Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 63301 times)

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #20 on: 10/07/2015 07:05 PM »
Uh, what VCs ( or seed funds, or angels ) want and expect from you depends very much on the stage you are in. Seed, series-A and series-B all have very different expectations. But this discussion is probably best held in a 'general section' somewhere.
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Offline parabolicarc

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #21 on: 10/07/2015 09:52 PM »
NASA is going to announce Venture Class Launch Services providers next Wednesday, Oct. 15:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/10/07/nasa-announce-venture-class-launch-service-winners/

Offline Kryten

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #22 on: 10/07/2015 09:56 PM »

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #23 on: 10/07/2015 10:01 PM »
Worth noting that previous NASA enthusiasm about new suborbital revolutionary launch services didn't amount to much of anything

https://flightopportunities.nasa.gov/platforms/         
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #24 on: 10/07/2015 10:47 PM »
Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 9:54 AM on Thu, Oct 08, 2015:
(There have been rumors in industry that ALASA might never fly, out of concerns about flying that vehicle’s unproven propellant on an F-15.)
(https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/651863177370730496)

At least F15 has an ejection seat which is more than can be said for most of the other air launch systems.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #25 on: 10/07/2015 10:58 PM »
Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 9:54 AM on Thu, Oct 08, 2015:
(There have been rumors in industry that ALASA might never fly, out of concerns about flying that vehicle’s unproven propellant on an F-15.)
(https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/651863177370730496)

At least F15 has an ejection seat which is more than can be said for most of the other air launch systems.

ALASA is using a monopropellant, so it can release all its energy very quickly if something goes wrong.  If that happens while it's attached to the F-15, an ejection seat won't help -- the overpressure from the blast will kill the pilot before the ejection seat can get away, unless the problem is detected a couple of seconds before the boom.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #26 on: 10/08/2015 12:11 AM »
Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 9:54 AM on Thu, Oct 08, 2015:
(There have been rumors in industry that ALASA might never fly, out of concerns about flying that vehicle’s unproven propellant on an F-15.)
(https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/651863177370730496)

At least F15 has an ejection seat which is more than can be said for most of the other air launch systems.

ALASA is using a monopropellant, so it can release all its energy very quickly if something goes wrong.  If that happens while it's attached to the F-15, an ejection seat won't help -- the overpressure from the blast will kill the pilot before the ejection seat can get away, unless the problem is detected a couple of seconds before the boom.

Possible solution?

Quote
Boeing has announced that it has retrofitted a number of retired Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets with equipment enabling them to be flown remotely without a pilot. In conjunction with the US Air Force, the company recently flew one of these unmanned jets, performing combat maneuvers and a perfect center line landing.
http://www.gizmag.com/boeing-f16-jet-unmanned-drone/29203/
« Last Edit: 10/08/2015 12:12 AM by ncb1397 »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #27 on: 10/09/2015 03:53 PM »
Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 9:54 AM on Thu, Oct 08, 2015:
(There have been rumors in industry that ALASA might never fly, out of concerns about flying that vehicle’s unproven propellant on an F-15.)
(https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/651863177370730496)

At least F15 has an ejection seat which is more than can be said for most of the other air launch systems.

ALASA is using a monopropellant, so it can release all its energy very quickly if something goes wrong.  If that happens while it's attached to the F-15, an ejection seat won't help -- the overpressure from the blast will kill the pilot before the ejection seat can get away, unless the problem is detected a couple of seconds before the boom.

Possible solution?

Quote
Boeing has announced that it has retrofitted a number of retired Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets with equipment enabling them to be flown remotely without a pilot. In conjunction with the US Air Force, the company recently flew one of these unmanned jets, performing combat maneuvers and a perfect center line landing.
http://www.gizmag.com/boeing-f16-jet-unmanned-drone/29203/
Known as QF-16's, they are solely for target practice by nexte generation fighter jets. QF-16's have replaced QF-4A's as the last one was destroyed over the Pacific Ocean as an aerial target.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #28 on: 10/09/2015 10:07 PM »
Updated the list with available info and thread links on  : Mishaal , PLD space.  Bloostar/zero2infinity is promising to unveil a bunch of new info on http://www.bloostar.com/ in next 4 days.

