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Lunar Landers

Posted by: rpspeck - Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:23 pm
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Lunar Landers 
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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:23 pm
I wonder what they will do if more than one team wins the prize. Would it be divided evenly in a tie? Would there be a tie breaker, like who hovered more seconds beyond the minimum or who carried a heavier payload, with the whole prize going to the winner of the tie breaker? Anyway, it would be really exciting to watch!


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:36 pm
I think i remember hearing it goes to who can keep doing it the most times?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:12 am
You watch too much football Rob ;)

First of all, it's extremely unlikely that that will happen, but when it happens, i'm sure NASA will figure it out. Or they will split the prizes i'm afraid.


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Post Tie Breakers   Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:09 pm
The current rule (although it is subject to change) provides that an additional pair of trips (one round trip) would be scheduled for each qualifying team. The hover time, but no other requirement, would be waved for these legs. The team completing the greatest number (0, 1 or 2) of successful supplemental flight legs would win the entire prize. (Last year, the number of additional flights was unlimited.)

If the tie remained after these attempts, then the landing accuracy (distance from pad center) averaged for the legs completed (including the first two) would be used for the tie breaker.

It is extremely unlikely that a tie would remain at this point. (If it did, the prize would be split.)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:49 pm
Quote:
The team completing the greatest number (0, 1 or 2) of successful supplemental flight legs would win the entire prize.


Not too far of hey Stefan!

Im wandering though if there are a few teams, would there be any pyschology in who goes first, second and so on and so forth!

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:31 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Not too far of hey Stefan!


Guess NASA watches football a bit too much also :D :wink:

Quote:
Im wandering though if there are a few teams, would there be any pyschology in who goes first, second and so on and so forth!


The chance of it happening is extremely small it's simply not going to happen. Armadillo is lightyears ahead of their competition (what competition?), so unless Boeing, Lockheed, or whatever big company participates, it's up to Armadillo.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:06 am
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The chance of it happening is extremely small it's simply not going to happen. Armadillo is lightyears ahead of their competition (what competition?), so unless Boeing, Lockheed, or whatever big company participates, it's up to Armadillo.


AA's first flight's landing was so accurate they burned the 'X' off the landing pad!


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Post Human Lunar Lander Photo   Posted on: Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:37 pm
Human Lunar Lander Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10348639@N ... -7215760...
Note "Sally" our simulated astronaut in the FULL SIZED system! All the necessary fuel and propulsion would be provided by the Micro-Space production tanks and motors shown. This eclectic combination does include other simulated parts and lacks many details. Also note the operational, two wheel "Google Rover" on the ground to the right. This unit could roll off a similar lander, collect video over 500 meters of travel (over lunar surface selected to be moderately smooth) and win the GOOGLE Lunar X Prize.

The following in part addresses suggestions made on another forum.

My "CHTS" (Crusader Human Transport System), or more specifically CHTS-M for use on the Moon, is intended to only rendezvous in lunar orbit. No Earth return or heat shield required - those systems would be "cached" in lunar orbit to save a lot of unnecessary transportation costs.

I have done detailed studies of the "Hopper" mode, specifically for a Lunar Surface Study unit with a drill, which would be able to Hop to several locations for additional studies.
At present this seems to be an alternative to the Google Lunar X Prize "Rover" requirement, although I prefer the idea of attempting both.

The idea of using the Human transport system to aid in Lunar mountain climbing, or just expediting surface transfer - particularly over rough terrain - is certainly interesting.

With a reasonable (storable) fuel, a 1 % of mass supply (about 3.5 pounds) should allow a 135 meter (440 foot) horizontal hop. A 10% supply (35 pounds of fuel) should provide a 13.5 km (44,000 foot) horizontal hop, even over extremely rugged terrain. The 1% supply (3.5 pounds) should also allow 18 seconds of Lunar hover to perfect the touchdown spot - far less would be needed to redirect an ongoing hop to a better landing point. These are reasonable supplies for significant ground transportation.

Our normal Lunar plan would be to use two of the pictured vehicles per traveler. One would land with 300 pounds of fuel, instead of a human occupant. When safe arrival of this "return fuel" was confirmed by radio, the traveler would descend on a second unit. The extra fuel, sent first, would be transfered into the main tanks of either vehicle for use to return to lunar orbit. Spare vehicles and fuel could be sent down to provide an even higher redundancy level.

As an option, our Mars Ascension Unit will square the mass ratio (about 4). This would provide the greater delta V to return to Low Mars Orbit (with far lower landing requirement using aerobraking and parachutes). On the Moon, it could provide round trip flight with a slightly lower total mass.

