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Let's get real about "Space Tourism"!

Posted by: virgair - Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:21 pm
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Let's get real about "Space Tourism"! 
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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:19 am
If it got me into space, I wouldn't care if it took years of hard research or a well-funded publicity stunt.

You seem to be thinking along the lines of "the only flight that matters is that of the Wright brothers", to use an analogy.. at least when you're talking about the rockets from the 50s vs. current events.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:33 am
No I'm really not thinking on those lines at all.... to put it frankly: The Wright brothers flew a plane - others at that time had not...

Louis Bleriot flew across the english channel - other had not...
Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic - others had not...

SSO flew into the upper atmosphere - others had landed on the Moon 35 years previously....

Sure it's nice that a privately funded enteprise managed to do it - but lets face it; they have brought nothing new to the table - not even a new rocket design.

I'm thinking on practical lines... they offer nothing of substance.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:35 am
abraxas isn't that wrong - much of the technological fundamentals have been researched decades ago. But - sorry, abraxas - the earliest approaches, advances and success have been made in the thirties and beginning fourties of the last century by german scientists and engineers and the first rocket reaching altitudes of 70 km was launched near the end of the first phase of World War II from Peenemünde.

MUCH of the fundamentals... - Scaled Composites and the others added some new.

And the governments didn't make all the good of the technologies what's possible.

So - yes, hats off to the early constructors of rockets but not to the governments they have been working for and hats off too to the XPRIZE-teams. Many of them don't have much ressources and money and the money of Scaled Composites and Mojave Aerospace is the money of these firms and not the money of Rutan, Allen or Melville and Binnie. Rutan and Allen cannot take the money off of their enterprises because this money belongs to the firms and not to the persons. They can sell their shares - the money will stay in the firms then. But everything else is hurting the laws. So at least Rutan, Melville and Binnie don't be those rich men and Allen is providing advantages of a portion of his billions to the public.

The early engineers formed the fundamentals and the late pioneers provide the advantages of those fundamentals to the general public in future.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:03 am
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The studies have already been done - Scaled Composites have just put all the answers from their homework together. The REAL innovators in the 50s had to do all the research for themselves ... hats of to them; not to the participants of a multi-million dollar publicity stunt.




I think most of us here are well aware of the fact that gov't and military space programs have laid the groundwork for scaled's achievement, BUT... you can turn right around and say "they've known about this for nigh on forty years and haven't done a damn thing with it!'

On the technical side, and I'm a layman, but it seems the carefree reentry of SS1 should count as an innovation, or am I offbase?


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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:54 am
Basically what everyone's trying to convey is that governments, althought successful in their Space ventures, are not consistent. They fluxuate, the grand space era that once was has diminished, at least on any National side.

In the U.S. we strove to get to the moon, and NASA had so much in funding, it was all political, all nationalism, it wasnt about the science, it was about making the country feel good! Russia only had their programs to compete with their cold war buddy. In a sense it was persuit of science, but most of the time it was decided by those men in clad suits who couldnt care less if one rocket went into space, as long as he got the votes. Much of space exploration prior to all this was political games, feuds you might say.

Not to say alot came out of it, and man's great achievements lie within those golden years. But where are they now? What are governments doing now to progress the human race? They sure as heck are fighting thats for sure, but where is the progress? What happened? THAT is the true question.

Privatized space is what's next, its the jump we, as a race always savvy for new toys, has been looking for. The next step is how to get it all started.
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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:16 pm
Let's face it... up until now the race to space was fueled by the desire to build bigger and better weapons. Even the Russian Buran was conceived as a nuclear armament carrier.

The "new" race to space is about profit - trying to land as many people with money to burn to spend $90K for a few minutes of weightlessness.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:22 am
The xprise money so far is quite frankly peanuts. Air canada probably spent more money on Celine Dion and their new airline outfits.

Travel/Tourism and the airline industry need to be engaged big time to invest in these ventures. So far in reality the world still see's these vehicles as toys of eccentric people.

Let's hope more Richard Branson's and Robert Bigelow's jump into the scene and manage to actualy make some money. As soon as industry smells the money it'll happen over night. :P


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Post Re: Let's get real about "Space Tourism"!   Posted on: Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:37 pm
virgair wrote:
What can kill the space tourism business? A lot! :x

(1) Lawsuits.
(3) Lawyers.


The effects of Lawsuits and lawyers could be largely eliminated by passenger waivers, as stated previously here, and requiring a "loser pays system" referred to as the "British rule" in US civil litigation. Nearly all countries except the US use this "British rule" and requires the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney to pay for the reasonable cost of the defense if they lose their case. Under current law, it is legal slot machine extortion.

