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Old 12-13-2017, 01:16 AM
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Default New Shepard flew today! (links)

Hello All,

Below I've attached a post-landing photograph of Blue Origin's new, large window-equipped New Shepard capsule, and:

Today in west Texas (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSDH...eature=youtu.be ), Blue Origin flew their new-generation New Shepard vehicle into space and back (for the seventh time overall, although the first time for this particular vehicle). Both the booster and the capsule made separate, successful landings (the company's brief announcement, from www.blueorigin.com [also see: http://www.google.com/search?ei=JLg...0.HNf1 skZA8a0 ], is copied below):

From: Blue Origin
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 8:06 PM
To: blackshire@alaska.net
Subject: Crew Capsule 2.0 First Flight

New Shepard flew again for the seventh time today from Blue Originís West Texas Launch Site. Known as Mission 7 (M7), the mission featured the next-generation booster and the first flight of Crew Capsule 2.0. Watch the mission highlights here [see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSDH...eature=youtu.be ].

-Gradatim Ferociter!

Crew Capsule 2.0 features large windows, measuring 2.4 feet wide, 3.6 feet tall.

If you were forwarded this e-mail, you can receive it directly by signing up for updates at blueorigin.com/interested
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:51 AM
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I didn't see any comment wrt how high this flight went...
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burkefj
I didn't see any comment wrt how high this flight went...


There was one mention in the video that capsule separation occurred at 250k feet or more. Didn't say if acceleration was enough to carry it above Karman line (330k) but I doubt it.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:39 PM
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They are not fixated on the Karman line, but the repeatability and the experience. Once the experience is achieved numerous times they will update to orbital flights, then beyond.

They talk little and simply do more.

Just Jerry
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
They are not fixated on the Karman line, but the repeatability and the experience. Once the experience is achieved numerous times they will update to orbital flights, then beyond.

They talk little and simply do more.

Just Jerry
I agree. Their main interest is achieving airliner-like reliability of the vehicle (or approaching that as closely as can be done with a rocket vehicle), the features of which they will incorporate into their New Glenn orbital vehicle as well as into their New Shepard suborbital vehicle. What they're doing now with New Shepard is not unlike the X-15's early test flights, where they "worked up" to its suborbital flights into space, which the program could then undertake with confidence. Also:

New Shepard's short, stubby booster presents (as Jeff Bezos has said) a "worst-case scenario" as far as flight control during powered ascent--and *especially* during powered descent and landing--are concerned. Perfecting this with New Shepard puts them in an excellent position with regard to New Glenn (its booster will encounter greater re-entry heating than New Shepard's, but as SpaceX's Falcon 9 has shown, high-velocity tail-first first stage re-entries and "pinpoint" powered landings are entirely practical).
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
I agree. Their main interest is achieving airliner-like reliability of the vehicle (or approaching that as closely as can be done with a rocket vehicle), the features of which they will incorporate into their New Glenn orbital vehicle as well as into their New Shepard suborbital vehicle.


I had occasion to get an informal tour of their Kent, WA facility recently as I was there to meet someone to take some old model rocket stuff off his hands. The fact that - engineer to engineer - we found ourselves talking about maintenance access in the booster goes right to this point. As a retired airliner guy for whom getting to things that need fixing or replacing quickly and easily was an important consideration (on the Next Gen 737s and later variants including the new MAX in particular) this resonated strongly.



