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The Future of STC

Posted by: Senior Von Braun - Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:31 pm
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The Future of STC 
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Space Walker
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Post The Future of STC   Posted on: Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:31 pm
First of all, if there's anyone from STC browsing these forums I'd like to offer my congratulations on coming thus far and wish you the best of luck in all future endevours. STC has shown, like Armadillo, that even a very small group of dedicated people working on a shoestring budget even compared to what was spent on SS1 can accomplish tremendous things in the alt. space community. Along with Armadillo and Scaled this team has probably accomplished more than all of the other X Prize teams have done so far.

That said, I'm having my doubts as to whether STC can be taken seriously any more. After the crash in August we were informed that STC would launch Rubicon 2 by the end of September. They are now four months late and there has been no visible progress; this means one of two pretty bad things. Either they told the media that they would be capible of diong things that were in hindsight wildly beyond their abilities or they have hardly been active at all and it could be months more before they fly again, if ever. Either way this indicates that the company can not be taken seriously.

Additionally, their basic vehicle design is of rather suspect capibility. Is it within their ability to create something like this? Sure. Could the Rubicon, in its present form, be a viable space tourism vehicle or even safe enough for a few test flights? Absolutely not. Thus far there has been no explaination on the reentry system and it's very difficult to tell by looking how exactly this thing reenters. That's pretty important, I just really hope they took that into consideration during the design process. STC's insistence on using all solid rockets simply does not make sense. Solids may be easy to design and build but they are a real hassle to refuel and have a nasty tendancy to explode violently at all the wrong moments. We could argue all day over whether solids could be reused fast enough to work for space tourism, but the fundamental matter is that solid rocket motors are not safe enough for manned spaceflight. They cannot be throttled or shut down, something of critical importance when there's a person in the nose cone. When a liquid or hybrid rocket fails it would generally not result in complete loss of vehicle, every solid rocket engine failure would be a catastrophic failure for the whole mission.

I would really love to fall behind this team and lobby for their support, but I would like to see these issues addressed first. I think that we've all been a little too optimistic over the past few years and got a little too excited at the end of 2004 hoping for more after the SpaceShipOne flights. We'll have to return to the reality that 95% of everything in the alt space community is vaporware, and it appears so far that STC is a part of that group. Can someone from STC please come in and prove me wrong?

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Post Re: The Future of STC   Posted on: Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:41 am
Senior Von Braun wrote:
Additionally, their basic vehicle design is of rather suspect capibility.

Cool. Can we see your qualifications that enable you to make a statement such as this? You are a rocket scientist? Hey that's great, I didn't know. Still, just some sort of info here would shut me up very quickly. I'm really sorry that I thought you were just a propeller-head, I must have been completely wrong.

So, in anticipation of being shut up very quickly, I await your answer to my small request for this simple credibility check.

DKH

P.S. It sure would save a lot of guff about things like ... well ... ok, I'm gonna guess you aren't interested anyway.

P.P.S. It's "capability". Just trying to be helpful.

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Post Re: The Future of STC   Posted on: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:42 pm
Do you have some sort of beef with me, DKH? It's just that almost every time I post something in the same thread as you you come out trying to personally attack me at every possible turn. Just because someone is of different persuasion (I know I probably misspelled that, jeez!) than you doesn't mean that they're stupid. And claiming that that's the case won't help your argument either. Case in point:

Dr_Keith_H wrote:
Cool. Can we see your qualifications that enable you to make a statement such as this? You are a rocket scientist? Hey that's great, I didn't know. Still, just some sort of info here would shut me up very quickly. I'm really sorry that I thought you were just a propeller-head, I must have been completely wrong.

So, in anticipation of being shut up very quickly, I await your answer to my small request for this simple credibility check.

DKH

P.S. It sure would save a lot of guff about things like ... well ... ok, I'm gonna guess you aren't interested anyway.


Oh, puh-lease DKH! For the record, are you in fact a rocket scientist? Most people on the X Prize forums are not, in fact rocket scientists, jsut like most paleontologists have never seen a live dinosaur. Does that mean that these groups are automatically disquallified from making educated guesses on the abilities of rockets and dinosaurs, respectively? Don't even answer that, no.

Did you read my post past that one sentence on which you quoted me? If you did, you may note that I spelled out my concerns on STC. If you are a rocket scientist, perhaps you can tell me why these guys are capable (thanx for the spelling) of reaching 100K within the next few months. After all, with Rotary Rocket and Beal Aerospace flying payloads for <$100 a pound since the end of 2000, and Starchaser, Canadian Arrow, the DaVinci Project, and Armadillo in space at the end of 2004, why shouldn't STC be able to make it to space? Most memebers of the alt space community (myself unfortunately included sometimes) felt that these were very plausible predictions to make at the time; we (the alt. space community) have been far too optimistic. In the American trial system a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Likewise, in the space tourism industry we should assume that a company is incapable and unviable until proven otherwise. STC has not satisfied me otherwise yet. Are you happy? :roll:

What about saving guff? Why aren't I interested? Perhaps you could elucidate that PS comment to me.

