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Starchaser should abandon suborbital space tourism.

Posted by: virgair - Sat May 14, 2005 7:12 pm
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Starchaser should abandon suborbital space tourism. 
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Post    Posted on: Mon May 16, 2005 3:43 pm
I dunno , there is something cool about being launched from a mother ship :D

Or floating on a giant balloon Dark Sky station, I would kill (almost) to be on that.

I think the diversity is cool, pick the ride you like.

The safety of Scaleds landing strategy speaks to me as a parent :)

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Post Armadillo expenses   Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 1:28 am
>The whole idea of the X-Prize was to encourage small teams, without such huge amounts
>to spend to use creativity, inginuity and R&D to create their rockets. Only Armadillo [financed
>by John Carmack of Doom fame] had this sort of money available, but they haven't had the
>same success.

Total money spent on Armadillo to date over nearly four and a half years is under $2 million. I would have to sell Id if I wanted to spend $20+ million on a rocket project. The learning to dollar ratio is better at the lower burn rate.

Has starchaser ever made public comments on the amount of money raised from all of the investment and sponsorship deals?

John Carmack


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Post Re: Armadillo expenses   Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 2:34 am
John Carmack wrote:
>The whole idea of the X-Prize was to encourage small teams, without such huge amounts
>to spend to use creativity, inginuity and R&D to create their rockets. Only Armadillo [financed
>by John Carmack of Doom fame] had this sort of money available, but they haven't had the
>same success.

Total money spent on Armadillo to date over nearly four and a half years is under $2 million. I would have to sell Id if I wanted to spend $20+ million on a rocket project. The learning to dollar ratio is better at the lower burn rate.

Has starchaser ever made public comments on the amount of money raised from all of the investment and sponsorship deals?

John Carmack


pretty sure you can't argue with this. thanks JC for setting them straight :D.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 10:52 am
TomFox wrote:
I don't personally believe that SS2 will be finished in 3 years. SS1 took 3 years to make and fly.

Yes but that was when they had no experience in building suborbital spacecrafts. Now they do, and so even if the new spacecraft will be larger and go higher, I believe they have a lot of experience and knowledge and technology from the SS1 project.


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Post Re: Armadillo expenses   Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 11:57 am
TerraMrs wrote:
pretty sure you can't argue with this. thanks JC for setting them straight :D.


I'm not sure you should be including the whole Starchaser team by using the word "them", one disgruntled team member does not a team make. It would be unfair to label all of Starchaser with the same attitude.

I can understand the frustration that some teams feel when they are constantly struggling to finance the progress they are trying to make while other teams have an angel investor prepared to foot the bills, but that is not an excuse for having a go at them.

I was a bit disappointed that none of the other teams gave Scaled more of a competition but I guess that if they have to devide their efforts between building rockets and fund raising it was always going to be difficult. In the end I was glad someone managed to win the prize and gain a lot of good publicity for the commercial manned space industry.

The Starchaser design has a lot going for it and is probably easier to adapt to orbital use than SSO would be but they need to make some sub-orbital flights to get flight data on vehicle performance and gain credibility that will make their fund raising efforts easier.

I'm not sure what the market size is for sounding rockets, I think that one of the reasons that SkyLark lasted so long was that there were relatively few launches and it took a long time to use all the existing rockets up. Still it might be an area that Starchaser could exploit by adapting some of their small earlier rockets.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 12:27 pm
To address Mr Carmack's question:

The comments made previously in this thread pertaining to Armadillo and Mr Carmack were ill informed. In all posting relating to Armadillo Aerospace Starchaser have recognised the approach being taken by Armadillo and the progress they are making. It’s also obvious that Mr Carmack is not 'burning' his hard earned cash frivolously.

Starchaser haven't made public the levels of investment/sponsorship received. I joined in 1999 and since then we've spent around £2million (approx $3M US). The projects funded over this period include STARCHASER 3A, STARCHASER DISCOVERY, SHARP 4 & 5, the STARCHASER 4/NOVA rocket, the NOVA II capsule, the NEWTON Hybrid research engine, CHURCHILL Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 and the current Launch Escape System.

When you also add in the wage bill for our fulltime employees our 'burn rate' is pretty good.

