Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 421656 times)

Offline Alpha_Centauri

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 543
  • England
  • Liked: 162
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1540 on: 05/17/2016 04:22 PM »
Skylon, if it ever happens, will not launch from the UK.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5885
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 746
  • Likes Given: 4544
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1541 on: 05/17/2016 06:49 PM »
Skylon, if it ever happens, will not launch from the UK.
The UK is a possible site for polar launches, which would probably be adequate for most if not all of the test flight campaign, unless you needed to test the full mass to LEO, when you'd need an equatorial runway.

So if the site does have the right kind of runway for a fully loaded takeoff you could do most of the development work and building in the UK.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline lkm

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 508
  • Liked: 91
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1542 on: 05/17/2016 07:04 PM »
Skylon, if it ever happens, will not launch from the UK.
But should it ever happen the government would very much like it to be built here which would require a runway capable of supporting at the very least self ferry launches to actual launch sites, which practically speaking would mean all the same requirements as the proposed spaceport.

Offline rcoppola

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1952
  • USA
  • Liked: 1186
  • Likes Given: 472
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1543 on: 05/17/2016 07:10 PM »
The spaceport isn't directly related to Skylon in any way, it's about developing the UK space sector through space tourism (virgin galactic etc) and eventually potential for a small polar launcher. Of course REL may well make use of the site for small-scale testing.

I wouldn't say they are not related in any way. Sure, they are not dependent on each other. But a appropriately sized space-port would actually boost skylon chances.
The only thing that will boost Skylon's chances is finding a few Billion Dollars in development and testing costs. Which I hope they do.
Sail the oceans of space and set foot upon new lands!
http://www.stormsurgemedia.com

Offline knowles2

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 115
  • Liked: 20
  • Likes Given: 50
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1544 on: 05/17/2016 11:04 PM »
Skylon, if it ever happens, will not launch from the UK.
If it manufactured in the UK, it likely will be launched from the UK at least once and flown to its full time operating base.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 543
  • England
  • Liked: 162
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1545 on: 05/18/2016 10:31 AM »
It is highly doubtful the majority of the manufacturing would be in the UK. No, it would be shipped in parts to be constructed on site.

The UK is a possible site for polar launches

Not with Skylon, that would be ridiculous. There are no payloads worth it lifting. As I said the plans are for polar launches with a small launcher, indeed REL discussed their own plan for such a vehicle, the hint being it's not Skylon...

As I said the spaceport isn't about Skylon, but they may use it for testing.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2016 10:40 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5885
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 746
  • Likes Given: 4544
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1546 on: 05/18/2016 07:18 PM »
The only thing that will boost Skylon's chances is finding a few Billion Dollars in development and testing costs. Which I hope they do.
The current round of development is looking for $360m.

What REL really need is a way to turn customer interest into a form that that can look to a bank like an order.

When you can take a binding agreement to a bank that says "We won't pay a penny up front but we'll pay the (inflation adjusted) price listed on it meeting the stated performance specifications" and have X potential customers signed up then funding gets easier.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5885
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 746
  • Likes Given: 4544
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1547 on: 05/18/2016 07:26 PM »
It is highly doubtful the majority of the manufacturing would be in the UK. No, it would be shipped in parts to be constructed on site.
building in the UK keeps the supply chain short and mostly paid in pounds. REL are not keen on "just returne." AFAIK they'd prefer to buy best-of-breed parts, not based on the proportion of funds from a country, hence their aversion to public funding.
Quote
Not with Skylon, that would be ridiculous. There are no payloads worth it lifting. As I said the plans are for polar launches with a small launcher, indeed REL discussed their own plan for such a vehicle, the hint being it's not Skylon...
My point was that while the UK is very far from being an ideal launch site for anything but polar launches that's would not be a problem for most of the Skylon test programme up to LEO flights but below full payload. You want to test if the vehicle can get to LEO, which inclination is not really that important.

