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Getting into Orbit

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posted on May, 6 2006 @ 02:43 PM
Hello folks.

Ive been giving the following a lot of thought lately......

Whats our biggest problem when it comes to space exploration? Answer: getting things into orbit and why? Because of fuel constraints. I then saw Spaceship One fly into orbit and it got me thinking! That uses a jet aircraft to get its initial altitute but this can only go so high. Why not use a high altitude airship as a launch platform because instead? It will get you about halfway there without expending any fuel

As usual though someones already beat me to the idea but I found this great link I thought I would share with you all. The idea is known as a rockoon.

I hope you enjoy it and I'd be interested in any feedback or opinions.

posted on May, 6 2006 @ 02:52 PM
Thanx for the link. The Stratostation the article mentions is very cool... I think one of the Canadian Xprise entries made use of the rockoon concept. A very elegant but risky solution... I hope someone's able to make it practical one day.


posted on May, 6 2006 @ 03:28 PM
I just to nitpick, but SS1 never got into orbit. It got up into the area we'd consider space, but just bairly.

The concept of a spacecraft launched from another plane has been tossed around. It works well for SS1 and for other small craft. But if you were to launch something the size of the shuttle or larger, you're going to need a real big and powerful plane to lift a fully loaded shuttle up high enough. I do like the whole concept myself. I'm just not sure how well it would work for much larger aircraft/spacecraft.

posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:23 PM

Originally posted by jra
I just to nitpick, ........

Just out of interest, what would be considered the bounds of space? I know SS1 got up to 60K but what does the shuttle get up to?

I was just wanting to know because I found some things of interest but I guess its only worth posting if they would fit into the whole idea of a baloon assited launch!


posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:54 PM
The Shuttle usually orbits at around 300km. It can go a bit higher then that, but doesn't always. And that is considered to be a LEO (Low Earth Orbit).

posted on May, 7 2006 @ 03:15 AM
Wow, 300k! I see what you mean about SS1!

Even so I feel SS1 is an important step. I have the day off today so Im gonna do some more research on this idea of rockoons and see what I can come up with.
(Goes Away)
Ok, so Ive done some more research and it turns out that this may not be such a great idea after all. Why? The highest current airships can go is: 21kms which ain't so great! That leaves an extra 279k to go!

Some more info on a rockoon


I just love the idea of a strato station! It sits at 140,000 feet which just happens to be 10,000 ft lower than when the shuttle separate from its SRB (solid rocket boosters)

No if you mix orbital tethers into the equation.......

[edit on 7-5-2006 by enslaved83]

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