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Author Topic:   Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2004 01:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
John Glenn is still the first American in space

By whose standards? Certainly not the FAI. John Glenn was the first to orbit the Earth -- at least according to the FAI rules once it was revealed that Vostok 1 landed sans passenger -- but Gagarin was indeed the first to be "in" space, as Shepard was the first American.

Section 8 of the FAI sporting code reads in-part(s):

2.1.1 Near-space mission: A mission which remains entirely inside the sphere of influence of the Earth.

2.1.2 Outer-space mission: A mission which at least in part abandons the sphere of influence of the Earth.

2.12.1 All flights must exceed an altitude of 100 km in order to qualify for records.

No where (to my knowledge) do their rules for space missions require the vehicle to orbit the Earth...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2004 02:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
Since they weren't in the military, e.g. USAF, they very well couldn't be awarded Air Force astronaut wings...

I thought the deciding factor as to which gov't organization issued astronaut wings was based on who was responsible for licensing/operating the vehicle reaching space, rather than the affiliation of the pilot. So fly on the Space Shuttle and receive wings from NASA, fly on the SpaceShipOne and receive wings from the FAA (Department of Transportation), fly on the X-15 and receive wings from the USAF...

1202 Alarm
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posted 06-22-2004 03:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1202 Alarm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
John Glenn is still the first American in space (and rightly remembered as such - and not the third man to go ballistic), and he was the one who made it even with Gagarin. Not Shepard, not Grissom.
I didn't talk about Glenn or Alan being the first? I'm not 10 years old anymore, I don't lose my time on this...

I'm sorry, don't take it bad, but this kind of talk reminds me my childhood, when we had to argue about everything, especially things that don't have to.

I won't argue if Shepard or Glenn or even Ham was the first in space, it's a bit vain, especially when here in Europe, 40 years later, the Hermes vision never took place and we still have to pay millions and beg for a stupid 1 week mission with the big guys every 3 years.

Because you're not dealing about the facts but about your interpretation, you can see by the posts that people are not that convinced about your ideas. With that, please also put out of the way Gagarin and Titov, since their flights didn't meet the international requirements, as they had to eject from their Vostocks before landing in their spacecrafts. The Russians carefully omitted to mention that, but the question is: would that have change something in Gagarin's exploit? So yesterday's flight was not that big? Well, it was magnificent, fabulous, took humanity in yet another level, and I don't care if the M&M's won't obtain their astronaut wings just because they were food. They were cool. So were Alan and Gus.

music_space
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posted 06-22-2004 06:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My better half Holly has pretty much discovered the past and the present of space flight with me in the last year and I salute with some emotion what I see as her first cS-worthy point of discussion, triggered by SS1's flight. Here it is:

Which changes within NASA can be predicted in reaction to current and future developments of the private spaceflight industry?

('love you, honey! Feel free to register on cS!)

Rodina
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posted 06-22-2004 06:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
SpaceShipOne did not beat Gagarin
If you want be technical, Gagarin's flight didn't count, since he ejected from Vostok 1 and then climbed back inside after the fact. At least Melvill stayed with his craft.

Hawkman
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posted 06-22-2004 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkman   Click Here to Email Hawkman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone been able to find video of the flight on the web yet? I saw a brief snippet of the weightless M&M's last night. Wouldn't mind seeing more.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-22-2004 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by music_space:
Which changes within NASA can be predicted in reaction to current and future developments of the private spaceflight industry?
A revisiting of its objectives?

SpaceShipOne is not a threat to large scale space exploration, but it does show what a focused, budget-limited and bureaucracy-free group of professionals can achieve in a short time span.

IMHO their biggest contribution is the relighting of the public's imagination.

Paul

Scott
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posted 06-22-2004 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceShipOne "nugget" on eBay

Just imagine what one of the M&Ms would be worth!

Madon_space
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posted 06-22-2004 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Madon_space   Click Here to Email Madon_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
SpaceShipOne "nugget" on eBay
He's of his rocker if you ask me LOL. I suppose you can't blame the guy for trying.