One of the old model items I came home with was a nearly flightworthy Centuri Quasar which still had a spent C6-5 with a mid 1971 date code on it in the motor mount. That one WILL fly again soon.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
I had occasion to get an informal tour of their Kent, WA facility recently as I was there to meet someone to take some old model rocket stuff off his hands. The fact that - engineer to engineer - we found ourselves talking about maintenance access in the booster goes right to this point. As a retired airliner guy for whom getting to things that need fixing or replacing quickly and easily was an important consideration (on the Next Gen 737s and later variants including the new MAX in particular) this resonated strongly.
The relative lack of that simple--yet important--feature was one of the multiple reasons behind the Space Shuttle's failure to become "the DC-3 of space." One of the initial, in-the-moment cost-cutting features (which resulted in higher costs over time) in Rockwell's orbiter design was the elimination of many of the inspection doors, hatches, and borescope paths that are standard in aircraft. McDonnell Douglas and Martin Marietta had included these easy inspection & maintenance-enabling features in their orbiter designs, and they warned that their elimination in Rockwell's design would make the orbiter more difficult, slow, and expensive to service and maintain. I'm glad to read that this lesson has apparently not been lost on Blue Origin. (I have long thought that if I were to contract for the construction of a "clean-sheet design" reusable launch vehicle, I would prefer to have a *jet* engine manufacture produce its rocket engines [General Electric produced the Vanguard first stage's X405 engine], because easy inspection and maintenance is part of jet engine engineers' design philosophy.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
One of the old model items I came home with was a nearly flightworthy Centuri Quasar which still had a spent C6-5 with a mid 1971 date code on it in the motor mount. That one WILL fly again soon.
What a "two-fer" visit that was, getting to visit a spaceship manufacturer *and* come away with such an historic "souvenir" (actually, two, counting the--I presume--Centuri spent C6-5 of 1971 vintage)!
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
The relative lack of that simple--yet important--feature was one of the multiple reasons behind the Space Shuttle's failure to become "the DC-3 of space." One of the initial, in-the-moment cost-cutting features (which resulted in higher costs over time) in Rockwell's orbiter design was the elimination of many of the inspection doors, hatches, and borescope paths that are standard in aircraft. McDonnell Douglas and Martin Marietta had included these easy inspection & maintenance-enabling features in their orbiter designs, and they warned that their elimination in Rockwell's design would make the orbiter more difficult, slow, and expensive to service and maintain. I'm glad to read that this lesson has apparently not been lost on Blue Origin. (I have long thought that if I were to contract for the construction of a "clean-sheet design" reusable launch vehicle, I would prefer to have a *jet* engine manufacture produce its rocket engines [General Electric produced the Vanguard first stage's X405 engine], because easy inspection and maintenance is part of jet engine engineers' design philosophy.)What a "two-fer" visit that was, getting to visit a spaceship manufacturer *and* come away with such an historic "souvenir" (actually, two, counting the--I presume--Centuri spent C6-5 of 1971 vintage)!


Too bad car and truck manufacturers haven't learned that lesson... nowdays they make things as DIFFICULT to repair as possible... just to increase the amount they can charge at the dealer shops...

When Ford is building pickups that you have to REMOVE THE CAB to do engine service, it's gotten to the point of being ridiculous...

Later! OL J R
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Too bad car and truck manufacturers haven't learned that lesson... nowdays they make things as DIFFICULT to repair as possible... just to increase the amount they can charge at the dealer shops...

When Ford is building pickups that you have to REMOVE THE CAB to do engine service, it's gotten to the point of being ridiculous...

Later! OL J R
Volvo cars have long been that way (although not to the extent that you've had to deal with); a large chunk of the repair bills for a friend's 1985 sedan is for labor that's required to partially disassemble large portions of it, just to get access to worn-out parts. I'm reminded of G. Harry Stine's remarks in "Halfway to Anywhere: Achieving America's Destiny in Space" (about the DC-X, and SSTO spaceships in general) that he'd noticed that younger engineers, because they design things on two-dimensional computer screens, lack skill in thinking in *three* dimensions (which designing-in inspection ports and doors requires).
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:08 AM
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Fortunately we have three dimensional tools which we've used since the 777 program and much more recently some kind of VR-like tools we used on the 737 MAX which help with this. But even today sometimes a physical mockup is of amazing value in figuring out if folks can reach places either to put the airplane together in the first place or to fix it later.....

(I guess even though I've been retired for over a year I still feel like saying "we"....for some portions of the 777 and later the 737 Next Gen part of my particular responsibility was getting folks together each week and "flying thru" the 3D and helping them sort out spatial stuff including maintenance access.)
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