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Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:27 pm
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Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable? 

Do you believe that the N-Prize is achievable?
Yes 65%  65%  [ 17 ]
No 35%  35%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 26

Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable? 
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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:27 pm
It's not too surprising, it's pretty common for people in the amateur space field to believe that because something is possible, it will happen. Look back at how many expected deadlines for first suborbital spaceflight have been missed. It was possible for them to happen (at least in some of the cases) but unlikely.

The N Prize did a great job of getting a lot of people who were previously not doing anything in space stuff to at least look at the problem. And every complex problem seems easier than it is when you're looking at it from the outside.

The key for every competition is to set the prize just high enough for people to think they can do it. But at the same time you can usually tell who has a full understanding of the problem by what they say about it: if they think they can accomplish it and make money at it from the prize alone, they aren't to be taken seriously.

This applied to the X Prize (ultimate winner spending 2 or 3 times the prize value), it applies to the GLXP (the teams with any chance of accomplishing it are spending much more than the prize value), and it'll be true of the reusable orbital Centennial Challenge and the orbital FAA prize.


Last edited by Ben on Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:10 am
Well, I can say I and my team have spent nearly 10 times the prize money and I still think we can do it. And here's a chance to give us a fighting chance at it. If you really want to see us attempt the N-Prize your going to have to help us. I think we can win the Carmack prize and use the money to reload and make a space shot if we get some help and maybe that will give us the boost we need to make it to the orbital shot. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... ze-mission Kickstarter accepted our project and it's about the last attempt I have to raise the money we need so if you want to see us really try. Help out with $5 bucks. If we can raise the money in less than 30 days we still have a shot! Help spread the word on the net and maybe we still can do it. I'm not giving up yet!

Monroe

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:16 pm
Monroe wrote:
Well, I can say I and my team have spent nearly 10 times the prize money and I still think we can do it.

The N-Prize is $20,000, so 10 times that is $200,000. During the 1.5 years that I was with the group we spent $1,500 at most. How do you account for the rest of the $200,000. Are you including the property you bought in California and Matagorda? Those are your personal purchases and not part of the N-Prize effort.


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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:36 pm
Dave, You saw the asset's I've put into the team and at that time it was $60,000 correct? And that was two years ago you've never been in the loop financially how can you make a statement like that in public? You where in the loop on one project that's it. Team Prometheus is it's own entity now and I don't own any of it. You still live in Austin?

Monroe

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:10 pm
Yeah, Team Prometheus is it's own entity finally! I got the right people on board to get things done. We are branching into EV vehicles very soon as well. So don't be surprised when you see something with Prometheus zip by in Austin :) Yes I'm a glutton for punishment so flail away Mel Fisher had the same problems I have I'll solve them the same way he did. We need money to get into space bottom line.

Monroe

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:44 am
Monroe wrote:
Dave, You saw the asset's I've put into the team and at that time it was $60,000 correct? And that was two years ago you've never been in the loop financially how can you make a statement like that in public? You where in the loop on one project that's it.

Monroe,

You implied that you spent $200,000 by saying it was 10 times the prize money. I was just responding to that comment. $60,000 would be 3 times the prize money. But even that's not right.

I did join the group several months after you started it, so I wasn't in the loop before then. However, I was involved in three mission, and not one as you stated, and I did monitor the cash flow during that period. As I said, it was less than $1,500.

I looked at the business plan from a couple of years ago, and it showed a total investment of less than $10,000. So I think your initial statement of spending 10 times the prize money was off by a factor of 20.

Dave


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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:29 am
Ha ha ok then I'll let you tell that to the IRS. They will listen to you I'm sure.

