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The birth of the private space age.

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Space and Planetary Science' started by amusicsite, 19 May 2012.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    [​IMG]
     
  3. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    On the other side of the coin...

    By extension, if we're going to have a situation in the future with several differently owned and separately managed space stations and associated supply vehicles, it could be that the scenario works out rather like the history of the microcomputer - a lot of firms competing for the same business initially, rationalising down to a few who manage to do what they do cost effectively and give both a good product and a good return to investors.

    Manned flight aside, I believe in the principle that though space belongs to no-one, exploration of it must never turn into a free-for-all. Collaboration makes not only economic sense, but political and 'human' sense. Commercially? If I was in charge of regulating licences to launch vehicles into space, one of the stipulations would be stringent protocols for end-of-life decommissioning of any orbiting satellite. Space junk is a big enough problem now!
     
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    As more people want to launch into space I'm sure we will start cleaning up the space junk. As far as who owns what in space, well I'm sure we will fight over that.

    Likewise I'm sure there will be a few big players that ultimately corner the market. These could well be the Boeing type companies we already have or maybe Chinese or Indian company yet to be formed. It's always exciting when you have lots of different companies pushing different areas.
     
  5. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    The problem with cleaning up space junk is there doesn't seem to be any money in it - yet. Like any environment, once the pollution gets to a critical point, that tends to be when someone offering a commercial solution can find business. There's a fair bit of junk up there already. The more crowded earth orbit becomes, the closer we get to the day when there's a junk-related accident involving either a manned flight or a crucial satellite.
     
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    That's why they have launch windows. These are typically when the weather is right but also when there is no trackable space debris on the trajectory. As we move to wanting more launches there will be more economic reasons to clear the junk.

    http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/9-concepts-cleaning-space-junk.html

    There are plenty of people looking at ways to do it. It's only a matter of time... And money.
     
  7. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  8. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  9. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  10. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  11. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  12. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    Fantastic. If I ever make my millions I'd be really tempted to buy a ticket - can you imagine the view?!! :geek:

    Must have cost quite a bit to develop this far though - 80 odd test flights since 2008 and they haven't flown a single paying passenger yet! :wink:
     
  13. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    http://b612foundation.org/

    The B612 Foundation aims to build, launch, and operate the first privately funded deep space mission – a space telescope to be placed in orbit around the Sun.
     
  14. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    Wow ... very ambitious!! I'm almost tempted to donate $10.00 just so I can say I was a part of the mission ... :D
     
    classic33 and amusicsite like this.
  15. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Shaun likes this.
  16. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    http://www.sen.com/news/intelsat-21-launched-by-sea-launch-zenit-3sl-rocket.html

    [​IMG]

    "Sea Launch AG, which has headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, was set up 1995 to offer satellite launches from a platform in the sea. The company carried out its first launch of a demonstration payload in March 1999. Since its demonstration launch the company has had carried out 33 launches, including today's."

    Seems a good idea launching from the oceans, especially considering all the pollution you get from launching a rocket.
     
  17. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    http://lwn.net/Articles/540368/

    Software lessons learnt from working in the space business.

    :laugh:
     
    JakeNoolan and Shaun like this.
  18. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  19. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    Then death rears its head.
    Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes in Mojave desert

    Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes in Mojave desert


    One person is reportedly on Friday after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo experimental rocket plane crashed in the Mohave Desert after the aircraft suffered an “in-flight anomaly” during a test flight.

    Friday morning, Virgin Galactic said on Twitter that its SpaceShipTwo would be conducting its fifty-fifth test flight as the company continues to work at offering clients an opportunity in the future to fly in one of the vessels to the edge of outer space, or around 62 miles from Earth. Shortly after the exercise began, however, Virgin Galactic said simply that the craft “has experienced an in-flight anomaly.”
     
  20. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well it is looking like this could be the year of the private space race to final get people into space.

    Virgin Galactic are hoping to get off the ground this year, providing there are no setbacks in the final testing stage.

    SpaceX are looking good to launch their Crew Dragon with people on board after successful tests and experience with the cargo version.

    Blue Origin says it's gearing up for it's first flight too, they were hoping to do it last year.

    While Boeing is looking increasingly unlikely to join the club this year. The setback with their last test flight has been compounded by other software issues that seem to have come to light recently. While the final report is not out yet it seem there were more problems than just the rockets firing at the wrong time. So its likely NASA is going to have to go through the 1 million lines of code with a tooth pick and quite probably make them test the craft again before it in deemed safe enough for human flight.