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NASA COTS

Posted by: Number2 - Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:56 am
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NASA COTS 
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Space Station Commander
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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:57 pm
The bad thing is that (the former) Rocketplane with its suborbital plane was the first that was sacrificed in that development.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:19 am
Hello, Klaus,

I didn't know yet, that the suborbital vehciel has been sacrificed. If it's reported by the link Andy Hill lists the problem at present is that I can't access it at the moment.



Hello, Andy Hill,

I have thought more into it since my previous post and start to wonder if Brinkley has ignored the reality completely or the degree to which he is doing that merely. The knowledge that Elon Musk/SpaceX seem to be capable of developing a working reusable rocket with an investment of $ 200 mio and thus several times less than Kistler's requirements should have make him aware of a huge lack of attractiveness of Kistler for additional investors.

This in particular should have been aware to him as he has been awarded a COTS-contract and still neeeds additional $ 600 mio while SpaceX does not but has partners regarding the Dragon.

This is very essential the more as Elon Musk has said that he has in mind an even larger rocket than the Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy when that and the Dragon are ready - so the investors will be much more interested in that partnership than in risking their financial ressource via Kistler. If at all Kistler will yield profits - reasonable profits much later than SpaceX.

There are more companies that have good chances (t/Space and SpaceDev for example) - but Kistler does not.

How far off the reality Brinkley will be?



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


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:53 am
It was I think late last year that Rocketplane said that their spacecraft is on hold as long as the Kistler K-1 needs funding. They said that they don't want to lose the track by doing it both at the same time.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:06 pm
Ekkehard,

I agree that RpK is done.

But, do you really believe that t-Space or SpacDev could develop, test and fly a demonstration flight, to orbit, in 28 months?

My 0.02 worth.

Buck.Bunny


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:25 am
Hello, Buck.Bundy,

t/Space will have a booster very soon since Air Launch LLC. are a member of t/Space and are working on QuickReach. A larger version of QuickReach will boost the CXV. t/Space also quickly can or might have an airplane to launch the QuickReach 2 with the CXV as well as the CXV itself since Scaled Composites are a member of t/Space too and not only are developing airplanes needed and optimized for air launches of boosters like QuickReach including payload or vehicle but also ahve access to the financial ressources to develop the CXV since they are 100% owned by Northrop Grumman now with Burt Rutan and all others remaining in their positions and jobs. And t/Space have a Space Act Agreement with NASA giving them access to NASA'S facilities, etc., NASA's consulting and insights.

Because of this t/Space can be considered to be capable of development, test and demonstrate a flight of the CXV into the orbit within 24 to 28 months - QuickReach2 will be ready by the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009 according to the timetable of Air Launch LLC as far as I remember it.

The problem of SpaceDev is funding only - Beson is working on this problem by having left SpaceDev, founding Benson Space as a fund raising company. They seem to be behind t/Space clearly but seem to have worked out a concept. And they to some degree tend to rely on other concepts already studied. So if they get the funding required they may proceed quickly because a lot of work seems to be done already.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:56 pm
NASA has terminated their COTS contract with RpK.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... nnel=space

I wonder if they will swallow the money or place another contract with one of the other companies that were in the last 6.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:41 am
Quote:
NASA has terminated their COTS contract with RpK


Not entirely correct, they have been given a 30 day termination letter from NASA so they better get there A into G and do something or else they lost it!!


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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:11 pm
RpK are finished,if they couldn't raise the required funding with a $200m contract from NASA the chances of them raising it with the threat of it being taken away are zero. So while the contract may not have been cancelled its as good as.

Hopefully someone else will get a chance but its not leaving them much time to build anything.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:06 pm
I have posted a few updates to Rocketplane Kistler:
http://spacefellowship.com/News/?p=3043

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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:44 pm
The whole thing leads to the question if NASA have been as unrealistic as RpK - that much more financial requirements than for the Falcon 9/Dragon of SpaceX and knowing the numbers Elon Musk had published.

Didn't they know the numbers Elon Musk had told Space.com? What about consultants? Did RpK hire a few to get their insights into it? Did NASA ask consultants?

SpaceX thinks to get it donw for a around $ 375 mio together with some partners while RpK need more than $ 600 mio.

It will be interesting if the change at Scaled Composites will have an impact - may be that raising Northrop Grumman's shares from 40% to 100% has made t/Space's CXV eligible as a substitute for RpK because Scaled Composites still are a member of t/Space.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:31 pm
There are a lot of differences between SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler and you shouldn't misunderstand the money for this COTS Phase 1 contract.

Nowhere is written that this have to be enough to make the whole development.. If I would be certain I can develop such a system I would take additional own funding for the prospective contract (and therefore money) I would get with COTS Phase 2 and the resupply contract.

But back to the differences: SpaceX always tried to keep things very simple on their rocket. RpK has a very sophisticated rocket in mind. Two stages, both fully reusable, very large diameter, fixed to NK-33 engines or derivatives (at all a bad first to second stage thrust ratio regarding efficiency).

Then RpK is basically buying all stuff from "outside" (Lockheed Martin, Rocketdyne for example), that again leads to higher prices.

SpaceX on the other side tries a somewhat evolutionary approach. Starting with a small rocket and increasing it.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:09 pm
Hello, Klaus,

what I personally meant is that investors only compare the amount of investment, the time until armotization (pay-back-time), the return-on-investment/rentability, the safety of their capital and the grwoth of the value of their shares - they do NOT compare technical details, properties or the like because most investors don't understand nothing of it. Investors are experts for chances, risk and the like - valuable experts.

Regarding SpaceX and RpK this means that looking at the amount of investment and the time until first launch and amortization would have made clear quickly that it was very likely that RpK would fail to get the additional investors they need.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:33 pm
You are of course right with "usual" investors. At COTS, I don't see NASA as an investor in that sense (besides that they were more forced to run such a program than they wanted to do it), they are basically running a normal NASA program with the difference that they don't have direct control of it other than their defined milestones, which are different for SpaceX and RpK.

One milestone (I guess for especially that risk reduction) for RpK was the raising of these $500 millions.

In case I misunderstand what you mean, I apologize.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:56 pm
Hello, Klaus,

there is nothing you would have to apologize for.

I have in mind the sources of private funds RpK has/had to look for and failed to find. NASA is no investor in my eyes because they don't buy shares of RpK nor want to earn profits from RpK.

Ass ar as I remeber RpK was required to get private coinvestors as a condition to get the COTS-money really. The assumption that RpK might succeed in that was unrealistic because of SpaceX's lower fund requirements.

Potential private coinvestors know of the difference - and it's that large that those coinvestors clearly will prefer SpaceX. Or even one of those who were NOT selected.

This NASA should have paid attention to vbefore selecting winners - simply to avoid failures (unless they wanted a failure of course)...

NASA is a customer merely - they subsidize the development to some degree and will get some launches for free because of this - which means that they will get paid back their subsidizes (as should be done in an market economy).



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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:01 pm
It would seem that SpaceDev at least expects NASA to re-compete the money that it had intended to give to RpK according to this Space.com article.

http://www.space.com/spacenews/070924_b ... cedev.html

Quote:
SpaceDev is gearing up for the likelihood that NASA will go ahead and hold a competition for the $175 million in unspent funds that the agency previously had awarded to Rocketplane Kistler under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement.


I think that they stand a good chance of winning it.

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