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How to achieve the Lunar X PRIZE...

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:32 am
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How to achieve the Lunar X PRIZE... 
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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:00 pm
You can still target Lunochod-2 by Laser, so that should be possible for the American ALSEP sites as well.

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Post Pigyback   Posted on: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:12 pm
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
As someone potentially participating, rpspeck, do you think a piggyback payload on an Ariane 5 (or an US launcher if they offer it) would be a realistic possibility or is SpaceX the only feasible solution?


If anyone has Data or a Link for pricing, the Ariane piggyback is interesting. I am not optimistic about the GoogleX with LEO mass being less than 1/2 the Falcon 1 capability. But preliminary flights to prove capability to investors is very desirable, and these could easily be 40 to 100 kg mass.

There is also the problem that SpaceX seems content with a very low flight rate. Given their claim of production, one flight attempt per year is pathetically low! It only makes sense if they are happy with their current cash flow, and know that the downside of a failed attempt in the near term will be much greater than the upside of a successful orbit. How long this (very low flight rate) situation will remain is a good question, and it affects my optimism for planning on using SpaceX services.

I have also reported my expectation that SpaceX will not allow their Falcon 1 (or any other vehicle) to be used for Manned flights which will compete with their own Manned Capsule. SpaceX is actually too conservative for my tastes, planning on doing everything just like NASA does (turbo pumps, etc.) but expecting to succeed with a modestly more efficient business. They will probably succeed for a time, but radically more efficient approaches will overtake them. And these (providing at least an order of magnitude drop in Human cost to orbit) are what we need!


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:36 pm
When did SpaceX make the change from "New Space" to "Old Space"?? :)

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Post Re: Pigyback   Posted on: Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:14 am
rpspeck wrote:
SpaceX seems content with a very low flight rate.
If you showed up in their office with a check for $7 million I am sure they would be happy to add a flight to their manifest. But they are not going to launch a bunch of rockets without being paid for it just to have a higher flight rate.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:11 am
Hello, rpspeck,

I personally suppose that SpaceX's present flight rates merely have to do with their number of customers. That number I suppose to grow after a few successfull flights and drops of the prices Musk already was speaking about in case of several successfull flights. Another aspect will be that the Falcon 1 is aiming at mini-, micro-, nano- and picosats.



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Post Re: Pigyback   Posted on: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:30 pm
rpspeck wrote:
If anyone has Data or a Link for pricing, the Ariane piggyback is interesting. I am not optimistic about the GoogleX with LEO mass being less than 1/2 the Falcon 1 capability. But preliminary flights to prove capability to investors is very desirable, and these could easily be 40 to 100 kg mass.



You can find technical data under http://www.arianespace.com/site/images/ASAP5-manual.pdf

Contact is:

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Tel.: +1 202 628-3936
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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:07 am
Our team has been researching the auxillary payload on the Ariane 5. We have a price range of about $100,000-$300,000.

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Last edited by Rocket Scientist on Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:18 am
Rocket Scientist wrote:
Our team has bee nresearching the auxillary payload on the Ariane 5. We have a price range of about $100,000-$300,000.


How much mass and at what orbit does that get you?


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:56 am
The maximum mass listed in their technical document is 300 kg and you would fly as a secondary payload on a usual comsat mission, that is GTO.

Size for the so called mini satellite option is 1.5 m diameter x 1.5 m.

You can have up to 4 mini satellites or 8 micro satellites, but I guess it will be far more expensive when you fill the payload fairing in that style like a usual "secondary" (say telecommunications satellite) payload.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:16 am
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
The maximum mass listed in their technical document is 300 kg and you would fly as a secondary payload on a usual comsat mission, that is GTO.

Size for the so called mini satellite option is 1.5 m diameter x 1.5 m.

You can have up to 4 mini satellites or 8 micro satellites, but I guess it will be far more expensive when you fill the payload fairing in that style like a usual "secondary" (say telecommunications satellite) payload.

What Klaus said. :)

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 am
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There is also the problem that SpaceX seems content with a very low flight rate.


SpaceX evidentally decided to wait for the development of their Merlin 1c engine before returning to flight.

Uncharitable persons have said this is because their Merlin 1a was under powered.
Elon Musk says it was so F1 flights 3 + 4 would give the new engine some flight experience before the launch of F9.
Personaly I don't know if the critics are rght or wrong. but I can see the advantages of going with an upgraded engine.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:08 am
That's a fairly good deal, 300Kg total does somewhat limit the size of your lander and rover. Keep in mind to go from earth orbit (this is from LEO not GTO) you'll need around 5500-6000m/sec deltaV to get to, orbit and land on the moon. That's nothing to shrug at, especially if you don't plan on using some form of pumped propulsion.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:32 am
Can you have 4 x 300KG?

That would work for staging.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:59 am
idiom wrote:
Can you have 4 x 300KG?

That would work for staging.


Yes, but not as an integrated payload, only as seperate vehicles. And I guess in that case the quoted price tag a few posts higher won't be valid any longer as you take the whole space of a second comsat.

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Post THANKS!   Posted on: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:37 pm
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
As someone potentially participating, rpspeck, do you think a piggyback payload on an Ariane 5 (or an US launcher if they offer it) would be a realistic possibility or is SpaceX the only feasible solution?


I want to thank you all for bringing this option to my attention! This option solves one or two problems we have been facing with our Google Lunar Xprize planning.

The first problem is how to develop the credibility which would make a multi million dollar gamble (launch of our actual our actual GoogleX competition system) attractive to an “investorâ€


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