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  • Doesn't anybody know about SpaceShipOne?

    I mean; There Goes The X-prize!! Paul Allen is making up for Microsoft!
    "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

  • #2
    They did it!!

    Discovery Channel aired a documentary on the Scaled Composites bid for the X-Prize yesternight, showing footage of their final test flights, and with an afterword about their first flight for the actual competition a few days ago. A follow-up was scheduled for this Thursday IIRC, with the intention of updating with their attempt and (expected then, confirmed now) win.

    The X-prize race is over, the race for space is just getting started.

    A well deserved win.
    Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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    • #3
      Now imagine how much money we could free up if NASA was closed down and private ventures took over space travel.
      Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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      • #4
        SpaceShipOne

        Burt Rutan / Paul Allen are the new pioneers in the space race. It takes Nasa 500 million to launch a space shuttle with old outdated solid rocket boosters. Scaled composites has spent 20 to 30 million on this project and uses laughing gas and rubber to power this spaceship. It looks like they have shown Nasa up IMO.

        Hats Off to Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites!!. I have know about and been watching their progress since early last year

        They have signed a agreement with Virgin Atlantic Airways who are going to use this technology to build a commercial space plane next year and flying by 2007 at around 200k a pop.


        If I ever get the money I am going for a ride




        mdm1789
        Last edited by mdm1789; 10-05-2004, 11:11 PM.
        I am a Renegade Ewok on the loose

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
          Now imagine how much money we could free up if NASA was closed down and private ventures took over space travel.
          I'll grant you that NASA's management and bureacracy could be streamlined and they could do more with the money they have if the agency operated differently.

          In defense of NASA, the Space Shuttle is several decades old, it was state of the art when the program started. Also NASA has quietly retrofitted and updated several systems (in some cases the retrofits have been much publicized due to accidents, that's undeniable).
          NASA is the only agency actually doing research into travelling beyond Earth orbit, including research in propulsion technologies beyond hybrid rockets (e.g. the VASIMR engines).

          Another extremely important aspect of NASA is all the space related research it develops and finances. This is not only "pie in the sky" stuff, but many "down to earth" technologies are an off-shoot from NASA research.
          NASA also finances way too many research projects with Universities and small businesses (and joint projects between Universities and small companies). The effects of this might be intangible (training of researchers), relatively small (employment opportunities for those small companies), and certainly unknown by the public at large (NASA's fault IMO), but overall I think they are too important to dismiss. Many nanotechnology projects only started because NASA funded them (e.g. synthesis of carbon nanotubes, they interest NASA extremely due to their high mechanical strength and low weight, among other interesting properties), and have resulted in venture capital funded companies to commercialize such nanomaterials. NASA, for all its "big government" image, is an unheralded driving force for capitalism and private enterprise.
          As an example of unheard developments resulting from NASA's research many advances in composite materials have been driven by aerospace needs.

          And several research projects by Scaled Composites were financed by NASA... in fact is likely that without NASA's funding Scaled Composites would never have survived economically long enough, nor had enough high (relatively speaking) profile projects, to attract Paul Allen's interest.

          And now from the cynical point of view: many of the most influential aerospace companies (e.g. Lockheed Martin) are some of the most important contractors for NASA, not only they get a big piece of the pie from NASA's budget, some of the results and expertise they get carry over to their projects for US military agencies. Several states (particularly those that have NASA's space centers) also get important economic spills from NASA's presence. It would be naive to think the government will dismantle NASA, there are too many lobbying groups and political influences to allow it.
          Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
          James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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          • #6
            I would personally *never* liquidate NASA. Rutan and his band of merry(and rich!) men are working on spacetravel around the world but they will not work on travelling any further. There is talk of Rutan designing a spacestation(I would like a room for two for two days please...) ) but he'll never make it to the Moon, let alone Mars etcetera. We still need something like NASA.

            I'm just very happy that in a few years NASA will lose its monopoly on manned orbital spaceflights. And I'm not counting the Russians because they are mainly using left-over technology from the Soviet Union(with surprising succes).

            Now if they make space-exploration and industry tax-free Robert Heinlein and Larry Niven's dream and that of many others is going to come true.

            I'm going to celebrate tonight!
            "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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            • #7
              1st step accomplished...now for step 2.
              The X-prize is dead, having served it's purpose.
              Now we have America's Space Prize!!!!!


              Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper has passed away. R.I.P.
              Last edited by cruiser; 10-06-2004, 12:58 AM.
              I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own.

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              • #8
                If you really want the space age stuff, look up the articles on space elevators that have been circulating.

                As for NASA ... *shrug* Something needs gutting, or refreshing. The shuttles certainly aren't getting any younger, but dumping the whole agency seems a bit extreme.
                Radhil Trebors
                Persona Under Construction

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                • #9
                  Alternatively NASA could be turned into several organisations.

                  For instance does spaceship design have to be in the same organisation as launch? Airlines and plane makers are different organisations. Should scientific research be a separate organisation?

                  Plenty of promotions there.
                  Andrew Swallow

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                  • #10
                    The shuttles certainly aren't getting any younger

                    They could make souped up shuttles like the ones used in the movie "Armegeddon".


                    mdm1789
                    I am a Renegade Ewok on the loose

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
                      In defense of NASA, the Space Shuttle is several decades old, it was state of the art when the program started.
                      No it wasn't. Even back in the 1970's several scientists spoke out against the Shuttle as inefficient and not necessary. "Rockets can/are reused and for less money", they argued.

                      But politicians over-ruled them and forced NASA to continue with the space shuttle... which was actually a step BACK, not forward.



                      As for the future...

                      ...go read Robert Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon" which demonstrates how NOT using government will move space travel forward.

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                      • #12
                        Here is an update...anyone want to go into space?

                        7 UP to Offer Free Space Flight

                        Lemon-lime beverage, 7 UP, the official soft drink of the Ansari X Prize, announced Monday plans to offer consumers the first free ticket into space. The announcement followed the win by SpaceShipOne of the $10 million competition.


                        Sample of 7 UP Space Ticket.

                        "At 7 UP, we want to make space travel a reality for everyone, not just for millionaires," Randy Gier, EVP/CMO of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, the beverage's parent company, said in a press release. "7 UP applauds the success of the X PRIZE and the notion that the only way to go is UP when it comes to the future of space travel. We are very proud and excited to be the very first to help bring free space travel into the reach of everyone."

                        "The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE Foundation. "My mission and that of the X PRIZE Foundation has been to create a future in which all of us can travel into space. Our goal is to create the personal spaceflight revolution in partnership with innovative companies like 7 UP. Together we are making space travel accessible to the average citizen."

                        Details of 7 UP's first free ticket into space will be unveiled in 2005.

                        This is from a space.com webpage and the article is dated Oct.4

                        AAhhhh uncola nuts.... Mahvelous!!!!!! Ha! Ha! HA!! HAAA!!!
                        I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own.

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                        • #13
                          So will they send Seven Up to Space?
                          Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                          James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
                            So will they send Seven Up to Space?
                            Yeah, because they think Paul Allen will try to establish a monopoly in space so Bill can make it run on Windows...
                            "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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                            • #15
                              According to a British newspaper, Sigourney Weaver has already made her reservations on the Virgin Space Plane.
                              (It's based on the Spaceship One design)
                              She's said she wants to be on the first flight.
                              As soon as they build it, that is.

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