Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 130678 times)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #80 on: 12/15/2015 10:44 PM »
Another thing that tends to happen in boom-bust cycles is that the assets of the failed companies get bought up. For example, SpaceX does their testing in McGregor, Texas primarily because it was a former Beal Aerospace rocket testing site. So, even the inevitable failures of some of these startups could make for interesting happenings.
It is not just physical assets that are recycled but also the former employees and their knowledge.

Online Kryten

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #81 on: 12/24/2015 03:18 PM »
Another new private small launcher company, this time in China.
Is there a report or news piece somewhere whats this about ? Just a website, so far
They've added some basic specs to their website for the small launcher they're developing (500kg LEO, 350kg SSO, first flight by 2018), and an article about receiving angel investment. My Chinese isn't remotely good enough nor the google translate version clear enough to work out how much they've actually received.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #82 on: 01/04/2016 03:33 PM »
I took the liberty to update the Smallsat Launchers list and put it in a Exel file.
I've updated some first launch dates: VLM; SOAR;CubeCab & Arion2.
added some systems: VLS; NorthStar Intrim, Spyder, Primo, OneSpace, Adeline, Dynetics SLV, Altair.
(Has Dynetics Small Launch Vehicle been posted here, strange if we all missed it.)

Maybe its a good idea to add more information about the systems inside the file. e.a. GLOW, payload to orbit, info about the different stages, other configurations/capabilities. Feel free to modify the document.
   

Offline savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #83 on: 04/15/2016 06:24 PM »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #84 on: 04/15/2016 09:15 PM »
What I'm interested in is XS-1. Less $5 million price, but 400-1400kg payload to LEO. 10 launches in 10 days. That's what reuse can do. If I had venture capital money and wanted to invest in smallsat launch, I'd invest it in a company like Masten. They could do this much cheaper than RocketLab, and they'd be ready for the market to go exponential. It's also big enough to allow full reuse in the future or even carry people (at least /a/ person) to orbit.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #85 on: 04/15/2016 09:52 PM »
What I'm interested in is XS-1. Less $5 million price, but 400-1400kg payload to LEO. 10 launches in 10 days. That's what reuse can do.
RocketLab is at 100 headcount, probably a bit more by the time they get to orbit although they are already saying they have difficulty growing in NZ and have imported a bunch from Australia. The intent is to eventually fly once a week.

Whats the headcount at Masten going to be by the time they fly to orbit 10 times in 10 days? Thats the key math.

For reference, SpaceX headcount was at 500 when F1 first reached orbit in 2008, and only about 160 in 2006 when they first tried.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2016 10:56 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #86 on: 04/16/2016 02:45 AM »
Well, considering they won't need to be building dozens upon dozens of engines and large first stages all the time, I'd say Masten would be able to do it with a similar headcount as Rocketlab. But with higher payload.

Remember, they already know how to launch rockets hundreds of times with a skeleton crew. For them, reuse and the idea of high launch rate is not hypothetical.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #87 on: 04/16/2016 02:53 AM »
I've been launching hundreds of mostly reusable rockets a day with skeleton crew, some six year olds running recovery teams as well.

This is not a knock on Masten. But your operational complexity does actually go up when you fly much bigger and faster moving things. EDIT: remember when SpaceX bragged about housing their launch control for F1 in a truck trailer?

Time will tell which approaches work, but RocketLabs mass manufacturing plan is certainly plausible.
« Last Edit: 04/16/2016 02:56 AM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Online QuantumG

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #88 on: 04/16/2016 03:42 AM »
XS-1 will have an expendable upper stage... and Rocket Lab is one of the contenders for it.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #89 on: 04/16/2016 04:30 AM »
Well, considering they won't need to be building dozens upon dozens of engines and large first stages all the time, I'd say Masten would be able to do it with a similar headcount as Rocketlab. But with higher payload.

My guess is that Masten will need to end up at a bit higher headcount than Rocketlabs to pull off XS-1, but they could probably keep it modest (in the 100-200 range) if they partner with someone like RL for the initial, smaller upper stage.