For example, the Audi 5000 automobile was sued regarding bogus "unintended acceleration" over 10 times by losing plaintiffs. These losing plaintiffs were only out their time. Then they found a confused, give away jury to award millions of $'s and the Audi 5000 was gone from the US. If these plaintiffs with "bogus junk science" had to pay the reasonable cost of the defense these lawsuits would have never been filed and the Audi 5000 would have never been pulled out of the US.

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(2) Media hysteria, if a "space tourist" dies.

That's is why we need multiple companies operating as many different designs with rigorous safety programs. When one company has the inevitable accident, the other companies won't shutdown passenger spaceflight. That's been NASA's problem.

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(4) Government restrictions, if a "space tourist dies", or someone on the
ground gets killed by falling debris.

US congress needs to eliminate all harmful, wasteful, and unneeded regulation. BTW, there is a whole Forum on Government Regulations on this Message Board.

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(5) The Treehuggers.

Chain them to their favorite tree. BTW, I've personally planted more trees than most Treehuggers combined. I will chop down a tree, anytime I feel like it. :lol:

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(6) More government restrictions onn a global scale [United Nations meddling]

The United Nations is corrupt, unelected, unaccountable. It has no business meddling in anything space related, period.

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(7) Investors who suddenly get cold feet.

Investors get cold feet everyday and hot feet everyday. It's called the Stock Market going up or down daily.

As the private space industry matures, you will see more publically traded companies like SpaceDev (SPDV), which manufactured the hybrid engine for SpaceShipOne.

http://money.iwon.com/jsp/qt/ataglance.jsp?symbol_search_text=SPDV

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:14 am
FreeBooteR wrote:
The xprise money so far is quite frankly peanuts. Air canada probably spent more money on Celine Dion and their new airline outfits.

Travel/Tourism and the airline industry need to be engaged big time to invest in these ventures. So far in reality the world still see's these vehicles as toys of eccentric people.

Let's hope more Richard Branson's and Robert Bigelow's jump into the scene and manage to actualy make some money. As soon as industry smells the money it'll happen over night. :P


Screw the Airlines if they can't see the forest for the trees...

and Money isn't always the answer... H3ll Look at NASA... yeah they have done some development... but like others have said... they are just 1 organization...

But what do you think would happen if they took the Cost of 1(ONE) YEAR of NASA funding and POSTED that to be divided by the 10 FIRST US private teams to orbit the earths moon.
(according to http://www.space.com/news/rtf_costs_040716.html in 2005 NASA has request 4.3 billion... or 430 Million a team ;) )

(Yes I just said... Shut NASA DOWN for 1 year... they lose a year... we possibly gain 10 years of advancements?)

I feel it is the HYPE behind these Contests that get people and Teams to Act... (trying their best to beat the other teams... and the money is nice too)

but funding (money) that would allow many intelligent people to do nothing but research and develop... is a large part of the answer....

Then again Not all geniuses want to be rich... Some only need a steady supply of Diet Cokes and Pizza... (Go John!)


Just my 2 Cents...

Sea

(this is not meant to be a flame on NASA as it will seem... it is meant to say maybe the US space project should become Moduler (Like C++) and all government funding should not be, for the most part, tied up in one project.)


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:50 pm
I was very skeptical of space tourism's capibility of becoming a viable industry at first, but fortunately it looks like I've been proven wrong. Virgin Galactic already has $1.4 billion worth of potential gross profit in front of them, and can stand to make a phenominal amount more if they can cut the price of their flights four or five times (which shouldn't be too daunting of a challenge). In a best-case scinerio in which Spacex launches 10 Falcon Vs a year with a gross profit of $20 million yeach, they'll only make $200 million a year. In other words, the profits to be gained from space tourism simply run circles around potential profits from communication/Earth observation sattelites.

Virgin Galactic has proven already that space tourism is indeed a viable industry. That's where the real money is, not sattelites, hopefully Spacex will realize this and get in the ring. Now that would be an interesting competition, Spacex vs Scaled Composites to win the America's Space Prize. In any case, the Red Sox have won the world series, so stranger things have evidently happened.

In fact, the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. 8)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:51 am
Yes, but SpaceX#S profits might increase largely once succcesses of Virgins begin to involve private space stations and orbital hotels - today SpaceX only would be able to place them. That's the reason why Bigelow's third-scale version of Nautilus will be launched by SpaceX. And who will do repairs if Interorbital had to delay their first launch?



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