Friday, November 22, 2013

James Brown Comes Up With A Brilliant Idea For A Reuseable Falcon-9 Booster

james brown
7:13 PM (10 hours ago)
to me
I sent this to Bill Douglass. Is it OK, is it clear? This is basically what I want to say. I hope to help get the first stage back safely to the their landing pad. The Draco is the 18 attitude rockets for both Dragons, and the 8 Super Dracons are also the Launch escape, and landing rockets for the Dragon Rider.
Jim Brown

I see two problems that SpaceX is having with getting the first stage of the Falcon 9 quickly and safely returned to the original launch pad.
I believe one problem is that the fuel is not settled to the tank output to reliably feed the engines when they need to be restarted after the second stage separation. This leads to the second stage not being able to turn around quickly and using much more fuel
The gimbals system is wonderful for launching. I believe it is the only way the Falcon 9 first stage can currently affect control. After the tank is nearly empty the center of gravity is close to the engines and is pointed in the wrong direction. To make matters worse even at max gimbals almost all side or horizontal components of the forces end up in a side movement instead of an angular movement making it difficult to turn around. Using just gimballing takes lots of fuel accelerating in the opposite direction we want it to go, then that much more fuel is needed once we are finally turned around and going the way we want.
I suggest adding one or two Super Draco rockets and between two and four Draco attitude rockets mounted at a forty five degree at the top of the first stage. This would enable a quick turn around using very little fuel. Also a few seconds burn of the Draco attitude rockets can settle the fuel to the bottom of the tanks enabling restart.
I hope you will take these thoughts into consideration. I believe this could solve those two problems.

Monday, November 4, 2013

India Shrugs Off Criticism To Prepare For Launch For Launch Of Mars Mission

November 4, 2013 7:06 am

India shrugs off criticism to prepare for launch of Mars mission

In this file picture taken on September 11, 2013, scientists and engineers work on a Mars Orbiter vehicle at the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) satellite centre in Bangalore. India began a countdown on November 3 to the launch of its most ambitious and risky space mission to date, sending a probe to Mars which was conceived in just 15 months on a tiny budget©Getty
Shrugging off criticism that the money would be better spent on toilets or teachers, India is preparing to launch its first interplanetary space mission on Tuesday to take a satellite to Mars.
Although Indian officials have denied wanting to compete with China, they have not disguised their desire to join the trio of superpowers that have so far carried out successful Mars shots – the US, Russia and Europe.





Known as Mangalyaan (“Mars craft”) or more formally the Mars Orbiter Mission, the satellite is designed mainly to test India’s technology in areas such as deep space communication and navigation but will also measure methane in the Martian atmosphere and do other scientific work.
When the project was first announced last year, a few Indians criticised the project as a needlessly expensive hunt for prestige when the country has failed to solve severe shortcomings in sanitation, education and child health – although more expressed fierce pride in India’s achievements as a space power and nuclear weapons state.
Jean Drèze, a development economist, called the project “part of the Indian elite’s delusional quest for superpower status”, but Manmohan Singh, prime minister, said it would be “a huge step for us in the area of science and technology”.
Some of the criticism has been deflected by the speed with which the project has been implemented by theIndian Space Research Organisation (Isro), and its low cost by international standards.
The budget is $72m, about a tenth of the bigger scientific mission to Mars to be launched later in November by Nasa of the US, which is helping India with communications for the mission and whose officials urged their Indian counterparts not to forget to eat peanuts for luck at the launch.
Indian officials have been cautious about their chances of success. K. Radhakrishnan, Isro chairman, has noted that only 21 of the 51 missions to the red planet have succeeded.
India is due to launch the 1,337kg-satellite plus rocket from the island of Sriharikota north of Chennai on India’s east coast at 1438 local time (0908 GMT) on Tuesday. The plan is that the satellite should enter Mars orbit on September 24 2014.
The late Vikram Sarabhai, father of the Indian space programme, championed the use of technology for solving humanity’s problems and rejected what he called the “fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space flight”. Isro has projects in all three areas.
However, postings on Twitter and on Indian newspaper websites on Monday, the eve of the launch, suggest that Indians with access to the internet are overwhelmingly in favour of the country pursuing its ambitions in space. “Mars, the Indians r finally coming! good luck isro!” said one comment on the Times of India site.
Indian officials, especially meteorologists who derive much of their data from satellite observations, won high praise for correctly predicting the strength and path of the powerful Cyclone Phailin in October, enabling thousands to be evacuated with minimum loss of life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Private Companies Head For Space

