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Subject: Is their a military use for spaceshipone?
jofredes    6/29/2004 7:54:41 PM
Is their a military use for a cheap spacecraft like the spaceshipone?
 
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Kadett    Not really   6/29/2004 8:57:21 PM
The only military use I can think of besides extremely expensive (but fast) transport is a light bomber that has global reach; the only problem is that you'd still need bases overseas near the target to enable the craft to return to America.
 
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Roman    RE:Not really   6/29/2004 9:08:36 PM
Perhaps as a repid-response recon aircraft...
 
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Strangelove    ASAT   6/29/2004 10:40:49 PM
Similar technologies which enable SS1 to touch the edge of space could be applied to antisatillite weapons, lofting of recon uavs, weaponized uavs, high altitude but temporary communication platforms, etc. I see its best weaponization potential in the recon aspect, which was suggested earlier, to supplement satillite imagery when none is available, but needed now (it could be carrier based).
 
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Nanheyangrouchuan    RE:ASAT and other activities   6/30/2004 6:51:55 AM
I read a sci fi novel about China building a super cannon bigger based on Iraq's to shoot down our GPS satellites to knock out our capabilities over Taiwan. The US response, in addition to sinking most of the PLAN, was to use a new hybrid space craft armed with a laser for space warfare and a small payload of tungsten rods as kinetic bombs to knock out the super gun site. Sound like a plausible scenario? Other uses could be to scout for and shoot down chinese "parasite" satellites, take out the chinese space station, protect the ISS and train pilots for the first "space force". Space ship one seems to cost about as much as an F22, and it isn't mass produced yet.
 
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blacksmith    RE:Is their a military use for spaceshipone?   6/30/2004 11:10:40 PM
First, it needs to be a real spacecraft. Being able to throw an odd shaped airplane 60 miles up won't buy you much. Sounding rockets have done better than that for over half a century. And you could throw hundreds of sounding rockets for the cost of SpaceShipOne. Cheap is a relative thing. SpaceShipOne and the X-prize are publicity stunts. Put it in orbit, and we'll talk.
 
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Strangelove    RE:ASAT and other activities   7/3/2004 7:30:30 AM
Nanheyangrouchuan - i've read a little about supercannons like you mentioned, and stared a post about them in scifi, if your interested. Using something like Spaceship One for astronaut training sounds good, esp if the cost is low. Would give pilots a chance to practice a limited type of low velocity reentry, experience microgee and the high g's associated with launches, all on a smaller scale.
 
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gf0012-aust    RE:ASAT and other activities   7/3/2004 8:05:54 AM
The bigger issue is whether someone builds socially unacceptable facilities on the surface of the moon. In this little exercise, I do see an ASAT role or a sat hijacking role as a possibility.
 
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displacedjim    Flying the SS1 Sim   1/4/2005 11:35:24 AM
Here's an e-mail the was forwarded to me back in September by a friend who works in Wright Labs at WPAFB, who got it... well, the typical e-mail chain of events. Displacedjim ----- From Budd Davisson, who was just up at Mojave to fly the SpaceShipOne Simulator: Up at Rutan's, besides getting a personally guided tour of most of the SS1 project, I flew the SS1 simulator. Did two glide flights and three powered flights, one to 400,000 feet (I'm now a virtual astronaut!!! Do I get virtual wings?), and got back down without pranging the ship. I'll be doing a pirep on the bird when I do the Sport Aviation article, but here it is in a fat nutshell: First, the airplane is a real handful. It has super Dutch roll above 50,000 feet when not in feather mode. So much so, that to try to cancel it out is a huge mistake because you'll make it much worse. With no help, it rolls left and right 20-30 degrees almost constantly. Reminded me of some of the lifting body films I've seen. It has a HUGE roll/yaw couple, which is both good and bad. After boost ignition, where you're in the process of pulling nearly vertical, the airplane really wants to roll and the ailerons (elevons, actually) go away almost immediately as the atmosphere disappears but you can fight to keep it level with the rudder and the pitch attitude nailed (I use that term very loosely) on the necessary angle to maximize altitude gain. Once it's out of the atmosphere, the reaction motors work really well and, although you're constantly futzing with it, even if you get it totally screwed up you can get it back level, although, with their "feather" shuttle mode, reentry attitude is totally non-important. You can come in backwards and upside down and it'll right itself, but it would be a helluva ride. About the rudder: the sim is set up to give rudder pressures as seen at 190 knots IAS, which is about mid-range for the flight and well above what they see on reentry and it takes about 100 pounds of rudder pressure for max deflection. That's just about all I was capable of giving. At times my leg was trembling from pushing rudder so hard to bring a wing back up. In feather mode, the roll oscillations pretty much disappear and it "floats" down. I put that in quotes because I was looking at rates of both climb and descent in the 150,000 (that's not a typo) fpm. At that rate, even from 400,000 feet, you're back down to 60,000 and ready to go into glider mode in nothing flat. They have a self-designed instrumentation/nav unit called a Tier One Navigation Unit, TONU, that is brilliant. It's a screen about ten inches wide and 14" tall and sticks up between your legs as the entire instrumentation for the airplane. Ignoring all the different pages of formation you can scroll through on it, in basic re-entry mode, it projects a designed flight path on what amounts to a 360 ball horizon (Like the old J-8 360 gyros) and you do your best to fly it. It's not coupled but completely hand flown. The airspeed and altitude are displayed on either side of the artificial horizon bar, so you don't have to look around for them. Directly under that is a pictorial depiction of your ground situation but it has an energy bar that projects out from your position and constantly curves one way or the other telling you where you're going to hit high key, 8500 feet on downwind, at any given bank angle or position. I never really mastered it, but knowing I wanted that altitude on downwind, you could fairly easily do some planning (plus I had ground control coaching me) to put me there. Visibility straight ahead is zero, but once I had the airport in sight, you could drive around and pretty much fly it like a real airplane. You want 130 knots on downwind, and it is anything but speed stable until under 10,000 feet and even there, you have to work at it. The thing comes down like a stone and 4,000 feet on short fine is NOT too high. I made one approach where I rolled out on centerline too early and had to guess where the damn airport was and landed ten feet off one side of the runway. The rest of the time a slight curve kept everything more or less in sight, as long as I moved my head WAY off to one side or the other. But, as soon as I was fairly low and floating, I could see the sides and plunk it on. The pilot who was coaching me said the airplane is just like the sim but more intuitive, so, although it's a truly awful handling airplane, when judged against "normal" airplanes, it's not so far outside the envelope (totally neutral, lots of Dutch roll, huge dihedral effect, huge roll/yaw couple) that it can't be flown. The really cool thing was how simple reentry was. In things like the shuttle and X-15, they have an incredibly narrow window, as defined by pitch attitude, angles, etc, to survive reentry, but this thing flat doesn't care. It's what Rutan calls "carefree reentry" and it was. It was pretty funny to look at Mach speeds as high as 3.2 and
 
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Nanheyangrouchuan    RE:Flying the SS1 Sim   1/5/2005 3:05:40 PM
Is the electron gun targeting system installed yet?
 
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