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Ok- poll time!



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 23rd 04, 02:49 AM
Ian Woollard
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Default Ok- poll time!

If you had 'sufficient resources' what is the best way for people to go
into space for tourism within the next ten years?

Guidelines:

1) No current unobtainium/wishalloy permitted

That means space elevators are OUT- we dont have the nanotubes-sorry!
Only stuff we know how to do right now. That also means no scramjets.

2) cheap is good (optimise for per-launch costs)

By best I mean cheapest per person. You can launch them one at a time or
thousands at a time. Fractions of a person is no good :-) Costs need not
include R&D, but must include building launch vehicles and
repair/replacement and all the usual costs (like wages etc).

3) You are allowed $20 billion in 2004 US dollars for your R&D

Go ahead- knock us out- what's the best way that can reasonably work
right now?

It's just a bit of fun. There is a wishalloy cup for the winner. (Or
atleast you'll wish you had one).
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  #2  
Old August 23rd 04, 04:56 AM
Pete Lynn
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Default

"Ian Woollard" wrote in message
...
If you had 'sufficient resources' what is the best way for people to
go into space for tourism within the next ten years?

Guidelines:

1) No current unobtainium/wishalloy permitted

That means space elevators are OUT- we dont have the
nanotubes-sorry! Only stuff we know how to do right now. That
also means no scramjets.

2) cheap is good (optimise for per-launch costs)

By best I mean cheapest per person. You can launch them one at a
time or thousands at a time. Fractions of a person is no good :-)
Costs need not include R&D, but must include building launch
vehicles and repair/replacement and all the usual costs (like wages
etc).

3) You are allowed $20 billion in 2004 US dollars for your R&D

Go ahead- knock us out- what's the best way that can reasonably
work right now?

It's just a bit of fun. There is a wishalloy cup for the winner. (Or
atleast you'll wish you had one).



My current best guess...

Two stage air launched LOX/kero with vertical rocket landing for both
stages at the air launch site.

The airlaunch vehicle would just be a standard type aircraft with the
rocket vehicle held on a separate wheeled cradle/gondola. This would be
supported on a bridle below the aircraft's main wing and fuselage, being
towed down the runway prior to takeoff, (like a glider but without
wings). It would launch at perhaps only a ten kilometer altitude, up
range allowing the lower stage to easily land at the air launch site.

The lower stage might be a long the lines of the Armadillo vehicles,
though perhaps with LOX and pumped engines, OTS.

Upper stage might be a very short and large diameter capsule, (extremely
fluffy saucer shape). Integral LOX/hydrocarbon engines and tanks with
rocket powered vertical landing. A reusable reentry shield might be
desirable, perhaps water cooled, though this would require development.
Perhaps toroidal tanks with a spacious payload/passenger area in the
centre.

Size? Perhaps in the 1-10 ton payload range, depending on market and
funding. This should be well within the lift capacity of OTS aircraft.

Cost? Hopefully less than $200 million till first use, with additional
bigger, better, cheaper vehicles added in response to market forces.
Cost to LEO should hopefully quickly get below $100/kg.

Note, $20 billion does not sound like CATS to me.

Pete.


 




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