We totally agree with the "learning to dollar ratio" being better at low burn rates as it truly focuses the attention to find more efficient, cost effective and innovative solutions to problems. Companies with large budgets tend to buy their way out of problems, this can reduce project timescales and, potentially, overall project costs, but Starchaser run a tight ship and we don't have money to burn.

In terms of sponsorship: Cash sponsorship has been small, however sponsorship-in-kind has proved very beneficial, we've secured services, goods and products which have had a significant positive affect on Starchaser projects.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 2:38 pm
To reply to this, I did a lot of further research, and admit, I may have made a few mistakes and misconceptions. There are however, a number of points which I made, for which I am being discredited, but are actually valid.

If you read this page, http://www.setiai.com/archives/000057.html at the bottom, it gives a timeline of SS1 production. Scaled at that time was working on GlobalFlyer and SS1. Initial concepts began in 1996, devlopement in 1999 and full production in 2001. Paul Allen announced he was backing SS1 to the tune of $25 million in December 2003. This was shortly after first supersonic test flights.

What does this mean? Either Paul Allen was paying for them way before this date, or Scaled paid initally, and he paid for the project later. In any case, as Scaled were working on 2 projects, it is reasonable to assume that the majoirty of their team was working on SS1 from 1999, or maybe even 1996 :!: . Many people state that Paul Allen fully financed the project, and Scaled did not spend a penny.

So Scaled did not spend a dollar on the project from 1996? Not at all? Not on anything? The whole R & D process was done for free? Seems pretty far fetched to me.

Scaled had about 100 staff at that time, and at an average wage of $35 000, thats $3.5 million per year alone. 1999-2003 costs in staff alone were $17.5 million. Add the SpaceDev engine, construction costs, and countless other costs, I don't think $25 million will suffice. More like $35 million or more - (I initially guessed $40)

Experince is good yes, but the higher you go, the more difficult it becomes, and the hotter you get when you come down. Heat shielding is not something usually found on high altitude aircraft - its the opposite up there! There are many more factors to consider, and so although experince speeds up some processes, there are a lot of hurdles to jump.

I was surprised that Armadillo have spent so little, when they have done so much testing. Credit must be given though, because their rocket is going to be almost perfect when they finish it.

l read somewhere that the total cost of everything NASA have ever done comes to over 1 trillon dollars in todays money - that's 1 000 000 000 000 dollars Now that is a lot of money, don't get me wrong.

Yes, however much SS1 costed ($25 or $40), in terms of such sums as above, it is miniscule. There is however a difference in spending $25 million or $5 million on two similar products. The most expensive is not always the best. ALso, Virgin Galactic in order to make a profit, will need to sell many more tickets, at a much higher cost. Or, to be competitive, sell thousands of tickets to make a profit at a low cost.

Lets put in some numbers. SS2 - total cost per craft $10 million Virgin buys 5, so thats $50 million. Ticket prices are $200 000, but because of running costs etc., only $100 000 profit is made on each flight. That means 50 000 000 / 100 000 or 500/1 to break even. 500 people to break even is quite a lot. Thats 125 flights a year, which initally is a lot.

Say due to competition they lower their price to $150 000, and running costs remain the same. 50 000 000 / 75 000 or 50 000 / 75 = 667 people 167 flights to break even again is a lot, and is probably 2 to 3 years worth of flights.

The advantages of a cheaper vehicle are obvious here. For exmaple, Thunderstar rockets costs $5 million each, 5 is $25 million. Ticket prices are again $200 000, but because of running costs, only $100 000 profit is made on each flight. 25 000 000 / 200 000 or 250 / 2 = 125 people to break even. Lets say a capsule holds 2 passengers, thats 63 flights per year, which is half the amount of Scaled, or 4 passengers is 32 flights per year.

5 low cost rockets could pay for themselves in a month if they could take 4 people at $200 000 each.

A message to Skybum:, I am not boasting, but stating the facts. If you look at news page, http://www.starchaser.co.uk/index.php?view=latest_news (which is in the process of being updated due to a website rebuild), you will see evidence of our LES testing, engine testing, life support testing, space suit testing and drop testing. All of which is put on the website for the world to see as we do it.

