SpaceShipOne - another X Prize entry

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/04/19/space.rocket.ap/index.html

    This is pretty damn cool and it actually looks like they might be able to get things launched in August.

    But one thing that made me post the story is the whole X-Prize concept versus the Space Shuttle.

    Here we have a bunch of small companies making spaceships for considerable less and totally reusable. Why isn't NASA doing the same thing? Sure, these x-prize entries won't be making it into orbit right now, but a little farther down the development road and they'll be making sub 200 mile orbits....

    D
     
  2. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #2
    These guys rock!

    I did a bunch of Credit Card designs for them a couple of years back. They were some of the most pleasant, enthusiastic clients I'd ever worked with.

    Ironically, the $10 million prize is a drop in the bucket compared to their development costs. Still, it IS $10 million! - j
     
  3. howard macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #3
    that would be amazing! if i was well off in a few years i would definitely consider flying up to space. they say they can make it a LOT cheaper...but i'm still wonder just how expensive it would be...i'm sure a ton!...any guesses? like maybe under 100,000? i don't know much about the costs but i'm sure its a lot.
     
  4. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    #4
    The cool part about all of this is that it's totally private. Should these guys really do it, really achieve orbital spaceflight at the projected cost and timetable then it'll be a boom to the whole idea of space being available to the (relative) masses. It's stuff like this that will open up space to private enterprise and allow for a true increase in innovation in the field. It's for time to tell, though, what the extent of that innovation will be. Here's hoping that the X-Prize, long thought to be a pipe dream, will soon be in some deserving corporation's hands.

    P.S.-That ship looks amazingly cool! :)
     
  5. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    Well, it is the right step and when it happens it might give NASA the needed kick in the rear to get moving in the same direction. It gets back to the commercialization of space. There is so much potential there that's not being utilized, all in the name of 'science'.

    They need to branch out and realize that the amount of money willing to be spent on getting regular people into orbit is huge.....

    In 10 years I see there being multiple corporations offering trips to space for thousands of dollars and not millions. I hope to go there one day.....:D

    D
     
  6. Lz0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #6
    Sight seeing trips to the Moon to see the footprints and junk NASA tells us they left behind.

    Or Not.

    I'm sure NASA and the US government would love that.
     
  7. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #7
    Stuck on terra firma...

    Sure, and in 1999 we'll have a base on the moon (Alpha) and in 2001, we'll have a giant-double-wheeled space station and be finding monoliths while orbiting Jupiter.... :D

    Life's about dreamin' baby, but barring a space elevator , the general, non-ecentric millionare poplulace is going to be on the ground for many decades. It's expensive to haul mass that high ($10,000 to $40,000 per kilogram) and even more expensive to bring it back alive. Even a space elevator is estimated at costing $100 per kilogram which would put a 175lb. person @ $8000 and that's a best case scenario dream....
     
  8. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #8
    Re: Stuck on terra firma...

    Ah, 60-80 miles above the earth won't put you in orbit, but it'd get you to space. That I see as possible soon. However, the numbers you're talking about are current prices - totally not practical.

    Once a single stage to orbit 'space plane' is developed (not anytime soon), that will open up space to cheap trips.

    The space elevator is more a dream than the space plane. The materials for the cables aren't even available, let alone the 'anchor' for the elevator in space. We're not ready to move an asteroid into geostationary orbit - and imagine the controversy on that alone?

    What measures would we have to prevent something that big from drop down to the planet by accident? No, you're not going to see a space elevator any time soon, if ever.

    D
     
  9. FatTony macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #9
    Re: Stuck on terra firma...

    Reminds me of MST3K and the umbilicus!
     

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