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If I payed SpaceX to launch?


bigdad84
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The FAA will not let something like that go into orbit because it is not capable of maintaining its orbit via station keeping and is not able to control its reentry. Rule of thumb is objects larger than 1 square meter do not burn up in atmosphere. A bus like that could de-orbit and come down in a city and knock out a skyscraper.

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I really don't understand why you guys are trying to make a ******** spacecraft out of it. Putting a bus in orbit is beautiful and poetic, trying to build something out of it that it is obviously not just ruins the picture.

The FAA will not let something like that go into orbit because it is not capable of maintaining its orbit via station keeping and is not able to control its reentry. Rule of thumb is objects larger than 1 square meter do not burn up in atmosphere. A bus like that could de-orbit and come down in a city and knock out a skyscraper.

If you put it in a graveyard orbit that does not matter; the satellites in there are pretty much fancy bricks too.

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The FAA will not let something like that go into orbit because it is not capable of maintaining its orbit via station keeping and is not able to control its reentry. Rule of thumb is objects larger than 1 square meter do not burn up in atmosphere. A bus like that could de-orbit and come down in a city and knock out a skyscraper.
Those are NASA regulations, so totally not relevant to this plan. No NASA = no NASA regulations.

So, are there any real arguments for the need to modify the bus?

For the science of course! But anyways, science, propulsion, space worthiness and and pure awesomeness are the main reasons to mod the bus.

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For the science of course! But anyways, science, propulsion, space worthiness and and pure awesomeness are the main reasons to mod the bus.

If those are your goals, just build a satellite and drop the bus thing. Shooting a bus into orbit because you can is a beautiful concept, but going somewhere in the muddy between is really worst of both worlds. I am quite sure your funding will also suffer, as people will have a hard time understanding your concept.

If you go back to the first page, the question was whether Space X would launch anything, even a school bus. Now you are just answering the question whether Space X will launch a badly built and designed satellite built with school bus parts. A much less interesting concept, as we know they launch satellites. That is what they do. Nothing new, fun or interesting there.

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I really don't understand why you guys are trying to make a ******** spacecraft out of it. Putting a bus in orbit is beautiful and poetic, trying to build something out of it that it is obviously not just ruins the picture.

If you put it in a graveyard orbit that does not matter; the satellites in there are pretty much fancy bricks too.

"Graveyard orbit" is where GEO sats go when they die. It's at 36000 x 36000km. Falcon 9 cannot launch a school bus there and GEO is regulated by ITU agreements. The 13 ton payload capability is for LEO, which means that it's coming down, which means that you need to provide a controlled way for it to come down, which means that you need comms to tell it when to come down, a deorbit motor to bring it down, and attitude control to make sure it's pointing the right way when you fire the deorbit burn. If you don't add those things, then you don't meet regulations, which means that you don't get insurance, which means that you don't get to launch with an FAA-licensed launch operator.

I'm sorry, but you can't just launch any old piece of junk into kind of orbit. There are rules, regulations, approvals, licenses, as well as governments and corporations who have huge investments in space infrastructure. The ISS orbit for example is protected by international agreements. You don't get to approach it in any way without proper authorization and certification. GEO activities are governed by the International Telecommunication Union. Anything that goes up or comes down in the USA must meet FAA regulations. And of course, you don't want to interfere with the operation of any other military or civilian satellites, or else you will probably end up on the wrong end of a billion dollar lawsuit... or worse!

Besides, SpaceX has nothing to gain except bad publicity from a stupid stunt that could go terribly wrong. They are working hard to establish credibility in the industry, to accumulate experience and demonstrate their technology in a multi-billion dollar market. They are trying to make space affordable and open it up to customers that have a real purpose.

Even if you do raise the funds, they are not going to take the job because stupid stunts is not what they do. They would get better PR by offering free launches to universities or schools. As romantic as it sounds, launching a school bus on top of a commercial rocket is simply not going to happen.

Edited by Nibb31
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Those are NASA regulations, so totally not relevant to this plan. No NASA = no NASA regulations.

