Airship reaches 95,000 ft

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posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:06 AM
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Airship reaches 95,000 ft


www.skynews.com.au

DIY inventors have claimed a new altitude world record after flying a helium airship to more than 95,000ft.
We've spent about $30,000 ($A29,000) and the past five years developing Tandem.'
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:06 AM
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So with all of the worlds space agencies relying on
rockets and serious tech etc., these guys are planning on
reaching low orbit by balloon.
And much cheaper too at only $30,000 so far lol.
I have heard about this concept before, what do you guys
and gals think? Will we be able to leave earths atmosphere
with this simple age old tech?
Sorry if this has already been posted, I just came across this
and thought it was interesting.

www.skynews.com.au
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 8-11-2011 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-11-2011 by weirdguy because: I can't spell



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:26 AM
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reply to post by weirdguy
 


A triumph for alternative thinking, it is so simple and cheap !

NASA you're fired.




posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:29 AM
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reply to post by weirdguy
 


Well I think the biggest difference is that that team is DIY. They do not represent a government or organisation with lots of loops and holes.
They're not so bureaucratic.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:43 AM
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The article says there is video I wanna see it. Sounds cool.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:44 AM
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Absolutely possible to create platforms in mesosphere based on this technology.
Sir Branson



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:49 AM
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www.youtube.com...


Man parachutes from 102, 800 feet



this was in 1960, but i recall other jumps, free falls in the late 1950s from the edge of Space


In 1960 Joe Kitinger jumped from a specialised helium balloon at just over 102, 800 feet. (approx 20 miles), he fell to Earth at the speed of sound but had no sensation of his speed...
edit on 8-11-2011 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by weirdguy
So with all of the worlds space agencies relying on
rockets and serious tech etc., these guys are planning on
reaching low orbit by balloon.
And much cheaper too at only $30,000 so far lol.
I have heard about this concept before, what do you guys
and gals think? Will we be able to leave earths atmosphere
with this simple age old tech?

Basically, no. It would be impossible for this type of technology to leave the atmosphere, as it relies on the bouyancy produced by the atmosphere. As the atmosphere thins at higher altitudes, the requirement for larger balloons increases hugely, but even a truly massive balloon could never leave the atmosphere.

I am struggling to see how they are supposed to accelerate to hypersonic speeds using mere balloons and propellers, as proposed in the article. This would require a huge amount of thrust to account for drag of a large balloon. They then propose that "hypersonic solar propulsion" would take over. I'm not entirely sure what this is, but I'm guessing it won't be cheap, eliminating the benefit of a cheap balloon system. Maybe they are referring to some kind of solar sail?

However, this technology could be very useful for reaching the upper atmosphere, maybe as an alternative to geo-stationary sattelites for communication purposes. Not sure how feasible that would be though. I'd be interested in seeing what kind of developments they can make with this technology.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:02 AM
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reply to post by weirdguy
 


not to be a wet blanket - but this is going to have very little practical application 140 thousand feed is no where near ANY useable orbit

low earth orbit is > 150km , this tech only achieves 42km

lastly - what payload is it going to support @ that altitude ???

sorry - but my opinion is this will only be of use as a cheap way to loft low mass instrument packages and imageing systems to the stratosphere



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:05 AM
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reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


The Hypersonic bit kinda had me confused as well.
Maybe they are thinking about a hybrid airship?
Float half way up and then under power for the rest of the journey into space.
I'm not sure but I think objects in orbit travel at hyper velocity.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:11 AM
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It would be nice if they used airships for travel more, instead of planes all the time...



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:12 AM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape
reply to post by weirdguy
 


not to be a wet blanket - but this is going to have very little practical application 140 thousand feed is no where near ANY useable orbit

low earth orbit is > 150km , this tech only achieves 42km

lastly - what payload is it going to support @ that altitude ???

sorry - but my opinion is this will only be of use as a cheap way to loft low mass instrument packages and imageing systems to the stratosphere


Don't agree, bet they said the same sorta stuff about the Wright brothers.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:12 AM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


Hey thats ok mate I was asking for peoples opinions and yours sounds
good too. I kind of envisioned steampunk style airships going into space
that would be cool



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:14 AM
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OK, so I've found a PDF outlining the JP Aerospace Airship to Orbit plan. As I suspected, the type of vehicle in the OP article could not possibly leave the atmosphere, and was never intended to. Their plan is to use such a vehicle to reach a large sub orbital station at 140,000 feet. From there, they intend on building a massive v shaped airship longer than a mile to supposedly climb to 200,000 feet, then use "electric propulsion" to reach orbital velocity. This v shaped craft would not handle winds in the lower atmosphere, so it would be built at the sub orbital station and would never go to the ground.

