Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 124019 times)

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #420 on: 04/07/2018 06:45 AM »
No ITAR?

ITAR is a US regulation.

ITAR is explicitly designed to prevent unsanctioned knowledge transfer. This includes preventing US companies from integrating their technologies (or payloads) with companies or governments outside the US. It's very much a one-way street unless you have huge amounts of time, money, and patience to deal with it officially, which effectively pushes out small startups. It's a fair bit easier for non-US countries to legally get their payloads launched by US companies.

In that sense, there is barely any legitimate competition between Chinese and US smallsat launchers - I really still fail to understand where these companies get these ideas that Chinese rockets will in any way impact US prices. Any pricing pressures in this case are basically an economic placebo (not really a bad thing if it results in lower launch costs, but still extremely artificial). Chinese rockets simply are not stealing payloads from US launchers.

ILS and ISRO are a totally different story, but they're not mentioned here. It really is just a bunch of baseless "boo00O00OO CHINA!!!!" bandwagoning when you get down to brass tacks. There's no real argument or empirical evidence provided, just your run-of-the-mill self-contradiction, nationalism, and jingoism.

Offline deruch

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #421 on: 04/07/2018 07:54 AM »
The issue is that in the small sat payload class for these launchers, the customers are both much more international and more able to build their payloads without any ITAR or EAR controlled technology from the US which means that they can then launch on Chinese launchers.  The competition won't be for US payloads but international ones.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #422 on: 04/08/2018 03:13 AM »
For some reason, FutureSpaceTourist's Astra Space topic was locked, so I'll post this here. Chris Kemp, CEO of Astra Space (AKA "Stealth Space Startup") will be on a panel at 2018's Space Tech Symposium in Berkeley, CA. His panel is 6:45-7:25pm PST, April 30.

https://stac.berkeley.edu/sts

Offline gongora

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #423 on: 04/08/2018 03:21 PM »
For some reason, FutureSpaceTourist's Astra Space topic was locked, so I'll post this here. Chris Kemp, CEO of Astra Space (AKA "Stealth Space Startup") will be on a panel at 2018's Space Tech Symposium in Berkeley, CA. His panel is 6:45-7:25pm PST, April 30.

https://stac.berkeley.edu/sts

We already had a thread for Astra, that got turned into a launch thread even though it was the only thread.  At some point I'll either split up that thread into a launch thread and a general discussion thread, or after the first test launch I'll just remove the launch details from the thread title and it can go back to being a general thread (I really don't think we need a separate launch thread for this first suborbital test).

Online rory

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #424 on: 05/09/2018 09:15 PM »
And another short video from the "Launcher" control room for their test stand.

Launcher is currently hosting a livestream for an Engine-1 test firing. Expected in less than 15 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClpfWREerz8Xdt-UNJHeJ5A/live

Quote
Watch live from our test site a static fire attempt of Launcher's 3d printed Engine-1 (E-1): LOX/RP-1, regen chamber, 500 pounds-force of thrust, Augmented spark igniter (GOX/RP-1), all 3D printed in three Inconel 718 parts. Whats' new: Updated chamber design with improved cooling.

EDIT (5:25 EDT): Now "probably 10 minutes away."

EDIT (5:32 EDT): T-45s

EDIT (5:34 EDT): Successful test! 30 second run, max (mentioned) chamber pressure 280 psi.

EDIT (5:43 EDT): Max chamber pressure 281 psi. Max thrust 1775N. This view of their command and data reporting software is crazy cool!

Goal is a pump-fed, 22,000 pound thrust engine in the next three years.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2018 11:57 PM by rory »

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #425 on: 05/09/2018 09:40 PM »
And another short video from the "Launcher" control room for their test stand.

Launcher is currently hosting a livestream for an Engine-1 test firing. Expected in less than 15 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClpfWREerz8Xdt-UNJHeJ5A/live

Quote
Watch live from our test site a static fire attempt of Launcher's 3d printed Engine-1 (E-1): LOX/RP-1, regen chamber, 500 pounds-force of thrust, Augmented spark igniter (GOX/RP-1), all 3D printed in three Inconel 718 parts. Whats' new: Updated chamber design with improved cooling.

EDIT (5:25 EDT): Now "probably 10 minutes away."

EDIT (5:32 EDT): T-45s

EDIT (5:34 EDT): Successful test! 30 second run, max (mentioned) chamber pressure 280 psi.

I just came across the archived stream and I am in love. It's absolutely flawless rocket porn, basically an uncut and uncensored tutorial for hot-fire testing a fairly large 3D-printed rocket engine. The team cohesion is also fascinating and deeply satisfying.

Online rory

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #426 on: 05/09/2018 10:00 PM »
The team cohesion is also fascinating and deeply satisfying.

Can't beat that countdown poll. "Louis?" "Go." "Max?" "Go."

Incredibly impressive work for a 3-man team. The whole thing was gorgeous.

Here's the archive link:

« Last Edit: 05/09/2018 10:01 PM by rory »

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #427 on: 05/10/2018 04:21 AM »
Here's the archive link:

That link is now down, replaced by this link:


Offline Kosmos2001

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #428 on: 06/13/2018 10:12 AM »
And yet another launcher company to add in the list: Pangea Aerospace. Recently created, in 2018. It is funny because they look like youtube channels, everybody is copying from everybody. Check what they have in their website: "To lower the cost for accessing space for the small satellite market." Totally never heard motto.

Some examples:
– Firefly: "Firefly was created for one simple reason: provide economical, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market"
– Horizon SAS: "Horizon will provide reliable space access at the lowest cost possible"
– Generation Orbit: "[...] space launch systems designed to lower costs, improve responsiveness, and increase overall mission flexibility."
– Zero2Infinity: "We are building a brighter future in which access to Space is frequent, affordable, secure and reliable for everyone"
– PLD Space: "PLD Space [...] is developing launcher technologies to provide suborbital and orbital commercial launch services, dedicated to small payloads and small satellites."
– MISHAAL: "Innovative. Flexible. Cost-Effective."
– Vector Space Systems: "Advanced small payload delivery system providing fast, efficient and frequent space access."
– Launcherspace: "A team on a 10-year journey to deliver small satellites to orbit."
« Last Edit: 06/14/2018 06:36 PM by Kosmos2001 »

Offline gongora

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #429 on: 06/23/2018 01:02 AM »
That is a lot of good news. Gradually getting through the presentations.

Has anybody heard about these Aevum guys? Airlaunched, completely new airplane design as far as I can tell. Supposed to start launching next year. Are they for real? Their segment starts at 1:38

Their site mentions a ground test of a subscale vehicle and tests of subsystems already done, but it's also very heavy on the feelgood stuff. Not to be a cynic, but that always makes me cautious. How have these guys managed to stay under the radar if they actually tested all their subsystems?

The presentation is quite inconsistent as well. Their mission is to improve communications and internet. But they want to achieve this by creating a launch vehicle that incidentally allows payloads to launch at 1100$/kg?! Not by designing the satellite network themselves. And actually, it's the autopilot of the airlaunch vehicle they're designing. They're not vertically integrated, so I assume the airplane and rocket themselves are built by contractors?

Unusually, they're apparently not looking for money. Which is the only reason I'm not quite sure what to make of them.

Article in Space.com

Offline gongora

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #430 on: 07/18/2018 04:52 PM »
Tweet from Jeff Foust:
Quote
Robin Hague, Skyrora: now planning initial suborbital test flight next summer. Using hydrogen peroxide and kerosene propellants since they’re non-cryogenic and dense; reduces volume and weight of vehicle. #FIA18 #LaunchUK

Offline Dao Angkan

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #431 on: 07/18/2018 08:11 PM »
https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/southwest/satellite-launch-firm-to-test-in-cornwall

Quote
A satellite launch operator is to begin an engine testing programme at Cornwall Airport in Newquay.

