Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 62939 times)

Offline Comga

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #40 on: 10/14/2015 11:36 PM »
The Firefly presentation showed launch in March of 2017. 
That's one month later than on the list, although it could be argued that it doesn't change the order.

Of course, projecting launch with a resolution of less than a calendar quarter, or even a year, seems like a false precision for something as complex as a first launch.  Just ask our friends at SpaceX.  Their July 2004 manifest had first launch less than six months out. it took them until March of 2006, twenty months later.
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 #41 on: 10/15/2015 12:00 AM »
Rocketlabs was saying 'early next year' for first launch too, in the video. Still watching, and collecting references, i'll update the table later.

Quote
Of course, projecting launch with a resolution of less than a calendar quarter, or even a year, seems like a false precision for something as complex as a first launch
Exactly, that's why i left it at year/quarter. To quote Akin's laws again

Quote
23. The schedule you develop will seem like a complete work of fiction up until the time your customer fires you for not meeting it.
27. (Varsi's Law) Schedules only move in one direction.
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #42 on: 10/15/2015 06:50 AM »
A helpful boost or "thumb on the scale"?

That's a very good question.

Generally, if there is commercial demand, it's best to let the commercial market sort itself out without the government stepping in like this.  That optimizes the distribution of resources.

Exceptions are when there's some sort of barrier to entry or commons issue or something of the sort that interferes with the natural functioning of a market, or where the government itself has a need for a service for which there is limited or no commercial market.

It's not clear that any of these exceptions apply in this case.

Another good question is whether NASA is biasing their awards toward a particular way of serving the market -- dedicated small launches -- over another way of serving the market -- rideshare on the larger launch vehicles.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #43 on: 10/15/2015 06:58 AM »
Exceptions are when there's some sort of barrier to entry or commons issue or something of the sort that interferes with the natural functioning of a market, or where the government itself has a need for a service for which there is limited or no commercial market.

It's not clear that any of these exceptions apply in this case.
This was somewhat explained in the press event. NASA wants to be collaborating with these companies early to have the launchers be able to meet their mission requirements, and possibly certification. So when they actually have a need for the launches they do not start at square one.
RocketLabs Peter Beck said directly that NASA is not even their first or earliest customer, their manifest is pretty well sold out with commercial customers through the year.
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #44 on: 10/15/2015 08:52 AM »
By NASA selecting these three companies they have given them their tick of approval. This will help attract customers and more finance if needed.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #45 on: 10/15/2015 08:11 PM »
Bloostar / zero2infinity put a new website up today. They think they'll have significant advantages over pencil shaped rockets. Presenting at IAC2015 too

http://www.bloostar.com/bloostar/#title-advantages
In other news, responsive web design single page marketing websites for all startups continue to suck

https://twitter.com/katrobison/status/654659932726280192/photo/1
https://twitter.com/MarcKBoucher/status/654629673792614400
« Last Edit: 10/15/2015 08:14 PM by savuporo »
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #46 on: 10/15/2015 08:58 PM »
Bloostar / zero2infinity put a new website up today. They think they'll have significant advantages over pencil shaped rockets. Presenting at IAC2015 too

http://www.bloostar.com/bloostar/#title-advantages
In other news, responsive web design single page marketing websites for all startups continue to suck

https://twitter.com/katrobison/status/654659932726280192/photo/1
https://twitter.com/MarcKBoucher/status/654629673792614400
Helium balloons need very low wind speeds to launch, early morning normally best. This may limit there ability to hit launch windows.

Not sure how they plan to handle boiloff during the ascent time.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #47 on: 10/16/2015 12:39 AM »
Edited Bloostar details into the table. 2018 launch date according to the referred tweets and $4M projected price.

IMHO anything air launched will have very low chance of success. Flying a jet to 20km altitude or flying huge balloons off oceangoing ships doesn't strike me as operationally cheap or easy for small teams. But i guess we'll see soon enough, plenty of well funded diverse teams with various technical solutions across the globe here.

