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SpaceShipTwo

Posted by: author - Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:25 pm
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SpaceShipTwo 
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Post SpaceShipTwo   Posted on: Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:25 pm
:) Okay, we know that Scaled has a workable concept with SpaceShipOne so, let's speculate a bit about their followup craft, SpaceShipTwo (I'm guessing at the name here, but it is somewhat logical, eh?).

With a bit more rocket power, couldn't SpaceShipTwo dispense with the lift from White Knight and, instead, take off like a conventional aircraft from the runway at Mojave? And still achieve suborbital altitude?

And if SpaceShipTwo can do THAT, then it could also go from point to point; twenty minutes to Australia, etc. And if SpaceShipTwo can do THAT, it follows that one could stop thinking about the limited market of space tourism and begin exploiting the huge one of fast passenger and small parcel service (you better believe Fed Ex and UPS would fight for those ships :D ).

You get that kind of industry going (and it will happen) and things like the X Prize are chicken feed in comparison. (Not to knock the X Prize, I likes it a lot.)

I bet you dollars to a solitary Krispy Kreme donut (which I can't have on my diet anyway), the passenger and package concept has not escaped Burt Rutan, Paul Allen, and any number of other visionaries with Canadian Arrow, Starchaser, Armadillo et al. And when you think back to the early aviation prizes, what were their end results? Air service! Same rules apply here, I think.

To paraphrase one of the late President Ronald Reagan's lines, there IS a pony in there somewheres and a lot of folk are starting to dig for it.


:D

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:29 pm
I guess it depends a lot on exactly what goes into SS2. There's a lot more involved than just increased distance when going from a sub-orbital hop like SS1 to sub-orbital flight from California to Austrailia. Didn't one of the x-15 pilots once fire one off on the ground to make a short flight without being carried by a B-52 or is that just a myth?


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:43 pm
Don't know about the X-15 taking off from the ground (could not find any reference to that) but Chuck Yeager did fly the Bell X1 rocket plane (the one he broke the sound barrier in) off from the ground... Mojave, as a matter of fact. Others, beginning I believe with the German rocket plane during WWII, have done so as well... as does Dick Rutan (Burt's brother) in Xcor's rocket plane.

But, yes, I agree, SpaceShipTwo would need a big rocket in its tail.... but the concept is long proven, it's just a matter of refining it now.... at least, such is my opinon. :D

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Post Air Launch   Posted on: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:19 pm
http://www.spacetethers.com/airlaunch.html

The purpose of air launch is so a vehicle doesn't have to accelerate to supersonic speed in the thickest part of the atmosphere. Because a shuttle launches from the ground it hits Max Q (maximum dynamic pressure, i.e. maximum drag) at only 30,000 feet when it reaches Mach 1.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:56 pm
Yes, I understand the benefits of an air launch but, in the context of my post, it would be logistically daunting to air launch a regular passenger rocket. :) Better to let them taxi up to the terminal.

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Post Air Launching Big Rockets   Posted on: Mon Jun 14, 2004 7:03 pm
In bipropellant rocket motors the oxidizer to fuel ratio is typically about 2 to 1 by weight. For example, in the shuttle external tank although the liquid hydrogen accounts for the majority of the volume the liquid oxygen accounts for the majority of the weight. One way to reduce the logistical problems of air launching a large rocket would be to take off with the oxidizer tanks empty then fill them by compressing and liquifying atmospheric air.


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Post Re: Air Launching Big Rockets   Posted on: Mon Jun 14, 2004 7:11 pm
greenmonster wrote:
In bipropellant rocket motors the oxidizer to fuel ratio is typically about 2 to 1 by weight. For example, in the shuttle external tank although the liquid hydrogen accounts for the majority of the volume the liquid oxygen accounts for the majority of the weight. One way to reduce the logistical problems of air launching a large rocket would be to take off with the oxidizer tanks empty then fill them by compressing and liquifying atmospheric air.


Oh yes, this is Franklin Ratliff, traced him already ;) so it's normal he's talking about "rocket motors" :P .
But as long as his posts stay like this, no problem.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:18 pm
author wrote:
Don't know about the X-15 taking off from the ground (could not find any reference to that) but Chuck Yeager did fly the Bell X1 rocket plane (the one he broke the sound barrier in) off from the ground...