Back to the lightweight, Lunar Lander. One extra fuel load sent down would support nine long surface hops and cover a great deal of area. (It would, however, provide for only about 7 hops each of 13 km distance if the entire fuel load was carried from beginning to end of the sequence, producing a greater average takeoff mass).

We intend to test this system on the Earth (with greater thrust required) and to make it available for "Rocket Diving" and "Space Diving". Thirty second ascent to 6000 feet should be interesting for a Sky Diving demonstration, and the Mars fuel load should allow the 100 Km "X Prize" Space altitude to be reached. (For use on the Earth and Mars, an V shaped windshield will be above the main structure and traveler. On Mars, the "Dynamic Pressure" in flight will not exceed that experienced when riding a fast motorcycle).


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:02 pm
The photos look good, would be nice to have some comments there explaining all of them maybe

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Post Photos (Oct 2007)   Posted on: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:28 pm
For the three photos in the above link (Warren.Benson's photostream), the largest one in the opening page (with our silver clad "astronaut") is our "Human Lunar Lander", aka CHTS (Crusader Human Transport System).

The larger diameter rocket (with its red cross) and blue banner is a view from the corner of our booth. This 8 inch diameter rocket is one I successfully flew for my "Level 3" TRA certification (to 7787 feet agl altimeter reading). At twice the diameter of our standard (4 inch diameter) propulsion modules it is large enough to build ultralight, one man to orbit systems. Such a system would use 49 long propulsion modules - in seven clusters of seven. Outer clusters would reach fuel exhaustion early and would drop off in a "parallel staging" mode. The central cluster would be the longest burning and would serve as a second or third stage. All 49 (no moving part) motors would be ignited and reach design thrust while in the launch system and before commitment to flight.

The four "gold" tank structure in the last photo is our developmental "NG Lunar Lander". For Level Two competition the number of fuel tanks would be doubled. Unlike the CHTS unit, this one has an operational landing gear (four pivoted legs) and fairly complete plumbing and control systems. We are actively working on these systems. The fact that we have long had the motors, fuel tanks and chemistry in operation (including 17 successful flights + additional static tests) "promises" "relatively" straightforward preparation of this vehicle for flight.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:47 pm
Thanks for the info!

Rob :)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:48 am
Hello, rpspeck,

how are the chances at the moment that you get required FAA-permits? I am asking because I suppose them to be required for tests for preparation for the LLC 2008 and the required developments.



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Post Prospects and Projections   Posted on: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:46 pm
Yours is a simple question for which I have only a complex answer!

There is no technical obstacle to our obtaining the FAA permit. However the process is quite time consuming, with careful documentation to answer a long list of FAA questions (the list expands as they gain an understanding of our design and its possible weaknesses.) Their input has been extremely helpful, leading me through this unfamiliar process, and identifying significant "real world" (as opposed to "theoretical") safety factors - "What happens if a critical safety person is distracted?" (when he should have been observing and identified a dangerous anomaly.) Also their "real world" insistence that one can only expect procedures practiced in training to be followed in stressful situations.

I read last year that Armadillo "hired" an individual to handle the stream of communication with the FAA necessary to complete the permit process.

This is not something that one person can add to a demanding development project along with efforts to sustain cash flow for a small PAID engineering team.

My "complex answer" is that with fresh funding Micro-Space will be a serious competitor for both the 2008 Lunar Lander competition and the longer term Google Lunar X Prize. We are remarkably well positioned for both (as well as for human Lunar and Mars expeditions).

In the existing "funding environment" this will take a miracle, and a miracle is exactly what I am expecting!

The reality is that there are few leaders and a great many "followers" in investment, foundation grant and sponsorship circles. Rather dull sports, for example, still have solid sponsorship while no significant sponsor supports the affordable re-creation of the DC-X flights, with operational spaceflight to follow!

This is not unusual. I remember reading several articles around 1980 which said "Home Computer? Why in the world would anyone want a computer in their home?" Now we argue that children in third world countries will be hopelessly handicapped if they don't have one!

A decade ago, more money was spent to MARKET a new computerized game machine than was spent to BUY the leading US space launch company! That economic gap has grown far larger. Space launch is a tiny (and very distorted) niche market in the world today.

Even the economic potential of SPONSORED "Apollo" type exploits in space (again capturing the attention a a BILLION people) has not stimulated interest. This will change - but when?


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Post Tethered Flight Soon   Posted on: Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:56 pm
We are very close to flying our Lunar Lander in Tethered Flight. This does not require FAA Licensing. There will actually be several steps in our Tethered Flight series. The initial flights will use “Snug Tetheringâ€


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:13 pm
Richard,
I trust you will share your photos and videos! I look forward to seeing them as they become available

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