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Author Topic: The Space Industry: An example of why governments fail and freedom prevails.  (Read 9806 times)
onesalt
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July 19, 2011, 05:27:36 PM
 #21

Yup. there are Dozens of ways to get into space without carrying rockets up with you. The old, inefficient way is not the only way to do things.

Kind of a shame even the most basic of those cost a huge amount of money and would need trillions of dollars in infrastructure and research, and the materials needed for them are still well out of our hands. The only one which is even remotely feasable with current spaceflight technology is the launch loop, and even then it'd pretty much require huge international co-ordination to pull it off.
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July 19, 2011, 05:50:59 PM
 #22

Yup. there are Dozens of ways to get into space without carrying rockets up with you. The old, inefficient way is not the only way to do things.

Kind of a shame even the most basic of those cost a huge amount of money and would need trillions of dollars in infrastructure and research, and the materials needed for them are still well out of our hands.

Materials for some, we've got. As for the funding, nothing a few weeks worth of the 'defense' budget couldn't supply.

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July 19, 2011, 05:57:19 PM
 #23

I see people saying that it was correct to shut down the shuttle because of costs...

But Iraq war used 3 times the money that the shuttle project used since it exists. (yeah, development included...).

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July 19, 2011, 06:05:05 PM
 #24

A dedicated nuclear or hydro plant with a capacitor stack may be enough. Also, the vehicle itself will not be heavy, since it won't have to carry the fuel and rocket shells with it (you'll only be moving the shuttle, not the booster rockets and giant tank).
Worse case, you can just fire the thing out of a tunnel, with a series of gas explosions behind it, like a gas gun. Still way more efficient, since the fuel is still stored on the ground, instead of being launched along with the vehicle.

This discussion just reminded me of a possibly silly idea from my high school day when asked to think of ways centrifugal (or was it centripetal) forces could be used. I didn't know maglev then but had this idea of a "box" attached to a very long and strong "metal" string and basically spun a space craft round and round until it was fast enough to let loose.

Bringing forward today, I wonder if a circular maglev track, possibly a "L" instead of flat to keep the vehicle from hitting the side, would be a more effective way than using a mountain. After all, it should be cheaper to build a big round track with a switchable track section to a launch ramp than build a very long one up somebody's mountain. So spin the vehicle up to speed, possibly at G forces that are more comfortable than what astronauts have to put up with at the moment since we could just spin more rounds to reach the target velocity, then slingshot it into the sky.

Maybe somebody who can do maths and physics better than me could figure out if it is even theoretically possible to reach orbit from an initial velocity at near ground.

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July 19, 2011, 06:11:06 PM
 #25

This discussion just reminded me of a possibly silly idea from my high school day when asked to think of ways centrifugal (or was it centripetal) forces could be used. I didn't know maglev then but had this idea of a "box" attached to a very long and strong "metal" string and basically spun a space craft round and round until it was fast enough to let loose.

You are not alone: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Non-rocket_spacelaunch#Slingatron

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July 19, 2011, 06:27:42 PM
 #26

We aren't doomed.

But for better or worse, we're intimately connected with this planet, and we don't get to "escape it".

It is a mathematical certainty that at some point, this planet is toast. Meteor strike, supervolcano, If noting else, The sun will bake the planet clean in about 4 billion years.

If we don't leave the nest, We will die.

Don't mean to derail the thread but I feel compelled to post this: Asteroid Impact

Still around.
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July 19, 2011, 06:29:30 PM
 #27

This discussion just reminded me of a possibly silly idea from my high school day when asked to think of ways centrifugal (or was it centripetal) forces could be used. I didn't know maglev then but had this idea of a "box" attached to a very long and strong "metal" string and basically spun a space craft round and round until it was fast enough to let loose.

You are not alone: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Non-rocket_spacelaunch#Slingatron

lol nice to know it wasn't THAT silly an idea Cheesy

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onesalt
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July 19, 2011, 06:37:12 PM
 #28

A dedicated nuclear or hydro plant with a capacitor stack may be enough. Also, the vehicle itself will not be heavy, since it won't have to carry the fuel and rocket shells with it (you'll only be moving the shuttle, not the booster rockets and giant tank).
Worse case, you can just fire the thing out of a tunnel, with a series of gas explosions behind it, like a gas gun. Still way more efficient, since the fuel is still stored on the ground, instead of being launched along with the vehicle.

This discussion just reminded me of a possibly silly idea from my high school day when asked to think of ways centrifugal (or was it centripetal) forces could be used. I didn't know maglev then but had this idea of a "box" attached to a very long and strong "metal" string and basically spun a space craft round and round until it was fast enough to let loose.

Bringing forward today, I wonder if a circular maglev track, possibly a "L" instead of flat to keep the vehicle from hitting the side, would be a more effective way than using a mountain. After all, it should be cheaper to build a big round track with a switchable track section to a launch ramp than build a very long one up somebody's mountain. So spin the vehicle up to speed, possibly at G forces that are more comfortable than what astronauts have to put up with at the moment since we could just spin more rounds to reach the target velocity, then slingshot it into the sky.

Maybe somebody who can do maths and physics better than me could figure out if it is even theoretically possible to reach orbit from an initial velocity at near ground.

