Rockets are they redunant and too costly?
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  karl.garnham1

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Posted: 2012-May-28 at 3:07pm | IP Logged Quote karl.garnham1

Hi Everyone on Solar Voyager

Does anyone wonder if Nasa's intelligence is the cause of a lot of the problems they have had in the past. Rockets have for a long time be the only proper solution to getting into earth orbit and beyond. The Trouble is Rockets are expensive to make and in many ways completely disposable(The shuttle was different it was reusable but cost more because of it.) Say you wanted to leave the earth behind and the rocket you went on goes boom if things are not 100% all the time disaster Strikes even if it is 99.9% right that 0.1 percent adds a big difference. Say you could get into space by using a super strong Hydrogen filled Balloon(doesn't sound original but wait for it) and then once in Earth orbit it ejects and out of the balloon comes a space craft inside once the pressure bursts the balloon and the it uses an solar energy for some of the way and ion drive(it does exist its no longer just science fiction a probe was made this way a few years ago i can't remember its name.) it would be more cost effective and it would save money on a monster proportion. But the descent part would be the difficult bit it would need protection as it would just land like a plane in my head. But say instead of tiles use an item that is nearly unbreakable diamond and crystal tiles they may stand a chance as the sun when it dies will have a diamond core in the centre of the white dwarf. I know its sounds crazy but maybe someone once quoted nothings impossible if you can imagine it and thats the beauty of science(can't remember who said that).

That's just one idea.

Karl


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  JanL

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Posted: 2012-May-28 at 5:57pm | IP Logged Quote JanL

Howdy Karl,    The space station orbits at an altitude of between 205 and 255 miles.  The highest balloon altitude is around 25 miles using Helium (Hydrogen is considered too unsafe to use).  Jan

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  nkalanaga

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Posted: 2012-May-28 at 10:00pm | IP Logged Quote nkalanaga

Unless we can develop antigravity or some other reactionless drive rockets of some kind will always be needed for takeoff and landing.  Ion and plasma drives don't have the thrust to overcome gravity and air resistance, and solar sails won't work in an atmosphere.  Technically, even ion drives are "rockets", but if we limit the term to high thrust chemical and nuclear systems they'll be around a long time.

Laser-heated steam rockets would work, but building the lasers and their power supplies would likely be more expensive than mass producing chemical rockets, and would have other environmental costs.

Mass drivers could do the job, but for an Earth launch the acceleration would be too high for living or delicate cargo, unless the launch track was improbably long.  Any such track would have to be straight, and would need to be supported kilometers above the ground to keep it straight, which would be very expensive.

The only real competition would be from an orbital elevator.  If we can build one, and that's still a big "if", we could use low thrust drives, or "slingshot" devices, and wouldn't need conventional rockets.  For now, though, nothing else will work.

N Kalanaga
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  karl.garnham1

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Posted: 2012-May-29 at 11:54am | IP Logged Quote karl.garnham1

Hi Jan

Thanks for your response you are right hydrogen is a dangerous gas to use but on James Mays man lab they sent a Budgies ashes up in a hot hydrogen balloon and it went up much higher than the cats ashes in a helium balloon. I agree with you it is a risk but like asteroth once said the impossible only takes longer. I don't think it is possible in this time frame but maybe one day it will be.

Hi nkalanaga

The balloon itself wound not be made from rubber because when rubber freezes it shatters and would destroy the craft with it. The Balloon would be made of nylon and the hydrogen would lift it above the atmosphere and into a bit further until that bursts than the the next layer made of some material like structure and when that explodes the engine comes out. You are dead right about ion drives being rockets but they burn there fuel more conservatively so they may be safer in the harsh enviroment of space. I mean Rockets that take off on earth some have the tendenacy to go Boom and when they do people die and the people on earth are full of sadness and grief this is only an idea but if rockets are too unpredictable is it better to send them to space without lauching them. I think your right the lift thing will never happen it seems a bit far fetched a lift that can take you into space the lift would start breaking from the different enviroment one end earth gravity 1 end no gravity I can't see it happen. Its a cool idea though.

I would like to you both for you help and comments I am still learning in a way.

