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Orbital rockets cheaper/faster than Armadillo Aerospace

Posted by: James Bauer - Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:51 pm
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Orbital rockets cheaper/faster than Armadillo Aerospace 
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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:34 pm
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it's a human tragedy that so many people here are so caustically opposing even obvious truthes such as a cylindrical rocket shape being better than an egg carton.


In any situation the ideal solution depends on many factors such that a change in can imply a very different ideal solution. There are no absolutes in space engineering.

Is a cylindrical shape an ideal rocket shape? The answer, as always, is "it depends".

IF you have intend to launch through the lower atmosphere and
IF you have a single stage to do so and
IF the limiting factor on your stage achieving its lateral shear or lateral induced vibrations due to drag
THEN a cylinder may be the deal solution.

However,
IF you are above the lower atmosphere
THEN atmospheric affects may not be the critical limitation on your design and as such doesn't require a cyclinder.

Or,
IF you have a modularized engine design such that many can be "bolted" together and
IF your control scheme is robust enough to account for lateral disturbances and
IF your velocity is within the bounds of your control system
THEN your critical design limitation may not be your lateral profile.

Unfortunately, Armadillo does not yet have enough data to determine what their ideal suborbital vehicle profile should ideally be. One shouldn't assume an ideal solution without some type of validation. If they were determined to go cylindrical but their modular design just couldn't accommodate it then was the cylindrical decision the correct one? The first thing I'd ask, in such a case, would be why they chose cylindrical? And an answer of "we assumed it was necessary" would not be a sufficient response.

So far you have made a lot of assumptions about the ideal course of approach and design of a cheaper alternative to space. There are those that attempt to prove their assumptions and test their theories such as NASA, SpaceX, Armadillo, Scaled Composites, etc. Which one of them is right? Well, it depends... As it always does. Your ideas have little merit without proof. That you "know" it's right is, to put it bluntly, stupid. Unlike faith where one could, for example, "know" there's a god, science is about proof.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:58 pm
Not having built any rockets of my own, I don't feel that I'm qualified to weigh in on the rocket debate. But there are a few other things I would like to note.

First, people generally make money by doing stuff. John didn't make the money he invests in Armadillo Aerospace by sitting around writing posts on BBSes (the electronic forum of the day, for you young whippersnappers) about how he was going to make a revolutionary video game and how the other game programmers were all wrong. He made that money by going out and doing something. He made that game, and a few others, and made the money that he now invests in AA.

Now of course, building hardware requires some investment, but making software is very cheap in terms of money. If you're reading this, then you already have a computer or at least access to one, and there is plenty of free-of-cost software out there. Your average GNU/Linux system comes with all the development tools you'll need to start making a fortune in software. All the technology for the next iD or Amazon is out there for the taking, and with the new cloud computing stuff getting it to scale is going to get easier as well. And then, once you have as much money as John or Jeff, you can invest it in rocketry.

Of course, there's a problem with going out and doing something. You might fail. And that would suck. Not trying means you get to live a little longer in the pleasant security that you could do it, if you only would try.

My second point is about the assertion that there are no amateurs creating chips. Now it depends a little on how you define "making chips". If you're talking about creating actual physical custom silicon, then most professionals don't create chips either, because they work for fabless semiconductor companies that outsource production. If you're talking about the design (HDL), to be programmed into an FPGA or spun into an ASIC, then you might want to look at the Open Graphics Project. We're creating a graphics chip, and card. The project was founded by some professional board and chip designers, but there are also amateurs contributing. And we (I'm involved with the OGP, on a mostly non-technical level though) weren't the first and aren't the only open hardware project. Look at Open Cores for example.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:32 pm
Dan Frederiksen wrote:
Andrew, don't somewhat agree with me. because I'm not somewhat right, I'm absolutely right.

Of course, how could it be any other way!

You start to remind me of those "great" Scientology people talking on Video Interviews about those amazing, fantastic and totally awesome "things" that they can do, now that they are enlighted or whatever they call it...
Dan Frederiksen wrote:
As for the pump, I think we need an illustration of how it works. you have to understand that we don't have the knowledge you have about it. that you know how it works is not the same as we do.

