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Future X-Prizes?

Posted by: deagleninja - Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:58 am
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Future X-Prizes? 
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Post Future X-Prizes?   Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:58 am
Although I am not a regular poster here, this being my first, I was hoping someone could point me to any information about future endeavours in 'X-prize' stlye fashion.

Is there any talk or support for a Lunar X-prize where the goal is sending an orbiter or rover to the Moon?

Now that the public has been shown what the private sector can do, is there a need to exclude governments from participation?

Wouldn't a fantastic goal be Chris McKay's idea to send a lander capable of growing a flower in martian dirt?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:06 pm
Probably the next big space prize, apart from the X-Prize Cup, are going to be Centennial Prizes and other NASA and DARPA sponsored prizes.

In the meantime, there is also the Space Elevator Climber Competition hosted by Elevator 2010. It carries a $50,000 prize, and the competition starts pretty soon. YOu can find out more about it at www.elevator2010.org.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:49 pm
bad_astra wrote:
Probably the next big space prize, apart from the X-Prize Cup, are going to be Centennial Prizes and other NASA and DARPA sponsored prizes.

In the meantime, there is also the Space Elevator Climber Competition hosted by Elevator 2010. It carries a $50,000 prize, and the competition starts pretty soon. YOu can find out more about it at www.elevator2010.org.


From what i understand from that competition is that it will only show the practability of the products that will be used in a space elevator, and not to build a complete space elevator itself :P In that case, a 50k price would be rather ridiculously low ;)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:47 am
Hello, siggy,

I cannot agree to that.

Prizes like the XPRIZE allways are first steps - as shown by the fact that there will be the XPRIZE-CUP as competition for goals beyond the goals of the XPRIZE competition.

Similar the goals of the elevator-prize(s) will be initial goals perhaps followed by a competition for the longest tether, the fastest climber and the like.

What's to be expected perhaps?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:23 am
The Xprize forms an early return on investment as part of the begining of the return of running a business.

That is even if you could find no customers, at least you at least had 10 million to hand over to creditors.

Darpa's Grand Challenge is free money for technology demonstration and release of a technical paper.

Nasa will likely also be giving money to inventors for breaking technology barriers.

The Ansari X Prize is not about new technology, its about new business models.

For a Next-Prize a new market needs to be thought up. The X-cup looks to be only stimulus for new companys for the sub-orbital tourisim market.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:57 am
Hello, idiom,

I agree to your view of the prizes. I don't know wether you were answering to my post or to others - I only intended to say that the fact that the actually offered prizes and goals the elevator prize is aiming at don't mean that elevater 2010 won't create a competition to build a complete elevator later after the actually offered prices are won and next prizes are won too.

siggy,

concerning your statement concerning the 50k please take into account the amount of raw material. Assume the diameter of one nanocarbontube is 10 nanometers = 10 x 10E-9 (= 1 x 10E-8 ) - then of one squaremeter 10 x 10E-9 thick you can produce a cable that's 1 x 10E8 x 1 meter = 1 x 10E8 meters long. That's very few material. Now 1 x 10E8 meters are 1 X 10E5 km = 100.000 km. Noone will produce this long cable to win the elevator-prize. Perhaps they will produce a cable 1 km long which will require very much less than one squaremeter of that material.

So the investments required to win 50k won't be very large I think - they won't count by millions as SpaceShipOne because the material required is so much less.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:31 pm
Any of you work for the X-Prize foundation?
If you say, yes, please listen up!

Here's my suggestion: The next generation x-prize should be [FIRST]...
20-million dollars to the first private manned spaceship to repeat
a flight to an altitude over 200 kilometers [125 miles up] in a month's time.
125 miles up is higher than Alan Shepard flew on May/05/61.

[SECOND] 50-million dollars to the first private manned spacecraft to orbit the Earth at least once; no need to repeat the mission to earn the prize money.

Now were is the prize-money to come from? Paul Allen? John Carmack?
Donald Trump? Some wealthy Arab oil-billionaire?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:43 pm
The orbital bit, That needs to be quickly repeatable. For new ecconomics to work, The craft needs to be theoretically flying ~25 times per year like the Shuttle was supposed to.

Even a month is an awfully long turn around time in Aeronautics.

Sponsors

I was replying directly to Deagle's first post.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 02, 2004 6:41 am
Hello, virgair,

please refer to my discussion doubting on the sense of an orbital XPRIZE.

The race for the orbit is on by market competition:

1. SpaceX has scheduled its first launch to orbit for the coming quarter of 2004
2. Scaled Composites publically is acting together with Bigelow Aerospace and said that SpaceShipOne can be reconstructed to launch one passenger to an orbit of 130 km altitude.
3. Armadillo is said in this board to be able to reach orbit in perhaps ten years
4. Interorbital Systems plans to do the first orbital test-launch next year and the first manned test-launch for the onrit in 2006
5. Starchaser ist said to be able to reach orbit in a period of time similar to Armadillo's period.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:52 am
virgair wrote:
Any of you work for the X-Prize foundation?
If you say, yes, please listen up!

