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Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:22 am
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Post SHIPinSPACE   Posted on: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:22 am

Fabrizio Boer
SHIPinSPACE announces the kick-off of its 48-Passengers Suborbital Vehicle Programme thanks to a £5m seed funding investment obtained from Black Star Global, a UK company. "SHIPinSPACE will be the largest Manned Space Vehicle ever launched by a factor of seven which opens a new era for Space Tourism and the Space Industry as a whole," says Fabrizio Boer, CEO of SHIPinSPACE and designer of the decoupling structures technology the spaceship is based upon. According to Boer, this is the only type of technology which will be able to support such a high capacity manned space tourism programme.

"Now is the time for private commercial space industry companies to develop ground-breaking and radically different technologies which combine design and launch with greater safety as well as being economical. Such is the goal of SHIPinSPACE which makes this dream a reality by applying a technology which is intrinsically safer due to a reduction in the amplification factor; a parameter linked to the vibration level of structures. The technology takes the amplification of current fastened systems from 10 - 15 down to just 2. This decoupling technology will be qualified within 18 months," says the CEO of SHIPinSPACE.

"The funding now allows us to demonstrate in a short timeframe the superior characteristics which SHIPinSPACE’s unique technology offers using actual hardware. We are delighted and very excited about this investment; SHIPinSPACE Ltd are also proud that this has happened in the UK, a country which can now promote Space Tourism to early pioneers," says Rob Lowe, Head of SHIPinSPACE UK.

"We would have never accepted to fund a Space Programme that would increase performance and capacity while undermining any element of safety. We wanted to fund a Space Programme which could reach the same safety levels as commercial aircraft. I strongly believe the SHIPinSPACE technology can indeed provide a huge safety increment. Our mission is to open Space Tourism to the public at large thanks to a ticket price of a quarter charged by Competitors” says Matthew Nicol, CEO of Black Star Global and SHIPinSPACE Director of Sales & Marketing. ... CVHbipwanw

Thanks to Rocketeers :P

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Post Re: SHIPinSPACE   Posted on: Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:11 pm
There's some more information in this proposal on Google Docs and an executive summary linked from his Twitter account.

From the proposal:
Decoupling structures means that not one bolt is used to fasten the Passengers Pods (the basic Life Unit of 4 passengers). The Passenger Pod Modules (PPM) are securely “suspended” by pre-compression forces inside the Fairing facilitated by a technique which utilizes the deformation of polymers.
In plain English, that means that it uses rubber pads to fasten things down instead of bolts. Somehow this is supposed to save a lot of weight, apparently because everything can be made less strong due to the reduced vibration. Of course, this goes only for the passenger pods, the outer shell still has to be just as strong as ever (and he doesn't seem to know that fairings are normally jettisoned as soon as a rocket leaves the atmosphere!), and the pods themselves add extra weight compared to having a hull that's also the passenger compartment. So I don't see that happening, and it's hard to believe that no one has thought about adding vibration dampeners before. In fact, people have, IIRC Falcon 1 was fitted with one to protect that Malaysian satellite, and I think the Saturn V had one as well. It seems that mostly they're not needed though.

While weight is important, it's odd that SiS emphasise vibration as the main feature of the craft, without saying anything about things like propulsion, life support, re-entry and thermal protection, take-off mode, and so on. I would like to see some explanation for those wings for example, as with that aspect ratio they look more like high-subsonic passenger plane wings than like anything that can go supersonic without being ripped apart.

Based on the currently available information, this thing will never even leave the drawing board, let alone planet Earth. I find it hard to believe that you could get any VC to invest 5 million UKP based on this, especially given the laughable car analogy market analysis and the unlikely projected revenues. This Black Star Global was founded only a year ago, which is a few months after SHIPinSPACE. Note that there is another Black Star Investments group that invests in Africa, but seems to be unrelated to any of this. Makes you wonder if the confusion is intentional. In fact, the whole setup is weird. Why put the company in the UK if you're in Italy?

I can think of all sorts of less-than-honourable scenarios here, but without more information it's hard to say. I wouldn't contribute to the Indiegogo campaign even if it were still open, that's for sure...

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Post Re: SHIPinSPACE   Posted on: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:15 am
He's been proposing that and variations there of, on some of the space LinkedIn groups for years.

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