Aztecdoug
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posted 06-22-2004 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rodina:
If you want be technical, Gagarin's flight didn't count, since he ejected from Vostok 1 and then climbed back inside after the fact. At least Melville stayed with his craft.
Thus, Gargarin and Titov's flights didn't count, John Glenn was the first to travel in space. Yuri's Night has to be changed to John's Night, and it will moved back to Feb. 20th. Settled. Thank goodness for rules!

------------------
Warm Regards

Douglas Henry

Enjoy yourself and have fun.... it is only a hobby!

machbusterman
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posted 06-22-2004 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some people seem to be losing the point I think. Burt and his team have created a vehicle capable of carrying 3 people on a sub-orbital spaceflight. Keep in mind that this is the first design that Scaled have built for this purpose. Do you think that will be the final version of their winged aerospace vehicle? Give Burt and his team a few years and they'll have designs ready for construction/testing to carry people on an orbital flight. Technology doesn't stand still. We have to continue to press on toward the unexplored.

This flight is truly one of THE most significant flights in aerospace history and within the civillian aviation community it is in my mind comparable (but more significant in another way) to Lindbergh's solo transatlantic flight.

Before you know it there'll be mini space-ports popping up all over the place (mostly in the USA methinks!!).

Just my tuppence-worth. Regards, Derek

DavidH
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posted 06-22-2004 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by music_space:
Which changes within NASA can be predicted in reaction to current and future developments of the private spaceflight industry?
With the help of the X Prize Foundation and the Aldridge Commission, NASA is realizing the power of prizes for space-related accomplishments.

------------------
http://www.hatbag.net/blog.html
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

Cliff Lentz
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posted 06-22-2004 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FFrench:
I'm guessing you could get a very good advertising contract with M&Ms to pay for it!
You read my mind! I just told someone that the next flight will probably have the Blue M&M caricature on the side of the spacecraft!

Cliff

DavidH
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posted 06-22-2004 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
I'm curious how today's flight will play in the media.
The flight did make the front page of The Huntsville Times, albeit at the very bottom.

The headline amused me: "SpaceShipOne lifts privately into space," as if it were feeling a little shy or something.

------------------
http://www.hatbag.net/blog.html
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

eurospace
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posted 06-22-2004 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
By whose standards? Certainly not the FAI.
By the same standards that make Sputnik the first man made object in space and not an A4 on 3 October 1942 from Peenemünde (reached 192 km, if I remember correctly).

Of course, ve can revrite history if you want...

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

eurospace
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posted 06-22-2004 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 1202 Alarm:
Well, it was magnificent, fabulous, took humanity in yet another level, and I don't care if the M&M's won't obtain their astronaut wings just because they were food. They were cool.
Karl, I agree with you: this fascination with SpaceShipOne has its childhood aspects. I mean, seriously: whatever we consider the first spaceflight, ballistic or orbital, it all happened a long time ago, back in 1961, and is nothing new, in scientific terms.

Tito, Shuttleworth and soon Olsen realized their dreams with considerably less money on existing spacecraft, too.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

FFrench
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posted 06-22-2004 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
Thus, Gagarin and Titov's flights didn't count, John Glenn was the first to travel in space. Yuri's Night has to be changed to John's Night, and it will moved back to Feb. 20th. Settled. Thank goodness for rules!
While we are having fun with this... to be absolutely, technically, precisely correct, Gherman Titov was the first person to make a full orbit of the Earth. Gagarin came down about 900 miles short of making an entire orbit. So I'll see you at Gherman's Night, Doug. (Three annual parties to go to now - sounds fun!)

FF

nasamad
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posted 06-22-2004 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a quick pointer to some nice SS1 images.

