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Will the prize be won?

Posted by: Ben - Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:49 am
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Will the prize be won? 

Will N-Prizes be won by 19 September 2011 with the rules functionally equivalent to what they are now, including the current cost requirements?
Neither will be won. 39%  39%  [ 13 ]
The reusable prize will be won, but not the single spend. 12%  12%  [ 4 ]
The single spend will be won, but not the reusable. 12%  12%  [ 4 ]
Both prizes will be won. 36%  36%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 33

Will the prize be won? 
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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:54 am
I will say this. It's been a hell of an adventure for me. I've gained and I've lost. I have learned a great deal and have become stronger and faster on my feet. It may look bleak and you may still believe we cant do it, but let me tell you this Team Prometheus has just begun to fight!
We need money and we need people that wont say quit and can be lead into the future. FULL SPEED AHEAD DAMN THE TORPEDOES!

TODAY IS STILL THE DAY! WE GO INTO SPACE!

Team Prometheus Get onboard and let's do this thing! We see only the objective the obsticals must give way. It's going to take a lot so you gotta give a lot! So get off your can and HELP us!

Ego, yeah I got some but I've got the gut's to try and back it up. What have you got? You don't like how I do it start your own team, but do it!

It's not over yet! As far as I'm concerned it won't be over until WE DO IT.

Monroe

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:07 am
Monroe wrote:
Actually Ben the first wording was directly to me if you remember correctly and in his next email he opened it up to everyone else. Your welcome guy's I'd just like to make that clear He Challenged Team Prometheus FIRST then decided to open the offer to everyone CORRECT?
Of course nobody seems to have mentioned that. So yeah I do make a difference and I am heard and I do thank John for his effort in advancing amateur rocketry and yeah I'm proud of it!


Here's the original email for everyone to see:

Quote:
The idea that you are going to launch a two stage Q to N rocket from a balloon and have some hope of it performing as expected is just insane. Big motors, staging, balloon ops, and long distance telemetry are all significant challenges, and they should not be initially attempted all together.

Go launch your Q booster from the ground, hanging from something that resembles your balloon platform and with an inert upper stage. Engineer a recovery system, which should unquestionably be an easier task than all the other things you were planning on doing. If it works, you get your booster back. If it doesn’t, you get to internalize an important lesson. It is true that your booster construction needs to be more robust for a ground launch, but the challenges there are tiny compared to the challenges of balloon launch.

Everyone here will cheer your effort if you make it out to the dessert and light the rocket, even if it CATOs on the pad or lawn darts. If you actually clear 100,000’, maintain telemetry, and recover the rocket with everything behaving as you predict, you will move into a distinctly different category in the eyes of most people here. Heck, if you succeed and write up the experience for the benefit of others, I’ll donate $5k to your project. If you decide to go for it, let me know and we can hash out details. Getting the FAA approval isn’t trivial, but it is a lot easier than actually building a rocket that will work, and it doesn’t cost you any significant money.

For those that have followed this more closely, I’m curious – how many amateur rockets have had truly successful flights over 100,000’? I know there are often waivers good for that, and I have heard of a couple flights (some people on list…), but I don’t really know how common they are. How many have “gold standard” GPS lock reports above 100,000’? How many have had successful recovery? Have any rockets flown above that altitude twice?

Armadillo is expecting to fly over 100,000’ next month, and I am not trivializing any aspect of the effort. If we get the vehicle back intact, we ahould be attempting a 100km flight on the next trip.

John Carmack


Considering that he called your plan "insane" in the first sentence, and (like most people) usually only posts to AR to disagree with someone, I don't think I'd take it as much of a compliment as you have.

I'd guess he opened it up to everyone to increase the odds that it gets done. I can ask him about it if you really want, but that seems unwise.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:22 am
I never claimed wisdom or sanity did I? I just said we are going to do it. For that reason or whatever reason the challenge was made. It get's the job done that's all I care about. People can think what they want that's none of my business. When we do it and I believe we will. Then who cares anyway? I'm not wealthy so I have to make it anyway I can whatever works, works. At least were making progress, I can be the cool guy later.

Monroe

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:50 am
When you've only got one shot because that's what your funds say you've got that's what you do. Who throws the "Hail Mary" at the end of the game doesn't always work but if it does it's awesome! If it doesn't well at least you went down swinging!
I don't have the luxury of lots of testing I have to do it the working man way. We just got a little boost so people do want to see it happen. I do know if I sit back in the shadows the chances get reduced. So it's a double edged sword I just prefer to swing the front edge and lead with my chin because I'm willing to risk face. You cant save your face and your rear at the same time so you've got to pick one.

Monroe

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:52 pm
Monroe,

The following comments are intended to help guide you back to the N-Prize effort. If you are not interested in pursuing the N-Prize you can ignore the following comments. However, if you are serious about the N-Prize I would suggest that you read them carefully. Personally, I think it's too late for you to win the N-Prize at this point, but maybe with enough determination you can do it if you follow these suggestions.

The Team Prometheus Project Description from November 20, 2009 contained a plan for self-funding at the beginning, and then seeking investors after we had tested the basic elements of the N-Prize mission. The methodical approach described in that document is exactly what John Carmack was suggesting that you do. You need to test each subsystem independently instead of going for a “Hail Mary”, which will most-likely result in failure. I can send you the document if you no longer have it. Follow the plan, and you may have a chance.

Abandon the idea of using a quadcopter launch pad at 100k feet. If you do the math you will see that you'll need rotors the size of helicopter blades to carry a 250 pound rocket at 100k feet. The motors will have to be very large and heavy, the frame will be very large and heavy and the batteries will be large and heavy. This is going to take a lot of time, money and effort to develop. It just doesn't make sense when there is a much easier approach by just hanging the launch platform from a balloon.

The Q motor you plan on using is not a good motor for the N-Prize mission. All you really have at this point is a metal motor casing that weighs as much as the propellant would. There is no way you can achieve the mass fraction required for the N-Prize with this motor. You need to develop carbon-fiber casings, which will allow you to get by with much smaller motors.

Dave


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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:11 pm
i'll post in line with dave that i thought you were working on carbon fiber casings and even had most of the logistics of them worked out. if this has changed, then i'll jump on the bandwagon and call you crazy - if it hasn't, then godspeed everything at least still makes sense.

i also agree that the only sensible thing to be done is to suspend the rocket from the balloon and make sure you have as little extra mass as possible.

the n-prize is an important step, but i recall that you have your sights set on the NASA prize, and you're not going to win that by "hail mary"-ing anything.

i still firmly believe that you can present a sane and clear cut business case for AEI based around some combination of your launch efforts and your already identified dual-use options on the ground.

just get the damn 100k launch planned, whether you do 2 stages from the ground at first or a single stage with inert second then double stage. i'll make sure you've got the funds for whatever AP/HTPB/etc you need, i know you're a crazy bastard and you make your own cores and don't need much else than fuel. but whatever the situation is, what i don't want to see is that metal casing launched from a balloon without a solid, reliable launch + GPS confirmation of altitude from the ground. whether it's 100k ft or 50k or whatever, you don't have to have respect for engineering best practices - you just have to provide evidence of real progress every now and then. now is one of those times.

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:33 pm
Sounds good fellas. I have long moved the plan of the Quad to a stabilization platform. It's supposed to stabilize the balloon rather than fly by it's self I just do things the way I do to get the funding and I got enough to get that part of the plan done. Im not flying the "Q" motor for the 100kft prize and in fact I prob. will never fly it from a balloon.
We do have the Avionics and tracking worked out. I plan a single stage "N" to get the 100kft prize and maybe even a space shot out of it at the same time.
We need about a grand for the motor, I've got the balloon I'm going to use the 170,000 cft balloon for the launch.
We have to use hydrogen unless someone else wants to pay for the helium because I'm not spending my money on it.

Team Prometheus now owns the "Sea Quest" a 28ft twin engine Launch/chase boat. I'm planing a Gulf launch off the coast. Doing pretty much what ARCA did for their launch. We have a second 27ft Carver that's my dad's new boat for a second chase boat and a 20ft fast offshore chase boat.

We need Gas and fuel and we need the airframe/payload I've got a fella in mind for help with that Dave and you know him.

I've got everything for the small rockoon launch except the tracker needs to be repaired and I can get that done this week.

By the way this IS the kind of discussion we need to have. I'm all for this.

To do list:

Repair tracker/get back-up unit
Do rockoon launch

Dispersion analysis
FAA waiver (Class II?)3
N motor/casing
CF airframe and payload

Gas for balloon
Fuel for the boats

end of list.

Questions? Input?

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:36 am
Monroe wrote:
N motor/casing
Gas for balloon
Questions? Input?


If you are going to make your own carbon fibre N motor/casing have you considered using fine aluminium oxide powder as the filler for the resin you need to hold together the carbon fibre sheets as it has good thermal and chemical resistance properties. :?:

On the gas for the balloon do you have any Met office equivalents near you when members of my team and me went down to a Met office site to research launch possibility's from it as they have more or less constant CAA clearance (your FAA equivalent i think) , We had hoped they were still using hydrogen but unfortunately they had just recently converted to purely helium and had got rid of their hydrogen facilities and safety gear but if your weather people still use hydrogen for weather balloons as some might do for cheapness you may be able to buy some from them and if they are as friendly as our weather people you might be able to borrow one of their Michelin men safety suits as at 142 Mega Joules per kg when burnt in air it does deserve a little bit of respect despite my comments on the Hindenburg earlier :twisted:

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:56 am
The space shot/100k prize motor is a COTS motor and I'm asking the motor manufactures for sponsorship right now. Otherwise we will just have to buy one.

