Author Topic: Space Access '12 Live Blog  (Read 16568 times)

Offline simonbp

Space Access '12 Live Blog
« on: 04/09/2012 02:20 AM »
I'll try livebloging Space Access again this year, agenda below:

http://www.space-access.org/updates/sa12info.html

Anyone else going?

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #1 on: 04/09/2012 02:28 AM »
Thanks!
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #2 on: 04/12/2012 03:40 PM »
I'm here and set up, everything should start soon; Henry Spencer is up first.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #3 on: 04/12/2012 05:03 PM »
Beyond Chemical Rockets, Henry Spencer

Fuel fraction of 40% = Easy
Fuel fraction of 90% = Hard
Fuel fraction of 96% = Very Hard, but done by Titan III first stage

Even in space, low thrust has costs. Going from LEO to escape takes 3 km/s high-thrust, but 8 km/s with low thrust. So, got to have high Isp, but thrust cannot be too low.

Best chemical rocket ever: 542 s, fluorine/lithium/hydrogen triprop system. Not much better than LH2/LOX.

Solar Sail: 9 N of thrust per km2 at 1 AU. Sail can make their own Lagrage points; e.g. park over the North Pole.

Mag Sail: Uses solar wind drag. Can be combined from with a plasma generator. Physics very complex, and not well characterized.

Space Fountain circulating pellet stream, as a ground-to-space power transfer.

If you want high Isp _and_ thrust, you need a lot of power, and that means mass. Electric thrusters are generally about 50% efficient. Optimum Isp for fuel/power mass is always around a few thousand seconds.

Ultimate power source is a small black hole; problem is step 1.

Efficiently ionizing gas is hard, and that's most of the inefficiency in ion thrusters. All-electric comm sats are the new fad.

Electrothermal thrusters (arcjets) have potential, because it's easier to lower their Isp (and thus dv/power). But, poorly developed so far.

Chemical rockets aren't bad if you refuel early and often. You could deliver many thousands of tons LOX/RP1 to LEO for the cost of the first nuclear rocket.

Outer solar system need advanced (not solid-core fission) nuclear propulsion.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2012 05:04 PM by simonbp »

Offline MP99

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #4 on: 04/12/2012 05:17 PM »
Great, thanks. Can see this being a go-to thread for the next couple of days.

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/12/2012 05:17 PM by MP99 »

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #5 on: 04/12/2012 05:22 PM »
Keith Henson (L5 Society), $100 a kg to GEO with Beamed Energy Propulsion

Laser propulsion using space-based solar-powered lasers. Hydrogen combustion to 25 km and Mach 5, and then space-based lasers after that. First laser-powered stage circularizes in LEO, and second goes to GEO. 500 Falcon Heavy launches to build giant solar powered laser (at $10/W).

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #6 on: 04/12/2012 05:40 PM »
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, Sara Meschberger

Largest student-run space-focused organization. Lots being done; any you reading this that are undergrads or in high school, get involved!

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #7 on: 04/12/2012 06:08 PM »
500 Falcon Heavy launches to build giant solar powered laser.

+500

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #8 on: 04/12/2012 06:30 PM »
Liftport, Frank Smith and Ben Sitnnet

Carbon nanotubes haven't quite gone as fast as hoped. Lunar L1-surface space tether. Counterweight on a tether most of the way back to Earth. Capacity of 48 kg on initial tether. Zylon the best material option at the moment. Also looking at a "lunar lawn dart" to embed anchor in the lunar surface. Solar-powered electric climbers at 5 m/s (11 mph). Use the first small tether to build it up to many tethers. Is actually stable to the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit (apparently).

ASU Lunabotics kickstarter ends Sunday.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #9 on: 04/12/2012 06:36 PM »
Earth is a pretty difficult place to build a tether. Barely possible with significant advancements in carbon nanotubes. Other places are much more amenable to the concept, including Mars, the Moon, and asteroids. Plus there are rotovators.
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Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #10 on: 04/12/2012 06:38 PM »
That's why they were shooting for it; it can be launched on a single FH using existing tether materials.

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #11 on: 04/12/2012 06:41 PM »
That's why they were shooting for it; it can be launched on a single FH using existing tether materials.
Yes, very encouraging. (Also would be neat if deployed to study Phobos on an early manned orbital mission of Mars.)

Space elevators are a pretty difficult goal, but the idea is a sound one, if the technical requirements can be reduced (say, by putting it on the Moon). The drive towards higher strength/mass materials will have benefits all over the place, and the effort can also take advantage of R&D used for other applications.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2012 06:41 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #12 on: 04/12/2012 07:11 PM »
John Schilling, "Halfway to Anywhere, Part II: Groundwork For Going Beyond LEO"

Once you get to LEO, 4-6 km/s gets you anywhere in the inner solar system. Lunar landers (and vehicle like them) are pretty darn similar in requirements and technology.

Satellites are so expensive partially because they have to spring from an Atlas fully formed. Having a few technicians on-orbit to commission satellites would be a major improvement.

Modified density Isp: Performance = Isp * (density)^(1/6). LOX/LH2 only slightly better than LOX/CH4. LOX/CH4 and NTO/MMH almost the same.

RL-10 best engine, but so expensivye. Only need a few 0.1g's to get to impulsive transfers. Pump-fed best just to get as much Isp as possible. Long life, lots of starts. GOX/GH2 or GOX/GCH4 great for RCS.

How to fit a large (empty) tank in a small vehicle is a real problem. Ditto for a large aerocapture heatshield.

Really want a system that has both chemical and electric propulsion. Room some economic trades on solar panel quality vs. cost.

Mars is the transition point where nuclear starts to make sense, within that, it doesn't. Startrackers are too expensive. MLI is great but too fragile for human or robot touch labor. Active thermal control has some great advantages.