Adam

albatron@aol.com
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posted 06-22-2004 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron@aol.com   Click Here to Email albatron@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
I agree with you: this fascination with SpaceShipOne has its childhood aspects.
It's only a childish issue (argument) to one person, it's simple discussion to the rest. Which is par the course, an argument for arguments sake because they like to see themselves as geniuses (but constantly show themselves otherwise).
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I thought the deciding factor as to which gov't organization issued astronaut wings was based on who was responsible for licensing/operating the vehicle reaching space, rather than the affiliation of the pilot.
Rob, the phrase "given astronauts wings" is simply a phrase. No one is issued wings per se, except for those in the military who receive a special set of wings signifying they're sojourn into space. USAF, USN and USMC (which uses Navy wings of gold) have various wings to signify various status points in their career. The USN for pilots only have pilot and astronaut. The USAF has pilot, senior pilot, command pilot and any of those can have astronaut status.

For civilians, as they do not wear insignia as such they are not issued a set of wings but achieve astronaut status.

And yes, for ballistic flights as well. This is akin to saying you didn't go into the bathroom because you didn't walk around the room three times. For the love of Pete.

Cheers,

Al

Captain Apollo
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posted 06-22-2004 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Apollo   Click Here to Email Captain Apollo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceShipOne was wonderful! I feel lucky to have been alive to have seen the moon landing and now this. As a European, I'm afraid we have to admit - only in America. Don't think anyone else could have done it - least of all Starchaser.

Kirsten
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posted 06-22-2004 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kirsten   Click Here to Email Kirsten     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
SpaceShipOne "nugget" on eBay
ROFLOL! It's at $48 now! But I like the seller's description.

Philip
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posted 06-22-2004 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
SpaceShipOne "nugget" on eBay
Amazing... lots of rocks still out there!

Ashy
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posted 06-22-2004 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ashy   Click Here to Email Ashy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to disagree with Captain Apollo. The Starchaser company in Manchester, England are doing a fantastic job with very limited funds. I'm sure that if they had a multi-millionaire backing them, instead of having to tread up and down the country for sponsorship and get club membership for financial support they would have been closer than they are. As it is the latest estimate is 18 months behind. Not ideal, and certainly not the winner of the X Prize but not too bad. Lets not 'kick a dog when its down' please.

Si

eurospace
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posted 06-22-2004 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by machbusterman:
Keep in mind that this is the first design that Scaled have built for this purpose. Do you think that will be the final version of their winged aerospace vehicle? Give Burt and his team a few years and they'll have designs ready for construction/testing to carry people on an orbital flight.

It might be my lack of information, but has Rutan declared anything to the purpose of building an orbital vehicle with time and has Allen said he would fund it?

After all, orbital flight requires considerably more velocity and consequently much more combustible to carry with.

What I heard was more suborbital flights turning into a tourist attraction at a more affordable price. I did not hear about exploration or leaving LEO.

But as I said, maybe my lack of information. I have not heard of any such intention - have you?

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

eurospace
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posted 06-22-2004 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
I'm curious how today's flight will play in the media.
My German daily newspaper carried an extensive pre-report at a prominent place a few days before the event and had it accompanied by an interview with Harry Ruppe, former collaborator of von Braun and former head of NASA's future project office on how to judge the project.

The report AFTER the fact was short and fact oriented.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

nasamad
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posted 06-22-2004 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another website with good SS1 images.

Also on the site are images of another Scaled Composites innovation which is collecting much less publicity. The Virgin Globalflyer on it's first flight, showing drag chutes for slowing down for landing instead of flaps!

Adam

P.S. Check out Dec 17 entry where Brian Binney tries (unsuccessfully, thank god) to recreate Bruce Peterson's famous M2F2 crash used at the start of the Six Million Dollar Man!

Scott
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posted 06-22-2004 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
SpaceShipOne "nugget" on eBay
I think the funniest part of the whole thing is how he was preparing this ad even as he was still out there, judging from the picture of him holding up a rock to photograph. The man's a genius.

Kirsten
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posted 06-22-2004 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kirsten   Click Here to Email Kirsten     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
I'm curious how today's flight will play in the media.
A report online.

