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Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:27 pm
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Spaceflight Participant
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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:20 pm
This one is obviously pretty big, and captivates an audience.

Image

But it's only part of a development path. It's a huge balloon but has no crew capsule, and as far as I know, it hasn't flown outside of it's hanger.

I'm keeping a keen eye on this program though, as I'd be much more inclined to pay $100k for a day long leisurely flight to near space than for the twenty minute rollercoaster ride offered by Virgin Galactic.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:50 pm
A question JPowell - you have the conceptional drawings of the evolution of the Dark Sky station - do you have a similiar smaller to larger crafts planned for your large orbital airship? Or are the physics such that you are limited as to what you can actually test and build? Or is the ascender similiar enough such that it can act as your testbed for the large orbital airship


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:00 am
That picture of the Ascender doesn't do justice to how big this thing is. The small dots directly under the vehicle are people
standing under it.

"I also assume there's a development path in parallel with the ascender?"

There are two. One for the orbital Ascender and one for the atmospheric 0-140,000 feet) Ascender.

"It must be painful for you to have these plans in place, but progressing so slowly, it certainly is for us"

Not painful at all. As long as it's moving forward. We knew this was long tern project going into. It sometimes
feels like we're go at breakneck speed. Fourteen hours day,
six days a weeks, some times as many as six flights and twenty major tests a year. When a big missions is less than a year away I start to get nervous about the timeline.

"jpoweel, am I right? By the way - could you rgearding the ATO imagine to send a small ATO-version to a small Near Earth Object to do a sample return mission or even to catch the whole object?"

Small is tough. The minimum ATO vehicle is huge.

A lot of knowledgable folks say that even a small pocket high altitude airship is impossible, can't be done, the physics can't be made to work, no way, no how.... hmmmmmmm, I just love when they say that.

"Big stuff is the name of the game. However, once you have the really big DSS, making a really big ATO should be easier."

The Block 2 DSS is needed for major ATO construction.

"A question JPowell - you have the conceptional drawings of the evolution of the Dark Sky station - do you have a similiar
smaller to larger crafts planned for your large orbital airship? "

Yes, There are about 25 vehicles in the development plan yet to go. We've built about 35 vehicles so far. The only thing to do is keep building, keep flying, every now and then look out the window. When the sky is black you're done.

JP


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:39 pm
when do you plan to build a ascender with a crew capsule?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:40 pm
"deleted double post"


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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:07 pm
The DSS crew capsule is already in the works. It's a common architecture component. The same capsule will be used to Ascender, DSS and other vehicles.

It going to be couple of years before it's on the Ascender. The first crewed series are with the DSS.

JP
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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:07 am
Hello, jpowell,

what's the reason for that?

It seems to mean that the DSS will be lifted withe that capsule and so would have to be made return to the surface later if the crew capsule is manned. In that case the DSS would have been used as a vehicle like the Ascender.

Has it to do with an unmanned test of the crew capsule? Waht about the large Ascenders to be seen at your homepage? They seem to be capable of going up to altidtudes at which the DSS is meant to be operating. For what reason can't those Ascenders be used for tests etc.?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:54 pm
The reason is weight. The DSS can carry the load of the crew pod to 100,000 feet now. We still two years away from an Ascender that can carry that much to payload altitude.

The Ascender that will be flying when the Dark Sky Station with the crew pod launches is Ascender 200. It will be unmanned and act as the chase plane.

JP


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Post New Video   Posted on: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:59 pm
Attention flame and roar fans.

To study the ignition of our rockets we put a video camera under the rocket looking up. It made for a very short, but interesting video.

It's on our web site on the Blog page and the video page.

www.jpaerospace.com

JP


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:05 pm
Fantastic
This is why i love the private scene! Its like an open source code! Everyone sharing progress and listening to others! fantastic video! love the updates!
Keep it up guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:D
Rob

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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:16 pm
Nice vid! Too bad that camera didn't hang in there a bit longer... lol!

I've got a thought: would a DarkSkyStation be a good place for industrial techniques that require lots of low-quality vacuum? For instance, electron beam welding or vapor deposition? There would be two advantages: first, no need for a vacuum pump for soft-vacuum applications. Second, for hard-vacuum, the pumps wouldn't need to work as hard nor as fast (since leakage in would be low) and also the chamber could be much larger b/c of the lower forces against it from the oustide.

I suspect that it would be probably too much trouble for commercial use though, to have to lift the equipment and materials up and bring the products down.

Or perhaps it would be a good research station to test ion engines in near-vacuum conditions; I hear it's pretty hard to test them accurately down here.


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Post DSS the industrial center   Posted on: Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:08 pm
Dark Sky Stations could become major industrial centers. You have cheap vacuum, cheap power, ideal telecomm and cheap bulk transportation.

JP

www.jpaerospace.com


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Post New PongSat pics   Posted on: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:39 pm
The PongSats for the Away 27 mission are rolling in. We'll be flying 1400 on this mission.

I just posted some new pictures on the PongSat website:

www.pongsat.com

JP


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Post pong sats and Space Cadre outreach programs... a good match?   Posted on: Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:38 pm
JP,

I love the idea of pongsats. Anytime you can get children as young as third-graders interested in space is great.

This may be a great opportunity to tap into some Air Force "Space Professional Cadre" personnel. I'm quoting from a recently released requirements document:

Quote:
SPACE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (SPDP) CONTINUING
EDUCATION GUIDELINES
1. SPDP Continuing Education (CE) is a commanders’ program. Commanders
and unit supervisors are responsible for completion of the CE requirement by
each assigned Credentialed Space Professional (CSP). Commander discretion
is a key element in determining satisfactory accomplishment.
2. Each CSP is required to complete 40 hours of CE annually. Four hours will
be dedicated to outreach.
3. Outreach is participation in space-related learning programs involving
students from kindergarten to high school seniors (K-12). Outreach programs
normally occur in formal school settings, but can also be focused on other youth
groups (e.g., scouts, clubs, etc.). Group CSP participation is appropriate. We
encourage units to continue existing relationships with local organizations that
meet this requirement. Another ideal means of completing the outreach
requirement is through the High Frontier Adventures program, made possible by
a cooperative agreement between AFSPC and the Space Foundation.
Information is available via the High Frontier Adventures website:
.


And good luck with ATO. That is thinking way outside the box. I hope you can pull it off and stick it to the big boys.

- Alistair

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Post New Video   Posted on: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:17 pm
We've just posted a new video on the JPA website.
It's just a short propeller test for the high altitude airship, but it's fun.
The prop vibrates a bit. I havn't balanced them yet.
It's the "Fifth" test. :)

JP

www.jpaerospace.com


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