The droptank looks sad. You can tell, even with three eyes (and enormous ears).
The EU is funding a radical German design for an exo-atmospheric rocketliner capable of making a daily run from Europe to Australia in ninety minutes. The plans might even include winged glider droptanks, recovered in midair after use by aerial tugs. The bad news is, the ship isn't realistically expected in service until 2075 …
I'd expect massive changes so 99% of anything even thought of now will be useless to the actual craft when it's built.. seems like throwing money away (I know it's only a couple of million).
Why not fund small steps now more and maybe we'll have something like this being practical in 25 years (engine replacements every 25 flights? last 100 flight and have extra planes to tow back the tanks.. err NEVER going to be environmentally efficient and prob 10 times the cost of a Concorde flight).
"That's just the droptank. Wait 'til you see the ship."
Does the mock-up of the ship also look like it was done using an Atari ST painting package?
All this horsing around with 15 minutes of sub-orbital weightlessness is a waste of time and money. Why doesn't the EU actually slip Reaction Engines and others with some concrete proposals the cash they need to produce something which won't merely be shown off to the press as examples of "vibrant creativity" or, in the case of the stupid 1000mph rocket car charade, endeavours "inspirational to future generations" (of zero attention span children who might look up from their phone or console for a couple of seconds before continuing towards their destiny as part of whatever lightweight service industry has been prioritised by the vacuous government of the day)?
"Passengers would experience several minutes of weightlessness......"
During which you get to sit there apprehensively watching the gobs of vomit from first-timers doing their lavalamp impressions in the air above you, in the full and certain knowledge of what's going to happen when those weightless minutes are up.
No time for more than a couple of quick G 'n' Ts during flight. Barely time for a 'coupling' for the 500-mile-high club.
Bright side? I'll be a spirit in the sky well before it gets off the ground. Guess I'll get a great view (unless it fires up from UK, in which case, the "wrong kind of clouds" will bugger it for me.)
What happened to Reaction Engines antipodean rocketliner Skylon derivative (A2, I think it was called) that was being investigated under LAPCAT? That only had a lead time of about twenty years, and was a hell of a lot better thought out. This is pretty damn amateurish by comparison.
I remember an interview on TV when Concorde was just coming into service, and Barnes Wallis pooh-poohed the design as antiquated, becuase he had already designed a sub-orbital airliner to reach Australia in about 2 hours or so. Someone needs to look up his designs and make it happen!
Not the ridiculous timescale, but the drawing.
When NASA wanted to get Joe Sixpack interested in space they went to Colliers and commissioned magnificent works of art of Werner von Braun's dreams (the ones that didn't involve screaming starving slaves). When Britain was still in the space race, kids could see the Blue Streak wedged in the middle of their Eagle comics with every part from the 0.075" thruster grommit lovingly labelled and described.
The we got Gerry Anderson hacking Airfix tanks into Eagles, UFO Interceptors and strange purple wigs. Space was exciting, and - in the case of 'UFO', slightly kinky.
Not even a whiff of dry ice.
I wouldn't give them a penny until they come up with the X100 Fireblade-Eins - a swoopy thing depicted roaring out of Heathrow in BOAC colours in an artwork so exciting it will moisten even the stoniest of Euro gussets.
Then they can have a squillion quid. Just so long as Richard Branson isn't allowed anywhere near it.
So they think they'll have 67 years of scamming people for "more cash" before they finally tell folks that they can't deliver because the moon isn't in the right phase? Sounds like a lot of "flying car" or "floating city" projects I know of.
2075??? NASA are capable of doing this now - it's the Transatlantic Abort Landing for the space shuttle. Basically aborting the launch after they've commenced and landing halfway round the world. Granted they haven't tried it yet, but I'm pretty sure they'll have some spare Orbiters kicking around with not much to do in a few years. Give it a try, convert the cargo bay into a passenger bay and away you go.
Failing that, hitch a ride on the back of an ICBM. Might be a rough landing tho... and spark all out war... but hey, these are just niggles to be ironed out.
How can they mention that development time?
Aitravel itself is slightly older then 100 years and look at the development done in that time.
To slap a development time of that many years on an idea is unrealistic if people are serious about it.
The time would be more realistic if it's an average of development time and the time it takes to do the politics.
The most likely problem with the time element (over 60 years) is most likely a budgetary one. Nobody has the dollars/euros/pounds to spend on this thing.
I will note that the idea is not new. The Germans have been attempting to do this for about 60 years anyway. Never got far off the idea stage.
By pure chance I came across this web page about Buckminster Fuller with this statement.
"How can they justify large research and development budgets for next year if it were visible that the original technical gains were accruing exclusively to society from the individual preoccupations and initiatives existing entirely outside of massive government and massive corporate manufacture and distribution? The self-deceit of democracy at this moment in history by its professionally advertised aggrandisement of the "corporate image" with reputed impeccability of super-inventiveness may be the undoing of democracy's case until another century has washed away this miasmic fallacy. Not only have these professional word- and picture-factories manufactured the greatest and most persuasively erroneous myths, but they also have robbed our heritage of word- and picture-language of its incisively exquisite effectiveness."
In 2002 I got to speak to a European Commissioner who told me that it is nowadays impossible to gain funding as an individual. The end result is that we get these sort of totally ridiculous proposals and they get funded. Dreadful waste of money.
South Korea's Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) yesterday succeeded in its endeavor to send the home-grown Nuri launcher into space, then place a working satellite in orbit.
