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Rutan's "connections" and the X-Prize Rules

Posted by: space skeptic - Sun Sep 28, 2003 4:53 am
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Rutan's "connections" and the X-Prize Rules 
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Post Rutan's "connections" and the X-Prize Rules   Posted on: Sun Sep 28, 2003 4:53 am
The X-Prize Rules clearly forbid the use of government funds or material support in X-Prize vehicles. At least one contestant has had their original design disqualified by the Board for using engines developed with government funds.

Recently, I heard that Rutan is going to try an end-run around the FAA and their licensing procedures by flying exclusively out of military airspace, which the FAA does not control. If so, isn't this support by the government?

The rules say:

"Entrants will be permitted to utilize government facilities if access to such facilities is generally available to all entrants. Any such goods or services used in connection with the competition must be available to other entrants on similar terms. "

Rutan can get permission from his buddies in the Air Force but what are the chances another team could get to use military airspace? Is there a published "price list" for renting military facilities, or is this deal only available if your name is "Burt Rutan"? Sounds like an unfair advantage to me.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:35 pm
Good point. Government favoritism in access to launch sites would definately be a form of government support.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:08 am
The question is, "has anyone else asked?"

Sounds like Anti-Rutan bias to me.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 29, 2003 5:10 pm
A Mojave Desert airport in California has already been approved for use as a launch pad for the suborbital missions


http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/09/2 ... index.html

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 29, 2003 11:24 pm
I'll freely admit to having a lot of anti-Rutan bias as far as the X-prize goes. If he wins I just don't feel like it will help change the perception that space has to be a huge and expensive undertaking in the eyes of the public. Rutan's already well known and it's no secret that some financial backer has given him tens of millions of dollars to work on the project. The spirit of the X-prize would be served a lot better if some team like Armadillo (that hasn't even spent a million on their vehicle) won.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:32 pm
Id understand the concern if the competitor was Boeing. Or Lockheed. But Scaled Composites is neither Boeing, nor Lockheed, not even Cessna. OTOH, Carmack is a millionaire.

And let's not forget a few things. Armadillo uses industrial strength Hydrogen Peroxide as propellant, which can get pretty nasty if inadvertly mishandled. It's not too easy to come by in the supposed quantities either; six tons per flight. The ships needs a space suit to operate. Space suit is not something Joe Average would easily get their mitts on, not flight-approved one anyway.

If Armadillo is to carry paying passengers into space, the fueling system needs to be certified, as does the space suit, nevermind the craft itself. Armadillo crew might have enthusiasm, but when the ICAO and FAA get in the way, the things will take a nasty turn to the expensive.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:43 am
I don't know if Rutan Cares for the X-Price Money. The Project itself would cost more then the X-Price award so even if he is dis-qualified he would work on his project and then sell the service to who ever wants to launch setellites.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:03 am
We should all be happy, that he is trying to make something that can go into space.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:41 am
Speaking as an engineer and pilot, when I hear all this negative nitpicking, I say, "Shut up and let's work to make all of these ideas fly and let cheapest successful ideas win!"

The real culprit is the insane GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS, which have little to do with real safety.

If you want to bitch, pick on the right target, the biggest single roadblock to progress, BUREAUCRATS! :evil:


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Post    Posted on: Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:49 am
Quote:
If you want to bitch, pick on the right target, the biggest single roadblock to progress, BUREAUCRATS!


But do not worry, as always on the long run, Bureaucrats always destroy themself :lol: :lol: :lol:
IF it stops development for space for a while, it won't be too long...
They only look at papers, their own job... what will end in them losing their job ;)
The real time of beaurocrats is over, time changes, 30 years ago and earlier it was their best time, now it isn't any longer. If you wanne know why, read http://hhboard12.free.fr/Sigurd/spiraldynamics.html

And history showed us all times before, if something gets terrible, it will after all explode, and it will get too much attention, before it will get back to normal.

I think it can not stop Space Commercialization for more then 10 years MAX.
And I think, it will be no problem at all, only a few months extra work or so...


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:57 pm
I really don't think it's fair to criticise Rutan about spending 10's of millions of dollars on developing Spaceship One. It's still a sharp contrast to the billions of dollars that NASA spends on even the 'simplest' of projects.

The shuttle program, for example, has been allocated $3.9 billion for 2004. This is for a space craft that already exists, and works, not a completely new concept being built from the ground up. Spaceship One has been designed and created from scratch.

Scaled Composites are still a relatively small company, a win by Rutan will still be a significant kick in the nuts to grotesquely over-bloated outfits like NASA who require billions of dollars to get *anything* done.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jan 04, 2004 7:00 pm
Roger_Explosion wrote:
I really don't think it's fair to criticise Rutan about spending 10's of millions of dollars on developing Spaceship One. It's still a sharp contrast to the billions of dollars that NASA spends on even the 'simplest' of projects.


Correct
Also the airplane manufactures do spend billion or more on bringing a jetliner from concept to production. Sins they can and will spread the cost of the R&D among thousand or more planes bringing the cost down to a reasonable amount


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:31 pm
If Rutan wins it before somebody tries in some underengineered undertested underfunded deathtrap, it might save a few lives.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:10 pm
Very good point. Although it would still be nice to see some of those other folks try. Looking at Armadillo's design, I could easily see another DCX debacle where the craft tips over due to unequal thrust and blows up.

On a more positive note, it would seem that Rutan should be trying another test any day now.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:41 pm
Hell from what I've seen Spaceship1 seems to be the best engineered one so far (and god is it a sexy looking craft!)

Who cares if Rutan gets permission to launch from military airspace? If they Disqualify him, he can still make a fortune selling seats..I know I'd buy one.

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