Monroe

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:33 pm
Nope, you where almost completely in the loop (including the finances) on only one mission so was Rick and Roger. You guy's couldn't hang because I stated I was the captain of the team. There has to be a captain in an endeavor like this. I wanted to pursue the quad and you didn't want to so you took your football and went home bottom line.
I'm not going to try and embarrass you in public like your doing me I'm not that way. But you know why things did not work. I have other more experienced rocketeers helping me and you don't "like" them. In a project like this it cant matter who is the captain. Who you like or don't like, there has to be a common goal that's more important than that no matter who is in charge or who else is on the team.
With our funding situation you've got to have a little pirate in you and some blood and guts.
So from now on Team Prometheus will fly the "Jolly Roger" on all of our missions. I am the captain of Team Prometheus and we are going to space and to orbit one way or another and I do have the know how and the vision to get it done. I'll find the right help and the right people that can handle the ego it takes to get there and beyond.
Yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me. It's a way of life for me to get into space it's not a side thing I do and you know that if anyone does. I'll get a new crew at every mutiny as long as I have a ship and a star to sail her by Team Prometheus will go on. Win, loose or draw prize or no prize. John taught me to never give up ever again. He tossed the gauntlet and I almost foundered but the influx of support that I always get got me off the rocks again. That's not common in this world my friend it's not my will that drives me. I alone don't have the strength no one does I believe that. Not in something like this.

Monroe

You have no idea how much it has cost me and you don't think I deserve to be captain? There's a yard arm out there mate. You cant possibly know and you don't want to believe me. I've earned my right the hard way and I do my best to be fair and even you know that too. The business end and the paperwork are the hard part the rockets and balloons are the easiest things to do and that's the truth. Step up ye astronuts and be counted. Prometheus sails at dawn. :) Gotta have a little fun too ;) I'm not that serious but I am :)

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:52 pm
Monroe wrote:
Nope, you where almost completely in the loop (including the finances) on only one mission so was Rick and Roger. You guy's couldn't hang because I stated I was the captain of the team.
...
I wanted to pursue the quad and you didn't want to so you took your football and went home
...
I have other more experienced rocketeers helping me and you don't "like" them.

Oh nooooo!!! I thought we were done discussing this.

The three of us left the group because we thought it was a team where everyone had an equal role in the decision making. You made it clear that you had complete control, and we weren't comfortable with that.

I think it's a bad idea to use a quadcopter as a launchpad at 100,000 feet. Why go through all that complication and expense when you could simply suspend the launch platform from a balloon and use propellers to stabalize it.

I didn't agree with the idea of working with Jerry Irvine. He is an experienced rocket person, but there are other issues involved that I won't go into here.


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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:15 am
Pretty much what I said. So yeah,I pretty much agree with you. So, I suppose the air is clear.

Monroe

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:37 pm
Hi Monroe,

I am also a member of ARocket(since 2002) and have been watching the whole N-Prize-saga with great interest.

You mentioned in another post that the deadline has been extended. Unfortunatly that means the original claim, that the N-Prize is achievable, holds no water. When you(N-Prize management) have to extend a deadline because nobody managed to do it, it invalidates the claims thereto.

I have not read the press releases concerning the extention but I would not be surprized if the budgets change eventually. There may be excuses like inflation etc, but it only re-affirms the believe, shared by many, that this whole 'prize' is only a attention-seeking endeavour by the creator.

Lastly, I want to echo something Ben said sometime ago. No matter what the intentions of the people involved in the N-Prize, the result has been positive for the most part. People are getting involved. That is the biggest prize of all!

Ad Astra, per aspera!

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:40 am
Hey, Rocketguy
Yeah, it's been quite an adventure. I knew in the beginning it was laughable but, It has allowed a lot of people to make progress and that's what counts! It has achieved a good portion of it's goals. I know Dr. Dear a little better than some probably and I'd say he is honest in his effort to raise interest in New Space.
Me personally I thought maybe it would help me start an aerospace company and it has. I also wanted to raise interest in New Space. I also wanted to show what some guy's without much money or backing could do. I feel that I have not yet succeeded in that but I do feel that we ARE on the verge of doing that.
I also believe it may help our country to grow more into space. So all in all whatever it turns out to be. It was a good thing for many people. I made a lot of noise and, people trying to do real things on low budgets tend to have to do that.
I hope in time it will come out that we all where trying to do something nearly impossible and someone actually succeeded in doing the really hard thing for the good of all and not for any individual fame or fortune but for the doing of the hard thing.
It would be a great triumph indeed anyway and I hope it all turns out that way. It may not, but that's my intention and I'm doing everything I feel I have to do to achieve it.
I really believe we can do it and it's worth doing bottom line. Nothing else really matters to me especially what other people think of me that's really none of my business everyone's intitled to their opinion. I know why I'm doing it. I was born to try at least and I wont stop until it's over or we do it. It's a crazy good thing. I'm really not a rocket scientist at all but I am a can do guy. Now, I might be something I wasn't before and it's a good thing. I did it with Dr. Dear's crazy idea and a lot of hard work and I'll be grateful till the day I die I really tried to do something worth doing for the good of all. So I'm just a regular guy after all no big deal, just trying to show the younger generation how to go get it! Damn the torpedoes. Do it, be a Texan be an American, Be good.

