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QuickReach (CXV)

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:28 pm
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QuickReach (CXV) 
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Post QuickReach (CXV)   Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:28 pm
I didn't succeed yet in posting the news under News - but there is success regarding the booster of the CXV. As can be read under www.airlaunchllc.com/News.htm the project has entered the next phase and there were successful firing-, separation- and drop-tests of the QuickReach an up-scaled version of would be used to launch the CXV into orbit.

I posted this in the Technology section also for discussion of the details under the technological aspect.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:14 pm
They really need this plane--at the very least:
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/G ... al4538.htm


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:45 pm
Actually, from some of the comments, I think they have reconsidered and are using the Shuttle Carrier Airplane - largerly an issue of cost, if they really want a shot at some COTS money, they had to bring it down, since CXV as is would've sucked most of the money up.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:54 am
I find it interesting that the news has been psoted at Air Launch LLCs homepage around the same time or period of time when there was the article saying that Virgin Galactic increased the WK2 for doing orbital operations - the article Soyuz linked to in another thread.

Ass f they knew of that news and then decided to increase the WK2. I wouldn't wonder if Vrigin Galacitic will use QuickReach for their orbital operations.

This might become an interesting year regarding this.

And t/Space is closer to the capbility to launch the CXV now.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:00 pm
Quote:
article saying that Virgin Galactic increased the WK2 for doing orbital operations


Scaled Composites/Virgin Galactic announced recently that they're going to increase SS2 capacity to 7 persons. Are you sure about that orbital part? Switching from suborbital into orbital is kinda big thing... Can you provide a link?

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Post    Posted on: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:08 pm
The information that the SS2 has been increased up to 7 passengers is several months old and I applied it in the Accumulation-thread in the Financial Barriers section.

The information that the WK2 - not the SS2 - has been increased to do orbital operations is new and doesn't mean that the SS2 has been made orbital - it hasn't.

Soyuz provided the link in the Spaceflight Cafe in the thread about the increase of the White Knight - I copy it here later perhaps.



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EDIT: The link Soyuz listed in the other thread was www.flightglobal.com/Articles/2005/12/2 ... uture.html (Flight International. And he quoted the follwoing information:

Quote:
Plans for future, possibly orbital, spaceships has led Virgin Galactic to increase the size of the SS2’s carrier aircraft, White Knight 2 (WK2), which had been described as having the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but will now be the size of a 757.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 31, 2006 12:41 pm
According to the article "Competition Heats Up for NASA's Space Cargo Contract" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/060531 ... _cots.html ) t/Space is one of the six teams who
Quote:
made the cut
as finalist of NASA's COTS effort.

On the other side the article also says:

Quote:
While some COTS contenders have openly spoken of their selection as NASA finalists, others – such as Andrews Space and t/Space remain reticent since the competition is still underway.
,

Quote:
An Andrews Space spokesperson would not comment on the Seattle firm’s COTS effort and t/Space officials did not return phone messages but projects by both companies hint at what their bids may entail.


and

Quote:
Meanwhile, t/Space has been pursuing an air-launched spacecraft to be lofted by a ramped up version of its QuickReach 2 booster. The firm has said that it could build a commercial crew transport by 2008, well before NASA’s intended shuttle retirement date, given the funds.




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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:57 pm
What will launch it--a 747 on stilts? Please...


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:20 pm
publiusr wrote:
What will launch it--a 747 on stilts? Please...


I was imagining that or some sort of bizarre V-tail 747 with the Quick Reach strapped to the roof.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:05 pm
Hello, bad-Astra,

t/Space have explicitly said in one of the documants available for download on the homepage that the Boeing 747's landing gear would be modified to carry the CXV and its booster below the airplane and thus not on the roof.

But the increase of the White Knight 2 reproted may enable that WK2 to carry and launch the CXV and its booster.

The term "CXV and its booster" I am using here as sysnonym for t/Space's COTS vehicle.

It will be interesting what future news are going to say about the WK2 and about t/Space's COTS vehicle.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:54 pm
For the sake of expediency (and the hope of more easily winning a COTS contract), I don't see why T-Space doesn't simply offer to build a CXV capable of being launched on EELV or Falcon 9.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:24 pm
Hello, bad-astra,

the Falcon 9 is the vehicle of their COTS-competitor SpaceX and there is a good chance that their QuickReach 2 is ready before the required Falcon 9 is available.

This might be their point of view. Also they might be forced to modify the already existing design of the CXV - diameters etc. - and to unveil some secrets which they at present try to hide to a higher degree than four of their competitors according to the article I quoted.

The EELV would remove their cost-advantage more than completely - it would cost them all their chances to win. Especially since SpaceX is going to use theri reusable Falcon 9.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:59 pm
When I see a resulable Falcon 9 I will believe it.
Anyway, the thing is, the money is almost certainly not going to be given to simply one contractor. TSPACE is dreaming to think they can get the whole pie. Rather then work, under very short notice) on an entirely delivery systeml, why not work in one small segment?

That is what SpaceHab is doing. SpaceX and SpaceDev chose to go the Tspace route of offering the entire package also, requiring new lv's. I understand the need for a new lv, but the modular approach would (and will) allow a contract winner with a vehicle for cargo or crew resupply to concentrate on modifying their design to meet the launch vehicle design that wins the contract (not the other way around.. doing it as NASA has done VSE so far is just asking for weight gain issues, just as Apollo had).

Gemini is a good example of how to do a manned program right. Know up front what your lv is, and work around it. What they got was in many ways the best spaceship ever built.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:33 am
I think the point is that one of the T/Space partners, AirLaunch LLC, is already developing the QuickReach launcher under the DARPA/Air Force Falcon project. It's just rolled out the back of a standard C17, since it's small enough to fit in the cargo bay.

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/quieach1.htm

QuickReach 2 for the CXV, is just a scaled up version requiring a bigger, or at least dedicated, carrier aircraft, that can carry it externally.

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/quieach2.htm

In this case the selection of the launcher has a very significant impact on the design of the capsule. For example:

1) No pad escape tower is needed since launch is at sufficient altitude for parachutes to have time to open.

2) Capsule access is through the base via the payload adaptor while in horizontal flight beneath the carrier aircraft.

Trying to adapt the CXV to a Falcon 5 or 9 or any other ground launched ELV would be silly.

bad_astra wrote:
Gemini is a good example of how to do a manned program right. Know up front what your lv is, and work around it.

Exactly! The CXV was invented to make use of the QuickReach architecture, not the other way around.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:14 pm
Over at www.nasaspaceflight.com is an actual rocket engineer who calls himself Jim. Now he's a Boeing man and an EELV hack--but he is a good man--and he doesn't buy into Quickreach. You might want to ask him a few questions or have him join us here.


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