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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (seto2007 Chat Log)During this online chat, 98 questions were asked by 26 schools. There were 13 adults and 37 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Bob Seto of Rocketplane Kistler

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 03/22/07 at 12:30.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome Bob Seto as our host today. All of your questions will be viewed by a moderator. We will try to get through as many questions as possible during the chat period. Ask away!

    Heidi - Chat Guest at PS 143 from NYC, asks:
    Will you go up in space on a trip?

    I joined Rocketplane with the intent of being on a flight to sub-orbital space. I intend to make that happen.

    Callie - Student at Midkota Elementary School from Binford, North Dakota asks:
    how far is mars away from earth?

    15 light minutes x 183,000 miles per second: you can figure it out.

    Pat Trotter - Teacher at Baxter Community School from Baxter, Iowa asks:
    What are you most proud of that you have done on the job?

    Building organizations that accomplish and contribute to the future of aerospace.

    Jackie L. - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What does suborbital mean?

    Orbital means reaching a speed and altitude where gravitational forces are balanced with centrifugal forces and the vehicle orbits the earth. In suborbital flight, the vehicle doesn't reach the speeds needed to maintain the balanced forces and stay orbiting the earth. You may need to explore this further with a teacher.

    Callie - Student at Midkota Elementary School from Binford, North Dakota asks:
    have u seen mars

    Not up close.

    Ryan - Chat Guest at Baird Elementary from , asks:
    How high will the Rocketplane XP be able to fly to?

    100 kilometers or 62,4 miles

    josh - Chat Guest at St. Paul's from , Wisconsin asks:
    Will I be able to take a vacation to space in 10 years?

    We intend to make that an option. Some people have paid large amount of money to "vacation" in the International Space Station. It's kind of expensive, though.

    MaKayla - Chat Guest at Elmwood School from , asks:
    When will people be able to fly into space?

    Of course, some people are able to do that now through NASA and other international agencies but companies like Rocketplane want to reduce the cost to reach space so more can experience space

    John - Student at Midkota Elementary School from Binford, North Dakota asks:
    Whats it like too be in space?

    Prolonged zero g. I;ve never been to space but work with astronauts who have. I suggest you look back over previous Space Explorer chat room. Lots of astronauts have been interviewed in the past.

    Heidi - Chat Guest at PS 143 from NYC, asks:
    3. how long does it take to develop a new aircraft?

    A completely new aircraft takes 5 years or more, usually more, sometimes much more.

    Mrs. Elliott - Chat Guest at Lincoln Middle School from , asks:
    At what speed will the spaceplane travel?

    The Rocketplane XP reaches speeds around 3 and a half times the speed of sound. Pretty fast.

    Katie - Chat Guest at Centennial School from , asks:
    what is space tourism?

    Taking people to experience space, just like visiting another country or culture. It is a unique and special experience.

    Mrs. Elliott - Chat Guest at Lincoln Middle School from , asks:
    What courses did you find most useful for you to prepare you for the work you do today?

    Math and sciences, lots of these but it's very important to learn how to think and problem solve. Understanding the concepts being taught is important.

    danielle - Chat Guest at st. joe's from , indiana asks:
    are you going to be on the first flight up with your company?

    Probably not the first, but I hoping there's an opportunity at some stage.

    Joan Atwell - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How are you able to reach three and 1/2 times the speed of sound?

    We have jet engines that take the vehicle to an altitude where the rocket engine ignites na dprovides the thrust to accelerate the vehicle and provide the altitude. We also reach simliar speed upon re-encountering the atmosphere.

    danielle - Chat Guest at st. joe's from , indiana asks:
    have you always been interested in outersapce?

    I've always loved the feeling of floating so flying was a natural step. The skills to develop aircraft are similar to building space transportation systems.

    Mrs. Ferm - Chat Guest at Whittier Elementary from , PA asks:
    Where do you take off from and land?

    The suborbital spaceplane takes off from and lands at Spaceport Oklahoma.

    Bryce - Chat Guest at collins elementary from , asks:
    Have you seen the Astronaut Farmer?

    Not yet. Hopeflly this weekend. Sounds like an inspiring movie. Have you seen it?

    josh - Chat Guest at St. Paul's from , Wisconsin asks:
    will people be able to travel to mars or anywhere they want?

    Eventually yes but it'll take many decades to establish the ability to do that.

    Cayla - Chat Guest at Elmwood School from , asks:
    how much does it cost?

    Suborbital flights current cost between $200,000 and $250,000 but should be much lower when any people are doing this.

    danielle - Chat Guest at st. joe's from , indiana asks:
    I heard there's oging to be a space hotel? is that true?

    Bob Bigelow is establishing the Bigelow Soace Complex in earth orbit and I believe he will include accommodations for visitors.

    Henry - Chat Guest at Naples School from , Florida asks:
    what kinds of things will the Rocketplanes bring up to space?