Cheers

Karl


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  regulus

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Posted: 2012-June-01 at 4:19pm | IP Logged Quote regulus

Karl brings up some good points - it costs something like 10 million dollars US to put one man in the ISS right now. You guys might be interested in checking out Startram. I'm working on some art for them, so sometime soon I'll have something to share. 

What is it? It's sort of a mass driver, or maybe like a gigantic maglev train (in fact James Powell, one of the inventors of the Maglev is the lead developer for Startram) Imagine riding in a pod along an enormous track going straight for miles, until it exits the top of a mountain at an angle that launches it into space. It's a proposed project (it will take a decent chunk of $ to get it going) that hopes to drop the cost of space travel drastically. This stuff is crazy interesting if you ask me  Also take a look at the forum: Startram fans Join if you're interested!


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  karl.garnham1

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Posted: 2012-June-06 at 2:16pm | IP Logged Quote karl.garnham1

Wow I didn't know about that Startram it sounds fantastic thanks for letting me know regulus.

Cheers

Karl


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  TeranAmbassador33

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Posted: 2012-June-09 at 4:59pm | IP Logged Quote TeranAmbassador33

What is this strange, unfamiliar place.........HEY!!! People I kinda-sorta-vaguely know!!

Balloons just wouldn't work, physics won't let them. The atmosphere loses the ability to support any kind of balloon long before you ever get anywhere near orbit.

As nkalanaga said, the only competition, however unlikely at this time, that rockets have.


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  karl.garnham1

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Posted: 2012-June-10 at 1:22pm | IP Logged Quote karl.garnham1

Hi TeranAmbassador33

They would only work if the Material Was Specially made to with take the changing Tempretures of Outer Space but the balloon would go so far as the pressure explode it eventually thats when the rocket would already have been slowly igniting (ion Drive) as its goes higher and higher when it exlodes it would take off and then it would deploy a new type of technology that I believe one day will exist Lunar and Solar Panels Solar Already exists but if you could charge via the moon as well you could do that with other worldly bodies like Mars or Jupiter. Venus would go to far out the way and that place is hell its like a curry so hot you have to sign your own death sentence. The Trouble I have with Rockets is They cost a fortune and the world is in recession at the moment they afford $10 Billion Dollars to send people up into space and Because Rockets have to be 100% right all the time there is a problem for all it takes is that 0.01% to go wrong and boom it kills all the crew and people back on earth see it and the ones it hurts the most are the friends and Family of the Astronaughts. I agree that a balloon is a flimsy design but the thing is People can't go spending that kind of money on space exploration forever this is only an idea.  The Trouble with Physics not letting you when so far Physics Can't explain what goes on inside a Black Hole because Physics Breaks Down inside one so Maybe it would have a small chance. Also There was a man called Joe Kittenger who went 102,800 feet (31,300 m). Above our Atmosphere Before Jumping off the Balloon if the Balloon is made more Flexible it may stand a chance of going higher.

You are Probably Right Though its just an idea Thanks for your response.

Karl


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  TeranAmbassador33

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Posted: 2012-June-10 at 1:59pm | IP Logged Quote TeranAmbassador33

It's not a matter of the balloon bursting from the differences in pressures, it's a matter of the balloon will not float higher because there will be no air to be less dense than.


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  karl.garnham1

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Posted: 2012-June-10 at 2:53pm | IP Logged Quote karl.garnham1

You Make an excellent Point but the balloon is only one small part of the vast mission once it explodes or cannot go higher(although what if the balloon was airtight and like an oxygen canister when there would no way of escape). the rocket will have already been igniting for a while to gain momentum. I don't know if it would work but I think its an idea that should be considered if people put there minds to it who know what they could accomplish bearing in mind we went from the right brothers plane to go into space with rockets in less than 50 years I still think it is in with a chance. But you are right it would only go so far before it could go no more and get blown apart. The Ion Drive rocket would have to go for a lot of tests before it could be proved wrong but in honesty I do agree with you the Balloon would probably melt due to the rocket igniting. The idea behind it is its cheaper and more of a leap of faith than anything pity people can't do what that guy of dragon ball does imagine yourself somewhere.

Thank you for taking the time to respond I have gone on a bit 

I appreciate your help

Karl


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