July 29, 2013 7:09 pm

When gravity is no obstacle

Virgin VSS Enterprise©Mark Greenberg
High hopes: The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo
Will the Rockefellers and Gateses of the future make their fortunes in space? Space missions used to be the preserve of national space agencies, but today it may be modest start-ups that have the boldest ambitions. Eric Anderson invented space tourism because myopia meant he would never be an astronaut. Fifteen years after founding Space Adventures, which arranges for billionaires to ride on board Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, he and his business partner have started Planetary Res­our­ces to mine asteroids. “The reason I got into commercial human space flight was to go to space myself . . .  [now] our goal is to bring the solar system’s resources within the economic sphere of Earth,” he says.
Mr Anderson’s idea is that ice-rich asteroids could one day supply water to astronauts and hydrogen and oxygen to space-based “gas stations”, en­abling satellites to refuel and spacecraft to travel deeper into the solar system. Eventually, he hopes to ret­urn precious metals to Earth, al­though many question the economics.





For now, his focus is prospecting. The first step, starting in 2014, is to put small telescopes into space. The telescopes will gather intelligence about asteroids and could also undertake revenue-generating work. For example, it hopes to generate revenues by serving clients such as businesses, scientists and even Nasa, which plans to capture and study an asteroid. To help win public support, Planetary Resources ran aKickstarter campaign to fund a citizen science initiativeto make one of the space telescopes available to amateur astronomers.
Other plans by space entrepreneurs include space habitats, commercial spacelines (the equivalent of airlines), and plans by SpaceX, the first private operator, to ship cargo to the ISS, to fly settlers to Mars.
Whether many space ventures will achieve lift-off, let alone turn a profit, is impossible to predict. Space proj­ects, by their nature, have protracted development phases, unformed markets and supply chains, and eat up cash. Yet for all its gravity-defying challenges, commercial space succeeds in attracting backers. Planetary Resources’ investors include Google’s Eric Schmidt and Larry Page. SpaceX was started by Elon Musk, who co-founded PayPal.

What money buys in space

Suborbital flights Dubbed the “bungee jumps” of space travel and expected to be available next year, suborbital trips fly you into the lower reaches of space for a few minutes of weightlessness at zero gravity. Operators include Virgin Galactic, SXC, Space Adventures, and Blue Origin. Tickets range from $100,000 (SXC) to $250,000 (Virgin Galactic). Virgin says its air-launched craft, which detaches from a carrier, is environmentally efficient and may be safer than alternatives. SXC says its own one-stage system is simple to operate and refuel. ▪
 Orbital Pioneered by Space Adventures, which has arranged for wealthy private citizens to take spare seats on official Russian Soyuz spacecraft missions to the International Space Station since 2001.
The next flight is scheduled for 2015. Highlights include circling Earth every 90 minutes and up to 12 days in space. Tickets cost $52m.

