been neglecting... Nov 09 update

been neglecting... Nov 09 update

Postby cpooley » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:13 am

Things have been going slowly as I plan to find a location for "Location-1" as described in the site:

Right now, it looks like it will be Henderson Nevada, with "Location-2" either of two dry lakes about 30-40 miles away, and -3 at Black Rock, north of Reno.

The launch site for orbit attempts are presumably going to need to be at east coast, perhaps North Carolina. And if near Kitty Hawk, that would be neat.

Design of the N Prize launcher is still going, and with attention to the ease with which it can be upgraded to the entry level "ML-1"

For some time, the plan was to have 3 sizes, each a 10x scale up: ML-1, 100-200 kg GLOW, 100-200 gram to escape or 1 kg Cubesat to LEO;
ML-2, 1-2 metric ton, 2-3 kg to escape or 1 kg to lunar surface or rendezvous with NEO, or GLXP entry; ML-3, 10-20 tons (about 1/2 of a SpaxeX Falcon-1),
and about 50-100 kg to escape or about 1/3 of that to lunar surface.

The N Prize launcher is to be about 1/2 the size of ML-1 and not capable of escape. Perhaps the maximum to LEO might be one of the new Pocket Cubes.

For N Prize the 3rd stage engine will be tested first, as the performance of that will strongly determine the GLOW. This is to be by measuring C* at sea level. Then the vacuum specific impulse can be calculated to within a few percent.

The 2 upper stage propellants are to be LOX and either butane or propane, and the first stage LOX and fuel to be selected.

In a while, there will be some re-structuring of the website, and some new articles.
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Re: been neglecting... Nov 09 update

Postby pauldear » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:37 pm

Hey Charles, nice to have you back on the site :-)
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Re: been neglecting... Nov 09 update

Postby cpooley » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:52 am

Not a whole lot to add to last update--things are slow till financing is arranged.

Talks are underway now re setting up and funding a separate corporation for the N Prize entry and production of 100 launchers. As before the launchers left after prize attempts will become or be used as a product.

Regulatory and liability issues will probably delay offering "launch kits", but a kind of lease may be possible. Both IBM and Xerox leased their product for years before selling. The more likely start point is a launch service for 125 gram satellites--perhaps Pocket Cubes, the new standard being set up by Bob Twiggs, of Cubesat fame.

As stated in the N Prize presentation of April 2009 on, the nominally 18 gram satellite will send, along with temperature, battery voltage the amount of propellant in the third stage at release of the satellites (probably 2 per attempt). This will assure the capacity of 125 grams for Pocket Cube.

In the brief mention in Air & Space, page 10 the launchers will use beverage cans for propellant tanks. Only for 2nd, 3rd stage actually--the 1st stage is still to use 8 inch irrigation tubing or equivalent.

The next upcoming steps are to incorporate Microlaunchers in Nevada, separately from the N Prize corp, and secure the shop space in Henderson, the southern part of Las Vegas.

As in the April 09 presentation, the 3rd stage engine will be designed, tested first so to determine the GLOW, and because it is less espensive to start there. The test setup for that may be prepared as a product--a desktop scale engine test kit.

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