Path 1: do lots of small deep-space missions; learn from process

Path 2: LEO operations base; cost as much as developing an RLV; is transportation infrastructure that a government can support

Material selection for storables is horrible; no polymers, limited number of metals. Makes CH4 more attractive.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2012 07:14 PM by simonbp »

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #13 on: 04/12/2012 07:32 PM »
Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Alex Saltman, Executive Director

Chamber of Commerce for space companies. Mike Lopez-Alegria is the recently-hired President of CSF. Mix of small and large companies. Goal is make launches boringly common, but it's what you're doing that's interesting. Suborbital is really important to that making that happen. About 75% on winning people on the Hill over to commercial spaceflight.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #14 on: 04/12/2012 09:21 PM »
David Hoerr, "The Rocket Company, 10 Years After"

Whole strategy was global fleets of many RLVs. As soon as it gets feasible, start working on "insanely big projects" to force a move beyond communication sats. Big projects drive down cost and engage public.

As Napoleon said, "If you want to take Vienna, take Vienna".

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #15 on: 04/12/2012 09:41 PM »
Ed Wright of Citizens In Space, on "Citizen Science: 'Pump Priming' For Suborbital"

Suborbital at the moment is about joyrides for rich guys. Really talking up "citizen science" as a potential market. Acquired 10 Lynx flights from Xcor for initial flight campaign.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #16 on: 04/12/2012 10:09 PM »
Bruce Pittman, NASA Ames, "Barriers And Opportunities For Reusable Launch Vehicles"

RLVs have to have a much higher flight rate than ELVs to be competitive. RLV return on investment exponentially proportial to the number of flights per year. The key to make money on an airline is to fly often and full. Who would be the customer for one Falcon Heavy flight per day? Comm sats are a money maker - for the operators, not launchers. Need a new growth market. A lot more money out there than good ideas. Solution may be an aggregation of many customers (FedEx model) rather than one big customer.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #17 on: 04/12/2012 10:48 PM »
Space Studies Institute, Gary Hudson

The Great Enterprise, a bold hardware project to lead to space settlement. G-Lab: study vertebrate (lab rat) responses to reduced gravity. E-Lab: Demonstrate balanced life support systems, first on Earth and then in space. G-Lab 20 times more expensive because it's in space. ISS co-orbital core module using SEP. Lots of traffic to ISS, just a tiny delta v away. Could repurpose used ISS visiting vehicles; i.e. if OSC donated a used Cygnus, SSI would give them a massive tax deduction. Starting design phase now, Space Act Agreement in progress, talking to donors. Could be a visiting vehicle to a Bigelow station. Earliest possible launch date 2016, probably later.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #18 on: 04/12/2012 11:45 PM »
Dallas Bienhoff, "Payload Requirements For A Low Cost Reusable Launch Vehicle"

(Speaking for himself, not his employer.) Payload requirements can drive RLV design. Very different requirements for passengers vs. bulk propellant vs. GEO sats. People are quite profitable at $5 million a seat, but bulk propellant isn't as much.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #19 on: 04/13/2012 12:04 AM »
Rick Maschek, Sugar Shot To Space

Goal is build a sugar-powered rocket that eventually reaches space. Many tests, slowly making progress. DoubleShot (aiming for 120,000 ft) has been tested once, and blew up.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #20 on: 04/13/2012 12:08 AM »
Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Alex Saltman, Executive Director

Chamber of Commerce for space companies. Mike Lopez-Alegria is the recently-hired President of CSF. Mix of small and large companies. Goal is make launches boringly common, but it's what you're doing that's interesting. Suborbital is really important to that making that happen. About 75% on winning people on the Hill over to commercial spaceflight.

Simon, what did Alex Saltman mean by 75%. Does he mean that 75% of Congressmen are pro-commercial crew? That seems higher than I would have expected. 

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #21 on: 04/13/2012 12:33 AM »
Spaceworthy, Ed De Reyes, "Roadblocks To Licensing and Permitting: We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us"

FAA is not about preventing people from flying; it's about keeping people from crashing into stuff on the ground. Getting AST 400 certification is hard, but proper preparation helps a lot.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #22 on: 04/13/2012 12:34 AM »
Simon, what did Alex Saltman mean by 75%. Does he mean that 75% of Congressmen are pro-commercial crew? That seems higher than I would have expected. 

I interpreted it more as 75% of what they need...

Offline yg1968

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #23 on: 04/13/2012 12:52 AM »
Simon, what did Alex Saltman mean by 75%. Does he mean that 75% of Congressmen are pro-commercial crew? That seems higher than I would have expected. 

I interpreted it more as 75% of what they need...

That makes more sense. Thanks.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #24 on: 04/13/2012 01:10 AM »
National Space Society, Paul Damphousse, Executive Director

International Space Development Conference in May in Washington, DC. Lots of politicians, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Hugh Downs (?). Talking about doing a workshop on (and lobbying for) cryo storage and transfer.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #25 on: 04/13/2012 01:23 AM »
Stratofox Aerospace Tracking & Recovery Team, Ian Kluft

Volunteer recovery of high-altitude rockets and balloons. Have recovered the highest altitude amateur rocket and balloon. Balloon record (CNSP-10) reached 136,545 ft, landed next to a pool in November. Next few flights tried to get from California to Colorado, one reached Indiana, and another crossed the Atlantic and reached the western Mediterranean! First amateur US transcontinental flight, first amateur transatlantic flight, probably first accidental transatlantic flight ever...

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #26 on: 04/13/2012 04:07 AM »
Jon Goff, Altius

Devices for non cooperative capture,  working with JPL on synthetic gekko skin, can capture targets that are moving relative to the spacecraft. Storable compact RMS for Dragon, etc.

Direct 2 Station, sticky boom plus nanosat launchers to deliver to ISS rapidly. Enables rapid research on station. Stick boom captures passive payload beyond 200 m keep out sphere. Release into a slower elliptical orbit that will reintercept the station.

Not just station, could also work for Dragonlab.

Nanolaunch is more than just cubesats, much more potential for cargo.

Got MSR sticky boom to TRL5, then MSR killed.

Working on multi-DoF arms, metal matrix composites for STEM booms.

Internships available!