 Lunar A trip around the far side of the moon offered by Space Adventures. The maiden voyage, with space for two, is expected to fly in 2017 with tickets costing $150m each. Sold out.
Entrepreneurs parlaying capital and commercialism into space tourism in­c­lude Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, a US-based operator founded by the British entrepreneur; Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is the founder of Blue Origin, another space tourism company. “For [high-achieving people] there’s something thrilling about the idea of pushing the boundaries of human capabilities,” says Carissa Bryce Christensen, managing partner at The Tauri Group, a US space and homeland security consultancy.
One big issue faced by all companies interested in profiting from space is whether commercial exploitation of the final frontier is legal, and on what authority. Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, also an aspiring asteroid miner, claim the 1967 Outer Space Treaty permits them to mine asteroids and keep the proceeds. But Joan­ne Gabrynowicz, a law professor at Mississippi university, says that “legal opinion over space property rights is divided and politicised”. Space-going nations tend to say extracted materials belong to the extractor; some non-space-goers say they should be subject to an international regime empowered to determine property rights and ap­portion profits. In the absence of clear legal direction, businesses may decide that it is better to ask forgiveness than permission and act anyway, thereby forcing a political resolution.
Space tourist companies also face regulatory uncertainty. By the end of 2013, Virgin Galactic plans to do a full test flight. It hopes to achieve a commercial first by piloting private citizens to suborbital space in its SpaceShipTwo craft “soon after that”, says chief executive George White­sides. He avoids naming a date, perhaps mindful of setbacks that have previously led the business to delay its timescales. For $250,000, passengers will fly from New Mexico in an air-launched spacecraft, float around the cabin and gaze on the curvature of Earth. But before that, Virgin Galactic will inform them that the spacecraft has not been certified for safe­ty, explain the risks, and require them to sign an “informed consent” document.
This is in line with an interim regulatory framework, devised by US Federal and state legislators, exempting space operators from the stringent com­pliance tests applied to airlines and obliging early adopters of space flight to fly at their own risk. The argument is that, as in the pioneer days of aviation, both the industry and its overseers need time and flight performance data to establish best practice. Even so, some lawyers question whether the principle of informed consent, already applied in extreme sports with mixed success, would always stand up in court. “If a [spacecraft] is flying after only a few test flights, it’s questionable whether passengers can give informed consent, as there is virtually no data to assess risks on,” says Frans von der Dunk, a professor of law at Nebraska university. Others argue that the industry’s habit of publicising celebrities who sign up for trips glamorises space flight and gloss­es over possible risks.
One drawback for the businesses that base themselves in the US is that they must comply with the US International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) export controls, which include spacecraft. For Virgin Galactic, this could mean delaying plans to run trips from overseas spaceports. “I wouldn’t say that it’s not possible that we would get an export licence, but I would say that the bar for consideration is [set] high,” says Mr Whitesides. European operators intending to fly US spacecraft also face ITAR challenges. Space Expedition Corporation (SXC), a Dutch-owned space tourist company, which is leasing US-built XCOR Lynx spacecraft, is lobbying the US authorities for permission to fly from the Caribbean island of Curaçao – while planning for a US launch if permission is withheld. Another issue is that it must employ US maintenance and flight crews, even if it launches outside the US. CEO Michiel Mol, an entrepreneur with a background in video games and Formula One, ac­knowledges the restriction is a “constraint”.
Are there enough wealthy adventurers to make space tourism viable? Research by Tauri Group suggests that over the next decade more than 4,000 individuals and some scientists will buy tickets or fly payloads on suborbital spacecraft, generating revenues of about $600m – enough to support an industry of multiple operators, it concludes.
Virgin Galactic recently sold its 600th ticket and Mr Whitesides is upbeat. “To have [sold that many] . . . before we have started commercial operations, for what is frankly a pretty futuristic service, is a pretty good sign.”
Mr Anderson is contemplating asteroids and other space ad­ven­tures. As well as orbital trips, his space tourist business is now arranging suborbital flights and expeditions to the far side of the Moon. But he has yet to fulfil his personal space dream. At $52m a ride, he says, orbiting Earth is “expensive” − and staff don’t get a discount.
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  1. Reportchaswaobler | July 30 2:04pm | Permalink
    And, no, not everything is latency sensitive.
  2. Reportchaswaobler | July 30 2:04pm | Permalink
    Locate your trading engines in space people!
  3. ReportE. Scrooge | July 30 1:22pm | Permalink
    Great public relations, great hobby, but once you have run out of very rich people to take a ride, what then?
    A very expensive amusement ride with what kind of future? Any real R&D products coming out of this expense, any real viable services to be made from it? Sort of like a fancy hot air balloon with advertising.
  4. ReportKevin Alexanderman | July 30 11:55am | Permalink
    @ EinarBB,
    That's how the US, Canada, and S America started.
    The Aussies were forced to be alone for other reasons.
  5. ReportEinarBB | July 30 9:41am | Permalink
    Yeah, I think the first people to settle in space on permanent basis will be those who want to escape - quite literally. It will be rich fringe group cooks of all kinds and weird society experiments with religious context or not. People who'll wish to develop their idea for utopia. Some will indeed talk about "escaping tyranny."

    Though absolutely without question, government shall be in space - at some point. But there will be a frontier with little control and oversight. And that most definitely will attract those who want to be alone.
  6. ReportKingKwamz357 | July 30 12:31am | Permalink
    As that great philosopher/ artist Bob Marley once said:

    "You see men sailing on their ego trips
    Blast off on their spaceships
    Million miles from reality
    No care for you, no care for me..."
  7. ReportKevin Alexanderman | July 29 9:33pm | Permalink
    The great opportunity of space is not for mining, or picture taking, or even exploring planets.

    It is to escape socialist tyranny.