It's when you want to go to a full payload LEO launch that you need a full weight runway near the equator.
Quote
As I said the spaceport isn't about Skylon, but they may use it for testing.
I don't think anyone thought it was.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3402
  • California
  • Liked: 2638
  • Likes Given: 1665
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1548 on: 05/19/2016 07:22 AM »
Britain to announce the location of its first spacesport after tomorrow.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/05/15/reports-britain-announce-location-spaceport-wednesday/

I believe that the only suited for Skylon is CampbellTown, right?

It may be somewhat ironic how they are planning a spaceport in an airport form, when the the real space launch growth in the near decades may be VTOL instead of HTOL. (the two reusable LV pioneers making the most current progress are VTOL: SpaceX and Blue, whereas the HTOL firms - VG, XCor, and Skylon - are facing severe technology or budget issues)

That could certainly change, but I would caution them to wait to make any sizeable spaceport investment, to avoid risking a "Spaceport America" situation.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2016 07:24 AM by Lars-J »

Offline francesco nicoli

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Amsterdam
    • About Crises
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 331

Offline francesco nicoli

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Amsterdam
    • About Crises
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1550 on: 05/29/2016 11:01 PM »
just for your fun:

this  guy actually gave a presentation claiming that if Skylon can bring costs down to 200 $ kg to GEO (!!!) and fly about 140 times PER MONTH, then Solar-based power will make you rich.

He claims to work at REL, but it sounds suspicious because it clearly doesn't get the numbers right, and he puts his personal mail address (gmail) instead of the corporate one on the presentation.

https://drive.google.com/a/unitn.it/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsek9TNHhkeUI4UDlRQlNyVUNMclhJYkpxa3Jz/view
« Last Edit: 05/29/2016 11:04 PM by francesco nicoli »

Online AnalogMan

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2935
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 644
  • Likes Given: 20
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1551 on: 05/30/2016 01:30 AM »
just for your fun:

this  guy actually gave a presentation claiming that if Skylon can bring costs down to 200 $ kg to GEO (!!!) and fly about 140 times PER MONTH, then Solar-based power will make you rich.

He claims to work at REL, but it sounds suspicious because it clearly doesn't get the numbers right, and he puts his personal mail address (gmail) instead of the corporate one on the presentation.

https://drive.google.com/a/unitn.it/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsek9TNHhkeUI4UDlRQlNyVUNMclhJYkpxa3Jz/view


This tells you all you need to know:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

Offline francesco nicoli

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Amsterdam
    • About Crises
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1552 on: 05/30/2016 09:24 AM »
just for your fun:

this  guy actually gave a presentation claiming that if Skylon can bring costs down to 200 $ kg to GEO (!!!) and fly about 140 times PER MONTH, then Solar-based power will make you rich.

He claims to work at REL, but it sounds suspicious because it clearly doesn't get the numbers right, and he puts his personal mail address (gmail) instead of the corporate one on the presentation.

https://drive.google.com/a/unitn.it/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsek9TNHhkeUI4UDlRQlNyVUNMclhJYkpxa3Jz/view


This tells you all you need to know:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

you mean, for the scientology stuff?
otherwise the wiki page of the man doesn't transpire any particular weirdness,,, And I can tell you, those slides are full of it.

EDIT:
Ah, but YOU are the man, right? now I get it. And sorry, but the numbers just don't add up. How did you get to the 200$/KG to GEO cost?
« Last Edit: 05/30/2016 09:25 AM by francesco nicoli »

Offline lkm

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 508
  • Liked: 91
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1553 on: 05/30/2016 10:10 AM »
just for your fun:

this  guy actually gave a presentation claiming that if Skylon can bring costs down to 200 $ kg to GEO (!!!) and fly about 140 times PER MONTH, then Solar-based power will make you rich.

