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Excalibur Almaz commercial space station

FutureSpaceTourist

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Excalibur Almaz (http://www.excaliburalmaz.com/) was founded in 2005 to:

[quote author=http://www.slideshare.net/ExcaliburAlmaz/ea-overview-5282495]
  • [...] provide routine, affordable access to and from space for customers around the globe
  • Using updated and modernized proven Russian legacy space systems and other state of the art technology, EA will offer transportation for purposes of exploration, research, and science
[/quote]

The primary legacy space system referred to is the Soviet military Almaz space station (as I understand it, the Soviet equivalent to the US MOL, except Almaz actually flew three times as several Salyut craft in the 1970s).

Space tourism is one key target market.

Company has said they have some funding in place, but it's not clear how much, and they said in 2009 that more finance is needed. They claim a first unmanned test flight will take place in 2012, with first manned flight in 2013. That seems rather optimisitic to me!

The above slideshare link is for an overview presentation posted by the company last week. Screen shots of a couple of slides are attached.
 

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Archibald

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This is one of my favourite space startup. At least they have some real hardware on hand !

Seriously Excalibur is a strange beast. On one hand, they have their headquarters on Isle of Man, which is know to the world not for its space program, rather for its banks :D

But the board features repesctable people like Art Dulla and Franklin Chang-Diaz (Mr VASIMR and 39 days to Mars).

Add to that those damn ITAR rules... strange mix !

Whatever, Excalibur plans are great. For example they have a plan to compete with Space Adventures "soyuz-to-the-Moon" sheme (Block D + ISS Soyuz = lunar flyby)

http://www.mediatec-dif.com/issfd/Explora/Wilkinson.pdf

They found that a five-stage Proton (two Briz-M stacked ontop of each other) can throw 7 tons to lunar flyby. Enough for a VA capsule loaded with a crew of two...
 

FutureSpaceTourist

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Archibald said:
They found that a five-stage Proton (two Briz-M stacked ontop of each other) can throw 7 tons to lunar flyby. Enough for a VA capsule loaded with a crew of two...

Thanks for the paper link, always interesting to see what can (in principle) be achieved with existing kit (although Almaz obviously needs a bit of work before launching into orbit!). I'm no expert, but the margins look a bit tight to me for a 'tourism' system, 0.15 km/s delta-V spare does not feel like very much (3.5% or so?)

In terms of more wider LEO activities, if Bigelow can get his stations up and running in the next few years (and I think he has at least as good a chance as Excalibur Almaz, not least he has some money!) then Almaz is going to look very cramped by comparison. It's not clear to me that their markets and/or prices will be sufficiently different for both to operate successfully commercially. Of course that does depend on Bigelow having a ride to LEO and back!
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Tough times....wonder if they'll fold like PlanetSpace in Canada?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/shooting-for-the-moon-time-called-on-isle-of-man-space-race-10101750.html
 

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blackstar

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Somebody has posted a photo of the station component parked at the airport.
 

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