From the ground you need to get 8.4km/s of velocity to get into low earth orbit. The G-forces alone on any length of circular track would kill the pilots and would probebly need to be made entirely of diamonds or something equally silly to withstand the forces.
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July 19, 2011, 06:39:54 PM
 #29

It is a mathematical certainty that at some point, this planet is toast. Meteor strike, supervolcano, If noting else, The sun will bake the planet clean in about 4 billion years.

It's a mathematical certainty that at some point you will die. What's your point?
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July 19, 2011, 06:43:38 PM
 #30

From the ground you need to get 8.4km/s of velocity to get into low earth orbit. The G-forces alone on any length of circular track would kill the pilots and would probebly need to be made entirely of diamonds or something equally silly to withstand the forces.

Why would that be since we're not trying to reach 8.4km/s within one round? It just needs to be a circular track with a switchable track section somewhere, like the way they switch train tracks, so that once the vehicle reaches the necessary velocity, the track is switched to the launch ramp section instead.


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onesalt
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July 19, 2011, 06:49:10 PM
 #31

From the ground you need to get 8.4km/s of velocity to get into low earth orbit. The G-forces alone on any length of circular track would kill the pilots and would probebly need to be made entirely of diamonds or something equally silly to withstand the forces.

Why would that be since we're not trying to reach 8.4km/s within one round? It just needs to be a circular track with a switchable track section somewhere, like the way they switch train tracks, so that once the vehicle reaches the necessary velocity, the track is switched to the launch ramp section instead.



I don't think you understand how centripical forces work, the force you endure is related to the velocity you're moving in a circle, squared. Even on circle 10km in radius you'd have a force of some 560kn acting on a human body weighing 80kilograms, as well as acting on the walls of the craft and whatever it is thats accelerating it. The only reason it's practical with particles is because they weigh fuck all.
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July 19, 2011, 06:57:49 PM
 #32

I don't think you understand how centripical forces work, the force you endure is related to the velocity you're moving in a circle, squared. Even on circle 10km in radius you'd have a force of some 560kn acting on a human body weighing 80kilograms, as well as acting on the walls of the craft and whatever it is thats accelerating it. The only reason it's practical with particles is because they weigh fuck all.

Right, that made me remember that things moving in a circle are constantly accelerating in a different direction at the current velocity. Guess that idea is silly after all Cheesy

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July 19, 2011, 07:04:39 PM
 #33

Yup. there are Dozens of ways to get into space without carrying rockets up with you. The old, inefficient way is not the only way to do things.

Though being Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's great-great-great-grandson, I'm somewhat biased towards the multi-stage approach Cheesy

Also, I notice that article is missing the idea I read more recently about blasting stuff into space using underwater nukes... That would be extremely cheap compared to the other methods, and we already have plenty of materials, though people will complain about the radiation no doubt.

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July 19, 2011, 07:14:15 PM
 #34

It is a mathematical certainty that at some point, this planet is toast. Meteor strike, supervolcano, If noting else, The sun will bake the planet clean in about 4 billion years.

It's a mathematical certainty that at some point you will die. What's your point?

If we're stuck here, we're doomed. You said we're not. My point is simple: You're wrong.

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July 19, 2011, 08:37:19 PM
 #35

Do you believe you are personally "doomed" because you will eventually die?

Nevermind, this is philosophy question best discussed in another thread.

Back to the point, at what year do people think a human being will ever step foot on the moon again (or another planet). At what year do people think a human being not sent by a nation-state will?

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July 19, 2011, 08:47:57 PM
 #36

Do you believe you are personally "doomed" because you will eventually die?

Nevermind, this is philosophy question best discussed in another thread.

Back to the point, at what year do people think a human being will ever step foot on the moon again (or another planet). At what year do people think a human being not sent by a nation-state will?

I, a human being, have to die, because my body will eventually break down.
We, the human species, do not have to die.

I don't see us as being more than 10 or 20 years from being back on the moon, at minimum. That foot will not be from a nation-state.

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July 19, 2011, 08:54:09 PM
 #37

Do you believe you are personally "doomed" because you will eventually die?

Nevermind, this is philosophy question best discussed in another thread.

Back to the point, at what year do people think a human being will ever step foot on the moon again (or another planet). At what year do people think a human being not sent by a nation-state will?

I, a human being, have to die, because my body will eventually break down.
We, the human species, do not have to die.

I don't see us as being more than 10 or 20 years from being back on the moon, at minimum. That foot will not be from a nation-state.

I think you're underestimating how much rocketry costs.
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July 19, 2011, 08:56:50 PM
 #38

I think you're underestimating how much rocketry costs.

I think you underestimate how badly Virgin wants to be in space. And as soon as someone's got a station, Someone else is going to want a moon base.

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July 19, 2011, 10:27:46 PM
 #39

I think you're underestimating how much rocketry costs.

I think you underestimate how badly Virgin wants to be in space. And as soon as someone's got a station, Someone else is going to want a moon base.

The price for a Virgin Galactic ticket to just over 100km in space, Not at an orbital velocity, is 200,000 dollars per person. You need to be at 200kmish even for low earth orbit and that's not even including cargo such as the space station that you want to put up there, which needs to be radiation shielded, micrometeorite shielded and vacuum shielded, two of the three of which need stupidly powerful radar and Solar observation stations, in addition to putting the damn thing up there in the first place.

In conclusion it's going to be fucking expensive.
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July 19, 2011, 10:33:05 PM
 #40

In conclusion it's going to be fucking expensive.

No shit? Ever think about how much money we could save simply by not blowing people up every day?

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