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My Idea for a cheap way to launch into space

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posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 01:44 PM
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I am sure that this idea has probably been thought of before,and that it has probably been ruled out for some reason or another.Anyhow,here it is:

I have been thinking about a viable,low cost/low resource consumption way to get around the massive energy wastage of the way we travel into space today:I.E.using rocket engines to get from earth to earth orbit.

This takes a gargantuan amout of energy,thus costing a considerable amount of resources and money to achieve.

Its the main reason we are not spending our holidays on the moon or Mars.
And its the main reason our Governments put space travel on the back burner,when I believe it should be at the forefront of our efforts.


OK.So my idea is very basic and simple,and could be done with limited funds.
Here it is:


Throw away all ideas of rockets to get out of the atmosphere.

Build a series of very large balloons and zeppelin like "lifter" craft.
Maybe thousands,then use these all chained together to float your payload (shuttle/spacecraft/humans)to the upper atmosphere.

When the balloons reach their zenith,the computers tell the craft to power up its engines,and power through the final topmost layer of the atmosphere,getting into orbit using a fraction of energy than conventional means.

Obviously the balloons will swell and burst at these heights,so you would carry many half full balloons which would take over as needed,and you would use more balloons than needed,as a backup.


Landing the space craft back on terra firma would be done in the same manner as the current shuttle,gliding back to the runway.


How feasible is this as an idea?

I know we would need a massive amount of balloons/gas,but we can do that cheaper than rockets can't we?

I think so.

Thanks for any tips/improvements on the idea.
Critisism appreciated,especially if its constructive.




posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 02:14 PM
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It's an idea I've had myself, so I'll tell you the problems that caused me to give up on it...

1. At sea level you need 1Meter3 of Helium to lift 1kg. By the time atmospheric pressure has halved you need 2 M3 to lift 1kg.

If the rocket fuel weighs as much as water... then
1litre of water = 1kg, one Meter3 of water = 1000kg = 1 tonne.

2. Also helium would not work as it's too expensive for something that gets destroyed by take of. So this means you need to use hydrogen, which although providing 1.1kg of lift, per meter3 is explosive.

3. You still need to contain the hydrogen, and distribute rocket weight, otherwise the rocket weight will capsize the whole launch pad (causing rocket to face downwards!!!). One way might be to have the ballon above the rocket, and let it float away (just before the boosters fire of).

Even so great creative thinking! Kind of weird we should think the same thing. Keep on with it if you like, but i think using a nuclear reactor, heated plasma, beam, would be a better way (I never minded about the nuclear safety, as I'm sure it can be launched from international waters!!!).



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 02:14 PM
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What if the balloons burst before the engine starts? You'd get a colossal crash back down to earth.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 02:28 PM
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The Shuttle alone weighs 240,000 lb (109,000 kg). Add the weight of the booster. Add the weight of the platform. Add the weight of the cables attached to the balloons. Factor in a platform large enough to allow a launch that doesn't have the risk of hitting cables or causing the platform to crash to Earth.

I'm no expert...these are the points that spring to mind.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 02:47 PM
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Thanks folks,for bringing me back down to earth so to speak


The problem of getting tangled could be nasty,I was hoping for a system which would detatch from the balloons just before they started to swell to bursting,done by internal sensors in the balloons.


Originally posted by Liberal1984

It's an idea I've had myself, so I'll tell you the problems that caused me to give up on it...

1. At sea level you need 1Meter3 of Helium to lift 1kg. By the time atmospheric pressure has halved you need 2 M3 to lift 1kg.

If the rocket fuel weighs as much as water... then
1litre of water = 1kg, one Meter3 of water = 1000kg = 1 tonne.

2. Also helium would not work as it's too expensive for something that gets destroyed by take of. So this means you need to use hydrogen, which although providing 1.1kg of lift, per meter3 is explosive.


I knew someone else would have had the same idea!
Nice one,you have looked at it in some detail.
Balloons are a no go for big heavy items then..

It may seem impractical,but what started me thinking about this subject was the guy Joe Kittenger,who floated up to space (almost)and jumped out of his balloon in 1960:




So I am thinking,if we cannot take massive objects up there,we take many thousands of smaller bits,which are in communication,and will seek out others and link up to create a space craft.

