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Mach 10 !!

Old 11-17-2004, 04:51 PM
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Love1/4Scale
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Default Mach 10 !!

Anyone been following the X-43A program? Link to MSN story http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6504898/

It is just amazing to me the waste created by our government and its agencies. An 8 year, $230 Million project and NASA's recovery method is to let it sink in the Pacific. What is wrong with this picture? I mean, Mr. Rutan goes to the edge of space in 3 years with $25 Million and he even gets to fly his craft again. I dont get it.
Old 11-17-2004, 05:01 PM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

ILove 1/4Scale: [size=1][/sizeb] AMEN!
Old 11-17-2004, 05:26 PM
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aaron2874
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

Imagine where Mr. Rutan could go if he worked for NASA!!

It's a shame really. NASA does such fine work, but man is are they inefficient with the money (like most government beauracracies).
Old 11-17-2004, 09:01 PM
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rw Guinn
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

yeah-
All that waste, leading to the internet and computer industries-not to mention all the lives prolonged because NASA "wasted" all that money learning to go faster, farther, higher, lighter--and keep people alive while doing it.

And by the way- Rutan did what he did as cheaply as he did in main part because NASA had been there first- and shared all the data and technology.

"If I have see farther than others, it is because I stood on the shoulders of Giants" A. Einstein
Old 11-17-2004, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

ORIGINAL: rw Guinn

yeah-
All that waste, leading to the internet and computer industries-not to mention all the lives prolonged because NASA "wasted" all that money learning to go faster, farther, higher, lighter--and keep people alive while doing it.

And by the way- Rutan did what he did as cheaply as he did in main part because NASA had been there first- and shared all the data and technology.

"If I have see farther than others, it is because I stood on the shoulders of Giants" A. Einstein
I should have known better. Look, Im not saying NASA doesnt do good things because they do. I dont think they necessarily go after achievements that are in the best interest of the people footing the bill. They dream big but it seems nothing ever gets done. And then every time something bad happens everything gets shut down for two years. God bless the families of those lost in the Challanger and Columbia accidents and it pains me as much as anyone. However, the brave souls lost knew the risks when they signed up and yet still chased their dreams. Accidents happen, period. Its not necessary to spend 2 years and $50M of taxpayers money to "figure out which sensor went bad". Think about the logistics involved in sending the Shuttle up to dock with the ISS and get it home. One hour you are looking at the whole world and the next your landing a glider on a tiny strip. Its amazing to just think about and hats off to NASA for making it happen but there are plenty of chances for things to go terribly wrong.

My long drawn out point is simply this....it should not cost this much money to do the things they are doing. The Shuttle alone costs between $50M and $100M just to turn it around between flights. What could you do with that money? What could be better in this country just by eliminating one Shuttle flight per year? Food for thought. Back to the X-43A.....Imagine, you spend 8 years and $230M experimenting and building prototypes, etc. Wouldnt you put $50,000 (at government pricing) worth of software on your project to bring it home. Come on, now. Oh well, I guess the oceanographers will have something exciting to look for in about 50 years since they already raised Liberty 7.
Old 11-17-2004, 11:26 PM
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rw Guinn
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

ORIGINAL: Love1/4Scale

ORIGINAL: rw Guinn

yeah-
All that waste, leading to the internet and computer industries-not to mention all the lives prolonged because NASA "wasted" all that money learning to go faster, farther, higher, lighter--and keep people alive while doing it.

And by the way- Rutan did what he did as cheaply as he did in main part because NASA had been there first- and shared all the data and technology.

"If I have see farther than others, it is because I stood on the shoulders of Giants" A. Einstein
I should have known better. Look, Im not saying NASA doesnt do good things because they do. I dont think they necessarily go after achievements that are in the best interest of the people footing the bill. They dream big but it seems nothing ever gets done. And then every time something bad happens everything gets shut down for two years. God bless the families of those lost in the Challanger and Columbia accidents and it pains me as much as anyone. However, the brave souls lost knew the risks when they signed up and yet still chased their dreams. Accidents happen, period. Its not necessary to spend 2 years and $50M of taxpayers money to "figure out which sensor went bad". Think about the logistics involved in sending the Shuttle up to dock with the ISS and get it home. One hour you are looking at the whole world and the next your landing a glider on a tiny strip. Its amazing to just think about and hats off to NASA for making it happen but there are plenty of chances for things to go terribly wrong.

