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Scaled/Virgin in CUP for test, marketing and advertisment?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:47 am
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Scaled/Virgin in CUP for test, marketing and advertisment? 
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Post Scaled/Virgin in CUP for test, marketing and advertisment?   Posted on: Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:47 am
Would do you think - will Scaled or Virgin participate in the XPRIZE CUP next year or in 2007?

First it could be a good opportunity to test Virgin's vehicles plus winning a cash prize. Second it could be a good marketing and advertisement opportunity for Virgin Galactic.

And might at least one of the Founders' or the Pinoneers' flighs a CUP-flight?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:46 pm
I think it would be a waste of resources. They need to get behind Gump at t/Space and try to get that AN-225 over here stat. The 747 simply isn't suited for use as a drop craft--and they are going to have to modify it for AN-225. That plane is their best bet--and that rocket has got to be big if they are serious about putting a capsule in orbit to link with ISS.

Had ISS been all-American Space Station Freedom--launched by ALS/NLS in a more equitorial orbit--a smaller craft would have been no problem..

ISS has been placed in a high inclination orbit--so they are going to need every last gram of propellant to get up to it. The bigger the better. I spoke with a secretary over at t/Space (they will be gone until July 10th). She told me that Hudson had already met with Antonov. I insisted that they try again--but with my plan detailed here to have the State Of Alabama forgo the Dome in favor of completing the second AN-225 and having it based over here. That should also please Antonov since one AN-225 would be based in the Old World--and another one based in the New.

Otherwise 747 is all that is left--and I really don't like the idea of that bird on stilts.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:52 am
Over 90% of that answer sounds as if it is related to orbital flights - the XPRIZE CUP is suborbital and Virgin Galactic is selling tickets for suborbital flights only. Scaled Composites is selling the suborbital vehicles to them.

So "waste of ressources" it can't be called - to do the first flights carrying passengers during the XPRIZE CUP competition would mean to do them watched by a large public present at the launch site.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:03 pm
publiusr wrote:
I spoke with a secretary over at t/Space... I insisted that they try again...


Hold on, there, partner. You got some connections that you didn't bother telling us about, or did you just call and keep 'er on the line and hope for the best (i.e. that she actually wrote it down and is actually intending to give it to someone who might actually read it and actually care)?

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:54 pm
The latter. The secretary told me that Hudson had approached Antonov in the past. I suggested that he do so again--but with my plan to use money from the state of AL.

She won't be back until the 11th. Brett Alexander (now with t/Space) worked in OSTP--which has been hostile to Heavy-Lift as you know--in its advocacy for EELV.

So when Brett's boss, Mr. Gump (who wrote an anti-heavy-lift letter to Av Week a few months ago) went to milk about $400 million from NASA, Griffin sent him packing.

That explains some of the hostility.

But I am a bridge builder. I support Griff's plan--but also want to see t/Space and private concerns do well--contrary to what has been said about me here. My only point is that groups like t/Space are best off with dual-use platforms like AN-225--and are even better off if they can have a State Gov't. fund the project. They tried to get funding from NASA--and t/Space's capsule is to service ISS--all gov't ties--so they cannot be all-private purists.

As far as the suborbital market goes--if t/Space had any sense--they could grab AN-225--knowing that other private space concerns (orbital and suborbital both) might like to rent their AN-225 from them.

In other words, heavy air-lift would give them a monopoly over other space start ups that also might like to have a carrier aircraft for their projects.

Under Steidle and O'Keefe--who were very hostile to HLLV--they might have had a chance, but Brett's anti-heavy lift stance alienated engineers. Brett left OSTP and Damon Wells answers his telephone now--and I speak to him every so often.

Off Topic:

In the current issue of Space News is a piece showing Griff's plan for heavy-lift, and aastronaut Scott Horowitz who advocates shuttle-derived over EELV.

There is a hint in the article that Griff may relent on EELV for some aspects of VSE in terms of robotics--but it is going to cost them the Delta II.

He also intimated that another reason that the big aerospace companies might want to support heavy-lift is because they might not like the modifications he would have to impose on EELV to make them man-rated--and how they might not exactly like what would have to be done to their production lines. I told Volker Roth (at Boeing's Alabama office) that he could expect this if HLLV was not also advocated by his bosses.

In effct, Griff punched Boeing dead in the face, all but promising to make life really hard on them--and perhaps using ATK's "Stick" to beat them into submission.

The idea that Boeing push for HLLV--or else EELV has no home in NASA.

He is playing a zero-sum game: if Boeing-bought blue-suits get Rumsfeld to kill HLLV--Griff goes after EELV. Griff knows that OSTP (the President's office) is leaning towards EELV--and that they need a joint NASA DoD (AF) decision--but Griff already has the support from Air Force man Lance Lord ( a good man).

So, for my part, the joint recommendation requirement has been filled, for Lord knows more about space than his boss, who is...wait for it...

John Jumper--my number one enemy (who will be leaving soon). Scuttlebutt has it that he tried to nix EADS tanker plant (coming to my State now) and is all but in Boeing's pocket.