Sorry but if you can't even imagine/understand how that pump works after reading his explanations, then how on earth do you think you are qualified to make any suggestions about rocketry?

Dan Frederiksen wrote:
and for those asking why I don't just do it myself if I'm so smart, that's two fold. I don't have the financial freedom John does and space is just one of the several things that are wrong in this world that can benefit from my insight.

Oh yeah right... because if something is wrong in the world and you do know how to change it, then it would be a totally bad thing to attempt that change yourself... what kind of logic is this?

Dan Frederiksen wrote:
I don't have to do something for my insight to be right and it's quite unintelligent to suggest it. it's a human tragedy that so many people here are so caustically opposing even obvious truthes such as a cylindrical rocket shape being better than an egg carton.

You know what? I'm beginning to think, that I actually should be supporting you on your "quest": get somebody with the money and the brains (you have already made it clear, that you are short of both...) to do one of your "super-cheap orbital shots" and put a tiny HD-camera into LEO.

And why would I do that?
Simply, to watch your reactions once you realize that such an "achievement" would not change space, "the world", the society (or whatever you want to blame for the status quo) at all.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:57 pm
OMG DAN!!!

You totally RULE!!!!!

For you chip making amateurs out there, I recommend these resources:

http://www.mosis.com/

Price to make your own amateur CMOS: about $1200. Other technologies cost more.

Also check out:

http://www.amazon.com/ASIC-Design-Silic ... 415&sr=1-1

This book shows you how to do it.

2.71


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:54 pm
"Simply, to watch your reactions once you realize that such an "achievement" would not change space, "the world", the society (or whatever you want to blame for the status quo) at all."
-Marcus Zottl

It's kinda sad, but its true.
Look at SpaceX, how much of a media stir did they make with their successful launch? sure there were the day of 'hey look at this!' but the media was immediately distracted by something more shiny... like the size of some celebrity's ass or something.
Now I'm not saying that what they or armadillo or the other alt.space guys are doing is wrong and worthless... on the contrary. It's just sad they do not get the proper attention they deserve

"Andrew, don't somewhat agree with me. because I'm not somewhat right, I'm absolutely right. " -Dan Frederiksen

wow... that is all i have to say to that.
Of course Dan wouldn't go and do something of his own, his ego is so dense he probably cant see past his own nose.

Dan you chew apart the institutions the governments, and the people who are actually trying to do something, to make a difference. But you are stuck in your own little word of unicorns and butterflies where everything you do is so right and perfect, you fail to see the true achievements of organizations such as NASA and Armadillo and the others.
Hell, funny thing is, by saying Armadillo is so wrong by trying something different with their non cylindrical tanks make you the very thing that you cry out against so much.

you swear up and down that their design is aerodynamically unfeasible...
you ever stop to think that they might put a shell around the structure for those purposes? probably not because you were so stuck in your ways that they were already wrong and would never be right.

you say you wont go out and do what you claim to be so right about because you don't have the money or space.....
did the Wright brothers have much of either when they did what they did?
if you don't have something you need to do something you want, you find a way to make it possible. if it means you have to get your keister away from the front of a computer and your troll like self out from under the bridge, then you do it. other wise you keep your mouth shut. If you have something to suggest to someone who has actually busted their rear to get where they are, and are actually going out on a limb to do something, the you do it respectfully.
you, Dan, are a disrespectful cop-out.
I could go on for hours and hours about the fallacy's you've been smattering across this board. but I wont.
Why don't you go crawl back under your bridge, or learn some respect for those who are doing what you are too afraid to.

-M.Ravenwolf


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:14 am
MRavenwolf, is it really so outrageous of me to state that rockets are long cylinders for a reason.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:35 am
I would add more, but the last post from M.Ravenwolf really sums it up quite well for me.

Bottom line for me. Great job Armadillo, SpaceEx and a few others. I have been watching and cheering you on quietly for years now. I eagerly look forward to watching and reading your updates when they come out. Most of all I am anxious to be able to buy a seat on one of these services at some time. VG is out of my price range, but I have high hopes that with the up coming compettition the prices will come down to my range of affordibility.


