Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Spaceship One
America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Science and Technology
Google
unabomber
something santasdad said in the Space Travel thread made me think.

QUOTE([URL=http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5375&view=findpost&p=100525)
santasdad[/URL]] Its too expensive to go further than we have and we are already unable to manage the national checkbook.


the too expensive part kind of got me considering what has happened in the past couple days in the mojave desert.
QUOTE(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/15/wspace15.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/05/15/ixworld.html)
A rocket funded by a billionaire has taken a solo pilot to the edge of space.

Burt Rutan, an aircraft designer, and his firm Scaled Composites took a giant leap towards becoming the first private company to send a person into space when their rocket soared to an altitude of 40 miles.


this is huge! a PRIVATE CITIZEN without ANY help from the government is within reach of getting people into orbit.

so, I guess the question is this:
if a private billionaire can make it to space, (within 20 miles of orbit) why is government space travel considered too expensive?

should we focus more money on exploration in space, perhaps work in cooperation with other countries?


this also brings to light another concern. why are we using 25-30 year old technology to get to orbit when Mr. Rutan has discovered a way that is cheap and reusable. (going for the X-prize, which is only $10 million, spending more then that would seem pointless)
Google
moif
Well, for starters, the 'private billionaire' has yet to actually reach space.

Also, the technological break through of what his company, and the many others like him, have managed to attain thus far is not exactly something we've not seen before. The ability to put a man into space was perfected decades ago. Burt Rutan and his SpaceShipOne, much like China in fact is still only hanging onto the coat tails of the United States and the former Soviet Union and will not likely best their achievements in the near future. With all due respect to Mr Rutan, this really isn't all that impressive when put into that perspective.


should we focus more money on exploration in space, perhaps work in cooperation with other countries?

Yes, if you want to have the advantage of co-operation. No if you want to gain the strategic advantage of controlling Earth from orbit.


why are we using 25-30 year old technology to get to orbit when Mr. Rutan has discovered a way that is cheap and reusable.

Because that 25- 30 year old technology is still the best way to get a payload into space. Even if SpaceShipOne actually reaches low orbit, it still won't be able to do more than carry three people on a very short trip.. carrying a satellite payload for orbital insertion is out of the question.

In point of fact, some of the best, if not the best rocket engines used today are the RD-180's built by Pratt and Witney which are more or less modern versions of a very old Soviet design.

http://www.pw.utc.com/prod_space_rd180.asp

Its also worth noting that Burt Rutan did not discover this method of attaining orbit. It was in fact looked at by the Germans in the 1930's, as it was by the Americans and Soviets during the cold war. Where Mr Rutan has succeeded is in the design and construction of new, light weight, but extremely strong composite materials which he has used to build SpaceShipOne.


QUOTE
(going for the X-prize, which is only $10 million, spending more then that would seem pointless) 


I think you'll find Burt Rutan already spent far more than 10 million on his SpaceShipOne project.

If you are interested, then here a few related articles;

Scaled composites third trial flight...
http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/te...ght_040513.html

SpaceShipOne breaks own altitude record...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3713119.stm

-------------------

the Civilian Space eXploration Team go for third time lucky...

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/csxt_rocket_040512.html

-------------------

Canadian Arrow team preps for tests....
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/arrow...ize_040511.html
Jaime
<div><table width='50%' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' style='border: 1px solid black' align='center'><tr><td class='maintitle'>user posted image Topic closed...</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Reason: Duplicate topic.<br /><br />Recommended action: Please use the search feature to locate a similar topic. If you are unable to find a similar topic, please contact the staff member who closed the topic by clicking the PM button below this post.<br /><br />Helpful links:<br /> - Simple Search<br /> - Advanced Search<br /> - Starting New Topics<br /> - Survival Guide<br /> - The Rules<br /> - Staff Directory<br /></td></tr><tr><td class='darkrow1'><div align='center'>Note: This is an automated response.</div></td></tr></table></div>

Here's the first topic, please join us there: Is Space Travel Worth It?
Google
This is a simplified version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2021 Invision Power Services, Inc.