General N-Prize feasability discussion

Anything that doesn't belong in one of the other forums goes here.

General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Monroe » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:12 pm

I thought I'd start a new discussion about the feasibility of the N-Prize in general. Launch sites, regulations and what it really takes to attempt a launch BEFORE you even design a rocket launcher of any type you should know what your up against. This may help you decide on where you should try and perhaps avoid too many regulations and initial cost in reality. We are not talking rockets here just regulations and where the ideal launch site might be.

Monroe
User avatar
Monroe
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:29 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Jay » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:06 am

The highlands of Ecuador would make an ideal launch site. On the equator you benefit from the greatest rotational speed of the surface of Earth. Also, you are almost as far as you can get from the center of the planet without leaving the ground so gravity is weakest (admittedly not by much, but you take what you can get) and the thin atmosphere of the high altitude saves you the trouble of pushing through all that thick air below. The government is science-hungry and the large modern seaport of Guayaquil nearby can provide all the urban amenities you might need for parts, supplies and repairs, not to mention well deserved rest and recreation. How’s your Spanish?
Jay
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Monroe » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:20 am

As a US citizen I'm bound by FAA regulations no matter where I go. However some one from there could make an attempt. I wonder what their regulatory status would be and how they are aligned with the United Nations as there are still regulations about satellites that govern UN Nations. I am in a position to obtain Canadian and UK citizenship but even that would not exempt me from US Regulations unless I renounced my US Citizenship and I'll not do that.

Monroe
User avatar
Monroe
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:29 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Jay » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:00 pm

Paul, Monroe brings up an interesting question.

Unless I am mistaken, the United States is the only country which requires citizens to comply with their home country’s regulations regarding orbital launches no matter where in the world the launch actually takes place.

Furthermore, some would-be contenders for the N-Prize are apparently absolutely prohibited from meaningfully participating in the competition within their countries’ borders. Generalissimus1966 comes to mind.

If an entrant from one country wishes to launch from a different country to escape oppressive regulations at home, to take advantage of the geographical benefits of the launch site or just to satisfy an eccentric understanding of holiday vacation travel, would that have any effect on the legitimacy of the attempt?

Or, to make this even more confusing, what if to avoid bureaucratic entanglements Team Prometheus or generalissimus1966 were to document the design of a complete system and then publish the documentation of their system with sufficient detail to allow cooperative enthusiasts who are not citizens of the home country and not registered as N-Prize entrants but situated in a more favorably regulated jurisdiction to replicate the system and successfully meet the technical requirements of the challenge?

Will the prize have been won, and if so, by whom? (My guess is no and therefore by no one.)

Convoluted enough for you? In other words, if the only obstacle to success is bureaucratic nonsense what options does the “spirit” of the challenge offer to teams in oppressively restrictive jurisdictions besides the promise of a cheerfully encouraging email now and then during a long prison sentence?

If you wouldn’t mind convening an executive session of the N-Prize’s Committee Responsible for Attempt Compliance with Key Regulatory Standards (CRACKRS) we would be very interested to hear what you...uh, they...have to say about being dutifully grateful for the abundance of our bureaucratic “blessings.” Our cup runneth over.

By the way, thanks for having James re-engineer the count down clock as a “count up” clock. Nice touch.
Jay
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Monroe » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:02 pm

I might add there is ITAR to think about as well if you are in the US giving the information over may be a violation. So exchange of information could get you into hot water. It really depends on how you disseminate the information. If you give it to everyone without collaborating with anyone specific it can be do but working directly with another team could get you into trouble. So how you could do what you suggest could be tricky. Be careful!

Monroe
User avatar
Monroe
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:29 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Jay » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:32 am

Definitely not in my plans, Monroe, but I appreciate the advice. The suggestion refers to publication for general consumption even though we know only a handful of N-Prize nerds (excuse me, fellow “enthusiasts”) working toward a common goal (and therefore “cooperative”) are likely to be particularly interested in a dry technically detailed description of a system just barely able “to launch an impossibly small satellite into orbit on a ludicrously small budget, for a pitifully small cash prize.”

