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Great article on the state of spaceflight, go on read it! ;)

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:19 am
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Great article on the state of spaceflight, go on read it! ;) 
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Post Great article on the state of spaceflight, go on read it! ;)   Posted on: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:19 am
Great article here guys! Makes nice sat/sun morning reading!

It was sent to be by Randa Milliron from IOS, it covers:
X-Prize
Spaceshipone
GLXP
Frednet
Interorbital
N-Prize
....Loads more!!!

The link is http://openspacex.wordpress.com/2008/09 ... ee-launch/

And here is a snippet

No such thing as a free launch

This article inaugurates our series of articles on spacecraft propulsion. We begin with a bit of background and an introduction to rocketry.

A spaceflight is generally divided into several discrete stages, in order to break the challenge of planning the voyage into smaller, more manageable tasks, which may in turn be divided into even smaller sub-stages. Due to the physics involved in spaceflight, a trip from one astronomical body to another will always consist of at least three such stages: leaving body A, moving from body A to body B, and arriving at body B. Each stage is defined by its physical characteristics, and their difference from those of the next. Since the vast majority of spaceflights conducted today originates from our home planet, body A will generally be the Earth.

The great mass, and thus gravitational attraction, of the Earth entails that leaving the planet requires a tremendous amount of power, compared to the power delivered by propulsion systems used in cars, ships and planes closer to the ground. The only systems capable of delivering such power today are rockets - vehicles obtaining thrust from the continuous ejection of exhaust gases produced by the combustion of special fuel stored in a large container on-board the vehicle itself.

Historically, constructing and operating rockets powerful enough to reach space were the domain of governments and big, established aerospace contractors like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and the cost of access to space were counted in many tens of thousands of dollars per kilogram of payload. But as the new Space Age begins - marked by SpaceShipOne’s first privately-funded manned spaceflight in 2004 - new launch options are becoming available and are driving costs down.........

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Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:15 am
Nice article, but I was surprised there was no mention of Armadillo.

James


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Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:12 pm
Because the focus of the article is on orbital space flight.

Note, even SS1's success was dismissed as mainly for space tourism. I don't think there is anything wrong, just a different class. What I am surprise is the lack of mention for Blue Origin. Granted, there is an absence of information but they are the only other private team than SpaceX with the money and the willingness to throw it at to get a solution with big build teams.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:04 pm
I didnt think that there was anything new in the article and that it was only a brief outline of what was going on, the details of which are already known by most here.

As for not mentioning Blue Origin, what to say? Just because Jeff Bezos has the money to make things happen does not mean that he is making a huge amount of progress. I would have expected to see more information about test flights or engine firings in the media if he was forging ahead, no matter how secretive he is, this leads me to suspect that he is having a few difficulties. The LLC would have been a good test of any craft and shown he was a serious player, his absence indicates, at least to me, that he is not nearly so far along as some think.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:20 am
If I was Bezos, I would skip the LLC. In fact, I would probably skip the idea of having a thread in spacefellowship or a blog like Masten, skip providing engines to RRL or doing consultancy work for NASA like AA or outreach activities like SC.

I would do it like what Burt did. Keep it under wraps until I have the final article. Not just the engine. Not just the boilerplate. The actual thing. If I can I would keep the engine tests and flights a secret too.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:42 pm
Bezos is a creature of the internet and probably used to having information made available to the public whereas Rutan is much more old school in the way he deals with these issues.

One assumes that Bezos will want to make a business out of this at some point and investors will feel much more comfortable if presented with regular injections of information rather than just a craft at some point in the future. It also helps raise investor awareness and maybe appeal to a wider group of people. Having regular updates and a dialogue with the public (even a minimal one) creates a situation where people already feel part of the company and will be more supportive.

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