I think both approaches have merit, and RL's approach is far lower risk in the near-term. But if Masten gets the XS-1 Phase 2, and doesn't botch it, I think they're going to be in a pretty competitive position. Their first stage is really designed for large numbers of reuses and high flight rates, which means that all they need to do is get a fully reusable upper stage that can do one of our "direct rendezvous" maneuvers, and life becomes *really* interesting.

A fully reusable upper stage is several steps down the road. First the XS-1 stage and a temporary small expendable stage, then a bigger 3000lb payload capable higher performance upper stage, then way down the road a fully-reusable upper stage. Though Masten will probably be in a better position to pull that off than any of their competitors, especially if they do something that kind of looks like their current first stage concept.

Lots of counting of pre-hatched chickens here though. RL will likely be flying before Masten even knows if they have the Phase 2 award or not.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 04/16/2016 04:31 AM by jongoff »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #90 on: 05/13/2016 04:17 AM »
Super Strypi may rise again, apparently, because NASA STMD is mandated to compete with industry

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/senator-cuts-nasas-tech-budge/

Quote

There are perfectly good reasons for NASA to invest in small satellite launch technology. Weighing in the neighborhood of 50 to 400kg, small satellites have become one of the hottest areas of aerospace. Demand has increased for launch vehicles that can deliver these payloads to a Sun-synchronous orbit 400km or more above the Earth’s surface. For now, though, these smaller payloads must “ride share” with larger satellites on more powerful rockets. This can often delay their launch for a year or more.

Naturally the market has reacted to this, and more than half a dozen companies have been developing private launch systems to meet the demand. Proposals range from launching traditional rockets from the ground to setting them off from airplanes or balloons high in the atmosphere. It is a marketplace teeming with private capital. This seems like the opposite of what space technology, created to address areas the “industry cannot tackle today,” was intended to support.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2016 04:20 AM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline WizZifnab

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #91 on: 05/31/2016 12:41 PM »
Should this list be updated to include https://www.facebook.com/vectorlaunchinc/?

Edit:Seems this maybe is new form of Garvey Spacecraft Corp? Found thread on Vector http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40158.msg1523979#msg1523979 that mentions that.  But both have exisiting websites it seems.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 12:46 PM by WizZifnab »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #92 on: 06/09/2016 04:53 AM »
Article on Vector Space Systems.

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/new-company-wants-to-change-the-way-we-think-about-spaceflight-2016-6?r=US&IR=T

"Several subscale prototypes of the vehicle have already been built and one will be flown this summer. Next year upwards of three near full-scale vehicles will be sent on suborbital flights. And by 2018, Vector hopes to launch its first full scale prototype vehicle, which is currently under construction, into orbital flight."
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #93 on: 06/10/2016 09:45 PM »
While Vector is mentioned: here's their static fire of their second stage engine.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 09:45 PM by Davidthefat »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #94 on: 06/11/2016 01:21 AM »
Yeah my Vector posts got moved to dedicated thread.. i guess i'll update the table in a bit, too.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2016 01:21 AM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Archibald

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #95 on: 06/11/2016 07:51 AM »
This is a great thread, very useful. Thank you Savuporo (and others) !
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #96 on: 06/11/2016 09:21 AM »
You should add Ripple Aerospace, they are a Norwegian company working to create a sea-launched and sea-recovered aerospike rocket called the Sea Serpent. I asked a few questions through FB comments and was told that a scaled down suborbital tech demonstration was to come "very soon". I've always thought that it was a shame how sea launched rockets were sort of passed over, was definitely happy to see that someone is still trying to pull it off!
http://www.ripple-aerospace.no/

Offline Helge

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #97 on: 06/11/2016 01:07 PM »
Ripple Aeropsace AS was registered as a company on May 26th 2016. I would not expect too much from them in the near term.


Helge

Offline Proponent

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #98 on: 06/11/2016 01:24 PM »
Quite a design: lox-hydrogen(!) with what's referred to as an aerospike nozzle, though I'd call it a spike, since it is not truncated.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #99 on: 06/11/2016 06:03 PM »
This LV is in XS1, VEGA payload range ie 2-3t LEO.


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