Kirsten

John K. Rochester
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posted 06-22-2004 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
I'm curious how today's flight will play in the media.
Rochester paper had it as the premier story on the front page, right below the banner. "Test pilot reaches space in private craft" with a photo of both Melvill and SpaceShipOne touchdown!! Again proud to be a Rochesterian (the China Launch last year was third page).

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-22-2004 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a bit surprised that the technical details seem very light compared to the Breitling Orbiter.

As a pilot I'd like to know speeds vs. height, landing speed, rate of decent etc. Any source for this?

Paul

ColinBurgess
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posted 06-22-2004 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
I'm curious how today's flight will play in the media.
Most newspapers in Sydney did not treat it as anything special or significant - it was generally consigned to the overseas news sections of the papers on about page 6. Most television news bulletins carried it, with coverage of about a minute or so, but this was a little light and frothy, with footage of the floating M&Ms and Melvill riding the top of his rocket across the tarmac a la Chuck Yeager, and nugatory banter by the talking news heads about impending space tourism. One station annoyed me by twice saying that the craft had gone into orbit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2004 10:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron@aol.com:
For civilians, as they do not wear insignia as such they are not issued a set of wings but achieve astronaut status.

Still, the astronaut status (or wings) is certified by the organization licensing the vehicle flying, hence the X-15 pilots that exceed 50 miles were awarded "wings" from the USAF and not NASA or the FAA (or others).

And civilians do receive wings, of sorts. If you notice the name tags that NASA astronauts wear on their blue flight suits and orange ACES, there are wings (I had though they changed from silver to gold after flight but looking at a few astronaut portraits right now, that doesn't appear to be the case). And I suppose that NASA's astronaut pin has served as "wings" since the beginning of the program, as it is used to indicate flight status.

Mike Melvill received the first pair of wings awarded from the DOT and during the presentation by Patti Grace Smith (FAA), it was indicated that all such commercial astronauts will earn and receive them.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2004 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
It might be my lack of information, but has Rutan declared anything to the purpose of building an orbital vehicle with time and has Allen said he would fund it?

Rutan is very clear that he doesn't comment or describe future projects as if he did, and then for whatever reason he was unable to deliver, the press would label him a failure (his words). He did say though that he had no intention of "hanging around" in suborbital space for the next decade and that "orbital flight was much closer than anyone knows".

quote:
“[SpaceShipOne] is model number 316 and the White Knight is model number 318. I will be making a presentation very quick of a model number 346. Those are just numbers that I put on the napkin [that he used to sketch out the plan in his initial meeting with Allen]. The napkin will not be presented to the media until the spaceship resides in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.”
The above quote was from Rutan (as transcribed and described by Jeff Foust writing in The Space Review.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2004 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
I'm a bit surprised that the technical details seem very light compared to eg Breitling Orbiter. As a pilot I'd like to know speeds vs height, landing speed, rate of decent etc.
Any source for this?

Burt Rutan told reporters after the flight on Monday that after Scaled's team was able to digest and analyze the data from the flight, that a detailed report would be posted to their website.

You might want to check their flight log archive later this week or next for updates.

MrSpace86
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posted 06-22-2004 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If NASA, who has some of the best engineers and scientists in the world, makes mistakes and has loss of human life, what can stop these people from having casualties? I'm excited because it's historical, but come on, why are they doing this? For money? For fame? For glory? I don't think it's for the benefit of mankind.

-Rodrigo

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2004 11:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
If NASA, who has some of the best engineers and scientists in the world, makes mistakes and has loss of human life, what can stop these people from having casualties?
Space flight is risky regardless of who is paying the bill. Mike Melvill admitted that during the flight there were times when he was scared (his word) for his life.

Death is not an obstacle, its a fact. People will and are going to die launching to space. People die testing commercial airplanes, they die testing high performance automobiles, they die scaling the next mountain -- but in every case, there is someone waiting to learn from what lead to that causality and push the envelope once again.

quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
I'm excited because it's historical, but come on, why are they doing this? For money? For fame? For glory?
All of the above -- and then some. Scaled Composites is a company that has bills and employees to pay. SS1 is a testbed towards the development of vehicles aimed at tapping existing and new markets.