X1 ? No i dont think so.
http://www.chuckyeager.org/htm_docs/x1.shtml

You really havent seen "The Right Stuff" ?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:35 pm
Ah, but it is true 8):

from:

http://members.lycos.co.uk/derekhorne/biography.html

"...On October 14, 1947, he flew the XS-1 past the sound barrier, becoming the world's first supersonic pilot reaching a speed of Mach 1.07 or 670mph. During the next two years, he flew the X-1 33 times, reaching a maximum speed of 957mph or Mach 1.45 and 70,000 feet. He was the first and only American to make a ground takeoff in a rocket-powered X-Plane. In December 1953 he flew the Bell X-1A 1,650 mph or Mach 2.44, a record which still stands for straight-winged aircraft...."

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:33 pm
I'd never thought about a speed record for "straight winged" aircraft before. I just assumed that the record belonged to the NF-104, but apparently it never broke Yeager's record in the X-1a. Yeager, however, did succeed in breaking the NF-104. :D


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:55 pm
http://x-prize.blogspot.com/2004/06/spa ... ng-to.html

Some part:
After winning the X-Prize, Rutan will quickly move on to other challenges. During press conferences leading up to Monday's flights, he dropped hints about "going to orbit sooner than you think," an apparent allusion to the Tier 3 orbital space-vehicle program that he is reportedly involved in. The SpaceShipOne program is known as Tier 1, and Tier 2 would probably be a tour-bus-like version of the same concept, a vehicle capable of carrying up to 10 passengers on suborbital space flights. Under his contract with Allen, Rutan is required to deliver data on how much such a vehicle would cost to build and fly. Mojave Aerospace--a new company jointly owned by Allen and Rutan and disclosed this week--will own the rights to SpaceShipOne technology and would oversee future franchising and commercialization efforts for the system. Details will remain secret, said the cagey Rutan, "until we're ready to push something out of the door."

So... keep dreaming.. about the spaceflight you'll take in about 10 years 8) because this dream can come true!

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:25 am
The golden goose of non-orbital flight is intergrating white knight and SS1 into one craft, that is a rocket plane with turbofans. In subsonic horizontal flight nothing beats the turbofan for efficiency.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 4:35 am
Yes, but why take the turbofans up with you when they are only dead weight after a certain point? Using a turbojet powered seperatate first stage (a plane) as ShapeShipOne and the Pegasus XL does, makes a certain sort of sense, but lugging the turbines up with it, doesn't.

It could be argued that engineering a vehicle to do this is possible, and it possibly is, but SSTO's are all about putting a diet on the vehicle (which is why we still don't have one.. witness X-33's ruptured fueltanks). The best way to do that is to restrict your non-payload portions of the vehicle to stuff that will be working towards getting the vehicle up and back full time. This tends to exclude staging and even wings. Scaled took a big hit in that they had to build a carrier aircraft specifically for the job of lugging SpaceShipOne up to flight altitude, but they also recouped some of that (only Burt Rutan could do this) by making the carrier aircraft a great trainer for the spaceship. Oribital, on the other hand, can just use slightly modified Lockheed L-1011 or B-52 for its purposes, Kelly Ecplipse, in theory, could use whatever can have a tow rope attached to it.

I don't know. It could work for suborbital, but even then I think just going with rockets the whole way is a better idea. Keeps the design simple. On an oribtal passenger spaceship, I don't think it would work out.


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Post I know what wont be in SS2   Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:44 am
It's such a shame that the x-prize has delivered any new technology to us. The rocket used by SS1 and the ones Armadillo have made are all pretty conventional. There's no advanced fuels or amazing new buck rodgers engines to be found. In fact, the contenders for the x-prize who registered and made claims to have produced new motors are nowhere to be found either. The amount of money the US government has sunk into the VASMIR without even a flight test is remarkable. It's not like making plasma and containing it is hard. It can be done in the back yard.


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Post Re: I know what wont be in SS2   Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:10 am
quantumg wrote:
It's such a shame that the x-prize has delivered any new technology to us. The rocket used by SS1 and the ones Armadillo have made are all pretty conventional. There's no advanced fuels or amazing new buck rodgers engines to be found. In fact, the contenders for the x-prize who registered and made claims to have produced new motors are nowhere to be found either. The amount of money the US government has sunk into the VASMIR without even a flight test is remarkable. It's not like making plasma and containing it is hard. It can be done in the back yard.


How is SpaceShipOne's rocket conventional? To my knowledge, this is the first successful hybrid rocket launched into space. (AMROC never made it.) BTW, the exact composition of the fuel grain in SpaceDev's engine is a trade secret.


Armadillo is literally writing the book on mixed-monoprop/solid catalyst rocket engines. I may have a wrong idea of what "conventional" means, however. Pleae advise.

Now go back to your backyard and contain some plasma.

If your post was just sarcastic I apologize. If you were sincere, perhaps you can volunterr to help Blue Ridge Nebular Airlines with their.. ahem.. groundbreaking propulsion.


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