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Ways and methods to handle spaceport-capacities

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:26 am
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Ways and methods to handle spaceport-capacities 
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Post Ways and methods to handle spaceport-capacities   Posted on: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:26 am
As turned out a spaceflight has to be delayed because the capacity of the manpower of a spaceport was insufficient.

The safety-related services are the point where the problem occurred.

As the number of launches and flights grows problems like this might occur the more. And given the private developments the number will grow I think.

How could this be handled? And how should it be handled.

One technological solution is Burt Rutan's way of air launch because his concept has one focus on improvement of safety.

Another technological solution is improved and increased computer assistance which seems to be one of SpaceX's focusses on.

What else is possible via technologies?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:52 pm
I think the problem might be in several things. There are not many launc-complexes capable of handling serieus rockets, therefore there is not much choice. Second problem is, especially for private companies, is the price they want to launch your rocket. Third problem, you are not alone in the world who want to use that launch complex.

How this should be handled? That i don't dare saying. How it could be handled?

Option one. Buy an old moveable-drilling platform which is not being used anyhow and i'm sure greenpeace doesn't like it to be dumped, so the price should not be extremely high. Advantages: your own launch complex, probably enough place to have a hangar on it to do last-minutes check or maybe even assembly. Only big problem is weather and the waves. Not sure how bad the weather is on the equator. I don't think engineers and mechanics want to assemble a rocket on a moveable platform. But if it's not extreme i don't see it to be a huge disadvantage.

Option two. Launch it from an obsolete small oil tanker. All the advantages of an drilling platform and you don't even need to carry the rock from that ship to the platform. So it's a bit less complex to do it. But probably you would have a lot more trouble with weather and waves then on a massive drilling-platform.

And for both those options i bet the insurancepremium could be substantially lower.

Also, more personal on a launch complex would imo increase danger so that's probably a big point to consider. I don't know all the processes involved in pre-launch operations, but to minimize the personal needed for that, you can check the rest with computerdata and camera's. Preferably there should be no person present in a wide area around that launch complex.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:15 pm
I think Burt Rutan is on the right track when he says reliability and safety improvements are more important than cost reductions. We have no problem "launching" hundreds of large airplanes from airports in cities, because the airplanes don't go off course and crash somewhere miles away from the airport 2% of the time. And they don't drop stages on the way up either. Air travel would not be economically viable if all airports had to be miles from any population and the surface had to be cleared of all people for 100 miles under the flight path for each flight. The reason airplanes don't have these restrictions is because they are so safe.


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Post Re: Ways and methods to handle spaceport-capacities   Posted on: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:40 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
As turned out a spaceflight has to be delayed because the capacity of the manpower of a spaceport was insufficient.

The safety-related services are the point where the problem occurred.


It's an interesting point: There's one resource they absolutely need, and it happens to be outside their control. You're a bit of an economist, how would you calculate the value for SpaceX of providing a back-up (supposing they had at least that possibility, which I doubt in a military installation)? And even more, once you've calculated that value in terms of revenue, and the cost to maintain it, will any cost-cutting beancounter in the world let you do it?

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:00 am
Stefan Sigwarth wrote:
...Option one. Buy an old moveable-drilling platform which is not being used anyhow and i'm sure greenpeace doesn't like it to be dumped, so the price should not be extremely high. Advantages: your own launch complex, probably enough place to have a hangar on it to do last-minutes check or maybe even assembly. Only big problem is weather and the waves. Not sure how bad the weather is on the equator. I don't think engineers and mechanics want to assemble a rocket on a moveable platform. But if it's not extreme i don't see it to be a huge disadvantage....
Also, more personal on a launch complex would imo increase danger so that's probably a big point to consider. I don't know all the processes involved in pre-launch operations, but to minimize the personal needed for that, you can check the rest with computerdata and camera's. Preferably there should be no person present in a wide area around that launch complex.


See "Sea Launch" and their recent rocket explosion


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:29 am
WannabeSpaceCadet wrote:
See "Sea Launch" and their recent rocket explosion


Omg, Boeing :shock: Then you know you can do it better and cheaper :wink:


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:59 am
Hello, Max Lange,

the point you are mentioning really is the point catching my mind.

I don't want to discuss it under the view of Economics in this section here but tend to look at it another way that also is of meaning in Economics: It would be an alternative to a backup to do rationalization ("Rationalisierung"). Rationalization can be done by technologies, innovation and invention - technological progress.

In so far SpaceX might have the Know How to apply spaceport technologies etc. a way that avoids delays caused by shortnesses of capacities.

At present I personally have veryvery vague feelings about it only and can't say something about it here - I am thinking about it and playing around.

On the other hand I would like to see vital and positive solution-oriented discusssion about it - an open group of alternative solutions would be great...



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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