He claims to work at REL, but it sounds suspicious because it clearly doesn't get the numbers right, and he puts his personal mail address (gmail) instead of the corporate one on the presentation.

https://drive.google.com/a/unitn.it/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsek9TNHhkeUI4UDlRQlNyVUNMclhJYkpxa3Jz/view


This tells you all you need to know:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

you mean, for the scientology stuff?
otherwise the wiki page of the man doesn't transpire any particular weirdness,,, And I can tell you, those slides are full of it.

EDIT:
Ah, but YOU are the man, right? now I get it. And sorry, but the numbers just don't add up. How did you get to the 200$/KG to GEO cost?
The logarithmic Skylon $/kg vs flights per year chart is from REL's own paper on Solar power sat manufacture. It shows a price point of 200$/kg at a flight rate of 9000 per year.

Offline francesco nicoli

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Amsterdam
    • About Crises
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1554 on: 05/31/2016 12:05 AM »
just for your fun:

this  guy actually gave a presentation claiming that if Skylon can bring costs down to 200 $ kg to GEO (!!!) and fly about 140 times PER MONTH, then Solar-based power will make you rich.

He claims to work at REL, but it sounds suspicious because it clearly doesn't get the numbers right, and he puts his personal mail address (gmail) instead of the corporate one on the presentation.

https://drive.google.com/a/unitn.it/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsek9TNHhkeUI4UDlRQlNyVUNMclhJYkpxa3Jz/view


This tells you all you need to know:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

you mean, for the scientology stuff?
otherwise the wiki page of the man doesn't transpire any particular weirdness,,, And I can tell you, those slides are full of it.

EDIT:
Ah, but YOU are the man, right? now I get it. And sorry, but the numbers just don't add up. How did you get to the 200$/KG to GEO cost?
The logarithmic Skylon $/kg vs flights per year chart is from REL's own paper on Solar power sat manufacture. It shows a price point of 200$/kg at a flight rate of 9000 per year.

A quite outdated paper I believe, as it does not match their own minimal numbers... would you mind to send me the reference paper?

Offline lkm

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 508
  • Liked: 91
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1555 on: 05/31/2016 12:37 AM »
just for your fun:

this  guy actually gave a presentation claiming that if Skylon can bring costs down to 200 $ kg to GEO (!!!) and fly about 140 times PER MONTH, then Solar-based power will make you rich.

He claims to work at REL, but it sounds suspicious because it clearly doesn't get the numbers right, and he puts his personal mail address (gmail) instead of the corporate one on the presentation.

https://drive.google.com/a/unitn.it/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsek9TNHhkeUI4UDlRQlNyVUNMclhJYkpxa3Jz/view


This tells you all you need to know:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

you mean, for the scientology stuff?
otherwise the wiki page of the man doesn't transpire any particular weirdness,,, And I can tell you, those slides are full of it.

EDIT:
Ah, but YOU are the man, right? now I get it. And sorry, but the numbers just don't add up. How did you get to the 200$/KG to GEO cost?
The logarithmic Skylon $/kg vs flights per year chart is from REL's own paper on Solar power sat manufacture. It shows a price point of 200$/kg at a flight rate of 9000 per year.

A quite outdated paper I believe, as it does not match their own minimal numbers... would you mind to send me the reference paper?
http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/tech_docs/ssp_skylon_ver2.pdf
It's page 23.  The chart actual refers to the flight rate of a second generation Skylon, it's assumed that  through operational learning a number of aspects have been improved lowering costs.

Offline SICA Design

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 179
  • UK
  • Liked: 40
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1556 on: 05/31/2016 08:52 PM »
this  guy actually gave a presentation

Yes he did; to REL on the date shown.

Quote
He claims to work at REL

Where does he claim this??

I've corresponded with Keith on a number of occasions and have found him sincere and serious, though perhaps over-ambitious (IMHO) to initiate and rapidly expand SSP at scale which undercuts coal. One thing I can be sure of (from my experience) is that he will have done the maths for both the physics and the economics before making any claims.

His plans include boot-strapping; using each SPS also for in-space beaming - to power arc jets to assist LEO-GSO transfer (faster transfer minimises micrometeorite and van-allen radiation damage) of further SPS.

