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Thread: What happened to commercial suborbital flight

  1. #61
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    This venture will take another decade if not more to make it work.

    I think it would be six minutes during the sub-orbital flight.

    The Kennedy government had contracted $350,000,000 to the then Grumman company for a Lunar module.

    Space flight is a hard game, desires, and dreams are no guarantee in this industry. I was reading a space related article on the guardian newspaper website. Everything is a long shot.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    This venture will take another decade if not more to make it work.
    Which venture?
    What do you mean by "make it work"?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    I think it would be six minutes during the sub-orbital flight.
    Yes; that's what Virgin Galactic is indicating.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    The Kennedy government had contracted $350,000,000 to the then Grumman company for a Lunar module.
    What does that have to do with suborbital commercial flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    Space flight is a hard game, desires, and dreams are no guarantee in this industry. I was reading a space related article on the guardian newspaper website. Everything is a long shot.
    It depends on your resources. If you consider budgetary concerns, yes everything is a long shot. Otherwise, there are a lot of things that are easily attainable given a free budget.

  3. #63
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    Venture meaning this industry, it needs time.

    The contract example shows how organised that was with a budget, and a time frame was crucial.

    We all know there is no such thing really as a blank cheque, and that this venture is going to take time. It won't happen out of inflated egos, or soundbites it'll happen if only a few times, but when the business works.

  4. #64
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    Such a budget will have to compete in a very severe environment for monies budgeted for many....many other things.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    Venture meaning this industry, it needs time.
    It has already taken a lot of time and they are close to implementation and already have paid bookings.
    So; what point are you trying to make?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    The contract example shows how organised that was with a budget, and a time frame was crucial.
    That was a government cost-plus budget.
    The original contract was $350M. The actual cost was around $2B. About a 6X overrrun. It's a bad example of a budget. And it's a bad example in relation to commercial suborbital flight because the latter can be delayed without issue.

  6. #66
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    So far nothing is for certain.

    This is all presumption.

    Those few who have bought a ticket are only a few. Not until this orbital flight takes off, and then follow ups will happens will this dream of sub-orbital flight be a firm reality, as firm as actual government space programs.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    So far nothing is for certain.

    This is all presumption.

    Those few who have bought a ticket are only a few. Not until this orbital flight takes off, and then follow ups will happens will this dream of sub-orbital flight be a firm reality, as firm as actual government space programs.

    What orbital flight? If you mean commercial orbital flight then that already exists, and manned orbital flight is probably a couple of years away. And have you seen how many government space programs have been cancelled? Try the Venturestar for starters.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    So far nothing is for certain.
    This is all presumption.
    Glass half full, half empty. That doesn't change things.

    But; those who were willing to spend the money certainly have done a lot more research into projected income than you or I can ever do.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    Those few who have bought a ticket are only a few.
    Only a few?
    VG already has over 600 confirmed customers with a combined $125 million dollars.
    I don't consider that "a few" when it comes to high priced items.

  9. #69
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    For those that are willing to lower their expectations from space to visit the stratosphere there are options. One of which is the Russian route with a cost of 1,500,000.00 INR = 24,675.00 USD

    http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/sci...cle6395091.ece

    T.N. Suresh Kumar, a senior scientist working with the ISRO’s Master Control Facility in Hassan, has become the first Indian to visit the stratosphere – the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    He made it to an altitude of 17,100 metres on August 15 in a MIG-29 from Sokol Airbase near Nizhny Novgorod in Russia paying a hefty fee of around Rs. 15 lakh from his savings.

    “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that I have been dreaming of for two decades. I am happy I did it,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu on Tuesday.

    The flight reached a maximum speed of 1,850 km per hour, reaching the stratosphere in 48 minutes. With this, Mr. Kumar becomes the 259th person and the first Indian to take the flight ever since the Country of Tourism Ltd., an agency conducting space travel in Russia, started the journey called ‘Edge of Space’ six years ago.

  10. #70
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    17% of the way there is the edge?
    Since I was 2 thirds of that altitude a couple of months ago, does that mean I was nearly at the edge of space?
    If that flight were near the equator, it wouldn't even be in the stratosphere. They are just using the phrase for advertising.

    The author is completely missing the point here. It's not so much about the altitude as it is about flying in a fighter at supersonic speeds with a close connection and feel with the craft. It's something I would love to do myself. And; the cost can be about a 10th of that.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    17% of the way there is the edge?
    Since I was 2 thirds of that altitude a couple of months ago, does that mean I was nearly at the edge of space?
    If that flight were near the equator, it wouldn't even be in the stratosphere. They are just using the phrase for advertising.

    The author is completely missing the point here. It's not so much about the altitude as it is about flying in a fighter at supersonic speeds with a close connection and feel with the craft. It's something I would love to do myself. And; the cost can be about a 10th of that.
    For each his own. As Mr. Kumar said “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that I have been dreaming of for two decades. I am happy I did it,”

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    For each his own. As Mr. Kumar said “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that I have been dreaming of for two decades. I am happy I did it,”
    I'm not commenting on his experience. I'm sure he loved it (as I said I would too). I was commenting on this whole "edge of space" deception and connection to suborbital flight.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I'm not commenting on his experience. I'm sure he loved it (as I said I would too). I was commenting on this whole "edge of space" deception and connection to suborbital flight.
    I agree with what you say and why I stated "For those that are willing to lower their expectations".

  14. #74
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    Virgin Galactic Delays First Commercial Flights to 2015

    http://spacenews.com/article/civil-s...lights-to-2015

    Virgin Galactic now plans to perform the first commercial flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle early next year, the latest schedule slip for the long-delayed program, the company’s founder said in a pair of televised interviews.