My long drawn out point is simply this....it should not cost this much money to do the things they are doing. The Shuttle alone costs between $50M and $100M just to turn it around between flights. What could you do with that money? What could be better in this country just by eliminating one Shuttle flight per year? Food for thought. Back to the X-43A.....Imagine, you spend 8 years and $230M experimenting and building prototypes, etc. Wouldnt you put $50,000 (at government pricing) worth of software on your project to bring it home. Come on, now. Oh well, I guess the oceanographers will have something exciting to look for in about 50 years since they already raised Liberty 7.
Just what software are you wanting to put on to "Bring it home"? First off, a few seconds to cover 800 miles means you had to have something out there waiting to catch it, and a round trip of 1600 miles (plus loiter time), and the means to catch it. And if you are out of position? splash anyway--then people lik you would be griping about the wasted money to catch the thing. The reason for the over-water flight is safety.
And safety is the big thing. With the Apollo fire, we nearly lost the program entirely--"it is too dangerous". Three people were killed. Tragic, yes, but not even a blip in the history of exploration. The deaths, however, were extremely public, and the second-guessers, such as yourself, as well as other politicians and opinionated know-nothings were suddenly experts.

The cost problem arises not from "How much risk am I willing to take?", but "How much risk am I willing to force on someone else?" Ethics dictate that the answer to the second question is "Zero"
Zero risk is expensive, and always will be. The good part is that the benefits are ongoing and produce entire new industries, like computers, the internet, micro-surgery, non-invasive medical procedures, body-part replacements, and other useless things like graphite-epoxy fishing gear, golf clubs,.

reduction of a shuttle flight per year- Lessee, let's put 6000 people out of jobs (http://yarchive.net/space/shuttle/sh...nch_costs.html), to save $400 Million (http://www.reston.com/nasa/comments/...ttle.cost.html)--which will do what for the economy?
Sorry if I come on strong, but my life and career have been intimately tied to leading-edge technology, and you pushed a hot button.
Old 11-18-2004, 12:38 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

rw,

No need to apologize....I knew this thread would push buttons after I reread my original post. And just now I notice you are from Texas so Im sure your opinion of NASA is a little biased . Im not going to keep arguing on this thread....it will just get it shut down....but I wanted to clear some things in your last post.

First off, I wasnt referring to catching the thing in the middle of the Pacific but rather having a means to get it back to a land base. Im not well versed on the specifics of the X-43 but I would assume that some manageable speed could be obtained after the testing and the craft could be piloted either remotely or by computer to get it back to base.

Second, I do not fit in the second-guessers category that you put me in with the politicians and opinionated know-nothings. To take your example further, the astronaut deaths from Apollo to today are still yet a drop in the bucket of what probably should have been and probably what will be. In order for things to progress timely there has to be some "calculated and acceptable" risk. The men and woman who sign up for this, while Im certain they dont have a deathwish, are obviously intelligent enough to understand that strapping yourself to a rocket is not an everyday occurance and has its perils....regardless of the amount of care taken. I wanted to see man living on the moon and possibly colonizing Mars in my lifetime. Thats not going to happen anymore but perhaps my children or grandchildren will get to experience it. And thats one of my other points....

Forget for a moment all the advances credited to NASA and concentrate solely on the space program. Whats been done and whats said is going to be done since the early 70s are two totally different animals. They said trips to the moon would be routine by now. They said Mars' atmosphere would be evolving to be habitable by now. But they are still just plans after 30 years and I dont see any money going to develop those projects. Instead we spend billions every year doing science experiments in space to study the effects of cow farts on the ozone. Dont get me wrong, there are other amazing things going on. The fact that we have satellites orbiting Saturn and sending back pictures is just incredible and the intelligence factor needed to make that happen leaves me sitting on the porch watching the big boys play.

