Cheap ways of getting to space.

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by draqon, Mar 26, 2007.

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  1. draqon Banned Banned

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    Currently the cheapest way of getting to space is by means of Soyuz rocket.
    Cost of launch is around 30 million $.

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    of course its much lower than that, so the profit is favorable anyways.

    So my idea of getting into space is by using 2 new innovative ideas:

    1) plasma technology to reduce air friction
    2) ion propulsion
    3) expandable wings

    I propose to make a huge helicopter with many different specialized layers of rotors. The helicopter will be launched from the highest possible altitude atop of high altitude airplane. The helicopter will come off the mounted latches and will than climb upwards by itself using extremely wide huge area rotors, thus allowing it to climb and use the little air that is left in the atmosphere. At the mark of 40 miles it will create its own lift by using xenon propulsion ion engines mounted on the rotors surface while those are spinning. And it is in space.

    Of course the idea is that the same way the rotors lift the helicopter in the atmosphere the helicopter's ion propulsion mounted engines on the rotors will lift it. But all that has to be tested whether the physics will allow it.

    At all this time the helicopter body will be ionized by plasma, thus reducing the drag substantially. Expandable wings will be used to increase the area of the rotors thus making it the most efficient to climb upwards.

    The main problem is this:

    2) How far can a helicopter go taking advantage of the littler air that is left, taking into advantage the decrease drag of air on the body due to plasma and the expandable rotors area?

    3) At what altitude is the ion propulsion sufficient enough to create a lift for that mass? perhaps ion propulsion acceleration is way too low to create any force upwards, so is there any chemical fuel that will allow the helicopter to climb by itself up?
     
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  3. draqon Banned Banned

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    anyone? any aerospace engineers?
     
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  5. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The reason you didn't get any reply: There is no cheap way to get into space...

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  7. draqon Banned Banned

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    cheapest way?

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  8. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Avoid it.
     
  9. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Hitch hiking!
     
  10. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    Wouldn't the ion engines on the rotors be hindered dy the layering of the rotors themselves? As a rotor blade passed over another, the ions will be pushing down on the lower blade, breifly eliminating thier effectiveness.

    Besides that, it is my understaaanding that while ion engines could possibly work great in zero G due to the near lack of friction to slow the craft, shooting out a even a few thousand ions every second isn't even close to enough power to break earth's gravity.

    To add to that issue, would a helicopter design be in any way capable of sustaining lift at altitudes approaching those of a forward-moving aeroplane? My understanding is that even the most advanced helicopter designs can't reach a fraction of the altitude of commercial airliners.

    I think I'll need a diagram of the design to go any further.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007
  11. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    There are too many flaws in this idea to point out every one so I'll just mention two of them in passing. First, it's impossible for a helicopter to reach your desired altitide. Second, ion engines produce only a very tiny amount of thrust.
     
  12. draqon Banned Banned

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    I will revise my idea, and come uP w/ a diagram soon.
     
  13. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    As for a cheap way to space, NASA got a guy into the ionosphere in the 60's using a massive balloon. Then he jumped back to earth. 0_0

    Start there, and then rocket yourself the last bit, maybe?

    the XPrize clubs were dealing with this exact question over the past few years - check out thier solutions.
     
  14. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    draqon,

    No diagram will change the uselessness of an ion engine in an atmosphere,
    especially if you want to lift things up.

    Considering that you hadn't done even this basic research, I doubt the feasibility of the rest of your plan.
     
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Lysergic acid diethylamide.
     
  16. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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  17. draqon Banned Banned

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    I noticed that and that is why I am revising my idea. Ion engines are out, thank you.

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  18. kmguru Staff Member

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    Perhaps magnetic ring and rocket. Use both because imparting ground based energy will partially reduce the total energy one needs to carry to get to space.

    Someday, one could build a space elevator and use ground based energy to move the elevator...

    Far in future we could convert one of the primary forces to build anti-gravity ships....

    Finally, if we can compress space, we could teleport objects to space.
     
  19. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    I believe the most likely "break through" is either going to be a space elevator, or a normal rocket that can extract a part of his oxygen supply from the air. Altough such low weight solar planes that can take over tasks of satelites without actually being in space could also proof useful and help space flight by eliminating the costs that those previous missions needed.
     
  20. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Not a chance in hell! Well, certainly not to escape velocity anyway. It's just not feasible to support and control a vehicle up to speeds of 11km/s using a maglev.

    The fastest maglev train runs at about 600km/h, or 600/60/60km/s = 0.1666km/s, or, about 1/66th the speed required. The engineering task of achieving the increase in speed therefore, is immense. The control of the vehicle at such speeds would have to be incredibly precise, as the consequences of a wobble towards the track dire. It would have to be kept meticulously clean, preferably indoors, so dust swept up would not stil be in the air when the vehicle came back on it's next pass. Let's do some more maths,...

    The largest superconducting ring built so far, is the Large Hadron Collider I think, at about 27km. So, if we could use it to accelerate heavier payloads, they would do one circuit in less than three seconds at escape velocity. That's pulling 270G's by the way, people would be very dead, and instruments totally destroyed under their own weight.

    Therefore to get the G force down the ring has to be much, much bigger, in fact, 66 times bigger would be a good number again, and 100 times very useable.

    The LHC cost a couple of Billion dollars, so if you have a trillion, you might just make a Maglev launch system work. I can think of better ways to spend the money.
     
  21. draqon Banned Banned

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    plasma is the answer people...reducing air density
     
  22. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    No it isn't. The problem is climbing out of the Earth's gravity well.
     
  23. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Hoo, did I screw up the calculation in my earlier post. I used the circumference (27)instead of the radius (4.3), and screwed up the RPM part too, using the time to complete a circuit (3s), instead of the RPM (20 rpm!)

    At near escape velocity, (11km/s)on a track the same size as the LHC (27Km)

    we get a figure of about 2,000G.

    2,000G!

    Somebody sanity check these figures please, because I can't believe if they are correct, that the US Air Force would look into this as a launch method! The numbers are just horrible, it's an impossible engineering task.
     
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