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Bristol Space Planes (UK)

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:53 am
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Bristol Space Planes (UK) 
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Post Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:53 am
Just had this Email from David Ashford:

Bristol Spaceplanes Limited will be on the West of England Aerospace Forum
stand at the Farnborough Air Show from July 19 to 23. You are most welcome
to visit me there. Please invite any colleagues who might be interested.

David Ashford

--
Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd.
bsp-announce-request@bristolspaceplanes.com


Anyone going?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:23 pm
Are they going to build anything or just take a load of pictures they have mocked up on the computer? I work alongside Filton runway and I haven't seen any spaceplanes flying off yet... I hope they get something together, the concept is, I believe, correct for the long-term space tourism industry. (And I want to see a West Country astronaut!! "Brizzol, we moight be 'avin a praaablem 'ere") :lol:

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Post Bristol Spaceplanes   Posted on: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:56 pm
I really like the Brsitol Spaceplanes Ascender concept. Unfortunately, it ain't going to happen, because it is just too expensive - around $60M needed and there is no millionnaire in sight. The company is putting some effort into a "Liquid hydrogen demonstrator" rocket which will have a pressurized engine running on LH2 and LOX, with an apogee of around 20km. This would be followed by a sounding rocket using similar technology, but with turbo-pumps. The Demo costs around $25,000 to build but it goes nowhere useful and so is, in the commercial sense, a dead end. The sounding rocket could make money, but is expensive compared with what could be done with solid rocket motors. This is a project for millionnaires only, which is why I decided to buy a piece of Space Transport Corporation, who are building an X-Prize rocket for $22,000 and the whole project only needs $500,000, of which they have now raised around half.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:41 pm
It seems that Bristol Space Planes is doing something at last. Heres an article which seems to say that they are planning to launch from Malaysia in a few years time.

http://thestar.com.my/news/nastory.asp? ... sec=nation

I hope they make, I think they have a good concept.[/url]

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Post Progress?   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2004 6:58 pm
Interesting! Maybe the Malaysia Government will advance him the cash to start to build it. That would be a remarkably forward-thinking thing for any government to do. I hope he does pull it off.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:42 pm
I hope he manages to get Ascender to fly but to be honest there's been nothing posted on their website and the news article I posted was the first thing I've seen for a long time.

The website seems to be more concerned with selling David Ashford's latest book than getting anything into space.

Its a shame because I thought it was a really promising idea that could have been a real contender for the X-prize but like you said the attached price tag was to steep for it to succede.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:49 am
Hello, Andy Hill,

might the possibility that ESA assists and awards space tourism in the nearby future give Birstol Spaceplanes a push towards a real vehicle? This possibility has been reported in the recent entry under LiveScienceBlogs .



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:28 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Hello, Andy Hill,

might the possibility that ESA assists and awards space tourism in the nearby future give Birstol Spaceplanes a push towards a real vehicle? This possibility has been reported in the recent entry under LiveScienceBlogs .


Hello Ekkehard, I look in on their website from time to time and am dissappointed to say that nothing appears to be happening. My guess would be that ESA would not take them seriously as they have virtually no track record of building hardware. Lots of people around with promising ideas but the industry is filled with so much hype if I was ESA I'd want to invest with a company actually producing something, like Starchaser perhaps.

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Post Bristol Spaceplanes   Posted on: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:20 pm
Bristol Spaceplanes is still, I can tell you, actively seeking finance, but it has been trying to do that for too long in my estimation. Also, the Ascender is not appropriate for the emerging space tourism industry. It was put up for the X-prize as a one-pilot plus the weight of two passengers, and what is now needed is a craft with two pilots and three to six or more passengers, preferably in a wide-bodied cabin with a panoramic view and plenty of space to experience zero-g, if onyl for a couple of minutes. A cramped cockpit and one pilot just won't cut it.