Also if you read the above calculations, you will see that in fact, a low cost rocket is actually many times more commercially viable than a (comparatively) costly spaceplane, which is limited to what is created at the time. Rockets can be stripped and improved, it is much more difficult to do so with a spaceplane.

I appreciate you taking the time to bicker with me about numbers, practices and development status. Strange how discussions quickly become off-topic when those with opinions enter the room.

TomFox


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 3:49 pm
If I may put my $0.02 in here.

Space planes, even rocket powered space planes, are much safer than ballistic rockets, largely due to the landing method. The historical safety record for parachutes is very poor compared to airplanes and gliders. Personally, I would feel safer in a regular airplane that goes very fast and high than I would in a ballistic rocket.

Recall that Rutan believes large safety improvements are more important than large cost reductions, and that is the focus of his efforts.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 4:33 pm
TomFox wrote:
Strange how discussions quickly become off-topic when those with opinions enter the room.

Tom, you inspire me ... this one is for you ...

Imagine there's no opinion
it's easy if you try
no feud below us
above us only joy
Imagine all the people
agreeing all the way ...

Imagine there's no difference
it isn't hard to do
nothing to argue or defend
no new ideas too
Imagine all the people
speaking in one voice ...

Imagine no perceptions
I wonder if you can
no need for shades of grey
or any brannigan
Imagine all the people
being all the same ...

You may say I'm an idiot
but I'm not the only one
I hope one day you'll join us
And the world will be completely and utterly buggered

DKH

(sorry JL)

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 5:44 pm
Tom Fox,

I fear you're taking your own opinion or ideas too fast as a fact.

Quote:
Paul Allen announced he was backing SS1 to the tune of $25 million in December 2003. This was shortly after first supersonic test flights.


Yes, AND he was already "backing it" as a hidden investor for "years".


Quote:
What does this mean? Either Paul Allen was paying for them way before this date, or Scaled paid initally

The fact is "Paul Allen was paying for them way before this date", and the public was already guessing about this a long time before it was made public.
http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/121803.htm

Fact: " Paul G. Allen, who has funded the effort since he and Rutan joined forces in March of 2001. "

Quote:
and he paid for the project later.

He paid from the start.

Quote:
it is reasonable to assume that the majoirty of their team was working on SS1 from 1999, or maybe even 1996


Correction: Development started March, 2001 AND as public known, "3 years" of development time.

Correction: Scaled also does smaller tasks, as example for NASA, DARPA etc., development Virgin Blobal Flyer.. that's "possible" <50 less people working on SS1, but no public info available, so we do not know for sure at all.

Quote:
Many people state that Paul Allen fully financed the project, and Scaled did not spend a penny.

And that's true.

Quote:
So Scaled did not spend a dollar on the project from 1996? Not at all? Not on anything? The whole R & D process was done for free? Seems pretty far fetched to me.

1996? no, it started "march 2001" and the R&D was done in the 3 years time of development.
You're taking 1996 as a fact, and that's wrong.



Quote:
Scaled had about 100 staff at that time, and at an average wage of $35 000, thats $3.5 million per year alone. 1999-2003 costs in staff alone were $17.5 million. Add the SpaceDev engine, construction costs, and countless other costs, I don't think $25 million will suffice. More like $35 million or more - (I initially guessed $40)

1) now you're saying ALL the 100 people at scaled worked for an average wage of $35 000, costing them $17.5 million.
2) You're taking the start date "1999", intead of march 2001.

WIth all their other work, and smaller tasks, I'm sure not all the 100 people "could" be working on SS1 and the first research and development started in 2001.
Burt Rutan shared before he had the ideas for years, but that's just his "ideas" in his mind, and that's almost 100% free for them and Paul Allen gave the resources to make it reality.

Using the right facts, 25$ million could be exactly right.
Cause you're using again the wrong number of 100 people (while you knew that they didn't all work on it, read your own sentences more above), guessing they started way before the real development started, it's only +- 3 years, not 5 or 6 years etc..


Quote:
Experince is good yes, but the higher you go, the more difficult it becomes, and the hotter you get when you come down. Heat shielding is not something usually found on high altitude aircraft - its the opposite up there! There are many more factors to consider, and so although experince speeds up some processes, there are a lot of hurdles to jump.