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Post Dan Frederiksen is really Sigurd De Keyser   Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:39 am
Hello All,

I am reading these posts of "Dan's" with some skepticism. They seem way too contrived and artificially caustic, self centered, and uninformative. As if, perhaps, they are an artificial contruct designed to stimulate some response.

I don't know about all of you, but I followed this forum for some time before ever joining or posting. In fact, my motivation to join was stimulated by "Dan's" early post on this topic he is pursuing. Look at the record. Prior to "Dan's appearance on the scene, this Armadillo thread was pretty skimpy. We didn't have a whole lot of answers coming out of Armadillo for questions asked. I know. I watched closely. Then, "Dan" jumped in and all hell broke loose.

There have been more stimulating conversations between some pretty damn knowledgable members since "Dan" showed up than I saw for quite some time. Even John Carmack responded to one (or more) of "Dan's" posts. Matthew Ross has been on it. James Bauer too.

I, for one, have learned quite a bit of the technical considerations faced in the new space arena just from reading some of you masters out there. And, you actually answer questions when asked. Pretty promptly too. I am indebted to quite a few of you that pointed me in the right direction to research some of the topics I find interesting.

So, it's time Sigurd. Come out of the closet and own up to it. You created "Dan" to get the conversations flowing in this forum. Didn't you?

I sit here in awe of your clever manipulation and its obvious stimulating result.

_________________
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Orange, CA


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:39 am
Matthew Ross wrote:
TJ wrote:
Good Lord, I actually agree with our village idiot on something. :(

Yes John and Armadillo could possibly make orbit in a month if he dropped everything else and put his mind to it.

I disagree for a couple of reasons. First is regulatory. There's no way we'd get an orbital launch permit and time on an approved range within a month. So that means we'd have to do it illegally, which means in addition to fines and/or jail time, we'd probably never be able to get a launch license in the future. A lot of good that would do.

I've seen it suggested just to go over the border into Mexico. Well, that would work only if we're willing to renounce U.S. citizensip, not to mention whether or not the Mexican equivalent of the FAA would have something to say about our activities. You see, as long as you're a U.S. citizen, FAA-AST has juridiction over anything you intend to put into space, regardless of where on Earth you intend to launch from.

But let's take the regulatory issue off the table for the sake of argument. There's still the problem of actually building 17 more modules (we already have 4, more or less) in less than a month to be ready for the "Hail Mary" at the end of the month. We couldn't do that with the team we have now.

OK, so hire some more. But putting out job notices, reviewing résumés, interviewing, then training new hires to help build the remaining modules all within a month? Not going to happen.

The idea that Armadillo could get an orbital attempt off in a relatively short time is not implausible, it just wouldn't be within a month. But the idea that it would just go right the first time and our attempt would succeed is pretty unlikely. Just ask Elon. But you're right, TJ; we have a methodical development path that we hope will get us to orbit, and keep us solvent in the process.


Now Matthew you can't sell yourselfs short here, after all dan said you guys could do it. Therefore it must be true. Paperwork and rules are nothing more than some sort of meaningless diversion in the world of dan. Now focusing on nothing else opens you guys up to 12 to 18 hour days, 7 days a week, that's like 3 to 5 times more 'time' than what a typical month at Armadillo is currently. Heck I bet John can probably pull of a string of 20 hour days before taking a break of a 12 hour day or two in that month. You guys don't need to take care of your regular jobs or pay any attention to your families or any other of life's responsibilities, after all dan said so.

:P :roll:

Matthew Ross wrote:
Well, if we did indeed attempt orbit with a 21-module rocket, that's probably over $1 million just in the rocket itself. Literally tossing away $3 million dollars (and again, that's not even including propellant and operational costs) for 3 attempts is NOT currently within our annual budget. That's a large part of why we're trying to win the Lunar Lander Challenge, doing the Rocket Racing League work, and will be pursuing sub-orbital before orbital -- this money has to come from somewhere (and John's computer game money is not infinite).


How could you say such a thing. You're letting that pesky reality thing get in the way again.

AGr wrote:
That people in Armadillo Aerospace would waste time responding to Dan's inane mumblings makes me embarrassed for humanity. Or maybe they need the occasional humorous side track?


