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Guests: Karl Hoose, Elise McGill; Topics: Valt Enterprises, hypersonic flight history, testing, & flights, small launchers, buying your own specific ride, lowering space access costs, smallsats. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Karl Hoose and Elise McGill to discuss hypersonic technology and flight plus their company, Valt Enterprises (www.valt-ent.com). During our one segment 113 minute program, we started by asking Karl to give us the history of hypersonic tests and flights pus the same for his company Valt Enterprises. This discussion covered most of the first segment of our program. One of the things Karl did early on in the discussion was to separate the military objectives of hypersonics which include weapons and other military purposes from those on the commercial side, including Valt, which goals to enable nanosat and smallsat users to have a lower cost to space access and to buy their own specific launch to the location and orbit they want, not to just rideshare. During hypersonic history segment of our discussion, we did discuss several military efforts and programs.
Early in this discussion, I asked Karl about the role of Australia given earlier Space Show program with hypersonic experts from the University of Queensland. Karl had much to say about the Australian work with the USAF and the project HiFire. Karl then talked about the need for three key hypersonic design tools which included computer tools, ground tools, and actual test flights. He talked about how aviation tools were well known and understood but not so for hypersonic flight. In addition, Karl commented that it was extremely difficult to properly simulate hypersonic flight so there was a need for lots of test flights which can be costly.
Later in this first part of the discussion, listener George asked about human hypersonic flight. Our guest explained why this was a long way off. He also said that the step by step hypersonic development program, as exampled by what Valt is hoping to do, would be the best way to evolve to human hypersonic flight. Don't miss all of what our guest had to say on this subject.
Karl focused in on the Valt business plan for flight testing and developing the boost and subsequent stages. He said their launch system would be vertical and that there would be lots of flight besting before developing and testing the other two stages. As stated, the Valt game plan covers three years and 22 flight tests which he detailed for us.
At this point in the discussion, a listener asked Karl to describe the differences between a scram jet engine and a ram jet engine. Karl did take the time to explain the differences, the technology, the performance specifications and the economics of the two engine types. Don't miss what Karl had to say about scram and ram jets. It was very instructive essential for our better understanding of today's discussion and the Valt uniqueness in their approach to lower launch costs and enable small payload users to be able to afford to buy their launch to their choice of location and orbit.
At this point, I asked a series of questions sent us from listener Jody. One of the questions asked by Jody dealt with launch vehicle pricing models re mass (weight) to dollars. She wanted to know if that was relevant with Valt. As you will hear, it was not a relevant model to Valt which both Karl and Elise explained in detail several times during the show. Karl even referenced this in his concluding remarks. Jody also wanted to know what was unique about Valt and what motivated the Valt team. She mentioned Valt being recognized at the recent Mass Innovation night and she wanted to know what that was all about. Don't miss what our guests had to say in response to Jody's question. Elise took the opportunity to talk about the flexibility of Valt being able to launch from land, sea, and air. Several times our guests referenced as an example, launching Valt from a Navy destroyer using the Aegis system.
Our guests were asked about small, dedicated launchers coming to market by Rocket Labs, Vector and others. They wanted to know about Valt competition and if the Valt timeline would enable or hinder Valt in the marketplace. Don't miss what our guest said about timelines, competition, payload mass for the different launchers coming to market, all in comparison to the Valt plan.
Listener Rick emailed and then called (bad phone line) to discuss efficiency with hypersonics. Don't miss what Karl said in response to Rick's email and call. Bill from VA then sent in a questions based on a continued stream of blog posts by Robert the Inventor in the UK who continues to support the Airship to Orbit plans. Evidently Robert had been posting with his "expertise" on the blog on hypersonic issues per the JP ATO orbit plan. I read Bill's two part question in full so don't miss what Karl had to say. I will use this as yet another teaching example suggesting we apply due diligence to what we read on blogs as people often opine as experts when they have zero or little expertise, if any, on the subject. I appreciate Bill sending in this question which to me also related to holding blog posters accountable for what they post. Our guest Karl clearly had the expertise based on years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom with hypersonics to give Bill form VA a credible answer to his questions. Don't miss this short but important and instructive back and forth Q&A.
Next, we took a phone call from Jose who was traveling in New York. He wanted Elise and Karl to explain the value proposition and global economic impact as well as with students and schools on what Valt was doing. Our guests discussed the Valt value proposition, talked about their unique flight testing program and their educational efforts with STEM and kids. They talked about advancing the TRLs for both suborbital and orbital flight. Our guests suggested the Valt applications for the suborbital world for their products and more.
Listener Dan sent in a question asking about Valt being employed in a mobile setting such as a dedicated Space Lift Squadron which could launch from remote parts of the world or perhaps from a Navy ship. Karl had addressed some of this question earlier with his comments about Valt being able to be launched from a destroy Aegis system but don't miss what our guests said in response to Dan's question.
Sean called from Florida though he had been sending in email questions earlier in the show. He wanted to inquire about predictability and reliability with their small, dedicated launcher. In responding, our guests brought up the small and nanosat backorders for dedicated launches. Much was said about this so don't miss the discussion. Before the show ended, Carla from Denver asked how our guests talked to non-space people about what they do, how they explained it and what did they think was the general population level of awareness about hypersonics. This turned out to be a great question which both Karl and Elise addressed for several minutes. Whatever you do, don't miss their comments followed by a few of my own, specifically with regards to STEM and related educational issues in our country.
Both Karl and Elise did offer us concluding remarks to don't miss them. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach either of our guests through me or through their website which I listed above.