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Space vision, Dan Frederiksen

Posted by: Airbag - Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:11 pm
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Space vision, Dan Frederiksen 
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Post Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:11 pm
I agree with Dan Frederiksen that Armadillo Aerospace should plan to get an object into orbit A.S.A.P. A time schedule for that is neccesary.
I propose to do a "Hello World" sattelite, that says "I'm here" as I think John Carmack proposed.
Then I suggest to do a 10kg camera sattelite (like a binocular) that can take pictures of earth. I also suggest that Dan builds this A.S.A.P. (within a year) to the best of his powers. Some microcontroller stuff with a long-lasting battery; I think a solar array is too difficult for the first shot. Then AA should launch this as their second sattelite (after John's hello world example)
Of course, the next step should be a sattelite with solar array, and then the possibility to launch new modules in the neighbourhood of this sattelite.

Then either a person into orbit, or just continue with robotics. Robotics much safer and in closer reach.

Try to get different modules in close proximity, then try to let them dock; build a larger construct over multiple launches.

After that, don't go to moon. Build a space station. Either manned or by robotics. Develop a method to launch large amounts of mass into same orbit asap. Make them connect to form a larger whole. If this works, start planning for a rotating torus spacestation with (organic) plant modules and an automatic irrigation system (water) and light. After that, I can propose new ideas.

Remember, this should happen in the coming 10 years. This is the possible. Don't you ever doubt that. If it costs money, then you have to work that out.

Thanks Dan for keeping forum alive. Please kill your ego.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:06 pm
Do you have any arguments for why these things need to be done? Because what you just posted is just a list of commandments, without any reason or justification...

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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:22 pm
So basically you think it would be best if AA just scraped all they have worked on until now, and start on this new great plan of yours?

What is the benefit of this plan?
Why not do what they do best, VTVL that is...

And how do you figure that a camera on a satellite is easier to get working than a solar array?

What you are proposing have been done countless times by governments, and firms like SpaceX is driving the cost down on these services as we speak (write that is).

VTVL on the other hand is something that still needs a lot of (pioneering) work, and who better for this job than AA?

In other words arguments are always appreciated (As Lourens also points out).


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:50 pm
Airbag wrote:
After that, don't go to moon. Build a space station. Either manned or by robotics. Develop a method to launch large amounts of mass into same orbit asap. Make them connect to form a larger whole. If this works, start planning for a rotating torus spacestation with (organic) plant modules and an automatic irrigation system (water) and light. After that, I can propose new ideas.


Ok ill bite too just in case you are not a D.F.S.P. my pattern recognition has deteriorated in the last few years but that's my suspicion.

I would argue that from the point of view of utilisation of available resources even with improved cheaper access to space technologies that going to the Moon or a near earth asteroid and mining it roboticaly and building space stations or Moon bases with locally accessed resources would be a better idea than lugging everything up from a 1G gravity well that way you would just need to take up the people a few seeds and some soil bacteria to do want you want after the robot stage of course, remote controlled as AI is not quite yet advanced enough ;-).

Ps if any mods are watching i know i am a relative newbie but i think this is more a cafe thread IMHO if it could be moved.

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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:34 am
Airbag wrote:
I propose to do a "Hello World" sattelite, that says "I'm here" as I think John Carmack proposed. Then I suggest to do a 10kg camera sattelite (like a binocular) that can take pictures of earth.

Sure - I think this is very doable for a firm with AA's experience and manpower.
Airbag wrote:
I also suggest that Dan builds this A.S.A.P. (within a year) to the best of his powers.

Wait - Dan is going to build the satellite for Armadillo? I'm not going to put words in Dan's mouth (I suspect he'll have a response for us shortly) but in response to some of his ideas about AA's direction, people have asked why he doesn't do it himself - needless to say he wasn't very receptive. So, I don't see Dan shipping a pro bono satellite to Texas anytime soon.
Airbag wrote:
Try to get different modules in close proximity, then try to let them dock; build a larger construct over multiple launches. After that, don't go to moon. Build a space station.

I'm not sure what your background is - but this is a very very difficult control problem. I'm not sure who does the control AA or what his background is - but the theory alone is a PhD dissertation-caliber project. The lead time on this project would be substantial. For a commercial space company to succeed, they need to specialize. Find a niche, what can they do better (or at least comparably as well) than everybody else? Bigelow has two space station modules in orbit - the product of 12 years of hardwork.
Airbag wrote:
Develop a method to launch large amounts of mass into same orbit asap.

John has said that 3 minute hover is just as - if not more - difficult than orbit and Armadillo has demonstrated magnificent aptitude at VTOL. Why would they abandon the beautiful niche they've carved for themselves? SpaceX has launched 2 heavy lift vehicles - the product of 9 years of work. So is Orbital Sciences. What about the Atlas V? What about the Ariane 5? If any portion of the commercial space market is saturated - it would be the (heavy) launch vehicle market!
Airbag wrote:
After that, I can propose new ideas.

I'm not sure you can - at least if you consider what you've posted so far ideas. Ideas have a skeleton solution behind them. What you've given us, as Lourens said, are commandments.
Airbag wrote:
If it costs money, then you have to work that out.

Well this is the icing on the cake. To build a rocket and space station has taken the combined efforts of Bigelow Aerospace and SpaceX 21 years with contributions from 1400 employees (take those numbers with grains of salt). You're asking Armadillo to abandon their area of expertise and do with 9 people in 10 years what took 1400 people over 20.

Thanks, Airbag - this was a welcome distraction to writing my thesis.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:36 am
I don't understand why people keep on telling AA what to do. Or even thinking that AA will pay them any attention. Why not ask the same of Masten, or Microlaunchers, or even Nasa, or ESA? You'd get the same response. Silence.

AA have a budget. They have a long term plan. They know what they want to do. It just doesn't match up what some people want to see, whereas I am happy to watch them and see how they get on. It's JC's company and JC's call.

Rocket science is difficult. Satellite design and manufacture is difficult. This has been shown time and time again by any number of rocket startups- it always takes longer than expected and costs more, because people come in thinking its not that difficult, and, guess what, it turns out to be really REALLY difficult. You probably can't put together a satellite together in year that will actually function as intended. (Power, weight, software, radiation hardening etc. Just the testing would take ages)

Airbag wants to send a mobile phone (well, that's pretty much what he describes)in to orbit. Whoopeee. The Russians did that with Sputnik. Quite some time ago.

All that said, AA will be attempting a 100km flight in a couple of months. That should be fun, and a bit different from their normal fare. Perhaps that will keep the trolls happy.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:28 am
JamesHughes wrote:
Rocket science is difficult. Satellite design and manufacture is difficult. This has been shown time and time again by any number of rocket startups- it always takes longer than expected and costs more, because people come in thinking its not that difficult, and, guess what, it turns out to be really REALLY difficult.


This reminds me of John's Level 1 acceptance speech in 2008 when he says that although rocket science isn't complicated, it's extremely difficult.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcWRc1wK3gM


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:08 pm
Right. I like to think of it as rocket science being relatively simple (compared to say cosmology with its fiendish mathematics, or the natural sciences that study incredibly complicated systems), but rocket engineering (keeping stuff from blowing up) being very difficult.

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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:45 pm
Lourens wrote:
Do you have any arguments for why these things need to be done? Because what you just posted is just a list of commandments, without any reason or justification...


In addition, Armadillo is a for-profit company. I'm quite sure they would do things like this if the customer paid them to do it.

Armadillo manufactures space craft and provides launch services. They do R&D to improve the capabilities of their products and services.

It wouldn't make sense to do the manufacturing of larger space craft in space until the manufacturing of space craft has become cookie-cutter, cheap and reliable. And only if someone is going to pay for that ship being built in space.

And only if various governments don't feel threatened by such things.

[Edit: fix BBCode. Why is this disabled by default, when quoting (which uses BBCode?]


Last edited by oredson on Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:21 pm
Lourens wrote:
Right. I like to think of it as rocket science being relatively simple (compared to say cosmology with its fiendish mathematics, or the natural sciences that study incredibly complicated systems), but rocket engineering (keeping stuff from blowing up) being very difficult.


Nicely put.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:26 pm
oredson wrote:
Lourens wrote:
Do you have any arguments for why these things need to be done? Because what you just posted is just a list of commandments, without any reason or justification...


In addition, Armadillo is a for-profit company. I'm quite sure they would do things like this if the customer paid them to do it.

Armadillo manufactures space craft and provides launch services. They do R&D to improve the capabilities of their products and services.

It wouldn't make sense to do the manufacturing of larger space craft in space until the manufacturing of space craft has become cookie-cutter, cheap and reliable. And only if someone is going to pay for that ship being built in space.

And only if various governments don't feel threatened by such things.


I'd agree AA is for profit, but since it doesn't have shareholders (At least, it's not listed or traded), the profit they make is pushed back in to development, and whilst I don't want to put words in JC's mouth, I think I recall he is really passionate about space, so is willing to reinvest rather than take large profits himself. Slightly different from big corps where they don't have figureheads who are passionate about what the company does, just about how much money they make for themselves and their shareholders. Same applies to SpaceX of course, Musk has a passion for this, and I think this is why they both have massive advantages over the incumbent space manufacturers.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:07 pm
So, since "we" probably won't pay dividends this year and the money are invested in the company instead, we're not a for-profit company in 2011? I'm not following you...


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:36 am
IrquiM wrote:
So, since "we" probably won't pay dividends this year and the money are invested in the company instead, we're not a for-profit company in 2011? I'm not following you...


Sorry, wasn't too clear. I really meant to emphasis that being mostly owned by JC (and SpaceX Musk), mean that the head of the company has a lot of say in where the money goes, and these two guys are VERY VERY interested in what they do, rather than the ultimate profit motive that is the aim of most companies. AA and SpaceX were started up not to make money but to make rockets, and because they don't have shareholders who demand profits (In SpaceX case - yet), they can be more free with what the company does.

Of course, making a profit is important - companies don't survive unless they do (well some do - dunno how).

AA and SpaceX are both owned by relatively rich people - and have stayed focused on getting stuff up without the need to make hat loads of cash - I don't think that is much of a coincidence.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:44 pm
I think they're both looking to make a good profit of the companies in the end, but instead of investing them in other companies, they actually get to do something they think is fun in the mean time.


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Post Re: Space vision, Dan Frederiksen   Posted on: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:00 pm
>>What is the benefit of this plan?

The benefit is that with realistic goals, things can be done that have never been done before, stun everyone, and allow a leap forward in making space accesible to normal people. A rotating space station can rent its room in the outer ring for business customers, and provide fresh food directly on board. An almost closed ecosystem. This has never been done by goverments, and firms like SpaceX.

>>Why not do what they do best, VTVL that is...
I think VTVL is the way to go to do this, actually.

>>I would argue that from the point of view of utilisation of available resources even with improved cheaper access to space technologies that going to the Moon or a near earth asteroid and mining it roboticaly (...) would be a better idea

I think it is better to launch from earth - a lot of fuel, but the moon doesn't have the resources readily available we have on earth; that would require an entire production facility on the moon which is more complicated than building a rotating space station with parts launched from Earth.

>>the robot stage of course, remote controlled as AI is not quite yet advanced enough

Yes, remote controlled robots with a good/advanced representation of external reality.

>>I'm not sure what your background is
I have studied applied physics for some years, then dropped out and now am trying to find work in programming, robotics and/or CNC machining. I have experience with microcontroller electronics, a little robotics and a little steel bending, pcb manufacturing.

>>>Try to get different modules in close proximity, then try to let them dock; build a larger construct over multiple launches. After that, don't go to moon. Build a space station.
>>the theory alone is a PhD dissertation-caliber project

If someone would be interested to do a PhD on that topic I would be delighted. But doing it as a PhD is not my priority. Too much bureacracy for me.

>>>After that, I can propose new ideas.
>>I'm not sure you can

Of course I can, but I better like to try to substantiate and discuss these ideas first. I was trying to give this space vision of Dan's a practical approach.

>>>If it costs money, then you have to work that out.
>>Well this is the icing on the cake.

Guess I have to find a way to finance these ideas so that Armadillo can send them into space. In the mean time, why not discuss some.

>>I don't understand why people keep on telling AA what to do.

It's the ideas that matter. Nothing more, nothing less.

>>Rocket science is difficult. Satellite design and manufacture is difficult.
>>they actually get to do something they think is fun in the mean time.


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