REL have certainly offered support to him, though I wouldn't claim this extends to endorsement.

Keith has rarely commented on this forum: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=13365 though I'm sure he would be willing to justify his claims (to someone with well-considered arguments) via the email address he supplied.



« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 08:59 PM by SICA Design »

Offline Keith Henson

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1557 on: 05/31/2016 10:55 PM »
this  guy actually gave a presentation

Yes he did; to REL on the date shown.

Quote
He claims to work at REL

Where does he claim this??

To clear this up, I don't work for REL and don't know how anyone formed that impression from the slides.  It would be fair to call me a Skylon fan and a power satellite advocate.

Quote
I've corresponded with Keith on a number of occasions and have found him sincere and serious, though perhaps over-ambitious (IMHO) to initiate and rapidly expand SSP at scale which undercuts coal.

I don't like the huge scale either.  But if you want to solve the carbon and energy problems with power satellites, you are just stuck with it being huge.  Population size and power demand per person.

Quote
One thing I can be sure of (from my experience) is that he will have done the maths for both the physics and the economics before making any claims.

His plans include boot-strapping; using each SPS also for in-space beaming - to power arc jets to assist LEO-GSO transfer (faster transfer minimises micrometeorite and van-allen radiation damage) of further SPS.

It's a little more complicated.  The proposal is to build two propulsion power satellites up front and use those to reduce the cost for the LEO to higher orbits.  This video might make more sense than trying to explain it in words.



Shorter version that was shown a the White House recently by Peter Garretson and Paul Jaffe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrcoD_vHzxU&feature=youtu.be

Quote
REL have certainly offered support to him, though I wouldn't claim this extends to endorsement.

Keith has rarely commented on this forum: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=13365 though I'm sure he would be willing to justify his claims (to someone with well-considered arguments) via the email address he supplied.

If you set as a goal, power satellites cheap enough to displace coal, then you are limited to spending about $2400/kW.  Between parts, labor and the rectenna, that uses about $1100/kW.  The remaining $1300 is for transport.  Any combination of kg/kW and $/kg that comes in at $1300 or less will do.  I have proposed a thermal power satellite based on steam turbines and many square km of radiators that came in at 6.5 kg/kW, allowing up to $200/kg for the transport cost to GEO. 

BTW, the Skylon are expected to fly every other day.  140/month was the production rate of Skylons to keep up a million flights per year.  If you rebuild them at 500 flights, it would reduce the projection rate to 70/month.  The cost estimate graph mentioned in this thread gets down to $120/kg at around 100,000 flights per year.  The electric propulsion (at 30,000 tons per month) add about $55/kg to the cost.

Offline t43562

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • UK
  • Liked: 72
  • Likes Given: 37
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1558 on: 06/01/2016 03:29 PM »
I don't like the huge scale either.  But if you want to solve the carbon and energy problems with power satellites, you are just stuck with it being huge.  Population size and power demand per person.

Sorry for reposting but I forgot to quote you in the approved way and don't want to be dumped out of the airlock as a result.

I wondered if the infrastructure for solar powered tugs might be useful for other launches? The scale of this enterprise seems great but I wondered if you might not use some of it to do other things and thus spread the cost a bit.

Offline MartinW

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
  • EU
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1559 on: 06/02/2016 10:40 AM »
BTW, the Skylon are expected to fly every other day.  140/month was the production rate of Skylons to keep up a million flights per year.  If you rebuild them at 500 flights, it would reduce the projection rate to 70/month.  The cost estimate graph mentioned in this thread gets down to $120/kg at around 100,000 flights per year.  The electric propulsion (at 30,000 tons per month) add about $55/kg to the cost.
These are quite an absurd numbers, really. You'd need to have a multi-planetary species to support anything remotely near that number, it's such a high number for one launch vehicle to go that we are stepping into the realm of sci-fi. It's not feasible within a lifetime of any of us.

Tags: