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Say you had a perfect space launch system.



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 7th 04, 07:06 AM
allo allo
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Default Say you had a perfect space launch system.

Let's say the regulars around sci.space managed to come up with a
near-perfect space launch system and agree about it being the best.
Let's say
100M US$ to build a system that launches
1000kg at a time
at 5g max accel.,
launching up to 10M kg/yr directly to LEO without a need for a
circularization burn,
at an inherent cost below 6 US$/kg,
a system powered by electricity on the ground, with efficiency above
90%,
low environmental impact,
using continuous power,
and with marginal tourism value.

Unfortunately, the system does not scale down well, so you can't build
a very convincing test model on the ground.

Alright, where would you go from there? How would you go about getting
it built?

  #2  
Old December 7th 04, 07:51 PM
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Default

If you really had such a method, funding would not be an issue.
Currently, a single launch can cost that much. Objects the size quoted
are currently launched for around $10-$20 M, so investors could see a
huge payoff quickly. The way such companies are started, BTW, is that
you get a team of experienced people, write a business plan, and visit
Venture Capitalists that specialize in aerospace. They will give you
suggestions and contacts (and after a lot of work and visits, money).
One of the first people you will need is a lawyer. The second is an
accountant...

allo allo wrote:
Let's say the regulars around sci.space managed to come up with a
near-perfect space launch system and agree about it being the best.
Let's say
100M US$ to build a system that launches


This cost sounds very low - you may have made some incorrect
assumptions about pricing. This is going to be a red flag - if you can
think of this, why hasn't anyone else? Not saying it is impossible,
just be prepared to show them extraordinary proof of your extraordinary
claim.

1000kg at a time


The market for launches this size is relatively small, say $50M per
year. Most of the money is in GEO launches, about ten times this size.
Since you say your idea scales up, spending $1B to capture the 10 ton
market may make more sense.

at 5g max accel.,


Note that normal people will not use such a method. Fine for
satelites, though.

launching up to 10M kg/yr directly to LEO without a need for a
circularization burn,
at an inherent cost below 6 US$/kg,


Note that the energy cost of current launchers is way down in the
noise. Really, what decreases launch costs is to decrease the risk of
failure. For example, redundancy or continuous safe abort.

a system powered by electricity on the ground, with efficiency above
90%,
low environmental impact,
using continuous power,
and with marginal tourism value.

Unfortunately, the system does not scale down well, so you can't

build
a very convincing test model on the ground.


You are already at the small end, you should really think about scaling
up, not down.


Alright, where would you go from there? How would you go about

getting
it built?


As I have said, form a company, get venture capital. If you want more
details, ask specific questions.

-David

  #3  
Old December 7th 04, 07:51 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If you really had such a method, funding would not be an issue.
Currently, a single launch can cost that much. Objects the size quoted
are currently launched for around $10-$20 M, so investors could see a
huge payoff quickly. The way such companies are started, BTW, is that
you get a team of experienced people, write a business plan, and visit
Venture Capitalists that specialize in aerospace. They will give you
suggestions and contacts (and after a lot of work and visits, money).
One of the first people you will need is a lawyer. The second is an
accountant...

allo allo wrote:
Let's say the regulars around sci.space managed to come up with a
near-perfect space launch system and agree about it being the best.
Let's say
100M US$ to build a system that launches


This cost sounds very low - you may have made some incorrect
assumptions about pricing. This is going to be a red flag - if you can
think of this, why hasn't anyone else? Not saying it is impossible,
just be prepared to show them extraordinary proof of your extraordinary
claim.

1000kg at a time


The market for launches this size is relatively small, say $50M per
year. Most of the money is in GEO launches, about ten times this size.
Since you say your idea scales up, spending $1B to capture the 10 ton
market may make more sense.

at 5g max accel.,


Note that normal people will not use such a method. Fine for
satelites, though.

launching up to 10M kg/yr directly to LEO without a need for a
circularization burn,
at an inherent cost below 6 US$/kg,


Note that the energy cost of current launchers is way down in the
noise. Really, what decreases launch costs is to decrease the risk of
failure. For example, redundancy or continuous safe abort.

a system powered by electricity on the ground, with efficiency above
90%,
low environmental impact,
using continuous power,
and with marginal tourism value.

Unfortunately, the system does not scale down well, so you can't

build
a very convincing test model on the ground.


You are already at the small end, you should really think about scaling
up, not down.


Alright, where would you go from there? How would you go about

getting
it built?


As I have said, form a company, get venture capital. If you want more
details, ask specific questions.

-David

  #4  
Old December 8th 04, 06:38 AM
allo allo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

1. I did not expect you to so quickly figure that I figure I have such
a system.

2. I was not aware that 5g acceleration for a person on their back is
injurious.

3. Extraordinary proof of an extraordinary claim - well, exactly. I
didn't think that investors would provide even $100M to build a system
that they wouldn't understand, that has not been made before, and that
has no working prototype.