Imagine, if the schedules would actually be real, there would be 8 new operational launchers worldwide by the end of next year, and another 5 added next year. I'd be happy if just one of these works out by that time.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2015 12:42 AM by savuporo »
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Offline chipguy

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #48 on: 10/16/2015 04:23 PM »
Bloostar / zero2infinity put a new website up today. They think they'll have significant advantages over pencil shaped rockets. Presenting at IAC2015 too

http://www.bloostar.com/bloostar/#title-advantages
In other news, responsive web design single page marketing websites for all startups continue to suck

https://twitter.com/katrobison/status/654659932726280192/photo/1
https://twitter.com/MarcKBoucher/status/654629673792614400
Helium balloons need very low wind speeds to launch, early morning normally best. This may limit there ability to hit launch windows.

Not sure how they plan to handle boiloff during the ascent time.

Not to mention mention toroidal propellant tanks may have some interesting low frequency oscillatory/slosh modes that could prove challenging as well as high residuals.

However, new ideas are always welcome. Good luck to them.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #49 on: 10/22/2015 06:43 PM »
I believe this should belong in the thread

http://www.marsblog.net/archives/000579.html
Quote
August 18, 2003

- The standard SXF is to carry 1400lbs to LEO, the heavy lift version is to carry 4500lbs.
- A standard SXF launch is expected to cost $6M, and $10M for heavy version.
- He believes there is a market for a $6M launch vehicle.
- SpaceX currently has 30 full-time employees, 15 part-time/consultant employees (30 = 5 techs + 22 engineers + 3 non-technical).
a lot snipped
Took them 5 years after that to achieve orbit.
« Last Edit: 10/22/2015 06:45 PM by savuporo »
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Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #50 on: 10/22/2015 08:28 PM »
Today I came across this site: Leafspace Primo .
Italian company Leafspace has plans for a 2stage hybrid launch vehicle capable of launching 50 kg (~100lb) to 700km polar. The vehicle will weight 6,4 ton (1000kg) at liftoff (GLOW) and a launch is de supposed to cost 2mln. Euro.

Edit: some side info. From 2008 to 2010 DLR, CNES and INTA investigated different concepts for nano-launch vehicles (Aldebaran). The vehicle from s3 was one of the concepts investigated. The program had a clear cost goal:
Payload to leo mass: 
50kg <2,5 mln euro     ~ 3mln dollar
150kg <5mln                ~ 6mln
300kg <7mln                ~ 8mln
I think we can add 10kg <1mln   ~1,2mln

« Last Edit: 10/22/2015 08:51 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #51 on: 10/23/2015 08:42 AM »
Today I came across this site: Leafspace Primo .
Italian company Leafspace has plans for a 2stage hybrid launch vehicle capable of launching 50 kg (~100lb) to 700km polar. The vehicle will weight 6,4 ton (1000kg) at liftoff (GLOW) and a launch is de supposed to cost 2mln. Euro.
Awesome , one more ! Have you seen any external references, articles or mentions outside of their own website? The site itself is pretty light on detail, although i did spot that the core team members come from Skyward Experimental Rocketry student association in Milan ( http://www.skywarder.eu/blog/en/  )
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #52 on: 10/23/2015 09:25 AM »
Today I came across this site: Leafspace Primo .
Italian company Leafspace has plans for a 2stage hybrid launch vehicle capable of launching 50 kg (~100lb) to 700km polar. The vehicle will weight 6,4 ton (1000kg) at liftoff (GLOW) and a launch is de supposed to cost 2mln. Euro.
Awesome , one more ! Have you seen any external references, articles or mentions outside of their own website? The site itself is pretty light on detail, although i did spot that the core team members come from Skyward Experimental Rocketry student association in Milan ( http://www.skywarder.eu/blog/en/  )

Nice to see they are planning for reusability long term. These first generation small LVs are all expendable but any company not planning a reusable booster for their 2nd generation LV, will not stay in business long.


Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #53 on: 10/24/2015 04:14 PM »
I found them while searching for info about the European Aerospace Student Meting (AESM) 2015. Leafspace gave a presentation there. I searched for leafspace primo today. I could find some pages in Italian  (I can't read that). I also found their facebook page fb leafspace
some more info about primo: trust at lift of 90kN (9000kg ~18000lbf) from 7 fuel grains. The upperstage looks like a same fuel grain with a nousle extension.
(That must be really long burning hybrid engines. From student rockets {dare: stratos II; HyEnD: Heros} and Nammo, hybrid engines usually run for about 25 seconds. The hybrid engines used on primo must run for minutes. I have my doubts about the feasibility of leafspace primo.)

edit: they call the conference european, but no student team other than italien have presented there.
« Last Edit: 10/24/2015 04:23 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Comga

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #54 on: 10/24/2015 05:14 PM »
Today I came across this site: Leafspace Primo .
Italian company Leafspace has plans for a 2stage hybrid launch vehicle capable of launching 50 kg (~100lb) to 700km polar. The vehicle will weight 6,4 ton (1000kg) at liftoff (GLOW) and a launch is de supposed to cost 2mln. Euro.

Edit: some side info. From 2008 to 2010 DLR, CNES and INTA investigated different concepts for nano-launch vehicles (Aldebaran). The vehicle from s3 was one of the concepts investigated. The program had a clear cost goal:
Payload to leo mass: 
50kg <2,5 mln euro     ~ 3mln dollar
150kg <5mln                ~ 6mln
300kg <7mln                ~ 8mln
I think we can add 10kg <1mln   ~1,2mln
A 5% mass fraction with hybrids fighting the inefficiencies of smaller scale?
Does that sound reasonable to anyone?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online Senex

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #55 on: 10/24/2015 07:10 PM »
The problem is in the "rough" conversion:

"vehicle will weight 6,4 ton (1000kg) at liftoff (GLOW)"

The original site states only 6.4 ton.  Assuming SI units as they used everywhere else, that is 6.4 metric tonnes, or 6,400 kg not 1,000 kg.

Like Sheldon said, blame it on Jimmy Carter . . .

Offline Comga

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #56 on: 10/24/2015 09:20 PM »
The problem is in the "rough" conversion:

"vehicle will weight 6,4 ton (1000kg) at liftoff (GLOW)"

The original site states only 6.4 ton.  Assuming SI units as they used everywhere else, that is 6.4 metric tonnes, or 6,400 kg not 1,000 kg.

Like Sheldon said, blame it on Jimmy Carter . . .
Ah. Under 1% mass fraction. Much less crazy. Still not sure it's possible
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #57 on: 10/24/2015 11:22 PM »
Sorry for the confusion. With: ton (1000kg) . I tried to explain the unit, ton. So 6,4 ton = 6.400kg ~=12,800.lbs. {nitice the difference in the purpose for: '.' and ',' between the metric and imperial system}
It's a all confusing. I forgot the name of te mars mission that failed. ;p


Offline edkyle99

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #58 on: 10/24/2015 11:49 PM »
Sorry for the confusion. With: ton (1000kg) . I tried to explain the unit, ton. So 6,4 ton = 6.400kg ~=12,800.lbs. {nitice the difference in the purpose for: '.' and ',' between the metric and imperial system}
It's a all confusing. I forgot the name of te mars mission that failed. ;p
Use "tonnes" for "metric tons" to help clarify.  Kilograms is usually even better.
http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/short-tons-to-metric-tons.htm

 - Ed Kyle

Online MP99

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #59 on: 10/25/2015 05:07 PM »
Sorry for the confusion. With: ton (1000kg) . I tried to explain the unit, ton. So 6,4 ton = 6.400kg ~=12,800.lbs. {nitice the difference in the purpose for: '.' and ',' between the metric and imperial system}
It's a all confusing. I forgot the name of te mars mission that failed. ;p

NB 6.4 tonnes = 14,110 lb (approx 2.2:1 conversion of kg to lb).

Cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 10/25/2015 05:07 PM by MP99 »

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