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X-Prize/Shuttle replacement

Posted by: cdoak - Sun Jun 20, 2004 10:48 am
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X-Prize/Shuttle replacement 

would you support an X-Prize that would help in replacing the present NASA Space Shuttles?
Yes 54%  54%  [ 14 ]
No 19%  19%  [ 5 ]
Maybe, if certain measures were took into consideration 27%  27%  [ 7 ]
Total votes : 26

X-Prize/Shuttle replacement 
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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 26, 2004 11:22 pm
i think you may be suprised at what smaller companies could do with a shuttle-like vehicle. i wouldn't be too suprised to see several private heavy orbital launch vehicles (either lots of passengers or lots of cargo) running within 15 years or so at decent prices, regardless of if there's a prize or not.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:24 am
I am wondering, why do we really need something like the Shuttle concept (Cargo + People) and why we could not decouple these two things into Cargo (heavy lift space truck) and People (manned acccess, space SUV with limited/reconfigurable cargo/people payload capability) :?:


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:37 am
From what i know, the shuttle was going to be a lot smaller when it was first designed but pressure from different needs, sattelites etc made it bigger to be able to hold large cargo. Would have cost more to have two seperate ships, or so they say. Also NASA were going to have a space plane, x33? sorry if thats wrong i don't realy remember what it was called.

Would it not be cheaper to use large rockets to loft heavy equipment and than have something half the size of the shuttle to send 7 + people up into space to work or whatever?
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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:56 pm
you could probably take upwards of 15 people in a shuttle-class passenger vehicle. the cargo hold in the shuttle is gigantic.

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Post Re: Well, if it was a similar craft to the shuttle..........   Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 8:37 pm
cdoak wrote:
with similar characteristics, but privately built and operated, would you support it? Hell, the thing could even auctioned an NASA could bid for it if need be. What gets me is why everyone thinks that a commercial/private space-based industry should just be limitted to Tourism flights. If we have got the technology readily available, is there any reason why a private company shouldn't be able to launch and retrieve their own (or others) satellites etc.?


Now is the time to privatize all of NASA and utilize the best engineering talent out there, like Burt Rutan. After all Rutan can put a man into space, NASA can not.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:57 am
Yes, NASA's Space Shuttle should be replaced by private spaceships.

But the replacing spaceships needn't to be as big as the shuttle - i would prefer other ways.

Technologies to put together big satellites in space instead on earth should be developed.

The requirement to launch satellites and objects together with the crew should be removed.

Cargo bays like that of the Space Shuttle should remain in orbit - they can be moved to the object needed at from the orbit they are parked in.

Within the last fours years I found one german article saying that tools optimized for work in space could work on radio waves (if I remember right), because it is possible to move objects by these waves. If someone is interested I shall look for the article and try to translate ist to English.

This all might form a basis for the evolution of industrial construction in space. Private spaceships are like lorries then.



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Post Re: Well, if it was a similar craft to the shuttle..........   Posted on: Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:12 am
traveler wrote:
Now is the time to privatize all of NASA and utilize the best engineering talent out there, like Burt Rutan. After all Rutan can put a man into space, NASA can not.


I agree. NASA has had its time and plenty of its money to play with... I'm all for the old NASA that was willing to take risks and get things done, but its time for change. Either NASA needs to completely revamp its program (they are on the right track with Centennial Challenges) or someone else, like Burt Rutan, needs to step up and commercialize everything that NASA has not been able to get a hold of.

Think of it this way: Burt Rutan has come up with more new designs and put them into operation than both Boeing and Lockheed combined... Something isn't right with that, and thing that isn't right is that Rutan doesn't play a part with NASA when he obviously knows how to get things done!

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:51 pm
I think in mentioning Rutan's name you're all assuming way to much about his motives and goals.

He has always been very limited in his comments about future uses of SS1 and future space projects. The idea that he will single handedly revolutionize the space industry is imaginative and the idea that he will replace all of NASA's activities is preposterous.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:46 pm
We are just using him as an example of how much a government org. should be capable of if one man can do so much as Burt Rutan has already done... there need to be some changes, but no one expects him to do any of it... i highly doubt (from what i have been able to tell of him) that he would want anything to do with the government or anything to do with that amount of responsibility on his shoulders. the idea of him doing that IS ridiculous, but like i said, we were just making a point.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 05, 2004 2:15 am
Pete wrote:
I think in mentioning Rutan's name you're all assuming way to much about his motives and goals.

He has always been very limited in his comments about future uses of SS1 and future space projects. The idea that he will single handedly revolutionize the space industry is imaginative and the idea that he will replace all of NASA's activities is preposterous.


I guess you haven't seen this article:

Rutan says NASA should hurry

Space cowboy Burt Rutan doesn't mince words when it comes to needling NASA.
At 61, the aviation legend and designer of SpaceShipOne -- which in June became the first privately financed, piloted craft to fly beyond Earth's atmosphere -- thinks it's high time to open the space frontier to average citizens.