So, are there any real arguments for the need to modify the bus?

Alright, these regulations are more suitable - and in some ways harder to work with for a crewed mission. Since SpaceX uses both sets of regulations, (although they only use the NASA ones voluntarily,) we'd have to most likely meet both sets.

Modifications? Mass requirements are a good start. Conventional tires will explode outside of the atmosphere, necessitating their replacement/removal. Next, we'll want to reduce all mission risks. Removing the engine, fuel tanks, windows, drive systems, and all other related systems will help with that. People have had a serious demand for video footage, therefore a full power system, computers, and transmitter will be needed. You yourself have stated that putting the vehicle into a graveyard orbit is the best option. To do that, we'd either need to *heavily* modify the bus so that the rocket could boost us up there on it's own, or we'd have to include an onboard propulsion system.

Regardless, this bus *will* have to be modified for launch.

EDIT:

This link may have been useful, huh?

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=e11cee34fe5087a8cba8d252ec7327b3&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:4.0.2.9.24&idno=14

Edited by metalmouth7
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If those are your goals, just build a satellite and drop the bus thing. Shooting a bus into orbit because you can is a beautiful concept, but going somewhere in the muddy between is really worst of both worlds. I am quite sure your funding will also suffer, as people will have a hard time understanding your concept.

If you go back to the first page, the question was whether Space X would launch anything, even a school bus. Now you are just answering the question whether Space X will launch a badly built and designed satellite built with school bus parts. A much less interesting concept, as we know they launch satellites. That is what they do. Nothing new, fun or interesting there.

First, we are not excatly building a satellite it is a bus that contains some shizzle that'll float, then we have cameras streaming the floatys, then we have a propulsion system for graveyard orbit. Not excatly your common satellite is it?

The concept is basic we launch a bus that has a rocket engine welded to the back launched into orbit.

Nah man, a bus that'll stay up there for a long time and send information back for a while is an intresting concept and the general design in the end would be intresting concept IMO.

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The FAA has jurisdiction over all United States private and civilian spacecraft and launch vehicles. The government (military) has its own set of regulations that are more strict and do not fall under FAA regulations.

NASA does not create these regulations, they abide by them.

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"Graveyard orbit" is where GEO sats go when they die. It's at 36000 x 36000km. Falcon 9 cannot launch a school bus there and GEO is regulated by ITU agreements.

To me it means you need to modify your mission so that you can reach a graveyard orbit (which is not GEO). The mission is much more likely to happen if you put it somewhere safe, both in terms of other things it can hit and coming back down to earth. That seems much more viable than complicating it and needing guidance systems and whatnot.

Putting it into something like a long solar orbit sounds pretty cool to me, so that every x years people get their telescopes out to see the school bus come by :D

Modifications? Mass requirements are a good start. Conventional tires will explode outside of the atmosphere, necessitating their replacement/removal. Next, we'll want to reduce all mission risks. Removing the engine, fuel tanks, windows, drive systems, and all other related systems will help with that.

So you are putting a bus into orbit, but basically removing everything that makes it a bus. What's the point of taking a bus?

The general response to the satellite-bus concept seems to disagree.

A small handful of people, yes. Some of which already disagreeing with your mission parameters :wink:

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Alright we need to consider every failure modes this bus could do:

1. Bus couldn't withstand the G-force

2. Some oil inside the bus explodes exploding you 60 million dollar money

3. The bus couldn't reach LEO and reenter Earth

4. Micrometeorite strike and your satellite bus explodes starting a kessler syndrome

5. Propulsion system failure, bus stuck in awkward orbit

Any other?

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Alright we need to consider every failure modes this bus could do:

1. Bus couldn't withstand the G-force

2. Some oil inside the bus explodes exploding you 60 million dollar money

3. The bus couldn't reach LEO and reenter Earth

4. Micrometeorite strike and your satellite bus explodes starting a kessler syndrome

5. Propulsion system failure, bus stuck in awkward orbit

Any other?

About ten million more.