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #27 on: 04/13/2012 04:41 AM »
John Garvey

Building to a nanolauncher, 24 flights on 29 vehicles. Two to four years to orbital. 20 kg to 450 km clustered goal. Flew P-18 three times last year. Also flew an orbitec vortex rocket for AFRL.

Big new 4.5 klb lox propylene engine.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #28 on: 04/13/2012 04:53 AM »
John Garvey

Building to a nanolauncher, 24 flights on 29 vehicles. Two to four years to orbital. 20 kg to 450 km clustered goal. Flew P-18 three times last year. Also flew an orbitec vortex rocket for AFRL.

Big new 4.5 klb lox propylene engine.
LOx/Propylene is a really good propellant combo if you pre-chill the propylene.

Propylene is the best on this list: http://www.dunnspace.com/alternate_ssto_propellants.htm
which isn't 1) pretty unstable 2) toxic or 3) expensive to prepare.
Have to pre-chill it to get the benefit over RP-1, though. But offers a significant performance improvement and is pretty cheap.

Propylene has almost exactly the same Isp as Methane, but offers significantly better bulk density.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2012 05:15 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #29 on: 04/13/2012 05:01 AM »
Rocketplane

 In hundreds of millions in funding regime. Mostly from the middle east and Europe.

Cecil Field in Jacksonville the first urban spaceport.

IPSOS study shows thousands of seats per year for suborbital space tourism.

Lots of places in the world with military restricted airspace. Netherlands especially. Also Barcelona.

Taking point to point and small sat launch. Japan wants small sat launch.

Point to point range is initially 400 ish miles.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2012 05:04 AM by simonbp »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #30 on: 04/13/2012 05:05 AM »
Modified density Isp: Performance = Isp * (density)^(1/6). LOX/LH2 only slightly better than LOX/CH4. LOX/CH4 and NTO/MMH almost the same.

Interesting.  What application was he discussing, in-space propulsion?  Just playing with Bruce Dunn's old numbers for ground-to-LEO payloads of volume-limited SSTOs, I once found Isp * density^(1/4).

Quote
...
Material selection for storables is horrible; no polymers, limited number of metals. Makes CH4 more attractive.

Did he have anything to say about propylene or propane (in general, not just wrt materials)?
« Last Edit: 04/13/2012 05:07 AM by Proponent »

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #31 on: 04/13/2012 05:18 AM »
HySoR

Hybrid sounding rocket by students sponsered by ULA. NOx and HTPB. Recover payload and discard booster. Combustion chamber breech in static test last year. Much lower thurst than design, removed regulator on NOx to fix.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #32 on: 04/13/2012 06:39 AM »
just skimmed the summaries from here and hobbyspace. 50/50 split between presentations of pie in the sky and actual, real near development. If i'd be an angel investor, one or two presentations would have been interesting, for VCs not much on the table.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #33 on: 04/13/2012 07:26 AM »
50/50 split between presentations of pie in the sky and actual, real near development.

That's fair. Though, many of the pie-in-the-sky presentations were given by people who have been involved in real hardware in the past and are capable of making them happen. There's a lot of the conference atmosphere that's hard to convey, but pie-in-the-sky isn't too discouraged, as the idea of commercial manned suborbital was exactly that back int he 90s...

Offline Space Pete

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #34 on: 04/13/2012 11:54 AM »
Thanks for these notes Simon.

I really like the G-lab concept - using ISS resources (discarded vehicles) to do science that would otherwise have a detrimental effect on other ISS experiments. SSI should talk to the Russians, since they're interested in a man-tended free flyer too.

Also, I really like Jon Goff's D2S. :)
NASASpaceflight ISS Editor

Offline baldusi

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #35 on: 04/13/2012 01:51 PM »
Storable compact RMS for Dragon, etc.
This was just a possibility or something a bit more developed?

Quote
Got MSR sticky boom to TRL5, then MSR killed.
What's MSR? Does this means StickyBoom is dead?

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #36 on: 04/13/2012 02:23 PM »
MSR is Mars Sample Return. Sticky Boom isn't dead.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #37 on: 04/13/2012 03:51 PM »
That was why they've got paid to test on a low pressure chamber! I asked him why low pressure, 50C temperature and not vacuum and -120C and he obviously said he couldn't comment. Silly me! Low pressure, low temp->Mars, normal pressure, cryogenic temp -> Titan, vacuum, +400C -> -120C-> the Moon, 600bar-800C -> Venus.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #38 on: 04/13/2012 03:54 PM »
That was why they've got paid to test on a low pressure chamber! I asked him why low pressure, 50C temperature and not vacuum and -120C and he obviously said he couldn't comment. Silly me! Low pressure, low temp->Mars, normal pressure, cryogenic temp -> Titan, vacuum, +400C -> -120C-> the Moon, 600bar-800C -> Venus.
I'm pretty sure that the context was sticky boom being used to grab the sample canister in low Mars orbit, not on its surface.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #39 on: 04/13/2012 04:48 PM »
XCOR Aerospace, Mark Street

The whole point of Xcor is to bring the cost of going to space down to the point that they themselves can go to space.

7.5 klb largest engine so far. All engines designed to eliminate fatigue from operation; none from first 1000s of firings. Engines core of business. Also custom values for customers, Nonburnite composites for LOX tanks, piston pumps for rockets.

First plane was the EZ-Rocket, LOX/Alcohol. Cost per flight was $900. Second was Velocity, completely service between flights in 8 minutes, once flew 7 times in one day. Lynx very similar in operations to the previous aircraft, but Mach 4 to the edge of space.

3M22 engine Lynx RCS on LOX/propriety fuel. Regen nozzle. All custom valves.

Main engine for Lynx taken up to thermal steady-state. Still working on nozzle extension. Ready to go for first flight.

Focusing engine work on with ULA on LH2 low-cost upper stage engine. Primarily working on cryogenic pumping right now. Building new 25 klb-capable, LH2-capable test stand. Working on 3-cylinder piston pump.

Lynx significantly heavier than you'd expect when fully fueled. Mark I prototype capable of 60 km, Mach 2. Nose and tail shape have changes a fair bit. No fly-by-wire at all, just manual stick-and-rudder. Wind tunnels fantastic for finding problems and fixing them. Great video of schlerin of Lynx at Mach 3. 8 weeks of wind tunnel testing. Better aero than Shuttle. One more final test for verification, and then ready to build. Primarily a carbon-fibre airplane. Metal nose cap and leading edges. Welded steel thrust truss. Landing gear last major component to start to build, and detailed design for them complete. Build the full thrust/fuel structure and test, then build airframe around it. Goal is wheels up by about end of year. Initial tank is welded Al. Plan to use 3-cylinder piston pump on first flight (for LOX). Mark II has slightly higher prop volume, but main gain is in the dry mass. Gradually build up from small hops to flying a full traffic pattern. No throttling, but can turn all 4 engines on and off. Both pilot and passenger will be in pressure suits. Glide ratio somewhere between a Cessna and the Shuttle...

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #40 on: 04/13/2012 05:46 PM »
United Launch Alliance, Frank Zegler

He's a dinosaur, but a velociraptor.

A need to integrate the systems on in-space hardware (ie Centaur) together. E.g. He bottles are actually quite dangerous. Lots of dangerous pyrotechnics. Boring systems add up to 15-20% mass of a Centaur. Much technology not shared with no other industry. Only marginal improvements attained existing design approaches. Needs non-aerospace-specific parts and processes. Get rid of high-pressure systems, hypergolics, have very high margin and redundancy, and unlimited restarts. Enable depots through a better engineered upper stages.

Use only LH2 and LOX for everything. Use waste boiloff as power source in a simple two-stroke engine to pump up pressure, with a 300 V battery in between. Everything is block-redundant. Exploit high-performance automotive industry. Backend of Centaur is completely redesigned/simplified. Continuous thrust RCS using boiloff gases. Prius car hooked to a shop-vac system. Little settling GOX/GH2 thuster is quite powerful.

Full H2/O2 internal-combustion engine designed by Roush, inline 6-cylinder. Breathe fuel and inject oxygen, regeneratively cooled. Generate about 4 kWe. ~15,000 rpm typical, 40 horsepower max.

Cryopumps with Xcor, based on work with Roush. Completely controllable.

Store all the energy in one place, only small elsewhere, produce power on need. Waste heat much more valuable than electrons. At just a 0.1 millig, boil-off really drops down, so small thruster burning boiloff will reduce the total boiloff. Staying settled for weeks is worth thousands of pounds of propellant. Lower pressure, much lower dry mass. System mass does not change with larger tanks, extra engine. Higher voltage solenoids can seal much better. Don't need to spin-test an IC engine; repairable for the future. Also all works with CH4.

Pressure in tank determined by hottest part of propellant; abilitiy to mix propellants and prevent segregation huge. Also, allows active cooling. Whole new set of tools. Thiner walls, better thermal control. Get back to original Centaur wall thickness. Long-term a mix of IC APU, fuel cells, and solar. IC engine now 650 cc, only needs to be 250 cc.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #41 on: 04/13/2012 07:03 PM »
Awesome talk!
"He's a dinosaur, but a velociraptor."  ;D
Wish I could be there. Too bad there's no video.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #42 on: 04/13/2012 07:06 PM »
Panel: World Space Programs & Prospects - Jeff Foust, Clark Lindsey, Doug Messier, Dave Salt

Space tourism has a lot of international funding. Reaction Engines only commercial spaceflight near-term hardware company in Europe right now. North Korea is going to be sending a human into space anytime soon, at east not willingly.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #43 on: 04/13/2012 07:31 PM »
Henry Spencer, "Lessons From Smallsats for Small Launchers"

U Toronto has 6 nanosats in progress, for paying customers, students only as apprentices. 15 grad students at any given time. To get a mammal, you don't put a dinosaur on a starvation diet. Don't spend too long on paper, get working with hardware as fast as possible. Don't get too ambitious right off the bat. Three generations of Explorers before the first Vanguard got into space. Don't go full-up on the first launch. Wiring biggest source of random failures, not chips. MOST has not had many radiation failures in 9 years, despite having no rad-hard chips.

Offline manboy

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #44 on: 04/13/2012 07:33 PM »
Thanks for these notes Simon.

I really like the G-lab concept - using ISS resources (discarded vehicles) to do science that would otherwise have a detrimental effect on other ISS experiments. SSI should talk to the Russians, since they're interested in a man-tended free flyer too.

Also, I really like Jon Goff's D2S. :)
I also like the concept, I just wish it was more specific.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #45 on: 04/13/2012 07:37 PM »
Ben Brockert, "Encouraging STEM Education In The US"

Prizes, Competitions, Grants. What can be done with $10,000-100,000?

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #46 on: 04/13/2012 09:38 PM »
NASA Office of the Chief Technologist, Dr. Laguduva Kubendran

Space Technology now funded, at $575 million. Most centers have had to drop tech development funds, ST trying to fill gaps. Restarted NIAC.

Making a conscience effort to not tell commercial suborbital operators what to do as much as possible. Goal is to make sure there is a pipeline for suborbital payloads.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #47 on: 04/13/2012 10:44 PM »
Lasermotive, Jordin Kare

Won centennial challenge for power beaming (for UAVs). Since then, second round canceled. Kept a COTS quad-copter in flight for 12.5 hours. Developing a commercial UAV system based on that.

Also did a study of laser launch for OCT to estimate TRL level. Laser Heat Exchanger vehicle, ~60 kg payload SSTO, requires ~200 MW laser system. Mix of water and hydrogen propellant.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #48 on: 04/13/2012 11:54 PM »
Orbital Outfitters, Jeff Feige

We make spacesuits. One of the only "tier 2" companies, dependent on the primary space companies. Every vehicle has different issues and requirements. There is no suit you can just buy off the rack.

Challenger crew could have survived _if_ they had both suits and an emergency egress method. Crew of Soyuz 11 would absolutely have survived with suits. ASTP Apollo darn close to killing crew in last 10,000 ft.

Also build full spacecraft mockups. Just got a huge new mill (4 meter max part size).

A number of hours for training, but not too much.

Offline robertross

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #49 on: 04/13/2012 11:57 PM »
Thanks for posting the details of these presentations Simon. Following closely.
Some very positive & interesting ones so far.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #50 on: 04/14/2012 12:22 AM »
Masten Space, Dave Masten (now CTO!)

Beautiful image of Xaero on title. Flown twice free-flight, 80 tether. Xoie with an aeroshell, which changed all the vibration modes, and confused the IMU.

Sensei - Masten Rocket Hypervisor GN&C system. Acts as a low-level back-up GN&C system in parallel to an experimental system. Can independently control and land vehicle in emergency. Used with Draper's Apollo-heritage GENIE on Xombie to show they can fly different GN&C system. 25 flights.

Working on 2 business lines, high-altitude and planetary EDL. Xeus started with Jon Goff talking to ULA about DTAL. ULA donated a Centaur stage for initial work. 4x 3 klb engines. Just waiting on airport approval for testing.

Looking to launch second Xaero to get to max altitude/supersonic in a few months. High test launches will be from Mohave, operational from where the customers want. Second vehicle because too many customers! First dedicated to EDL type testing.

Donated Centaur not spaceflight-worthy (training RL-10), but for flight testing (flying down from 1,000 meters). Stored in "the stable". :)  Xeus is the missing element in NASA program of record. About 14 tonnes to lunar surface. Working with people at several NASA centers. Goal is land an SMD payload on Moon by 2017, but probably won't happen.

Xogdor parts being worked on, but want to learn from Xaero B first. Really good financial situation.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #51 on: 04/14/2012 12:28 AM »
Ask Masten about Xeus on Mars!
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #52 on: 04/14/2012 03:04 AM »
Rick Tumlinson, on the EarthLight Institute

Noone got into this field for money. It's because it's destiny. We have a tendency to focus on the top new technology. It's not rich boys' toys. It's the beginning of an epic frontier. You don't walk into the frontier and stay in the Hyatt. It's not an accident that it's called the (M.) Falcon...

Earthlight is about to spread life across the solar system and universe. Building credible/critical technology. Own the name Encyclopedia Galactica. The edge is where the exciting things happen. Pat Rawlings, BSG animators working on vision art to visualize space settlement. Goal is become self-funding.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #53 on: 04/14/2012 03:29 AM »
Phil Chapman, "Reviving Human Spaceflight"

"Space Guard", space version of Coast Guard. Gigantic solar power lasers for power and as weapons of mass destruction.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #54 on: 04/14/2012 04:19 AM »
Panel: Newspace Lessons Learned - Gary Hudson, Henry Spencer, Henry Vanderbilt

If you're going to set a regulatory timebomb, put a longer fuse on it. Everything takes longer than you thought. Customer financing much better than investor financing. Investors want to exit as soon as possible, customers stick around. Fly hardware early and often. Document as much as possible. Keep track of software versions (from Paul Breed). Labor is the biggest expense. It takes the same effort to bid an SBIR as for a $10 million contract.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #55 on: 04/14/2012 05:00 AM »
Armadillo Aerospace, Ben Brockert

16 min video. Lots of tests. 4 klb CH4 engine. Nice video of Stig first flight, including the parachute departing the rocket. Fracture during transport killed Dalek. Parachute drop test from manned balloon. Had a transonic control inversion on Stiga in December; reached 42 km; turbulence shredded ballute, broke control lines in main chute. January Stiga flight hit Mach 3.4; had 7 cameras, recovered one; the drogue detached... Flight did not go well, but got (literal) data compression for free... Engine was actually intact, will fly again!

Next Stig (Stigb, 20-inch diameter) will have cold gas RCS, not under amateur classification.

It's "very exciting" waiting for it to come down. Point of Stig is getting high-altitude experience, something they never did in Texas. Put together 2 planes for Rocket Racing.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #56 on: 04/14/2012 05:53 AM »
JP Aerospace, John Powell

Volunteer-based organization. Airship to Orbit. Balloon at 140,000 ft with an ion engine attached. Docks at "station" floating at top of atmosphere. Pays for it by shooting commercials. Tested 1.2 Tesla Hall Effect thruster, shooting for ~1000 s Isp. Tandem has controllable airship altitude record. Flown 6400 pongsats. Wants the millionth pongsat on the Moon. Commercial follow-up to pongsat is mini-cube, 5 cm^3.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #57 on: 04/14/2012 05:57 AM »
Customer financing much better than investor financing. Investors want to exit as soon as possible, customers stick around.
Good observation of course, but i am still wondering why they are not discussing all the other types of financing that are possible.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Geron

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None
« Reply #58 on: 04/14/2012 06:45 AM »
None
« Last Edit: 02/11/2014 06:34 PM by Geron »

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #59 on: 04/14/2012 07:44 AM »
Good observation of course, but i am still wondering why they are not discussing all the other types of financing that are possible.

That was a relative point that Gary Hudson was making that every time he had investor funding, he lost money, and every time he had customer funding, he made money. He wasn't necessarily discounting any other sources.

Offline robertross

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #60 on: 04/14/2012 12:22 PM »
Armadillo Aerospace, Ben Brockert

Flight did not go well, but got (literal) data compression for free... Engine was actually intact, will fly again!


Sad and funny all in one.
Such is the art of flight.

Glad they salvaged the engine
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #61 on: 04/14/2012 12:58 PM »
Top work by Simon with the coverage. Much appreciated.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #62 on: 04/14/2012 05:05 PM »
FAA AST, Mike Kelly, Chief Engineer

Had one licensed launch in last year (Sea Launch), gave license to launch to Antares, reentry license to Dragon. Brought on Pam Melroy, former Shuttle pilot. FAA aviation regulations written in blood.

Aviation regulations based around protecting the occupants, rocket regulations based around range safety, and that was the responsibility of the range/USAF. Commercial spaceflight will have FAA responsible for both. Challenging to combine two different cultures.

