Space Race 2: Flying High Beyond The Sky

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arobie

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Space Race 2: Flying High Beyond The Sky <br /><br />Huntsville AL (UPI) Oct 26, 2004 <br />Burt Rutan cast an eye around the crowd pressed into Moontown Airport's biggest hangar Saturday night. There was not much room - the seats had been filled since 7 - and the rain kept folks pretty tightly packed inside. <br />The crowd represented Rutan's past and future: aviation enthusiasts and private pilots, who frequent the grassy strip airport, located 25 miles east of Huntsville, and rocket scientists, most of whom work at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center at the other end of town. <br /><br />Rutan, who has been averaging better than one new aircraft design every year for the past three decades, confessed he is finished with airplanes for a while. The mission now for his Mojave, Calif., team is to create 3,000 new astronauts a year, beginning in four or five years. That is per departure point, Rutan quickly added, and per ship. <br /><br />Mojave is not going to be the only place in the world where there will be a place to buy tickets and fly a spaceflight, Rutan told the audience. He said it is mystifying why rocket-builders have been ignoring the most obvious and lucrative payloads in their quest to beef up business. <br /><br />You carbon units, he said. You who are easily replicated by unskilled labor. You are the most valuable payloads. Other payloads are very expensive to build and launch, but you all will pay for your ride. <br /><br />Next week, Rutan and his business partner, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., collect on a $10 million prize won for flying a three-person, privately developed craft into sub-orbital space twice within two weeks. <br /><br />Even before the competition was over, Rutan had found his next partner, Richard Branson. The British tycoon and flamboyant chief of Virgin Group in London has pledged to more than quadruple Allen's $20 million-plus investment in SpaceShipOne. In exchange, Rutan promised to deliver a fleet of spaceliners to car
 
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arobie

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Space Race 2: Flying High Beyond The Sky<br /><br />There is the link to the article. Sorry I didn't have one in the post.<br /><br />3,000 new astonauts per year is alot. It sounds great, but it is too optimistic.<br /><br />With 5 ships able to carry 8 passengers per flight, they can take up 2,080 passengers in one year if turn around between flights is one week. And then it might be less if any guy and a girl take an entire ship for themselves. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br /><font color="yellow">"SpaceShipTwo will not look anything like its predecessor."</font><br /><br />I had imagined SS2 being similar to SS1, but I guess it won't be.<br /><br />I can't wait to see how it will look then. The description of the size sounds good to me. It sounds bigger than I thought.
 
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crix

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"The demand for sub-orbital space travel will continue to grow until orbital spaceflight becomes a real possibility, in perhaps 23 years to 24 years, Rutan said."<br /><br />23 to 24 years?? What's that mean? ETA of routine, commercial orbital flight?
 
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bobvanx

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I was noticing that it takes HOURS to open the hatch when a soyuz comes up to ISS. And a couple of days to get there.<br /><br />Now the couple of days can be shortened, but it still is going to take a couple hours to do all the housekeeping required to open the port. From a consumer point of view, how long do you want to be stuck in the launch vehicle?<br /><br />They'll have to solve that. Or send up the equivalent of a motor-home, which docks with a support facility for power and station keeping, but carries with it everything needed. Including volume.
 
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crix

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Why should it take hours to open a hatch? As long as pressures are the same then they should be able to open very quickly.<br /><br />I imagine "housekeeping" are redundancies due to our being still not super-confident with our space technology. (??)<br /><br />My comments aren't based on any science or knowledge of how current systems work. Rather I'm just saying that I would like the docking/door-opening systems to behave like they do in the movies: *Clunk* "We've just mated with the mothership" *Green 'Go' light blinks on* "Okay, open the door" :) 5 secodns max between mating and door opening.
 
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mrmorris

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<font color="yellow">"Why should it take hours to open a hatch? "</font><br /><br />Probably designed by a female engineer. Depending on the terminology used for the docking sequence -- I imagine the scenario is mapped out something like this:<br /><br />Scenario A:<br />- Launch Phase -- Earth to Orbit (~15 minutes).<br />- Orbit Phase -- Matching Orbits (~1-3 days)<br />- Approach Phase -- Last few hundred meters to ISS (1-3 hours)<br />- Mating Phase -- Spacecraft docks to ISS (~3 minutes)<br />- Cuddle Phase -- Hold for further instructions (~3-5 hours)<br />- Mission Accomplished -- Open up and smoke 'em if you got 'em.<br /><br />I could be wrong, however -- the sequence might be:<br /><br />Scenario B:<br />- Launch Phase -- Earth to Orbit (~15 minutes).<br />- Orbit Phase -- Matching Orbits (~1-3 days)<br />- Approach Phase -- Last few hundred meters to ISS (1-3 hours)<br />- Contact Phase -- Spacecraft makes initial contact with ISS (~3 minutes)<br />- Foreplay Phase -- Run through checklist -- verify all systems are go (~3-5 hours)<br />- Entry Phase -- You're going in (~2-3 minutes)<br />- Mission Accomplished -- Smoke 'em if you got 'em.<br />
 
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crix

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Heh. Why can't we just skip the foreplay!! I just wish the computer on board could do a diagnostic and verify everything is go ~5 seconds.
 
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