Works for me. :lol:

:shock: :lol:

Dan Frederiksen wrote:
Andrew, don't somewhat agree with me. because I'm not somewhat right, I'm absolutely right.
As for the pump, I think we need an illustration of how it works. you have to understand that we don't have the knowledge you have about it. that you know how it works is not the same as we do.

and for those asking why I don't just do it myself if I'm so smart, that's two fold. I don't have the financial freedom John does and space is just one of the several things that are wrong in this world that can benefit from my insight.
I don't have to do something for my insight to be right and it's quite unintelligent to suggest it. it's a human tragedy that so many people here are so caustically opposing even obvious truthes such as a cylindrical rocket shape being better than an egg carton.


While there are exceptions and I'm a big believer in the idea that no reasonable man ever changed the world, far more often than not when you've got a single person disagreeing with a majority (especially in a technical area) the majority is right.

Now I don't consider this to be an answer to the question I asked you twice and now for a third, exactly what have you done in regards to space access dan? All of this 'advice' or rather whining doesn't count. Then again you can simply continue to ignore that question and cement your own hypocrisy.


craigecarey wrote:
I would add more, but the last post from M.Ravenwolf really sums it up quite well for me.


Yes it does indeed. The unicorns and butterflies line was a nice touch.

MarcHopkins wrote:
So, it's time Sigurd. Come out of the closet and own up to it. You created "Dan" to get the conversations flowing in this forum. Didn't you?

I sit here in awe of your clever manipulation and its obvious stimulating result.


:? :lol:

You know you could be onto something there.

:lol: :lol: :lol:




One more thing to add. Even though I myself cited the 3 stage 16/4/1 mod orbital attempt I seriously doubt that whatever Armadillo winds up making an orbital attempt with it is unlikely to be that. I'm reasonably certain that idea was mostly 'for example'. I'm also pretty sure that at one time John mentioned the idea of going with a two stage to orbit setup as portrayed in 'The Rocket Company' that was posted over at Hobby Space sometime ago. One thing Armadillo has shown over the years is that 'Plans Change'.


Matthew, James, John and all the others at Armadillo, please don't take me too seriously here on the 'dan front', about the only thing I'm certain of here is you guys know a heck of a lot more on this subject than I will ever likely know and you guys most certainly know more than our village idiot. You guys are doing a remarkable job. Years ago I was amazed by the DC-X not so much for it's capabilities but more for the price tag that they built and flew it for something like $60 million. To me at the time that was an incredibly low price tag for such a rocket. Now I look back at all that you guys have done for a few million dollars, part time to boot and it's just about the most incredible thing I seen in the three decades or so that I've been reading about space.

Keep up the good work and good luck at the Lunar Lander Challenge.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:56 am
John, please tell us how heavy you think a purposebuilt 2 or 3 stage rocket with your choice of fuel would have to be to bring 1kg to 200km LEO. if it matters please consider composite for body and tanks, maybe 5? times lighter than your current materials.

while they may not agree, most here would love to hear it and I think the answer will make our minds soar.


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Post Re: Dan Frederiksen is really Sigurd De Keyser   Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:42 pm
MarcHopkins wrote:
So, it's time Sigurd. Come out of the closet and own up to it. You created "Dan" to get the conversations flowing in this forum. Didn't you?

I sit here in awe of your clever manipulation and its obvious stimulating result.

Lol if this were truly the case I would feel a bit silly about getting as worked up about this as I have.


Dan, maybe you can explain something to me....
why are you so caught up in sending such a small payload into orbit? what purpose does this serve other than the GeeWiz! factor?
Wouldn't it be better to take a bit more time, and put a practical, useful payload into orbit? and do it safely? rather than being impatient and wasting money to haphazardly throwing tiny objects up into an already cluttered orbit?

Here is something else to think about, while advanced rocketry has been around for quite a while, there are still countless boundaries to cross. Armadillo is doing that with their designs and methods. Yes, it takes time, yes it takes money. If you want cheap access to space, some one first has to spend the money to develop a method of doing so.
As an engineer, it makes perfect sense to me to be focusing on engine design and a suborbital attempt before trying to get into the details of what it would take to do an orbital shot. The reason being, as TJ said, is that things change.
Designs change.
constraints change.
capabilities, resources, etc.

what you are advocating is going for the Hail Mary on the first down of the first quarter. If you really wanted to know what it would take to put a 1 kg mass into the orbit you specified, go to the library,
break out a few books, and learn something. Do the math yourself, instead of trying to get others to do it for you.

