ONE FRANTIC TRIP…WHAT COMES OF IT?
I made a trip to Arizona because my brother was ill. Fortunately he recovered and went home to Michigan. So a long trip still offered time to get some business done too. First I responded to confirmed evidence that Microsoft is already force downloading Windows number ten…by buying a Mac. My CAD software cost me many times the cost of the PC so I will not let a 900 lb. gorilla turn off my design tools.
I have been proposing to incorporate a very expensive venture and this is not an easy path. They have said that if you want to make a million dollars in aerospace, you should start with five million dollars. Make that five hundred million dollars of somebody else’s money, who will probably break your legs if they think you are cheating them. We have to sell as if our life depends on this being the only real future of aerospace. Well that is what I think this is, so that is what we are doing. Investors can’t afford not to invest in this technology. Horizontal In Line Launch Staging (HILLS) is the future of orbital launch services.
We need a crew that can build a high tech high performance prototype. My few engineers can point us in the right direction now. But we have to show investors a group of experienced builders with the experience and facilities to deliver a space plane. That’s why I have been working with vendors in the Phoenix area. Performance One Aviation provides assembly services to builders who pay over a million dollars to own high performance turboprop or jet aircraft. Other vendors in the area have had their hand in building space planes and military prototypes. On my last trip I visited the jet and rocket engine suppliers. I took time to meet the airframe people again to assure a path to flight.
If we intend to fly unmanned launch vehicles we need to provide a good portable ground station for command and control. We may provide a custom made trailer for the crews and equipment. Dunesport Trailers can build a version of their toy hauler that with custom work stations properly balanced for towing. Crews can have sleeping facilities, comforts, and a comfortable climate at any flight location. Did I mention that aerospace is not cheap?
We are looking at programs that require test flights and may lead to production. Such ventures expect to see a complete plan for development and manufacturing in volume too. Amateur rocketry may put up one rocket but we may have to build dozens that are highly reliable. We may get a lot of help from our Wyoming community if we make a professional case. To this end We are gathering professionals now.
We had time to enjoy the scenery in Arizona before I returned to Wyoming with more pieces for the mission. Then I made a trip to Laramie to talk to the lawyers about incorporation. That too is a scenic trip with lots of wild game on the road. But this big country also has room for another wild game…from the space cowboys!
IT’S OFFICIAL: OUR NEW WEB PAGE FOR EXODUS AEROSPACE
DON AND DOG ON THE EVENING TRAIL
UNTIL THE CITY SLEEPS
AND THE DREAMS AWAKEN AGAIN
AT THE BUILDERS
WHO CAN MAKE IT FLY
AND BUILDERS FOR GROUND SUPPORT
GIVE US ROOM TO GROW
UNTIL IT IS TIME TO RETURN TO WYOMING
PASSING ALIENS! (WALKING STICK)
UP THE SALT RIVER CANYON YOU SAW AT NIGHT IN THE LAST POST
IN THE LAST BLOG YOU COULDN’T SEE THE ROAD ACROSS THE CANYON
OR THE EDGE IT CLINGS TO
WHICH IS SERIOUSLY CLOSE TO A BIG STEP…DOWN…DOWN…DOWN
INTO THE ABYSS! (WHY WE DRIVE SLOW!)
THEN DOG GETS A COUPLE OF NICE MOTEL NIGHTS
PASSING THE NATIONAL RADIO ASTRONOMY FACILITY AGAIN
AND MORE WESTERN SUNSETS
RETURNING US TO LARAMIE PEAK IN WYOMING
AND HOME IN WHEATLAND
MANY BUGS LATER
THEN WE AIMED WEST TO LARAMIE AND THE LAWYERS
PASSING THE GAME RESEARCH AREA
AND PLENTY OF WILD NEIGHBORS
ON THE HIGH PLAINS
AND IN THE MOUNTAINS
SO WHERE WILL WE FIND MANUFACTURING FACILITIES HERE?
THE ANSWER MAY BE ON THE ROAD AHEAD…
RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE!
HARVEST: THE CROPS ARE COMING IN
I looked up at the night sky early this morning and saw an old friend…the constellation Orion. Other signs point to the end of summer and our growing season in Wheatland Wyoming. Like the farmers and ranchers around us we have been nurturing products all summer with hope for a great harvest. Most of the real work is being done online with a team forming to design and build a solution for the aerospace future. We may be close to a harvest on that crop now.
Life for me is still rural Wyoming with fringe benefits from local farmers I bought a lamb and had it dressed for about $6.00 per pound. So now there are lamb roasts, chops, ribs, and loafs. Dog and I are NOT losing weight in spite of miles of walking daily! While neighbors were cutting hay, I bought a lawnmower (after three years!) and began harvesting my prairie patch. Shoulder high weeds were a challenge, but the little whacker chopped a path through. Next year we may try to plant some real grass!
My plans got changed when my brother John suffered an embolism and I made an express run to Arizona. He is recovering now, and I may recover from this high speed run soon too. My friend and partner in entrepreneurial schemes Don Eyermann put me up for a few days. I can do some business while I am in the Phoenix area too. We have partners here who may deliver segments of the vehicle fabrication and assembly. So this is a practice run for liaison missions in the future production run.
There are a number of mysterious sightings flying around our command center lately, so no one knows where the market will take us. The future of Exodus Aerospace is up in the air.
WHEATLAND HARVEST MOON
LARAMIE PEAK VIEWS
SMOKE HAZE FROM WESTERN WILD FIRES
THE BUZZARDS ARE BACK…MOVING SOUTH
THE LAMB IS PROCESSED
AND WE ARE COOKING NOW!
LAMB LOAF AND SHOULDER ROAST
AND THE HARVEST
IT IS FINISHED
READY TO ROLL SOUTH; LIGHT FAST LOAD
NEW MEXICO RAIN
AND THE SUN BREAKS OUT
WARM RECEPTION TO ARIZONA
FOR A WHILE…SALT RIVER CANYON IN THE RAIN
STAY CLOSE TO THE ROCKS ON THE RIGHT, NOT THE CLIFF ON THE LEFT!
TRUCKS COMING DOWN THE OTHER CANYON WALL TO THE BRIDGE
DON FIXING SANDWICHES IN MESA ARIZONA
WHILE DAVE PULLS KP
AND DAY ENDS IN ANOTHER ARIZONA SUNSET
MY FIELD OFFICE
AND DON’S CAVE
FOR THE FUTURE
WYOMING: GATEWAY TO THE NEW FRONTIER
I BOUGHT A CAR AND A TRAILER IN 2012 AND SET OUT TO DISCOVER NEW SPACE ENTERPRISE. Frontier Astronautics of Chugwater Wyoming offered important assets, and the state of Wyoming is totally business friendly. Chugwater is a bit lean on retail stores so the next town, Wheatland, became my new home. The RV parks of Wheatland are home to many workers on the move. RVs are the modern covered wagon. Although I grew up in Michigan, I have family out here so this is home to me now.
We are moving to incorporate but it takes careful planning NOT to be one of the many broken space ventures that litter the landscape. We have some well experienced talent coming on board for the voyage now, so we do have some promise. For design the promise is this: CHANGE. The designs are already obsolete as marketing and engineering bring their red pens to the blueprints!
We have some marketing direction now, and there are places to use a small vehicle for small ventures. But horizontal launch has a big price tag for small ventures. Reusable demands reliable, which is good in the long run but less so up front. Most small launchers push for simplicity so they have some cost advantages. We need a value proposition that leads to bigger profits to follow this prototype.
Launch providers today are mostly expendable, including most rocket stages on air launch systems. Government tends to favor retro systems because there is no pressure to innovate. Vertical systems are spectacular, like steam engines, but not a direction for the future. That leaves the private sector to see the need. What will be the “Wright stuff” to make this happen? Those who invest in the small vehicle need to see the big picture of the future need. If we move our patents together with other new technologies we may be able to paint that big picture.
For those of us involved in the planning sessions that picture is already taking shape, so Join us for a look at the Wyoming Stargate!
BIG HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
DEEP IN THE PLANNING SESSIONS AT…
EXODUS AEROSPACE WORLD HEADQUARTERS (OUR 100 YEAR OLD HOME)
LARAMIE PEAK; LANDMARK OF THE OREGON TRAIL; FIRST MOUNTAIN OFF THE PRAIRIE
ON THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
WHERE EVEN THE CARS ARE LONG IN THE TOOTH!
AND PIONEER TRADITION DIES HARD…
WHERE THE RIDERS ARE ROUGH
THE PIONEER SPIRIT FOLLOWS THE TRAIL TO THE VISION
OF A BETTER PLACE FOR THE FUTURE…
EXODUS AEROSPACE NEW WORLD HEADQUARTERS!
MY KIND OF CUBICLE!
AND UNDER CONSTRUCTION!
LET US DREAM OF THE FUTURE,
HITCH OUR WAGON TO THE STARS…
AND PREPARE TO BOLDLY GO
I went to the Space Access Conference to recruit partners for this venture. I have two potential partners now, and we have identified two or three new partners since then. The newest entries have some real aerospace credentials, and one even helped with my NASA efforts n the past.
I have responded to NASA solicitations in the past. I joined two aerospace professionals to bid on the methane thruster competition, but then NASA cancelled the competition. That was later awarded to Xcor so we might wonder where the competitive bidding went. Later we entered a competition asking creative inventors for game changing ideas. The response we got might be paraphrased as “We at NASA already know everything there is to know about aerodynamics”. Did Anyone mention to them that aerodynamics had major influence on Space Ship Two and the last Spacex mission?
At the space conference I observed that NASA asked for papers on reusable launch systems but the offer was only open for about a month. I was assured of another chance for the actual contract coming shortly. So I asked my team to watch the federal solicitations page for that announcement. I deliver a spreadsheet with program goals and this was a top priority, highlighted in red with bold yellow text. In Trek-speak that translates as “Red Alert…shields up!”
I finally checked the announcements and found that we MISSED THE RELEASE DATE. Realistically the requirements for submission might be met by a company with enough office staff to run like crazy and get proposals, costs, and reports turned in. So “new space” ventures with small teams and funding may not have been invited by design. This solicitation was issued on May 15, 2015 and is due by July 13 2015 so we had few credible assets for this target.
There are groups who may be able to launch a 60kg satellite in three years, but who can get all this paperwork done well on short notice? We are not damaged by technology, we may be crippled by bureaucracy…which I can’t even spell let alone operate. Here are some targets for the submission:
The following page limitations are established for each portion of the proposal submitted in response to this solicitation.
|Volume||Proposal Part Required||Page
|SRR Level Package||150||4||2|
|Small Business Utilization||15||4||2|
|Signed Model Contract||None||1||2|
Seriously my venture was never in a position to generate this effort. But then is any newspace venture able to do this? A pretty well heeled venture could get people to generate such a proposal if they risked a lot of man-hours of effort to do the proposal. This part of a new venture is the hard part; the investment of free labor hours.
Now we address the idea of launching a new venture in space. Someone has to lead the way by preparing a technology, a business plan, and marketing efforts. Customer interest may attract investment but it has to be good enough to deliver 20 times their investment at a predetermined time. The whole package requires your investment in sweat and cash. Partners may expect equity in return for sweat: actual labor. So the leader has to go first.
I have invested over $40,000 in cash. Labor for only the drafting work (not counting marketing, administration, and various education) is already over $160,000. I hope I have demonstrated a little commitment in this effort. Perhaps I can hope to inspire a similar investment from my team. Over the years I have seen mixed results in this area. I was taught: “But Jesus said to him, No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Many have joined, but few have shown up for work on Monday. Breaking news: if you want equity, send SWEAT!
NASA is not our market. Just ask your Native American friends about government contracts. We have more potential for a certain commercial market that our small vehicles can pioneer for now. We may explore a government offering for practice, but I am not willing to hang all of my hopes on those.
LIFE AT HOME IS GOOD
FATTENING, BUT GOOD!
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREENER
STILL A LITTLE SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN
UNTIL THE SPRING RAINS GREEN THINGS UP
WE STILL VISIT THE FRONTIER ASTRONAUTICS SILO
FOR EXPERIMENTS…LIKE THE CHILI POWERED ROCKET!
WE STILL NEED BIG IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE
AND LITTLE TREATS FOR TODAY
THE ONLY SURE PAYCHECK: SUNSETS
Well, dreams are great but space is a really mean business environment. NASA wants a competent builder with good finances and leaders with a record of success. They know that the market is littered with the wreckage of new space ventures. Even well funded efforts are passing through the expected path of crash and learn. I see lots of little spaceplane teams with some credentials. Others have built on vertical launch with good new technologies to demonstrate. Most of our little efforts do not have the mean spirited business men who can fire the deadwood or even figure out who it is. If we think ourselves to be beggars we may think that we can’t be choosers. But unless your team has the passion for sacrifice they will not see the summit of this mountain. Fiscal acrophobia is not permitted!
Honestly, small teams with a few good men may not have enough horsepower to make the climb. Any vehicle requires a multitude of disciplines to cover propulsion, airframes, guidance, thermal protection, and aerodynamics. Yes, you vertical guys have to watch aerodynamics too! Then you have to move prototypes to production methods, and manage the business of making money for employees and investors. Hey-I just got a phone call from a money broker offering a half-million dollars to us. That won’t even pay for the design effort…and they want to get paid back on time! Space is an environment that kills dreams on the way to low earth orbit. Good luck to you Mars tourists!
Exodus Aerospace can use the winged development to serve some small markets in the atmosphere. Unmanned markets are expanding but they have not discovered all the opportunities out there. We need to see a payoff for investors who create our first small prototypes. Vertical launch can’t loiter in the atmosphere or slow down long enough to explore the opportunities. Conventional unmanned airframes also miss some performance potential. While the dinosaurs have some time here, the little creatures can scurry under their feet…into the future. Big aerospace and government may be impervious to innovation but we can be content to make small steps in the little things.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16:10New Living Translation (NLT)
CAPTAIN’S LOG 18 MAY 2015
Our last post concluded on an overnight stop near Albuquerque NM. We visited a small airport to see a small jet engine with big potential. Desert Aerospace markets the TJ 100 turbines we are looking at. http://www.desertaerospace.com/turbines.html
Bob Carlton gave us a tour and more information about the engines and the aircraft currently using them. These have electric start, generator, fuel and oil pumps and electronic controls. As we noted before, these are no model airplane engines.
After that visit we returned to course 360 and began the long climb from New Mexico to Colorado. One overnight stop at Sugarite Canyon State Park got us ready for the last leg. We had a little issue with Denver traffic and some cargo fell out of the cabinets, but we soon reached the familiar big skies of Wyoming. After unpacking and a good night’s rest we were greeted by the same weather that sent us to Arizona…snow!
WAKE UP TO THE SUN SHINE IN NEW MEXICO…
FOR A WHILE AT LEAST!
DESERT AEROSPACE, NEAR OLD ROUTE 66.
OUR LITTLE DREAM ENGINE ON A SUB SONEX
BACK TO THE NORTH
AND OVERNIGHT IN SUGARITE CANYON STATE PARK AGAIN.
A BARBEQUE FOR ENERGY
GETTING A LEG UP ON A GOOD NIGHT’S REST!
MAPS AND SNACKS LOADED
CHECKLIST: ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR LAUNCH!
ONE LAST HIKE BEFORE THE LONG TRIP
SPRING IS SLOWLY AWAKENING IN NEW MEXICO
BEGINNING THE CLIMB TO…
AND THE LANDMARK OF CHUGWATER WYOMING.
I want to make some Indians sneaking up behind him!
SQUEEZE BETWEEN THE TREES!
AND UNLOAD AFTER THE TRAFFIC UPSETS
CLEAN UP THE SPILLS
AND RECLAIM MY HOME
5 LOADS OF LAUNDRY
WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL IT A “QUEEN” SIZED BED?
CAPTAIN’S LOG 15 MAY 2015
We left Apache Junction Arizona late on Wednesday May 13 after a good meal at Dirtwater Springs with Don Eyermann. Our first stop was projected to be 4 hours by Google Maps, but my trailer rarely gets over 60 mph so we pulled in to a campsite at midnight. There are many national forest roads near Show Low Arizona and the pine woods offered a much cooler starry night. We look like some alien craft at night, and the dark woods were a quiet break from the constant noise of land and air traffic in Arizona. I will miss the roar of radial engines of the warbirds though.
Our late loading effort left some cargo misplaced and hard to access but we settled in for a good night of rest after a starlight walk. Dog stayed out listening to the creatures of the night for quite a while. Sunrise revealed our campsite and the empty woods around us. Dog got to run off the leash to sniff and hunt for a while. Then we were off to New Mexico.
CAMPING IN CRITTER WORLD
READY FOR BEDDIE
AND READY FOR THE NEW DAY
OFF THE LEASH AND FREE
GREAT BLACK HUNTER
BURNING UP THE ROAD
READY TO PULL OUT
FOREST ROADS AREN’T PERFECT BUT CAMPING IS FREE
NEW MEXICO REST AREA…VERY BASIC
BYOTP…YES THOSE ARE SOILED BVDS BACK THERE
GOOGLE MAPS SENT ME ON A DUBIOUS SHORTCUT; NARROW FOR A TRAILER LOAD
WHICH TOOK ME TO THE MALPAIS NATIONAL MONUMENT
MALPAIS IS SPANISH FOR BAD PLACE OR BADLANDS
IMPOSSIBLE TO WALK OR BUILD ROADS ON MANY MILES OF LAVA FLOWS
EXCEPT WHERE STOPPED BY A WALL OF ROCK CALLED THE NARROWS
AN OCEAN OF LAVA FORCES THE ROAD TO FOLLOW THIS TILTED PLATE
MODERN HIGHWAY 40 FINALLY BLASTED THROUGH TO…
ALBUQUEQUE…ALL BU Q Q?
AND THE ROUTE 66 RV PARK
AND REST FOR THE ROAD WEARY
HAVING AN EXTRA DAY THE DAWN OFFERED TIME FOR REPAIRS
THE PREVIOUS NIGHT WAS A BIT CROWDED WITH OUR LOAD
SO THE LOAD WAS MADE MORE ACCESSIBLE AND SECURED
JUST BEFORE THE THUNDERSTORMS AND 30 MPH GUSTS ROCKED THE BOAT
AND WE GOT TOTAL RELIEF FROM ARIZONA TEMPERATURES
TOTAL GRIEF RELIEF
NOW WE NEED TO LOSE THOSE RAINY DAY BLUES! (AND ENJOY A SNOOZE!)
CAPTAIN’S LOG 13 MAY 2015
Having completed activities in warmer climates we are ready to return to Wyoming to launch Exodus Aerospace. Fellow entrepreneur Don Eyermann is using the CAD computer for an electric three wheeled vehicle design while I pack for the trip. http://www.erv1.com/
The car hasn’t been washed for 6 month since we left during a 10 below and blizzard conditions. The trailer was washed so the car got the treatment this time. Dog and I made a few more trips into the desert trails before we left too.
Stops are planned for national parks and aerospace products along the way. The first leg is short to allow an easy drive. As it turned out we were late packing and made the park a little late so the short trip leg was a good plan.
TAILS ON TRAILS
APACHE JUNCTION VISTA
SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN MOODS
WAS THIS A COYOTE OR A DOG? THE DESERT STILL KILLS
CAR WASH NEEDED…BADLY
WAXING INSIDE AND OUT
DON MULTI-TASKING MEALS AND DESIGNS
READY TO ROLL
ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR LAUNCH
ONE LAST DESERT TRAIL ON THE WAY NORTH