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John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant

Posted by: Dan Frederiksen - Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:08 pm
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John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant 
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Post OT car talk.   Posted on: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:29 am
My car is a Locost, so 1300 Xflow. Still under repair after a big crash at Silverstone 3 years ago. Children mean time is now limited!

Friend used to race a Radical, but found it too expensive - now races a Dallara 99 F3 car!

Have wondered about single seaters - Jedi maybe, but time is in short supply at the moment!


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:54 pm
I love 7 style cars and helped a mate built a locost a number of years back.


You might be interested to know that hayns will shortly be selling a book called how to build a low cost single seat race car witch looks like it might be an interesting read.

http://www.locostbuilders.co.uk/forum/5 ... tid=104646


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:24 pm
Merry Christmas, Dan Frederiksen.


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:36 pm
thank you, you too. and remember it's about Jesus. not the fat red bastard :)

did you just join to say that or is it because you like the topic that I've raised and would like to see it back up?


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:23 pm
Dan Frederiksen wrote:
thank you, you too. and remember it's about Jesus. not the fat red bastard :)


Hi, Dan,
Don't you enjoy talking about your religion on this board?

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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Tue May 10, 2011 5:30 pm
As shown on the Armadillo Aerospace Q & A subforum, AA is very relevant since they are engaged in a partnership with NASA to develop an unmanned lunar lander, Morpheus.
BTW, for those on the ARocket discussion list, Henry Spencer was also skeptical of the value of the Grumman lunar lander contest. Undoubtedly, what AA learned in that contest is important for their contribution to the development of Morpheus.


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:04 am
I, like Dan, think AA will not become a major player in the orbital launch market, but I primarily blame SpaceX. This is another give up post for AA, so I'll stick it into this preexisting thread.

Dan Frederiksen wrote:
space rocketry is an expensive endeavor yet despite govs of the world spending hundreds of billions AA was started because they felt govs were doing it wrong. AA doesn't quite realize that's why they did it but it is.


I also believe that the govs of the world are doing space rocketry wrong. The problem for AA, Masten, and every other aspiring space launch company, is that SpaceX is doing space rocketry better. SpaceX is headed by a guy worth hundreds of millions, that wants to live on Mars 30 years from now, and he has recruited over one thousand, whom want to do well in the space launch market.

Timeline:

SpaceX, founded in 2002, first orbital rocket test launched in early 2007. fourth, and successful, launch in late 2008. fifth launch, with first commercial payload, a success mid 2009. Falcon 9, first launch, a success in mid 2010.

All SpaceX has to do is produce the Falcon 9 in sufficient quantity, low enough cost, and high enough quantity, and they will have a significant part of the satellite launch market.

Armadillo Aerospace was founded in 2000. Armadillo Aerospace has yet to reach 100 km. Granted, Armadillo has spent only a few million, compared to the $800 million of SpaceX, but SpaceX will have years of profits before Armadillo will reach the satellite launch market.

How does Armadillo plan to beat SpaceX, and its hoped for $1,000/pound launch costs? Do you think SpaceX will let some upstart slowly crawl into their space launch market, just like they are going to do to ULA, Ariane Space and Energia? Does Carmack have the money to afford a price war with Musk, after the dev costs of future rockets?

As for the hypothetical suborbital tourism market, the average person can be made to weigh a little over 100 pounds, and someone will find a way to make a pressure suit that needs to last for 30 minutes weigh under 20 pounds. 150 pounds per person to get into orbit. At $1,000/pound, that would be under $150,000 per person into orbit. Tell me, how much will the average person pay for suborbital tourism, when they can get the REAL DEAL for $150,000? Yes, I know it will be VERY uncomfortable, and somewhat dangerous, but if it means getting into orbit for $150,000, do you think the average person will balk at a great deal (financially)?

Consider the unexpected: What if the Chinese steal the design of the Falcon 9 rocket, and sell their knockoffs worldwide (who is going to stop China?)? What if Blue Origin has its reusable rocket mostly working in secret? What if the ULA is designing a new, low cost rocket from scratch, just like SpaceX did? What if SpaceX makes its rockets reusable?

In 2000, making a commitment to Armadillo Aerospace was the right thing to do. The problem was, Elon Musk used more money, more aggressively, and won.
Carmack went slower, and more cautiously, and lost. Elon Musk had a lot more money than Carmack ever did, and he almost went bankrupt. Tesla had to IPO. SpaceX got COTS money from NASA. But, Musk's gambles paid off.

In an alternate universe, where Elon Musk did not decide to go into the rocket business, one can envision the low cost rocket producers Armadillo Aerospace and Masten Aerospace growing into the satellite launch market, before launching a brutal price war in the 2020s.

I recommend calling up SpaceX in the near future, and discuss terms of surrender. Surrendering can be good. If Armadillo surrenders now, AA might be able to collaborate with SpaceX to find a market niche for AA. Mr. Carmack, I hope you are smarter than the other resident of Dallas, whom did not surrender in Iraq. He was fortunate to have a very large bank account with someone elses' money.



