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Possible chances for private space vehicle and travel firms

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:41 am
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Possible chances for private space vehicle and travel firms 
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Post Possible chances for private space vehicle and travel firms   Posted on: Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:41 am
This post is stimulated by a discussion with Andy Hill under "The Spaceflight Cafe". One topic of that discussion are Elon Musk's chances to get a market to launch his vehicles.

Perhaps that topic includes an interesting aspect: The Bush-Plan is including a return to the moon and a permanent station there.

This permanent lunar station now requires a launch site - and currently there are several companies experienced in constructing and building launch sites. One of them is Interorbital Systems for example who try to fund their private orbital vehicle by that business.

NASA seems to be forced to order private enterprises to build a launch site at the moon. And all the equipment to build the site and the launch equipment itself as well as some elements, components and materials going into the site itself have to be carried there. Many flights seem to be required.

Will they do all that by expensive vehicles and boosters? Wouldn't the firms at least building the lunar launch site prefer to make use of the Falcons?

What are the chances of Interorbital Systems to be the company in charge to build that lunar launch site? Their budget currently is that small that they must prefer the Falcons.

Or will they launch and land like the former Eagle?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:45 pm
Whatever they do (the government or whoever wants to go to the moon) it will be totally ridiculous to hand contract to Boeing or Lockheed. Sure, you may get a better shot at it, but for 1 launch you can buy a few launches with th falcon.....


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:32 am
Lunar operations would probably require a few of us to band together. I appreciate the hard work my freinds in the new space arena are doing, but it would be a stretch to think any of us could support a manned presense on the lunar surface yet.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:56 am
I would like to see some of you to band together under the aspect that you are developing different concepts. One concept will be optimal for that purpose and another concept will be optimal for another purpose.

Combinations of such purposes will have to be achieved to launch for the moon to create spacports etc. there.

So you competing private space vehicle and travel companies are acting together to make possible private lunar vehicles and travels.

By the way - would it be possible to launch vehicles like the Falcons from a floating port? If I remember right you mentioned heavy cargos this ports could be useful for. Heavy cargos will be required for building a space port at the moon - and the floating ports could remove the requirement to lift them by a rocket from the surface. And if it would be better to launch the heavy cargo into the orbit by JP Aerospace's vehicle then it should be done - SpaceX may be able to launch from orbit totally. So they could take over the cargo from your vehicle.

What about that?



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Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:39 am
An early version of our plan used a floating platform to launch rockets. We did plan to scale the system up to support larger rockets and other things. Along the way, though, I'm certain we will develop the airship experience needed to make the rest of the plan work. There is no reason why rockets couldn't launch from there though.

Check out some of our earlier 'Space Flight' Project and you might see what I mean. Our platform wasn't much more complicated that a string of balloons, but a scale-up would have moved us toward semi-rigid structures with buoyant properties.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:01 am
@adiffer, just a silly question, but how much upward force does the current airship generate? In other words, how many kg's can you lift with such a vehicle?


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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:20 am
There is no single answer to your question because it depends on how big we choose to build the balloons.

As a general rule of thumb, you need about 60 cubic meters of Helium to float at an altitude of 30 km for each 1 kilo of mass.

We design our balloon sizes to work for what we want to fly and where we want to fly it.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:09 pm
Thanx for the answer :)


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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:05 pm
Because I don't remember - adiffer, what is done with the Helium when the desired altitude is reached? Cooled down to send it back to the surface or released to the atmosphere and lost?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:24 pm
In our current designs, the helium is not recovered.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:24 am
Is there a chance that further developments of the designs or later designs will provide recovery of the helium?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:42 pm
Hopefully by the end of this year.

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