Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

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Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:42 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2020/0729.shtml

I've already expressed concerns over the viability of the claims made by Dawn Aerospace and now, in the wake of their latest announcements, I'm not feeling any more confident.

The fact that the NZ government has thrown a sizeable chunk of change at the company (through the MBIE and Callaghan Innovations) also scares me. Neither of these bodies has what you might call an "enviable" record when it comes to picking winners.

So where do you expect Dawn Aerospace to be in 2 year's time... after their current $3.35 million in investment capital has been exhausted.

Successfull sub-orbital delivery service or just another epic fail on the part of wooden-headed civil servants throwing taxpayers' money around like water?
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Re: Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

Postby roygbiv » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:10 am

"So where do you expect Dawn Aerospace to be in 2 year's time... after their current $3.35 million in investment capital has been exhausted."

Well that link to Stuff article is nearly 2 years old so I checked out their web site. They do a good line in apparel or 'Swag', I must say I am am a bit disappointed as they do not sell beanies :D , otherwise a very nice web site.
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Re: Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:22 am

Oh.. thanks... I used the wrong link. I've replaced that link with one to the latest story on the NZH. (bugger!). :-)
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Re: Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

Postby hagfish » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:47 pm

If they really can come up with a single-stage-to-orbit design (their 'MkIII iteration), that could be a game-changer. You'd still need a low/mid-latitude runway with a clear space down range (in case of mishaps) but 'multiple daily flights' with a ~50KG payload could be amazing. Alas, getting 'up' requires relatively little energy. It's 'staying up' that requires getting to ~30,000Km/hr. Washing that speed off for a landing presents its problems, too. But I'm sure they've thought of that.
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Re: Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

Postby phord » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:51 am

Nasa hugely under-estimated the complexity of reusable spacecraft in the 70s.
Seems that Dawn Aerospace will do the same:
Wikipedia: Criticism of the Space Shuttle program
1.jpg
The original, simplified, vision of Space Shuttle ground processing

2.jpg
Actual, vastly more complex and much slower, Space Shuttle ground processing
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Re: Picking winners(??) again (29 Jul, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:57 am

I will be very interested to see what the extremely high levels of UV radiation and increased cosmic radiation do to that composite airframe over time. Same goes with Rocketlab's supposedly re-usable vehicle.

There's probably a very good reason that, despite composites being available for a very long time already, the "big boys" still use metals for such applications.

Interesting times ahead.
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