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Three questions on your older spacecraft versions.

Posted by: ordinary joe - Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:24 am
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Three questions on your older spacecraft versions. 
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Launch Director
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Post Three questions on your older spacecraft versions.   Posted on: Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:24 am
Three questions (if I'm allowed)
What does your company do with your older spacecraft versions, like QUAD
for example?
I assume you don't send them off to a museum like the Smithsonian.
Do you cannibalize them for parts for improved spacecraft?

(more of a suggestion than a question)
Why not take an older spacecraft, like the QUAD, and send it hell-for-leather
on an "expendable" launch straight up as far as it can go (100 klicks up?), even if it does come back down really fast and leaves a crater in the desert?

I asked the last question based on suspect info on QUAD from Encyclopedia
Astronautica.
LOX-Alcohol
SL Isp: 200 seconds
Vac Isp: 220-240 seconds??
Full weight: 1490 Ibs
Empty weight: 630 Ibs
Propellant weight; 860 Ibs.
SL Thrust > 3000Ibf
propellant flow rate> 15Ibs/sec
burntime > 55 seconds+
mass ratio: 2.3-2.4

So, assuming this info is basically correct, within a certain margin of error, then I have to stand by my assumption that QUAD was, with minor
modifications, quite capable of zipping up to the altitude I mentioned,
even if it became scrap metal upon its return.


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Space Walker
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Post Re: Three questions on your older spacecraft versions.   Posted on: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:46 pm
ordinary joe wrote:
Three questions (if I'm allowed)
What does your company do with your older spacecraft versions, like QUAD
for example?
I assume you don't send them off to a museum like the Smithsonian.

We have sent the "Crayon" rocket off to a museum. It's at the Texas State History museum in Austin as part of the "Texas Aviation Celebration" (at least I think that's the exhibit it's part of. I'd have to confirm that).

ordinary joe wrote:
Do you cannibalize them for parts for improved spacecraft?

Sometimes we do that.

ordinary joe wrote:
Why not take an older spacecraft, like the QUAD, and send it hell-for-leather on an "expendable" launch straight up as far as it can go (100 klicks up?), even if it does come back down really fast and leaves a crater in the desert?

We have considered doing exactly that, but it would not be with one of the Quad rockets. The only surviving Quad is "Pixel," and NASA owns it now, and is using it as an instrument test bed on "Project M."

One of the problems with the "hell-for-leather" launch is that we'd have to do it in New Mexico to be able to go that high, and the logistics and expense just don't pass the cost-benefit analysis at the moment, what with so many other more important, immediate tests we can do right in our own back yard.


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