[ExI] darpa's notion of using a retrofitted fighter jet to launch payloads

justin corwin outlawpoet at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 01:16:38 UTC 2015

Hi Adrian! I didn't realize you were working in this area.

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 4:31 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://cubecab.com/
> We're working on it.

A dedicated cubesat launcher is definitely interesting. Are things too
early stage for you to talk more specifics? Is this a new launcher, or are
you buying/licensing a rocket from somebody else? You say you aren't
rounding up lots of cubesats before launching, does that mean it's a
relatively small launcher, like the ones from earlier in this thread?

I see you won a business plan competition last year, presumably you had
some compelling numbers, but I can't find a lot of details about your
approach other than the focus on cubesats.

> Also, currently small payloads often have to wait, which mean timely
>> payloads need dedicated launchers. If you could guarantee a launch within
>> six months, you might attract more business as well.
> Yep that's a definite pain point we've noticed.  We are planning to launch
> within six months of contract signing - possibly less, but the gating
> factor at that point is getting government clearance (mainly FAA, probably
> FCC, possibly NOAA & Department of Commerce, depending on who's launching
> for who and what the satellite does).  In theory we might be able to pull
> sub-week turnarounds if all the agencies gave immediate approvals (which
> would probably only happen for NASA or USAF emergencies).

Bureaucracy definitely is a drag, particularly when the margins aren't high
enough to dedicate people to navigating that stuff enough to make it a side
issue. I once looked to sea launch in international waters as a possible
shortcut, but experience seems to show that people like Sea Launch and ESA
in French Guiana end up complying with all that stuff *anyway* because
their customers have requirements that interact with those bureaucracies.
So there's no escaping it, for now, at least.

I like thinking about it, but I worry that the margins just aren't high
enough to deal with all the crap that being a real space company brings
you. I would be very interested in your experiences in running/starting

Justin Corwin
outlawpoet at gmail.com
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