To get back to my original point....I guess its just hard to understand and justify where all this money goes and why it takes so much. I applauded the X-prize foundation when it first announced the prize and followed it all these years in the hopes that someone would actually win. Even with the X-Prize though, basically, he with the most money to spend wins. Not taking anything away from Burt Rutans genious and Paul Allens generosity. Now before you argue, I understand NASA was first and provided valuable information and I understand that it wasnt an orbital flight, but the fact remains that it was done. And it was done safely for less than half the cost of a Shuttle turn around for the entire program.
Old 11-18-2004, 09:30 AM
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rw Guinn
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

Actually, I live in Texas through necessity, rather than choice (Ever tried to hunt in Texas? $$$$$) I am a New Mexico boy.
Take a look at the size of the X-43. It held enough fuel for 20 seconds or so at Mach 10. Where you gonna put a subsonic engine and enough fuel to bring it back? make it bigger? now we got to add more fuel to make that mass go faster, which means even bigger... Now we have the proverbial self-eating watermelon.
IOW, a recovery system would compromise the primary mission. In these programs, hardware is cheap.
I can't forget the advances credited to NASA--they ARE the Space Program, and were developed absolutely to further it. The reason we quit advancing was because too manypeople couldn't see past their own noses and began yelling about all the "Waste", and Congress cut the budget off, very nearly completely. People lost interest after the 2nd flight to the moon--it was too "Routine"

Oh, well--we struggle on. Have fun

edited to add:
For a laugh, check out the current Klyde Morris:
http://www.klydemorris.com/strips.cfm
Old 11-19-2004, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

Did'nt some of the X1 prototype's reach almost Mach 10, something like Mach 6 or 8....... and those were Piloted!!.....
What about the SR-71 and the X-15, those were piloted and could reach hypersonic speeds for a great distance too....
all NASA could come up with was this 1/4Scale model that cost 230million+ dollars....
[sm=confused.gif]

Edit:_p.s. not sure if someone has said this yet, there was just way.... to much to read in above posts....ALSO!!
i'm not bashing or trying to start a argument with anybody "rw guinn" This is just my look on this toy..... I mean plane...whatever it is
Old 11-19-2004, 11:16 AM
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rw Guinn
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

ORIGINAL: TOPGUNNER

Did'nt some of the X1 prototype's reach almost Mach 10, something like Mach 6 or 8....... and those were Piloted!!.....
What about the SR-71 and the X-15, those were piloted and could reach hypersonic speeds for a great distance too....
all NASA could come up with was this 1/4Scale model that cost 230million+ dollars....
[sm=confused.gif]

Edit:_p.s. not sure if someone has said this yet, there was just way.... to much to read in above posts....ALSO!!
i'm not bashing or trying to start a argument with anybody "rw guinn" This is just my look on this toy..... I mean plane...whatever it is
it is only "statements of 'fact'" that aren't factutal that I take issue with. Legitimate questions I will answer as politely as I can....
The X-15 was indeed "on the edge" of hypersonic at Mach = 6.5 (I'm not exactly sure, nor are a lot of the NASA guys, that Mach means anything at 350,000 fet MSL, but whatever). It was also rocket powered. The big difference is that the X-43 actually has an air-breathing engine that operates with supersonic airflow through it.
The SR-71 was merely a Mach 3 + (and the plus is less than 1) aircraft with big old turbojets on it, and the rest of the airplane a fuel tank to feed them. But it wasn't hypersonic.
The X-1 was limited to low supersonic and transonic speeds. Seeing as how nobody was really certain on how to get supersonic in the first place, it was a low-end test bed.
Old 11-19-2004, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

[sm=spinnyeyes.gif]... jeez
Old 11-19-2004, 11:26 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

ORIGINAL: TOPGUNNER

[sm=spinnyeyes.gif]... jeez
Well--You Asked!
Old 11-19-2004, 11:33 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

I'm not in the mood...........[:@]
Old 11-20-2004, 02:48 PM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

You gotta start somewhere.
Old 11-22-2004, 10:26 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

It's easy to point out the mistakes of the past, but it's not really fair... if we did this in our own lives we'd hate ourselves... if I had only gone to college, if I'd married that girl when I had the chance ect... you have to move ahead anyways. In my opinion we should have continued the "spaceplane" idea that emerged from the X-15. Scott Crossfield must have been pissed when it fissled out, but I'm sure he got over it. Kennedy said we are going to the moon within 9 years, the easiest way to get that done was to go with rocket technology and just scale it up, rather then developing hypersonic aircraft and scramjets... so rockets took priority. Later we need a reusable space vehicle... and again we have this technology and background in vertical takeoff rockets so we strap an airplane to a rocket and you get the space shuttle... finally we have come to a point where we simply must develop the scramjet technology in order to reduce the costs of these huge rockets in the future, and it's very expensive because we have put it off for so long... if you want to blame somebody blame Kennedy... see how popular that makes you at parties.

my 2 cents,

Ty
Old 11-24-2004, 12:23 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

Just a couple of quick points.

-I would not want that thing (X-43) pointed towards my house, or state. It is pretty experimental and it is good that they are flying it away from people and things. It would make for a good missile. I see the military being the first to use it's technology as a basis for a long range, very fast, cruise missile. Check out the goverment's experimentation with a nuclear powered ramjet, now that was some wild stuff and would have been the ultimate weapon.

-At those speeds and temperatures, there probably isn't a whole lot of useful equipment left. The one X-15 they pushed to it's limits was so badly damaged by heat that they retired it after that flight. A means of recovery would have greatly increased the costs as well.

-There is a lot of confusion about Rutans flight. Spaceship one never made it to orbit, nor ever will be able to. There is a big difference between being in orbit and being in space. It seems to be intended to serve as an expensive roller coaster ride for people that have more money than they know what to do with. I would have to admit it is pretty cool and love Rutan's work, but don't think there is any real world application of it. The scramjets do have an application and will pay off if we can get them to work. The larger more powerful rockets are needed to make it into orbit to serve commercially. Rockets are just too cheap at the moment because the technology already exists. Just think of all the money the goverment spent experimenting with rockets as you look at your pager, watch TV......imagine the world today without sattelites.

-If these types of projects are cancelled, people lose jobs and new technologies are not discovered. Just think of the things this type of experimentation has created and made our lifes better. Anytime you fly on a modern airliner you have to think what the military was doing, and spending big bucks on, back after WWII. We could have told ourselves the war was over and there was no need increase our technology.

-As far as the current tax system goes, now that needs some serious work.
Old 12-14-2004, 12:24 AM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

ORIGINAL: AQ500

-As far as the current tax system goes, now that needs some serious work.

AMEN Brother !

Jackjet
Old 12-14-2004, 12:37 AM
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Tall Paul
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

The utility of a Mach 10 anything escapes me, except for possibly Fed Ex or UPS delivering transcontinental.
At that speed, it can't turn worth beans, and not "intrude in the sacred airspace" of the perpetually irritated.
Other than being a more "instant response" than a satellite, the difficulty of manuvering and maintaining sovereignity of the overflow areas rule this thing out as a practical exercise.
Old 12-23-2004, 03:18 PM
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Default RE: Mach 10 !!

I don't know if anyone has addressed the answer to your question or not, but I'm wondering if the plane was finally past its prime?

I'm thinking that the really wouldn't waste a perfectly good airplane. Part of any research project would be to study the airframe, and engine area, even after a successful flight to look for fatigue cracks, stress areas., etc.

This last test was one of several tests on this airframe, I believe, (please correct me if I'm wrong) and it was retrieved before. Why not this time?

This is only conjecture, but perhaps this aircraft was at the end of its useful life. Perhaps this was the final test, and not worth the cost of retrieval and inspection. Perhaps there was nothing to be gained. After all, it DID send telemetry back. It might have been cheaper to let this go into the drink after the test rather than retrieve it.

Has anyone looked to see if there was a follow-on program with an updated airframe/engine?

Maybe someone DID make the right choice? IT would be an interesting point to discuss.

As for the utility of Mach 10 - why not for common airline transportation? The Concorde was a flop but we learn from our mistakes, don't we?

Where would we be today if someone hadn't improved on the Wright Brothers model? Remember, it was extraordinarily high tech in its day. What about the time when our kids and grandkids look at 'that old, antique X-43' and the precursor for them going from Boston to LA in 45 minutes? and having them gripe about the 'long' flight?

Just some food for thought, guys. Whaddaya think?

Merry Christmas,

Bob

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