P.S. - the spell check should include Carmack, Masten, Energia, Ariane, SpaceX, Elon


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:16 pm
I started a reply to your post, but then I realized how futile that would be.

Instead I'll just make a quick statement: stop comparing apples and oranges!

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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:35 pm
quanthas, yes obviously spacex has outclassed AA incomparably with a very professional effort but the reason I still think AA can be relevant in their initial sense and as what I encourage, is that Elon Musk is a collaborator. he doesn't represent a rebellion or a progression. he is just another launch contractor and he has no ethics spine or objection to filthy rich status quo. he will participate in whatever evil nasa asks of him. any amount of secrecy and weak missions that will never really change anything.
he will not be a force for disclosure of the UFO reality. he will not be a force for change. he has no mind to be aware of a problem with status quo. he will not be critical of nasa. he has already declared his love of nasa because they gave him billions at a time when he was on the brink of bankruptcy, both for his two main companies and personally.

the opportunity for AA still remains because a tiny satellite can make a huge difference. both because a powerful telescope can be _very_ light because it's just a thin mirror with no strength requirements and because quality live cameras in space without being filtered by the idiots in uniform can tell very potent stories.
AA can still defeat great cannons with silver bullets if they can be driven by a conscious awareness that something is very wrong in this world.
and rather than an exhausting heroic effort, super light space telescopes have the potential to make the effort financially viable or even quite profitable.
space telescopes have key advantages over ground based telescopes and big money is spent on ground telescopes.
because of the cultured incompetence of nasa, AA is literally in a position to best even hubble. hubble was only a 2.4meter mirror but more importantly it was fairly wide angle and combined with only a 1024 pixel imager it was quite low resolution. and it couldn't even take a color picture. really.
a small mirror telescope could best the hubble resolution and AA could put up 10, 20, 50 or more of them.


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:10 am
I dunno. My thinking has long been that once they have a stable, mature mod, staging them will be a breeze (well maybe tricky, but doable). Imagine a super-reliable mod that has a 1000 hour motor. Stack 20 of them together and separate them as they run out of fuel. The first may only last 100 feet, at which point it detaches and lands itself. Only the last stage has to be overdesigned or possibly disposable (carry people and fuel to boost to the right, circular orbit and de-orbit *AND* land). This may sound stupid, but if the only cost for it is fuel, it would be stupid cheap space access. Air planes are affordable because the driving price of flight is fuel. The fuel cost of even the cheapest rocket does not exceed 5% of the launch cost.If you could get a rocket where even half of the cost is fuel, you could afford to vacation in space. The path that AA is on, if they are doing what I am suggesting, would have the cost of orbit much less than $100 a pound. Fuel is comparitevily cheap. OK, I realize that a 1000 hour rocket is not acheivable in anything like the near term, but it *IS* acheivable. I also realize that putting together this gigantic stack would not be exactly easy, but again, it is doable. And a 20-stage rocket is easier to build than a SSTO, just does not make any sense with disposable stages.

Just my thoughts. I would love to hear from someone at AA on if they are thinking this way.


BTW, how do you spell check this stuff?


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:29 am
pfrit, maybe AA was also kidding themselves that that was possible but aerodynamics doesn't allow that at all even if it was easy. which it most likely is not.

they also need to develop a much better motor like turbo kerosene at near 300 Isp. the 160 stuff just wont do.


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:00 am
pfrit wrote:
The fuel cost of even the cheapest rocket does not exceed 5% of the launch cost.If you could get a rocket where even half of the cost is fuel, you could afford to vacation in space. The path that AA is on, if they are doing what I am suggesting, would have the cost of orbit much less than $100 a pound. Fuel is comparitevily cheap. OK, I realize that a 1000 hour rocket is not acheivable in anything like the near term, but it *IS* acheivable. I also realize that putting together this gigantic stack would not be exactly easy, but again, it is doable. And a 20-stage rocket is easier to build than a SSTO, just does not make any sense with disposable stages.

Just my thoughts. I would love to hear from someone at AA on if they are thinking this way.


Now that would be awesome- $100/pound to orbit. Does anyone else on the forum think that this is achievable? And how soon?

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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:22 am
well if we say a high Isp rocket can do 33:1 orbit mass ratio, say 30kg fuel per kg payload at even 1$ pr kg that's 30$ of fuel which is negligible.

material cost is presumably similar negligible, say fiber glass and quality metals.
so it's down to manufacture and operation.
what is a rocket. say two tanks of very thin fiber glass composite. both unpressurized. the LOX tank is open at the top and we spray it inside with a minimum of foam insulation. maybe just a single tank as the structure of the rocket with a separator to keep the fuels apart (maybe some sensors to know when to run :). bolt on motor section at the bottom and bolt on upper section above. doesn't need much strength so it can be simple cheap construction. hand layup in a mold should suffice.
then you need the engine bell and compressor. presumably a simple design can be achieved using low cost fabrication techniques. if the engine can last a few launches it can be recovered over ocean using parachute. maybe even a robotic boat to fetch it to keep cost down.
it seems to me that a good simple design could make the whole thing extremely cheap although a possibly more complex second stage would be lost every time.