Got to be cheaper than rockets,and worth a shot.

To get to 102,000 feet with a 12 stone payload in just a balloon has got to be chaeper than rocket tech.


Imagine,thousands of 12 stone robo modules,all linking up into a super craft,with a 102 000 ft advantage.


Then you just balloon up the crew,in a cluster.The robo mega ship collects them,and its off into orbit in time for tea.

None of this rocket business needed.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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Have you been watching "up" by any chance?



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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Not to burst your bubble, just a couple of thoughts. Human's are not ready to have personal spacecrafts, even if this was possible, which i'm sure it is. But if we cannot get along on earth, can you imagine what would happen if we were 'hanging out in space', lol. Sorry, i feel your point, but I think the smarter move would be to create a free form of energy that everyone could use, then we could grow out of our fears and begin to think about collectively enjoying what's beyond earth.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 03:03 PM
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The most economical way to get large amounts of people and material into space was Project Orion. It is a shame that it wasn't too environmentally friendly.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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I still don't understand why we don't just build a ladder.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
Not to burst your bubble, just a couple of thoughts. Human's are not ready to have personal spacecrafts, even if this was possible, which i'm sure it is. But if we cannot get along on earth, can you imagine what would happen if we were 'hanging out in space', lol. Sorry, i feel your point, but I think the smarter move would be to create a free form of energy that everyone could use, then we could grow out of our fears and begin to think about collectively enjoying what's beyond earth.


Yeah,I would like that free energy as well,then no need for the balloons.
But until then,its balloons.and I think some of us are ready to go into space,although we won't get far with our current tech.

You are right though,we should learn to get along here before we go messing up space..



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
The most economical way to get large amounts of people and material into space was Project Orion. It is a shame that it wasn't too environmentally friendly.


Now that was a space craft,if we are thinking about the same one.
The nuclear monster?

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.flickr.com...

What a peach,for those who have more money than to consider simple balloons.


One hell of an idea though.
I would not be surprised if we actually launched a few in secret back in the day..



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 04:46 PM
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JP Aerospace balloon launcher

You should have a look at this.

There is also a European effort, but the link to anything escapes me at the moment, I will have a look for it. Also the Rusians have a mammoth heavy lift balloon that they are toying with at the moment, wouldn't susprise me to seee them employ it in a likewise fashion.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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You might want to check this out:
www.nasm.si.edu...
I like "retro" technology!



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by amonza
 


Thats what I was thinking about,those guys are well ahead of me




www.jpaerospace.com...

Great link,thanks amonza



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by Silcone Synapse
 


Wasn't it arthur c clarke who said about an elevator or something. Personally i do not think its practical.

The world has to be practical, and this is why the worlds tech moves slowly.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:02 PM
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these would probably work...


www.balloons.net...

they could use the Jack Daniels ones.......................j/k



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by andy1033
 


Yeah,the space elevator idea is going stong,people are trying to make it reality:


The dream of a Space Elevator is a monumental one. A vision that will not only further space exploration and knowledge, but has the potential to shape the existential future of the human race for centuries to come.

For the first time since it was initially conceived, this dream is now within our reach.


www.spaceward.org...

I think I would prefer to go up in a balloon though,and meet an orbiting mothership.
But the elevator would be good if they build a decent one that does not break.




posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:30 PM
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If balloons were the best way in any way, Nasa would use them instead of rockets. I mean, balloons are one of the first things that come to mind when you think of going up and up.



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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hahahaha

this is AWESOME

so simple and yet so BRILLIANT

i'm sure someone smarter than myself will undoubtable poke holes in this theory
pun intended
or at least find a couple flaws, solve able or not

but if it were up to me we'd at least be trying this! billiant thinking, again, *star



posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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ROSA and Google Lunar X

Found a link to a story to the Romanian space agencies effort to get a payload to the moon using a balloon as the first lifting device.

I thought it would be easier to find stuff on this, but if I remember correctly, they already have had their first test lifting, but something went wrong somewhere.

I will continue to have a look around, I am sure that I have seen video of the trial and an explanation of the harness that the rocket uses.



[edit on 12/4/2010 by amonza]



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