First Official Flight for the X-Prize

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
This is going to be great and if they can do it again in a couple weeks they win the prize and become a viable space tourism company.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/09/28/spaceshipone/index.html

The thing is, if it all goes as planned, they'll get a lot higher than the last flight since they've modified the rocket to burn longer. A few extra seconds of thrust can make a huge difference.

D
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Very cool, and Godspeed in their flights.

I am surprised that there is only one company so far that seems poised to take on and win the prize. i was really pulling for the converted Gulfstream (?) and their bid.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
I wish the Allen's Mojave Aerospace Ventures continued success with SpaceShipOne. Sounds like it will be a guaranteed success in the future with the backing of Richard Branson and his plans of space flight by 2008.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,056
6
Yahooville S.C.
This is great stuff, im going to start my work day a little late again to watch this thing. :) hope they got those little hiccups fixed from the last flight. A new age is starting.
 

mj_1903

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2003
563
0
Sydney, Australia
Definitely great stuff. I will be pulling a late night vigil watching it again. Everything will work smoothly this time I am sure.

One of the best places I have found to watch it is here.
 

brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
1,701
0
Nottingham
This is great stuff, and I'm wishing them all the best of luck - will be checking on updates in the next few hours.

Something I'm not so sure about though, is the thought this isn't being as regulated as it should. I know, free trade and all that, but I wonder if anyone's considered the [environmental] repercussions of the possibility of such regular rocket launches in the private sector? With the US government actively encouraging this, it might find the brakes a little hard to put on...

Some one please correct me, as I've had little more than a passing interest here.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
I'm not sure about the environmental aspects of the hybrid engine. But from their website:

In our hybrid motor we use Nitrous Oxide (N2O or laughing gas) as an oxidizer and hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB or rubber) as the fuel. Both of these can be safely stored without special precautions and will not react when put together.
I'd be curious to hear what the chemical reaction generates....anyone know?

D
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
It generates burnt rubber, what else? ;)

AMROC article describing the propellant -- they used liquid oxygen but the solid part is the same one Scaled Composites use. Scaled buy engines from SpaceDev, who now own the AMROC technology.

It's not quite pure HTPB and the additional components are proprietary, so the actual combustion products aren't published. However, the Orbus-1 boosters use a very similar fuel and for those there is some information (Table 4-1 on Page 4-3).
 

davegoody

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2003
298
55
Reading, Berkshire, England
You can count me in for a ticket !

I would be first in the queue if possible for this (100K is pretty cheap) - Now all I have to do is earn £100K and I will be off into space !

(Maybe in 50 years when it it is £1K I may be able to afford it)
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Mr. Anderson said:
I'm not sure about the environmental aspects of the hybrid engine. But from their website:



I'd be curious to hear what the chemical reaction generates....anyone know?

D
I understand where you are coming from, but for the potential number of flights by this type of system the environmental impact would seem to be low. If we get to 500 to 1000 flights a day then we might need to look at the propellant.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Mr. Anderson said:
Well, they did it - the first one. Now they have to go ahead and do it again in 2 weeks. :D

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/09/29/spaceshipone.attempt.cnn/index.html

For some reason they have more info on the front page - 358,000 feet or 67.8 miles high - well over the 62.5 they had to achieve for the prize.

Great stuff!

D
Hope that they didn't have the "buckling" of the nozzle are like they had in June. that was my concern from the first flight.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Mr. Anderson said:
Well, they did it - the first one. Now they have to go ahead and do it again in 2 weeks. :D

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/09/29/spaceshipone.attempt.cnn/index.html

For some reason they have more info on the front page - 358,000 feet or 67.8 miles high - well over the 62.5 they had to achieve for the prize.

Great stuff!

D
Another thing, i hope that they do the shortest possible turn around. I know they have two weeks. But it would be great to show that under 5 days they can return to Space.

Congrats to the team there.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,056
6
Yahooville S.C.
Still looks like they are having some problems, those rolls were not planned at the end of the flight and as far as i know it only has control sufaces that work in a atmosphere. once in space it doesnt have any way to manuever or correct itself that i know of. good to see Melville back on earth safe but it looks like they have a little more work to do.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
Dont Hurt Me said:
Still looks like they are having some problems, those rolls were not planned at the end of the flight and as far as i know it only has control sufaces that work in a atmosphere. once in space it doesnt have any way to manuever or correct itself that i know of. good to see Melville back on earth safe but it looks like they have a little more work to do.
I heard there are some control jets for maneuvering in space.

I wonder if that guy tossed his cookies during those rolls. It looked like over 360 degrees/second.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
They plan on doing the next flight on Oct 4th, so that gives them time for a 3rd one if they need it. Not bad doing the turnaround in 6 days :D

The spacecraft landed successfully, but hit problems shortly after the rocket ignited during its vertical ascent. It began a series of about 40 barrel rolls that stopped only when the burn ended and the craft reached its top altitude.
woohoo! 40 barrel rolls?!?!?!?! nutso, that must have been a wild ride.

If SpaceCraftOne's altitude is confirmed, it will also have beaten the X-15's top altitude of 354,200 feet (67 miles) set on August 22, 1963.
This is just awesome! And the best part is that they shut the engine down 11 seconds before it would have automatically - maybe because of the barrel rolls. With that much more thrust they'll be able to make it significantly farther the next time.

D
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
Mr. Anderson said:
They plan on doing the next flight on Oct 4th, so that gives them time for a 3rd one if they need it. Not bad doing the turnaround in 6 days :D


This is just awesome! And the best part is that they shut the engine down 11 seconds before it would have automatically - maybe because of the barrel rolls. With that much more thrust they'll be able to make it significantly farther the next time.

D
I agree that this is very exciting. This sounds like just the boost that space exploration needs. The future may very well be private enterprise.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
Do you have a link to the video, I'd love to see it....

That is a lot of barrel rolls and the pilot's quote saying he might have hit something too hard is no excuse. Why couldn't he reverse the effect and get a level climb?

I'm surprised he made it all the way actually, that would get pretty disorienting after that many spins....

D
 

Apple Hobo

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2004
795
0
A series of tubes
Mr. Anderson said:
...the pilot's quote saying he might have hit something too hard is no excuse. Why couldn't he reverse the effect and get a level climb?
High altitude flight is a very different beast compared to regular flight. It doesn't take much to get into serious trouble in the blink of an eye. Even the best pilots can get killed when this stuff happens.
 

Stelliform

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2002
1,721
0
Mr. Anderson said:
Do you have a link to the video, I'd love to see it....

That is a lot of barrel rolls and the pilot's quote saying he might have hit something too hard is no excuse. Why couldn't he reverse the effect and get a level climb?

I'm surprised he made it all the way actually, that would get pretty disorienting after that many spins....

D
They have the whole video on http://xprize.com/ The barrel rolls come about 66% into the video... It is pretty grainy, but you can get the idea.