    The suborbital vehicle will take mainly people up for short rides ino space. Our other vehicle, K-1 will go to the International Space Station taking up cargo, experiments and anything else NASA wants us to transport

    katie - Chat Guest at Centennial School from , asks:
    do you have to wear a spacesuit like astronauts?

    We designed the XP's interior to be controlled so you won't need a bulky spacesuit.

    Mrs. Elliott - Chat Guest at Lincoln Middle School from , asks:
    I'm telling my students that they could have the opportunity to travel to space sometime in their lifetimes. How long do you think it will be until this happens?

    Short rides should be available in a few years. Extended travel still needs a sustained destination like the ISS. That will take longer. If people like Bob Bigelow are successful, it will certainly be in their lifetime.

    Mrs. Ferm - Chat Guest at Whittier Elementary from , PA asks:
    Are you going to jump aorund like there isn't any gravity?

    Float, yes. Jumping can lead to severe crashing into the other wall.

    josh - Chat Guest at st. paul's from , wisconsin asks:
    Do you work with NASA?

    Yes, mostly with Johnson Space Center (Houston), Marshall (Alabama) and Michoud in New Orleans. Others as well but less often.

    Carrie - Chat Guest at Abbott School from , Tennessee asks:
    what would you tell students is the best ability to have for pursuing a career in aerospace?

    study hard. math and science helps but most important is a desire to be involved in aerospace. If that's your dream there are many people who will help get you there. And you'll have to work hard.

    Sara - Chat Guest at Collins Elementary from , asks:
    are those the actual controlls of the rocketplane?

    Yes, the pilot flies the aircraft from the ground up to rocket ignition. An automated guidnance, navigation and control system takes over but the pilot can over ride the system if he needs to.

    Mrs. Tromp - Chat Guest at Lance Junior High from , Iowa asks:
    What type of aircraft is your favorite to fly?

    I still like little aircraft like a 2 seat Cessna 150. Little planes feel like you flying a plane and not operating a set of complex systems, like a large commercial airliner.

    Mrs. Jennings - Chat Guest at Crossroads from , Alabama asks:
    Do you work with Richard Branson at all?

    Mr Branson has similar objectives so together we're working towards making this young industry a success. We're just developing this in competition with each other.

    Chris - Chat Guest at Washington from , AK asks:
    How short is the short ride, like 15 minutes?

    The experience starts with training on the ground for a few days to make sure you enjoy the experience. The actual event is just under 40 minutes.

    Jacob - Chat Guest at Winston Jr High from , asks:
    ru a pilot...if so what do you fly?

    I have a commercial pilot license and fly a Cessna 182 for enjoyment. I'm also an Angel Pilot and transport cancer patients for treatment.

    Josh - Chat Guest at St. Paul's from , Wisconsin asks:
    How long does it take to learn how to fly?

    The FAA is making it easier with a Sport Pilot Licence. 20 flight hours plus ground school training. If you apply yourself, and have the funds, about 3 months is a reasonable target.

    Chris - Chat Guest at Washington from , AK asks:
    What is orbital space travel?

    Orbital flight is sustained travel about the earth where the speed of the vehicle matches the gravitational forces so the vehicle stays in orbit.

    Henry - Chat Guest at Naples School from , FL asks:
    Wow that's so cool you are an Angel Pilot. So you kinda save lives?

    I just donate my time and aircraft to take people in need for medical treatment. Many patients have had extended and good quality lives after special medical treatment.

    Henry - Chat Guest at Naples School from , FL asks:
    What do you like to do for fun?

    Spend time with my children, run for enjoyment, fly my plane

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in approximately five minutes. At this time, we would like to thank everyone for joining us for this special event. We would especially like to thank Bob Seto for hosting our chat today.

    Mrs. Ferm - Chat Guest at Whittier Elementary from , PA asks:
    Are you going to bring up experiments to do in space?

    Yes we wil. Hopefully we'll do this as a successful business.

    Patricia VDH - Chat Guest at Claybourne School from , asks:
    Do you have to worry about meteriods?

    There a chance of damage from meteroids so we plan and design knowing that the potential exists.

    Katie - Chat Guest at Centennial School from , asks:
    HOw high up have you gone in a plane?

    I developed the Learjet 40 and was in a chase plane on its first flight. We reached 50,000 ft.

    Gail - Chat Guest at Jefferson HS from , asks:
    When will the Rocketplane fly?

    As soon as we can! We have lots of work ahead of us.

    Heidi - Chat Guest at PS 134 from NYC, asks:
    thank you!

    I've enjoyed your questions!

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    For the most up-to-date and complete listing of future chat events, please check out http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/chats.html . We look forward to chatting with you again!

    Sally Kookesh - Teacher at Angoon Elementary School from Angoon, Alaska asks:
    Franks ask are there many Amer Indians or Alaska Natives in the space program?

    John Herrington flew on STS-113. He is our pilot and sits in an office around the corner from mine. He's a really cool guy.

    josh - Chat Guest at St. Paul's from , Wisconsin asks:
    thanks!

    my pleasure!

    Josh - Chat Guest at St. Paul's from , Wisconsin asks:
    How fast have you flown?

    Probably in a business jet, Mach .84, may be a bit faster

    Sally Kookesh - Teacher at Angoon Elementary School from Angoon, Alaska asks:
    Joshua asks what were your favorite subjects in school?

    I liked math and science but had a balance playing sports and the violin.

    Heidi - Chat Guest at PS 143 from NYC, asks:
    Where have you flown?

    Small Cessna and Piper aircraft and a Bell 206B helicopter. I enjoyed flying fast jets in simulators.

    Ben - Chat Guest at Winston Jr High from , asks:
    Do you think there will be space stations in other parts of teh universe someday

    I believe that this is inevitable. Your children's children's ..... should someday see this and may think back you as part of the history that made this possible.

    Beth - Chat Guest at from Green Bay, WI asks:
    What type of training will people need before they can ride in the rocketplane?

    A medical doctor will check passengers. The zero g experience and high g condition will be explained. Additional training may be available to experience some of both before the actual flight.

    Cynthia Degrout - Chat Guest at from , Illinois asks:
    How would you define microgravity?

    Extremely low levels of gravity. As far as our bodies are concerned, it's essentially zero g's.

    Sally Kookesh - Teacher at Angoon Elementary School from Angoon, Alaska asks:
    How does it feel to be an astronaut?

    I'd have to ask John Herrington next door. He was one, I only dreamed of being one.

    Cameron - Chat Guest at Black River Falls Middle from , asks:
    Does being in space feel like floating in a swimming pool?

    Lots of astronaut training takes place in a pool so it does simulate some characteristics but gravity effects are still present.

    Heidi - Chat Guest at PS 143 from NYC, asks:
    Does your family want to go to space too?

    My wife no, My kids probably yes.

    Heidi - Chat Guest at PS 143 from NYC, asks:
    What are you in charge of at rocketplane?

    The Chief of Staff does everything the President feels is necessary to make the company successful. We highly qualified people like lawyersm engineers, finance people keeping their areas healthy and productive. I help keep the organization moving together as a team.

    Carrie - Chat Guest at Abbott School from , Tennessee asks:
    How many people will be able to go into space each year?

    That's an interesting question. As many taht can afford to pay the price that makes the business profitable. If we can bring the cost down, more people will be able to go to space. Our comany intends to reduce the cost to access space significantly and we have a talented team working on that right now.

    Mrs. Tromp - Chat Guest at Lance Junior High from , Iowa asks:
    How do you decide who will get to be the first go up in space on your plane?

    I think our pilot John Herrington expects to be the first. Once systems checkouts look good, our built the company so he could experience space so I have a feeling he may be going up soon after.

    Katie - Chat Guest at Centennial School from , asks:
    Where's the coolest place you've flown?

    My youngest daughter Jessica and I have flown into a grass strip behind a Walmart, sometimes to have breakfast there or if my wife need a loaf of bread I'll use that as a reason to fly into that grass strip.

    josh - Chat Guest at st. paul's from , wisconsin asks:
    do you have a favorite astronaut?

    Yes. John Herrington. I know him best.

    Chris - Chat Guest at Washington from , AK asks:
    What kinds of things need to be brought up to the internaional space station?

    Well there's more structure required to finish the station so we need the ability to transport big items on the Shuttle. But we also need food, water, equipment, experiments and people to go up and down.

    Chris - Chat Guest at Washington from , AK asks:
    is there anyplace on eartht that you can jump around without much gravity?

    Unfortunately gravity is pretty much everywhere. You can some periods of time where the effects of gravity can be removed. An aircraft flying a special flight profile can create this for a few seconds. some companies offer flights where 20-30 seconds of zero g can be experienced repeatedly.

    Brandon - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    have you beeen on the vomit comit?

    Came close to going but not yet. I have performed the same flight profiles in my plane and experienced zero g for a few seconds. Ver y cool.

    josh - Chat Guest at st. paul's from , wisconsin asks:
    How many other companies are doing this?

    Quite a few want to but only a few have the funding and engineering staff to accomplish this very large project.

    Emily - Chat Guest at Collins Elementary from , asks:
    Do you have to plan against things like radiation?

    Yes, without an atmosphere to absorb harmful radiation, special windows are required to keep passengers safe.

    katie - Chat Guest at Centennial School from , asks:
    where else do you think space planes will go besides the moon?

    Eventually, 'space planes' will explore the universe. We're really just getting started.

    katie - Chat Guest at Cenntennial School from , asks:
    will I be able to visit the moon?

    Katie, depending on your career choices you may just get there. Certainly your grandkids will have a pretty chance. Some companies are selling trips around the moon so the opportunity will come.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Thanks Bob for answering all of the questions!

    Mrs. Ferm - Chat Guest at Whittier Elementary from , PA asks:
    My class would like to know how long the suborbital flight takes?

    The actual flight is around 40 minutes. Significant preparation time is required before the flight.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    3/22/2007 2:08:35 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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