AA should really go for mini satellite launch. sounds like it is well within their means.


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:29 am
quanthasaquality wrote:
I, like Dan, think AA will not become a major player in the orbital launch market, but I primarily blame SpaceX. This is another give up post for AA, so I'll stick it into this preexisting thread.

Dan Frederiksen wrote:
space rocketry is an expensive endeavor yet despite govs of the world spending hundreds of billions AA was started because they felt govs were doing it wrong. AA doesn't quite realize that's why they did it but it is.


I also believe that the govs of the world are doing space rocketry wrong. The problem for AA, Masten, and every other aspiring space launch company, is that SpaceX is doing space rocketry better. SpaceX is headed by a guy worth hundreds of millions, that wants to live on Mars 30 years from now, and he has recruited over one thousand, whom want to do well in the space launch market.

Timeline:

SpaceX, founded in 2002, first orbital rocket test launched in early 2007. fourth, and successful, launch in late 2008. fifth launch, with first commercial payload, a success mid 2009. Falcon 9, first launch, a success in mid 2010.

All SpaceX has to do is produce the Falcon 9 in sufficient quantity, low enough cost, and high enough quantity, and they will have a significant part of the satellite launch market.

Armadillo Aerospace was founded in 2000. Armadillo Aerospace has yet to reach 100 km. Granted, Armadillo has spent only a few million, compared to the $800 million of SpaceX, but SpaceX will have years of profits before Armadillo will reach the satellite launch market.

How does Armadillo plan to beat SpaceX, and its hoped for $1,000/pound launch costs? Do you think SpaceX will let some upstart slowly crawl into their space launch market, just like they are going to do to ULA, Ariane Space and Energia? Does Carmack have the money to afford a price war with Musk, after the dev costs of future rockets?

As for the hypothetical suborbital tourism market, the average person can be made to weigh a little over 100 pounds, and someone will find a way to make a pressure suit that needs to last for 30 minutes weigh under 20 pounds. 150 pounds per person to get into orbit. At $1,000/pound, that would be under $150,000 per person into orbit. Tell me, how much will the average person pay for suborbital tourism, when they can get the REAL DEAL for $150,000? Yes, I know it will be VERY uncomfortable, and somewhat dangerous, but if it means getting into orbit for $150,000, do you think the average person will balk at a great deal (financially)?

Consider the unexpected: What if the Chinese steal the design of the Falcon 9 rocket, and sell their knockoffs worldwide (who is going to stop China?)? What if Blue Origin has its reusable rocket mostly working in secret? What if the ULA is designing a new, low cost rocket from scratch, just like SpaceX did? What if SpaceX makes its rockets reusable?

In 2000, making a commitment to Armadillo Aerospace was the right thing to do. The problem was, Elon Musk used more money, more aggressively, and won.
Carmack went slower, and more cautiously, and lost. Elon Musk had a lot more money than Carmack ever did, and he almost went bankrupt. Tesla had to IPO. SpaceX got COTS money from NASA. But, Musk's gambles paid off.

In an alternate universe, where Elon Musk did not decide to go into the rocket business, one can envision the low cost rocket producers Armadillo Aerospace and Masten Aerospace growing into the satellite launch market, before launching a brutal price war in the 2020s.

I recommend calling up SpaceX in the near future, and discuss terms of surrender. Surrendering can be good. If Armadillo surrenders now, AA might be able to collaborate with SpaceX to find a market niche for AA. Mr. Carmack, I hope you are smarter than the other resident of Dallas, whom did not surrender in Iraq. He was fortunate to have a very large bank account with someone elses' money.



P.S. - the spell check should include Carmack, Masten, Energia, Ariane, SpaceX, Elon


I sort of disagree in some areas, agree in others. I don't think AA are trying to compete with SpaceX, they are looking at a different market I think. They have to, I don't think they can compete in the same area at the moment. There is still a market for test beds, sounding rockets, tourists, micro satellite launch that Space just don't cover. Musk wants to go to Mars. He wants big and very big, not small and very small.

As to spelling checkers - that is done by your browser isn't it? Just r click the underlined spelling and press Add to Dictionary (I use Firefox)


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Post Re: John, another 6 months have passed and AA still not relevant   Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:45 pm
Aerodynamics? I just don't see how that could be a limiting factor. I would imagine each mod having a fairing that would provide an over all shell. The problem I would see would be the time in staging wasted while the expended mod fell away to allow the next mod to fire. I could imagine immediate firing of the new mod, but that would be risky as all get out (back flash of the exhaust and the possible damage to the expended mod). As for ISP, the beauty would be that it would not be an issue. Add another mod to the stack. Indeed, to build a 1000 hour engine, you would probably need to have a underperforming engine anyways. The real trick would be to get away from having disposable parts. Even the space shuttle required a rebuild of the main engines each launch and the solid fuel booster engines were scraped as I recall. It was reusable in concept only. I could imagine the path that AA is taking would allow for each mod to be used once a day or more.


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