Skyora will begin testing its liquid engine at the site, which is aiming to be an operational spaceport in 2021, by the end of the year.

The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Skyrora will carry out a series of test firings at Newquay for their LEO engine, which will eventually be used to propel their satellite launch vehicle’s upper stage.

The company will use a hardened aircraft shelter which was previously used by the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project for rocket tests in preparation for a world land speed record attempt next year.

Skyrora’s deployment at Cornwall Airport Newquay is being supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), through its Enterprise Zone Infrastructure Fund.

Daniel Smith, director of business development at Skyrora, said: "Newquay is a great fit for us because of the enthusiasm and support from the team, combined with the immediate availability of the facility, providing us with a perfect short-term solution while we work towards establishing our own strategic capability north of the border for our larger engines."

Mark Duddridge, chairman of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, said: "Our recently published Space Action Plan outlines how we intend to build a £1bn space economy by 2030, so we are delighted to welcome Skyrora to Cornwall where we are laying the foundations for tomorrow’s global space industry."

Spaceport Cornwall director Miles Carden said: "This partnership demonstrates the collaborative culture throughout the UK space sector to offer a world class satellite launch environment from research to design, test, launch and tracking."

Offline gongora

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #432 on: 08/09/2018 02:06 AM »
Tweet from C. G. Niederstrasser:
Quote
Did you know that @SmallSat makes their conference proceedings available online for *free*? 
#smallsat
Copies of my #SmallLVSurvey paper can be found at:
https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/smallsat/2018/TPS09-2018/

Offline deptrai

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #433 on: 08/09/2018 10:30 PM »
Tweet from C. G. Niederstrasser:
Quote
Did you know that @SmallSat makes their conference proceedings available online for *free*? 
#smallsat
Copies of my #SmallLVSurvey paper can be found at:
https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/smallsat/2018/TPS09-2018/
You have no idea how many hours of work you just saved me!

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #434 on: 08/12/2018 10:02 AM »
Tweet from C. G. Niederstrasser:
Quote
Did you know that @SmallSat makes their conference proceedings available online for *free*? 
#smallsat
Copies of my #SmallLVSurvey paper can be found at:
https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/smallsat/2018/TPS09-2018/
A very interesting read, although I wish people would learn that spell check <> proof reading (or even getting Windows to read it aloud).  :(

Clearly many people think they have found a way to build a better mouse trap.  :)
Note the staggering price per Kg and consider that (IIRC) a secondary on a large ELV will run about $200k.
How many of these will be (essentially) "Re-inventing the wheel" ?

Once again I'm guessing no one sat down and said "We can sell X launches a year at $Y. How can we build an LV that can pay the crew salaries, recoup the DDT&E costs and make a profit for our investors?"

Because that's super damm tough.  :(

I'd love to see a retrospective on this data, with "Survivors" (more than 1 year), "New bornes" and "Infant mortality" (didn't make a year), and which countries which have higher numbers of new bornes and wheather  that have higher numbers of survivors, or if that's some other country.

Obvious questions any wannabe designers should be considering are
1) Launch assist sounds like a good idea. Can you eliminate a stage? If not how big a payload increase can it give you instead? How much more complexity does it add to your R&D process?
2) Range costs don't scale with vehicle size, hence the number of air, sea and balloon launch concepts.
3) The simplest way to increase Isp is to switch fuels or oxidizers
4) Or does room temperature handling (IE HTP/Kero) benefits outweigh the performance hit?
5) Historically Isp has gone Liquids > hybrids > solids (although some hybrid fuels have hit liquid prop Isp levels). AFAIK if you're don't have close links to a government solids are very poor choice in terms of performance and side costs (they are explosives). 
6) The results of SX strongly suggest that stage commonality in structure, props and engines are a key enabler of low costs.
7) Tighter control of launch angle, thrust level and stage cut off time narrows dispersion and puts your payload into a better defined orbit.
8) Most people seem to be confining their thinking to LEO. What could you put in Lunar orbit? Mars? Venus? Sun Synch? Solar? Can you turn a cubesat into an interplanetary probe? If you can do it its a market segment (probably not a very big market segment) and every launch helps.


