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Space Open Source Transportation Science

Tycho Deep Space: a DIY, Open Source, Manned Spacecraft 85

misterbarnacles writes "Can space travel be democratized? Kristian von Bengtson and Copenhagen Suborbitals think so, and they're building a DIY manned suborbital spacecraft to prove it. 'Bengtson describes the craft as "a half sized Apollo-shaped space capsule with a diameter of 2 meters capable of serving one (or two) persons." When complete, Bengtson hopes the suborbital craft will convey a human passenger higher than 62 miles above sea level, allowing him the rare opportunity to escape Earth’s bonds and view the heavens from the ionosphere.'"
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Tycho Deep Space: a DIY, Open Source, Manned Spacecraft

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  • So I can send my first post to aliens?
  • by Toe, The ( 545098 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @02:07PM (#38316860)

    I can just see it...
    Spaceship successfully launched!
    OK, guys, who wants to work on the reentry system now?

    • Re-entry requires an upgrade. Notifications for upgrades are displayed once orbit velocity is reached.
    • by Anonymous Coward

    • More likely you reach orbit and see this message pop up on a display:

      "The kernel in Space Ship version 0.2 beta (Obnoxious Orangutan) does not provide the driver for your Oxygen regulator. Due to copyright restrictions, you will be unable to use your Oxygen regulator at this time. Developers will not be willing or even able to assist you in resolving your issues. "
    • Reentry control is fixed in svn, plz update...
    • I figure that problem will eventually fix itself.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @02:14PM (#38316954)

    Does this mean that after he's built it, everyone else gets to vote for who flies in it?

    • No, that's communism. In a democracy, he picks two people to represent him, they travel around the country shaking hands, kissing babies, and arguing about how much to tax him. In the meantime he builds it and flies it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2011 @02:15PM (#38316966)

    They have a video of a test flight with a crash dummy in it. It is both awe inspiring and terrifying as the test dumy was pretty much shaken to death before having it's head caved in on landing.

    • its pretty frightening - not sure I want my spinal column along the vertical acceleration vector, I have enough back problems as it is !
      I'll pass on this - I like thrills but this seems slightly insane

    • by axlr8or ( 889713 )
      Well actually, they must have achieved a significant technological milestone in creating a dummy that was 'alive' to begin with just to shaken to death! I'd say they are ahead of the game hehehehe.
  • As long as launching capabilities are only within reach of governments and mega-corporations, which are the only ones that can afford to use this spacecraft, this is a useless waste of engineering efforts by volunteers. The rest of the 99.999999% of us will never get a chance to fly in one.

    I would be much more interested in an opensource electric car design.

  • I'll stick with Kerbal Space Program []
  • Eugh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @02:24PM (#38317062)
    I'm all for crazy ideas, and I'm a huge fan of space flight (just ask any of my friends, I drive them up the wall with it), but this has to be the worst idea I've ever seen.
    • by tonyt3 ( 1014391 )
      May not be the worst ... but it is _way_ up there, past the guy with the jet pack. Be sure to check the O rings. Perhaps might make an entry in the Darwin Awards. If you want the view, send a video camera up there. t
    • by jd ( 1658 )

      Oblig. Johnny Test quote: "Cheese pants. Cheese pants were definitely the worst."

  • The rest is just bookkeeping.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did a documentary on this a few years ago...

  • democratized (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @02:48PM (#38317376) Homepage Journal

    I do not think that word means what you want it to mean.

  • Who will be first to join!?
  • These folk [] have the DIY, Open Source, and Spacecraft parts down pat. They haven't done much with the 'Manned' part, however.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2011 @03:06PM (#38317614)

    Yes, it is really freaking hard, and yes it is really freaking expensive, and yes it's really freaking dangerous and probably downright defiant in the face of reason, logic and safety.... ....but IMHO, if we are ever going to colonize space, we need every attempt possible!

    We need to get to the point where anybody can get to space, and STAY out there, and survive in unbelievable, unbearable conditions, with unbelievable challenges, to explore the unknown and dedicate their lives to space exploration OFF of this planet, in addition to everything else we already do.

    If we want the universe to be our sandbox, we must evolve into a space-faring and space-surviving species.

    Imagine where we would be if a lot of people hadn't pushed the limits beyond everything we could imagine, and yes.... even died trying to accomplish manned flight.

    • by izomiac ( 815208 )
      The amusing thing is that much of the technology from the space race is now available for cheap to consumers, much like other technologies from that era. I expect to see a lot more private efforts to reach space in the future, and with more attempts the economy of scale should further bring down the costs, eventually leading to the private sector surpassing the national space program. If I had to bet, I'd say the first person on Mars will be a civilian, and perhaps even the next person to walk on the Moon
  • Love it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @03:11PM (#38317684)

    This is a DIY project that I would love to see more of. I just hope that in my lifetime I would be able to witness amateur space flights that are "built in the back yard" so to speak. Its a throw back to early oceanic exploration. There will be accidents and possible loss of life but hopefully that will be quite rare.

    I just hope they are good with vacuum leak detection. They should have a helium mass-spectrometer leak detector, pressurize the craft with a mixture of helium and some other inert gas and sniff for leaks. Once you work with vacuum, you quickly learn that sealing a closed system to atmosphere can be a tricky business. And that is even more apparent when the vessel undergoes thermal expansion and contraction which loosens otherwise tight seals. Lots of good tig welding is needed along with electron beam or laser welding for more intricate parts.

    Imagine the opportunity for engineers and students if amateur space exploration ever gets off the ground (pun intended!). I cant wait for the day when garage hot rodding turns skyward.

    • garage hot rodding would have new remote implications with my idea i post below :) ha ha good times friend, i'll have to bring this up on the sims social forums now, see if we can get some sim-space missions theme peace
  • The abstract makes me imagine.. you know how people book out time on the telescopes in Arizona, Now all the cool kids go on NewEgg and buy a couple of NBPs running NetBSD! shoot it out unplug the house mic and let 'er go! Build some contraptions that shoot pictures and the (within tolerances) direction / attitude / vector / rotation you want the contraption disembarked at, load them up on a public space shuttle deal and a company could disperse them into space from on board. Hmm! And of course the contrap

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...