Thursday, April 18, 2019

Space Access 2019 - Thursday afternoon

Thursday afternoon of Space Access 2019:

John Quinn of Exos - An Update on the SARGE Vehicle
The development team created three engines in three months through rapid prototypes.  They are licensed to launch out of Spaceport America.  He talked about some launches they did and showed lots of pictures.  They carried some Edu cube satellite for payload.  They were able to relaunch the rocket with very little modifications. He showed a video of the second launch.  (The video will be posted on their channel soon.)
Italy is offering them a sweet deal to launch from Italy and help develop an aerospace program there.  Italy wants them to help train aerospace engineers in Italy.

Adrian Tyrnes (CubeCab CEO)  - FAA As A Customer: Reducing & Eliminating Risk
FFA just proposed some revised launch regulations.  
The regulations have lots of good information on things to consider when doing a launch.  It is worth reviewing to learn from and make sure they aren’t setting things up to stop you from working.  He showed diagrams on the flow of things to do.  Depending on where the rocket is launched from and what the satellite will do there are various government organizations you have to file paperwork with and get permission from.
Key questions the government wants answered:
  1. Expected Casualty/Maximum Probable Loss?
  2. What can possible go wrong?
  3. Launch range discussions?
Good to think about these as doing design, can save a ton of money
Look for ways to do lots of launches, over time things will get safer

Gregory Orndorff of Vector Launch - An Update on Vector's Dedicated Low-Cost Launch Vehicles
Showed some pictures of their rocket.  Showed how their rocket can carry payload.  Manufacturing is in Tuscon, Arizona.  Mission control is in Huntington Beach, CA.  They also have an office in San Jose, California.
Vector was one of three accepted for the DARPA Launch Challenge.  
The challenge to launch from a location specified just a couple weeks before the launch.  
Offering 50 kg launched for $1.5 million.  
They are sizing the factory in Arizona to do more than 100 flights a year.

Bill Bruner of New Frontier Aerospace  -  Thoughts on how to build a sustainable launch business
Where do you get the money?  If you are not a billionaire then you may have to ask for money, but will lose some equity in the company.  Or can try to raise money from a government contest, like the DARPA Launch Challenge, 55 applied, only 3 were picked and they might not be successful.
Another challenge - we often try to do everything ourselves.
How do we deal with these challenges?
To address the money issue - do a lean start, iterate, build a simple functional piece, get it working, then slowly add to.
New Frontier Aerospace is trying to bootstrap, looking at getting a military contractor delivering 50 kg payload 7 miles away.
Look at buying stuff when it exists, rather than building yet another rocket engine, rocket engines are becoming commodity.  
Expect over the next few years there will be a winnowing of small satellite launchers, and it will be brutal, only a few of the existing 129 companies will be around in a couple years.

Max Haot of Launcher - LOX-Cooled 3D-Printed Engine for High-Performance Smallsat Launcher
Launcher is based in Brooklyn.  Focused on having the best performance.  Their roadmap is first building the engine.  Planning to put 773 kg into 200 km orbit, and 400 kg at 500 km.  Founded in March of 2017.  Plan to develop and test their engine over the next four years.  They are focused now on small sat launcher class.  They are 3D printing the engine.  He shared a number of pictures and videos about the engine they are building.

Jim Muncy of Polispace - Prospective FAA Launch/Reentry Rules Changes
Jim Skyped in from Virginia.  He had Writing Rocketry Rules 101:
  • Launch/reentry regulations in 14 CFR Chapter II (Pat 400)
  • In 2000s, FAA conformed ELV rules to Range handbook
  • In 2006, FAA wrote completely different rules for RLVs (as directory by CSLAA2004) 
  • So we have detailed prescriptive burdensome rules for ELVs
  • And performance-based rules for RLVs (more generals)
  • Note: Reusable Falcon 9 is licensed as an expendable
The Air Force has changed their procedures over the last 30 years, but regulations drafted 20 years ago are largely in place
  • In January 2017 the industry told the FAA/AST they needed to fix their outdates space launch.reentry regulations.  They were told it would take about 7 years.
  • In Mary 2017 - FAA started meeting with CSF informally to discuss rules
Jim asked people to give feedback on some proposed changes
Search for “Streamlined launch and reentry”
Suggested feedback:
Request an extension - took a year to write, only fair to allow more than 60 days to review the changes
Ask they make the rules performance based - the industry is changing fast, better to set goals, rather than dictate how to do a particular activity

A panel discussion - NewSpace meets MilSpace
The new Space Force is being split off from the Air Force.  The Air Force is sad to lose control of the money.  Appears the Space Force will not be doing much R&D.  Believe the Space Force will need to work with the other arm services.  The Space Force could have a budget of about half of what the Air Force has.  In The next war will be fought with space ships

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