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Let's build a ship

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posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 11:40 PM
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There's lots of talk about what is wrong with current space craft designs, so let's find some good design features and cobble them together into a design that works. Please don't incorporate features that are to far past our present physics model. I'm trying to come up with a functional virtual model of a space craft that would work on a Earth to Moon run. Listing the requirements and challenges should be followed by solutions. Anybody up for it?




posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 11:43 PM
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This sounds like fun, im going to join.

I agree we need to keep it real without the sci-fi.

Im going to start thinking of some ideas starting a minute ago.



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 11:52 PM
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Certainly up for it as well -- although I'll be more useful with visuals than with hard scientific facts.


okay. Let's build this reactor. Ship. Let's build this ship.



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 11:57 PM
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Maybe a launch from a jet like the virgin project would be a good start.

Lot cheaper and makes a lot more sense.

edit: useful info for the design

[edit on 9-8-2007 by earth2]



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 12:10 AM
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I think that the less moving parts the better. Let's be sure that we note the mistakes of the space shuttle program and build from that. With that being said do you really want a ship that launches from an airplane or one that moves from the ground to space to the moon and back again on it's own power. Maybe a giant space plane might be a good proposal. Just spitballing here, nothing in concrete.
*note* I would also like to add to the table that one concept for propulsion be a scram jet that would take the vehicle into space and then add oxidizer tanks to feed the hybrid jet engines the oxygen they need to make the run to the moon and land on a flat runway on the surface. Then the space vehicle can launch from the moon like a conventional plane and return to Earth.

[edit on 10-8-2007 by carnival_of_souls2047]



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 12:13 AM
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Can i propose something akin to Archangel from "footfall"? A huge ship built on a giant plate, launched by directed nuclear blasts?

But seriously, i'll get back to you with some hard facts tomorrow.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by carnival_of_souls2047
I think that the less moving parts the better. Let's be sure that we note the mistakes of the space shuttle program and build from that. With that being said do you really want a ship that launches from an airplane or one that moves from the ground to space to the moon and back again on it's own power. Maybe a giant space plane might be a good proposal. Just spitballing here, nothing in concrete.


Actually launching from a plane would be less parts.
You obviously would have less fuel meaning smaller rocket. I think?



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 12:35 AM
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Originally posted by earth2
[Actually launching from a plane would be less parts.
You obviously would have less fuel meaning smaller rocket. I think?

I think it's possible to launch from a plane but wouldn't the space vehicle need to be extra large to make a trip to the moon and back? You are going to be carrying at least 4 astronauts (to crew the ship properly minimum), plenty of oxygen for life support and scramjet propulsion, water for obvious reasons (we can study the Apollo specs for water needs), cargo space for plug-in mission modules, and a whole slew of other things we're probably not considering yet.

Also, I suggest that we consider a retro backup bus system in case the main bus fails. We can just flip a switch to backup (again, Apollo style) to the secondary systems that can rely on transister tubes instead of relying on computer chips that might fry in the Van Allen Belt). This way, on-the-fly, we can replace the tubes just under the console when needed if they burn out and if the main bus (on a regular style computer system) dies. I learn this from the Russians who used this method on their Mig Foxbats to defeat a main bus meltdown from a nuclear explosion. Very smart of them I think.
*additional note* The Russians knew that a nuclear explosion would create a electromagnetic pulse and destroy the plane's main systems so they used transistor tubes instead which was just plain brilliant.



[edit on 10-8-2007 by carnival_of_souls2047]



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 03:31 AM
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Well, with the power of computers today ... could have a couple decent models from the two major companies (MS/Apple), low cost compared to the ship, and don't take up much room at all ... but the transistor backup is a wonderful idea. The more backup systems the better ... but with the technology they used in Apollo ... a TI calculator would blow it away ... so maybe it isn't as difficult to get there as it may seem.

Would there be a way to shield the 'high-tech' computers? If the ship itself was shielded well enough to protect the astronauts aboard?

Are you talking about a capsule based ship, or a more conventional airplane/shuttle style?

I have read that re-entry to earth, the shuttle is at mach 25. So building for this pressure would be necessary.

Launching from the equator area would be very beneficial for the project from the increase speed given by the natural rotation of the earth.

I would find it interesting enough to manage a low moon orbit, and get some high-res images with a good camera with lots of clear zoom capability. With onboard storage (via computers), it would make sense for it to be digital, at the higher MP available (currently over 16 MP on the normal market).

NASA uses carbon-carbon on the shuttle (the black stuff). Finding or creating something similar would be good. They have made progress on artificial diamond creation ... maybe it will progress and be usable in more applications.

Developing space suits is a must ... no fun to get there and not play around. Possibly instrumentation to determine if there is an atmosphere, and if so, if it is breathable. Some say it does exist, others argue otherwise ... but, it saves money on future trips to know for certain.

IR cameras/filters for use on a pass across the dark side.

I also agree the ship and its components itself should be as simple as possible, with the least amount of parts, but also to be as useful as possible as well. That is why a powerful computer can eliminate most of the instrumentation and controls ... and a few backup computers running at the same time ... since that alone greatly reduces the complication of the interior ... maybe not the devices themselves.

Climate stabilization, waste management and recycling, food and water.

I do see it as a massive undertaking in both mechanics and logistics ... but, fully possible.

The ship, and its launch ... should be in full public awareness, as not to get shot down by the government
... EMP shielding a must, if you believe in those kind of 'weapons' so as not to get artificially taken down/out of commision, before or in flight. A live broadcast feed, available to all stations, radio and t.v. ... as to not be intercepted and edited ... so whatever you see and say, it is heard and viewed live, no delay, by the people of the world.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by FreeThinkerIdealist
Are you talking about a capsule based ship, or a more conventional airplane/shuttle style?
I have read that re-entry to earth, the shuttle is at mach 25. So building for this pressure would be necessary.
Launching from the equator area would be very beneficial for the project from the increase speed given by the natural rotation of the earth.
I also agree the ship and its components itself should be as simple as possible, with the least amount of parts, but also to be as useful as possible as well. That is why a powerful computer can eliminate most of the instrumentation and controls ... and a few backup computers running at the same time ... since that alone greatly reduces the complication of the interior ... maybe not the devices themselves.

These are fabulous additions, FreeThinkerIdealist, you have certainly done your homework. Sorry about editing your post down I just wanted to abide by Terms and Conditions and address some of your fantastic talking points right off the top of my head.
Capsule based or conventional airplane? I believe this space vehicle should be a space plane so the shielding should be similiar to that of the Space Shuttle. Reentry can be handled by skilled pilots assisted by computer programs as you already deduced in your post. If the space plane is designed the same way that the shutlte is i.e. the black coating underneath the fuselage, i'm sure we can create a relatively radiation safe onboard redundant computer system. As you probably could tell I was concerned with the systems frying out by electromagnetic fields or even just by normal space radiation bombardment. The systems must be protected for sure because so much will depend on their functioning (guidance controls, life support, etc.). In my opinon, one of the crew members should be a computer specialist trained in keeping the ship's computer in top physical performance.

Launching from the equator? Absolutely. We'll need every advantage we can get.
I'm glad you agree with the "less moving parts as possible." Again, every advantage we can get. Powerful computers will do the labor intensive work.

Another reason I believe this should be a space plane is that it can contain a scram jet engine with oxygen tank feeders so they can operate as space propulsion (double duty jet engines). With a flip of a switch on manual control it can move from atmospheric mode to space mode or simply flown by computer control.
You came up with many more excellent ideas all of which sounded fantastic! Please continue with your space vehicle concepts and welcome to the team.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:00 AM
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Just a thought i had now.

You mount the Shuttle on the bottom of a plane. The plane with a large triangular wingspan, Built to be disposable, without crew and to provide as much speed and lift as possible.

Now, the Shuttle is mounted underneath this plane. It also has disposable boosters like a conventional shuttle launch.

On the launch day both the shuttle and the aircraft use the same amount of thrust to attain the same speed.

Both plane and shuttle rise to as high as possible. As soon as the limit is reached, the aircraft above turns off its engines and opens a multitude of flaps, while the shuttle underneath turns on its main booster.

This action will suddenly make the shuttle-plane flip upwards, as soon as they point directly up the plane lets go. This means at the last possible moment the Shuttle is 'flicked' upwards, giving abit of extra energy.

Tell me if this makes sense or if i need to re explain it.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:26 AM
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Great idea for thread Direwolf.

Not having a huge amount of knowledge on the best types of power plant to use, I would break this down further as their seems to be some elements that require different thinking.

Why build a single craft? First of all we have to escape the earth's gravity well, then have a craft that can work in a vacuum, land and then take off from the moon and return to the earth and handle re-entry.

Just breaking these down, I see at least 5 elements to any flight and we have always had to compromise on the design of any craft to cater all all these elements. Just think of the forces of the shuttle as it takes off and lands. We have had to engineer the shuttle to cope with those. How we compromised what we can do in space because we have the design for blast off and landing.

Laying money aside, I would look at a solution to get out of the gravity well and into space and there have been some great ideas for craft to do this. Is a shuttle type of craft the best solution? Getting out of the gravity well is about brute force. The Russians seem to have got the resupply of the international space station better under the control that Nasa has with the shuttle missions. The Russians seem able to punch a more simple rocket with a payload in the space more efficently that NASA can.

Once in space, we need a craft that can drive in a vacuum. We do not need to have a streamlined craft for the space transit so can build a brick of a craft with plenty of room for payload.

So what do we do when we get to the moon? Here I think some kind of shuttle type craft may work well as the forces seem reduced.

As I have mentioned, I am no engineer but would look to develop several types of craft rather than one compromised design.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by D.E.M.
Can i propose something akin to Archangel from "footfall"? A huge ship built on a giant plate, launched by directed nuclear blasts?

But seriously, i'll get back to you with some hard facts tomorrow.


I think that he is referring to "Project Orion". It was first proposed in the late 1950's. The idea is a larger version of putting a big firecracker under an inverted bucket, except here you are using a nuclear bomb instead of a firecracker. As the craft starts to slow another bomb was squirted out the bottom and detonated. A scale model was tested using conventional explosives and showed that it was feasible, but not practicle due to contamination from the nukes. I have always wondered about how such a craft would work in the upper atmosphere where the air density is much less.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 08:05 PM
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I have always wondered about how such a craft would work in the upper atmosphere where the air density is much less.


The nukes would just tear the crap out of the ozone layer and play havoc with the skies environment.

No, No nuclear weapons. We want technology which can last. Nuclear bombs are a thing of the past, in my opinion.

Although, firing a shuttle from a tube of some kind may be good, from the conventional shuttle launch, you can see a huge amount of lifting power is lost, launch the shuttle from a tube of some kind and the energy is all contained to push the craft upwards.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Octavius Maximus
[The nukes would just tear the crap out of the ozone layer and play havoc with the skies environment.

No, No nuclear weapons. We want technology which can last. Nuclear bombs are a thing of the past, in my opinion.


No. Actually it wouldn't. Fallout is residue from a nuclear explosion. The largest producer of fallout is a ground or water burst. The majority of fallout from Orion would be residue from the bomb itself. These bombs wouldn't have to reenter the atmosphere like a missile warhead and wouldn't be subjected to the stresses that a warhead encounters. With the improvements in the effiency of use of the fissile materials it should be possible to make a bomb that has a minimum of fallout. I'm more concerned with the EMP and the lack of air density. As the craft went higher the bombs would generate less thrust. I don't know if a craft such as this could make orbit.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 12:46 AM
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Before we start working on our prototype, maybe we should make an outline.

What aspects of our modern designs do you think need changed? Are we looking to minimize travel time, cost. Maximize efficiency. How far into the future can our hypothetical systems go? How many people will the craft hold? Will the craft land on the moon? Since we have gone to the moon already, would Mars be a better target?

I think the journey should start in space. Launch from the space station.

I agree with Freedom, there should be multiple designs. The military does that when designing new aircraft.

Keep the ideas coming



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 01:02 AM
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I think the journey should start in space. Launch from the space station.


Well that would be too easy, just tell me how to get a space station up there.

I think we should make a space dock, to be honest, one where we can build craft up there.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 01:07 AM
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i'm in as long as this is not a rocket ship its time to move on from that and try and develope something better that can take off a runway or rail and has only one stage



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 01:08 AM
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We already have a space station up there Octavius. But, building the craft in orbit sounds interesting.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 01:50 AM
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I can imagine a ship thats a mix of the spaceshuttle the x43 and a supersonic fighter plane
I'm going to assume we want to make a passenger one so i'll stick to jet engines for lift off
then once in supersonic it can open up with the main scramjet and close the jet engine intakes this way it could get the propulsion necessary to get into orbit. then the tiles would be ideal for reentry since there would be no foam or ice hitting them. (maybe birds)



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