Burt Rutan is a record-setting aerospace engineer and though he may not seek the adoration and attention, he didn't turn away the 500+ members of the press and estimated 11,000 spectators that arrived to witness his (latest) attempt at history on Monday.

quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
I don't think it's for the benefit of mankind.
Then I think you are underestimating Burt Rutan.

eurospace
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posted 06-23-2004 02:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like to enter a new aspect to the discussion. Burt Rutan seems to see his commercial market in space tourism. I've read quotes saying that he sees passengers fly in about 2010 and for the price of a cruise (even though his flights are at present a lot shorter).

Just some thoughts on this:

  • the space tourism market is not new, and it will certainly not be any newer in 2010.

  • space tourism has started with a company that was formerly state run, RKK Energiya, and in Russia. Two tourists have already flown, and a third flight is in reparation. So - Rutan is certainly not the first to have offered tourist flights - if ever he does.

  • Paul Allen is said to have spent 20 million on the development of Spaceship One. For that money, he didn't even get a spaceflight himself.

  • Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth also spent 20 Million Dollars. They not only got a real spaceflight, they got one for ten days spent in weightlessness, visited a space station, and had a lot of fun.

  • In summary we have at present no flight for the common man on Spaceship One, no first in space tourism, no real spaceflight in the near future, and we have a professional pilot flying suborbital (achieved already 40 years before).
In the discussion about the late President Reagan, Robert Pearlman correctly stated that it was too early to judge the historical merit of his presidency. Reagan's Presidency is two decades away. Yet we speak about a "historical flight". Are there different deadlines for "historical" when it comes to flying objects then when it comes to Earthly presidencies?

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-23-2004 04:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
I would like to enter a new aspect to the discussion. Burt Rutan seems to see his commercial market in space tourism. I've read quotes saying that he sees passengers fly in about 2010 and for the price of a cruise (even though his flights are at present a lot shorter).
The quotes you are citing are either mismatched and/or inaccurate. Rutan said that he believed space tourism, a.k.a. passenger space flight could begin as soon as 10 to 15 years from today but he was not referring to his own efforts when he said that. Rutan specifically said that he would not be in the business of flying tourists but rather would leave that to some other company. He said he would be developing and flying his next vehicle to go elsewhere when tourists were flying to suborbital space.

The quote about an estimated price being similar to that of an SUV was Rutan in turn quoting Dennis Tito, who has used the comparison as the target when tickets would be well within the reach of the population.
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the space tourism market is not new, and it will certainly not be any newer in 2010.
SpaceShipOne was not designed for and will never fly tourists. How is your statement relevant?
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Two tourists have already flown, and a third flight is in reparation. So - Rutan is certainly not the first to have offered tourist flights - if ever he does.
Rutan doesn't claim to be the first to offer tourist flights. Again, your point?
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Paul Allen is said to have spent 20 million on the development of Spaceship One. For that money, he didn't even get a spaceflight himself.
Paul Allen didn't set off to fly in space himself. Your point?
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In summary we have at present no flight for the common man on Spaceship One, no first in space tourism, no real spaceflight in the near future, and we have a professional pilot flying suborbital (achieved already 40 years before).
Jürgen, you seem to have this fascination with tourism and flight profiles as the only records that could possibly be worth cheering, when SS1 attempted neither record.

Rutan and Allen set out to demonstrate that private enterprise could reach space and they accomplished that goal. That you do not feel that is significant is your right, but it doesn't negate that a record has been set.

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Are there different deadlines for "historical" when it comes to flying objects then when it comes to Earthly presidencies?
The difference Jürgen, is that you appear to be judging SS1 by its future applications while others are celebrating its success based on what it actually accomplished. Time will not change that it was the first privately-built crewed vehicle to reach space, whereas there is little that any president can take sole credit for that is as unwavering to the testament of time.

