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Should Selene be its own project?

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12:25 am
February 7, 2010

Luke Maurits

Adelaide, Australia


posts 1024


I know everyone here is (quite rightly) concerned about project bloat and biting off more than we can chew, so I don't know how popular this idea will be, but it feels to me like it is less creating a new project/more work than it is taking a part of the CLLARE project and separating it off.

Basically, I think that the effort to create a modular, hybrid launch vehicle family (like Selene) would make more sense as an independent project than as a part of CLLARE, simply because it would be absurd to create such a family and use it purely for CLLARE.   Well before we do any kind of manned spaceflight we will hopefully tackle smaller, simpler projects involving minimalist satellites and even various kinds of suborbital experiment.  If, by the time we are ready to launch these projects, the hybrid booster cluster project has progressed to the stage that we can use it, and doing so is cheaper than a commercial launch, it makes no sense at all not to use it.  Basically, Selene shouldn't be "CLLARE's booster", it should be "CSTART's booster", to use for any project it makes sense on.

One even wonders if OHKLA could be sensibly absorbed into this project, as simply the first step toward a full blown booster.  At the end of this rearrangement, we would have two projects (the same as now), CLLARE and a launch platform project, of which a Karman line passing flight would be a logical first milestone.  This wouldn't involve throwing away any of the great work already done on OHKLA, and in fact it could ensure that the OHKLA work remains relevant further into the future, e.g. the OHKLA rocket could possibly end up being the first stage of a two-stage rocket for putting very small payloads into orbit?

Just a thought, anyway, I know it's rather a large organisational shake up.

Starting a new TA job next week, might be busy for a while! Main CLLARE workgroups: Mission Planning, Navigation and Guidance. I do maths, physics, C, Python and Java.

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