick Reach, Virgin Galactic, et.al.) t/Space can probably build considerably more borrowing clout than any alt.space pipe-dreamer club.


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