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 06-23-2004 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me add some more remarks that might make my judgement more understandable than it seems to be to some:

The noise around this flight reminds me about the noise parents make when their very young first child is making first step. There is no other topic but "have you seen that?", "He's walking!", "He has made one more step than last time!" and so forth. Those who had children before smile understandingly, those who did not think sympathetically that this must be a mild form of madness.

In other words: as important as first steps for a very young child and its parents are, an event in history they are not.

The same happens here: I care a lot about what is done in space: do we manage to establish a permanent space station? Are we going to explore other planets? That are my standards, and that is my expectation. Whether this is done with public funds or private funds, is secondary to me. The important thing is that it is done.

If there is a new competitor in this sort of services, then the question is: is he competitive? Of course not. That's what I tried to say. Rutan's project is in no way competitive to what we do now and what we need for space exploration. They are children making their first step. Whether something comes out of it, we see when the child is entering the world of business - in about 30 years from now.

Can we know the prodigy child will be a brillant physician/lawyer/businessman now? We can not. Parents must believe in that. As bystanders, we should be a bit careful in stating that "this brillant child that just has made his first step will become a brillant surgeon". Bullocks. We don't know. And we don't know either whether this will be the beginning of commercial spaceflight or just a stand-off gag that runs as long as Mr Allen has fun with it and comes with the money. No buck, no Buck Rogers. And 30 years of steady development (even 10 ...), and even more so orbital flight will need a LOT more money, and coming steadily for quite a while.

Jürgen

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 06-23-2004 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
SpaceShipOne was not designed for and will never fly tourists. How is your statement relevant? )
You are actually making my point. If commercial business is to be viable, then it must produce profits, returns. What is Mr Allen getting for his investment? Nuttin'. And that means nuttin' to reinvest and develop future projects either. On and off.

I can assure you won't run any commercial business on this basis. In that case SpaceShip One is a stunt, a show. No real business plan behind.

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Rutan doesn't claim to be the first to offer tourist flights. Again, your point?
Return question: what is Mr Rutan's point: that one can fly a rocket aircraft to the borders of space? We knew that before. That we can do that for as little as 20 Million? Point taken - I always thought that the monopolistic structure of the defense industry produced at too high a cost. That is not a question of private vs. public funding - it is a question of monopolistic structures, lack of competition, and high overhead in large companies/institutions.
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Paul Allen didn't set off to fly in space himself. Your point?
See previous message: Tito got a spaceflight for 20 Million, Allen did not. He personally got a return for his investment. Are you disputing that?
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Rutan and Allen set out to demonstrate that private enterprise could reach space and they accomplished that goal. That you do not feel that is significant is your right, but it doesn't negate that a record has been set.
Well, that's what spaceflight is all about: to go where no one has gone before.

The term private vs. public funding is not the decisive point: the previous spacecraft were also produced by private industry. Lockheed, Northrop, Grumman, McDonnell, all these are private companies. They responded to a call for tenders, and the best bid got the job.

Rutan showed his fellow industrialists that they produce spacecraft development and operation at too high a cost. True. He challenged the behemoths. Good, as any competition. However, this has happened before, in many industrial sectors. Perhaps Rutan won a battle - but will he win the war?

Will he have the stamina to go on, to provide the overhead, steady structure to REALLY operate in space commercially? You just told me at the beginning of the message that he actually doesn't even have the intention to do so.

So: as spaceflight is nothing without a plan and a steady future - what does this launch prove to us in terms of "will there be a commercial spaceflight industry"? Not much, I'm afraid. The challenge is not in climbing the mountain, and then climb back down again. The challenge is in enduring the endless plains behind. Everybody can cross a swamp once. Drying it, regulating the water and making a viable environment for human settlers, that is the challenge.

Typical male thinking: you think that conceiving a child is the achievement. It is not. Raising, educating it over a period of 20+ years it is the real task.

To drive the analogy beyond that: we should note that Mr Melvill wasn't even "in" there, he did just watch it for the first time. Sure, young men start out like this. It is not the most important historical step in one's personal development either .... even though adolescent young man might make a lot of noise about it when talking to their fellow youngsters .....

The challenge is still out there.

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies


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