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Consortiums to be formed to win ASP?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:41 am
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Consortiums to be formed to win ASP? 
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Post Consortiums to be formed to win ASP?   Posted on: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:41 am
In another thread shortly the possibility has been discussed that a competitor may use SpaceX's Falcon V to get to the orbit. It has been said in principle that the user of the Falcon would be the only one having success in that case and SpaceX would only deliver a carrier and the service.

But the user of the Falcon has to provide th return of his vehicle too and there no idea has been posted that has got significant acceptance.

Now I found that article saying that Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation is seriously working on ballutes as entry technology.

Does that mean that the ASP eventually only can be won by a team working together with ball? If yes then that would be a consortium of teams or firms because Ball has no entry ballutes ready and so cannot sell them simply. Ball currently is developing the technology for NASA and will need to test it - they could do that perhaps if test versions would be used at private orbital vehicles but still they wouldn't have sold it but act as part of a consortium.

MAy it be that the winner of the ASP will use the Falcon V and Ball's ballutes? Is that the only convincing way today?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:06 pm
I think you always have a kind of consortium. Scaled for example bought the rocket engine and didn't built it by themselves. So you always have parts of your project, which you didn't produce/design yourself. I doubt if it's useful to form a formal consortium. The more people you have, the more difficult it gets to make decisions.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:23 pm
What Scaled did was buying something from others - that's quite different from a consortium because Scaled owns all and earns all.

t/Space really is a consortium - several firms working together and sharing the ownership of their product as well as the costs and revenues. Their product up to now is the concept as a whole.

The aircraft launching something will really be Scaled's ownership and other vehicles will be ownership of other single firms each but all these vehicles are a part of something that's more than the "sum" of all these vehicles - and this "something" is owned by the consortium only, shared between the firms forming the consortium.

That's quite different to Wight Knight/SpaceShipOne.

Scaled is no consortium - t/Space is.

Ball could be the only firm today that has a convincing new technology providing safe reentry as well as least expandability that might be below 20% as required to win the ASP.

Scaled cannot buy that technology today - so Ball and Scaled might form another consortium of two firms only.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:47 pm
That is clear, but I see no benefit out of a consortium. Well, where's the difference between a "convential" way and a consortium? Ok, you (potentially) have more money in a consortium, but besides that, there are only disadvantages in my opinion.
You have more people who want to decide something, you have consortium-member companies who want to make the specifications of their hardware themselves. I think it gets a lot cheaper if you have one single company that decides everything an orders the required technology. In your example to order the baloon technology from Ball.
That is why I said, that you won't need a "formal" consortium. I think things just get complicated if you get to big.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:42 am
I didn't say that a consortium would be advantageous - I asked wether it might be the only possible solution in the current situation.

Property rights are one obstacle in the current situation - the invention of a real ballute is property of Ball and they won't give it away. They will give a licence perhaps but they can only do that if the technology proves to be working.

So I have found a second obstacle - availability of a product, a technology or a licencable technique.

Ball won't share their invention and patent with Scaled or another team for the first time.

A third obstacle is that Ball doesn't seem to develop vehicles and an ASP competitor won't sell his vehicle to Ball beacuse he wants to win the ASP himself - this again is the property rights obstacle.

I may be missing obstacle or something reducing the height of these obstacles - but the situation seems to leave no solution but a consortium. Noone will form a new company together with Ball and Ball themselves won't form a new company with others.

It may be not the most advantageous solution but the only realistic and provding convincing progresses.

A solution is to be found this time - not an advantage.



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