Any LV today should be capable of flying a full mission unmanned and do so 10 times before carrying people, with all the unanticipated problems corrected.
I guess if something like Skylon were availible even at $2000kg to LEO, it would take a big chunk of the satellite market, with an additional stage also to GSO. And with lower launch costs, greater demand would of course be generated. There would be many more organisations suddenly with the opportunity to put their own stuff into orbit.
The question really has to be is it financially worth it. There just isn't enough satellite business to make a strong business case.
it cannot launch US government satellites because of ITAR restrictions.
It may never be built even if the technology proves out.
Skylon is projected to be reusable 200 times. While that is certainly a lot when compared to today's throw away rockets, it isn't when we compare it to high performance aircraft.
Also, how are the projected costs of a single Skylon flight calculated?
The business model is to *sell* Skylons to people who have the money. As others have pointed out the USG has *several* runways big enough to accommodate Skylon in the CONUS. They *could* even sell multiple Skylons so DoD and NASA would not have to share. As to what they would be used for that would be the customers business, not theirs.
Yes, this is the important part. RE might end up profitable if only they sold a pair of Skylons to every government that is not considered dangerous by the West and would like to have an independent rapid (on a few hours notice) launch capability without all the fuss of normal launch infrastructure. How many countries would it be, 10-20?
Skylon is projected to be reusable 200 times. While that is certainly a lot when compared to today's throw away rockets, it isn't when we compare it to high performance aircraft. Nobody would buy a 747 if it could only fly 200 times before it has to be retired. What are the reasons for this short service life? Is it just a conservative estimate or are there certain limitiations inherent to the design?Also, how are the projected costs of a single Skylon flight calculated?
It does not look like there is going to be an update this month either.It's a big ask but if anyone does find themselves in and around Farmborough this year if they were to find themselves in an REL presentation could they perhaps set their phone on record and post a report of some kind?I'm *hoping* for a co-ordinated update of the web site with any announcement of results on the day, which would be a reasonable use of their limited (at present) resources give them wider exposure etc.But it would be nice if there was a plan B. The Register *might* report it but it probably won't even make the UK national news.
You're right. Looks like they have decided not to steal the show from Farnborough now. Still that's less than a couple of weeks away.I dunno. The BBC made a big fuss about the phase 1 tests. I am sure the Register will cover it.In the meantime this might keep you going:http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/mark-hempsell-monday-7-2-12/
Guinness Book of World Records indicates that a 200 second, Mach-6powered testflight of a"scram jet" has been achieved by the Americanagency DARPA. The Australians are also pursuing scramjet technology.Mach 25 seems the goal.So what advantages does Skylon's propulsion system have over scramjettechnology, if any?
Well, a scramjet can share its nozzle and intake with the a SABRE engine. Performance gain (higher Isp from Mach 6-Mach 15) is the idea.
Not sure how Isp stacks up, since the publicly-available data is from the SABRE 3, which is an obsolete design.
Quote from: 93143 on 07/04/2012 08:38 pmNot sure how Isp stacks up, since the publicly-available data is from the SABRE 3, which is an obsolete design.Mark Hempsell stated vacuum Isp is 4500 Ns/Kg. He converted that to 458sec (Vac)