# The Cube

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Success_Machine, Feb 11, 2003.

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1. ### Success_MachineImpossible? I can do thatRegistered Senior Member

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You wouldn't need it - that's the point I was trying to make. The Cube would enable at least a four-fold reduction of the counterweight mass. At that rate the Skyhook machinery plus The Cube might be heavy enough itself to constitute a counterweight.

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13. ### GiftedWorld WandererRegistered Senior Member

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and it will cost $318,181,000,000 to use the current shuttle to put it in orbit(based on$250m per launch, a conservative price). Over 1200 launches. If we assume a new shuttle with a $40million(man is that optimistic) per launch cost, and a 30,000lb payload, it will take 934 launches, at a total cost of$37,333,000,000. As you said, it will take half a century to do. Let's say we spend 5 billion developing, building, and launching a probe to go to a NEO and knock it into orbit to serve as your counter wieght. BTW, this asteriod would probably tip the scales against your cube by several million tons.

14. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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You know we could build a LEO to Luna skyhook array for under 1000ton. And we could use the materials from the moon to supply assembly of this LEO to LEA (low earth atmosphere) skyhook. How’s that for problem solving!

15. ### JaxomTau ZeroRegistered Senior Member

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Gifted got my point...I agree that if the Cube or variant was already built, it makes LEO cheap to get to. I was talking about the construction itself.

1) There's already material outside the gravity well.

2) Much of it already passes close by us, and just needs a nudge, compared to a huge effort for each shuttle launch.

3) Every launch removes Earth resources, when again, there's stuff already out there, waiting.

As for lunar mining, that's a closer debate. Is the cost of construction of the lunar Cube and availability of primarily metals aa better choice than the cost of locating a retrieving a comparible asteroid? Lots of variables to factor in.

Luna will be a great source for certain things, like oxygen, soil for shielding, and of course fusion fuel. I think even titatium can be extracted, but I don't know the amount. But some stuff wil have to be asteroid or Earth mined, and Earth pulls too hard.

16. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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To move 30 tons from the moon to LEO would need an array of at lest 3 skyhooks that weighs a cumulative mass of only 840tons into LEO. That’s only 42 shuttle launches, \$17billion or 9 Energia launches for less if Russia had the money to build the things. Once you install a LEO Skyhook it can place a HEO Skyhook in orbit that can then thrust cargo for a LLO Skyhook that could drop off or pick up cargo at the moon. Cargo from the moon could build a LEA to HEO (Low Earth Atmosphere) skyhook like “The Cube” (I still think this name is stupid)

I disagree with the use of a asteroid at lest for near term use. the questions are:
1. How are we going to get there?
2. How do we drag the asteroid back?
3. How do we place it in earth orbit?

I personally would invest in fusion engines/reactors then we could move things the old fashion way (with space ships) and give the earth a new source of power that could replace all others and produce enough surplus to make hydrogen fuel and end the need for mined hydrocarbon as a fuel and solve global warming, are present political crisis and all future energy need crisisi as well as bring a new age of world peace.

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18. ### JaxomTau ZeroRegistered Senior Member

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Of course to do all this we need to redevelop the methods of getting to the Moon. Do you think all this could be done robotically? Questionable to me, especially the Moon mining part. Humans react better to unusual situations than robots. which of course leads to Moon colonization....etc...

I've been talking NEOs (Near Earth Object), not a journey to the asteroid belt...that too is a possibility, but NEOs just need a little adjustment in their path. One thing, we would need to practice orbit parking with small ones first...just in case.

19. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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Once you have a LEO to LLO array up we could very easily (and much more cheaply then rockets direct) sling people to the moon to start a moon base and produce the supplies need for "The Cube". Not to mention all the other wonderful thing having a moon base could do.

Success_Machine and my system is work out on paper as possible with no "show stopper" problem except money.

But again I would prefer a investment in fusion technology over all these things

20. ### JaxomTau ZeroRegistered Senior Member

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Actually fusion research, or at the least, widespread fusion usage, might depend on something like these systems first being set up, if the speculation of He-3 and deuterium is correct.

But I'm all for fusion as well, however we get it. Ad mars et ad astra!

21. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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I'm for B11+P fusion: No penetrating ionizing radiation and very cheap fuel.

22. ### Success_MachineImpossible? I can do thatRegistered Senior Member

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The Cube would only work if it is orbiting a planet with a strong magnetic field, like earth or jupiter. This allows it to reboost itself without using any propellant. Otherwise if you need to re-fuel it, why bother? Just use the rocket to launch payloads.

The Cube would get payloads above the atmosphere and into orbit, and in huge quantities. Once there spacecraft can employ high efficiency, relatively low thrust engines, to go whereever they want. That could include ion engines, nuclear thermal, or antimatter-initiated microfission/microfusion (AIM) propulsion.

The Cube would allow construction of ships bigger than any we've conceive before. Maybe even interstellar probes! Make no mistake, one of those would be HUGE !!!

23. ### JaxomTau ZeroRegistered Senior Member

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Are there any other practical non-neutron producing reactions? Proton-boron11 is a bit better, how does it stack against Deuterium-He3 as far as power/amount?

Either would pack a punch...