Skip to comments.The Cold Equations Of Spaceflight
Posted on 09/09/2005 5:26:35 AM PDT by nuke rocketeer
In the past month, we have been blessed with numerous leaks from NASA of various study documents relating to the new boosters that will be needed to carry out the new manned moon program. I've been monitoring the large volume of Web chatter about these plans, and have noticed a disturbing theme therein. Many Space Cadets are expressing dissatisfaction with these leaked NASA plans. They say that the Shuttle-derived boosters are too primitive, too expensive to develop, too expensive to operate, and not inspiring enough. They can't understand why we will be returning to the Moon with rockets and space capsules that look like minor variations of those used in the Apollo program 40 years ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at spacedaily.com ...
Has anyone figured out how they are going to get through the Van Allen Radiation belt alive?
Let private enterprise do it. They're already doing brilliantly in near space.
We can't even keep the insulating foam from coming off of the shuttle's external fuel tank. Space technology will advance ONLY when it become profitable and private industry starts paying more of the bills.
Can't find enough dilithium crystals?...........or melange......
So the problem seems to be that of being able to carry enough fuel. Which has to be of the conventional kind.
I can't imagine nuclear power driving a space ship and especially a manned one. The mass of fat-nucleus atoms needed to shield it would render it literally impossible.
You mean I'm stuck here???
I fully agree, but try telling some other Freepers that Burt Rutan does not have the ability to reach orbit, and given his budget never will, and you will need asbestos underwear.
An Orion could, but the Atmospheric test ban Treaty puts a legal bar to this vehicle, and the fact that it puts all kids of fallout in the atmosphere puts an ethical and environmental bar in front of it.
The Apollo astronauts got through it alive. The key for that is to go through it quickly.
Predestination is an ugly thing, Harley.... ;-)
Is private enterprise somehow immune to the Cold Equations of Space? They're not.
And they're also not immune to the Cold Equations of Return on Investment. Aside from the fabulously profitable comsat market, private enterprise hasn't got much incentive to go into space right now.
Yep. Anything we do in space is going to be hard AND expensive. TANSTAAFL. I would like to see us substitute a modernized Dyna-Soar for the modernized Apollo in the new launch vehicle.
Oh well, back to Traveller.
Basically an atom bomb with wings??
Would there be some way to get around this by keeping some of the propulsion system earthbound? Like a humongous slingshot or catapult?
Yes. See my post #10.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.