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Scaled Tier 2!?

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:27 pm
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Scaled Tier 2!? 
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Post Scaled Tier 2!?   Posted on: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:27 pm
just been reading the interview with rutan about his new company with P Allen. So he brefly mentioned a tier 2 and 3 programme, anyone know anything else bout this? all i heard was tier 2 could have 10 people on a ferry to space and that orbital flights are nearer than we all think?
Sounds blooomin exciting ! any news or links would be "propper Bo!"

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:12 pm
Rutan's "hints" are fantastic news, I'm pissing myself with excitement. Even if it takes them 5+ years to reach any of these goals that's still going to dramatically push forward the timeline for commercial space travel/tourism.

There was talk months ago that Rutan would disassociate himself from this industry after reaching sub-orbital, but it seems he's more excited than anyone at what they are doing here to push forward the boundaries of space travel.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:24 pm
think that is more evident with the news him n allen have started "Mojave Aerospace" this surely means hes in for the long run! wonder if branson has anything to do with it or if we will find out

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:56 pm
The question I'm really wondering about Tier 3 is if Scaled will get to orbit with it in less than 9 months to tie the time it took NASA to go from suborbital to orbital manned flight. Now that would be quite an accomplishment. Probably unrealistic but he did say they were closer to orbital capability than most would think.

I'd love to see the private teams get to the moon in less time it took NASA to go from suborbital to the lunar surface.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:25 am
Burt won't be going to orbit *that* soon. Keep in mind that Mercury capsules were designed as orbital vehicles -- the only reason they did suborbital flights first is that the larger boosters weren't ready. SpaceShipOne, on the other hand, bears little resemblance to an orbital vehicle, so it wouldn't be a simple matter of upgrading the booster. I predict that orbit is at least 3-5 years away for him.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 11:05 am
skybum wrote:
I predict that orbit is at least 3-5 years away for him.


Well, if tier 2 isn't orbit.. but a space bus.. in sub space.. then I think it's about 3-5 years for the space bus development and -+5 years for orbital.

So I think that would be +-2015..

But if I look at John Carmack (Armadillo) his team, I think they will have an easier way to upgrade to orbital height:)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:00 pm
totally agree with you there sigurd. I would expect it will be a lot easier to upgrade rockets than build a whole new space plane. Whilest ss1 looks great i think unless they have tier 2/3 in production then it will be a realy long time until they have orbital flights, not taking into account if branson develops this or a similar project. (well gutted havnt heard more there)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:38 pm
Sigurd wrote:
So I think that would be +-2015..


If this were the case, Rutan would not have said orbital was nearer than we think. 2010-2015 is about what we were all thinking *before* Rutan's comments.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:13 pm
Furious Broccoli wrote:
If this were the case, Rutan would not have said orbital was nearer than we think. 2010-2015 is about what we were all thinking *before* Rutan's comments.


I think that we need to be careful to draw a distinction between real insider information and just quotes directed to the media as propaganda. I think Sigurd's right on this one, Rutan had to say what he did to emphasise the fact that he believes Scaled is "going somewhere" in the industry.

I don't think I need to tell most of the people on this forum how big the leap is between the Scaled launch and even low earth orbit.

It is possible that orbital flight will come sooner than what Sigurd said but I certainly wouldn't hold my breath if I was you!


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:15 pm
i'd wager he's already started cfds for tiers 2 and 3 and probably has a good idea of what he's going to do. so i think all he'll need is to incorporate what he's learned with ss1 into the tier 2 design, then test it thoroughly and integrate what he's learned into tier 3. maybe 2 years for each one? that's optimistic, but we have reason to be optimistic with what he's said.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:15 pm
Furious Broccoli wrote:
Sigurd wrote:
So I think that would be +-2015..


If this were the case, Rutan would not have said orbital was nearer than we think. 2010-2015 is about what we were all thinking *before* Rutan's comments.


well, maybe the sub orbital space bus will be in development at the same time as the orbital vehicle,(scaled is used to do multiple projects at once), so this would put the target to +- 2010 for both. (with short test flights starting in 2008 and 2009)

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 06, 2004 4:32 pm
Here are a few tidbits from my research:

An article in Variety last week says that DreamWorks Animation division will be going public soon, which provides intitial investors like Paul Allen an opportunity to cash out, if they so desire (they specifically mentioned him cashing out)

An article in Business Week said that the IPO would be worth $650 million, and that Paul Allen owns a 26%
stake in the company. That means he could be liquid in the 9-figure range within weeks if he wanted to (assuming he isn't already from other holdings).

Mojave Aerospace has no web prescence yet, but the Scaled Composites website, which has for a long time stated that the operation is small and generally is not looking for new hires (unless you are an experienced composite fabricator with a Top Secret clearance)... now says they are seeking ENGINEERS OF ALL DISCIPLINES; this implies that Burt and his benefactor are about to build a really big shop.

Interorbital Corporation builds the Pegasus booster, an air-launched orbital insertion vehicle which can place 1000 lbs into LEO from a piggyback ride on an L-1011. The load-bearing portions of the Pegasus airframe are built by... Scaled Composites. (i.e. Burt Rutan probably knows how to FLY a half-ton payload into orbit)

A Tier-Two suborbital vehicle configured for 6-10 passengers (a number Burt specifically mentions as being necessary for economic viability) would probably be about the right size to fly off the back of a wide-body jumbo... Mojave Airport is home to a number of jumbo-jet refurbishing facilities. Absent the X-prize requirement of "roll-your-own-everything" there is no need to build an expensive special-mission dropship like White Knight.

Scaled has in the past participated in the (currently) most successful SSTO VTOL experiment, the DC-X (Armadillo fans take note), and is presently contributing to a similar program at XCOR. (i.e. I am guessing Burt knows how to SHOOT payloads into orbit as well)

Fly or shoot? There's a reason Burt will probably choose to fly. The real trick in affordable space access (excluding the elevator, which is a great idea but still a LONG WAY off) is air-breathing hypersonic scramjet engines. The government body X-prizers love to hate has recently pulled this stunt off, flying a scale model scramjet ship at Mach 7... a Mach 10 test is forthcoming. This was accomplished by flying the boost phase from a specially modified Pegasus rocket. The Hyper-X ship is designed entirely by CFD (just like
SS1) out at NASA Dryden (where Burt used to work...). Again, all roads lead to Mojave Aerospace.

I don't presume to have all of the facts, but the ones I can find point to Mojave Aerospace Ventures as not only the short-odds horse to win the X-prize, but almost certainly to be the defining leader of the commercial manned space industry for years to come.

...And I am quite certain that armatures if not fully molded composite structures for a Tier Two vehicle are secreted away in some hangar in Mojave!


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:41 am
Scaled was also involved in the X-38 CRV program. They built the lifting body vehicle. It could be said that Scaled has a wide range of experience with various RLV designs. (with the exception of a standard ballastic rocket design).


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:47 am
yeah, the dont seem to like the ballistic style at all. everything they've done leans towards the space planes instead.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:15 am
It's the whole helicopter vs. airplane thing... vertical flight is simply more expensive. Every time.


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