Spaceship One pictures

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Hexxenhammer
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Spaceship One pictures

Post by Hexxenhammer » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:03 pm

Check out these pictures from Scaled Composites.

http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/ ... s_text.htm

June 20 is the launch. I'm really excited about this. These guys are really gonna do it. And if you read the news section, they're gonna do it casually. Launch at 6:30, half hour to get White Knight where it needs to be, launch Spaceship One, in space for 3 minutes, another half hour to land in the same place they took off from, pictures with the press, then cookies and milk by 8:00.
"I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa."

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Cecil
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Post by Cecil » Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:49 pm

Our plan involves flight in a 3-place spaceship, initially attached to a turbojet launch aircraft while climbing for an hour to 50,000 feet, above 85% of the atmosphere. The spaceship then drops into gliding flight and fires its rocket motor while climbing steeply for more than a minute, reaching a speed of 2,500 mph. The ship coasts up to 100 km (62 miles) altitude, then falls back into the atmosphere. The coast and fall are under weightless conditions for more than three minutes. During weightless flight, the spaceship converts to a high-drag configuration to allow a safe, stable atmospheric entry. After the entry deceleration which takes more than a minute, the ship converts back to a conventional glider, allowing a leisurely 17 minute glide from 80,000 feet altitude down to a runway where a landing is made at lightplane speeds.
This is so cool. Hopefully it will spark public interest in private spaceflight. The website makes the comparison to the huge growth in aviation between 1908 and 1912, but I can't see that happening here on such a large scale. The practical advantages of aviation are obvious - both civil and military.

I can't see much of an application for a suborbital vehicle of this sort other than tourism, except perhaps faster trans-altantic crossings (London to New York in 2 hours?), and the cost of this would likely be prohibitive.

Is this the first step towards the development of a SSTO vehicle? Maybe. The top speed of this spaceship is only 1.1 km/sec, about 15% of the speed needed to attain orbit. Not to mention that it's still two stages - the rocket launches from 50,000 feet.

We seem to be cursed with such a huge gravity well. If only our planet were Mars-sized, we'd be putting things in orbit for less than 1% of the cost. :(

Regardless, it's still exciting to witness a first like this. I can't wait! :D

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Post by xouper » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:41 pm

Cecil wrote:We seem to be cursed with such a huge gravity well. If only our planet were Mars-sized, we'd be putting things in orbit for less than 1% of the cost. :(
Yeah, and one of the curses from having so much gravity is all that dense and annoying air we have at sea level. :shock:

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Post by Sundog » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:53 pm

xouper wrote:
Cecil wrote:We seem to be cursed with such a huge gravity well. If only our planet were Mars-sized, we'd be putting things in orbit for less than 1% of the cost. :(
Yeah, and one of the curses from having so much gravity is all that dense and annoying air we have at sea level. :shock:
Luddite!

Are your smilie's eys bugging out from the lack of atmosphere?

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Cecil
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Post by Cecil » Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:31 am

xouper wrote:
Cecil wrote:We seem to be cursed with such a huge gravity well. If only our planet were Mars-sized, we'd be putting things in orbit for less than 1% of the cost. :(
Yeah, and one of the curses from having so much gravity is all that dense and annoying air we have at sea level. :shock:
Damn atmosphere, always getting in the way of things. :wink:

*shakes fist at the atmosphere*

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Post by davefoc » Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:08 am

I think we could get by with less gravity and still have a substantial atmosphere.

Venus has a much denser atmosphere than earth and titan (saturn moon) has a substantial atmosphere I think.

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Post by Geni » Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:32 pm

Titians atmosphere is only so dense beace tempretures are so low.

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Sorgoth
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Post by Sorgoth » Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:56 am

It's a big step forward... When they win the X-Prize, it'll fund perhaps a faster and cheaper model. Like computers...nearly useless at first, but now...Cheap, fast, most people can afford them (In first world countries, that is) (Well, I doubt they'll ever become affordable, but economically viable, yes.)

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Post by xouper » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:18 am

Sorgoth wrote:It's a big step forward... When they win the X-Prize, it'll fund perhaps a faster and cheaper model. Like computers...nearly useless at first, but now...Cheap, fast, most people can afford them (In first world countries, that is) (Well, I doubt they'll ever become affordable, but economically viable, yes.)
That's what they used to say about private airplanes. Never happened. For most people, owning an airplane is simply not economically viable.

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Post by Pyrrho » Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:36 am

xouper wrote:
Sorgoth wrote:It's a big step forward... When they win the X-Prize, it'll fund perhaps a faster and cheaper model. Like computers...nearly useless at first, but now...Cheap, fast, most people can afford them (In first world countries, that is) (Well, I doubt they'll ever become affordable, but economically viable, yes.)
That's what they used to say about private airplanes. Never happened. For most people, owning an airplane is simply not economically viable.
I'm saving up for a flying car. Popular Mechanics has been promising one for decades. It'll be any day now that we're in the 21st century.

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Post by rwald » Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:41 am

Pyrrho wrote:
xouper wrote:
Sorgoth wrote:It's a big step forward... When they win the X-Prize, it'll fund perhaps a faster and cheaper model. Like computers...nearly useless at first, but now...Cheap, fast, most people can afford them (In first world countries, that is) (Well, I doubt they'll ever become affordable, but economically viable, yes.)
That's what they used to say about private airplanes. Never happened. For most people, owning an airplane is simply not economically viable.
I'm saving up for a flying car. Popular Mechanics has been promising one for decades. It'll be any day now that we're in the 21st century.
Remember, flying cars are the technology of the future. And always will be.
For the record, I don't actually know anything. Not even this.

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Post by shanek » Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:56 am

xouper wrote:That's what they used to say about private airplanes. Never happened. For most people, owning an airplane is simply not economically viable.
Couldn't possibly have anything to do with all the regulations surrounding them, could it?
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by shanek » Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:01 am

Pyrrho wrote:I'm saving up for a flying car. Popular Mechanics has been promising one for decades. It'll be any day now that we're in the 21st century.
You mean, like this one?

It even gets gas mileage as good as my Saturn!
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by Geni » Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:22 am

shanek wrote:Couldn't possibly have anything to do with all the regulations surrounding them, could it?
On the other hand the flying flea was a truly awful aircraft (but it was cheap, inertive, and gave people choice).

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Post by xouper » Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:27 am

shanek wrote:
xouper wrote:That's what they used to say about private airplanes. Never happened. For most people, owning an airplane is simply not economically viable.
Couldn't possibly have anything to do with all the regulations surrounding them, could it?
Yes, that's a factor, but probably not the biggest one. I don't have numbers, but I'll wager that the real reason for the higher prices is the cost of liability insurance for the airplane makers and for the companies who make the parts that go into those airplanes.

I'll offer as evidence the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 that limits liability of airplane makers, which allowed Cessna to go back into production of piston engine airplanes after several years of not making them due to the high cost of libaility insurance.

Let me give you an example. A aquaintence of mine needed to replace a fuel pump on his twin engine Cessna. The Cessna part retails for $400 (many years ago). However, the part had a data plate on it with the part number from the original manufacturer, so he called the mfg of the pump and asked the price. The mfg, not being stupid, asked him if it was going in an airplane. My friend, also not being stupid, said he needed it for pumping petroleum from one tank to another. The mfg quoted him a price of $40, so he bought two, one to keep as a spare.

Another factor is that courts have often ruled that improvements to airplane parts are taken as evidence of previous design flaws, thus discouraging manufacturers from improving their designs.

But you are correct, regulations are a siginificant factor in the cost of a certified airplane compared to a homebuilt airplane. But I would claim that the part mfg liability insurance is a bigger factor.

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xouper
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Post by xouper » Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:33 am

shanek wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:I'm saving up for a flying car. Popular Mechanics has been promising one for decades. It'll be any day now that we're in the 21st century.
You mean, like this one?

It even gets gas mileage as good as my Saturn!
So they say. They haven't proven that their performance numbers are anywhere near being credible. In fact, Moller is a laughingstock in the aviation community. But even if Moller does manage to get one of those things certified, good luck trying to buy one for less than half a million dollars.

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Post by Hexxenhammer » Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:44 pm

Spaceship one is in the air!

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/06/2 ... index.html

I can't find a free webcast or anything. They should have launched from White Knight a few minutes ago. Anyone know anything yet?
"I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa."

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Post by Hexxenhammer » Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:39 pm

They did it! Alright!

Now they just need one with, like, 70x the thrust to get them in orbit!
"I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa."

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Post by Agnomen » Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:14 am

Very exciting.

From Reuters:
"After burning its rocket for about 80 seconds, SpaceShipOne sped up to more than three times the speed of sound and then coasted to its peak altitude, making Melvill weightless.

He said he released a bag of M&Ms chocolates, which "just spun around like little sparkling things."

...
SpaceShipOne's trim controls got stuck as it made its rocket boost, causing it to go about 22 miles off course and not reach its full expected altitude of 68 miles."

(source: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtm ... geNumber=1)

Controls stuck? Might that have something to do with the M&M's?

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Post by Nigel » Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:21 am

It would have been really cool if SpaceShipOne had a neat little rear spoiler like I see on Chevy Cavaliers!



Seriously, I think that's just damned incredible. It'll be really interesting (and I hope I live long enough) to see if this Joe Average in a rocket really gets going.
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