9

Gov't contracts often have a "Buy American" clause which requires them to buy from US companies or Trade Agreeement Act countries. See FAR Subpart 25.11, and 52.225-1, 52.225-3, and 52.225-5. See the bottom of this page and the links there-in http://farsite.hill.af.mil/reghtml/Regs/far2afmcfars/fardfars/Far/25.htm#P1179_116157 and http://farsite.hill.af....


8

Much of the rocket industry in the US has to deal with ITAR, a set of laws aimed at regulating the sale of weapons. Launchers are seen as weapons due to their ability (in principle) to deliver a payload on a ballistic arc. The Department of State insists that ITAR has limited effect and provides a security benefit to the nation that outweighs any impact ...


6

Let's first get a few boring details out of the way, then we'll see if we need to tell Santa to add a detour to Mars to his 2025 schedule. There won't be any children on Mars by 2025 with the minimum applicant age requirement of 18 years by end of August 2013, deadline for Mars One online application program: The astronaut selection program will be open ...


6

SpaceX Falcon 9 is assembled and loaded from horizontal position. In the end, it's all about engineering trade offs. Horizontal assembly is easier for the personnel and involves lower capital costs, but puts a lot of stress on the vehicle. Plus, the vehicle needs to be specifically designed to be able to sustain this sort of manipulation - considering the ...


5

It depends (when is that NOT the answer?). There are many examples of technology researched and/or developed in the past being reused in modern spaceflight. SpaceX has explained that the prior work, available to them through NASA greatly decreased development time. (I recall references to the Apollo parachute design work, and the use of the basic PICA heat ...


5

The only component that has any major political tie-ups is the RD-180 engine from Russia. Political tensions have made its future in the US rocket industry unclear The deal was signed in 1995 with the promise that American RD-180s would be built within 4 years. However, spiraling costs and production overruns kept the American engine from becoming a ...


4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISRO_Orbital_Vehicle: The Indian manned spacecraft temporarily named Orbital Vehicle is intended to be the basis of the indigenous Indian human spaceflight program. The capsule will be designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability. In its maiden manned ...


4

One that comes to mind is Copenhagen Suborbitals, a Danish non-profit aerospace organization that has constructed and launched several privately built rockets. Their homepage is http://copsub.com Wikipedia has a good write-up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_Suborbitals You can also find them on YouTube - search for "CphSuborbitals"


3

I wonder if there is a difference in approach today, that may affect design choices like this. Consider a national prestige program, versus a commercial launch provider. The ultimate goals are somewhat different. You would expect both are aimed at launching things into space. But consider Orbital or SpaceX vs JAXA (Japanese space agency). JAXA is very ...


1

Although not orbital, which was the explicit question asked, a rocket has been launched from the UK to beyond the atmosphere in October 2015. It is reported by the BBC today. The BBC article also writes about the sites for planned spaceports, including an article about a proposed vertical rocket launch site in Sutherland. A lot of these proposals are ...


1

Perhaps. There seems to be persistent interest, see NSTP2, which is an invitation from the UK Space Agency for "proposals for industrial research projects that will contribute to the introduction of sub-orbital flight and satellite launch operations in the UK". Proposals have to address: determine how sub-orbital or small satellite launch vehicles ...


1

I'll admit that the manned aspect of the following program is fairly tangential to its main goals, but it is something, and the company could become a major player in the SSTO market within the next decade or so. I'm talking about Reaction Engines. They're an English group primarily concerned with the Skylon spaceplane. It's original design was unmanned, ...


1

The only one that I can think of is Mars One that is Netherlands based and plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023. From their front page: A reliable surface habitat will be set up before the first crew lands; more settlers and cargo will follow every two years. Our plan is realistic because the technology needed already ...


1

Every time I hear of utilizing the Moon for anything, I generally assume that highest degree of reasonable applicablity is Helium-3 extraction. Fortunately for people interested in this topic, the media tends to find it fairly interesting: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2716417/Could-moon-fuel-Earth-10-000-years-China-says-mining-helium-...


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