Also, because ITAR applies only to technology from the United States or from persons under the jurisdiction of the United States, would-be N-Prize entrants from other countries (again I am thinking of generalissimus1966) need not concern themselves with ITAR restrictions at all. I have no idea what sort of penalties generalissimus might face from the Russian government if he were to travel abroad to make an attempt for the N-Prize on his own or publish his design in the hope that “cooperative enthusiasts” elsewhere in the world would use his system to win the prize, but such might be his only options for participating in the N-Prize competition.

So, using generalissimus as a specific example, my question to Paul is could generalissimus be recognized as a winner if his original design were used by others to meet the technical requirements of the challenge on his behalf precisely because the laws of his country absolutely prohibit his making an attempt himself? In asking such a tangled question, I realize I might well be recruiting Paul to fight bureaucracy by becoming more bureaucratic than the bureaucrats!

In my roundabout way I guess what I am trying to say is that I hope the N-Prize can be open to anyone anywhere, even by proxy if necessary to circumvent oppressive regulations.
Jay
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby pauldear » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:47 pm

Hi all,

Well, to address Monroe's hypothetical question over launching from foreign soil, having someone else launch, etc:

The N-Prize takes no active role in policing compliance with local laws, insurance requirements etc - this is left entirely up to the entrants. Teams will not be disqualified for regulatory non-compliance, unless (a) there's a very clear and immediate danger to others which I'm made aware of and which I don't believe should be encouraged or (b) legal processes are enforced to stop me giving the prize money (eg, if the US government threatens to prosecute me if I give the prize money to a team which has broken some US law, there may not be much I can do about it - but I will do my utmost to avoid this happening).

Equally, of course, if teams *do* break laws in the course of the their N-Prize entry, that's a matter between them and the regulatory authorities. I'm not encouraging teams to break any laws, but I'm not responsible for (or capable of) policing compliance.

By the same token, entrants are welcome to launch from outside their home country; to have others launch on their behalf; to provide plans etc for others to build and launch - in fact any arrangement I can think of. The entry has to be made in the name of a registered team, but if the launch (or construction etc) is delegated to someone elsewhere, that's fine. The prize money will be paid to the team in whose name the entry is made (specifically, it would go to the individual who registered the team, unless requested otherwise), so it would be up to the team to share the prize money with people launching on their behalf, if they so wished.

I hope that clarifies things. I know the regulatory side of things is often oppressive, and isn't really designed to cope smoothly with things like the N-Prize - especially in the US. The only help I can offer is by not including regulatory compliance costs in the budget limit; and by not adding to the paperwork any more than I can avoid.

Yours,
Paul
User avatar
pauldear
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:45 pm

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Jay » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:48 am

Thank you, Paul, that’s great news. Despite our peculiar talent for generating mountains of red tape, we here in the United States really do enjoy remarkable freedom to pursue the most ridiculous amateur schemes, even one as enjoyably maddening as this “outlandish” competition you have devised. So I was genuinely disappointed to read in the posts by generalissimus1966 that he was effectively barred from participating in any way. He is clearly a kindred spirit to the various personalities who have found a common interest in the N-Prize. Winning by proxy might not be as satisfying as winning in person, but this news means that generalissimus and others in similar situations could conceivably have the satisfaction of seeing their original designs make aerospace history despite the obstacles set up against them.

Jay
Jay
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby SANEAlex » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:06 pm

One thing I did find out whilst looking thru the red tape for the UK a few years ago was that there were waivers possible if aspects could be associated with an educational body. In the last couple of years he space regulations seem to have changed quite considerably with a new controlling body so I am not quite sure if all the exceptions still stand and I am not going to search thru all the small print again until we have finally got our patent/s in and are moving towards a more openly active stage. But as governments round the world do seem now to see some of the benefits of new space to economy's it may be worth writing an open letter to the politician nominally in charge of the area for your country for specific waivers to encourage RnD/education if one is causing particular problems as no politician likes to be seen holding back education or the economy. The big one that i don't think is likely to be revoked is the cost of insurance if you are going orbital as I think that is agreed by international treaty.
Someone has to tilt at windmills.
So that we know what to do when the real giants come!!!!
User avatar
SANEAlex
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:36 pm

Re: General N-Prize feasability discussion

Postby Jay » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:36 pm

The “View active topics” link appears to be broken again. I put this here only because this is the only topic the link seems to recognize as active.
Jay
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

Next

Return to General chit-chat. All welcome.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron