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Comment: Re:response to some questions (Score 1) 121

STAR Systems core group does not draw any salaries currently (and have not since the project began). We work nights and weekends, in addition to our full time jobs at our respective technical/aerospace companies. All of that money will go towards materials acquisition so we can then create our products (in this case, a large motor test).

That being said, there's nothing I can say that will impress you, specifically, random internet user.

Comment: Re:The project needs a lot of work (Score 1) 121

As you saw already, the rectangular windows are largely a function of it being a prototype. The windows themselves are just plexiglass, the surrounding molding a regular plastic, and the vehicle is not currently pressurized. That is the biggest problem with using rectangle windows... the pressure delta leads to more stress on the corners and the pressure cycling will eventually lead to failure at those points.

When we create our space-rated vehicle, we are looking into a couple of different options for the windows. Our current design has an internal volume that is pressurized, while the outer skin with windows is not pressurized. However, we are also looking into creating a larger internal volume and just using oval-shaped windows with a circular cross-section. Again, it's something we're looking into.

Comment: response to some questions (Score 5, Informative) 121

Hi everyone,

I've been working on the Hermes Spacecraft for about 1.5 years now. I'd like to clear up a few things for you.

Like everything else in our project so far, the vehicle you see is a prototype. It is flight worthy, with some work, but NOT space worthy. If we had full funding immediately, we would set aside the current vehicle and use it for promotion, to send out to schools and other interested parties.

The prototype is made of aircraft composite skins with chrome-moly steel. This makes the craft much heaver and not as robust, but, its significantly cheaper than space rated materials. Revision two, the actual Hermes Spacecraft, will consist of: Chrome-Moly Steel and aluminum airframe, Inconel Standoffs to support outer skin from the fuselage, Carbon-Carbon Skin where needed, etc. etc.

The cockpit, and windows, are not pressurized currently. The windows are just standard plexiglass as is. Again, it boils down to working with the materials that we have, and working towards getting the funding we need. A garage spacecraft cannot support space rated materials unless you're a millionaire/billionaire :)
The reason the prototype was built in the first place is, when Morris Jarvis (the creator/owner of the Hermes) went to seek funding several years ago, he made no progress because he had no prototype/mockup. The decision was then made to create a near-full scale replica of what the vehicle would look like. And here we are...

The wings currently DO fold up. That was a logistics requirement, not a design feature. The prototype had requirements to travel, it's been to California and Texas. With the wings folded up, the craft fits in a standard sized trailer, that can be towed cross country. In the space-rated version, the body and planform would be a single piece.

We successfully raised 20k on Kickstarter to progress our propulsion development. We have a few design iterations to go, but our plan is to use our hybrid propulsion technology to take us to our mission altitude. Our mantra is "build a little, test a lot"; we will be doing a lot of testing for our engines, but we have some unique ideas that will hopefully benefit us. There are a couple guys A LOT smarter than me who are volunteering some of their time for materials selection and propellant combination testing.

I am a huge fan of Copenhagen Suborbitals. I wish them the best.

I'll be happy to answer any questions you guys have. All I ask is that you give us a look and consider supporting us. We're aerospace entrepreneurs. We're used to working with no money, little materials, and making progress. Our passion is space. Our mantra is "Space for All". If you feel the same way, join us!

-Mark

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