    “From now until March there will be many test flights,” said Sir Richard Branson in an interview on CBS’s “The Late Show” Sept. 9. He said he planned to be on the first commercial flight, from Spaceport America in New Mexico, in “February or March of next year.”

  15. #75
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    Lets recap the projected dates, shall we?

    Date said - Date projected
    July 2008 -Dec 2009
    Oct 2009 - Oct 2011
    May 2013 - Dec 2013
    Jan 2014 - Dec 2014
    Sep 2014 - Mar 2015

    At least the projections are starting to span a shorter amount of time.

  16. #76
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    Yes, and they appear to be quite....elastic!

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Yes, and they appear to be quite....elastic!
    It's their credibility that's stretching. I expect the next announcement to be another lowering of altitude, but hey, I'm sure theres ANOTHER "valid" measurement for "space" they can find.

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  18. #78
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    Back when the X-prize (remember that?) was first won and Virgin Galactic was launched (as a business I mean) it was supposed to be 2008.

  19. #79
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    Thing is, though, they are doing test flights, they are continuing development, and isn't just about suborbital - they also plan to put smallsats in orbit. They're also involved in the XS-1 DARPA reusable spaceplane program. This isn't a case where everything is just on paper, or work has stopped. It isn't clear to me why there's so much negativity on this, almost like people are hoping it will fail.

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  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Thing is, though, they are doing test flights, they are continuing development, and isn't just about suborbital - they also plan to put smallsats in orbit. They're also involved in the XS-1 DARPA reusable spaceplane program. This isn't a case where everything is just on paper, or work has stopped. It isn't clear to me why there's so much negativity on this, almost like people are hoping it will fail.
    I agree.

  21. #81
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    What you "hear" (see?) from me isn't any hope they will fail, it's frustration and disappointment that it doesn't seem to be getting off the ground (haha), or that the goals are being lessened so they can meet them.

    CJSF
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  22. #82
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    Delays aren't surprising in a technologically difficult field. SpaceX was somewhat of an exception, though they had delays too, and had a bit of luck picking the right choices starting out. I'd be concerned if these guys weren't testing, or if it looked like all the money was being pulled out. I held my breath when they had the explosion:

    http://www.knightsarrow.com/rockets/...ites-accident/

    because I could have easily imagined that destroying confidence. However, they kept at it. What would be really bad is if they got off the ground, only to lose the spacecraft. That would kill the company, and would hurt all commercial human space attempts, probably slowing down progress considerably.

    As for goals, it isn't clear to me that any goals were lessened.

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  23. #83
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    Incidentally, that article on the accident led me to a link to this article:

    http://www.newspacejournal.com/2014/...rgin-galactic/

    which basically says that the 2007 explosion *is* the cause of the delay. It sounds like they kept trying to make the engine work, but they've finally had to admit (internally) it was too dangerous, and are changing engines.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    This isn't a case where everything is just on paper, or work has stopped. It isn't clear to me why there's so much negativity on this, almost like people are hoping it will fail.
    Remember all the hype back then? Remember all the negativity against NASA at the time?

    I don't think anybody has indicated hope in failure. As far as negativity... It's not really negativity, but dissapointment like CJSF said.
    There's a lot of frustration out there. They are not delivering what they promised. If I were a customer, I'd probably be boiling mad. At my age, and health, a few years is going to make a big difference. But; if I had that kind of money to spend, I would probably have a different attitude.

    With me, it's more of an "I told you so". This was supposed to change commercial spaceflight in some people's eyes. I never looked at it that way.

    Also; While this came about, and people were slamming NASA for their delays, they were also pointing at this and saying "see, private companies can do it more efficiently". I've always maintained that spaceflight is difficult. This is just another example to the NASA naysayers.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Remember all the hype back then? Remember all the negativity against NASA at the time?
    Yes, and I think it was and still is fair.

    Also; While this came about, and people were slamming NASA for their delays, they were also pointing at this and saying "see, private companies can do it more efficiently". I've always maintained that spaceflight is difficult. This is just another example to the NASA naysayers.
    SpaceX has turned out to be the better example, but SpaceX was much more a question mark at that time. Virgin Galactic still is doing this on a small budget by NASA standards, and it still can be an important market. And for me, it isn't just a delay in a particular program, but that I was told back in the early '70s that the Space Shuttle was going to be the answer to low cost access to space. *Nothing* was built through NASA that really did that in all those years. It turned out that they simply didn't have the incentives to build and fly a cost effective spacecraft. That's the key problem with NASA.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Yes, and I think it was and still is fair.
    It all depends on what aspects you look at. I tend to look at NASA with more research in mind than just a way to work in space and try to separate the forced pork and restrictions from their accomplishments.

    But; I think the details on that are best left to a different thread.

  27. #87
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    It has yet to happen for a public arena, not venture star.

    This is a long road, progress will be small.

  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    It has yet to happen for a public arena, not venture star.
    This is a long road, progress will be small.
    "it"? Are you referring to commercial suborbital flight?

    What does Venture Star have to do with this thread?

  29. #89
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    Sub orbital yes. I'm not referring to the venture star mission as an example.

    Sub orbital tourism has yet to happen the way could happen, and it will be a long road until it is popular use like riding the bus or better getting on an aeroplane.

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    Sub orbital yes. I'm not referring to the venture star mission as an example.
    Why did you mention it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDidGoToTheMoon View Post
    Sub orbital tourism has yet to happen the way could happen, and it will be a long road until it is popular use like riding the bus or better getting on an aeroplane.
    I see what you mean now. I don't think it will ever get to that point.
    For a while, it's going to be an expensive thrill ride.
    It probably will become a travel alternative, but I think it will still be an expensive one even with an increase in volume. I don't want to mention Concorde because it had other shortfalls. But; there may be some parallels.

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