Headlines > News > Solar Skiff company intends to pursue the America\'s Space Prize

Solar Skiff company intends to pursue the America\'s Space Prize

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Dec 25, 2004 8:39 pm
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Matthew A. Bentley shared with us in an e-mail that The Solar Skiff website is now up and running at www.solarskiff.com.
The Solar Skiff company intends to pursue the America’s Space Prize, with an approximately 90 foot long 5-passenger SSTO spaceship.

Production Schedule

The manufacturing of scale model Skiffs has already begun, with one- and two-foot models completed. Click here to see the production schedule.

Solar Skiff is a start-up company dedicated to the design, engineering, and fabrication of real spaceships. It intends to bootstrap its way, first, into Earth orbit, and then into Lunar and interplanetary space, with the help of ordinary Earth residents like you. If you want to help Solar Skiff succeed, your donation of $50 or more will enter you in a drawing to ride into Earth orbit on a future Orbital Skiff. There is no limit to how many Space Tickets you may purchase, and every privately donated dollar will be frugally and effectively invested in our goal.

To ensure that Space Ticket revenue is not wasted, Solar Skiff has a policy of operating strictly on a pay-as-you-go basis. Nothing is purchased on credit, and we do not take out loans. Due to this policy, it is unlikely that the company will fail for financial reasons. To avoid unnecessary entanglements, no government grants will be sought or accepted. Private investment is therefore encouraged. Furthermore, we offer full financial disclosure to any contributing organization, corporation, or individual who requests it. Space Ticket winners will receive an orbital ride, whether or not Solar Skiff wins America’s Space Prize, as soon as the first Skiff is certified to fly.

It is hoped that supplemental and substantial capital will derive from wealthy sponsors, once the initial development and manufacture of sub-scale Skiffs is complete, and their flights have been documented.

The initial Skiff Shop will be located near Laramie, Wyoming, in the back yard of the company founder. This will minimize start-up costs, since there is already a concrete floor to build the shop on. The first Skiff Shop will measure 24 feet by 48 feet, large enough for a design office, machine shop, subsonic wind tunnel, and assembly bay. Photos of this facility will be posted here as it undergoes construction in early 2005.

After a year or two, plans are to move into larger quarters at the Laramie Regional Airport, five miles west of town. Locating the fabrication and test site in southeastern Wyoming is ideal from several standpoints:

1. Proximity to several universities, engineering talent, and American aerospace infrastructure.
2. Similar latitude to Russian and Chinese launch sites, affording similar orbital inclinations.
3. High altitude of 1.4 miles, giving a clear advantage over launch sites at lower elevations.
4. Convenient location at the intersection of major highways and railroads.
5. Low population density in the region, essential for launch safety.
6. Good weather, over 300 sunny days each year.
7. Central location.

For more information visit: www.solarskiff.com.

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