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Could you design a better spacecraft?

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posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 06:29 AM
Longbow your second idea is something I have been thinking about aswell! The ion engines would be a great edition... even small ones.

posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 07:46 AM
I think Nasa should design a completly new system. A new launch system should incorporate the worlds largest Hydro-magnetic rail gun as a launching vehicle. The craft should be reusable and able to fly well in an atmosphere as well as in space. I think the design for the space shuttle was good for the time it was designed in, but now we have so much more technology. My laptop has more computing power than the space shuttle. The craft should probably be like an elongated oval coming to a point on one end woth the other end being wide. This single wing formation is much more durable to the high stresses oand heat of re-entry. And further more, they need to use that 'Fire Paste' made by that crazy inventor as a form of insulation. You know the stuff. One of the secret ingredients is diet coke.

Anyway. If I were NASA, that is where I would be funding research.

posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 09:40 AM

Originally posted by Kidfinger
I think Nasa should design a completly new system. A new launch system should incorporate the worlds largest Hydro-magnetic rail gun as a launching vehicle. The craft should be reusable and able to fly well in an atmosphere as well as in space. I think the design for the space shuttle was good for the time it was designed in, but now we have so much more technology. My laptop has more computing power than the space shuttle. The craft should probably be like an elongated oval coming to a point on one end woth the other end being wide. This single wing formation is much more durable to the high stresses oand heat of re-entry. And further more, they need to use that 'Fire Paste' made by that crazy inventor as a form of insulation. You know the stuff. One of the secret ingredients is diet coke.

Hmm i doubt the EM railgun would be the best for reusable vehicle.
1. Because of high Gs it is unlikely human can use it.
2. It develops hugh speed during start. That means it needs extremely good heat shield (much better than Space Shuttle because atmosphere is more dense in low altitude).

So I think the EM gun could be used, but only for disposable single use vehicles. It would be ideal for containers with nuclear waste because it'smore reliable than rockets.

posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 02:00 PM

Originally posted by longbow

Hmm i doubt the EM railgun would be the best for reusable vehicle.

Here is a little something I dug up about this. Apparently, this has already been thought of.

The application of mass drivers for lunar launching and for use as reaction engines in orbital transfer has already been studied extensively[7]. However, the possibility of electromagnetic earth-based launching, proposed by science fiction writers since the forties, has never before been considered seriously. On the basis of computer software developed by NASA in connection with the Venus lander[21], it appears quite practical.

A telephone-pole shaped vehicle 8 inches in diameter and 20 feet in length, weighing 1.5 tonnes, accelerated to 20 km/s at sea level would traverse the 8 km atmosphere in half a second, emerging at 16 km/s, which is enough velocity to escape the solar system. It would lose 3 to 6 percent of its mass by ablation of a carbon shield. Initial projectile energy would be 300 x 10^9 joule, one third of which would be lost in traversing the atmosphere.

The launch energy may seem formidable, but it amounts to only 83 MW-hrs, which represents several minutes of output by a large metropolitan utility plant. The required launcher would be 20 km long at 1,000 g acceleration; it would be only 2 km long, less than a small airport runway, at 10,000 g, which should be easily attainable. Such a launcher could be installed on a hillside, or in a vertical hole made by an oversize rotary well drilling rig.

One potential application is the disposal of nuclear waste. 2,000 tons of waste will be generated between 1980 and 2000. This waste could be launched out of the solar system by using off-peak power from a utility plant at a cost corresponding to only 2 cents per kw-hr of generated power which produced the waste. Considering that the average cost of power during the period will be 22 cents per kw-hr, this waste disposal cost is very low.

Here is an excellent write up on the HARP program which investigated the possibilities of launching rockets into space in the late 50's all the way into the late 60's

posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 07:58 AM
Ive been looking at site and found what they expect the future to hold for space travel. This is really interesting stuff

Currently, we're in what NASA calls the first of four generations of reusable launch vehicles (RLV). First generation is based mainly on the stalwart of RLVs -- the space shuttle.

With each generation of spacecraft, the space agency hopes to make access to space cheaper, safer and more reliable.

The next three generations and their goals are:

Second generation - 2010

* Increase safety of launch so that a loss of crew is one in 10,000.
* Reduce launch costs from $10,000 per pound to about $1,000.
* RLVs such as the VentureStar or another in development will supplement the shuttle fleet.

A launch site of the future with a reusable launch vehicle on the pad. The launch site would operate much like an airport with maintenance, cargo and passenger facilities.

