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Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space

Posted by: sanman - Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:34 am
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Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space 
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Space Walker
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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:41 am
Okay, fair enough, but the govt-sponsored effort is just to get the ball rolling. Once the ice is broken, then it can be turned over to a conventional airline or air freight company model, by privatizing it.

Given that the private sector already has tons of experience on how to run airlines and air freight services, that shouldn't pose too much of a problem, especially as they foray into the higher-end space launch services that should command them a better premium.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:09 pm
sanman wrote:
Given that the private sector already has tons of experience on how to run airlines and air freight services


i don't mean to mock, but i got a good laugh out of that.
not sure where you are from sanman ( i know this is an international community, so i dont even try to guess...lol) but the airline companies here in the US, with the exception of a limited few, are not exactly what you would call 'proficient' at running things, despite being in the industry as long as most of them have. most are on the verge of bankruptcy, and its because of poor management, and not changing quick enough with the times.

once a cheap, efficient hypersonic engine is operating, then HS flight may be more likely for terrestrial (non military) purposes. I think i saw this mentioned, but i cant remember, but there are severe restrictions on flight above the sonic regimine in a lot of places. I believe that with a few exceptions (certain military areas), it is not allowed above the continental US. So a flight from NY to Beijing would only be in the supersonic/hypersonic speed range once it went feet wet. and then would have to drop below once it crossed the next coast line.

the only real reason that a civilian would endure HS travel would be for time sensitive activites, or thrill seeking. at least until the technology was well proven, and the rules and regulations were rewritten to accomodate it.

Even for Cargo, the only reason for the expense of hypersonic transport would be if it was an very time sensitive delivery.

One of my professors back at school, just before i graduated was working on a large scale linear accelerator project, for the purposes of accellerating a craft up to the speed necessary for a scram jet to ignite. :D
now that would be very useful for cheap cargo to orbit, but the g-forces involved are immense. there had been talk about a similiar track being built to replace the rail-type sled track at the Holloman Sled Track in NM (last i heard they've acheived Mach 8.6... just shy of the Mach 10 goal http://www.holloman.af.mil/library/fact ... sp?id=5924)

http://www.holloman.af.mil/library/fact ... sp?id=6130
has video of a mach 8.5 test :)

Ok, I've gone off topic enough...lol can barely remember what my original point was... now whered my caffine go....

EDITED: fixed mach number for record speed


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:56 am
Hi,

In the early years, the operators of such commercial services will be very ginger in how they do things. But at their industry matures, and the technology and safety margins along with it, then they will become airline-like.

If the uppermost atmosphere is too challenging for commercial operations, then space will be much tougher.

I'm imagining that the early efforts to establish a base on the Moon would be like the establishment of bases in Antarctica. Aircraft were well-trusted by then, and it was just a matter of venturing in that direction.

But make no mistake, it will be big-ticket platforms that take man into space, and not little juiced-up puddle-jumpers. Space is simply too formidable a frontier to venture out into it in just a Spirit-of-St-Louis.

What will be required are new pioneers in collaboration, rather than go-it-alone types. I'm talking about far-reaching collaboration, and not just a team of 20.

It's fine if hypersonic aircraft only travel trans-oceanically. The inland leg of a voyage could be covered by bullet-train. That would be economical for both freight and passenger mass-transit.

You've seen manufacturers of high-speed shipping, like hydrofoil manufacturers, or high-speed catamaran ferries, etc. Hypersonic platforms could become like that.

Eventually, there's the hope that hypersonic aircraft could travel high enough that their shockwaves wouldn't be heard over land anyway.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:04 am
Look - everybody's going hypersonic:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/ ... maneuvers/

http://www.spacenews.com/military/10022 ... tests.html

http://www.uq.edu.au/news/?article=20718


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:45 am
Listen to some comments to Miles O'Brien from John Karas, Orion capsule program manager at Lockheed Martin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy8SgvJxzpI#t=3m31s


The fact is that the market is the ultimate limiting factor. If you don't have the required market underpinning, then no amount of technology will offset that.

The intercontinental travel market is the most broad-based market that can be related to the space market. If the Lockheeds and the Boeings can be engaged to develop a Mach-5 hypersonic transport, then this could have multiple applications in defense, commercial aviation, and ultimately space.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:00 am
Another thing - think of cars like the Honda Accord, or Civic.

Cars like this have exceptionally well-engineered designs, and this is because that design is being sold across so many units. So the R&D budgets for these cars is huge.

Likewise, once upon a time, high-end workstation manufacturers like Silcon Graphics used to scoff at low-end chipmakers like Intel. Now of course, Silicon Graphics have bit the dust, and the venerable consumer-level chipmaker Intel is a colossus towering over the corpse-strewn landscape.

So the same would be the case with hypersonic jetliners. Their design and engineering costs would be amortized across the relatively larger number of units sold in comparison to space launch vehicles. Eventually, the capabilities of these products would gradually rise and extend to the point of being able to support orbital travel as a commercially viable option.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:33 pm
Have you thought of conducting a survey on your belief that hypersonic space planes is the way to go for space commercialization? For people working on such projects, of course there'll be lots of interest and promotion. However, looking at it historically, such projects have been repeatedly canceled or abandoned in the past such as the X-30 or X-43 due to exorbitant cost or shift in objectives. I'm not going to be surprised if the X-51 or Pollux also gets canceled eventually.

The market is also a big issue. The airline industry has clearly shown favoritism towards aircraft with lower operating cost over faster more costly designs. Consider the cancellation of the Boeing Sonic Cruiser which was abandoned for the slower but more fuel efficient Dreamliner as an example.

I believe sub-orbital space tourism flights and private company space stations will be the main initiators in launching future space commercialization endeavors, preferably the latter. Have you read a paper by Patrick Collins called Space Hotels: Civil Engineering's New Frontier?

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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:58 am
while i agree withyou on most everything skydreamer, I disagree about the X-51. I would be quite surprised if that got cancelled. Mostly because it is primarily a USAF project and one proven, would amost certainly be deployed as quicklyas they could. an X-51 derivative would allow the USAF/Navy to hit a target quickly while still maintaining a large standoff distance. That and it uses a very awesome jet fuel, JP-7.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:28 am
skydreamer99 wrote:
Have you thought of conducting a survey on your belief that hypersonic space planes is the way to go for space commercialization? For people working on such projects, of course there'll be lots of interest and promotion. However, looking at it historically, such projects have been repeatedly canceled or abandoned in the past such as the X-30 or X-43 due to exorbitant cost or shift in objectives. I'm not going to be surprised if the X-51 or Pollux also gets canceled eventually.

The market is also a big issue. The airline industry has clearly shown favoritism towards aircraft with lower operating cost over faster more costly designs. Consider the cancellation of the Boeing Sonic Cruiser which was abandoned for the slower but more fuel efficient Dreamliner as an example.

I believe sub-orbital space tourism flights and private company space stations will be the main initiators in launching future space commercialization endeavors, preferably the latter. Have you read a paper by Patrick Collins called Space Hotels: Civil Engineering's New Frontier?


The thing here is that with airlines all crowding around the same market-space, they are forcing each other out of business, and the survivors are the ones who've consolidated.

So this is the time to go in for a "blue ocean" market, where there aren't any competitors yet. Services which could commute across the ocean in a couple of hours would provide a totally new level of service, thus tapping a new market.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:05 pm
Would you try for builder/operator? Or would you sell your aircraft to all the other airlines?

Do you want to compete with the bloated government supported Boeing and Airbus, or with them *and* with the dozens of cut-throat international airlines?

As soon as you show up with a working aircraft that seems to prove the market someone else is going to show up with a second generation me-too hypersonic airliner that is not only slightly better than yours, but cheaper as they were able to finance it on better terms due to less perceived risk thanks to you proving the market.

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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:07 am
It could be done as a consortium effort, just like what was done with EADS/Airbus, or in the microprocessor industry with SEMATECH to share R&D costs. That would enable them to punch through to the next level.

But even if rivals decide to pursue the same product, they can't turn it out in a few years - it would take much longer than that. This isn't like the software industry. You would have a major lead time in an unchallenged space for quite some time. This is the first-mover advantage.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:43 am
Oh so you guy's wanna burn up our atmosphere for good huh! Dumping that much fuel in the stratosphere would be so detrimental to our planet we would have to leave it! lol Think of something a little more eco friendly! Sorry, that's my take. It's your world I'll be gone before we can screw it up totally! I hope!

Monroe

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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:45 pm
Bah, even with a rocket it's still going to produce the same exhaust. That kind of thing is dependent upon the choice of fuel, and not on jet-vs-rocket.

With a rocket, you have to expend more energy to create the oxidizer (eg. compress the LOX), whereas with a jet you're just using the naturally available air.


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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:35 pm
A rocket won't be fighting drag for 45 minutes. A rocket also tends to use lighter cleaner burning fuels.

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Post Re: Most Commercially Feasible Route to Space   Posted on: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:43 pm
idiom wrote:
A rocket won't be fighting drag for 45 minutes. A rocket also tends to use lighter cleaner burning fuels.


Yup, but a rocket has to carry its own LOX/oxidizer. And those lighter, cleaner cryo fuels also add a lot to the launch costs, due to the specialized storage and handling required.

Semi-cryogenic (RP-1) offers better bang for the buck.

All the cleaner lighter stuff in the world doesn't do any good if it's stuck on the drawing board because nobody has the money to fund it anymore.


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