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Cheap Space Craft

 
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Terraformer
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:21 pm 
Post subject: Cheap Space Craft
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Here's something that will get the public interested. How about we build a small, reusable, orbital space craft that can carry up to five passengers (max. Maybe not due to heat shielding needed.). It could be built (where possible) from off the shelf components. It would be launched from a helium balloon to cut down on launch cost. It would be circular and once the most dangerous part of re-entry (the friction) was ove, a parachute and wings would shoot out and the craft would glide back, refuel, be checked over, taken back into the blimp, and launched again. If it could carry more than just the passenger paying customers could ride, with the extra revenue put back into the program.
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Martian Republic
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:57 pm 
Post subject: Re: Cheap Space Craft
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Terraformer wrote:
Here's something that will get the public interested. How about we build a small, reusable, orbital space craft that can carry up to five passengers (max. Maybe not due to heat shielding needed.). It could be built (where possible) from off the shelf components. It would be launched from a helium balloon to cut down on launch cost. It would be circular and once the most dangerous part of re-entry (the friction) was ove, a parachute and wings would shoot out and the craft would glide back, refuel, be checked over, taken back into the blimp, and launched again. If it could carry more than just the passenger paying customers could ride, with the extra revenue put back into the program.


The plan won't work and here what wrong with it:

1. There are no off the shelf components that we could use to build the kind of shuttle that you are suggesting.
2. without a heat shield that shuttle would burn up on re-entry, because of air friction and that why the current shuttle has a heat shield. The reason the Space Ship One didn't need a very massive heat shield was because they never made it into orbit, they only when into the edge of space. We need a shuttle that can go all the way into space and when it comes back, it will need a heat shield for it will burn up.
3. A helium balloon would not help us, because you have not side motion to help propel that shuttle into orbit. You can't go straight up and you have to move at about 45% angle to get both the hight and the ground speed to make it into orbit. This what the those buster and shuttle tank do for getting the current shuttle into orbit and that balloon can't do that for the shuttle that your talking about building.

Larry,
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louis
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Larry's objections appear pretty sound.

I have a problem with heat shields and parachutes.

My ideal is an all in one craft - straight up into LEO (where it can be refuelled). Will use its rockets for retro braking. Something like Blue Origin.
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Terraformer
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:03 am 
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It goes up under the balloon, launches horizontally, boosts into orbit, the wings collapse into the craft, the shield covers the stubs, the craft orbits, re-enters the atmosphere. Once it's at the point where it can deploy it's wings a chute, it does, then glides back to earth, lands, refuels and is taken back up by the balloon.

I said it would be built where possible from off the shelf components, such as the radio and computer. Appolo went to the moon on the same computing power in a calculator, or something like that.

The idea behind the wings telescoping in is so they don't need heat shieldintg on them. The idea's to minimize surface area and thus heat shielding.
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louis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Terraformer -

I've certainly read somewhere that wings are a liability and retractable wings even more so. Although the wings are useful lower down, you are then having to lift the mass of the wings PLUS any retraction machinery. PLus, I imagine, you are setting up all sorts of stresses on seals and so on if you don't have a unified smooth shape.

If you want to pursue your idea, I think there is more scope for a single person space shot from a high altitude balloon. It may be possible to launch a v. small spacecraft - I'm guessing: payload of 200kgs - rocket fuel? 2000kgs.
could a balloon lift a couple of tonnes?
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Martian Republic
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:37 pm 
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Terraformer wrote:
It goes up under the balloon, launches horizontally, boosts into orbit, the wings collapse into the craft, the shield covers the stubs, the craft orbits, re-enters the atmosphere. Once it's at the point where it can deploy it's wings a chute, it does, then glides back to earth, lands, refuels and is taken back up by the balloon.


Your not lessoning!

You send something straight up. It will come straight back down, even if you got it up 100 miles or 1000 miles or even 10,000 miles up, because you don't have any ground speed to put it into orbit. It would be virtually impossible to build a six person shuttle and get enough fuel on the balloon to launch that shuttle into orbit. Let alone, being able to do it cheaply, is absolutely out of the question. Those three piece rocket or the shuttle buster and tanks push there payload into an curving arc to drop there payload into orbit and your balloon idea doesn't do that and nor can it do that. That why you hear so much about the scram jet that does mack 10, because that is 2/5 of the ground speed that we need to have to put a space craft into orbit. We need a minimum of mack 25 to achieve orbit and do a minimum to be able to orbit.

Larry,
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MirariNefas
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:26 pm 
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Quote:
You send something straight up. It will come straight back down, even if you got it up 100 miles or 1000 miles or even 10,000 miles up, because you don't have any ground speed to put it into orbit.


It's true that launching from higher up doesn't save any delta v, which many casual balloon proponents are completely unaware of. But it can put you above a great deal of our thicker atmosphere, allowing you to optimize engine design for low pressure environments. This is no silver bullet, but it is a significant advantage.

I agree that the overall plan isn't very feasible though. I just figured I should be fair and point this out.
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Terraformer
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:23 am 
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Who said it would carry six people? I'm just saying it would get the public more intereste in space and more publicity (and funding) for Red Colony and other such groups. If you lack vision, thenn I don't care, that's fine by me. I'll do the tests on my own, I'll just have to wait a decade to get enough cash to do the tests.
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louis
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:50 am 
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Perhaps you should start with my solo flight idea.
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Terraformer
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:36 pm 
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What solo flight idea? The ida originally started off with one seat for my idea and then I thought of having another for a passenger.

Even a suborbital craft would stir the publics imagination and increase the funding.
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Fridamimi
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:30 pm 
Post subject: Cheap Space Craft
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Will be good to hear how you go with the vibram soles. Youll have to show us photos. btw do you wear socks when its cold and icey?
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