Tag: john carmack

SARG is Bummed Out About Armadillo Hibernation Thing

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Credit: Armadillo Aerospace

STIG rocket (Credit: Armadillo Aerospace)

Statement from SARG Chair Dr. Steven Collicott on Suborbital Research Needs
August 9, 2013

“The Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation notes John Carmack’s August 2, 2013 statement regarding the hibernation of rocket development at Armadillo Aerospace. The STIG rocket appeals to researchers by providing many of the advantages characteristic of next-generation suborbital vehicles including a gentle lift-off, pressurized payload bay, late payload access before launch, rapid payload access after landing, and a lower cost than traditional sounding rockets. Armadillo’s success to date, including domestic and international payloads lofted and safely recovered on several mission development flights and a flight to 95km memorably captured on video, highlights how close their hard work has brought them to achieving an important operational research capability eagerly awaited by many scientists. The researchers of SARG encourage Armadillo and all of the new suborbital companies in their pursuit of success with investors and vehicles.”

– Dr. Steven Collicott
SARG Chair

Armadillo Out of Money, in “Hibernation”

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John Carmack

As had been rumored for several months now, Armadillo Aerospace is currently inactive. Jeff Foust at NewSpace Journal reports that company is essentially out of money and is currently in “hibernation.”

“The situation that we’re at right now is that things are turned down to sort of a hibernation mode,” Carmack said Thursday evening at the QuakeCon gaming conference in Dallas. “I did spin down most of the development work for this year” after the crash, he said.

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A Brief History of NewSpace Suborbital Launches

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SpaceShipTwo in powered flight. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

SpaceShipTwo in powered flight. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

This week, the The FAA has on its website lists of the 216 licensed and 28 permitted launches the agency has approved since 1989. They provide fascinating insights into the state of the U.S. launch industry during that period.

In this excerpt, we will examine permitted and licensed “NewSpace” suborbital launches by Armadillo Aerospace, Blue Origin, Scaled Composites and SpaceX. We will see how prizes and competitions have helped to spur on launch vehicle development, the long gaps that can follow initial spurts of progress as companies take the next steps, and how few flights some billionaires are actually getting for their money.

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Armadillo’s STIG-B Flies, Aborts Early Again

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The Armadillo Aerospace founder is referring to the STIG-B rocket. A similar early abort occurred on Oct. 6.

Carmack Offers Prize for Next Rocket Flight

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Armadillo Aerospace Founder John Carmack has offered a prize for “the next ground launched rocket flight above 100,000′ with GPS log and successful recovery.” He offered $5,000 for the flight; that total is now at $8,000 with contributions by Paul Breed ($2,000) and Robin Snelson ($1,000). Carmack’s description of the prize follows after the break.

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Garriott Helping Armadillo Aerospace Raise Funds

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Gamesutra reports that millionaut Richard Garriott is assisting John Carmack and Armadillo Aerospace in its efforts to develop a human suborbital business:

As far as the future of space travel, Garriott sees it coming from the private sector, notably John Carmack of id Software, with his company Armadillo Aerospace. “His next stage is to be able to send people into space on a vertical takeoff vertical landing orbit,” said Garriott, who revealed that he is now helping fund Carmack’s venture by funneling in money from investors who want to eventually take a space flight.

“I am a passionate believer that humanity’s destiny is to live beyond the confines of the earth,” said Garriot. “And it’s going to be us that do it! It’s not going to be big government groups, it’s going to be people like our community.”

Video: John Carmack Celebrates His Birthday in Zero G

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Armadillo Aerospace Founder John Carmack celebrates his 40th birthday in microgravity with co-workers and family. (Thanks to Clark Lindsey at Hobby Space for this one.)

Armadillo’s Carmack Snipes at Rivals, Threatens to Steal Their Engineers

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Fresh off a cash infusion from new partner Space Adventures, Armadillo Aerospace CEO John Carmack spent some time this weekend sniping at rivals during the NSS International Space Development Conference in Chicago. Jeff Foust reports in The Space Review:

Carmack generated a little bit of controversy when he compared Armadillo’s efforts with those by competing suborbital developers. Virgin Galactic, he suggested, would not be able to fly as cheaply as Armadillo; Virgin currently charges $200,000 for a ticket while Space Adventures is asking for about half that, $102,000. “I think they have explicitly not chosen the most cost effective solution on this,” Carmack said. “I don’t think they will be able to compete on price, eventually, but some people will prefer their experience.”

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Video: John Carmack on Rocket Racer Propulsion

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John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace, talks about the propulsion system for the Rocket Racers of the Rocket Racing League.

Space Access 10: John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace

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John Carmack
CEO and Founder, Armadillo Aerospace

  • Showed a promotional video highlighting company’s progress
  • Played a second video in which the vehicle lost control at 4,000 feet and fell head-over-tail to the ground

Business Update:

  • Company is growing. Taken on two more full-time team members
  • Operating profit again this year – marginally profitable small aerospace company right now
  • Couple of customers paying them decent money – “We’re very distracted by these customers.” (laughter)
  • Armadillo Aerospace was operating at the margins of what they could sustain
  • Sold his software company last year – provided Armadillo with some more financial stability…
  • What we’re flying now is pretty close to what we need for reusable suborbital vehicles. A number of upgrades needed that they are working on.
  • Hoped to have a new business deal to announce for the conference…announcement due within the next month…
  • Will be conducting tests at Texas launch site, the Oklahoma Spaceport, and Spaceport America in New Mexico

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