The launch was scheduled for earlier in June but was delayed by weather and then again by an anomaly in a first-stage oxidizer tank. Its October 2021 launch failed to deploy a dummy satellite, thanks to similar oxidizer tank problems that caused internal damage.
South Korea was late to enter the space race due to a Cold War-era agreement with the US, which prohibited it developing a space program. That agreement was set aside and yesterday's launch is the culmination of more than a decade of development. The flight puts South Korea in a select group of nations that have demonstrated the capability to build and launch domestically designed and built orbital-class rockets.
NanoAvionics has unveiled a 4K satellite selfie taken by a GoPro Hero 7 as the company's MP42 microsatellite flew 550km above the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef.
Space selfies are hardly new. Buzz Aldrin snapped an image of himself during 1966's Gemini 12 mission, and being able to get a picture of spacecraft can be invaluable when diagnosing issues.
The MP42 microsatellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 earlier this year and the camera (mounted on a space-grade selfie stick) sprung out to snap shots to demonstrate techniques to check for payload deployment, micrometeoroid impacts, and general fault detection.
NASA is finally ready to launch its unmanned Orion spacecraft and put it in the orbit of the Moon. Lift-off from Earth is now expected in late August using a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
This launch, a mission dubbed Artemis I, will be a vital stage in the Artemis series, which has the long-term goal of ferrying humans to the lunar surface using Orion capsules and SLS technology.
Earlier this week NASA held a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) for the SLS vehicle – fueling it and getting within 10 seconds of launch. The test uncovered 13 problems, including a hydrogen fuel leak in the main booster, though NASA has declared that everything's fine for a launch next month.
China is claiming that as of Wednesday, its Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter has officially photographed the entire Red Planet. And it's shown off new photos of the southern polar cap and a volcano to prove it.
"It has acquired the medium-resolution image data covering the whole globe of Mars, with all of its scientific payloads realizing a global survey," state-sponsored media quoted the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announcing.
Among the images are one of Ascraeus Mons with its crater, shots of the South Pole whose ice sheet is believed to consist of solid carbon dioxide and ice, the seven-kilometer deep Valles Marineris canyon, and the geomorphological characteristics of the rim of the Mund crater.
Amazon Web Services has proudly revealed that the first completely private expedition to the International Space Station carried one of its Snowcone storage appliances, and that the device worked as advertised.
The Snowcone is a rugged shoebox-sized unit packed full of disk drives – specifically 14 terabytes of solid-state disk – a pair of VCPUs and 4GB of RAM. The latter two components mean the Snowcone can run either EC2 instances or apps written with AWS’s Greengrass IoT product. In either case, the idea is that you take a Snowcone into out-of-the-way places where connectivity is limited, collect data in situ and do some pre-processing on location. Once you return to a location where bandwidth is plentiful, it's assumed you'll upload the contents of a Snowcone into AWS and do real work on it there.
An asteroid predicted to hit Earth in 2052 has, for now, been removed from the European Space Agency's list of rocks to be worried about.
Asteroid 2021 QM1 was described by ESA as "the riskiest asteroid known to humankind," at least among asteroids discovered in the past year. QM1 was spotted in August 2021 by Arizona-based Mount Lemmon observatory, and additional observations only made its path appear more threatening.
"We could see its future paths around the Sun, and in 2052 it could come dangerously close to Earth. The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became," said ESA Head of Planetary Defense Richard Moissl.
Scientists at top universities in China propose sending a spacecraft powered by nuclear fission to orbit Neptune – the outermost planet in our solar system – in 2030.
Astronomers have not yet been able to look at Uranus and Neptune in much detail. The best data collected so far comes from NASA's Voyager 2, the only spacecraft to have flown by the big blue orbs way back in 1986 and 1989.
Now, Chinese academics believe it may be possible to launch a spacecraft to orbit Neptune.
NASA engineers had to work fast to avoid another leak affecting the latest Artemis dry run, just hours after an attempt to reboost the International Space Station (ISS) via the Cygnus freighter was aborted following a few short seconds.
The US space agency on Monday rolled the huge Artemis I stack back to its Florida launchpad having worked through the leaks and problems that had beset its previous attempt at fueling the beast in April for an earlier dress rehearsal of the final countdown.
As propellant was loaded into the rocket, controllers noted a hydrogen leak in the quick-disconnect that attaches an umbilical from the tail service mast on the mobile launcher to the core stage of the rocket.
The SOFIA aircraft has returned to New Zealand for a final time ahead of the mission's conclusion later this year.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft, designed to carry a 2.7-meter reflecting telescope into the stratosphere, above much of Earth's infrared-blocking atmosphere.
A collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), development began on the project in 1996. SOFIA saw first light in 2010 and achieved full operational capability in 2014. Its prime mission was completed in 2019 and earlier this year, it was decided that SOFIA would be grounded for budgetary reasons. Operations end "no later than" September 30, 2022, followed by an "orderly shutdown."
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has fined Samsung Electronics AU$14 million ($9.6 million) for making for misleading water resistance claims about 3.1 million smartphones.
The Commission (ACCC) says that between 2016 and 2018 Samsung advertised its Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, A5, A7, S8, S8 Plus and Note 8 smartphones as capable of surviving short submersions in the sea or fresh water.
As it happens The Register attended the Australian launch of the Note 8 and watched on in wonder as it survived a brief dunking and bubbles appeared to emerge from within the device. Your correspondent recalls Samsung claiming that the waterproofing reflected the aim of designing a phone that could handle Australia's outdoors lifestyle.
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