Flight Termination System not absolutely required, Sea Launch has a thrust termination system. Sea Launch is Russian-owned now, but still incorporated in Delaware, so regulated by FAA.

Reentry license only needed for vehicles that land substantially intact.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #63 on: 04/14/2012 05:29 PM »
Rand Simberg on a Space Property Rights initiative

Property is basic to civil rights. Anniversary of Pacific Railroad Act and Homesteading Act. Outer Space Act was meant as a means to restrict NASA's budget. Moon Treaty was a socialist effort, not signed by any space-faring nation.

The US government could recognize a claim on the Moon, in exchange for requirement to develop and a fee. Little cost to government initially, if you don't have to defend the claim. It will become impractical for "state-sponsors" to regulate purely commercial, international spaceflight.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #64 on: 04/14/2012 05:40 PM »
Tethers Unlimited, Gerry Nordley

Working a variety of stuff, including electrostatic propulsion and deorbit tether tape. Eventually want to do momentum exchange tethers for LEO-to-Escape. Over a million dollars in active contracts.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #65 on: 04/14/2012 06:12 PM »
Speedup, Robert Steinke

Video of Laramie Rose, IMU-controlled attitude, manual positioning. Indoor tether testing inside silo (in winter). Just had first free flight last week. Need a good position sensor, thinking of using a Kintect.

Water injection does not increase thrust in a H2O2 rocket, all the energy goes into heating the water. Speedup CO2-actuated value for replacing pyro valves, now on sale for $500. Working on a solenoid-actuated version.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #66 on: 04/14/2012 06:45 PM »
Frontier Astronautics, Timothy Bendel

Have old Atlas silo base. Working with Stone Aerospace on Europa submersible, and other submersibles. Tested submersible in Antarctica. Huge flame trench, designed for Atlas E. Testing for Luna City, CU Boulder. Hosting XL Space Systems H2O2 production.

Exclusive distributor for Darma engine, descendant of KSLV-1 CH4 engine. Looking for $1 million from US investors, will be matched $5 million from Korea. Eligible for KSLV-2 vehicle second stage, would be $250 million contract.

Wyoming is very business-friendly, will help write SBIR grant.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #67 on: 04/14/2012 06:58 PM »
Osa Fitch, "The Rocket Test Company: 2012 Update"

Combination of Frontier, Luna City, Speedup, and Design Jug. Tested three different nozzle designs for Laramie Rose. Were able to increase thrust somewhat through different geometry.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #68 on: 04/14/2012 07:25 PM »
Percy Luney, VP Space Florida, "An Informal Discussion Of Possible NanoSat Launch Challenge Parameters"

NanoSat Launch Challenge rules go up next week. Put a nanosat into orbit, then put a second nanosat in orbit less than 7 days later. Separate prize rules for air and ground launches. Not being restrictive about where you launch. NASA only supplies prize money. Registration fee of $10,000, and separate launch attempt fee. Final version in May. Can be commercial payloads.

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/centennial_challenges/nano_satellite/index.html

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #69 on: 04/14/2012 09:21 PM »
Michael Clive, "The Mojave Makers Hackerspace"

General overview of maker/hackerspaces. Organized as a non-profit, under aeigis of SSI. Working on a variety of aerospace and non-aerospace projects. Have their own building at Mojave Airport.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #70 on: 04/14/2012 09:43 PM »
Unreasonable Rocket, Paul Breed

Small printed rocket testing. Working on smaller IMU, testing in solid rocket. Epoxy for tanks does not meet mfg specs, so working on carbon fiber tank with liner. Talking with HPR (high performance rocket) people about recovery. Goal is fly with IMU in next year.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #71 on: 04/14/2012 10:07 PM »
Tim Pickens, Rocket City Space Pioneers GLXP Project

Lots of "big space" sponsors; Dynetics, Draper, TBE, PWR, etc. Buy a Falcon 9 and sell extra room, dropping off some of the other payloads in GTO, and the rest after TLI. Orion -> Dynetics build both the cold-gas and warm-gas (Peroxide) MSFC lander testbeds. Lander about 5.5 ft tall, using RP-1/H2O2. Built full mockup as part of outreach. Marketing through free iPad app. Quoted several customers for rides, but no contracts.

Offline LegendCJS

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #72 on: 04/14/2012 10:09 PM »
Armadillo Aerospace, Ben Brockert

Flight did not go well, but got (literal) data compression for free... Engine was actually intact, will fly again!


Sad and funny all in one.
Such is the art of flight.

Glad they salvaged the engine

Ages ago I remember reading a big chunk of the Armadillo updates, and I recall a solemn vow not to reuse any components form crashed vehicles.  They had a lot of bad experiences trying to reuse crashed IMUs (iirc) or the like and even though ground testing checked out, they caused the downfall of subsequent flights when this was done.
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #73 on: 04/14/2012 10:20 PM »
IMUs are relatively fragile intrinsically mechanical devices. It may well be a different story with the engine.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #74 on: 04/14/2012 10:40 PM »
Yeah, the vehicle landed nose-first at high subsonic speed, and the payload and electronics absorbed the impact, while the engine was thrown free.

Incidentally, the terminal velocity if the nosecone didn't detach was Mach 1.1, so they knew it must have detached because they could just hear it coming...

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #75 on: 04/14/2012 11:04 PM »
Space Frontier Foundation, Ryan McLinko

3 step plan; developing product and demand, supply lines to space profits, settling in space. NewSpace Conference in July in Mountain View, CA.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #76 on: 04/14/2012 11:55 PM »
Jim Muncy, PoliSpace

The lobbyist for New Space. PoliSpace is space politics consulting company. CCCP using Space Act agreements up to and including first human test flight. Budget cuts are coming, 7-8% for NASA, roughly equal to all of Space Technology and Commerical Crew combined. Extended FAA regulation exemption by three years (as long as they could). Jay Rockefeller is not a fan of third-party indemnification for all commercial spaceflight (including Atlas, Sea Launch, etc). Needs to be a better way to transition from FAA exemption without a hard shift to heavy regulation. Have FAA share safety information, but also have industry grow up and cooperate on safety. Got to find ways to share information and propose regulations, or FAA will do it in a vacuum and scare away the investors. Talk of a new Commercial Space Bill this year or next.

