The Imminent Revolution in Spaceflight


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David Ashford | Bristol Space Planes | The Imminent Revolution in Spaceflight

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  • The main point that I’d like to leave with you is that you as individuals or collectively could help bring forward a new space age. We have a plan to reduce the cost of sending people to space by 1000 times within 15 years. It is based on projectswidely considered feasible in the 1960s and which I worked on as part of my first job. But which were never built. So we can catch up rapidly with what might have been. Trouble is, our plan appears at first sight too good to be true. The logic is almost insultingly simple. So the main obstacle is conservative thinking, and you can help dent this mindset by spreading the word.
  • Let’s get the rocket science out of the way. The key point is to really understand the profound difference between an expendable and a reusable launcher.
    Expendables fundamentally incapable of routine and economical transport.
  • I’d like to start with a might have been—an operational suborbital spaceplane in the early 1960s!
  • This is the last slide on rocket science—the difference between suborbital and orbital flight. You need orbital for satellites, access to space stations. SR.53 would have been suborbital
  • Back to the might have been
    Shortly after SR.53, most large aircraft companies in Europe and the USA were designing fully orbital spaceplanes.
    DMA at HSA
    Mid-60s consensus that spaceplane development was the obvious next step and just about feasible at the time.
    SR.53 ideal lead-in. Any of these far better than anything built since then or even proposed by a major player.
    My USP is old age!
  • Spacecab will trigger revolution, as first reusable orbital launcher. Ascender designed specifically as lead-in. Spacecab lower stage is an enlarged Ascender; upper stage a more advanced Ascender
  • You can spread the word better than I can—I couldn’t tweet to save my life!
  • Here is a brief introduction to BSP
    Small company with big ideas!
  • Virtual
  • Let’s talk about the engineering
  • 15 Years to maturity
    No new technology
  • Let’s talk about costs
    Depends on large new markets
  • Market surveys show very high potential demand, but results must be treated as speculative
  • Several million per year cf about ten!
  • Let’s look at history to see why it has not happened already
    If piloted version had been built, history would have been different
  • All expendable.
    In effect, we are still in the missile space age, 60 years after the piloted V-2 design.
  • In parallel with ELV development
    X-15 last flight to space 1968, 36 years before SS1
    If operational version had been built, history would have been different
  • Spaceplane teams disbanded
    Let’s look at the reasons for this failure. Original Shuttle design was fully reusable, but large.
    About ten years after European spaceplane studies.
    Nixon imposed budget cut. Choice between reusable but small or expendable but large.
    Star Clipper started small, sort of orbital X-15
    Safety of crew not dependent on complex throw-away components
  • Design started some ten years after European spaceplane studies.
    Every time it flew, a crew of seven is flight testing a ballistic missile
    Put back low-cost access to space by forty years and counting.
  • Not ideal lead-ins to orbital spaceplane
  • We have been talking about what could happen--now let’s look at what is planned
    New ELV !!! No reusability, no high traffic levels.
    Much cheaper with spaceplanes
    Mind-set, vested interests
  • Spacecab will trigger revolution, as first reusable orbital launcher. Ascender as lead-in, technology demonstrator, generate credibility
  • Aim is to dent mindset. Crowdfunding pitch
  • You saw Ascender in the video
    ASCENDER takes off from an ordinary airfield using its turbofan engine and climbs at subsonic speed to a height of 8 km. The pilot then starts the rocket engine and pulls up into a steep climb. When the rocket fuel is used up ASCENDER is climbing close to the vertical at a speed of Mach 2.8, from which it coasts to a maximum height of 100 km. ASCENDER then enters a steep dive. On reaching the atmosphere the pilot pulls out of the dive and flies back to the airfield from which he took off. The total flight time is about 30 minutes.
    A few minutes of zero-g, see all of UK at once, sky go black.
  • Should be able to operate prototype sans certification.
    Need to quantify markets
    Good business plan
  • Study contract from ESA
    Both stages piloted and fully reusable
    Sort of Ford Transit
    Concorde size
    Small satellites, space station supply, orbital ST
  • Inspiration of spaceflight
    Turning point in human history
    BIS and RAeSoc space tourism conferences--’Magic Buzz’
    Early passengers will pay premium fares to be at the beginning of something new
  • As I say, take a look at the book and get in touch and help spread the word.
  • Flying and swimming in zero g! Superp views of Earth and outer space.
  • The Imminent Revolution in Spaceflight