#ISPCS had a bunch of mentions of ALASA and Darpa stuff but no real new info about dates or flights or ETAs
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #29 on: 10/09/2015 10:50 PM »

ALASA is using a monopropellant, so it can release all its energy very quickly if something goes wrong.  If that happens while it's attached to the F-15, an ejection seat won't help -- the overpressure from the blast will kill the pilot before the ejection seat can get away, unless the problem is detected a couple of seconds before the boom.

Possible solution?

Quote
Boeing has announced that it has retrofitted a number of retired Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets with equipment enabling them to be flown remotely without a pilot. In conjunction with the US Air Force, the company recently flew one of these unmanned jets, performing combat maneuvers and a perfect center line landing.

The QF-16 is not a solution. Think the ALASA does not have enough ground clearance underneath the F-16 airframe. Also the fuselage centerline bomb rack on the F-16 can not carried the ALASA.

Of course there are old F-15s available for conversion to QF-15 drones.  ;)


Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #30 on: 10/10/2015 01:51 AM »
http://www.satellitetoday.com/launch/2015/10/09/reusability-mass-production-top-the-list-for-smallsat-launch-priorities/
Quote
“We are going to be doing three to four suborbital launches first — starting in 2017 to assure people — before we kick into orbital flights in the first quarter 2018,” said King. ( FireFly )

Richard DalBello, VP of business development and government relations at Virgin Galactic: “We hope to be starting test launches in the latter part of 2017 with commercial operations in 2018.

Other defense-driven rapid response vehicles are in the works as well, such as the U.S. Air Force Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) office’s Super Strypi rail-launched rocket, slated for its debut mission this month

FireFly shows 48 employees on LinkedIn at the moment. Pretty sizeable team at this stage
« Last Edit: 10/10/2015 01:53 AM by savuporo »
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #31 on: 10/10/2015 05:54 AM »
One for the list: Nammo North Star Launch Vehicle (NSLV) from Norway using hybrid motors. First launch in 2020.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #32 on: 10/10/2015 06:17 AM »
One for the list: Nammo North Star Launch Vehicle (NSLV) from Norway using hybrid motors. First launch in 2020.
Thanks, added. I knew of Nammo's role in Ariane work and defense industry, but not about the launcher plans. They actually seem to have reasonably gradual development plan from sounding rockets to orbital performance.
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #33 on: 10/13/2015 06:27 PM »

Peter B. de Selding (@pbdes) tweeted at 7:15 PM on Tue, Oct 13, 2015:
Arianespace CEO: We may need micro-launcher for growing 50-300kg smallsat market. No formal proposal yet, but need consider it.#IAC2015
(https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/653816304244293636)

There are a few European launchers in development Arianespace could use. Most of these companies could do with a cash and technology injection from Arianespace.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #34 on: 10/13/2015 09:55 PM »
Okey Arianespace wants a nano/ small launcher. funny.
DLR (Germany); CNES (France) and CDTI (Spain) studied nano launchers from 2008 to 2010. The Aldebaran project.
In 2010 the conclusion was that the market was to small for developing a dedicated launch vehicle. (Aldebaran would be a technology testbed for a nanolauncher). And now five years later Arianespace wants a nanolauncher.

Info about the Aldebaran project in these three papers: [1] [2] [3]
After 2010 CNES together with Onora continued with one concept Dedalus. Student are working on this with the Perseus project. Another derivative is the Swiss Space Systems (S3) SOAR, derived from the Telemaque concept / Dessault Vehra. I also think BlueOrigin New Sheapeard, and Orbspace Infinity have some commonality.

Currently there are at least eight companies developing vehicles. I'll ad a excel document later.

Nammo (Norway) has planed a suborbital (sounding rocket) launch of their North Star Rocket family during 2016.
Most likely PLDSpace (Spain) will also launch their Arion 1 sounding rocket during 2016 (from INTA’s El Arenosillo launch facility). 

Edit:
The document I made contains only european initiatives and concepts. The 'Smallsat launchers' document is beter, so I won't post mine. The additions I have are only additional references and concepts without backing. Maybe the concepts can be added to the document as concepts.   
 
« Last Edit: 10/13/2015 11:52 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #35 on: 10/13/2015 10:03 PM »
Currently there are at least eight companies developing vehicles. I'll ad a excel document later.

