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<br />Coupla cool factoids in this SpaceDaily article. Rutan considered using the engines from Sidewinder missiles at one point as boosters for SS1. I can't find specs on them, unfortunately (Hercules MK 36 MOD 11 solid-fuel rocket).<br /><br />Also -- the article confirms that SS1 will be carrying a payload for DARPA.
Things that make you go 'Hmmm'<br /><br />- Davinci is based in Toronto, ON. They tested the balloon in Colorado. Why would they travel ~1500 miles for this? They're on a tight schedule so presumably would try to trim times wherever possible. At 60 miles/hr -- Colorado is about 25 hours one-way from Toronto. Launching from a open field in Colorado then would seem to have cost them about 3-4 days over launching from a field in Ontario. Is Canada really short of open fields?
><i>Launching from a open field in Colorado then would seem to have cost them about 3-4 days over launching from a field in Ontario.</i><p>Where's the balloon being made? Perhaps that has something to do with it.</p>
shuttle_guy,<br /><br />Thank you for the information. I will have to catch that XPrize special on the Discovery channel. <br /><br />Do you know about when rocket ingnition will be? I forget, how long does it take them to get to the required altitude to ignite the rocket?
I was at the June 21st flight.<br /><br />Let me be the first to tell you that my memory doesn't always match the facts, but I recall WK/SS1 took off not much before 7am and then Mike Melville lit the motor not much before 8am.
If you can stay out of the storms and make it to next year I'll make sure to be in Florida over the summer. What we'll try to do is go to England via Miami and spend a few days in Florida - Shane wants to go to some of the theme parks, though I can't get her to go on any of the roller coasters <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
Thank you Shuttle_Guy for the info. Unfortunately , though, I won't be able to watch it live. I have to go to school. <img src="/images/icons/frown.gif" /><br /><br />I'm still very excited for this. I will be daydreaming all day tomorrow, and I will watch footage of it and read all the articles about it after school. I'm also looking forward to reading the live commentary that I know will be here tomorrow. Fifteen hours untill takeoff I can't wait!! <img src="/images/icons/crazy.gif" />
Interesting question. I'd say they will probably share it around, so I don't expect it will be Melvill again. But aren't these X-Prize contestants required to be able to loft the equivalent of 3 persons to win?<br /><br />So, what about the "left-field" prospect of the 2nd X-Prize flight having a 3-man crew? Melvill, Binnie and Rutan perhaps? I don't know how feasible this would be, seating-wise, but it would certainly be an incredibly emphatic statement by Scaled Composites that they believe their SS1 technology to be matured. It would be a wonderful exclamation point to put on the end of this phase of their space activities and signal to the world at large that they mean business, and can back the talk up in a thoroughly proficient and professional manner. It would also be a further advertisment to potential and current investors alike. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em><font size="2" color="#ff0000">Who is this superhero? Henry, the mild-mannered janitor ... could be!</font></em></p><p><em><font size="2">-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------</font></em></p><p><font size="5">Bring Back The Black!</font></p> </div>
<font color="yellow">My money is on Allen flying before Rutan. "Move over, it's MY airplane!"</font><br /><br />I'd take that bet. Rutan first.<br /><br />One little bit scary thing, he's a genius sure, but he's also an engineer, and I think he designs a lit-tel close to the envelope. Allen probably knows this, and might be reluctant to risk his skin. (Plus, and I don't mean this unkindly, it looks like he might qualify as a passenger and a half all on his own).<br /><br />The specs for SS1 say the windows are plexi and "high temperature lexan" well, I've made stuff with two or three grades of lexan, and it's tough, yes, but very few things bond to it and while my info could be years out of date, it melted at a relatively low temperature.<br /><br />So even though the windows are cute and look strong, I for one would want some destructive testing (on a model, that would satisfy me) before I got aboard.
shuttle_guy,<br /><br />Arthur C. Clarke once described a launch of the Apollo mission Saturn 5 as equivalant to a fully loaded destroyer going straight up. That is just the aspect of the amount of mass in motion, though, and does not address the physical experience.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> The secret to peace of mind is a short attention span. </div>
What I think is cool (if no one else has mentioned), is that even NASA are getting in on the act by promoting them:<br /><br /> <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b>NASA TV Sched:</b><br />September 29, Wednesday<br />1 a.m. - Replay of NASA Administrator's Symposium; "Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and the Stars," Session Three - "Space" - HQ (Replay/Recorded 9/28/04)<br />9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Ansari X Prize Competition from Mojave Test Flight Center - HQ (Feed of Space Ship One test flight)<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>
To coin a phrase:<br /><br />LET MY PEOPLE GO (UP)!!<br /><br />Godspeed, Spaceship One. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>One Percent of Federal Funding For Space: America <strong><em><u>CAN</u></em></strong> Afford it!! LEO is a <strong><em>Prison</em></strong> -- It's time for a <em><strong>JAILBREAK</strong></em>!!</p> </div>