IMHO RTP storable propellants are attractive for reusable stages as there's no risk of the propellants vaporizing and bursting the tanks, so you can go easier on the TPS. Irrelevant if you're going for an ELV (and TBH SX have shown the issues with LOX tanks absorbing too much heat are not that great).

Let's see how many run the maze and survive till next year.
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Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #435 on: 08/13/2018 01:59 PM »
Let's see how many run the maze and survive till next year.

Some have already gone defunct, and have not yet come out with the news. They may be "active" on paper, but have effectively made no progress in the last several years.

I was surprised to see a certain individual appear on a panel at a conference for small sats a few months ago because the company has effectively been dissolved.

Offline Markstark

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #436 on: 08/13/2018 03:29 PM »
Tweet from C. G. Niederstrasser:
Quote
Did you know that @SmallSat makes their conference proceedings available online for *free*? 
#smallsat
Copies of my #SmallLVSurvey paper can be found at:
https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/smallsat/2018/TPS09-2018/

I couldn’t find Relativity Space in the document. I thought that was odd considering they appear to have a solid plan, funding and engagement with NASA with their use of Stennis facilities.


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Offline Katana

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #437 on: 08/16/2018 08:40 AM »
8) Most people seem to be confining their thinking to LEO. What could you put in Lunar orbit? Mars? Venus? Sun Synch? Solar? Can you turn a cubesat into an interplanetary probe? If you can do it its a market segment (probably not a very big market segment) and every launch helps.

A SEP upperstage tug for cubesat riding on big launchers could reach any orbit above, and challange the concept of "dedicated small launcher for dedicated orbit".

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #438 on: 08/17/2018 06:45 AM »
8) Most people seem to be confining their thinking to LEO. What could you put in Lunar orbit? Mars? Venus? Sun Synch? Solar? Can you turn a cubesat into an interplanetary probe? If you can do it its a market segment (probably not a very big market segment) and every launch helps.

A SEP upperstage tug for cubesat riding on big launchers could reach any orbit above, and challange the concept of "dedicated small launcher for dedicated orbit".

Same could be said for an SSO depot for small launchers to target for parts/propellant delivery where a sat can be "built" from delivered components and checked out before release into SSO positions by said SEP tug (said depot could also function as a the space coral platform equivalent of the A-train earth sensing fleet).  With the cubesat U standard, plus the emerging Launch-U spec for smallsats, things are getting interesting at the small end of the spectrum. With a TUI spiderfab bot and plug-and-play interfaces like the one by Altius, one could have a very interesting situation. When dealing with the low end of the price spectrum, buyers may be more willing to buy into such a vision, provided related things like small visiting vehicle berth spec and similar emerges in the market.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #439 on: 08/18/2018 08:51 AM »
8) Most people seem to be confining their thinking to LEO. What could you put in Lunar orbit? Mars? Venus? Sun Synch? Solar? Can you turn a cubesat into an interplanetary probe? If you can do it its a market segment (probably not a very big market segment) and every launch helps.

A SEP upperstage tug for cubesat riding on big launchers could reach any orbit above, and challange the concept of "dedicated small launcher for dedicated orbit".
That's (potentially) an intriguing piece of enabling technology for cubesat payloads. IIRC 3U is about the biggest a cubesat gets. Obvious questions would be
1) Would the tug have to provide braking burns on the target orbit, and if so can it get back from the orbit multiple times?
2)Is the market big enough to justify it as a primary payload, or would the tug need to go as a secondary?
3) Since propellant load is critical for it to be useful (unless on orbit refueling is planned) if it had to go as a secondary could some kind of "LCROSS" architecture, using the whole PLA as the tugs structure, be an option?



BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

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