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Space Access\'05 Conference

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:08 am
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For those who didn’t read the Space Access updates earlier, Space Access is ongoing right now.
You can find up to date info at:

Clark S. Lindsey’s HobbySpace:
Rand Simberg’s Transterrestrial Musings:
Michael Mealling’s RocketForge:

Some info:

Michael Mealling:

Brooke Owens just gave an update on the XPrize Cup. Nothing new except that Peter Diamandis is so busy that he couldn’t be here. Brooke definitely turned heads….

Jeff Greason from XCOR gives an update on what they’ve been up to: the recent composite liquid oxygen tank contract. The award was notified in October but only signed in April. Painful….

They’re also working on staging work for their flight vehicles under some other contract work, planning on flying EasyRocket in an airshow in Mojave in the fall, and will be making some announcements soon on their follow-on vehicle.

Clark S. Lindsey:

One interesting news item of the day came up during Mitchell Burnside Clapp’s talk. He said that he has left Rocketplane Ltd. due to “creative differences.” He has now re-awakened Pioneer Rocketplane in Colorado and is consulting and developing new technologies.

Jeff Greason reviewed the status of XCOR. Recently the company announced that it had won a multi-million dollar contract with NASA to do R&D for composite fuel tanks. (BTW: XCOR is now hiring and, in particular, is looking for a composites structures engineer.) XCOR has not yet raised funding for the suborbital Xerus development but Jeff is cautiously optimistic. When asked about the costs, he said it depends a lot on the final design and could range from $2M to $10M.

Charles Pooley of Microlaunchers talked about his small but very inexpensive unmanned vehicles that could put small payloads into LEO and even send them to Mars. …

Brooke Owens of the X PRIZE Foundation showed some entertaining videos of the X PRIZE and then reported on plans for the X PRIZE CUP, which will have its first event this October. Currently, ARCA, Armadillo Aerospace, the da Vinci Project, Rocketplane Ltd., Starchaser and XCOR have indicated they will carry out demonstration flights at the exhibition. Rocket competitions won’t start until the 2006 or 2007 events.

Pat Bahn gave and update on the status of TGV Rockets. He says the company, based in Norman, Oklahoma, now has 15 employees and should be ready in May for a preliminary design review of their VTOL suborbital rocket. The plan is to fly by early 2008. They have spent about $10M so far and expect to spend about $100M. They have sold two vehicles to government customers and this money has made the company “cash flow positive”. They are avoiding passenger service due to fears over liability issues and instead are focusing on military applications, science and technology payloads, and microsatellite launch (via an expendable second stage.)

Rand Simberg really wrote too much great stuff ;):

Including more info about rocketplane:

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