But Pete Worden--a pro-space AF man I also speak to, says that things are changing.
The AF may be more open to private space initiatives now--both orbital and sub-orbital.

But if you want to get money from them--you still run into the fighter jocks who run the place. So if you support space--I urge you to write your congressman--and call for the cancellation of Joint Strike Fighter--with money going into rocket-planes.

Long range sub-orbital craft will not need extravagant forward bases.

Just remember JSF cannot shoot down ICBMs--and are overkill to down rogue airliners (a sidewinder-equipped Sopwith Camel or F-4 with gunpods can do that just fine)--and are of no use in the war on terror.

NASA is not your enemy people--your REAL enemy is the Air Force.

BTW--my condolences to the fine people of the UK in this time of crisis.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 08, 2005 6:29 am
publiusr,

you are hijacking the thread - your last post is far away from XPRIZE CUP, Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites work on Virgin Galactic's vehicles.

STOP THAT - COMPLETELY! I am going to react very negatively in case of repetition.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:59 am
Gosh, Ekke, some hijacks are kind of interesting. Could you please show a little more tolerance for clearly labeled "off-topic" material when publi is on a roll?

On topic:

Last week on The Space Show, Tim Pickens said that his old boss Burt Rutan told him he's thinking about splicing a couple of 747s together to make a super-size carrier plane for air-launching this and that. One or both of them might be kidding, but I'm just telling you what I heard.

Also, for some odd reason, the X Prize Foundation has a bunch of volunteer apprentices at Scaled Composites building a non-working replica of SpaceShipOne -- maybe it will join the other mock-ups on display at the X Prize Cup.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:18 am
Hello, desertbadger,

no problem with what you say mostly. Sigurd and I talked about all this by PMs and I clarified my behaviour and would do that publically too if desired or wanted.

What's annoying me is the degree by which publiusr's post was off-topic - from my point of view nobody else applies that degree and everybody else is returning to the original topic of himself.

publiusr's style and behaviour are reasons too - I have experienced that all people behaving publiusr's way caused or have done harm to organizations, talks and things. One organization has been broken down nearly by a president behaving that way.

If he would draw in his horns and would confine himself to do as you are doing, or people like spacecowboy, Andy Hill or most of all the others here I would have no problem I suppose. He simply is far too extreme. :roll:



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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:40 am
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
If he would draw in his horns and would confine himself to do as you are doing, or people like spacecowboy, Andy Hill or most of all the others here I would have no problem I suppose. He simply is far too extreme. :roll:


Please dont hold me up as an example Ekkehard, I digress off topic at times as much as anyone. Actually I think that publiusr's "thread highjacking" has inproved recently and he has not mentioned Heavy lift in every post he makes so I would ignore this slight digression. :)

Anyway back on topic again:

I think Rutan has to many other things going on with T-Space, Virgin and NASA to take on the X-prize cup as well. If Rutan had the time and money he would probably make an attempt at the ASP but since he hasn't it would seem he has his hands full. Perhaps you're right about them creating a display model of SSO for the X-prize cup so at least Scaled is represented in some form, after all you couldn't really have the X-prize Cup without the X-prize winner could you?.

Andy

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:25 pm
publiusr wrote:
The latter.

Oh, good. At least you're not God's Right-Hand Man or something. You had me scared there for a bit. You do have more guts than me, at least, to actually call them -- I just always figured it wouldn't do any good because I'm just a dumb student.

publiusr wrote:
<snippet about the AF>

Heh. Gov'ment business as usual.

publiusr wrote:
So if you support space--I urge you to write your congressman--and call for the cancellation of Joint Strike Fighter--with money going into rocket-planes.
I, personally, never have cared much for the JSF. I generally prefer greater diversity in and among military branches as to the equipment used: if one piece of equipment can't do the job, then another just might be able to. But, then again, that's just me.

publiusr wrote:
Long range sub-orbital craft will not need extravagant forward bases.
Neither does basically any aircraft in service. Of course, I still like space-based weaponry from a tactics standpoint.

publiusr wrote:
Just remember JSF cannot shoot down ICBMs--and are overkill to down rogue airliners (a sidewinder-equipped Sopwith Camel or F-4 with gunpods can do that just fine)--and are of no use in the war on terror.
I've noted that most vehicles in development besides the UAVs and the V-22 (which is fighting desperately for its life) are basically useless except in the Cold War during which they were formulated. And, I might point out, UAVs are rapidly proving their worth in a combat setting. Just a thought: wouldn't the exhaust from the sidewinder set the dope on the Sopwith's canvas on fire? :lol:

publiusr wrote:
NASA is not your enemy people--your REAL enemy is the Air Force.
Them's fightin' words, boy -- my father, uncle, and grandfather were all in the AF -- but possibly all too true. Of course, my grandfather worked his way up from buck private to light colonel (he worked in personnel, and at least for a time in the unit that flew AF1) and my dad (not related to the other two -- they're on my mother's side) was an electronics tech and instructor, and retired an E-7. My uncle was the only stick jockey (currently a real estate salesman).

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:28 pm
I don't loathe everyone in the Air Force. You just don't don't have the Sherman (not Harry) Potter "Regular Army" types rise as high in the Air Force.

