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Burt Rutan

Posted by: spaceboy - Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:50 pm
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Burt Rutan 
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Post Burt Rutan   Posted on: Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:50 pm
I've read the article in Wired and think that Burt Rutan's team seems to have the steam and know-how to win this competion, hands down. :twisted:


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Post Re: Burt Rutan   Posted on: Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:15 pm
spaceboy wrote:
I've read the article in Wired and think that Burt Rutan's team seems to have the steam and know-how to win this competion, hands down. :twisted:


His project is definitely far along (vehicles built, engines tested, structural tests finished, captive carry flights beginning) but I don't think he's a shoo-in.

I think that Armadillo Aerospace, Canadian Arrow, and the da Vinci Project will give him some stiff competition.

Armadillo Aerospace recently conducted a drop test of their full-scale vehicle and plans unmanned flight tests soon. Given that the team is funded by millionaire team leader John Carmack, they are unlikely to run out of money.

Canadian Arrow's rocket "will fly this year, absolutely," said Geoff Sheerin, team leader. The team has picked its astronauts, tested part of its engine, and is building its spacecraft.

Da Vinci has already flight-qualified its engines and is building its spacecraft. They are the first X-Prize team to have secured all necessary launch permits. See http://www.davinciproject.com/beta/Gall ... Video.html for a cool video of what they've done so far.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:09 am
I'd throw StarChaser into the mix also.

If the US doesn't solve the regulatory problem anytime soon, then da Vinci looks like a good bet.


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Post Starchaser probably won   Posted on: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:55 am
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I'd throw StarChaser into the mix also.


Well, I do think that Starchaser will eventually meet the X-Prize requirements, but it plans to do so months after all the other serious contenders will: October 2004 is the scheduled first flight of the Thunderbird rocket. Considering that Rutan and the other teams plan to win months earlier than that, I don't think Starchaser will take the prize.

Of course, Starchaser is making good progress toward its goal, anyway.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 25, 2003 1:26 am
Granted, current plans put StarChaser after the fact; however, I haven't seen much reported regarding backup vehicles for each of the teams. If something happens to the vehicle, how long would it take for the teams to build another (regardless of the funding). It doesn't take much for agreesive schedules to push to the right.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:31 am
I hope Rutan doesn't win the X-prize. One thing that I like about this contest is its potential to prove that spaceflight isn't necessarily the impossible, super expensive barrier most of the public thinks it is. A bunch of unknown volunteers working in their spare hours to build a manned rocket would help pound that point home. None of those qualities applies to Rutan.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 25, 2003 9:59 am
Spacerat wrote:
I hope Rutan doesn't win the X-prize. One thing that I like about this contest is its potential to prove that spaceflight isn't necessarily the impossible, super expensive barrier most of the public thinks it is. A bunch of unknown volunteers working in their spare hours to build a manned rocket would help pound that point home. ....

Exactly. Thats why i like Armadillo best. Truely garage builders, and JC financing the whole thing out of his own pocket. Plus, they are very open about the methods they are using. All other groups are keeping a close lid on their efforts.

And one other very important factor: due to Quake and Doom, John Carmack is widely regarded as a "programming god" in huge video game community, he's very well respected. Him winning the X-Prize would help bring private space efforts to focus of this huge group of mostly young people and help inspire them.
Name of Burt Rutan might not tell anything to Slashdot or ign.com reader, but John Carmack's name is bound to be noticed.
I hope JC succeeds in revolutionizing space flight as he did for PC video games.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:08 am
Ok now registered too, Guest post was mine. For anyone who hasnt noticed, video games were global 30+ Billion industry last year, this year expected to hit 40. So lets try take some of the audience and convert them from ATI, Playstation or Counterstrike fanatics to Starchaser or Armadillo fanatics ;)


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jul 26, 2003 3:20 am
Good points about Carmack. Even if he doesn't win the X-prize it seems there's a good chance he could get a lot of press if he still succeeds with a launch because of his reputation. I read today that the guy in charge of engine development for the Spaceshipone recently died. I wonder what affect that will have on their program. I want Rutan to lose but not because of tragedies like that.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2003 9:54 pm
There was also a good story in Popular Science.

I think Burt is going to win! Not because some good stories were published in a few magazines but because he has the experience, skill, and the dedication to win.

Go Scaled!!!!!!

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Last edited by Captain_John_Black on Fri Aug 08, 2003 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:00 pm
Plus, they are very open about the methods they are using. All other groups are keeping a close lid on their efforts.


Starchaser are holding regular open days at their factory where very little seems to be hidden. I found the staff really friendly and ready to answer any questions at whatever level. highly recommended.


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Post who will win?   Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:17 pm
My money is on no one...why?
Successfully pulling off boost

a long shot. I understand that
the prize is funded not by
ca$h but rather an insurance
policy which would only have been allowed
AFTER the necessary diligence
must have revealed that the
chances of an amateur doing AT
ALL--what NASA accomplishes only
on a marginal basis, is pretty
remote even when you are
Rutan the Remarkable. Doing
a double hundred click in as
many weeks???...howz the line go ?--
<<Fuhgeddaboutit!>> Hopefully
the successor to X Prize will
reward only NON-PYRO approaches
with the prize being development money--nearly
serious money, say 1 Billion
( named after Billioaire Gates,
and to be used to fund actual
deployment of the rightstuff--
hardware-wise. ) EVERY contemporary space
effort is simply old wine put up
in new bottles, and the message
IN the bottle, rockets simply
cannot do space!!!


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:53 am
In the short term, one of the competitors will indeed be the winner. But boys and girls, in the long run, you and I, will be the winners. In ten years time there will be a viable affordable space industry. Look about you, we're in a global depression at the moment, and yet we're still able to fund this sort of venture. The future can only improve, and it's all down to these brave pioneers.

I hope all the teams manage to complete their goals. The winner will simply be the first, not necessarily the best. Comercial success depends on the best.

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Post Re: who will win?   Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:51 am
alieninvader wrote:
rockets simply
cannot do space!!!

Why not ? You know, rocket fuel costs next to nothing. And your average rocket engine is much simpler in design than DOHC 16 valve Turbo in your Chrysler. So, why not ?
You think its too damn expensive ?
Well, i suggest some short introductory reading on the subject:
Why are launch costs so high?


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Post Re: who will win?   Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:28 pm
no_way wrote:
Why not ? You know, rocket fuel costs next to nothing. And your average rocket engine is much simpler in design than DOHC 16 valve Turbo in your Chrysler. So, why not ?
You think its too damn expensive ?


Erm, no_way... and anyone else who might be tempted to engage with "alien invader"... it won't work. You see, I recognize in "alien invader"'s post a favorite old net-kook. His name is Steve Smythe, and he believes that rockets are bunk -- not that they are an inferior way of going into space, but that they don't go into space. He doesn't have any particularly intricate conspiracy theories to explain how all rocket launches are a hoax; he is just summarily dismissive of anyone who actually believes in them. For those who are actually building rocket hardware, he likes to call them "ROCKET BOYS" (always in all-caps, apparently it's an insult in his universe), "pyros", and "all talk and no action," before following it up with his ultimate proof: "rockets don't do space!"

He does have a solution, however: compressed air. Yes, compressed air spewed from a vehicle which vaguely resembles a thick, 747-sized Pringle. Says it will gently "float into space", and that this whole orbital velocity thing, by the way, is as much of a myth as rockets are.

I'll leave the medical diagnosis to others, and will only say that for me, mr. Smythe is more fun than a barrel of monkeys in a centrifuge.


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