Godspeed

Monroe
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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:54 am
SA_Rocket_Guy wrote:
Hi Monroe,

I am also a member of ARocket(since 2002) and have been watching the whole N-Prize-saga with great interest.

You mentioned in another post that the deadline has been extended. Unfortunatly that means the original claim, that the N-Prize is achievable, holds no water. When you(N-Prize management) have to extend a deadline because nobody managed to do it, it invalidates the claims thereto.

I have not read the press releases concerning the extention but I would not be surprized if the budgets change eventually. There may be excuses like inflation etc, but it only re-affirms the believe, shared by many, that this whole 'prize' is only a attention-seeking endeavour by the creator.

Lastly, I want to echo something Ben said sometime ago. No matter what the intentions of the people involved in the N-Prize, the result has been positive for the most part. People are getting involved. That is the biggest prize of all!

Ad Astra, per aspera!


I think you have rather contradicted yourself in the last two paragraphs. In one you say that the N-prize was just attention seeking for the creators (I disagree with that BTW), but then you say the results has been positive for the most part with people being involved etc, which was the intention of the prize creator. So rather than self seeking, the whole N-prize has succeeded in many of its goals.

As for being achievable - it's been shown not achievable in the original timescale. Now there is an extension - can it be achieved in that? Or will the prize be extended until it is achieved? It really doesn't matter as long as the incentive for people to take part continues - it's the achievement that matters, not how long it takes. If I had been the sponsor, I would have put a 15 year timescale on it rather than the original time limit, to emphasis the orbital achievement - not how long it took to do it.


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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:46 am
Fair points James.

I believe the 'shoe-string' budget and timescale are the main issues here and if those were more flexible, we would have seen more progress.

The limitation for the size of the satellite is another unneeded complication.

My believe is that we need a similar prize with less restrictions. As many have noted, the prize money is not the goal. It can be omitted IMHO.

I propose a two-stage approach. 1. A CATS-prize redo. 2. N-Prize redo.

Once you have demonstrated part 1 you may demonstrate part 2.

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Post Re: Is the N-Prize Actually Achievable?   Posted on: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:10 pm
@Johann, No matter the challenge is, the human can overcome. If you think it is too hard for you, try other more affordable challenge but do not try to change the original rules. I like N-Prize as it is because is mainly IMPOSSIBLE for many people of the world and through this, few amazing people like you are discovered. This prize is about to work hard and not to talk so often.

Do not worry about the satellite, our is open source and you can build by your own. Download here but I will never sell you a femto-satellite because material cost is less than 100 dollars:
http://code.google.com/p/moon-20/

Focuse in the launcher that is the real challenge and you have many experience in this field since 2002. I have only since 2010.

Best,
Joshua



SA_Rocket_Guy wrote:
Fair points James.

I believe the 'shoe-string' budget and timescale are the main issues here and if those were more flexible, we would have seen more progress.

The limitation for the size of the satellite is another unneeded complication.

My believe is that we need a similar prize with less restrictions. As many have noted, the prize money is not the goal. It can be omitted IMHO.

I propose a two-stage approach. 1. A CATS-prize redo. 2. N-Prize redo.

Once you have demonstrated part 1 you may demonstrate part 2.


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