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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    Posted on: Sat Sep 27, 2003 4:17 am
Sadly, Carmack said in a recent interview that he believes Scaled will be the winner. But on the upside he said he plans to continue building ships even if Scaled wins. You can read the interview here.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 28, 2003 4:47 am
:shock:
What's with all the hatred of Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites. Is it that he is the overwhelmingly most likely candidate? Or perhaps is it that he is taking a unique and creative aproach to space flight that doesn't use those expensive money wasters known as, ahem, rockets?

I for one think that it would be great if Rutan won because unlike the majority of the other contenders he's using a revolutionary new approach to reduce launch costs and increase safety dramatically. Just because Scaled Composites isn't a teeny volunteer operation working out of the space formerly reserved for some guy's garage band doesn't automatically make it some evil overlord corporation with millions of dollars to shove down the garbage disposal. Scaled Composites is not a very big company in real life, and winning wouldn't prove that huge amounts of cash are necessary for space travel. What Armadillo, Canadian Arrow, or Starchaser winning would prove is that giant money-wasting rockets filled to the brim with cryogenic gases are necessary for space travel.

Now, I'm not saying that it's an assured that Scaled Compistes will win. Canadian Arrow and maybe the Da Vinci Project pose some serious competition, but, hey, that's what it's all about. Due to his extensive previous track record, I estimate Rutan's chances of winning as being around 75%, and am rooting for him all the way. But if someone shows that they can do better... 8)


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Post blip in the road   Posted on: Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:20 pm
Check out this article on an anomolous flight test last week of SpaceShipOne.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/972359.asp?0cb=-218183010


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 29, 2003 11:33 pm
Let's hope the kinks are serious enough to put them seriously behind schedule. :twisted:


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:07 pm
I really don't want anyone to fall behind schedule, but Scaled's visibile testing in no doubt lighting a fire under some other's butts that time is limited. Note that Starchaser has drop-tested and is now test fireing their engine again. This is a race and everybody involved knows it. Running around a track in practice doesn't always result in your total and best effort. Chasing a "hare" around a track improves everyone's effort.

Expect Canadian Arrow & da Vinci have taken notice and are starting to put actual milestone dates on paper (although secretly).

Although not a win, a "first to try" award for a team would carry some cachet with the public (for a limited time). Although perhaps dangerous, expect a team to rush to an attempt (ala Langley & the Wrights).


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Post Newsweek article   Posted on: Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:23 am
I think it's fantastic that Newsweek wrote an article featuring teams from the x-prize ( the link posted by guester123 above - and actually published in print in Newsweek ), but I was a little disappointed in the story.

Here's one quote:

"The two dozen teams around the world vying for the X Prize are all pursuing variations on the technology that propelled Shepard."

refering to Shepard's sub-orbital flight in the Mercury-Redstone rocket.
Although the x-prize contestants are attempting sub-orbital flights, the technologies many are using hardly seem to be "variants" of the Mercury-Redstone rocket.

Here's another quote:

"Because the ships are not leaving the planet’s upper atmosphere, where they would go into orbit, they won’t need the complicated heat protection required to return to Earth—a tricky and dangerous maneuver, even in NASA’s hands."

First, it's not like you have to go into orbit simply because you leave the atmosphere. Second, I hate the patronizing tone of "even in NASA's hands." To me, the point of the X-Prize is to rid people of the notion that space is too difficult for anyone but NASA. It really makes me hope that a private orbital flight follows not too long after a sub-orbital flight.

Next, the article states that Armadillo Aerospace is based in New Mexico. I thought they were based in Texas.

Finally, the first sentence of the article contains the word "calamitous." Whether or not you like Burt Rutan and Scaled composits, a disaster (death) for one team could mean serious problems for all of them - especially in gaining sponsorship.

I guess I shouldn't be annoyed because the publicity for the X-Prize is really worth it, but I just couldn't help it.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:41 pm
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First, it's not like you have to go into orbit simply because you leave the atmosphere. Second, I hate the patronizing tone of "even in NASA's hands." To me, the point of the X-Prize is to rid people of the notion that space is too difficult for anyone but NASA. It really makes me hope that a private orbital flight follows not too long after a sub-orbital flight.


It's amazing how many fallacious articles have been written about the X-prize. I think I have yet to read an article that doesn't screw up the facts in some major way. It's especially unfortunate though when these types of articles help to reinforce the public perception that only NASA can do space.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:21 am
It's really just a result of the fact that the general media really has no idea what it's talking about. Here's the scary part, if Particle and the rest of us were able to find the faults with a subject we know about, imagine the misinformation the media prints about subjects we don't know about! :o Mass market news is pretty much worthless, you have to find specialized publications to get decent info.

Btw, I also happen to be Guestmonster from earlier in the forum, and the point remains, what's with all the anti-Scaled Composites tripe? The Rutan design is breakthrough new technology and from the guy's track record, I think he knows what he's doing. Saying that Scaled Composites is a major company is like saying that Pat Buchanon was a major candidate in 2000. Rutan's company is about as big compared to Boeing or Lockheed Martin as a private law firm of three people is to one of those generic rent-a-suit firms. Oh, and I believe that Rutan's right on track for a space flight. Sure there will be some setbacks, but I'm afraid that y'all might be disappointed in a few months.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:55 pm
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It's amazing how many fallacious articles have been written about the X-prize.



I personally find it quite desturbing how the media also has a tendency of omiting certen key information. Like in Aviaton Week's article about Burt Rutan's efforts way back in Augest. It was a full 2 page feature but didn't once mention why Burt is building SpaceShipOne! I couldn't believe it! They totally left out the whole reason why he's building it! That just really irks me. :x

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Post Another Successful Test Flight   Posted on: Mon Oct 27, 2003 8:47 pm
17 October - another glide test of Spaceship one. Sorry for all you Rutan bashers out there, but apparently they've got the CG problem from the last flight corrected. Looks like the next flight could be using the rocket motor...


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Post Re: Another Successful Test Flight   Posted on: Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:29 pm
Anonymous wrote:
17 October - another glide test of Spaceship one. Sorry for all you Rutan bashers out there, but apparently they've got the CG problem from the last flight corrected. Looks like the next flight could be using the rocket motor...


Excellent! And what's better, that was on my birthday!

Thanks, Rutan! :mrgreen:


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Post New drop test   Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:51 am
Congratulations to Rutan on his Return to Flight! Hopefully, when I turn on CNN on December 17, I will be able to see a pale dot streaking across the sky... as SpaceShipOne goes for it!

Can Rutan do it? He has just two months...


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:15 am
Way to go Rutan!!! Now, that shuttlecock re-entry control...that's really introducing something innovative! :wink:


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Post No bureacrats   Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:17 pm
Burt Rutan is teaching us all a valuable lesson; never let bureaucrats be in charge of anything. His safety first, "question, never defend" philosophy is the complete opposite of NASA.

NASA bureacratic history is that of "kill the engineer who questions". We all know the result.

Burt, After your first XPRIZE flight, we would like to see your flight schedule and prices! :D


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:54 am
Guestmonster wrote:
:shock:
What's with all the hatred of Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites. Is it that he is the overwhelmingly most likely candidate? Or perhaps is it that he is taking a unique and creative aproach to space flight that doesn't use those expensive money wasters known as, ahem, rockets?

I dont think theres anyone hating Rutan here. The more approaches there are, the better. But your rocket hatred is really stupid. FYI, SpaceShipOne will be getting up by using ... newsflash! a hybrid rocket engine.

Quote:
I for one think that it would be great if Rutan won because unlike the majority of the other contenders he's using a revolutionary new approach to reduce launch costs and increase safety dramatically.

Why would you say that Rutans approach is revolutionary ? Because of air launch ? Have you heard of Pegasus ?
Well, the reentry method he's using is really revolutionary, but the downside of it, as far as i understand, is it doesnt scale up, i.e. it would not be suitable for higher-speed reentry.

Quote:
What Armadillo, Canadian Arrow, or Starchaser winning would prove is that giant money-wasting rockets filled to the brim with cryogenic gases are necessary for space travel.

This is X-prize board, the last of all places where i would have expected to see such obviously stupid statements. Armadillo is planning to use low-concentration hydrogen peroxide, very environmentally safe and cheap fuel. Probably quite a lot cheaper than hybrid, used in SS1. Canadian is planning to fly on good ole' alcohol. Starchaser is using lamp oil ( kerosene ). All very cheap fuels. Only LOX can be considered "cryogenic", but its handling is moderately easy, cheap and safe, like demonstrated by XCORs several rocket engines.
Armadillo has quoted their development costs been close to a million as of now, whereas Rutan indicated the budget close to a "Soyuz flight", i.e. in a ~20 million ballpark. So where exactly do the "giant money-wasting rockets" come in ?

The problem with Scaled's approach, as far as i see, is that the technology has no obvious path for scaling up. They cant launch a bigger rocket without first building larger carrier plane. If reentry speeds grow, the shuttlecock configuration will need to be at least redesigned, if not altogether replaced.
Armadillo, for instance, can probably use their current approach for halfway to orbit.


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