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Nick 2021-05-23 08:59

"Rocket plane flies to edge of space"

It's a pity they mean the start of space and not the end...

Uncwilly 2021-05-23 14:40

[QUOTE=Nick;578902]"Rocket plane flies to edge of space"

So 2021 might be the year that we will see all of the following:
1. Paid passenger suborbital rocket space flight. (Blue Origin)
2. Paid passenger suborbital winged space flight. (Virgin Galactic)
3. An entirely private orbital crewed/passengered space flight. (Spac-X Dragon Inspiration 4)
4. Maybe 4 different types of crewed spacecraft launch into space from a single country . (Boeing Starliner)
5. Maybe a 5th type of (planned) crewed, private spacecraft to launch into space from the same country. (Space-X StarShip)
6. Maybe the launch of a 6th type crew craft (Orion on SLS) from the same country.

The [URL=""]Dream Chaser won't go this year[/URL]. But that will make 7 types flying concurrently.

To get that number of different crewed spacecraft types flown in the past one needs to take the entire USSR fleet of Voshkod, Vostok, and Soyuz; the entire USA capsule fleet Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo; and then add in the X-15 winged craft. There was no single year when all of those flew into space.

drkirkby 2021-05-25 12:45

[QUOTE=Uncwilly;322773][LIST][*]You have ~$1billion to work with.[/LIST][/QUOTE]I don't think you could achieve much with that budget. We are building a rail line in the UK (HS2) for high speed trains (up to 224 mph). There are only a few hundred miles of track, but that is costing many tens of billions of GBP.

So I think one should start your project by robbing a bank.

xilman 2021-05-25 16:54

[QUOTE=drkirkby;579039]I don't think you could achieve much with that budget. We are building a rail line in the UK (HS2) for high speed trains (up to 224 mph). There are only a few hundred miles of track, but that is costing many tens of billions of GBP.

So I think one should start your project by robbing a bank.[/QUOTE]Good to see someone returning to the original topic of this thread.

I happen to think that one can do rather a lot with the resources specified and have suggested several missions.

Perhaps it is time for us to return to the original premises and see what may have changed our ideas in the interim.

xilman 2021-05-25 17:01

[QUOTE=xilman;323013]I'd like to put something useful in the solar focal sphere but although it just about might be within budget, it would take far too long to get there. Increase both constraints by a factor of a few and it would become possible.

Closer to home, it would be nice to land a technology prototype on Mars which converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen. The products are used as rocket fuel for sample return to earth. Once again, budgetary constraints are likely to be the limiting factor.[/QUOTE]Scratch the second one. It has been done in the subsequent 8 years.


Uncwilly 2021-05-25 17:36

Some stats on booster performance and price
Falcon 9 (fully expended mode)
Payload to LEO 22,800 kg / 50,265 lb
Payload to GTO 8,300 kg / 18,300 lb
Payload to Mars 4,020 kg / 8,860 lb
Cost (in reused mode $62M [5500 kg to GTO])

Falcon Heavy (fully expended mode)
Payload to LEO 63,800 kg / 140,660 lb
Payload to GTO 26,700 kg / 58860 lb
Payload to Mars 16,800 kg / 37,040 lb
Cost (in reused mode $90M [8000 kg to GTO])

So, 2 launches on a FH is still within the $1billion budget.

We can open it up to a single launch on a Starship (That is likely to have an orbital flight by the end of December. I don't think the refueling will be demonstrated by the end of the year). So, that mass is 100,000 to LEO. Figure the cost at $100M for now.

masser 2021-06-30 23:15

[QUOTE=diep;493715]They say they got a heatshield.However the heatshield is just at 1 side of the spacecraft. We sure may hope the heat comes from just 1 direction - another thing i highly doubt.

Some missions you simply have to do in the end - but there is always too many expensive plans on the planet which have a long life and after some decades suddenly someone signs up for it, ignoring the problems with positive talk and wishful thinking.

From a distance seen this seems like that last. Let's hope i'm wrong.

It's gonna get cooked like a shrimp in a boiling pan.[/QUOTE]

Parker Solar Probe still going strong, by last check. Not a surprise, really, considering the success of previous crafts, like Helios 2.

xilman 2021-08-08 10:27

[URL=""]Mass beam propulsion, an overview[/URL] came to my attention earlier today. It proposes a mechanism by which ships massing over a thousand tonnes could be sent to nearby stars in a reasonable timescale. All the technology has been demonstrated already, albeit in rather small scales. No reliance on fusion reactions, for example, other than those occurring within the Sun.

A crewed mission to alpha Centauri could perhaps be launched by 2110 with the first fly-by reconnaissance probe launching around 2050 and an orbitting robotic infrastructure builder around 2080. I feel these dates are optimistic by perhaps 20 - 30 years.

ewmayer 2021-08-09 00:52


Dr Sardonicus 2021-08-14 13:34

[url=]Boeing astronaut capsule grounded for months by valve issue[/url][quote]CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Boeing's astronaut capsule is grounded for months and possibly even until next year because of a vexing valve problem.

Boeing and NASA officials said Friday that the Starliner capsule will be removed from the top of its rocket and returned to its Kennedy Space Center hangar for more extensive repairs.

Starliner was poised to blast off on a repeat test flight to the International Space Station last week - carrying a mannequin but no astronauts - when the trouble arose. A similar capsule was plagued by software issues in 2019 that prevented it from reaching the space station.

"We're obviously disappointed," said John Vollmer, vice president and program manager of Boeing's commercial crew program. "We will fly this test when we're ready to fly it and it's safe to do so."
Vollmer said moisture in the air somehow infiltrated 13 valves in the capsule's propulsion system. That moisture combined with a corrosive fuel-burning chemical that had gotten past seals, preventing the valves from opening as required before the Aug. 3 launch attempt.

As of Friday, nine of the valves had been fixed. The other four require more invasive work.

Rain from a severe thunderstorm penetrated some of the capsule's thrusters at the pad, but engineers do not believe that is the same moisture that caused the valves to stick. Engineers are trying to determine how and when the moisture got there; it could have been during assembly or much later, Vollmer said.

firejuggler 2021-10-15 23:05

Lucy, an asteroid probe , is to be launched today. (16/10/2021).
It will visit some trojan asteroid.

The trajectory is weird, passing 2 time by the earth first, then going to L4 ( lagrange point), getting back to earth then going to L5, in 2033.


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