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William Murray

Deep Space Exploration: Consider Designing an Alternative Approach

William Murray
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Netcrawl
Netcrawl
9/5/2013 1:32:29 AM
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Master
Re: air-launch
@William you're right about the satellite, they're really a great stuff. But its not easy job, satellite communication systems involve lots of hardware like transmitters and receivers that are constantly moving with reference to one another, satellite's signals are subject to atmospheric noise and weather-related perturbations, and also accidental jamming and interference. 

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BillWM
BillWM
9/4/2013 8:18:43 PM
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Blogger
Re: air-launch
Remote controlled aircraft that fly high enough for remote sensing similar to small (250lb satellite) have many complexities that a regular aircraft has like:

The need for TCAS and Transponders for ATC -- as well as newer items like ADSB.

(Collision avoidance and coordination/supervision by air traffic control)

A small satellite can provide significant coverage, and avoid this, as well as provide coverage of maritime natural resources like fisheries, kelp beds, and other aspects of the ocean, that only a 5-10Million dollar UAV can provide.

 

The satellite can provide coverage for a sigificant timeframe while having low operating costs compared to an aircraft/UAV which requires fuel, crew, ATC supervision, airfield and airfield support, repairs, maintenance .........

 

The satellite can also provide a data communications relay / platform.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
9/3/2013 10:57:59 PM
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Blogger
Re: air-launch
@William--all the hype aside, I looked at an article on another UBM site today regarding images from the much ballyhooed phone sats.  Frankly, I was disappointed.  While I think that remote sensing from things like small UAVs has a bright future, and I believe launch costs for orbital hardware can come way down, I'm not jumping on the every high school kid can launch a satellite craze.  Take a look at what DN showed and tell me what these phone sats are good for?

Images from Phone Sats

The applications you mention are surely good ones.  Precision agriculture is a great example.  But you can do what is needed at a fraction of a phone sat + launch by putting better sensors on a remote controlled airplane.

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BillWM
BillWM
9/3/2013 12:16:07 PM
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Blogger
Re: air-launch
@Karl -- On the micro-satellites -- with Robotic Assembly becoming the norm, and advances in electronics miniatureization -- Plus new 3D parts printing and machining becoming low cost, I see a big future for micro-satellites -- Virgin's EVE aircraft platform per advertising has capability to launch a 250lb micro-satellite into Low Earth Orbit with a semi-expendible launch vehicle -- Think of all the agricultural, environmental, and natural resource monitoring applications that can come available from such a low cost launch  -

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Karl Wiklund
Karl Wiklund
9/3/2013 11:37:34 AM
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Newbie
air-launch
@William: It is worth remembering that much of the early work *was* done using air-lauched craft.  Both the X-1 and X-15 for example were first carried aloft by modified B-52s.  NASA at the time also did explore other ideas such as "rockoons", which were to be launched via a balloon stage.  I would surmise that these were eventually relegated to the sidelines owing to the problems associated with launching the much larger payloads that have become the norm today. However, with the entry of some civilian companies into the space market, some of these notions are being re-visited.  It may be that with the growth of a market micro-satellites we may see air-launches becoming a viable alternative in some application areas.

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samicksha
samicksha
9/3/2013 3:23:38 AM
User Rank
Artist
Re: Alternative Space
@Netcrawl: I am noy sure if they do it or not, but they cliam that more than 78,000 registered for the selection programme within two weeks of its launch and when it comes to they say, The challenge is to identify the risks in every step of the ten year Mission, from astronaut selection through training, from launch to living on Mars. Mars One has incorporated into its Mission plan a detailed risk analysis protocol, built by highly experienced individuals, some of them with experience at NASA and the ESA. Which i guess does not clarify anything as if now.

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Netcrawl
Netcrawl
9/2/2013 10:37:22 PM
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Master
Re: Interplanetary Journey
@Daej I agree with you, there's some big issue in NASA's low cost design vehicle, there's an issue about quality and sustainment, can it really meet NASA's requirement for its next generation space vehicle.

Outsourcing NASA space works could be a good idea but this won't solve some of NASA big problems. Survival is the name of the game, without enough budget NASA would definitley starve, NASA is facing tough challenges in many areas in space exploration, propulsion system, reentry vehicles, moon landing  and etc. The huge budget cuts has put the agency into serious trouble.  

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Netcrawl
Netcrawl
9/2/2013 9:33:46 AM
User Rank
Master
Re: Alternative Space
@samicksha I think NASA won't do it, I mean putting the first man on the martian soil, its diificult we're still not able to fix some of our tech problems like propulsion system and lading systems.  In addition NASA face "the fight of its life" -a huge budget cuts, which could put NASA's big budget programs like mars exploration into serious trouble. 

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DaeJ
DaeJ
9/2/2013 9:21:36 AM
User Rank
Master
Re: Interplanetary Journey
As other view,

If NASA thinks some low cost design for public transportation, it might slightly risk to get the quality of space shuttle including astronauts dress code including safety.  There is so much concern and question for "low cost design."

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samicksha
samicksha
9/2/2013 3:32:35 AM
User Rank
Artist
Re: Alternative Space
Apart form landing crews and robots, we have project named Mars One running in central of world, that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023, and more over as per mars one site this is unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement, followed by human landings.

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