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2004: Private space travel takes off!

Posted by: The Legionnaire - Sun Oct 19, 2003 7:27 pm
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2004: Private space travel takes off! 

How many X-Prize teams will put a man in space next year?
Poll ended at Sat Jan 17, 2004 7:27 pm
Zero 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
One 24%  24%  [ 5 ]
Two 33%  33%  [ 7 ]
Three 19%  19%  [ 4 ]
Four 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Five or more 19%  19%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 21

2004: Private space travel takes off! 
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Space Walker
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Post 2004: Private space travel takes off!   Posted on: Sun Oct 19, 2003 7:27 pm
Okay, the X-Prize is approaching its final months. One of the recent complaints I've had is that due to Burt Rutan, the X-Prize has become less of a competition. I do agree that Burt Rutan seems most likely to win with his SpaceShipOne design, but recent flight test troubles mean that he might not win the X-Prize until early 2004. If that is true, there will be a whole pack of teams nipping on his heels, namely:

Armadillo: Just had a sucessful 125 second run of their new engine, which means they are in good position to start low-altitude test flights soon.
Da Vinci: With their new Sun Microsystems sponsor and flight-tested engines, they seem to be on a roll for a launch in early 2004.
Canadian Arrow: Haven't heard much from them lately but they are pretty far along.
Starchaser Last week they tested their Churchill engine several times, and hopefully can meet their Oct 2004 launch date.
Other teams I'd also say that Interorbital, American Astronautics, Arcaspace and maybe a new team if this articleis to be believed, could possibly make test flights. We will see...

And since Rutan will probably launch many times next year, we could be looking at 10-40 people sent into space next year by private companies! I guess we have a lot to hope for...


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 19, 2003 9:30 pm
I'm optimistic, so I'll say five or more.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:26 am
indeed that is a lot to hope for

so far only 460 (somthing) people have entered 'Space'
thats like a 100 a decade from a population ranging between (over the years of course 1960 - present day) 3 and a half billion to 6ix biliion individuals.

Go get em you space programs of the new age! yeee haaaw

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 27, 2003 1:19 pm
Vendigo wrote:
I'm optimistic, so I'll say five or more.


same here 8)


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Post The next step   Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:45 pm
As we near the awarding the XPRIZE, we should ask ourselves, who is ready to buy a ticket?

What are you doing to put yourself in position to buy a ticket?

As companies make money taking passengers on suborbital flights, a private space industry is assured. Are you doing your part? :o


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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 02, 2003 11:06 pm
Here's another question to consider.

With so many teams launching people into space, do you think we'll see the first private space fatality in 2004? I certainly hope not, but pioneering new frontiers entails running new risks...

Fortunately, with the exception of the highly experienced Scaled Composites team, most of the X PRIZE teams are planning unmanned launches first - which should prevent any fatal fireballs.


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Post Private safety record   Posted on: Mon Nov 03, 2003 3:01 am
You are quite correct to be concerned about the safety record of this private effort of space access for the average man or woman.

As far as private launch facilities, good question. Burt Rutan describes their flight safety approach as 'question, never defend'. Compare that to the attitude of NASA, 'kill the engineer who questions', which precisely what happened to Challenger. The engineers where only ignored on Columbia. NASA's safety record was on TV. The Russian government program safety record is worse but was not on TV. So far very little of Burt Rutan's efforts have been on TV except for Voyager. But he has designed, built and operated dozens of different and remarkable aircraft with an impeccable safety record.

As long as any private facilities follow the same attitudes toward safety of their passengers and listen to experienced engineers as opposed to some dimwitted marketing guy (they are just as bad as NASA bureaucrats), Private companies will be OK, even as launch facilities.

If my life is on the line, and the choice is private Burt versus government NASA, I will take private launch facilities every time. :D

There is one more reason private facilities are better. Even if there is a fatal disaster, the taxpayer is not forced to pay for someone else's mistake or arrogance. :x


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Post    Posted on: Sat Dec 20, 2003 5:13 pm
We're really missing a moderator on this forum, to make this poll staying at top...

Personally I say also 5 or more, 4 teams promised to go into space, I know very less from other teams their flight plans.., but they are also looking very promising and I think also one of them will atleast go to space.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Dec 20, 2003 5:15 pm
Latest reply was mine, the forum cookie seemed to be removed (out of date) while I was typing it....


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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:53 pm
I think three teams may make it.

SpaceShipOne barring a mishap definitely
Canadian Arrow they seem to have most if not everything they need but they have not done a test shot yet. And one of the others.

I hope several of the teams do pull it off sins this should bring more investors in to the fold. It will also pave the way to the next goal and that will be an orbit shot and return.


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Post Space Centre   Posted on: Sun Dec 21, 2003 9:32 pm
DJBREIT wrote:
Canadian Arrow they seem to have most if not everything they need but they have not done a test shot yet.


Speaking of Canadian Arrow, they recently opened their "Space Centre" which contains a simulator, centrifuge, and recovery training pool. Supposedly, public tours will begin on January 31.
Image
This development really highlights one of the major goals of the X PRIZE: public awareness. It's not enough to just fly rockets, you have to engage the public in the vision for a spacefaring future. Hopefully, the kids and adults who go into the Centre will come out a bit more excited.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:38 am
I really think Starchaser will launch this year, theyre looking good.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:27 am
I think about 4 or 5 teams will make it this year, because there have been some really quite stupid ideas, I think; like the hot air balloon one(forgotten the name), and the armadillo, that crushable nose is really not gonna do well on the market :?: , and for trying to only lose 10% of the bodywork.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:53 am
12 teams have full scale hardware in production, possiblly more by the end of the year.

How many will actually make it there have a maximum possible upper limit of 15, Xprize or non-xprize.

I tend to think maybe three teams will repeat launches this year. I think at least 6 will make a first attept though.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:13 am
Quote:
the armadillo, that crushable nose is really not gonna do well on the market


Apparently, Armadillo agrees with you, because their new design features a powered landing instead.


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