I must say, I'm rather sceptical that this technology could reach orbit with "electric propulsion", but this company are pretty serious about it, and have built some prototypes. The sub orbital station will surely pose some challenges as well. They intend on finishing their goals in 7 years, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out. It would be great to see them succeed, but we will have to wait and see.

For those interested, here is the PDF.
Airship to Orbit



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by Flyinghaggis
 


i dont care wether you agree or not - but please tell us how this tech would get a 10000kg payload to 42 km ?



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:31 AM
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reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Yeah! Your right! I came across the v shaped one a while back but I did'nt realise
they were part of the same project. It does sound like a bit of a strech though but
dreams have inspired man to do the impossible many times before.

The big V shaped one is called the Asender





posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 06:02 AM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape
reply to post by Flyinghaggis
 


i dont care wether you agree or not - but please tell us how this tech would get a 10000kg payload to 42 km ?

I did some quick calculations using the data here for air at 40,000m (131,000 ft). I assumed that the pressure inside the balloon was equal to that of the air outside the balloon, and assumed that the helium mass could be approximated using the ideal gas law (using R values from the textbook "Fundamentals of Thermal-Fluid Sciences"). I ignored the mass of the balloon itself, and the mass of the structure, so these values I get are rather conservative. I tried to estimate the size of the balloons required for a tandem balloon airship to support 100,000 kg at 40,000m.

I assumed the shape of the balloons to be spherical, which has the least surface area compared to it's overall dimension for any shape. Any other shape would increase the amount of balloon required, hence increase over all mass.

I calculated that each of the 2 balloons would need to have a diameter of approximately 302.5 metres. Bearing in mind that this did not take into account the mass of the balloons or the support structure which would have to be at least as long as 302.5 metres to support the balloons. This added mass would make the balloons even larger.

Given that these are conservative estimates, these would have to be some serious balloons to handle winds and severe weather whilst reaching those heights. These calculations are pretty rough, and I can show working if anyone wants it. I might even write some simple MATLAB code to calculate the required volume of balloon, and try to take into account things like mass of balloon and structure. But it's past my bedtime and I shall go to bed now.



Edit to add: silly me, I used a payload of 100,000 kg instead of 10,000kg as you had stated.
I think that's a sign I need to go to bed now.
edit on 8/11/11 by Curious and Concerned because: see above



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 06:21 AM
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reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Cool! Does this mean that we only need 30 meter balloons to lift 10,000kg ?

Edit: You can't go to bed, you have'nt finished your home work yet
edit on 8-11-2011 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 06:23 AM
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I love it!

If this is viable it makes Nasa's chemical rockets look a bit silly.

This just goes to show there are often less brute force solutions to life.

and lets just face it airships are cool



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 09:34 AM
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Honestly, I'd ditch the idea of trying to get a balloon to go into space.

It would be, by my estimation, a much better idea to use a "flying fortress" of balloons to place a mid-way station.

With the proper ballast systems, you could lower the system (use stored solar power to compress some of the gasses from the float-balloons) and deliver supplies - perhaps landing in the ocean (a very low descent) - or accepting air-delivered supplies (very similar to how supplies are delivered by low-flying military aircraft) while still at 10-20 thousand feet.

From this station, you would base aerospace airframes designed to deliver supplies to orbiting entities or to send manned repair crews up to unmanned stations.

Or... it may be simpler to just launch balloons as high as you can get them before allowing some other means of propulsion to kick in once the atmospheric density poses little drag.... Perhaps not a bad idea for structures assembled here on the ground and you need to send them into orbit - reduce the amount of space-walking that needs to be done.





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