Burt Rutan said he didn't started on SS2 before he knew all the answers to do it, he even found several answers to go orbital, but a few problems remains, if he had all the answers for orbital, he wouldn't bother on sub orbital, but go directly to orbital.
So he knew all the answers "before" starting the development.

SS1 gave them most of the answers, Burt Rutan said he knows all the answers for SS2, +- 3 years of development time will be right I think, they learned the most important parts with SS1.
Or are you a better engeneer than Burt Rutan, knowing things he or many other people on this forum with more experiance doesn't ? if so.. please let us know, so we can talk about it.

I can also tell you that the temperature rise isn't a poblem, as Burt Rutan already mentioned before, they already have the answer to it. (and note, it's NOT orbital).

And 3 years.. really isn't a short time...

Quote:
I was surprised that Armadillo have spent so little, when they have done so much testing. Credit must be given though, because their rocket is going to be almost perfect when they finish it.


If you read his updates, you would have known.. as so many people here do, as with all other news from other teams, including scaled it's news etc etc.
I don't blame you for not knowing.. I blame you for acting as if you know.. and making mistakes with telling us that it's the truth.
I don't hate you.. I also make mistakes.. and I hope you'll learn from it and change so you'll be more accurate in the future. And when you don't know.. that you'll atleast let us know that it's not a fact.. but only a posibility.

You mentioned "because their rocket is going to be almost perfect when they finish it.", well I hope and wish for them it will be... but it's again something you write as fact.. that isn't a fact yet.. or may never be.. I know it sounds as if I push you on all things I can.. but I hope I can let you see.. that you have to be carefull with facts and personal ideas, opinions etc... sometimes it's better to add " I think" before your sentences.
Especially none english people (as I am), are less used to the writing style of suggesting things, written on a way as if it's a fact. But I'm sure many people in english are also annoyed by this.. cause it's just wrong.

Quote:
Lets put in some numbers. SS2 - total cost per craft $10 million Virgin buys 5, so thats $50 million. Ticket prices are $200 000, but because of running costs etc., only $100 000 profit is made on each flight. That means 50 000 000 / 100 000 or 500/1 to break even. 500 people to break even is quite a lot. Thats 125 flights a year, which initally is a lot.

Say due to competition they lower their price to $150 000, and running costs remain the same. 50 000 000 / 75 000 or 50 000 / 75 = 667 people 167 flights to break even again is a lot, and is probably 2 to 3 years worth of flights.


So... you think US$ 10 Million for 1 SS2...
I think it can be produced for 5 million or less... cause they don't need to rewrite their Simulator and other software, they don't need to draw all papers again, etc etc... and paying people is in most cases most expensive.. I think 1 SS2 craft will not be 10$ million us$. But of course.. I don't know.. but neither do you..

But what we do know is that R&D cost is NOT connected to the construction cost of several vehicles.

Quote:
only $100 000 profit is made on each flight

We don't know... but I think it will be more... cause Burt Rutan also said the first passengers will be paying for the development of the next space vehicles.

If 5 people (it can be more or less) are on SS2 as passengers, it's $200 000 * 5 = 1 million us$... I don't think it will cost 900 000 us$ per flight of SS2...
But of course... we can't know.. so we can only talk about it with our own opinions etc.

Quote:
The advantages of a cheaper vehicle are obvious here.

Indeed.. but maybe SS2 is not expensive to produce... as I mentioned before R&D != Production, we can't know how expensive/cheap it is... and neither how cheap/expensive it is to run each flight...
Maybe SS2 will be cheaper (possible because of more expensive R&D ?) to fly, compared to other vehicles (as example starchaser).... we don't know.

Quote:
The advantages of a cheaper vehicle are obvious here. For exmaple, Thunderstar rockets costs $5 million each, 5 is $25 million. Ticket prices are again $200 000, but because of running costs, only $100 000 profit is made on each flight. 25 000 000 / 200 000 or 250 / 2 = 125 people to break even. Lets say a capsule holds 2 passengers, thats 63 flights per year, which is half the amount of Scaled, or 4 passengers is 32 flights per year.


Something tells me that I don't like the way you're computing your numbers...