Third generation - 2025

* Reduce chance of crew loss at launch to one in 1 million.
* Reduce launch costs to hundreds of dollars per pound.
* Spacecraft are likely to be something like the Spaceliner 100.

Fourth generation - 2040

* No difference between a spacecraft and commercial airliner
* Spacecraft are so safe that an escape system is not necessary.
* Advanced propulsion, including lasers, electric, antimatter and plasma

future road map

No difference between airliners and space craft. Sounds like an episode of Star Trek

posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 08:54 AM
heh I had a thought it's probably wholly impractical but tell me what you guys think.

My idea is a combination of the current Air force want of a single stage to orbit hypersonic bomber/space plane and the mass driver idea combined with a twist from a remembered pic of the old v-1 buzz bomb launch site. Basically what I would do is construct a ten to twenty km mass driver track (or beefed up maglev style track) that starts out at 0 degrees of inclination and gradually steepens to 5% to 10% at the end. On this track would run a dolly that contained the LIM's (linear induction motors) or a sabot type interface for the spacecraft and the mass driver. On the dolly you would mate a ramjet, scramjet, or pwde engine space plane with ion thrusters for exo atmospheric thrust and a small set of chemical thrust nozzles for deorbit maneuvering and fine control. Now instead of using the mass driver to accelerate the space plane all the way to orbital escape velocity you have it accelerate the space plane to the speed at which your engines start functioning efficiently, around mach 4 or 5 I think, to boot because of the long track you do this at a steady 10g's (not fun but survivable for humans for a short duration like this especially with new g-suit technology and partially reclined seating like the f-16 cockpit). At this point the craft operating on it's own power decouples from it's dolly and kicks in full thrust, saving it from the most fuel inefficient part of atmospheric flight which is takeoff. Now the craft flying at high enough mach numbers to achieve orbital velocity arrows upwards and out of the atmosphere . As it transitions to out of atmosphere flight you switch off the ram, scram, whatevers and use your chemical thrusters and ion engines to do what you need to in space (due to the exotic nature of most of the atmospheric engines I mentioned you could most likelly dual use the fuel with the chemical thrusters cutting out yet more mass, moving parts, etc). When it's time to go home you just do your deorbit burn and glide back to terra firma. once down you just find a suitably long runway and glide back in just like our shuttle now.
Just like kidfingers mass driver idea the electronic propulsion would take staggering amounts of power, however like his idea launches at off peak hours means a suitably large metropolitan power grid could provide the juice. My main intent in this idea is to allow larger payloads by putting the initial energy expenditure involved in takeoff onto an outboard source to avoid the diminishing returns too heavy of a takeoff weight cause. My secondary intent is to simplify the system to streamline the amount of fuel expended and different propulsion modes you would need to use. Overall I think the extra fuel efficiency gained by providing an assisted takeoff which decreases overall onboard fuel needed by getting the engines to optimum speed by ignition would be worth the high cost of the maglev or mass driver track provided you used it enough. It would also help stem the unnecessary use of massive amounts of pollution causing fuel a heavilly laden orbital vehicle would need for a takeoff, shunting the energy expenditure instead to a regional power grid which would be producing the energy anyway, and is capable of doing it with much higher ecological efficiency than masses of burned volatiles.

While this was a great intellectual exercise overall I am hoping to see a space elevator in operation before I die. Which would clobber the efficiency of any chemical rocket or dual engine craft we could design. Not only that but it would do it without causing more pressure to be put on the environment for every pound of payload we put into space. And the plain truth is while I am not a green freak, all the space assets in the world won't mean anything to us if we poison the planet we have to live on.

posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 09:09 AM
I think Bob Truax had the right idea for heavy lift years ago:

No expensive infrastructure like the cape, no complicated turbopumps to screw up at the last minute, just a big, dumb pressure-fed rocket that makes up for inefficiency with size and frequency.

posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 12:14 PM
I think we should just borrow some UFO's from our good friends the Greys. I mean, if they're going to keep anal probing my next door neighbor Bob, the least they can do is provide us with a saucer to explore outer space! Of course, some of you guys already believe they have. Apparantly we went to Mars before Aldrin and Armstrong even landed on the moon!

But I guess we need full disclosure before we start launching flying saucers from Cape Canaveral (sp?)!

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 04:27 PM

why not study more about lifters? im sure theres a way we can use this theroy.

