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LINUX-L  2007

LINUX-L 2007

Subject:

Re: "build your own sputnik" (BBC article)

From:

Eric Lavigne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Platform Independent Linux List! <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 23 Oct 2007 20:26:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (50 lines)

> > I have a hard time believing that a price tag of $50,000
> > to launch a 1kg object is driven primarily by the cost of electronics
> > and solid rocket boosters. These things just aren't that expensive.
>
> They aren't? You have numbers?

This site throws out a low ball number of $30 per pound of payload.
This is based on $10 per pound in fuel costs and the fact that a
similar industry (airlines) has total costs that are about 2-3 times
its fuel costs. Anyone know where to buy rocket fuel at that price?

http://www.space-access.org/updates/saspolcy.html


I tried researching prices on complete boosters, but found more dead
links than I've seen in a long time. Even $20-$100 boosters require
various permits and certifications.

http://www.aerotech-rocketry.com/

"The H250G and the I245G may be sold to NAR or Tripoli Level 1
certified purchasers in possession of an ATFE Low Explosive User
Permit (LEUP). The J500G and the K270W require a Level 2 NAR or
Tripoli certification."

Even if you have such permits, this entrance barrier drives down
public demand for these products and probably places an enforcement
burden on vendors, both of which tend to drive up prices.

> I think you grossly underestimate the difficulty of putting an object in
> orbit. The legal obstacles are negligible compared to the engineering
> challenge. SpaceX has spent millions and probably come closest, and they
> have yet to make it to orbit (they will be happy to sell you launch services
> for $7 million per launch, over 700 kg payload capacity -- yes, that's cheap)
>
> http://www.spacex.com

The most recent news item on that site: "SpaceX Successfully
Completes NASA Critical Design Review for First Commercial
Transportation System to the International Space Station"

This company is designing its products with the intent to pass NASA
inspections, so it is not a good example of a company that is facing
primarily technical challenges.

It's good to see that some people are still trying and that progress
is being made, but I'll focus my efforts on less regulated fields.
Despite the Terminator movies, which showed the danger of AI
development, it's still possible to conduct AI research without a
permit. I'm taking advantage of that while it lasts. :-D

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