Saturday, April 04, 2009

Space Access 2009 - Chuck Lauer- Rocketplane Global

Chuck Lauer quickly went through some of the specifications for their plane. Rocketplane, like much of the industry, has had some financial struggles. The plane holds six people, in three rows of two. Everyone has two windows. They use the same fuel for both. The plane has jets and a rocket. They have many things in place to ensure safety.

The jets can get the rocket to about 40,000 feet before they light up the rockets. It is an all electric system. They run on batteries. They are using an existing system for the landing gear. The avionics is all off the shelf components.

They will be flying without pressure suits. They think the customers will enjoy the experience more without pressure suits. Pressure suits are expensive, and have risks.

They have eight HD cameras on board. Each passenger will get a DVD with all the inside and outside views.

He showed us how much of the United States the passengers will see, from the Rocky Mountains, to the Dakotas, to Kentucky, down into Mexico. Part of the value proposition is being able to see the ground. Okalhoma typically has good weather and the customers won't be disappointed with lots of clouds.

He showed a picture of the interior. Customers will experience 3.5 G's on the way up and 4 G's on the way back. The seats need to be comfortable. Each seat will have access to all the cameras.

They believe there will be enough demand for more than one rocket company.

The plane is designed so the seats can be taken out and put in racks for experiments.

They are also looking at a Spaceport in Hawaii. This is the first proposed FAA licensed point-to-point space flight route. This establishes Hawaii as a global hub for future Mach 10 trans-pacific flights. He listed proposed spaceports around the world.

Rocketplane has spent around $24 million, mostly on design and development. They need about another $100 million to get a fully functional rocket. Rocketplane got hit hard with the recent down turn in the market. He made a strong arguement for reusable rockets.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem his company is facing has been 
management and financial!! That’s indeed the greatest problem!!

Rocketplane has left bills unpaid in multiple time zones, and 
is being sued across the board.