Because it's based on so much guess work.. I'll not invest my time in fixing your math... cause it's only 1 large guess from the beginning...

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Post Starchaser, funding, etc   Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 6:35 pm
I don't mean to sound like I am attacking Starchaser. I figured that with full time employees, your burn rate would be a bit higher than ours. I have always thought that if someone was willing to trade even more time(twice as long? longer?) to shop around for sales and surplus items, and be more social in trying to bum facilities from other people, that the same progress could be made for less than half of what I am spending. If you had the skill sets already in place, the prescience to never go down blind alleys, and have the perfect plan before you spent any money, it might be possible to go off and build a personal suborbital spacecraft for half a million dollars. Realistically, it is going to take at least a few million.

I was on record as saying that the previous Starchaser design with two stages and strap on boosters was "never going to work", but I think the current design is quite sensible. I wouldn't separate the capsule from the rocket on a nominal flight, and I fear the fins won't survive operational recoverly, but those are quibbles.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 7:10 pm
I got the staff number from their site - http://www.scaled.com/careers/index.html At the moment, its 135. I think that a company such as Scaled would build up their team as they went along. Therefore, I think they had all the staff they needed when they "properly" started SS1. As I said, about 100 at the beginning. We must not forget that Scaled was already a large company before SS1, building 16 aircraft before SS1.

$35 000 per year? Any Americans here? What is the average wage would you bet for a highly specilised engineer dealing in the aerospace industry? I'd guess $35 000, maybe more?

I have read many of the reports posted on the Armadilo site. All of which show extensive testing in many fields, especially propulsion. Don't want to be unkind Sigurd, but surely with that much testing, they must know the best types of fuels, materials and stuff? Surely by knowing as much as they do, from the testing they have done, they will be able to create a much more powerful, efficient and safe rocket, than if they had rushed into the project, without doing much thinking? Which rocket would you fly in Sigurd - one that had been fully planned and tested, or one that was thrown together without any prior thought? I know which one I'd choose.

In regards to my writing sytle - I write as I speak. I know this is not proper English, but I do so because it seems more natural to myself. Why write one way, and speak another? Language is there to be explored, developed, and used in creative ways. Regional dialects exist because people did things in different ways. I'm sorry if you don't like the way I write, but I am not going to change just for you.

I do think $10 million will be the cost of SS2, when they mass produce it (5). I included R&D costs into the $50 million figure, shared amongst the vehicles. R&D is the most expensive part (besides staff), because you spend lots of money on stuff that you don't end up using.

SS2 is going to be big. I heard it will be 6ft high and 7ft wide. It will be like a small business jet, with 1 or 2 pilots, and 4-6 passengers from website sources. It will also weigh much more. This means that White Knight 2 will have to be much bigger in order to create enough lift to take it to 35 000 ft or whatever.

Building 5 rocket powered business jets and carrier aircraft for $50 million seems like a challenge to me. I found a website that said that the X-15 programme cost $100 million in 1960, which is about $500 million in todays money. Only a genius like Burt Rutan could build 5 rocket powered business jets and carrier aircraft for $50 million including R&D.

What are the running costs of a Space Tourism company? Well you have:
Fuel for the aircraft / rocket
Staff costs to do everything
Hire of the launch facilites if you don't own them, or loan payment for them
Mission control and tracking facilites
Pickup crews if you don't land where you took off
Payment for your facilites (including reception, offices, training rooms, cafe etc.)
Payment for your VAB and all of the tools and equipment
Training of the passengers who will fly
Simulators
(there's probably more)

Mike - what was the launch cost for NOVA?

Sorry again, I forgot to make something clear, which threw me, and probably you off as well. I meant $100 000 profit per ticket - running costs $500 000, profit $500 000. Just ignore my maths (not math - this is an incorrect abbreviation, as there is more than one calculation). Maybe I need more coffee, or sleep, or something else.........

$25 million spent on rockets, $500 000 profit per flight = 250 / 5 = 50 flights to break even. A Space Tourism company with 5 rockets could rotate the rockets to do 4 launches per week, and so would be in profit after 13 weeks. 37 weeks * $500 000 profit = $18.5 million profit in year one. Not bad for a first year?