Some people will notice that in 2 years a vehicle that looks like Orion will fly on an Atlas V. And that a vehicle that shall remain name-SLS is very behind schedule. And then certain programs may be canceled.

There is a market for several commercial crew providers. Just because we only 6 seats per year now (limited by production rate of Soyuz), doesn't mean that we will if the seats were much cheaper. Could have lots of short-term scientists visiting ISS. Two to three teams competing to ensure safety.

About as many things went wrong with the rollout of the Obama space policy as could have. Commercial crew was simultaneous with canceling CxP, but not the cause (was Mike Griffin's idea originally).

Have to reframe commercial space as expanding America's economic sphere into space.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #77 on: 04/15/2012 12:56 AM »
Tim Pickens with panel (Masten, Brockert, Breed, Goff, and Clive) "DIY Space Access: Modern Communications, the 'Maker' network, and the Space Community"

Pickens showing off his "rocket man cave". Asks panel what's changed since his amateur days.

Masten: Wasted a lot of time doing chemical engineering rather than rocket engineering. Linux kernel is the exception to the rule, most open source projects fail. 45th space wing has been frustrating to the point of idiocy, despite not actually using any of their services. They want more safety people than Masten employs.

Brockert: The difference between a company and amateur group is project management, forcing people to do the not-so-fun things. But, amateur groups can be much more creative. Amateur groups can also ask for help much, much easier.

Breed: Believes a group smaller than 10, maybe smaller than 5, can launch something into orbit. Hybrid professional-amateur groups usually don't work, especially if amateurs in critical path.

Goff: If you think a launch license cost is a driving force, you're going to have problems. Bringing adequate resources to the problem is crucial. Trial and error is expensive, so it's worth it to have the experience. Naiveté is a good thing, as it gets you to learn a lot.

Clive: There is a lot of duplication of effort, and amateur groups cannot afford this.

Breed: Armadillo was able to make the transition because it had a single funding source.

Clive: We now have a floor to stand on from suborbital rockets.

Masten: Engineering papers are really bad about producing reproducible results/plans. Print something physically and get an ISBN number to get around ITAR.

Clive: Makerspace are just space to do stuff, not a team or project.

Masten: Linus Torvolds figured out how to herd cats, most people can't do that.

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #78 on: 04/15/2012 01:12 AM »
Panel: Policy Issues For The Coming Year - Phil Chapman, Jim Muncy, Rand Simberg, Henry Vanderbilt

Chapman: Discussing intercepting ICBMs with Niven and Pournelle led to SDI, which helped to collapse the Soviet Union.

Simberg: Need a not-one-size-fits-all safety policy.

Muncy: We had got to fix ITAR. Needs to be on policy platform of both candidates. Rockets are dual-use, but spacecraft are not.

Vanderbilt: NASA need to take and accept much more risks.


Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #79 on: 04/15/2012 01:20 AM »
And that's it, great conference!

Offline Silmfeanor

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #80 on: 04/15/2012 09:47 AM »

Muncy: We had got to fix ITAR. Needs to be on policy platform of both candidates. Rockets are dual-use, but spacecraft are not.


I don't understand this quote - what does "Dual-use" mean in this context?
And thanks a lot for the coverage, it was interesting!

Offline Proponent

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #81 on: 04/15/2012 10:16 AM »
Military and civilian.

Offline kkattula

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #82 on: 04/15/2012 03:41 PM »

Muncy: We had got to fix ITAR. Needs to be on policy platform of both candidates. Rockets are dual-use, but spacecraft are not.


I don't understand this quote - what does "Dual-use" mean in this context?
...

Rockets can launch both spacecraft and warheads.

Spacecraft, if designed to re-enter, either decelerate & land at slow speed, or burn up harmlessly.

Warheads RV's are designed to maintain high speed through re-entry to defeat target defenses.

MIRVs don't need ECLSS, on-orbit power, rendezvous & docking systems, etc. It's crazy to treat any of that stuff as ITAR. (Unless you're worried about NK or Iran boarding the ISS).
« Last Edit: 04/15/2012 03:42 PM by kkattula »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #83 on: 04/15/2012 06:22 PM »
{snip}

MIRVs don't need ECLSS, on-orbit power, rendezvous & docking systems, etc. It's crazy to treat any of that stuff as ITAR. (Unless you're worried about NK or Iran boarding the ISS).

Unless you suspect someone is going to create a spacestation equipped with a weapon.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #84 on: 04/15/2012 07:33 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, the CBM specs are ITAR'ed.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #85 on: 04/16/2012 03:03 PM »
Storable compact RMS for Dragon, etc.
This was just a possibility or something a bit more developed?

It's something we're doing some early design work on, and will continue to be doing some work on. Not just Dragon, but Orion as well. It turns out they have a need for backshell TPS inspection/repair, and the arm we're looking at would be ideal for that.

Quote
Quote
Got MSR sticky boom to TRL5, then MSR killed.
What's MSR? Does this means StickyBoom is dead?

We were getting paid by NASA through an SBIR Phase I contract to study a Sticky Boom for capturing the Mars Sample Return sample canister. We took it to TRL-5, but then when the MSR program got canned, we didn't end up winning the Phase II. Sticky Boom lives on, and we're still actively developing it. It's just that between that and several other simultaneous unfavorable policy tweaks at NASA (going to two-year funding for Phase IIs all at once halved the number of SBIR awards they gave out this year) and some bad luck, we had a really rough Q4/Q1. We're pulling out of it finally, but we had a few months there when I was worried we might have to shoot the puppy for lack of funds.

The joys of starting a tractor beam company with 30 micro-Elons of personal net worth...

~Jon
« Last Edit: 04/16/2012 03:03 PM by jongoff »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #86 on: 04/16/2012 03:05 PM »
Thanks for these notes Simon.

