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“MICROLAUNCHERS” Discuss Their Plans With The Space Fellowship

Published by Rob on Tue Jun 3, 2008 8:58 pm
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We recently got talking with Microlaunchers a US based company aiming to get to make space access cheaper by using smaller craft.

Charles Pooley brought us up to date with their progress by doing an introductory Q&A session with myself. Charles and Blair Gordon have also joined the Space Fellowship with an official forum now located Here
The forum will be a place where Space Fellowship members and ask the team questions and learn more about their ambitions and goals.

The Q&A:

What is Microlaunchers?

Microlaunchers is an idea begun 12 years ago, to create a new pathway to entrepreneurial space start-ups.

The problem then and now is that space exploration is the province of large impersonal organizations. People have little chance for direct involvement other than as employees of large contractors like Boeing, Lockheed, or NASA itself.

The situation was seen as analogous to the early state of computers in the mainframe era before the advent of ALTAIR, IMSAI and the wave of microcomputers. The idea is to try to do with space exploration what the microcomputer did for computer access.

This is to take the form of initially developing a very small vertically integrated launcher/spacecraft system, and having as a baseline, or starting point, of exceeding escape velocity to reach the inner solar system and lunar surface.

What do you want to achieve?

A working vertically integrated launcher (which might be called ML-1) and stimulate large scale involvement by lowering the “entry cost” of participating, and then to create a number of application companies to exploit economic Opportunities such as “space burials” souvenir flights, lunar regolith return for sale, turnkey lease of launcher kits.
Success would be a situation where there are a number of separate companies doing this and Microlaunchers being one of them.

How do you plan to achieve this?

Mainly by a bootstrap process: finding an initial set of partners, angel investors, to start with the development of the initial elements of the systems.

What work have you done already, towards achieving your goals?

For over 12 years, studied the technologies required, creating a website http://www.microlaunchers.com/ , searching for a core group of motivated “believers”.

When will you achieve your goals or milestones?

To start of significant hardware portions: engine type, laser comm, guidance, vehicle stages within one year of setting up physical facilities in a suitable part of the US.

What do you see as the biggest hurdle in achieving your goals?

Finding an initial funding means to cover a financial threshold required to move to a location, lease facilities, acquire tooling, hire core group.

Will you share your progress with the Space Fellowship Community?

On an ongoing basis. Only some proprietary IP will be protected. Activity, and some technical details will be published.

Have you got any media or presentations that our community can view?

So far, only the two websites http://www.microlaunchers.com/ and http://generationspace.org/ and links from those sites so far. There have been two interviews on the Space Show http://thespaceshow.com/ Nov 16 2005 and March 4 2008, an three presentations, at Space Access Society, The Citizen Scientist, AIAA.

The Space Fellowship would like to thank both Blair and Charles on helping us put this story together. We would also like to encourage Space Fellowship members to welcome them to the Fellowship and feel free to openly ask any questions they have about their plans.

Copyright 2008 The International Space Fellowship. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Feel free to discuss this article in the newly created Official Microlaunchers forum…

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