    1. 1. The Imminent Revolution in Spaceflight Presentation to YENA 27 February 2014 David Ashford Founder and Managing Director
    2. 2. Expendable Launch Vehicle (Derived from Ballistic Missiles) Airliner Typical Cost per Seat, £ 20 million (To orbit) 500 (Long distance flight)
    3. 3. Saunders Roe SR.53 rocket fighter • The Saunders Roe SR.53 rocket fighter first flew in 1957 • This technology has never been bettered! • Saunders Roe proposed a suborbital space research conversion in 1958!
    4. 4. AIR Suborbital ≈ 1 km/sec max speed100 km SPACE To Orbit, 7.8 km/sec @ 200 km height Airliner Suborbital & Orbital Trajectories
    5. 5. EUROPEAN SPACEPLANE PROJECTS OF THE 1960s BAC HSA Bristol Siddeley Junkers Bolkow Dassault ERNO
    6. 6. Spacecab (Orbital) (Start spaceflight revolution) 15 Years Development Strategy (Dent mindset) (Early operations to build credibility) Ascender suborbital 2-seater (based on SR. 53 rocket fighter) Microsonic proof of concept ‘Homebuilt Spaceplane’
    7. 7. Hodder, 2013
    8. 8. Bristol Spaceplanes Limited • 1991-Founded – To exploit the then 30 years spaceplane design experience of its founder • 1993-Feasibility study of Spacecab small orbital spaceplane from ESA • 2003-DTI Smart award for feasibility study of Ascender small sub-orbital spaceplane • 2011-Grant from Technology Strategy Board • 2013-Study Contract from UK Space Agency • Development and marketing strategies with lowest cost and risk – For you to judge! • Looking for strategic partners – Superb opportunities for low-cost entry into large new markets •
    9. 9. Excellent Engineering Team • Engineering team includes: – ex Chief Designer, Leopard – ex Chief Engineer, Kestrel CMC Leopard Kestrel Rocket engine bench test, Feb 2008
    10. 10. Airliner ‘Conversion’ • Change shape • Add rocket engines • Higher propellant mass fraction • Two stages • Hydrogen fuel • Additional systems (reaction controls, thermal protection) • Safety of rocket propulsion system ALL THE REQUIRED TECHNOLOGIES HAVE BEEN DEMONSTRATED IN FLIGHT!
    11. 11. Spacebus
    12. 12. Airliners Cost per Flight, £million 0.2 0.5 Number of Seats 400 50 Cost per Seat, £ (Typical) 500 10,000 Spaceplanes (When Fully Developed) Fig.2
    13. 13. Space Tourism Market Survey • What percentage of UK population would pay £20,000 for a few days in a space hotel? – Seeing Earth from afar – Zero-g – Clear views of space – (Astronauts can’t wait to fly again) • 0.1%? • 1%? • 10%?
    14. 14. Potential Market for Space Tourism • Say 5% of world’s industrialised population would pay £20K for a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ few days in a space hotel • Number of tourists = 5% of one billion, or 50 million • A fleet of 150 spaceplanes with a 50 seat capacity and capable of 2 flights per day would carry them in ten years • Market = £20K x 50 million = £1 Trillion
    15. 15. Spaceplanes Could Have Been Built 60 Years Ago! V-2 Piloted V-2 Winged V-2
    16. 16. US Launch Vehicle Evolution V-2 & Derivatives Thor IRBM & Derivatives To the Moon Shuttle
    17. 17. First to Mach 1, Bell X-1, 1947 First to Mach 2, Douglas Skyrocket, 1953 First to Mach 3, Bell X-2, 1956 First to space, X-15, 1961 US Rocket Research Aircraft
    18. 18. Shuttle Concepts, Early 1970s
    19. 19. Space Shuttle Cost per flight & accident rate 10,000 times that of a large Airliner≈
    20. 20. Breakthrough! • The first privately-funded spaceplane, SpaceShipOne, reached space in 2004 • Virgin Galactic plan to operate a developed version soon • Slowly but surely, this and other developments will lead to new space age
    21. 21. Major Players, Suborbital SpaceShipTwo on WhiteKnightTwo EADS Rocketplane Xcor Lynx Armadillo Aerospace Test Vehicle
    22. 22. Saturn 5 1960s SLS 2020s The Main Obstacle is Mind-Set • NASA, ESA still developing expendable launchers even though spaceplanes would reduce costs ten times in the short term • Major players not yet taking spaceplanes seriously
    23. 23. Spacecab (Orbital) (Start spaceflight revolution) 15 Years Development Strategy (Dent mindset) (Early operations to build credibility) Ascender prototype (Suborbital, based on SR. 53 rocket fighter) Microsonic proof of concept ‘Homebuilt Spaceplane’
    24. 24. Microsonic–Homebuilt Spaceplane
    25. 25. Ascender
    26. 26. AIR 1 2 4 5 Jet +Rocket Climb Rocket Climb Unpowered Pullout Flyback 3 Altitude Mach km No. 1 10 0.6 2 64 2.8 3 100 0 4 46 3.3 5 24 3.3 80 km SPACE Ascender Trajectory
    27. 27. Ascender Has Many Applications • Microgravity Experiments • High Altitude Photography • Meteorology • Space Science, Testing Satellite Instruments • Spaceplane Technology Test Bed • Astronaut Training • Passenger Space Experience Flights • Lower stage of launcher for nanosatellites
    28. 28. Spacecab
    29. 29. • Pioneering space tourism for the wealthy (already started) • Funding to develop lower-cost space transportation (aeroplanes instead of missiles) • Airline travel to orbit (1000 times launch cost reduction) – Low-cost environmental monitoring from space – Boost for Hydrogen Economy – Experimental Solar Power Satellites and the beginning of access to the unlimited resources of space – Large-scale space tourism (initial demand ≈ one trillion €) • Increased environmental awareness Environmental Benefits Saving the planet!
    30. 30. 30 EARTHRISE
    31. 31. Hodder, 2013
    32. 32. Space Hotel
    33. 33. Content • Engineering • History • Market • Way Ahead • Environment