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Fwd: Space Access Update #60 12/24/95 (fwd)

Forwarded message:
From:	doughtd@pr.erau.edu (Donald Doughty)
Sender:	delta-clipper-approval@world.std.com
Reply-to:	delta-clipper@europe.std.com
To:	delta-clipper@world.std.com (DC-X)
Date: 95-12-24 23:37:37 EST

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 1995 10:46:50 -0500 (EST)
From: hvanderbilt@BIX.com
To: hvanderbilt@bix.com
Subject: Space Access Update #60 12/24/95

                  Space Access Update #60  12/24/95 
               Copyright 1995 by Space Access Society 


Stories this issue:

 - Where Have We Been?  Where's My Tape?  When Is Space Access '96?
   (Why *has* it been ten weeks since the last SAS Update?) 

 - What The Heck Is Going On Anyway? (Reusable Launch News Summary) 

-----------------------(SAS Policy Boilerplate)------------------------

Space Access Update is Space Access Society's when-there's-news 
publication. Space Access Society's goal is to promote affordable access 
to space for all, period.  We believe in concentrating our resources at 
whatever point looks like yielding maximum progress toward this goal.  

Right now, we think this means working our tails off trying to get the 
government to build and fly a high-speed reusable rocket demonstrator, 
one or more "X-rockets", in the next three years, in order to quickly 
build up both experience with and confidence in reusable Single-Stage To 
Orbit (SSTO) technology.  The idea is to reduce SSTO technical 
uncertainty (and thus development risk and cost) while at the same time 
increasing investor confidence, to the point where SSTO will make sense 
as a private commercial investment.  We have reason to believe we're not 
far from that point now.  

Our major current focus is on supporting the government's fully reusable 
single-stage rocket technology programs, the low-speed DC-XA, and its 
high-speed followon, the X-33 NASA/DOD/industry cooperative project.  

With luck and hard work, we should see fully-reusable rocket testbeds 
flying into space well before the end of this decade, with practical 
orbital transport projects getting underway.  Join us, and help us make 
it happen.  

            Henry Vanderbilt, Executive Director, Space Access Society 

To join Space Access Society or buy the SSTO/DC-X V 3.0 video we have 
for sale (Two hours, includes all eight DC-X flights, X-33, DC-X and 
SSTO backgrounders, aerospike engine test-stand footage, plus White 
Sands Missile Range DC-X pre and post flight footage) mail a check to: 
SAS, 4855 E Warner Rd #24-150, Phoenix AZ 85044.  SAS membership with 
direct email of Space Access Updates is $30 US per year; the SSTO V 3.0 
video is $25, $5 off for SAS members, $8 extra for shipping outside the 
US and Canada, VHS NTSC only.  

For more info on our upcoming Space Access '96 conference, email:  


                         Winding Up The Year

We've been hearing questions lately, wondering if we'd left the planet 
ahead of everyone else.  We've been busy as hell with some long-term 
payoff work, and there's been no one earthshaking development in the 
affordable access field, so we let the next Update slide for a week or 
two...  And now it's over ten weeks, and the little things happening a 
bit at a time have begun to add up to some interesting trends.  It's 
Update time again - but for now, the condensed holiday version.  All the 
full-length news and informed opinion you can stand Real Soon Now... 

Those of you waiting for video tapes, all the backordered version 2.0 
DC-X/SSTO tapes went into the mail December 22nd.  It seems unlikely 
they'll arrive before Christmas; our apologies for the massive delay.  
You will find in them a discount certificate for the 3.0 video by way of 
amends.  The long overdue (please, no letter bombs - we bruise easily!) 
version 3.0 X-33/DC-X/SSTO video now looks like being ready to go to the 
duplicators the first week of January; backorders will be in the mail 
immediately thereafter.  Yes, we most likely got your order; we've been 
holding off cashing the checks out of the remnants of a sense of decency 
and fair play.  We hope you'll think the footage we've found is worth 
the wait.  We hope you won't march on SAS HQ with tar and feathers in 
the meantime... 

And it's getting toward that time of year again.  Our next annual 
conference, Space Access '96, will be happening April 26-28 1996, Friday 
evening through Sunday afternoon, once again in Phoenix Arizona.  We're 
going to go bigtime aerospace one of these years, do it during the 
working week at a posh resort at a thousand bucks a head, but not yet - 
SA'96 registration is still only $80 if postmarked before January 15th, 
when it goes up to $90, higher at the door.  SA'96 will again be at a 
hotel within easy shuttle-bus distance of the Phoenix airport; we're 
currently negotiating with several and should have one nailed down 
shortly.  Previous attendees, tell 'em - this really is worth the 
trouble to attend.  Phoenix is a hub for Southwest and America West, and 
also served by Western Pacific, Continental, United, Delta, American, 
etc.  There's no lack of cheap airfares if you plan ahead - so be here! 

Meanwhile, we wish you all a warm and peaceful holiday season, and we'll 
sign off on that note...  What?  Tar and feathers? 

                     Reusable Launch News Summary 

Oh, all right.  The capsule version of the news...  DC-XA is coming 
along OK, albeit the minor delays are piling up to the point where we'd 
guess it'll be a few weeks late flying, late spring rather than early. 

NASA tried to cancel X-34 at the start of November, but there was no 
wooden stake handy (actually the White House intervened), so it lives 
still, more or less - development cost is climbing, performance 
dropping, schedule slipping, and we hear that projected ops costs are 
rising to more or less the same as Pegasus.  Which makes sense, since X-
34 now has as many stages as a Pegasus - carrier aircraft, winged 
booster, two upper stages - and will likely be at least as complex to 
integrate and operate.  

X-33 is doing OK; the picture is beginning to firm up as to what might 
actually fly and how much it'll cost.  Much more on this next Update.  

The X-33 draft Phase 2 CAN (phase 2 is the actual construction and 
flight test of one or more X-33's, starting this summer) can be found 
at, among other places, http://www.space-access.org, our new under-
construction web page.  (Please, no critiques until we've actually had 
time to *do* something with the site!)

Comments on the draft CAN are due January 22nd; email any comments you 
have to us at space.access@space-access.org at least one week before 
that, and we'll run the interesting ones past our advisory board before 
finalizing SAS's formal comments.  After a once-over, we think it looks 
pretty good; the only "gotcha" we've spotted so far is the clause 
linking an X-33 go-ahead next summer to continued existance of X-34. 
Tsk, tsk, naughty naughty, we say - that's a pretty raw attempt to hold 
X-33 hostage to the highly dubious X-34 project on someone's part.  

X-33 funding for FY'96 looks fairly assured over on the NASA side, if 
the HUD/VA/Independent Agencies appropriation ever gets clear of the 
"train wreck".  In theory, there's $25m for reusable rocket work 
actually appropriated now over in DOD, but the DOD bill was signed only 
because the White House has to pay for the Bosnia expedition somehow.  
Look for a major, multi-billion DOD rescissions list in the coming 
months, and look for an attempt to put our $25m on it.  And once we beat 
that, look for months of delay in releasing the money.  This is getting 
to be a familiar fight, but it's one we've won every time so far. 

And both McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed-Martin are investing around $300 
million each of private money in upgraded expendable commercial launch 
vehicles (Delta 3 and Atlas 2AR respectively), and both Kistler 
Aerospace and Kelly Space & Technology have money and are going ahead 
with their private reusable space launch ventures.  We just might get to 
the point where government funding is irrelevant to a thriving cheap 
launch industry sooner than anyone expects. 

Merry Christmas, y'all.  And an interesting New Year... 


 Space Access Society       "Reach low orbit and you're halfway to anywhere
 4855 E Warner Rd #24-150                  in the Solar System." 
 Phoenix AZ 85044                               - Robert A. Heinlein 
 602 431-9283 voice/fax
   email:                                 "You can't get there from here."
 space.access@space-access.org                           - Anonymous

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