If you have beef with me, let's grill it.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:54 pm
Braun, don't worry about it, its not just you, thats DKH's hobby ;) If I was you, I'd be offended if DKH didn't try to personally attack what you're saying, it means he shows some interest in it :P On the other hand, I rarely post anything worth commenting on, so DKH and I have yet to have the opportunity to grill beef on the X Prize BBQ ;)

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Last edited by rocktchick87 on Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:03 pm
eraurocktchick87 wrote:
grill beef on the X Prize BBQ


what an awesome way of saying flaming. you win.

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Post Re: The Future of STC   Posted on: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:17 am
Senior Von Braun wrote:
What about saving guff? Why aren't I interested? Perhaps you could elucidate that PS comment to me.

If you have beef with me, let's grill it.

Alright! Thanks Braunster I knew you wouldn't mind discussing a few points with me, I was just being as polite as possible.

Let's start with what could be your main point and it certainly is an interesting one worth debating. That solid rocket motors are not safe enough for manned spaceflight.

Can you expand on the apparently incredible stupidity behind the use of solid rocket boosters for NASAs manned flight programme over the last few decades? Given the premise that even non-rocket scientists know that solid rockets are so damn hazardous that it's a complete no-brainer that they should be automatically discarded in the context of developing man-rated flight systems. Your opinion on this matter is, as always, highly valued.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:21 am
eraurocktchick87 wrote:
I rarely post anything worth commenting on, so DKH and I have yet to have the opportunity to grill beef on the X Prize BBQ ;)

Well it turns out that you have a good sense of humour and a thick skin (metaphorically of course, your picture suggests a healthy looking dermal sheath). So I don't suppose we'll ever have anything to get all toasty and warm over. Sadly.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:49 am
Dr_Keith_H wrote:
Well it turns out that you have a good sense of humour and a thick skin (metaphorically of course, your picture suggests a healthy looking dermal sheath). So I don't suppose we'll ever have anything to get all toasty and warm over. Sadly.


I suppose I should take that as a compliment? :P Off to the continuous tedium of high school, have a great day everyone.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:56 pm
Dr_Keith_H wrote:
Well it turns out that you have a good sense of humour and a thick skin (metaphorically of course, your picture suggests a healthy looking dermal sheath). So I don't suppose we'll ever have anything to get all toasty and warm over. Sadly.

DKH


is that a sexual innuendo?


:lol: :twisted:

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:39 am
Almost sounds that way doesn't it? Scary... :P

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:16 am
TerraMrs wrote:
is that a sexual innuendo?

Out-uendo I thought, clearly you kids have too many hormones.

Has anyone seen that brawny brawling braunster lately?

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:25 am
He hasn't posted anything since his grill beef comment... I think you scared him off :P I'm sure he'll be back though.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:11 pm
eraurocktchick87 wrote:
He hasn't posted anything since his grill beef comment... I think you scared him off :P I'm sure he'll be back though.

He's not afraid of me, he's probably just busy in the real world. Be interesting if he chooses to continue this BBQ with me. Well I would find it interesting.

Shouldn't you be in school?

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:07 pm
School? What's school? :P I check every morning before I leave if I'm not in too much of a rush out the door. As for the real world, I find this "world" much more enjoyable, thus my reasoing for posting at 6:30 in the morning...

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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:16 am
Crud. I guess I should come here more often.

Thanks for the advice, Cathleen, probably good ideas all. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if everyone could share ideas without yelling, though. That might be kinda cool.

I don't really have any time right now so I'll be brief. Yes, I do believe that NASA has not made the right decision by using SRBs on the Space Shuttle. There are several reasons for this. For one, the only propulsion-related space accident that has ever occured was caused by a solid rocket motor. Granted NASA was not following thier owner's manuals but the engines should have been able to take more punishment. As it is they greatly shrink the windows of opportunity for shuttle flights. Solid rockets can not be throttled or shut down, two very critical flight characteristics in any man-rated launcher. If a problem occurs on a liquid or hybrid engine you can shut it down and make an emergency landing. If a problem occurs on a solid engine the options are A) abort, or B) end up like Challenger if option A is unavailible. The fact that solids are unthrottleable means that by the end of the burn they create accelerations that are excessive for human payloads. I just don't think you can run a space tourism industry with a vheicle that includes going down with the ship in the event of an engine failure or pulling somehwere around 8 or 9 g's likely in the event of a successful mission.

Yeah, I should try to post more often, but oh well. Unfotunately I can't use the computer before I go off on another adventurous high school sophmore day so I'm pretty much stuck making late-nite posts like this one. Cathleen, are you a senior? If you are, I humbly grovel for your acceptance of me as an intellectual equal (the seniors at my school are soooooo elitist towards underclassmen. It's not even funny...). :wink:

Heh heh. Good grief I need to get some sleep.

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