4. I don't understand why you think such a 1000kg launch system needs
to be scaled up. I understand that modern sats are pretty light, and if
you had such a cheap system you could send up people to assemble sats
from 1000kg pieces. Huh?

  #5  
Old December 8th 04, 08:48 AM
George William Herbert
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Default

allo allo wrote:
1. I did not expect you to so quickly figure that I figure I have such
a system.


Enough episodes of Black Adder and "I have a Cunning Plan" becomes
a predictable part of the script 8-)

Not that your idea may not be feasible. But, you aren't the first
person to have approached the newsgroups that way.

2. I was not aware that 5g acceleration for a person on their back is
injurious.


Actually, it isn't really. People are extremely uncomfortable with
that level of G for a long period of time, but can make orbital
velocity at that accelleration. You don't actually want flat on
your back; the head and back tilted "up" by about 30 degrees has
the best tolerance.

3. Extraordinary proof of an extraordinary claim - well, exactly. I
didn't think that investors would provide even $100M to build a system
that they wouldn't understand, that has not been made before, and that
has no working prototype.


You're going to have to demonstrate the basic physical mechanism
somehow first. $100 million is in the range of what can probably
be scraped up by investors given a good enough business and technical
case being made, though.

4. I don't understand why you think such a 1000kg launch system needs
to be scaled up. I understand that modern sats are pretty light, and if
you had such a cheap system you could send up people to assemble sats
from 1000kg pieces. Huh?


Larger geosynchronous satellites are several tons (4 or more).
One could make them in orbitally assembleable parts, given easy
access to orbit for someone to do the assembly.

Manned space station components now are 20-25 tons, though again
you could reengineer into smaller components for most of the
applications if need be.


So, what's the idea?


-george william herbert


  #6  
Old December 8th 04, 09:49 AM
Derek Lyons
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Posts: n/a
Default

"allo allo" wrote:

4. I don't understand why you think such a 1000kg launch system needs
to be scaled up. I understand that modern sats are pretty light, and if
you had such a cheap system you could send up people to assemble sats
from 1000kg pieces. Huh?


The problem there, is you start to lose the advantages of cheap
launch. A cheap 1000kg satellite is one thing. A 4000kg bird that
requires 5 launches for the bird (breaking it down increases the
weight of the bird and the waste mass per flight), and another 5
launches for the people has a higher cost. (10 launches rather than 1
or 4.)

Breaking things down to the size of the launcher is a good idea, and
something that certainly must be done in the future, but it becomes a
ludicrous idea below a certain size.

D.
--
Touch-twice life. Eat. Drink. Laugh.

-Resolved: To be more temperate in my postings.
Oct 5th, 2004 JDL
  #7  
Old December 8th 04, 11:44 PM
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Default


allo allo wrote:
1. I did not expect you to so quickly figure that I figure I have

such
a system.


If you don't think you are at least headed in that directin, the
question is moot.

2. I was not aware that 5g acceleration for a person on their back is
injurious.


It was actually pretty standard for test-pilots. I was more talking
about normal people - your Grandma wouldn't survive it, for example.
Normal people would be extremely uncomfortable, a certain percentage of
the population may have medical emergencies at this level, etc. It
also will not be a pleasant experience for the passenger, even if it is
a test-pilot. (5 Gs is normally excepted as the maximum safe extended
length accelaration, given special suits and seating.)

3. Extraordinary proof of an extraordinary claim - well, exactly. I
didn't think that investors would provide even $100M to build a

system
that they wouldn't understand, that has not been made before, and

that
has no working prototype.


Well, precisely. The trick is figuring out how to prove the system
without actually building it!

4. I don't understand why you think such a 1000kg launch system needs
to be scaled up. I understand that modern sats are pretty light, and

if
you had such a cheap system you could send up people to assemble sats
from 1000kg pieces. Huh?


As others have said, modern sats are pretty big. For a good idea of
what the current market is for various sizes of launch vehicles, go to:

http://ast.faa.gov/rep_study/

Current launch costs are on the order of $10,000/lb. Heavier launchers
are cheaper per lb, smaller launchers (like pegasus) are more
expensive.

-David

  #8  
Old December 9th 04, 03:31 AM
allo allo
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Posts: n/a
Default

Let me clarify:

By 1. I meant that I have a system, but not that system, but I may
eventually get from here to there, maybe.

By 2. I meant that I know it is not especially injurious as a peak
acceleration.

Re2 3. : Yes, that is the trick there. Thus the post.

  #9  
Old December 9th 04, 03:33 AM
allo allo
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Default

Yes, you do want people tilted up a little bit, that's true.

I have an idea, but not this idea exactly, and I am still working on
it, so I'm not publishing it yet, and if I was publishing it, it may be
better to go to eg the AIAA.

  #10  
Old December 9th 04, 03:36 AM
allo allo
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Default

Yes, $100M would be low, but I am reasonably confident that it's
possible.

I'm not some novice who thinks that we should just wait for cheap
nanotube rope/that the power switching for electric launch systems is
trivial/even that tether capture is trivial.

 




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