I doubt we use Hydrogen unless I have to do it with a short team and if that happens I'll buy it myself it's not that expensive or hard to get here even from a welding shop.

I have a person willing to make our N-Prize motor casings and I just need the money to make him go!

If we win the Carmack Prize I'll let him loose I'm counting on his experience and going with what he thinks will work but I'll put that in the memory bank and pull it out if we have problems with heat. Thanks for the input keep it coming!

Monroe

If I get more money sooner from Kickstarter or an individual I'll get the winding machine man going sooner.

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:42 am
This is one of the most enjoyable threads to read in a long while! Look forward to waking up and seeing what's happened next! Keep it up guys

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:41 pm
Monroe wrote:
I have long moved the plan of the Quad to a stabilization platform. It's supposed to stabilize the balloon rather than fly by it's self I just do things the way I do to get the funding and I got enough to get that part of the plan done. Im not flying the "Q" motor for the 100kft prize and in fact I prob. will never fly it from a balloon.

Monroe,

It's good to see your getting back on track. So now you plan to use the quadcopter to stabilize the platform. That's better than your previous plan, but you need to orient the rotors vertically instead of horizontally for the best performance. But I bet you figured that out a long time ago, and you'll tell us in a few months that you planned on doing that from the beginning. :)

So if I understand your comment correctly, you intentionally provide misleading information so you can get enough funding for each step of your plan. That might work the first time, but it would be hard to go back to an investor to ask for more money.

Dave


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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:51 pm
No, I always let the investor in on the good stuff :) I have to show them what I've got usually so I have to tell them what they are looking at. You rocket guy's are such blockheads you think the average person understands everything the way you do?
Most investor's are not rocket scientist I try and give the people what they want. The "Q" motor is flashy and interesting the "N" is far less impressive to the average person.
Explaining how the Quad works is too difficult in conjunction with the balloon for your average person. Seeing it fly by it's self makes more scene to them. What I'm selling is getting the job done how we really do it doesn't matter to the average Joe. Dave
As long as we use everything we got funding for. I never asked for funding for the "Q" motor did I? If I don't use it in the space shot nobody gets upset because nobody invested in that.
I told you from the beginning that if it didn't work one way it would work the other you just focused on the part you where worried about.
There's nothing wrong with throwing off the competition either if everybody knows exactly what your doing then what keeps them from doing it too maybe even before you can.
There is no way I can let you or anyone else in on everything I think or all the possibilities back up plans and scenarios I'm running I'm dealing with to many what if's and then I have to deal with guy's like you too.
I find it interesting you think I need your guidance I'm way ahead of you in that department I have to be. That's the problem you and everyone else wants to be in on the whole plan but their vision is to narrow to understand it.
We can do this but you have to believe I'm inspired. I rely on forces I don't even understand and trust my intuition you cant run the numbers on that. What I do may not make since to you, I have to avoid some scenarios because I see the walls in your mind.
It will all come out in the wash and in the end people will understand and you don't believe that. So I cant help you I'm sorry, you will fight to the end defending what you believe and I understand that I have no hard feelings. I just know what I'm doing because I was born to do it. You cant probably understand that either. It's pretty easy for me and that has to be hard to understand. Why do I just know, hell I don't know but I have to run with it.
You don't think I can run more than one train of thought and be consistent because you cant. I'm running scenarios on several projects including the NASA C. and the N-Prize and when things gel those will happen too. My plans gel at a critical point and everything we/I did will get used to do that.
The reason for that is I don't think about survival or wife's or jobs or any of the things you guy's have to do every day. The only thing in my head is this effort so I have A LOT more room in my head to see bigger scenarios. It has nothing to do with intelligence it about available space to process.

Monroe

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:33 pm
It's now T minus six months and counting. Do any of the teams have a chance of winning the prize? Is there anybody else besides Monroe even trying to win the prize?


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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:28 pm
We still need dispersion analysis I'm not asking for work for free here I can pay for it just somebody please lead me in the right direction. I am going nuts trying to get help with POAST or TAOS that the FAA uses. VERY URGENT need for upcoming launch. I need that data to file and I want to file yesterday. It's the only hold up right now. We will do a space shot in 60-120 days if I can get some help here.

Monroe

Dave I'm willing to bet if we are close Dr. Dear will extend the prize date. I also believe we may win if he doesn't and if we do that money will go for the NASA or the FAA challenge up coming.

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Post Re: Will the prize be won?   Posted on: Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:37 am
I have to say that we are closer every time. We are working hard and growing in population.

Look at this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a6-iBMq5b8

Do not lose the faith!
Best,
Joshua Tristancho


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