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2015-02-09 Science & Technology
Air-breather Satellite launches : cheaper than re-tasking, or better coverage?
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Posted by Skidmark 2015-02-09 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [10795 views ]  Top

#1 Cutting edge, those lads at DARPA. What will they think of next ?
Posted by Besoeker 2015-02-09 04:18||   2015-02-09 04:18|| Front Page Top

#2 Combining fuel and oxidizer into aingle liquid? You go first while I watch the firewaorks.
Posted by Creting Shinter5526 2015-02-09 05:47||   2015-02-09 05:47|| Front Page Top

#3 Easier to get a jet off the ground than a lot of missile launches. Useful when you want to quickly take someone else's birds out of the skies.
Posted by Procopius2k 2015-02-09 08:48||   2015-02-09 08:48|| Front Page Top

#4 Now that they arent building satellites that do 18634290987234 mission objectives and cost 2 billion and are big as a house...

They can finally go with light, single purpose, far less expensive, and far easier to launch low earth non-airbreathing assets. Which is what some in the community have been arguing for, for years. Not only that, but it can devalue a lot fo the Chinese (and presumably Russian) ASAT efforts, being able to replace these things quickly, and do it with a surge launch. Taking out a satellite would no longer take years or months to replace, but maybe a few hours to a couple of days.
Posted by OldSpook 2015-02-09 08:51||   2015-02-09 08:51|| Front Page Top

#5 They can finally go with light, single purpose, far less expensive, and far easier to launch low earth non-airbreathing assets. Which is what some in the community have been arguing for, for years.

YIKES, and double YIKES! You mean dynamic re-tasking at the theater and services level? Preposterous and budget busting absolute sacrilege! These are tasks belonging to the gilded beltway agencies. How dare the warfighter be so empowered.
Posted by Besoeker 2015-02-09 10:03||   2015-02-09 10:03|| Front Page Top

#6 It's still ten thousand dollars a pound.
Posted by KBK 2015-02-09 10:39||   2015-02-09 10:39|| Front Page Top

#7 How's $10,000 per pound compare with the price for lobbiest lunches?
Posted by Glenmore 2015-02-09 10:58||   2015-02-09 10:58|| Front Page Top

#8 Say ~ 250lbs with combat pack,
5-7 years training and support ~ $500k


One timely satellite launch in the right locale that provides intelligence which saves the life of just one SpecOP 'in harms way' has an immediate, per pound ROI of $2M.

If one were counting dollars over lives or mission success. How many aborted prisoner rescue attempts last year?
Posted by Skidmark 2015-02-09 11:00||   2015-02-09 11:00|| Front Page Top

#9 Not against the air-breather launches but one really needs to watch the landing attempts of SpaceX on their first stages. If they pull it off then , EVENTUALLY, reflight is $350,000 in fuel, a second stage and $450,000 in wages and refurbishment for an EELV class launcher. So price savings to orbit are possible.
Oh and if they get it working Google and SpaceX plan to put 4000+ small sats up in a constellation with the reused rockets. That is a definite MIRV capability.
Posted by 3dc 2015-02-09 12:47||   2015-02-09 12:47|| Front Page Top

#10  That is a definite MIRV capability.
That's SKYNET baby!
Posted by Skidmark 2015-02-09 13:45||   2015-02-09 13:45|| Front Page Top

#11 re Skynet:

With a SpaceX internet why would new observational and scientific sats in orbit around the Earth need custom electronics equipment to talk to the Earth? They could just be designed to become web-nodes on the SpaceX internet.

Sats in orbit around Earth use standard equipment, changing it to another type of equipment to talk to the "SpaceX internet" is not necessarily the best option. Maybe for some applications it could be useful, in some sense serving a similar role as TDRS or EDRS. I guess there are a few questions:
- Is SpaceX actually going to provide such service ?
- what type of equipment is needed (compared to current solutions) ?
- what would be the type of service and how is the data transmitted (what about quality of service, reliability, security...) ?

1) I think SpaceX would be missing a big market if it didn't provide a such a service. It would be good practice for their Mars colony's future sats and data backbone too.

2) A rad-hardened SpaceX Internet subscriber unit would, hopefully, be what the sat needs. As a subscriber to an existing service the satellite wouldn't need to get bandwidth (frequencies) allocated to it either. A lot of paperwork and red-tape could be thrown away with that. SpaceX might need to modify their proposed satellites to handle signals from above too.

3) with a few hundred sats in a field of view robust high bandwidth communications should be possible. Security, quality etc. could be handled at higher level protocols just like it is currently done on the Internet. Scatter-gather cloud stuff etc... all in play.

If I had an observational satellite(s) I would consider the paper work red-tape savings a major plus and a simplified land side major. If you needed really big pipes - multiple floating buoys (with subscriber units) at sea tied into undersea fiber etc would permit big and robust links for uphill/downhill distributed transmission. You could scatter links all over the land connected to the wired Internet too. It provides a decentralized land side more immune to natural and man made disruptions. To break it one would need to break everybody's use of the sats.
Posted by 3dc 2015-02-09 15:22||   2015-02-09 15:22|| Front Page Top

#12 Single mission platforms? Don't ANYBODY tell the Lightning and Lawn Dart lobbies.....
Posted by USN, Ret. 2015-02-09 15:30||   2015-02-09 15:30|| Front Page Top

Posted by Bright Pebbles 2015-02-09 19:01||   2015-02-09 19:01|| Front Page Top

#14 Funny thing is, with the EM-railguns, that XL-5 launcher track is actually becoming a possibility
Posted by OldSpook 2015-02-09 22:40||   2015-02-09 22:40|| Front Page Top

23:40 OldSpook
22:46 rammer
22:43 OldSpook
22:40 OldSpook
22:38 Skidmark
22:36 OldSpook
22:32 OldSpook
22:27 Skidmark
22:22 OldSpook
22:22 Odysseus
21:54 Bov Flimbers
21:52 Skidmark
21:33 Skidmark
21:32 3dc
21:00 JosephMendiola
20:50 rjschwarz
20:48 rjschwarz
20:27 OldSpook
20:25 badanov
20:09 JohnQC
19:46 Woodrow Stalin1308
19:40 JosephMendiola
19:38 Procopius2k
19:35 JosephMendiola

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