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NASA COTS

Posted by: Number2 - Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:56 am
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NASA COTS 
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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:46 am
I wonder if Andrews will be willing to cough up the $10m RpK needs in financing, I havent read anything which says they will be providing any cash in their partnership.

According to this article RpK has until mid October to meet the first milestone of their COTS contract, which is financing. NASA will not release any funds before this is achieved.

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles/20 ... 2410m.html

Perhaps if RpK fail to make this first milestone then NASA will recind their contract and pick another team. This would indicate to me just how shaky their proposal is and would not bode well for getting the K-1 to fly.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:09 pm
I wonder if this is why Benson broke away--in order to form a shell company in order to pick up the pieces in case RpK fell through.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:22 pm
I get the feeling that not too many people are on Rpk's side. Not surprising given the track record. I'd personally like to see Dream Chaser given the chance to get somewhere and that means someone coming up with a lot of $'s. Any philanthopists ( I bet I messed the spelling on this one :) out there with a few hundred million? :lol:

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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:07 pm
There might be others ahead who are going silently and non-publicly for private investors a bit longer already: t/Space have been talking about going for private funding already when they were competing to be selected as the developer of the CEV. They said they will do so if they don't get a NASA-contract and that it simply might last longer then.

There sinc long were no news from t/Space directly - only indirect news were to be read under www.space.com when they were selected as one of six COTS-finalists. So they were very very silent and secret but they have been working - this may still be the case. If they already got investors this might make it hard for Benson and SpaceDev.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:33 pm
Maybe if a company concentrates on producing only a capsul/lifting body and makes the launch vehicle someone elses responsibility by designing it to fly on an Atlas or Falcon the development costs could be managable.

Developing a purpose built launcher for every orbital vehicle seems unnecessary, time consuming and costly IMO.

It appears Lockheed has woken up to the possible launch rates and financial returns of man rating a launcher perhaps others will do the same.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:23 pm
Andy Hill:

What's that about Lockheed going man-rated? How much do you reckon it'll cost? I'm with you on not making a seperate stick for every program, but somebody had better make a better launcher sometime. What would be nice is for Elon to make the fairing on F9 compatible with payloads meant for another launcher (say Soyuz or Delta or something). If you had two launchers with the same fairing, then you might actually get a standardized system going eventually.

Can you put a lifting-body type crew vehicle on top of a stack, instead of on the side? I've hear people say you can't.

What do you all thing of the t\Space drop-launch? It looked like a bunch of crap at first to me, but it got better after I read about their drop-test. Still, that whole business about starting the engine while the rocket is falling seems foolish. They want to waste 15sec worth of fuel just to get it moving upwards? I see the advantage over the SS1 launch, but that's still kinda crazy.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:22 pm
Solo wrote:
What's that about Lockheed going man-rated? How much do you reckon it'll cost?


Check out the thread on the Bigelow space prize section

http://www.spacefellowship.com/Forum/vi ... php?t=1865

Its probably not going to be as cheap as the Falcon IX but at least it would be a reliable launcher and would be a fall back if Aries I screws up.

Solo wrote:
Can you put a lifting-body type crew vehicle on top of a stack, instead of on the side? I've hear people say you can't.


The HL-20 (which SpaceDev's Dreamchaser is derived from) lifting body was originally going to be launched on a Titan III and the earlier russian BORS vehicle was launched on a soyuz.

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/hl20.htm

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:38 am
Yes, you can absolutely put a lifting body or glider (they're two different critters) on top of a stack. It's actually a damn sight safer for the crew than having it side-mounted.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:13 am
Hello, Solo,

what t/Space has in mind will be tested really in 2008 when Airlaunch LLC do the first actual launch of a QuickReach - which is nothing else than a smaller version of the CXV-launcher QucickReach 2.

The carrier in case of that first launch seems to be a C-17 instead of the VLA.

Rgearding the "sticks"/rockets you are right. I am thinking about it from time to time and consider the rockets to be ferries or carriers more and more: They simply carry the vehicles to the environment they are designed to be operating in without the rockets required to lift them from the earthian surface. And as carriers or ferries they should become enabled to carry different vehicles - if they are reusable.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:15 pm
So what happens if RpK does fall over in the not too distant future ie. miss early milestones. Will NASA:
1. give more money to SpaceX (assuming that they're meeting their milestones),
2. give remaining funds to one of the other competitors,
3. hang on to the remaining funds and spend on something else - not COTS, or
4. something else.

What about a poll? You can see that I'm really rooting for Rpk here can't you? Just 'cause I believe he's had his chance and blown it !! :roll:

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:39 pm
I would say that SpaceX has an agreed contract so that it is unlikely that they will get any more money and I think that NASA will want to see how they perform before they hand over any more cash.

I would like to think that NASA would give the money to one of the runners up to at least get 2 vehicles under construction but I think it more likely that it will just disappear into their coffers to fund short falls elsewhere in their budget. If I was cynical I might think that this was a way of only spending half the money on COTS that it had originally said it would.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:58 pm
I don't see a poll doing us much good, like Jon from Masten Space said, there's nothing that will shut up a room full of quibbling engineers quicker than emperical data. I think we will probably just have to wait and see. BUt then, I guess a poll would be a fun alternative to placing bets! We could still claim those "I told you so" points.

Andy Hill: I'm a cynical person.

If NASA takes the money away from RpK, where do you think it would go? That is, who was the runner-up for COTS?

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:44 pm
Solo wrote:
If NASA takes the money away from RpK, where do you think it would go? That is, who was the runner-up for COTS?


The other 4 finalists who made it through to the final stages of the COTS selection were:

Andrews Space
SpaceDev
SpaceHab
T-Space

Out of the above Andrews has thrown its lot in with RpK so I think that it would then become difficult to choose them if RpK fails. T-Space's design will cost to much money ($400m) and SpaceHab seem to be having a few problems at the moment if their stock price is anything to go by. IMO this leaves SpaceDev as the best of the rest. But like you I am cynical so dont believe anyone else will get a chance.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:09 am
Pity. I'd love to see SpaceDev get a chance. :(

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:32 pm
I think we all would. *looks around* Well, I know I would. Especially since they want to use hybrids. I am a fan of the hybrid concept, just b/c it is different and hasn't been developed like liquid fuel has. But I think it's finally starting to get more into the realm of feasibility for use in a stack. Plus, SpaceDev sounds like a more respectable company to me that some of the other private ones. Let's hope that the investors see that too, so that Benson can get his money raised even if NASA plays it cheap.

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