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No Tredecaphobia 41 Miles Above the Mojave!

Posted by: author - Fri May 14, 2004 1:39 pm
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No Tredecaphobia 41 Miles Above the Mojave! 
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Post No Tredecaphobia 41 Miles Above the Mojave!   Posted on: Fri May 14, 2004 1:39 pm
Tredecaphobia (fear of the number '13') appears to have been far from the minds of the SpaceShipOne folks. Okay, the instrumentation did glitch temporarily but--when you have reliable technology--you can fly on the 13th. :lol:

More seriously, what impresses me most about Rutan's equipment is its safe, consistent, reliability. Exactly what is needed not just to win the X Prize but for commercial viability in the private sector spacefaring years to come.

Some of the other teams--especially Armadillo--begin to approach this state of necessary routine repeatability as well. THIS, not the suborbital achievement itself, will be the X Prize's greatest contribution to the furtherance of spaceflight, IMHO.

--Ralph

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 25, 2004 3:45 pm
I agree with you Ralph. Reliance and repetability will lower costs. That's what spaceship designers call the "build it like and airplane" design aproach. It does not have to look like an airplane, but be operated as one. The adquisition costs will still be high, but the lower operation costs makes the enterprise viable. A 747 tipe of craft is really expensive, but since it has a long service life and can be used continously it's actually feasible to lease it to airliners that can't buy it (like a rent a car). Also the support infraestructure has to be economical (airports, air traffic control) so an airline sized company can pay for it.

Ruttan's SS1 meets this criteria. He can realisticaly hope to sell, lease it to a mid sise carrier. It could also operate in developing countries that have a decent airport infraestructure. Should keep risks tolerable, like an airline.

What I would like to see is a spaceplane for passangers. A suborbital flight across continents in a short time. That could open up space to the masses.


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