How would you develop the a space program? What would you goals be?
Couple of rules:
You have to use Known technology available or soon to be avalible now. It can be old technology or cutting edge. If its a real solid idea you can
Research and ideas that were never created but use known and realistic technology is allowed.
Assume resources are not unlimited, you have a budget, a very high and flexible budget like NASA 1964.
Assume we have no ET contact.
My first goal would be to find a cheaper method for reaching orbit.
I would look at 5 ways.
1st Reviving the Orion project: I would Spend A good half of the budget on creating a number of nuclear propulsion craft. Mission would be:
1st Part over 5 years. Orion test phase.
OT1 - 880t Unmanned test Launch, deliver a simple pay load (no point wasting a chance to put a few commercial satellites up there or a new
telescope) , Land
OT2 -880 t Unmanned test Launch orbit the moon , land 3 rovers at 3 sites for testing for appropriate landing sites, test a possible future manned
landing module, land a small 2 person habitat module for future use. Return home and land.
OT3 -880 t Unmanned test Launch Circle mars, land 3 rovers at 3 sites for testing for appropriate landing sites. Return home and land.
OT4-880T 5 Man mission, land on the moon, spend 2 months on surface with ship in orbit. Set up the habitat module and expand with a 2nd module.
Return all home and land.
OT5-880T 5 man mission, land on moon, deploy a escape module, a small mining and a small manufacturing module to the habitat, leave a crew of two
behind, return home.
OT6-880T Unmanned, launch, be placed in permanent obit of mars.
Second part with development to start after successful OT1 mission with missions to start after straight after OT5. Orion Interplanetary phase
OI1 - 4000T Unmanned test, Launch travel to moon, drop off supplies then travel to mars land and act as a initial habitation module on the red
OI2 -4000T 5 manned mission , travel to moon, drop off supplies then travel to mars and land. Ship will not return. Will contain a mars escape module
that will allow all 5 colonists to reach mars obit and dock with the OT6 craft for return home incase of trouble.
OI3-4000T 5 manned mission, land on the moon, ships is not design to return but be joined to the moon base to add more space and manufacturing and
mining modules. A new escape module will be added to the base and the option for the 2 men who have been 1.5 to 3 years to return home will be
Phase 3 This will be using the Advanced interplanetary and basic interplanetary design depending on mission.
OAI1- 10000 t Unmanned test mission. Will put a Refinery and shipyard in orbit of earth.
OI4- 4000T 8 will be stationed on the new shipyard. 2 will polite the ship to near earth objects and set up automated resource extraction robots.
The ship will permanently remain in orbit and travel from NEO/Moon and mars and deliver ore and other resources to the shipyard. Main purpose will be
to construct cheap 1 way return capsules for resources and personnel to return to earth. Also fabricate new modules for use on the moon and mars.
OIA2- 10000t 5 man mission 1st part of the mission will be to deliver any needed supplies to the moon and mars, 2nd part of mission will be to Saturn
and its moons, aim will be to deploy probes and rovers on its moons to check for resources and good landing spots., priority will be Titan. OIA2 will
remain in the solar system for future exploration and transport assignments, crew will be returned home from the shipyard station.
Phase 4 Permanent habitability space station. The design will be 1 8 million ton super Orion. construction to start mid way through stage 2.
SO1-8,000,000 tons. 100 manned. Will place a space station in orbit of earth. will be designed to spin to give centrifugal style artificial
"gravity". Purpose will be to allow those living on the moon + the shipyard to rest and recuperate in a "gravity" environment. Will also contain
more advanced manufacturing and refining facilities to support the shipyard and production facilities on the moon and mars. Also act as transfer hub
for personnel coming up from earth.
OIA3-10000 tons, Transport to transfer 2-4 thousand personnel to the SO space station and moon and mars bases. Ship to be kept in orbit and used for
future personal and supplies transport.
OI4- Used to transport and crew habitability module to Titan and place it and a landing team on a appropriate site. colonisation of Titan to
END OF EARTH BASED ORION LAUNCHES
In the mean time form day one of the Orion project I will be looking into the following 3 method of orbital transfer to provide a non nuclear
2) Orbital airship. Basically it is what it says. A airship that can reach LEO. It floats to the very edge of the atmosphere at 33K then uses
conventional chemical or electric rockets to get it the rest of the way.
Possible use as a earth to LEO personal transport.
3) Skylon: A single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane using the SABRE, a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket propulsion system, with a designed re-usability
up to 200 flights each. Project to cost £650/kg rather than the £15000/Kg that Chem rockets use.
Possible use a personal transport and light cargo transport.
4) Space elevator: Again it is what it says a giant elevator that goes form Earth to LEO.
Use as a cargo transport.
Would be a long term project.
5) Launch loop also known as a Lofstrom loop is a proposed system for launching objects into space orbit using a moving cable-like system situated
inside a sheath attached to the earth at two ends and suspended above the atmosphere in the middle. The design concept was published by Keith Lofstrom
and describes an active structure maglev cable transport system that would be around 2,000 km (1,240 mi) long and maintained at an altitude of up to
80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by momentum of a belt that circulates around the structure. This circulation, in
effect, transfers the weight of the structure onto a pair of magnetic bearings, one at each end, which support it.
Would make good personnel and cargo transport system with costs as less as $3/kg!
Like the space elevator would be a long term project with a long build time. I would favour this over the space elevator.
Hopefully one of these 4 methods would provide a good way to get people and supplies from earth into orbit without the need of a nuclear option.
So ATS what would your ideas be?
edit on 17-12-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-12-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)