I have something embarassing to admit (which Ekke will enjoy). Some time ago, Mr. Gump (t/Space) wrote an article attacking Griffin's Heavy-Lift mandate, among other things. I defended Griffin in a letter there--and in a letter in this weeks Av Week & Space.

I finally spoke to Mr. Gump over the phone, and he wasn't very pleased to hear my voice. My only purpose was to help him find some funding for a carrier aircraft and get him speaking with Antonov again. He said he wasn't interested, and was looking more at A Rutan built VLA and was still looking at the 747. He didn't like my letter defending Griffin and that was that. I think he is mad that griffin and NASA didn't just fork over $400 million to t/Space. Brett Alexander was the President's OSTP man (Damon Wells answers the same # now at the White House) and loved EELV--leaving to work for t/Space.

The scuttlebutt is that--when Griffin turned t/Space down, Mr. Gump got angry. I still question Rutans ability to get a heavy-lift aircraft going, since light aircraft construction is his forte'. Last weeks Av Week discusses how Antonov is making a new generation AN-124 but with Western engines--and with AN-225's extended wing design--but only using 4 engines. Max payload about 120 tons or so.

I am going to still try to get Antonov and Air Foyle in Alabama. Gump (a good name for Alabama BTW) could have made things easier--but he wanted to pout and turned me down flat. If he can't take a little criticism from me--how the "H" "E" double hockey sticks does he intend to convince his detractors to fund him? He needs to swallow his pride--or do without.

If he can get funding from Branson or Allen--that is fine--but I think they are only willing to spend just so much--and the $400 million the whole company needs is a bit beyond them. My plan might have gotten them a good chunk of that if they had convinced the Alabama Gov. to fund AN-225 in place of the dome.

Their loss.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:28 pm
publiusr wrote:
I don't loathe everyone in the Air Force. You just don't don't have the Sherman (not Harry) Potter "Regular Army" types rise as high in the Air Force.
I know, man, just messin' with you a bit. Gotta keep it light in here -- y'all get too serious sometimes.

publiusr wrote:
I have something embarassing to admit (which Ekke will enjoy).
Ooh! Ooh! Personal secrets coming out! Hrm... I'm gonna hafta call USA Today and CNN and CBS and NBC...

publiusr wrote:
Some time ago, Mr. Gump (t/Space) wrote an article attacking Griffin's Heavy-Lift mandate, among other things. I defended Griffin in a letter there--and in a letter in this weeks Av Week & Space.
Well, hell, I already knew that -- at least the second part, and the first doesn't surprise me (probably would've known if I'd paid more attention to authors).

publiusr wrote:
I finally spoke to Mr. Gump over the phone, and he wasn't very pleased to hear my voice.
You seem to have that effect on a lot of people. :wink:

publiusr wrote:
My only purpose was to help him find some funding for a carrier aircraft and get him speaking with Antonov again. He said he wasn't interested, and was looking more at A Rutan built VLA and was still looking at the 747. He didn't like my letter defending Griffin and that was that. I think he is mad that griffin and NASA didn't just fork over $400 million to t/Space. Brett Alexander was the President's OSTP man (Damon Wells answers the same # now at the White House) and loved EELV--leaving to work for t/Space.
Well, I can understand why he'd be a bit perturbed if you challenged him directly, but NASA generally doesn't "just fork over $400M" to very many people at all -- congressmen tend to get their panties in a knot when money goes to fund something that might potentially be useful.

publiusr wrote:
The scuttlebutt is that
Ooh! Ooh! More rumors! More slander and slime! Now I'll have to call ABC and the BBC too!

publiusr wrote:
when Griffin turned t/Space down, Mr. Gump got angry.
A quite understandable reaction, I assure you.

publiusr wrote:
I still question Rutans ability to get a heavy-lift aircraft going, since light aircraft construction is his forte'.
I actually have much the same concerns: it's rather like Ferrari or Porsche trying to compete with Peterbilt and Mack in the trucking industry.

publiusr wrote:
I am going to still try to get Antonov and Air Foyle in Alabama. Gump (a good name for Alabama BTW) could have made things easier--but he wanted to pout and turned me down flat. If he can't take a little criticism from me--how the "H" "E" double hockey sticks does he intend to convince his detractors to fund him? He needs to swallow his pride--or do without.

If he can get funding from Branson or Allen--that is fine--but I think they are only willing to spend just so much--and the $400 million the whole company needs is a bit beyond them. My plan might have gotten them a good chunk of that if they had convinced the Alabama Gov. to fund AN-225 in place of the dome.

Their loss.

I wish you luck -- I get the feeling that you're gonna need all the help you can get.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:32 pm
I want that second AN-225 over here in the worst way.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:58 am
Since publiusr has been detailing conversations with David Gump at t/Space, I wondered what Mr. Gump might have to say. It was this:

If you could post a caution on the thread that what he's said about his unsolicited calls to t/Space is not what actually happened, I would appreciate it.

David Gump
President, Transformational Space Corporation LLC

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:59 pm
:? Uh.... Okay, I'm waiting for an answer to that one...

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