I bet you, there is a supression of tech here guys, I mean think about it. If u wanna go to space u have to buy lots of fuel.

posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 11:44 PM
need sompting that uses verry little fuel or sompthing that dosent use fuel at all. there is plenty of things to consider

posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:58 AM
I think there is a project that was either started and followed through by a Texas A&M Professor and/ or a student, that had to do with an "inflatable space module" They built a working model in a big warehouse, and NASA plans to take it into space in 2010. It starts out like a big metal pole with a bunch of layers of fabric around it. When it enters space it inflates with breathable gas to about 50X22 ft. ( the hull is, of course, hard and provides safety for the astronauts- it isnt cloth or anything lol )

posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 02:01 AM

They mothballed the X-33 back in 2001 after years of development and a design that was 85% complete because of a design flaw with the composite tanks, I believe we should go back and examine the design of the tanks.

You mean Venture Star, the X-33 was the name of the 50% scaled model.
Personally I think this went "black" and is now controlled by the USAF, I mean think about it...85% done, billions invested. A year or so after they cancelled this because of a composite tank problem I remember reading a article from "spacedaily" that Composite fuel tanks (which apparently they kept working on) had been modified and passed there tests. Lockheed alone spent 200 million of there own personal money on this...they had all the material, and if they wanted they could have kept on putting money in it until they got it operational...but I think that once Nasa cancelled it the (secretly) spoke to some upper Air Force personal and got them to buy the project...I mean Why not, it was nearly completed.

But I to am a huge fan of the Space Elevator, and really hope the LiftPort can get one working by there 2018 goal, it will revolutionize space more then anything ever has before it. It would open up space and put it in a whole new light...then companies would only have to build the (for example) satellite and they wouldn't have to make it as structurally tuff cause it wouldn't have all the violent vibration like a rocket taking off.

I like a lot of the concepts out there but the space elevator sits above them all.

I'm not a fan of the rail gun idea...1,000 g's...whew, thats a lot, I dont know if I could fit into a hundred G-Suits.

oh, and horten229v3 your thinking of Bigelow...he's still working on the inflatable modules, and is hoping for his own Space Station.

posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 02:17 AM

Originally posted by Sigma
You are right about the box, but sometimes you have to learn the box you are in so you can get out.

As of yet we have no means of "FTL" transportation, nor anti-gravity or even gravity manipulation, so our best bet at the moment is to use innovative concepts based in known concepts in order to get into space. Once we are in space we can concentrate on how to get around the solar system, galaxy and universe.

Realist05- Excellent site! I think I heard about them a long time ago but I forgot about them, thanks for reminding me! I have to say they have one of the best laid out plans I have seen in awhile.

Sorry but getting to the next star is going to take centuries of effort. Even in the Star Wars galaxy, they were only dealing with ONE galaxy, Humanity is a little bit puffed up on itself if it thinks that getting into space is just as easy as "moon galaxy universe hopscotch".

Even travelling at the speed of light, the closst star is 25 years away, So explain to me how puny humans are going to flit about the univese someday, which just happens to be comprised of hundreds of billions of galaxies comprised of 100 billions of stars EACH.

posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 08:21 AM
Hmm, this is a good challenge! Let me think for a second. . .
Well the Keys to a good spacecraft are: Safety, reliability, Cost, payload, and versitility!

Ok, one of the best ways to save money is to save fuel! How about trading the blast-off launch that has been in use since the days of Spunik, for a lift to orbit system. Design the craft as one big lifting surface that will work at low speeds. Then we should be able to use aerodynamic lift, instead of fuel-gusseling rockets to get from ground level to about 140,000 to 150,000 feet. this should give us a fuel saving of around 75%-90% per pound.

At about 150,000 feet, we could ignite all of the rockets. with almost no atmosphere, there would be very little drag. This would let the craft reach obital speed using only a tiny farction of the fuel used by today's spacecraft.

I think I would start off with something that looks like a giant A-12 Avenger. The huge wing area would give me both the lift and the internal space I need. Second, I would develop a combination Turbofan/rocket engine that could use the atmosphere to get oxygen for combustion untill the atmosphere gets too thin. Then it would automatically switch over to rocket mode and use on board oxygen for combustion. Once it is completely clear of the atmosphere, the craft would accelerat to orbital speed in the near vaccume of space. this should use only a frction of the fuel of today's rockets. To land, all you would need to do is slow to reentry speed and desend into the atmoshere. As soon as the craft reaches a point where it can use aerodynamic lift, the craft would use a combination of retrorockets and aerodynamic breaking to slow down to a subsonic cruise speed. Then it could use jets to fly at low speed back to a runway!


posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 09:36 AM
As stated, the problem with going anywhere is the fueling requiremnts. Longer trips require more fuel. This is the stumbling block that obviously would be avoided if the vehicle had a propulsion system that replenishes itself. Count out any type of chemical/combustion rocket. The concept of rail guns as stated generate too many g's to be of use for humans, our brains would hemhorage at those extremes, unless an inertia damping system were developed.
No friends, I think any type of space travel would require a new form of lift as well as propulsion. Gravity assist is used in all long range exploration now, what hasn't been figured out is how to get that assist from a planetary body without actually having the body. And then, even if we did, we have to contend with the tremendous g-forces exerted even at lesser increments. Again, inertia dampeners are a must for any type of thrust greater than 20 g's which is still beyond human threshold but probably attainable.
Ok, since we are "thinking outside of the box" here, let me run my own idea past you. I have always felt that if you could get rotational speed to be released in a single direction (ie: forward, up, out, however orientation it would be in space) then you would get what I dub the David and Goliath effect. There would be a considerable amount of stress so it would also have to be contained otherwise it would be like shooting a hole through your side. Only possible solution we would be capable with todays technology would be a magnetic field to contain it. Similarly, it couldn't be an object since an object would anhialate your vehicle.
Ever try to spin a bicycle wheel while holding it by the axle? When you try to turn the wheel in any direction there is a strong force there that wants the wheel to stay spiining in the orientation that it is spinning in. There is even a mockup demonstrating this effect at science fairs. The device does in fact turn when the spinning wheel gets tilted albeit slowly but then again rotational speed isn't even that fast.
I feel that if we could develop the means to render an object weightless here on Earth, once in space it would have a thrust instead of a lift. Something I wonder about is if you float an object within a suspension field utilizing magnetism, all you would need is for that suspended object to execute a weight transfer (in this case upwards) in order to generate that lift.
A simple design in my eyes is cone shaped, with a track inside the cone spiraling upwards to the tip. If a fluid with a high density (weight to volume ratio) were sealed inside of that cone, as the cone were spun, the fluid would be driven along the track upwards (following the path of least resistance) which would put the weight more towards the top of the suspension field and IMHO this would give you lift.
I haven't tried this but I don't see why it wouldn't work... especially if the transfer weren't executed (by putting a valve on the track which would keep the fluid from spiraling upward) until it attained a higher rotaional speed.
Now if a design like this would cause the object to levitate here in the confines of Earth's gravity, in the weightlessness of space it would be a force that is even stronger.
This is one of the ideas i'd been brain pooting (hardly a storm at this point
) over but it does seem feasible.
Rotation would also have the desired effect of artificail gravity in space and isn't it a gravity assist I/we would be trying to obtain?
I also have a mathemataical model that is really like re-inventing the wheel. Its a base 13 model that instead of completing a cycle of rotation within one rotation (360 degrees), it takes 13 rotations (4,680 degrees )in order to reach its starting point again.
The model is on the web, had been posted here in a different forum (not sure which now)
At this point I'd also like to thank this community for pointing out that Richard Hoagland is a BS artist. The research I had done was based on info he had revealed so long ago and that I recently discovered is a scam.

Ironically, the model I derived from it does seem to work.

[edit on 21-7-2005 by keybored]

posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 11:28 AM
have you seen taht program ón "discovery" about a shuttle to Mars... i like the idea...

posted on Jul, 24 2005 @ 09:47 AM

Originally posted by muzzleflash
getting rid of the "wings" is a great idea

the best shape i know of aerodynamically is the "Raindrop"

so lets build a "UFO" type craft that has this "raindrop" shape

did anyone ever see that movie 'flight of the navigator' lol

its just an idea
im not an engineer so i dont have any clue how it would work thats for the engineers to figure out

yep i dont really think there is a need for wings during the space flight..
could be built it in saucer type, or umm something similar to a soccer? or football.. more aerodynamik

posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 01:31 AM
Per their ad, the Liftport Group intends to have a space lift in operation on April 12 of 2018. They have a countdown clock for liftoff at their site.

Beyond that, the best space craft could basically be powered Buckyballs with localized landing craft on board for use when one arrives at the destination. Although any craft that makes efficient use of the internal space and pay-load capacity would suffice.

The important part is using the natural effects of a lift port to enable one to break free of the atmosphere of the earth at minimal power consumption.

posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 06:08 AM
Ive often thought why its so hard to get mirrors in space ,I know they have to be perfect but cant they do some sort of reflective material that could stretch miles and miles to catch light or radio waves from deep space,or wrap the moon in wire,it would make one hell of an antena!

please feel free to discredit so I can stop think about this

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