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Wild speculation!

Posted by: Lourens - Thu May 31, 2012 8:53 pm
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Wild speculation! 
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Post Wild speculation!   Posted on: Thu May 31, 2012 8:53 pm
Dragon 3 is safely back home after a successful mission, which is great, but it does mean less entertainment from people releasing, catching and fishing for dragons. Fortunately, Armadillo's been awfully quiet for quite a while now, which I think means they're fair game for some wild speculation. So, here's a thread for that. What happened to Armadillo?

I'll kick it off by speculating that they've put the Stig project on hold and have secretly snuck off to McGregor, TX, to help SpaceX with the Grasshopper project. As part of the deal, SpaceX will get access to id Software's awesome head mounted display VR technology to make their mission controllers look more cool than NASA's (after all, the SpaceX mission control room is rather boring). In exchange, AA will get a set of Dragon parachutes for the next Stig and all they can eat cheese.

Any other wild ideas?

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Thu May 31, 2012 9:59 pm
My dear Lourens,
could it be the case, that you have been celebrating the Dragon 2! return with a bit too much beer? :P

I would love to enlighten you what AA is up to currently, but I can't remember what Ben Brockert said in the last interview. you might want to check that out If you haven't already.
http://moonandback.com/2012/05/16/moona ... ig-rocket/
http://moonandback.com/2012/05/17/moona ... ure-plans/

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:13 am
Oh, Dragon 2! But in one of the press conferences, some journalist asked if SpaceX were going to name their capsules with individual names, and I think the SpaceX Mission Director said something like "You'd have to ask Elon, but for now this was simply Dragon 3". Maybe he misspoke, I misheard, or they counted the test article that was launched on the first F9 as Dragon 1...

I've seen the link to that interview, but I haven't got Flash installed (since it's evil and proprietary) and I haven't had the time to dig through the JavaScript and try to find a direct link to the video file that I can stream or download using a free program. So, I haven't seen it yet. Also, alcohol is for rocket engines :).

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:16 pm
Well, Ben Brockert is no longer with Armadillo, as per his twitter today: https://twitter.com/wikkit

Quote:
Into the third week of my post-Armadillo life, going well so far. Looking froward to chatting with interesting people at the NewSpace BPC.


I very much hope this isn't a sign of trouble on the Armadillo front. Speaking candidly, I know id's last game (Rage) greatly underperformed expectations, which has to have some financial implications for Armadillo. And I know John has been pretty into his virtual reality experimentation lately http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/06/06/john-carmack-is-making-a-virtual-reality-headset-500-kits-available-soon-video-interview-inside/ -- has this slowed down Armadillo progress so much that Ben got tired of it?

(Actually, I'm not sure whether I would rather have John working on VR or rocketry, the cool factor is pretty comparable :-)

Anyway, we can safely bet on it being a very long time before the next update, now that their #1 updater is gone.


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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:10 pm
I honestly think you're speculating a bit too much there.


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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:09 pm
Last twitter message from:

John Carmack ‏@ID_AA_Carmack

Armadillo Aerospace has been officially granted a full commercial launch license by the FAA. Paying payloads launching next month.


I guess Stig-B is (almost) ready for launch :)


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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:55 am
Believe me, I'm very happy to be wrong, and if Armadillo starts regular paying flights this year as Carmack says, then I definitely *am* wrong :-)


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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:21 pm
I don't know any specifics of John Carmack's financial situation of course, but Id Software has been a middleware company for quite a while now. Their games mainly serve to demo their game engine, which they sell to other companies. I don't follow the computer game industry any more, so I don't know if the problem with Rage was the gameplay or the technology, but if it's the former then Id should still be okay on that. Also, it looks like head-mounted VR gaming is going to take a serious flight in the next couple of years, and it looks like Id have a nice little lead there. So I'm not too worried about that.

I don't know why Ben left Armadillo, but my guess would be that he simply has a lot of ideas of his own, and wants to go and chase them. The logical thing to do in that case is to start your own company, not take a job as a salaried employee somewhere. So, he saved up some money, quit his job, and is now looking for partners, funding, and a web host to host the blog in which he will keep all of us entertained with reports of his latest rocket engines. Right, Ben? :D

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:43 pm
Lourens wrote:
I don't know why Ben left Armadillo, but my guess would be that he simply has a lot of ideas of his own, and wants to go and chase them. The logical thing to do in that case is to start your own company, not take a job as a salaried employee somewhere. So, he saved up some money, quit his job, and is now looking for partners, funding, and a web host to host the blog in which he will keep all of us entertained with reports of his latest rocket engines. Right, Ben? :D


As I have said many times, the primary goal and purpose of all space companies is to keep us entertained. :D

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:17 am
Lourens wrote:
I don't know why Ben left Armadillo, but my guess would be that he simply has a lot of ideas of his own, and wants to go and chase them. The logical thing to do in that case is to start your own company, not take a job as a salaried employee somewhere. So, he saved up some money, quit his job, and is now looking for partners, funding, and a web host to host the blog in which he will keep all of us entertained with reports of his latest rocket engines. Right, Ben? :D


Pretty much. You and Rob were actually both surprisingly accurate, though neither entirely accurate.

I do intend to be public about what I'm doing... once I establish what I'm doing.


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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:05 am
Ben, thanks for keeping us on the forum in the loop. It's good to have an "insider" view of things.

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:24 am
Ben, what can you tell us about Able Space Corporation? :)

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:21 pm
Follow-up on my earlier speculation: John Carmack recently tweeted that Id don't license out their engines any more, so apparently their business model has changed. That changes the Id story a bit. They had quite a lot invested in Rage, and it didn't do so well. The ZeniMax acquisition gave them a bit more financial leeway, but it would probably really help if they could get the next big thing out there and selling like hotcakes pronto. AA does need the money from Id for further development, so for John, that has to take priority over building rockets.

Well, either that or they're looking to make the ultimately safe space tourist ride, with some actuated cameras on the rocket and the customer and their 3D glasses safely tucked away in a bunker on the ground :-).

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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:03 am
I thought that AA was paying for itself now (which is presumably why details are thin on the ground).


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Post Re: Wild speculation!   Posted on: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:15 pm
IIRC, they were in the black for ongoing operations, but still need outside investment for R&D. So no real crisis I'd say, but some more money would be good. All this of course being speculation from halfway across the planet :-).

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