I really like the G-lab concept - using ISS resources (discarded vehicles) to do science that would otherwise have a detrimental effect on other ISS experiments. SSI should talk to the Russians, since they're interested in a man-tended free flyer too.

Also, I really like Jon Goff's D2S. :)
I also like the concept, I just wish it was more specific.

We have more technical details than we're able to cram into a 20min company update presentation, but that's probably better-suited for the Altius Update Thread over in the Commercial Space part of the forum. Feel free to ask away--we are still digging into the details as time goes on, but if we've already got an answer, we'd be glad to share.

~Jon

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #87 on: 04/16/2012 03:49 PM »
Tim Pickens with panel (Masten, Brockert, Breed, Goff, and Clive) "DIY Space Access: Modern Communications, the 'Maker' network, and the Space Community"

Pickens showing off his "rocket man cave". Asks panel what's changed since his amateur days.

Masten: Wasted a lot of time doing chemical engineering rather than rocket engineering. Linux kernel is the exception to the rule, most open source projects fail. 45th space wing has been frustrating to the point of idiocy, despite not actually using any of their services. They want more safety people than Masten employs.

Brockert: The difference between a company and amateur group is project management, forcing people to do the not-so-fun things. But, amateur groups can be much more creative. Amateur groups can also ask for help much, much easier.

Breed: Believes a group smaller than 10, maybe smaller than 5, can launch something into orbit. Hybrid professional-amateur groups usually don't work, especially if amateurs in critical path.

Goff: If you think a launch license cost is a driving force, you're going to have problems. Bringing adequate resources to the problem is crucial. Trial and error is expensive, so it's worth it to have the experience. Naiveté is a good thing, as it gets you to learn a lot.

Clive: There is a lot of duplication of effort, and amateur groups cannot afford this.

Breed: Armadillo was able to make the transition because it had a single funding source.

Clive: We now have a floor to stand on from suborbital rockets.

Masten: Engineering papers are really bad about producing reproducible results/plans. Print something physically and get an ISBN number to get around ITAR.

Clive: Makerspace are just space to do stuff, not a team or project.

Masten: Linus Torvolds figured out how to herd cats, most people can't do that.

Interesting that Masten believes Open Source projects are like hearding cats. He's probably right. The more people rowing the boat, the more difficult it is to get them all working in the same direction.

Offline Chris-A

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #88 on: 04/16/2012 04:15 PM »
Interesting that Masten believes Open Source projects are like hearding cats. He's probably right. The more people rowing the boat, the more difficult it is to get them all working in the same direction.

Another problem is the duplication of effort.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #89 on: 04/16/2012 04:21 PM »
Interesting that Masten believes Open Source projects are like hearding cats. He's probably right. The more people rowing the boat, the more difficult it is to get them all working in the same direction.
Few Open Source projects succeed without the
 "Benevolent Dictator" management method. He has to have all three capacities of workaholic, extremely gifted mind and very professional working system. So yep, it's very difficult if you don't have a once in then thousands of a manager.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #90 on: 04/16/2012 04:35 PM »
But the open-source (software) successes can be spectacular, ala Linux, Apache, etc. While Linux has had a hard time penetrating the desktop, the desktop is becoming (has become?) irrelevant. Android (which is Linux) is the most popular smartphone operating system. Linux is also all over the place in embedded devices, SANs, and web servers (especially!). Its success is so large that it has become invisible to many people, who think it's just for a handful of nerds out there.

Heck, this website we're talking on right now is powered by Simple Machines (an open-source web forum software) and MySQL (an open-source database), which means it is probably running a Linux LAMP software stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), open-source all through.

Linux is part of a whole ecosystem of open-source software that the Internet depends on. Heck, if you're using Firefox or Chrome, you're running an open-source web browser.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #91 on: 04/17/2012 02:38 AM »
The context of the discussion was amateur vs. professional vs. professional with amateur help. Dave Masten's point (and echoed by the other contributers) was more that the latter is most difficult to get to work, but the most rewarding if it does. Masten directly contrasted Linux, which has a pretty good benevolent dictator (because Linus is such a nice guy), with NetBSD, which has a less harmonious benevolent dictator. And Linux is a hybrid project that is GPL open source, but receives most its new code from corporate contributers (and ditto for Apache). Mozilla is a not-for-profit foundation that both employs developers and accepts code from volunteers, so again a hybrid approach.

(And I am writing this from Firefox in Gentoo Linux, as always.)

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #92 on: 04/17/2012 02:44 AM »
The context of the discussion was amateur vs. professional vs. professional with amateur help. Dave Masten's point (and echoed by the other contributers) was more that the latter is most difficult to get to work, but the most rewarding if it does. Masten directly contrasted Linux, which has a pretty good benevolent dictator (because Linus is such a nice guy), with NetBSD, which has a less harmonious benevolent dictator. And Linux is a hybrid project that is GPL open source, but receives most its new code from corporate contributers (and ditto for Apache). Mozilla is a not-for-profit foundation that both employs developers and accepts code from volunteers, so again a hybrid approach.

(And I am writing this from Firefox in Gentoo Linux, as always.)
I think Dave Masten is right.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline baldusi

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #93 on: 04/17/2012 03:31 AM »
...Masten directly contrasted Linux, which has a pretty good benevolent dictator (because Linus is such a nice guy), with NetBSD, which has a less harmonious benevolent dictator...
NetBSD? Or OpenBSD? I thought NetBSD has a committee. OpenBSD Has Theo ;-)

Offline simonbp

Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #94 on: 04/17/2012 04:46 PM »
I thought he said Net, but you're right. I either misremembered or he did.

Offline Rick M

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Re: Space Access '12 Live Blog
« Reply #95 on: 12/31/2012 01:33 AM »
Rick Maschek, Sugar Shot To Space

Goal is build a sugar-powered rocket that eventually reaches space. Many tests, slowly making progress. DoubleShot (aiming for 120,000 ft) has been tested once, and blew up.
our second motor CATOed (see video) and further testing has revealed the cause. We are correcting the problem and will be doing a third static test soon.


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