I know a lot of what I've just said has been said many times before, and I apologize. I too have been following the adventures of the Armadillo team for quite some time.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:18 pm
MarcHopkins wrote:
So, it's time Sigurd. Come out of the closet and own up to it. You created "Dan" to get the conversations flowing in this forum. Didn't you?


Inspired by this concept, I did a syntax analysis on our buddy Dan. I fed his posts into a Gramanalyzer2000 and was floored by the results...........

Sarah Palin.

Seriously!

2.71


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:09 pm
Dan Frederiksen wrote:
please consider composite for body and tanks, maybe 5? times lighter than your current materials.

We did. Composite tanks that can handle cryogens are far, far more expensive than what we're doing now. Keeping costs down is pretty much Armadillo's number one priority. And no, we're not going to try to make them ourselves. As others have pointed out, lots of others have tried to develop cryo-rated composite tanks and have spent many years and lots of money trying to do it. We're a rocket company, not a composite research company.

By the way, one of the primary benefits of our modular approach is that it can theoretically scale from the single mods we have flying today, all the way to orbit. And we can keep the costs way down by using lots of off-the-shelf stuff; economies of scale and all. A purpose-built rocket consisting of a single cylindrical stack that could bring something actually useful to orbit would need to have far too many, well, purpose-built components (SpaceX has reportedly spent over $100 million to get theirs into orbit). What is your big problem with modular anyway? Is it just the spherical tanks, or the whole idea of many modules?


Last edited by Matthew Ross on Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:40 pm
Matthew, if it is problematic to use composite for cryogenics then sure use metal. that would then be a consideration for propellant choice. if non cryo can be done with lighter tanks.

my concern with modularity is:
1) how to arrange the lower stage's 32 spheres and their tubes aerodynamically
2) the double weight of a string of spheres instead of equivalent cylinder
3) ensuring uniform reliable control and operation of 16 engines.
4) the time and cost to manufacture many small instead of 1 large.
5) fueling complexity of 42 tanks.

in theory I could be wrong but I really think you are being obtuse and we are wasting precious mental resources debating the obvious when we could be moving forward. It's so frustrating to be able to see all the things that are critically wrong with this world that we could so easily fix when even people like you fight the truth. According to your website AA is motivated by Nasa's alarmingly slow progress. I think you have forgotten that. You need to furious about the betrayal of mankind Nasa represents lest you be part of the same betrayal. 4 million dollars and 8 years. should I be impressed? am I out of line for suggesting that you have lost focus? I don't think so.
if you must win the hover prize then get it over with. don't let it hijack years of your lives while spending more money than you win from it. if you must make engines for RRL then do so quickly so it wont derail you from what matters. RRL is pointless nascar bullshit.
it's high time you think hard about where you are going with this.if you are going to [censored] around for decades then save your money and quit now. we would all be far better off that way. but I hope you choose to go for gold. either way you need to be serious about it. this playing it safe never amounting to anything stuff is painful.

be energized by the sweetspot fact that satellites can be very potent without weighing a ton. that you could actually put up a light cheap telescope that has capabilities comparable to hubble. hubble has relatively low angular resolution iirc and its sensor is only 1024x1024 pixels. it can't even take a color picture. it's strong in light gathering but that's not critical for all applications.
someone like meade might provide a very light mirror for free if their name could go to space. think about the joy of sticking it to Nasa again and again and the potential sideeffects of such shame. you could actually make a [censored] difference. if you would only wake up and be angry enough to do it. I don't know how long you guys live but 8 years is a significant chunk of my capable life.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:08 pm
Can we please ban this guy?
He is intentionally being badgering and disrespectful to a vast community.
His presence, while it did bring more activity to the group, has been a negative presence (in my opinion).
He has nothing constructive to say. He obviously has an ego that precludes him from reality, and there will never be an answer that will satisfy him.
There is no reason Armadillo, anyone in the alt.space industry, or even those of us who DO have direct experience with NASA, should put up with this.

Please, can we move on from this Troll already?


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