One like this ? ;) I'm updating the first post in the thread here from this table
« Last Edit: 10/13/2015 10:05 PM by savuporo »
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Offline Comga

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #36 on: 10/14/2015 03:25 PM »
A helpful boost or "thumb on the scale"?
What are the deliverables for these contracts? 
First launch?  Seems like insufficient funding for that.
PowerPoint files for reviews?  At least one of our members sees that kind of "help" as a distraction at best.

October 14, 2015
RELEASE 15-209
NASA Awards Venture Class Launch Services Contracts for CubeSat Satellites

NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) has awarded multiple Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contracts to provide small satellites (SmallSats) -- also called CubeSats, microsats or nanosatellites -- access to low-Earth orbit.
The three companies selected to provide these new commercial launch capabilities, and the value of their firm fixed-price contracts, are:

•   Firefly Space Systems Inc. of Cedar Park, Texas, $5.5 million
•   Rocket Lab USA Inc. of Los Angeles, $6.9 million
•   Virgin Galactic LLC of Long Beach, California, $4.7 million

At present, launch opportunities for small satellites and science missions mostly are limited to rideshare-type arrangements, flying only when space is available on NASA and other launches. The services acquired through these new contract awards will constitute the smallest class of launch services used by NASA.

“LSP is attempting to foster commercial launch services dedicated to transporting smaller payloads into orbit as an alternative to the rideshare approach and to promote the continued development of the U.S. commercial space transportation industry,” said Jim Norman, director of Launch Services at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “VCLS is intended to help open the door for future dedicated opportunities to launch CubeSats and other small satellites and science missions.”

Small satellites, including CubeSats, are playing an increasingly larger role in exploration, technology demonstration, scientific research and educational investigations at NASA. These miniature satellites provide a low-cost platform for NASA missions, including planetary space exploration; Earth observations; fundamental Earth and space science; and developing precursor science instruments like cutting-edge laser communications, satellite-to-satellite communications and autonomous movement capabilities.

LSP supports the agency’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) by providing launch opportunities for more than 50 CubeSats that are awaiting launch during the next three years. The VCLS contracts will demonstrate a dedicated launch capability for smaller payloads that NASA anticipates it will require on a recurring basis for future science SmallSat and CubeSat missions.

Small satellites already are used to provide imagery collection for monitoring, analysis and disaster response. In the future, CubeSat capabilities could include ship and aircraft tracking, improved weather prediction, and the provision of broader Internet coverage.

The Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington has partnered with LSP to fund the VCLS contracts. These VCLS launches of small satellites are able to tolerate a higher level of risk than larger missions and will demonstrate, and help mitigate risks associated with, the use of small launch vehicles providing dedicated access to space for future small spacecraft and missions.

“Emerging small launch vehicles have great potential to expand the use of small satellites as integral components of NASA’s Earth science orbital portfolio,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “Today’s CubeSat technology fosters hands-on engineering and flight research training; with the addition of reliable, affordable, and dedicated access to space on small launchers, constellations of SmallSats and CubeSats could revolutionize our science-based spaceborne Earth-observing systems and capabilities. We’re eager to work with the VCLS providers as they develop new launch capabilities for the Earth science community.”

For more information about NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CubeSats_initiative.html
For more information about NASA’s Launch Services Program, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/index.html
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #37 on: 10/14/2015 03:35 PM »
A helpful boost or "thumb on the scale"?
What are the deliverables for these contracts? 
First launch?  Seems like insufficient funding for that.
PowerPoint files for reviews?  At least one of our members sees that kind of "help" as a distraction at best.
All good questions. Two recent examples where NASA has tried to help out US based space startups: suborbital launch services and all sorts of incentives to GLXP competitors. Unclear if either has amounted to anything much. Also unclear why is this different from SBIR.
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Offline Scylla

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #38 on: 10/14/2015 04:09 PM »
On NASA TV in less than an hour.

1 p.m., Wednesday, October 14 - Venture Class Launch Services Contract Award Announcement (all channels)
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Offline catdlr

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #39 on: 10/14/2015 11:17 PM »
New Vehicles for New Ventures

Published on Oct 14, 2015
NASA hosted a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to announce the outcome of the Venture Class Launch Service (VCLS) competition. The vehicles expected to meet the VCLS requirement represent an emerging class of commercial launch services for small satellites -- often called CubeSats or nanosatellites -- and science missions that are currently limited to ride-share arrangements, flying only when space is available on NASA and other launches.

Tony De La Rosa

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