I have come across a couple of very interesting things in the last couple

1.) There is a guy working on the N-Prize (previously discussed prize to get
a nano-sat to orbit) and he has a long discussion on what the size and mass
of a tiny orbital rocket.


He comes up with super tiny number of 75kg GLOW (Gross vehicle liftoff
weight) which seems entirely ridiculous. However, his methodology is sound.
The reason it's so light is because he thinks he can build his stages and
motors really light and not have them fall apart. It's one of those things
that works on paper, but I would be suspicious of them happening in real
life. The most interesting thing in my mind is how sane he seems at the
beginning, and that his analysis basically follows ours, but with
less conservative stage masses.

He talks about rockets are cheap and are understood, while all this balloon,
turbojet (sorry Ben ^_^ ), kite launch, etc. is too out of the box for a
place to start. He talks about other groups that are all CG and advertising
and have nothing to show for it and how 3 stages is a good conservative
place to start for orbital, even though single stage to orbit (SSTO)
is theoretically possible.

He thinks he can get great ISP by running LOX/hydrocarbon, and light mass
with really low chamber pressure motors (so they can be self pressurized and
thin walled).

Anyway, I'll let everyone read it if they want, but he answers many
questions about how he gets his numbers in this following post that would
also be good to read:


B.) I heard through the grape vine (aka, twitter) that apparently at the
smallsat conference (http://www.smallsat.org/) NOAA announced that they
noticed that all these little cubesat projects have cameras in them
and suddenly wants to start enforcing the "Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of
1992" and forcing anyone with a camera (yes, that includes crappy webcams)
to get a "remote sensing licence."

I found a link to http://www.crscompliance.noaa.gov/ which explained the act
and their jurisdiction over any remote sensing device on
US owned spacecraft. Although as of this afternoon the site suddenly seems
to be down (403).  Strange. Anyway the Google knows all and sees all and has
a cache of it if you want to read it:


I would categorize this as a rumor at the moment, but it is something to
keep an eye on.

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