DfwRevolution
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June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:11 am

From- http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/rutan_launchdate_040602.html

A privately-developed rocket plane will launch into history on June 21 on a mission to become the world's first commercial manned space vehicle.

Exciting news for all you X-Prize followers! I was hoping for Armadillo myself, but it ain't over tell its over. Congrats in getting this far to the Scaled team.

Regards,
DFW
 
Sinlock
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:29 am

They still have a long ways to go before winning the X-Prize.

The still have to get to 100k.

Then 100k with 3 people.

Then 100k with 3 people twice in 2 weeks.


Scaled has a very tight window with not much room for technical problems. We all know what happens to safety when there is a deadline.
 
lehpron
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:20 am

The problem with this competition is that it does NOT futher space tourism. It is not even affordable. It neither carries cargo to nor from, just a teaser flight, there is no destination up there. They're not going orbital so it's safer to a point. I agree with the apparent disassociation with safety and deadlines, maybe they should have their own family as the first 'test folks' to keep them in check.  Wink/being sarcastic

This will end up along Concorde's fate somewhat. White Knight will be a white elephant and it will be a while before there is a true space plane for the people.

Oddly enough, I'm cheering just to see the pictures and read up on the numbers. I do not want to know what (if!) the media will say anything about it.  Sad We all know how they are w.r.t. aviation.

Jackasses...
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
Ikarus
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:52 am

Sinlock:
Actually, as far as I can see, that launch date is for their official attempt. Meaning, they'll either carry more than one person, or ballast to stand in for the others. So June 21st will see their first flight, with a follow-up within the 14 days after that. Meaning by mid-July, the XPrize shall hopefully have been won.

Regarding safety: Theirs is an experimental craft. It is designed for test pilots, with the same risk level in mind. I have no worries whatsoever that it is safe enough for that use - not for commercialization, maybe, but that is not what they are aiming for. Should still be lots safer than the shuttle.

Lehpron:
Of course it furthers space tourism. It demonstrates that privately funded, low-cost space programmes are feasible, and it will increase investor confidence. That is the main aim. Besides, the other XPrize contestants plan to commercialize their projects (as does a company that involves Burt Rutan's brother), so within the next 2-5 years, there will be a second programme to offer space tourists: $102,000 for a few minutes in space (some aim for 3-5 minutes, others aim for 20 minutes or more, though not for the XPrize), as well as the $20,000,000 for a week on the ISS. That is already one small step ahead for space tourism. Once that turns out to be profitable, the company with the biggest commercial muscle may well develop a safer, more feasible, more commercial and cheaper (in terms of per-flight cost) space programme than governments, and that would be great progress indeed.

Regards

Ikarus
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:39 am

I agree with the apparent disassociation with safety and deadlines, maybe they should have their own family as the first 'test folks' to keep them in check.

Actually, Armadillo planned to use John Carmack's wife as the test passenger for their first vehicle. They would have gone through with it as well, but she happened to be out of town the week of the test...

Scaled has a very tight window with not much room for technical problems. We all know what happens to safety when there is a deadline.

The vehicle (SS1) is designed with safety in mind. They actually suffered a full electronics failure on their last flight but the test continued without hitch. All flight controlls are manually powered and critical systems are redundant. Rutan likes to keep his pilots aliave  Big grin

But a shoty landing like the one in December, and they would be in a crunch to repair the damage. Pulling all-nighters for two weeks isn't the best plan B.

It ain't over till its over  Big thumbs up
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:57 am

Lehpron,

The problem with this competition is that it does NOT futher space tourism. It is not even affordable. It neither carries cargo to nor from, just a teaser flight, there is no destination up there...

The whole concept of the X-Prize is not to go to a specific destination - space IS the destination - but rather to foster private industry into the space programs. If it can be proven that NASA isn't the only game in town, it is only a matter of time before commercial, reasonably-priced space travel becomes a reality. THAT is the purpose (and a damn good one too) of the X-Prize contest.

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
 
jwenting
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Fri Jun 04, 2004 3:34 am

Lephron, the X-Prize is designed to foster research into making commercial exploration and exploitation of space through manned spaceflight feasible and affordable.
Everyone knows the current generation craft are prototypes but several of the contestants have already announced plans for larger vehicles with a lower cost per kilogram of payload.

Scaled is in it mainly for the glory, true. But they too without doubt hope their effort will bring them income from continuing the research and providing access to that research to companies willing to use it for putting up a regular commercial service at competitive prices.

Like all explorers, these too are taking risks. They know that and accept that for the potential rewards are huge (plus the glory).
I wish I were flying
 
Alessandro
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:29 pm

I think they doing well, hardly anyone else going to grab this prize from them.
Even the 50 miles limit would be great, since that´s the limit that NASA use for
calling someone an astronaut....


From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
L-188
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:45 pm

Does anybody know if there is any particular reason why they choose the longest day of the year to attempt this flight?

Just wondering if the longer period of heating on the earth might have something do with the flight. Expanding air making it denser at altitude....that sort of thing.

That is what caused Yeager to wreck that F-104 with the rocket motor years ago.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Ikarus
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:21 pm

L-188: I very much doubt so: The flight is scheduled for 6am, so they hardly intend to wait for the sun to heat up the atmosphere. As a matter of fact, they state they picked that early time precisely to avoid the windier parts of the morning, after the sun heats up part of the desert. They want to launch at dawn, with barely any light and as little wind as possible.

Maybe it's just a coincidence. Or could it be the anniversary of any other important event? Their first supersonic flight was around the anniversary of the Wright Brother's first flight, wasn't it? (Need to look up the dates!)

Regards

Ikarus
 
L-188
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RE: June 21 Set For 1st X-Prize Flight

Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:38 pm

I didn't think it made much sense either, because the reason Yeager lost that plane is that he had the afternoon flight after the air had heated up and expanded so he had no control authority at 90-whatever feet when he flamed out.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.

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