NASA, he says, simply isn't doing the job.

"Thirty years ago, if you had asked NASA -- and people did in those days -- 'How long would it be before I could buy tickets to space?' the answer was, 'About 30 years,' " Rutan told reporters in June.

"If you ask today, you'll get about the same answer, '30 years.' I think that's unfortunate. There's been no progress at all made toward affordable space travel."

A straight shooter with a folksy sense of humor, Rutan aims to show space travel shouldn't be the exclusive domain of big governments and their elite astronauts.

He noted his Scaled Composites LLC parlayed $20 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen into a private space program in mere five years.

The investment "allowed us to develop a complete manned space program, from scratch, for the price of one of those government paper studies," Rutan said. "And I'm so proud of that it brings tears to my eyes. It really does."


The new private space entrepreneurs have a vision. I'm one of them. We do want our children to go to the planets," he said. We are willing to seek breakthroughs by taking risks," he said.

"And if the business-as-usual space developers continue their decades-long pace, they will be gazing from the slow lane as we speed into the new Space Age -- this time not for prestige, but this time to fulfill people's dreams."

http://www.flatoday.com/news/space/stor ... 4RUTAN.htm

ALSO, Burt and Allan founded Majove Aerospace a "new" company to manage SpaceShipOne and to build the next "ships".


And and other great source of info:
http://groups.google.com/groups?dq=&hl= ... %404ax.com

FUTURE ORBITAL Flight
Bert made it very clear that he is working hard on developing an
Orbital vehicle. It's not clear if he is actually building hardware,
but he is clearly working on a design.

He was very clear on the difference in challenges between
sub-orbital and orbital.

He discussed that air launch does not add much significant energy to
an orbital craft.

He discussed the energy advantages of Launching from the Equator.

He discussed the need for a orbital tourist destination and mentioned
the work of Bigelow aerospace and inflatable structures.

All in all I though he had a good handle on what was needed for low
cost manned orbital space flight.



He wrote "bert", I don't know if he ment "burt" or just someone else over there at Scaled Composites...

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:59 am
Thanks for that Sigurd. It's certainly encorouging but we'll just have to wait and see what actually happens. If he wins the Ansari X-Prize, he'll certainly be a magnet for space investment dollars. A great place to be.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:40 am
Yeah, it seems that he's going to be playing a very large and very public part of space development in the near future.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:42 pm
Pete wrote:
I think in mentioning Rutan's name you're all assuming way to much about his motives and goals.

He has always been very limited in his comments about future uses of SS1 and future space projects. The idea that he will single handedly revolutionize the space industry is imaginative and the idea that he will replace all of NASA's activities is preposterous.


I wouldn't be so sure of that. It's already been proven that the man's an engineering genius. If you don't believe me, go to their website and click on the "PROJECTS" link. Burt Rutan is an aerospace engineer in the same class as Jack Northrop (who layed the groundwork for the B-2 back in the late '40s), and there is absolutely no precedent for what he's doing. No other group (he can't work successfully without his test pilots and engineers and mechanics and manufacturers) has so consistently proven its capacity to revolutionize the aerospace industry, and especially not one so small. Now that same group is poised to revolutionize human civilization as a whole (or at least begin a very lengthy and checkered revolution), and is again proving its ability to do so.

Burt Rutan will not replace NASA. Indeed, he will take the burden of spaceflight off of NASA's hands, and allow NASA to do what it does best: research. Commercial spaceflight is not the death of NASA, rather, it is the beginning of a renaissance for university-, private-, and government-sponsored scientific research, for soon the farthest reaches of space will be open to anybody who can provide adequate funds. Imagine: how many experiments that need microgravity conditions for extended periods of time have been dropped, because there simply wasn't enough room on board the Shuttle or the ISS, or because the crew didn't have enough time to conduct them? Now, with space being commercialized, any university or private individual can hire their own vehicle to conduct their own experiments -- and they won't need years of astronaut training to do it.

Burt Rutan is a nexus point in our history. The consequences of what he does (or doesn't do) will ripple through future generations for decades or even centuries to come.

And I ain't just sayin' that 'cause I wanna work for the guy. I wanna work for the guy because I fully believe that the interesting stuff for the next few decades is gonna pretty much revolve around him.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:34 pm
The latest news seems to set several exclamation signs to your post.

After the XPRIZE is won things will become more interesting. A few time ago Burt Rutan has been quoted by the media to have spoken of a six-person-spacecraft for use in regular suborbital spacecrafts - and now th news to be read today. Perhaps the two projects will be running in parallel - the one financing the other partly.

The interesting point will be what way, what technique, what method the one-man-spaccraft will decelerate by.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:00 pm
I think Xprize is going to help space exploration because it focuses the public's attention on it and captures the people's imagination in a way NASA has failed to for the past thirty years.
I also hope it will make some tycoons think about investing in space business, just like Paul Allen and the guy from SpaceX and John Carmack have done already.

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