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Post Re: Bristol space planes   Posted on: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:02 pm
3 Months old

A BRISTOL company believes going back to the future is the key to winning the space race. Bristol Spaceplanes aims to use 1960s concepts to help the space tourism industry finally take off.

Managing director David Ashford's first job was in Bristol firm Hawker Siddeley Aviation's space plane design team back in 1961 and he believes the industry has lost sight of what it could achieve.

"The best ideas from the 1960s are way ahead of anything that's been built since or that is proposed now," he said.

The basic idea is for a plane rather than a vertical launch rocket.

The space shuttle had to take off on a vertical rocket and Mr Ashford said this was more dangerous and more expensive because rockets were lost in the process. "Throwaway launchers used for human space flight have a fatal accident rate about ten thousand times worse than airliners," he said.

"Expendable vehicles cannot be made much safer because so many components have to work right first time. For larger numbers of people to visit space, these low safety standards are not acceptable. Space planes offer greater safety because they are aeroplanes in engineering essentials."

His Spacecab space plane would take off like an aeroplane then use rockets to reach speeds of Mach 4, when a smaller piggy back plane would launch to reach outer space.

Both planes would be able to land intact, and therefore fly again, reducing the costs.

"Two-stage-to-orbit spaceplanes were widely considered feasible some 40 years ago and the technology is certainly available now," he said..............



Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-Sp ... z2sT4si8Pe

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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:07 pm
Bristol Spaceplanes business aims to make space tourism a reality
06-February-2014 by Mike Ribbeck, The Bristol Post
A tiny company based in South Gloucestershire has ambitions which reach all the way to the stars.

Bristol Spaceplanes, which was set up by veteran aviation engineer David Ashford, wants to make space tourism affordable for as many people as possible and Mr Ashford believes he has the know-how and experience to make the dream a reality.

The firm has launched an appeal to raise cash for his venture through the Crowdcube website. The firm is looking to raise £150,000 from founders to pay for the next stage of development.

Mr Ashford said: "Our product is the know-how and the designs for a step-by-step development sequence of space-planes. We’re planning to start with a small demonstrator which will lead to a craft capable of slashing the cost of access to space and leading to a new space age."

More
http://www.southwestbusiness.co.uk/news ... a-reality/

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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:39 pm
I don't think staging at Mach 4 will cut it if you want to make a fully reusable system. Even with Hydrogen, you're looking at a craft that will be at best ~15% empty weight. That's what you have to fit everything, including a heat shield, into. By contrast, aircraft which don't have to survive hypersonic flight have mass fractions of 40-50% - leading to quick turnaround times.

The basic idea of a TSTO spaceplane system is sound, though. But the correct balance has to be achieved to allow both to be reusable, and you have to be willing to tolerate only getting 1% of your launch mass as useful payload (which should be more than compensated by being able to turn around and do it again in a few hours).


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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:00 am
Interesting watching though!

More news:
Bristol Spaceplanes offers free spaceflights on Crowdcube


Quote:
A business that is developing a radical alternative to space rockets is seeking a £150,000 crowdfunding investment. David Ashford, founder of Bristol Spaceplanes and a pioneer of the 1960s space plane programme, told Insider about the company's strategy and why it is offering free spaceflights to anyone investing £20,000.

In a pitch on crowdfunding website Crowdcube, Bristol Spaceplanes set out its unusual approach to space travel.

It claimed that rocket-powered aeroplanes modelled on the traditional airline model were studied seriously by about a dozen aircraft companies in the 1960s. But they were never built because of the pressures of the Cold War, with single-use launchers quickly establishing themselves as the accepted way of launching vehicles into space.

http://www.insidermedia.com/insider/sou ... -crowdcube

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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:30 am
He considers £5 million to be enough? SpaceShipOne cost ~2.5x that amount. To develop a new orbital system, costs seem to be around $50-100 million at a minimum. I know this is just for the Ascender, but still...


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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:55 am
But that was out in California in the middle of Defense Contractor Central. Everything there is an order of magnitude more expensive than it ordinarily would be.


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