Here's my suggestion: The next generation x-prize should be [FIRST]...
20-million dollars to the first private manned spaceship to repeat
a flight to an altitude over 200 kilometers [125 miles up] in a month's time.
125 miles up is higher than Alan Shepard flew on May/05/61.

[SECOND] 50-million dollars to the first private manned spacecraft to orbit the Earth at least once; no need to repeat the mission to earn the prize money.

Now were is the prize-money to come from? Paul Allen? John Carmack?
Donald Trump? Some wealthy Arab oil-billionaire?


If there is percieved value, money is not a problem. One thing good about the X-Prize is that it has shown that the idea of going to space is not as far out and as far fetch as it has been suggested.

I have been thinking about posting a topic on how obscene amounts of money are being spent world wide by the rich and famous for the purpose of showing off/competition. Here is what i got:

1) Luxury super yatchs: $15 - $20 mil pounds
2) Ferrari F1 team: $232 mil pounds / M. Schumacher salary: $22 mil pounds
3) Wayne Rooney's transfer fees: $27 millon pounds
4) Dennis Tito's space jaunt: $14 millon pounds
5) Oil rigs: anything from $15 mil pounds to $250 mil pounds

You can fill the list yourselves. I think the best example would be the Volvo World Challenge and the America Cup. Just look at the people it attracts and the amount of money being thrown into it. It's all about marketing 8) and whether there is economic value being generate.

The amount of money Ferrari spents in one season of F1 is more than enough to run a small space program. (the total cost teams spent in one F1 season exceeds $1 billon pounds)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:52 pm
To Herr Augustin.

You can doubt all you want, this messageboard does give you the liberty to express your doubts.
But I'll pass on your doubts, my suggestions still stand.
Sorry.
:(


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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:58 pm
As far as SpaceX launching into orbit in 2004?
I'm skeptical!...
Space and rocket launches are still very expensive [moremoney than you'll earn in year goes into a simple small rocket launch].
AND VERY UNFORGIVING; if you make one mistake, BOOM!!.

Remember NASA's early history?
Rockets blew up every month.

Robert Traux wanted to launch the first private
manned spacecraft in 1979 (I'm old enough to remember).
What happened to his plans?

I also remember an American proposing a private spacecraft/rocket
known as the "Mayflower" in 1997!....That's right!...1997!
I remem sending strong e-mails to that American back then.
I was right to be skeptical.

Then there's the Roton by Gary Hudson. Remember that 'spacecraft'?

:roll: :roll: :roll:

You need to study your recent space history, Herr Augustin.
Mach Schnell!


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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:04 am
Quote:
Robert Traux wanted to launch the first private
manned spacecraft in 1979 (I'm old enough to remember).
What happened to his plans?




If Truax had gotten approval or funding to have Sea Dragon built back in the 70's, we'd be having this discussion in an O'Neal colony at L5. :)


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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:10 am
oh.. I used to have an old Omni article discussion the Truax rocketship of 79. As I recall it was a pretty cool design that used Atlas verniers he'd rescued from the boneyard. It wasn't a sustainable design, but it probably would have worked and it definately might have jumpstarted things a little early.

Best of luck to him in his own groups X-Prize attempt. I hope that since it looks like the Xprize will probably be won, that his group might go back to building the Freedom Flyer.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:50 am
Helo, virgair,

I remember Roton very well - it's working and Scaled has been involved (according to its homepage). Mayflower I remember too.

My intention primaryly was to say that offering a cash prize for a goal a competition for is already on seems to be wasting cash and would not attract participants - but I didn't intend to oppone.



It would be better to look at differences in detail:

1. Scaled is speaking of an orbital one-person-spacecraft as a carrier to a space station of the Bigelow kind. The spacecraft would be similar to SpaceShipOne.

2. Interorbital is constructing a rocket and intends to use the tank of the second stage as hab.

3. SpaceX for the first time has scheduled unmanned launches of rockets only.

4. Armadillo and Starchaser are still working on parabolic/hyperbolic flights.



So prizes concerning the orbit may make sense if the goals are competitional alternatives to a Bigelow-like station as well as to Interorbitals use of the tank as hab. They may make sense too if they were aiming at automation - in the case of Scaled's ideas only one person will be brought to the Bigelow station. This person will be a tourist - so a pilot must fly the spacecraft remotely from the surface. Third the prizes could be concerning the service reqiured for the Bigelow station - food, water etc..

And last but not least - security concepts.

Orbital prizes may make sense if their goals are something around the spacecrafts and flights - then they make sense and will attract competitors.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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