John - the fins aren't designed to survive - they absord landing impact, so as not to damage the rocket. Better a broken fin than a broken rocket.

Tom


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 8:01 pm
TomFox wrote:
$35 000 per year? Any Americans here? What is the average wage would you bet for a highly specilised engineer dealing in the aerospace industry? I'd guess $35 000, maybe more?


scaled probably pays all of their aero engineers over $100k a year. undergrads in aero start usually between $60-$80k, and since scaled probably hires lots of PhDs, they make significantly more. especially since scaled will only hire the very best. though because they are rutan's team, they might pay a bit less than your average aero company. still i'd guess average salary for the trained engineers is at least around $100k, not counting technicians and mechanical people.

Andy Hill wrote:
I'm not sure you should be including the whole Starchaser team by using the word "them", one disgruntled team member does not a team make. It would be unfair to label all of Starchaser with the same attitude.


sorry didn't intend to include all of starchaser with that "them", i meant all the anti-armadillo people, not starchaser in general.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 8:39 pm
Yes, wages at Scaled start around $100k. However, the greatest number of people they ever had working on SS1/WhiteKnight was about 50 (Scaled has a LOT of other things that they work on too), with they typical number being closer to 25. Consider also, however, that many elements of their program were subcontracted (fuel cores from SpaceDev, propulsion hardware from EAC, and simulators / FNC from FunTech), so the total number of people involved is fairly difficult to estimate. However, the budget and timeframe requires no estimation: it was $25 million, and serious work began in March 2001. This has been stated repeatedly by the people involved, and I see no reason to disbelieve them.

As for the operational costs, they should generally be lower on a spaceplane (or VTVL) type vehicle, since the refurbishment and vehicle integration processes are considerably simpler. However, SS1 was relatively expensive to operate (~$100k per flight), mostly thanks to the ablative graphite engine throat that had to be replaced with every flight. If they keep the hybrid propulsion for SS2 -- and I'm far from certain that they will -- you can expect to see operational costs for SS2 be on the order of $300k - $500k. Meanwhile, there will be 5-8 passengers for SS2 (depending on which sources you believe), yielding a plausible range of $500k to $1.3M in PROFITS per flight (assuming $200k per passenger). If they switch to liquid propulsion, I believe they could cut the operational expenses by 25% - 50% or so, although their development costs would probably be higher.

You are actually under-estimating the development costs; they've been stated as being around $125M, which is quite believable given their experience with SS1. This means that development costs can be amortized after 100-250 flights. Given the rapid turnaround that this type of vehicle is capable of, this can be accomplished in under a year, given a fleet of five vehicles. And it means that in the longer term, the break-even point for the price of tickets is in the range of $38k to $100k (or considerably less, if you switch to liquids).

In comparison, a rocket/capsule approach is almost certainly cheaper to develop, however because of the increased complexity of refurbishment and re-integration, the turnaround times will be longer, and the operational expenses will be greater. In terms of how you get your R&D amortized more quickly, you're correct that the rocket/capsule approach has the advantage, because of the lower development costs. But in terms of how you get your operational costs as low as possible -- which is the key to long-term survival in a competitive marketplace -- the spaceplane (and/or Armadillo-style VTVL rocket) almost certainly has the advantage.

Of course if you seriously believe that there will be NO competition, as you've more or less stated, then you don't need to worry about minimizing your operational costs. That's a fool's bet to make, however.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 17, 2005 9:10 pm
Quote:
I got the staff number from their site - http://www.scaled.com/careers/index.html At the moment, its 135. I think that a company such as Scaled would build up their team as they went along. Therefore, I think they had all the staff they needed when they "properly" started SS1. As I said, about 100 at the beginning. We must not forget that Scaled was already a large company before SS1, building 16 aircraft before SS1.


They hired a lot of people recently and also buyed a new building(hangar {don't know if it's a right english word}) close to their current location.

Also.. I don't know how many people worked on smaller sub projects, or the larger Virgin Global Flyer.. and how many on SS1... we'll never know.. or one of them should share it with us...

Quote:
$35 000 per year? Any Americans here? What is the average wage would you bet for a highly specilised engineer dealing in the aerospace industry? I'd guess $35 000, maybe more?