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To me it means you need to modify your mission so that you can reach a graveyard orbit (which is not GEO). The mission is much more likely to happen if you put it somewhere safe, both in terms of other things it can hit and coming back down to earth. That seems much more viable than complicating it and needing guidance systems and whatnot.

Modifying the mission so that the Space Bus can reach a graveyard orbit is the hardest part. You either have to toss out the bus concept (which would invalidate this entire discussion,) or strip down the non-essential components from the bus, and attach some sort of propulsion and guidance systems. To preserve the shape of the bus, one could theoretically use a commercial satellite bus to control it and boost it up into a graveyard orbit, and then separate the bus from the..... other bus. Also, removing those systems get rid of some of the failure modes of the bus, which is always a good thing.

Putting it into something like a long solar orbit sounds pretty cool to me, so that every x years people get their telescopes out to see the school bus come by :D

So you are putting a bus into orbit, but basically removing everything that makes it a bus. What's the point of taking a bus?

Short Answer: Because we can. It's like the Soviets sending a plaque with the Venera landers - Absolutely pointless, but still an awesome achievement.

A small handful of people, yes. Some of which already disagreeing with your mission parameters :wink:

And I'm glad they are. I enjoy this sort of discussion, even if it is purely theoretical.

Either way, we'll have to somehow eliminate a number of components on the bus. Even if not for mass reasons, just to eliminate some failure modes.

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Either way, we'll have to somehow eliminate a number of components on the bus. Even if not for mass reasons, just to eliminate some failure modes.

So, if we are freely modifying the payload anyway: why not just take the side mirror of a bus, stick it in a CubeSat (or two) and get it into orbit that way? You will have your 'bus' in orbit according to what you are trying to do :)

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It needs to be the shell of a bus and most of the outside features. If you put a mirror in a cubesat and encountered it in orbit you wouldn't be able to tell it was a part of a bus. if you saw a shell of a bus an other parts in space you would know it was a bus. It doesn't matter what's on the inside. It's the outside that counts. If you see a bus parked on the side of the road would you know whether or not it had an engine? No.

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I agree that it's the looks of the bus that count. After all, if you take a bus and remove the engine, transmission, axles, wheels, tires, and seats, the word you are going to use to name it is still going to be "bus". Modifications will definitely be necessary, I mean the first modification we proposed was to strap a several ton, 56 million dollar rocket onto the back of it. And for another analogy, if our goal was to cross the English Channel in a bus, we would start by adding things boats need, like floats and a motor. Likewise, if we're going to send a bus to space, it makes logical sense to add propulsion and guidance systems

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Two "for the record" things. First off, I suspect that once the Falcon Heavy is available, launching a bus into a graveyard orbit would be feasible, allowing you to bill it as an Orbiting Time Capsule. In fact, you might be able to interest SpaceX into using your bus payload as a "mass simulator" for an early Falcon Heavy test flight, a cheap ballast payload that simulates the mass of a normal spacecraft to confirm the booster's performance, but isn't anything to worry about if the booster blows up. (Normally, tanks of water are used as mass simulators, but anything heavy and nonvaluable can be used.) Indeed, that might get a reduced cost, since you'd be providing them with a mass simulator without their having to pay to fabricate and fill water tanks, and they have to fly the launch anyway. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Second, the reason that Reliant Robin Space Shuttle launch was permitted by the British government is that it was intended from the start to be a suborbital flight on a Ministry of Defence artillery firing range, where all the parts would come down in an existing impact area, so they wouldn't have to worry about liability (the maximum distance that it could fly even at the longest-range angle was less than the distance to the edge of the impact area), and closing the airspace over it was something routine. (Additionally, they already knew it was likely to fail; during the final prelaunch checks the night before, they found that there were wiring issues with the explosive bolts for jettisoning the external tank. They knew it was about a 50-50 chance of each of the two bolts firing correctly, making for about a 25% chance that it'd jettison successfully, but they went ahead with launch anyway, partly because the drop-dead date for completing the filming in time to make air didn't allow the full day of rewiring needed, and partly because the BBC knew that even if it crashed, it'd still make good TV. As it turned out, one of the bolts DID fire, but...)

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