I don't know... but I just trust the costs of 25$ million... it's a lot... why expect it to cost more ?.. I don't think we can trace back all the money they had to pay to their employees etc etc etc to the total cost...

Quote:
I have read many of the reports posted on the Armadilo site. All of which show extensive testing in many fields, especially propulsion. Don't want to be unkind Sigurd, but surely with that much testing, they must know the best types of fuels, materials and stuff? Surely by knowing as much as they do, from the testing they have done, they will be able to create a much more powerful, efficient and safe rocket, than if they had rushed into the project, without doing much thinking? Which rocket would you fly in Sigurd - one that had been fully planned and tested, or one that was thrown together without any prior thought? I know which one I'd choose.

Same do I... but I do not know anyteam rushing things toghetter..
Scaled is using more money.. they are able to get the information with paying for it.. or having the people with more knowledge..
So this question is unrelated to the discussion at this moment.. since Scaled, Starchaser, Armadillo.. are all working to make it as safe as they can, but of course I will always chose for the safest, most reliable, respected vehicle and company.

Quote:
In regards to my writing sytle - I write as I speak. I know this is not proper English, but I do so because it seems more natural to myself. Why write one way, and speak another? Language is there to be explored, developed, and used in creative ways. Regional dialects exist because people did things in different ways. I'm sorry if you don't like the way I write, but I am not going to change just for you.

I think writing is ment to communicate.. if you're unable to communicate... you shouldn't be writing on this forum... since you're able to communicate.. you should atleast try to be "right" with what you're saying.
As example you shared with me in an email a few weeks ago, that "I am part of the Starchaser volunteer team, on behalf of the company, we would like to co-operate with your site to bring our news to the world.
We would like our own spot on the new forum, and a detailed section on your site about Starchaser, our mission and our technology. We will write the content ourselves for you to put on the site."

While you do NOT represent Starchaser and their answer is:
"Mr Fox is known to Starchaser and he has visited our facility a couple of times. He is not associated to the company or the Starchaser 'team' and therefore does not represent Starchaser or our views on X PRIZE teams or their activities.

He is a young man with an intense passion for space but has yet to learn the art of diplomacy.
"

I took a lof of time to answer you in detail about the new site.. you even asked if you & others at starchaser could see the new site... but it seems you all did it "personally" in your own intrest, thinking it's good for starchaser.
It seems Starchaser has it's own forum with a membership, creating a new forum over here would only compete with them, "lowering" their donations/profits.
I also never received an official answer about the possible "co-operation" you talked about.

So yes.. your way of writing really annoys me... if it's that diffrent than most people..

I think when you speak english.. we should atleast try to speak the same language... Else I can make any accusation to you.. call you things you'll deffinatly not prefer to hear... make great deals with you for a vecation while it's not true, and after all this...I can just claim it's my way of speaking and the same way of writing...

Quote:
I do think $10 million will be the cost of SS2, when they mass produce it (5). I included R&D costs into the $50 million figure, shared amongst the vehicles. R&D is the most expensive part (besides staff), because you spend lots of money on stuff that you don't end up using.

Since there is no large production.. it's wise to see the "R&D" costs included, as Skybum shared with us, he said it's 125M, with R&D included it would be 125 / 5 = 25 Million each.. of course, that's not true... 1 vehicle will cost a lot.. because of the R&D, what is most expensive and the next vehicles will be cheaper, but in general.. if no other vehicles are build, it's 25 Million each.. if they build more vehicles, the cost per vehicle "relative" will go down.

And of course.. as I mentioned before in my previous reply.. I don't know, it are all guesses and my opinion.. I think the "copy" vehicles will be arround 5 million each... that's still 20 million for the last 4 vehicles. With the assumption that they would already have an engine developed, technology available, software developed, Ground Station equipment tested and working, The license from the FAA etc etc...

I don't know about the mother ship... yes it's also needed, will they build 5 ? possible. or possible less... I really don't know... neither it's development price.. but I guess it will not be as advanced as SS2, and I think about 1/4 or less it's costs to build and research.



And about the math... we'll see when it's done ;) we can only guess numbers... so it may turn out to be totaly diffrent.. so not going to compute it.

_________________
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. - Lord Kelvin, 1892


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